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Conn. Union Withholds Cash From Dems Over Budget Dispute

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A major Connecticut union is encouraging members not to donate to the state Democratic party over an ongoing budget dispute, according to reports Tuesday.

The Connecticut AFL-CIO is the largest labor organization in the state at 200,000 members. It tends to support Democrats like many unions across the country but a budget dispute with Gov. Dannel Malloy has created a rift. Union President Lori Pelletier encouraged members to not contribute to the party just ahead of its annual fundraising dinner.

“We’ve heard that several lawmakers have said behind closed doors that the labor movement has nowhere else to go,” Pelletier told the Hartford Courant. “Those are frustrating comments to us because we believe we’re a base of the Democratic Party. But having said that, ultimately our responsibility is to make sure our members are protected.”

Malloy has worked since Feb. 3 to rein in state spending as a way to fix the local economy. The plan involves cutting expensive public sector benefits and reducing the size of some state agencies. Malloy plans to terminate more than two thousand public sector jobs through both attrition and layoffs. The eventual goal is to save the state $850 million in the coming fiscal year.

“[Its] unfortunate that some would attempt to undermine an event with the sole purpose of raising resources to elect Democrats up and down the ticket,” Democratic Party Spokesman Leigh Appleby told the Hartford Courant. “The Connecticut Democratic Party continues to share many of the same values and goals as our friends in the labor movement.”

The state has failed to rebound from the most recent recession because of unusually slow economic growth and now faces a $930 million deficit. Republican and Democratic state lawmakers both support the proposed cuts has a way to fix the state economy but unions believe raising taxes in a better idea. The legislature passed the budget May 13 before sending it to the governor.

The Connecticut AFL-CIO, Malloy and the state Democratic party did not respond to a request for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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