When Governor Malloy submitted his Connecticut State Budget proposal in February it included $1 billion dollars in employee concessions for FY 12 and another billion for FY 13.
Those who appreciate the realities of how Connecticut’s budget works recognized immediately that such a figure was not achievable. There was simply no way that $1 billion dollars in employee savings could be achieved in one fiscal year.
The question was and remains today – why would the Governor propose a budget that he knew was destined to be as much as $500 million or more out of balance.
Sadly, the clues were immediate.
At the time, Malloy said that “if” the concessions were not forthcoming, but he was confident that they would be achieved, he would be forced to lay off thousands and shred the State’s safety net. He was very clear. The blame for this catastrophe would rest solely on the heads of Connecticut’s state employees.
And now the next phase in this drama has begun…
On Friday, the CT Mirror ran a story entitled “Municipal aid is at stake in Malloy's talks with labor”
The story leads with a quote from Malloy’s top advisor Roy Occhiogrosso, who said “All the assumptions will have to be re-examined, because he is committed to producing a balanced budget with no gimmicks, and if the savings don't materialize there are only so many places to go for money…Municipal aid is one of those places."
Faced with the inevitable failure to pull $1 billion dollars out of Connecticut’s state employees, the Malloy administration is now ramping up their rhetoric.
As a result of their inability to produce $1 billion in concessions, state employees will now not only be responsible for putting many of Connecticut’s most vulnerable citizens at risk, but we are now learning that aid to cities and towns will be cut and the corresponding local property taxes increases that will be needed will be another tribute the state employees's failure to produce the appropriate savings.
Yet the Malloy Administration has never admitted that the number they are demanding from Connecticut’s state employees is “almost double what New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo obtained from his much larger work force.”
And even worse, although the Malloy Administration says it has a detailed concession plan that amounts to $1 billion dollars they refuse to make their “secret plan” public.
Although rank and file state employees seem almost unanimously committed to doing their fair share to balance Connecticut’s budget, few – if any – understand the extent to which they have been set up to fail.
This is a dark time for Connecticut’s state employees and it will get darker in the coming days as the Malloy Administration announces with ‘”surprise” that the $1 billion dollars in concessions cannot be achieved.