Governor's Budget: Fairness Is Missing

Feb. 8, 2017 -- Gov. Malloy presented his proposed budget for the 2018-2019 biennium. It's a document that significantly impacts all of our Council 4 union members and their families. While disappointing in a mulititude of ways, it is the starting point for a long legislative debate over fairness and sacrifice that requires our union members' voices to be heard.

“The governor's proposed budget feels like Groundhog Day by focusing once again on cuts and austerity that will hurt Connecticut workers,” Council 4 Executive Director Sal Luciano said in a statement.

Most notably, Malloy's budget assumes $1.5 billion in collective bargaining savings from state employee, but also proposes changes in municipal funding, education cost sharing and collective bargaining that could negatively affect local government services provided by our members.

Click here for a summary of the Governor's budget proposals prepared by the Connecticut AFL-CIO.

Regarding the possibility of state employee concessions, we are in conversations with the Malloy Administration about whether there is a way we can be helpful with the state’s fiscal issues – a way that is good for the public and for the public employees who serve them. While Council 4 will not comment on those conversations in the press, we will continue to speak out for a very different budget than we heard about today.

Click here for our previous report on the governor's call for state employee concessions.

What was missing from the governor's speech today was what our members and community allies have long demanded; tax fairness.

Since the Great Recession began in 2008, Connecticut working families have felt the pain of vital service cuts made in the name of balancing budgets. Yet there is plenty of money in our state – still the richest in the nation — with far too much concentrated in the hands of a select few. This elite group of hedge fund managers and corporate CEOs pay effective tax rates that are far less than the rest of us in order to fund public services.

There are better choices available to the governor and state lawmakers than once again asking middle class families to bear the burden of budget shortfalls. A new report released Monday demonstrates how closing a loophole that allows the richest in Connecticut to avoid their fair share could generate over half a billion dollars in revenue.

Click here for the Hedge Clippers' report on closing the carried interest loophole.

Convincing elected officials to do the right thing will take a united, sustained effort — one that can only succeed if union members are mobilized and their communities are engaged.

Council 4 members will have ample opportunity to be part of the fight for a fair budget that protects the public services our members provide and moves the state forward. Please stay informed, stay active and answer the call when you're needed to speak up and speak out.