Connecticut earned a “D” grade for its public-sector labor laws from the Commonwealth Foundation, a free-market think tank based in Pennsylvania. Connecticut was one of 22 states in the country that earned a grade lower than a C. The study cited Connecticut’s binding arbitration laws, lack of paycheck protection and closed-door union contract negotiations as contributing to its poor grade.
A 2003 lawsuit by the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition against Gov. John Rowland has increased the Connecticut budget deficit by $18 million according to figures released by the Office of Fiscal Analysis. The OFA estimated a $20.8 million shortfall at the Office of the State Comptroller due to adjudicated claims. “Approximately $18 million of the projected deficiency is for estimated payments for the SEBAC v. Rowland Settlement.”
Regional coordinators for the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security are receiving municipal pensions while employed by the state of Connecticut and driving state vehicles, including Emergency Management Director William J. Hackett. Hackett retired as chief of the Branford Fire Department and president of the union local of the International Association of Firefighters before being appointed to the position in 2006. Hackett receives a disability pension in the amount of $45,175.80 per year.
The city of Danbury has been experiencing a renaissance in the past few years, which has the city moving in the opposite direction as the rest of the state. Although Connecticut has been experiencing a net loss of population, Danbury has increased its population by 8 percent since 2000; while Connecticut’s credit rating has decreased, Danbury recently earned a AAA rating; Connecticut’s state employee pension system is among the most underfunded in the nation, while Danbury’s is nearly fully funded into the foreseeable future.
As Connecticut’s Spending Cap Commission closes in on it’s December 1st deadline to deliver recommendations to the state legislature, committee co-chair, William Cibes, asked that the term “death-spiral” cease to be used when discussing the state’s fiscal health. Cibes also said that he no longer wanted to hear that state spending was out of control.
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.