Reports surfaced Monday about a tentative deal between Gov. Dannel Malloy and the state employee labor unions to achieve $1.5 billion in concessions over the next two years and extend the state employee contract to 2027. However, a five year contract extension will mean Connecticut will be saddled with the union deal, negotiated by Gov. John Rowland, for as long as most people have mortgages.
Connecticut’s pension system may be in much worse shape than previously thought according to a new study from the Hoover Institution, a public policy think tank at Stanford University. In 2015, Connecticut reported its pension liability as $30 billion but the Hoover Institute study says that figure was actually $68 billion.
Over one thousand retired state employees are receiving six-figure pensions, a nine-fold increase since 2010 when only 110 retirees received six-figure pensions. According to data from the state comptroller's office the six-figure pensions for 1,030 retired state employees adds up to $120.1 million per year.
Healthcare costs for retired state employees are projected to surpass the healthcare costs for current employees for the first time in 2017, according to the governor’s budget report.
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.
A public hearing before the powerful state appropriations committee on Friday became a referendum on state employee pension benefits and the collective bargaining process that ran almost ten hours. Several speakers warned that changes to Connecticut’s collective bargaining practices and retirement benefits would cause the state to become a southern backwater.