Governor Says No Budget Guarantees if Unions Don't Agree

Addressing the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities today, Malloy said he's optimistic state workers will ratify his agreement.

There are no guarantees that state aid to municipalities won’t face cuts if rank and file state employees don’t ratify an agreement their unions struck with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the governor told municipal leaders today.

Speaking to about 100 city and town leaders this morning in Cromwell at a meeting of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, Malloy said he remains “cautiously optimistic” that unionized workers will ratify the agreement. If they don’t, Malloy warned that besides layoffs cuts would have to be made in the state budget to close an approximately $1.6 billion shortfall.

“I can’t make any guarantees,” Malloy told reporters after the gathering. “It’s a very complicated process, but I’m hopeful.”

Connecticut municipal leaders have been generally receptive to Malloy’s budget since it includes $92.5 million in increased local aid over the next two years, according to a report CCM released earlier this month. However, some local leaders have expressed concern that Malloy’s budget is predicated on getting unionized state employees to agree to concessions to balance the budget.  

And a new Quinnipiac University poll shows that more than half of voters are dissatisfied -- or even angry -- at Malloy's job performance. Only 38 percent of those polled approve of the governor's job performance, while 44 percent disapprove, according to the poll. Many of those polled said they were dissatisfied with the way Malloy handled the budget, with the vast majority -- 67 percent -- of respondents saying they would rather have seen higher taxes on the wealthy, and only 17 percent saying taxes are fairly spread across all income groups.

Malloy today told reporters today he’s not worried about the poll. He said he’s trying to do what’s best for the state, not win a popularity contest.

“We had previous governors who governed for popularity and look where that got us.”

For too many years, he said, state leaders ignored significant budget problems and shifted the burden onto local communities. The result, Malloy said, is “we have the highest property taxes in the nation.”

Sounding a recurring theme in his address to the local leaders, Malloy said that as the former long-time mayor of Stamford, he understands the plight of cities and towns and how to pay for the rising costs of doing business.

He also told the municipal leaders that Connecticut must find a way to provide less costly energy to its residents and businesses and said once the state budget is put to rest this year he intends to focus on education reform. In particular, Malloy said, he wants to look at the Education Cost Sharing grant.

He said he has no specific goal in mind for the ECS, but as a new governor he wants to review it, and other spending accounts, to see how they have been administered.

“I’m going to test the assumptions that Connecticut was based on in the past.”

D.ARNOLD June 24, 2011 at 03:40 AM
Not for nothing but a 1.6 billion short fall would be alot less if the GOVERNOR and LEGISLATORS didn't build a BILLION DOLLAR (that is right I said BILLION $$$$) surplus into the budget! HOW DID WE ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN????
Bob Sullivan June 25, 2011 at 02:07 AM
Union members don't give anything back. They'd rather lose their jobs than sacrifice a little. As long as the selfish union folks have a say, we'll all be holding the bag... as usual.
D.ARNOLD June 25, 2011 at 04:13 AM
Nobody talks about the things that were given back the last time a contract was negotiated like furlough days and increases in health care costs. The budget should not balanced on the backs of the hard working people of this state , both state employee's and private sector worker's will be effected by this if the Gov. lays off the amount of people he wants to ,how does that effect the unemployment rate? This also will shrink the pool of available jobs even smaller than it already is ! The only way out of this to CUT SPENDING NOT CUT PEOPLE!
Gene Bartholomew June 25, 2011 at 09:50 PM
Bob, this is the same scam Rowland ran on us and them, going around saying state workers cost too much, well notice how long it takes to get the roads clear now after snow?? thank Rowland, he took that money and transfered it to the mafia and large corporations, Rowland closed Norwich Hospital and put insane people on the streets of Norwich, New London and elsewhere, 2 of which killed people, one a new mother, so he could build Kraft that crappy stadium, the corporate welfare system is what needs to be shut down, not state workers, CBIA is a clearing house for our money to UTC, Pfizer and others, always with the story that they employ a lot of people, well they don't, Ct has over 2 million workers, less than 1% of them work for UTC, even less for Pfizer. ' read this, then tell how you feel, download the pdf http://www.energy.gov/recovery/ct.htm blaming state workers is the easy way, just as raising taxes is easy, audits and investigations are hard in that memo you will find that out of 169million Ct got from Obama for ARRA,w e gave 126++million to UTC but we have to cut state workers??? Malloy is an ass on a power trip, he is eyeing the Oval Office and he will destroy CT to get there
Gene Bartholomew June 25, 2011 at 09:52 PM
Exactly, read my comments to Bob above, it is the Corporate welfare system that needs investigation, Rowland was nothing, he stepped down so the system could remain, so that it wouldn't be exposed. He was rewarded for that, any job and a radio show with of all people his preacher, and people buy it, what suckers


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