In 2016 Connecticut borrowed $327.4 million for public projects, which included $4 million in fees for Connecticut agencies to oversee the projects, essentially borrowing to pay the cost of its employees. Those fees have added up to more than $61 million since 1999. Each year the state pays interest on these costs.
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 has been meeting its payments for the past few years. This is commendable and responsible behavior. Too many states, fearing the immediate implications of budget crowd-out, choose to pay less than 100 percent of their required contributions. However, the Connecticut pensions systems’ structural problems make even 100 percent payments woefully insufficient. Debt levels are going up, in part because of inflated discount rates.
Twenty-five years ago Gov. Lowell Weicker vetoed a state budget. In his veto message, he got one thing right. “We will not set employment levels and then drum up programs to make work,” he said. To this day, Connecticut doesn’t set priorities. We start with state employees and end with ...
Connecticut voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional spending cap in 1992, but lawmakers still haven’t defined the three terms in the amendment that would make it work. Earlier this year, lawmakers created a Spending Cap Commission to recommend definitions. The hope is that lawmakers will adopt them next year. The commission has ...
Connecticut union leaders signed off on pension underfunding each time it happened, according to the state’s top union official and expert testimony before the Spending Cap Commission last month. At the Sept. 26 commission meeting, AFL-CIO President Lori Pelletier said union leaders agreed to underfund the state employee pension in exchange for better benefits for workers, even though they knew it was “not a good idea.” Pelletier said Connecticut is now “left holding that basket.”