Gov. Dannel Malloy’s education cost sharing executive order maintained flat funding for the Bridgeport school system, but that wasn’t what Bridgeport Superintendent Aresta L. Johnson was hoping for, according to her budget talking points. Despite receiving the same amount of state education funds as last year, the Bridgeport school system has implemented a hiring freeze and an operational account freeze for nonessential and contractual accounts as the school system faces rising costs.
Marc E. Fitch
While state employees were given a 4-year no layoff guarantee through the union concessions deal, municipalities will have few options but to layoff teachers, staff and municipal employees. Following the governor’s veto of the bipartisan budget passed in September, those layoffs are happening, pitting the interests of state teachers’ unions against those of the state employee unions
Connecticut would have to pay 35 percent of its tax revenue over 30 years in order to meet all its pension and retiree healthcare liabilities, according to a report by financial powerhouse JP Morgan. In their ARC of the Covenants 2.0 report, which examines credit risk for municipal bond holders, JP Morgan listed Connecticut as one of four states including New Jersey, Illinois and Kentucky, as having the highest retirement liabilities.
On Sunday more than 150 parents, children and education advocates gathered in Middletown for the annual March for Education, meant to celebrate education and learning in Connecticut. The march occurred on the same day Gov. Dannel Malloy's executive order took effect, zeroing out education funding for 85 towns across Connecticut.
An annual ranking of the richest and poorest states by 24/7 Wall St. shows Connecticut has slipped from the 4th wealthiest state in the nation to the 6th in the past two years, trading places with Massachusetts. Although Connecticut remains in the top ten nationally, it was overtaken by its neighbor to the north in terms of median income growth, unemployment rate and population growth.
Carrying signs that read "Support UConn" and “Respect Collective Bargaining,” approximately 300 University of Connecticut staff and students rallied outside the Legislative Office Building to protest proposed cuts to the university included in the bipartisan budget passed by the legislature. Former UConn graduate employee union president, Todd Vachon led the crowd in chanting “tax the rich” and called for raising taxes on hedge funds and Connecticut’s top income earners.