Connecticut Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy warned public-sector unions Wednesday that he will not compromise on a promise to rein in state spending by slashing the budget.
Malloy told the state legislature the expansive cuts will need to include public-sector jobs and expensive benefits. The plan also aims at cutting the budgets for state agencies. It will involve over a thousand public-sector jobs being eliminated through both attrition and layoffs. The plan aims at fixing financial problems by saving the state $570 million in the coming fiscal year.
“I will not negotiate with our partners in labor from this podium or through the press,” Malloy declared according to the Hartford Courant. “Instead, I will simply say that our expectations for these negotiations should be based on what we can afford, not what we previously spent.”
The proposed $20 billion state budget will not include any tax increases either. The potential job loss will equate to only a fraction of all public-sector workers, but top union officials warn the cutbacks will be a huge setback anyways. Currently the state employees 46,000 public-sector workers.
“[This] is potentially devastating to workers,” Connecticut AFL-CIO President Lori Pelletier told CT News Junkie. “We cannot capitulate to those who would balance this budget on the backs of nurses, paraprofessionals, correctional officers, and teachers.”
Nevertheless the plan is being praised by both Republican and Democratic state lawmakers. The state has failed to rebounded from the most recent recession because of unusually slow economic growth. The budget cuts are aimed at finally pushing the state out of fiscal difficultly.
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