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.
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.
Republicans have proposed 19 separate bills to eliminate the income tax from pension payments and social security benefits. The proposals come as the state battles a number of issues including a $1.7 billion budget deficit and an outmigration trend as people, particularly retirees, move to other states.
Gov. Dannel Malloy's budget chief told the appropriations committee Tuesday that, despite a pension agreement between the governor’s office and a group of state employee unions, Connecticut will face “a relatively brutal” increase in pension costs equal to 10 percent of the budget by 2023. The pension deal would essentially refinance the existing pension payments by extending them through 2046 to make up for a $16.5 billion funding shortfall.
One in five pension checks for retired Connecticut state employees are mailed out of state, according to October figures provided by the state comptroller’s office. Every month more than $25 million in pension payments goes out of state but a proposed bill in the General Assembly would impose a 30 percent “forwarding fee” on those funds.