When a city or town is forced to go to binding arbitration over a labor contract, they often have little to gain and a whole lot to lose, but the decision comes down to one person.
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
Despite being rejected by the state appropriations committee and denounced by municipal leaders across the state, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s plan to transfer one-third of teacher pension costs onto towns and cities is still being considered during budget negotiations. However, during a June 22 press conference, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, and House Majority Leader Matthew Ritter, D-Hartford, floated the idea of raising the state sales tax to 6.99 percent and using the increased funds to help municipalities pay for teacher pensions.
An often over-looked part of Governor Dannel Malloy’s budget would transfer the full cost of resident state troopers onto the small towns that utilize them, an increasing the towns' contribution by 30 percent since 2014. Fifty-four towns in Connecticut utilize the resident state trooper program, which enables a state trooper to serve as the top law enforcement officer in a town.
Gov. Dannel Malloy's budget chief faced a barrage of tough questions Thursday from both sides of the political aisle. None of the lawmakers on the finance, revenue and bonding committee appeared pleased with Office of Policy and Management Secretary Benjamin Barnes.
Facing a $3 billion deficit over the next two years, Malloy appears poised to propose a budget that achieves balance without significantly raising state taxes. At the same time, Malloy's changes to education funding could result in property tax increases in some towns. Malloy's proposal has three main components: changing the Education Cost Sharing formula, creating a separate fund for special education and changing the minimum budget requirement for towns.