Connecticut’s total state and local unfunded pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liability is a whopping $124.9 billion, according to an independent report delivered to the Connecticut Council of Municipalities. Pro Bono Public Pensions, a nonprofit that advises state and local governments on pension sustainability, reported that the State of ...
Yankee Institute 2017 Legislative Agenda
2017 Legislative Focus
This year, Connecticut lawmakers have the opportunity to show that they are committed to bringing jobs and prosperity back to our state. That starts with saying “no” to another tax increase, and “yes” to dismantling the barriers that hobble job and economic growth.
Businesses and families need greater predictability and stability from their state government. That means the state must learn to live within its means – and that can only happen when the parts of government that are growing too fast are reined in and brought under control.
During the 2017 legislative session, the Yankee Institute will be working with legislators, state officials and stakeholders in the following areas:
- Eliminate barriers to jobs, such as unnecessary or onerous occupational licensing requirements.
- Reduce red tape for independent contractors and solo entrepreneurs.
- Exempt the first $10,000 of personal property from property tax for all businesses.
- Begin to bring public sector benefits more in line with private sector benefits through meaningful pension reform and retiree healthcare reform.
- Bring every collectively-bargained state employee contract up for a full vote of the House and Senate.
- Update the education funding formula so it is clear, fair, and child-centered.
- Reform the teacher pension system to bring costs under control so more money can reach the classroom.
- Pass a balanced budget without raising taxes.
- Fully enact the previously-adopted constitutional spending cap.
- Reform the estate tax to allow family-owned businesses to remain family owned, and encourage more of our wealthiest residents to retire in Connecticut.
Criminal Justice Reform
- Establish a fairer bail system focused on public safety.
- Eliminate civil asset forfeiture; allow the state and municipalities to confiscate private property only after a criminal conviction.
- Reduce state-imposed spending mandates that drive up municipal costs so that local leaders can be free to reduce property tax burdens on residents. Mandate relief should include binding arbitration reform, prevailing wage reform, and the elimination of the minimum budget requirement.
The Rhode Island Supreme Court has upheld a Superior Court decision to allow the City of Cranston to cut cost of living adjustments for city retirees, citing the city’s dire fiscal problems. In 2011, Cranston faced a $256 million unfunded pension liability and the city’s pension system was only 16.9 ...