There’s no getting around it: this SEBAC vote was a tremendous disappointment for the people of our state. But even as we regret the outcome, we should not be dismayed. Connecticut IS changing. Four years ago, there wouldn’t have even been a fight over this concessions package -- and that, at least, is cause for optimism.
Carol Platt Liebau
Tuesday, voters across Connecticut spoke, loud and clear. They are demanding better jobs; an affordable, sustainable state government; and politicians of both parties who are willing to work together to fund our state’s priorities without constant tax increases. With your help, Yankee stands ready to help achieve these goals – in 2017 and beyond. We have heard our state’s residents, and we have developed policy proposals that can drive real reform.
Connecticut suffers from an approach to public policy that’s laser-focused on today’s urgent problems, while leaving tomorrow’s important challenges unaddressed. With lawmakers yet again cobbling together a budget at the last minute, time grows increasingly short to change the trajectory of our struggling state. A common sense approach to restoring Connecticut’s vitality should help us.
The sad, painful process of laying off thousands of state workers began yesterday, as a result of state tax revenues coming in "lower than expected." Amid the human cost -- both to those who will be losing jobs, and those depending on the services that some of these laid-off state employees provide -- there was one particularly galling note. In every news account, state employee union leaders denounced the layoffs in quotes bristling with righteous indignation.
If there’s one thing that’s always surprising about the “conventional wisdom,” it’s how fast that wisdom can change. For far too long, it’s seemed like a sad fact of life: Special interests rule the Capitol, big-spending policies win the day, and the long-suffering taxpayers of Connecticut are expected to buck up and pay whatever new taxes are thrown their way.
At the Yankee Institute, we will stand alone when necessary, but this time lawmakers overwhelmingly joined our side. Last week, the Yankee Institute was the only group to submit written testimony opposing a controversial UConn union contract, and our Policy Director Suzanne Bates was the only person to testify against it in person.