Opinion: Connecticut is at a crossroad

Last week, Connecticut’s government unions threatened to sue the state if pension and benefit reforms are included in the state’s long-overdue budget.
The bipartisan budget which passed the House and Senate in September included a number of common-sense reforms to Connecticut’s vastly underfunded pension system following the expiration of the SEBAC contract in 2027.
That budget was vetoed by Gov. Malloy partly because he said it would invite a lawsuit.
The governor’s warning proved true. Apparently, Connecticut can’t make the changes necessary to help avert future budget deficits and tax increases without incurring a legal challenge by the very organization which claims to serve the people of Connecticut.
As Yankee Institute President Carol Platt Liebau said in a statement issued Friday, “SEBAC ought to be ashamed.”
“Government unions that represent 45,000 employees apparently want to dictate how a state of 3.6 million people governs itself. The fact that this powerful special interest actually feels entitled to overrule the people’s elected representatives shows clearly why Connecticut now stands on the brink of fiscal catastrophe,” Liebau said.
Without reforms, the increasing cost of pension payments and other retirement benefits will continue to crowd out other state spending on social services, education, and municipal aid.
Connecticut taxpayers will continue to pay billions to the state for benefits given to a select few.
Connecticut is at a crossroad: We can continue down the same path, spending our way into decline, or we can confront the challenges of the future now.
It’s not easy, but doing the right thing is rarely a walk in the park. There will be challenges — legal and otherwise — but the numbers don’t lie: Connecticut’s pension burden is growing, and the future is just around the corner.

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