Malloy preparing for “Plan B” if talks fall through

Posted on April 8, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

As the federal government hovers dangerously close to the first shutdown since 1995 thanks to stalled budget talks, Gov. Malloy is quietly moving toward his own budget resolution.

On April 4, Malloy’s administration asked all agency heads to trim an additional 10 percent from their respective budgets for each of the next two years; two days later, the administration sent the agency heads layoff instructions.

Malloy has said from the beginning that he was hopeful labor union talks would lead to the $1 billion per year in savings and concessions he needs from the unions because the alternative would be (in many different, colorful adjectives) ugly. He’s estimated that 1,000 layoffs would yield $1 million in savings. So we could be looking at, potentially, more layoffs than that.

As the CT Mirror reports:

Later today, Malloy said [Benjamin] Barne’s memo was not meant to be provocative. It merely reflects a reality: if there are no concessions, he must find $1 billion in additional cuts.

“There’s no way to get to that without a lot of people losing jobs. That’s just the reality,” Malloy said. “It’s not a threat. I’m being respectful. I’m not demonizing anybody in any way. I’m just getting prepared.”

The layoff instructions are also not a negotiating ploy, according to Malloy; the state is required to give eight weeks’ notice to senior employees before layoffs can begin, and with the fiscal year ending June 30, the calendar comes into play.

While the burden may change (thanks to countless complaints at his town meetings!), Malloy has stated that his $1.5 billion tax proposal is on the “outer limit” and we will not see additional tax hikes. The moving target is clearly on the union side.

So again, we wait to see where we go from here!

P.S. As an interesting aside to the state budget discussion, the Hartford Courant has a fascinating article today: “378 State Retirees Collected Pensions Exceeding $100,000 in 2010, Report Says.” Twenty-four retirees received pension payments larger than the governor’s $150,000 salary.

“The number of pensions exceeding $100,000 was up from 175 in 2008 and 299 in 2009, according to statistics released Thursday by the nonprofit Yankee Institute for Public Policy,” the Courant reported.

Wow.

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