Today’s Column

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To put a finer point on it: I continue to think that the Malloy administration walked away from the SEBAC talks with inadequate concessions (notwithstanding the way some of the locals writhed and howled).

And now, there aren’t that many places to go looking for savings.

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21 thoughts on “Today’s Column

  1. Richard

    Nothing new here with SEBAC. Dan and the Democrats cut the services to the most vulnerable to 1) protect their union cronies with no layoff guarantees 2) to protect their appointees and patronage jobs and 3) to protect the grotesque, bloated middle management salaries of the adminstrative agencies and 4) to cut deeply enough to push through a tax increase proposed from the House.

    Then there’s the haz-duty retire at 44 pension spiking scams …… all inviolate by the prior agreement of Boss Tweed Malloy.

    Governor Moonbeam is the sane one after all. Brown managed to implement at least half the pension reform agenda necessary.

  2. Deidra Ierardi

    Colin: thank you for the column on Sunday. You began to discuss the ‘bloat’ in the bureaucracy and did a great job on the fairness issue.

    While Head Start funding is cut from the local level, the state will continue to take the 10% or so for state funding. Local level will see reductions in numbers of children served and layoffs of staffs….none at the State level.

  3. jschmidt

    He is hitting the neediest so the legislature will balk and raise taxes. It;s a bait and switch. He hasn’t cut near;y as hard as he should to administrators. New Dept of Ed PR person makes 82k. Do we need more than 1 PR person? Get rid of the busway and first five.

  4. Steven Gerrard

    Boy, Colin, it would’ve been nice if you and the rest of your colleagues in the news media spoke with vigor about this when Republicans made the same point back in 2011. Unfortunately, journalists enamored by Malloy didn’t want to hear that common sense argument.

    1. cmcenroe Post author

      Yes, Steven, it would. Fortunately, I did.

      From that column 18 months ago:

      Malloy said he would he would need $1.6 billion, over two years, in concessions from state workers. His people negotiated with something called SEBAC, which is a union of all the unions. Eventually a deal was announced.

      To my untrained eye, it looked like the deal fell a little short of the solid givebacks needed to balance the budget. To trained eyes, it looked even worse. The independent, nonpartisan financial analysts at the state legislature could verify only 40 percent of the $1.6 billion in the visible part of the deal.

      The deal was, to put it judgmentally, nowhere near tough enough.

      My chief health care concern about the deal was that state employees might injure themselves while vaulting over each other to ratify it.

      It nonetheless seemed vitally important to ratify the deal so we could all move forward into the future, where we would eventually figure out that we had not saved enough money at this crucial juncture and had screwed ourselves.

      1. Brett Weir


        You are being completely disingenious in this debate.

        If you truly felt this way, tell us how many Republicans you voted for over the last 4 elections.

        I bet you could count that number on one hand.

        You vote for Democrats..this is what you get.

        It is just that simple.

  5. peter brush

    The state, because of deals it has made, cannot do either of those things.
    I don’t know, but I suspect the main impediment to busting the deals Malloy has made with State employees is political not legal. Not that it’s right on point, but it seems to me the recent Supreme Court decision allowing the State to sue contractors of the law library, not withstanding statutes of limitation, is suggestive. In any case, the unions are creatures of statute, and could be eliminated by statute.
    No offense intended to Ms. Ierardi, but Headstart is an excellent example of a well-intentioned program more beneficial to its operators than to its ostensible beneficiaries. Admittedly, in this regard it’s not much different than the entire government education apparatus, and I doubt that anyone is making district superintendent bucks, let alone public university hack compensation.

  6. greg

    I can’t believe how badly this state is run, in 10 years all the union members will be staring at eachother asking where did everyone else go. Fairfield Cty again will be summer homes with a much smaller full year population. Responible people can’t run this state because it requires significant structural changes. Higher taxes are clearly not working.

  7. NH

    Why would you want state employees being laid off or having sudden changes in their pensions/retirement benefits? Doesn’t make sense, Colin. You’re better than that.

  8. Jason Cummings

    What about the state’s public school teachers? It seems like every day I see the teachers in a town signing a multi year contract with raises? Southington teachers received almost 9% over three years. How is that possible?

  9. peter brush

    Southington teachers received almost 9% over three years. How is that possible?
    Can’t get qualified people if we don’t pay them.

    Seriously, it happens because the State imposes unions on school districts (which are generally geographically identical to municipalities). One of the things that got Scott Walker in hot water was that Wisconsin relieved districts of some obligation to deal with labor unions.

    Here, our Governor and his Lieutenant seem to adhere to the notion that labor unions, including those who coerce government workers against taxpayers, are on moral high ground. Beats me, but the guy makes a point of publicly joining pickets, shows support for “labor.” But, when it comes to public school unions they pretend that the State has nothing to do with them. There wasn’t even a phony cost-savings deal with them last year.

  10. Richard

    Scott Walker’s Success: He freed the slaves.

    “[Membership in] Afscme Council 24, composed of state workers, fell more than two thirds to 7,100 from 22,300 last year.

    A key reason that membership dropped was because the labor law, championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker, forbids automatic collection of union dues. Instead, workers must voluntarily say that they want to continue to continuing paying dues to remain members of the union.”

    Disempower the unions!

    Walker’s (Milwaukee’s) school voucher program (A District within the District) is as large as Hartford’s School System.

    Shudder. It’s a non-union District. 85% religious Schools. As with the union dues gone missing its a product of Choice. Give tax-payers a choice and they flee Union Dues and Union Facilities and don’t go back.

    Can we see those food stamp applications in triplicate at piled up at DSS again?

    There’s a huge hole here for the GOP to drive through. Vouchers. Jerry Brown-style Pension Reform. Union Dues. Changing the hiring and firing seniority racket. Improving social services. Firing the Lords of COBOL at the Department of Information Technology. DOIT seems to think its the preserver of old and ancient languages and antique technology and business practices. The makers of triplicate forms for Food Stamps love them!

  11. Richard

    It’s estmated that the Fiscal Cliff will cost the state of CT at least $1 Billion in Grants and Funding (Pew for the States). Could be much higher with the Medicaid Expansion.

    CT will send Washington another $10 Billion in taxes (the Tax Foundation).

    Half the taxes are from the AMT. The others are a variety of taxes including the largest–Bush Taxes and the 2%payroll tax relief.

    As reported everywhere CT’s pension fund lost 1% last year instead of earning the 8.25% budgeted.

  12. Chucky_Dee

    Yes Colin we may have been slow to see what he meant by “Shared Sacrifice” – My friends & I share, you poor suckers SACRIFICE ! Too bad we can get TAXED retroactively but not change our VOTES retroactively !!

  13. Richard

    I wonder if that $200 to $300 million in “Race to The Top” Education Funding would Help CT?

    That’s a rhetorical question. The Teachers Union(s) that vanquished any hope of CT getting that money and the politicians in bed with them? Should be arrested and formally charged.

    Round I – Denied. $192 Million
    Round II – Denied. $175 Million
    Round III – Denied. $50 Million

    If there’s any edcuaiton shorfalls coming I say take it out of the Teachers Union. Salaries, Benefits, Positions.

    School Vouchers. Gotta put the unions back under the thumbs of the taxpayers. Miwlaukee Voucher students get 50% of the funding of Public Schools Students and perform at least as well as in Monopolized Union Shops

  14. John R. McCommas

    “Any idiot can raise taxes and cut spending”.

    Well he jacked up taxes just fine, killing jobs and came up well short of the revenue he promiced.

    He did not however cut spending. The Minority Leader wrote he in fact increased spending. His budget was not “Flat” like he promiced.

    Nothing but red ink as far as the eye can see. Told you so.

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