Gov. Dannel P. Malloy warns of “dire consequences” for Connecticut if concession talks with state employees fail.
The governor issued his warning during a meeting today with 175 union leaders in Hartford. Malloy was responding to a question from CEA Executive Director John Yrchik who asked: “Governor, what happens if savings to the state do not materialize in concession talks?”
Governor Malloy responded saying the consequences are “unimaginable to me and to you.” He said, “I will have to lay off thousands of state workers and shed the safety net in Connecticut.”
Governor Malloy has asked Connecticut taxpayers for “shared sacrifice” as he proposes tax increases that he calls the largest in history in real numbers. As he called today on unions to provide deep savings to the state in labor negotiations underway in Hartford, he said, “We want taxpayers to have confidence in what we are doing.” The subtext, of course, was that if taxpayers have to give up money, then state employees have to give up money at the negotiating table.
Malloy asked the group of labor leaders assembled today to understand he’s asking all of Connecticut for $1.5 billion in tax increases. And he acknowledged that the 45,000 state employees will be paying those taxes, too.
Malloy told today’s audience that he won’t be re-elected if there isn’t plenty of sacrifice to go around. He told the labor gathering, “You have a right to be mad at me for some things.” He added later, but please remember “I’m not stupid, and I’m not evil.” Sometimes in government and sometimes in labor it’s necessary to think about the long haul, according to Governor Malloy.
Malloy said that new unemployment figures for Connecticut will be released on Monday showing unemployment at nine percent. Getting jobs to Connecticut and restoring the state’s fiscal act is a “balancing act,” according to Governor Malloy.
We’d like to hear from our readers about this balancing act? Do you see dire consequences ahead this spring, or are you optimistic that we’ll find a way out of this fiscal ditch?