General Electric announced this week it would move its headquarters from Connecticut to Boston, Mass., highlighting the need for policies focused on increasing opportunity for all Connecticut residents. While many officials tried to cast blame elsewhere, GE officials warned lawmakers the company would consider moving if they went ahead with what amounted to a 40 percent increase in corporate taxes.
Connecticut spent $119 million on state employee overtime during the first six months of fiscal year 2016, but that number does not include overtime for employees in the Departments of Transportation or Motor Vehicles. Citing “availability” and “reliability” issues with the data, the Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA) said it could only provide overtime numbers for employees paid through the state’s General Fund. That rules out DOT or DMV employees, who are paid through the Special Transportation Fund.
Recent news reports confirm what many have suspected for some time — young people are leaving Connecticut. How does this relate to pension debt? As a current graduate student who would like to stay in Connecticut after I finish school, I’ll explain. The state has accumulated billions of dollars of pension debt, and now it is trying to figure out how to pay that debt off.
This week the state legislature met to undo some of the damage that they did during the last legislative session. In the late evening on Tuesday, after several hours of debate, lawmakers approved a deficit mitigation package by votes of 20-15 in the Senate, and 75-65 in the House. A few Democrats joined all Republicans legislators in voting against the bill.
Last week, Yankee Institute President Carol Platt Liebau sent a letter to Gov. Malloy and lawmakers to offer support for many of their cost-cutting ideas. PDF Version: Budget Ideas from the Yankee Institute Dear Governor Malloy and Legislative Leaders, Thank you for your efforts to address the problems with Connecticut’s budget now, rather than waiting to make last minute cuts near the end of the fiscal year. We appreciate your bipartisan commitment to reducing spending.
The recent op-ed in the Courant is correct on one count: state employees are not the problem. If not state employees, then who is to blame for the seemingly perpetual state budget deficit? The problem is politicians who, and this won’t surprise anyone, made promises they couldn’t keep.