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Opinion: SEBAC is a bad deal, costing Connecticut dearly

“The SEBAC agreement is going to make budget negotiations very difficult in 2019 with pay raises, a no layoff pledge, and growing pension costs. Not the kind of baton we want to pass on to our kids!” – Marc Fitch

Yankee Institute has released a video explaining in straightforward, accessible terms how the recently-approved deal extending a government union contract until 2027 has impacted the budget; state municipal funding; and, ultimately, families all across Connecticut.
The video points out: Because the government union deal means we can’t cut spending on state government, lawmakers will force local governments to make up the difference.

And that’s exactly what is happening in Connecticut right now.
Follow this link to watch the video.

Yankee Institute – Union Concessions from Yankee Institute on Vimeo.

The SEBAC extension deal — which extends the benefits contract until 2027, offers guaranteed wage increases, and layoff protections — purports to offer $1.5 billion in savings and other modest concessions. But in return, it has left Connecticut with a $3.5 billion deficit and locked-in spending for the next four years.

The deal, which passed narrowly in the General Assembly and in the state Senate only with the Lieutenant Governor breaking a tie — has limited Connecticut’s ability to reduce spending, make essential structural reforms, and reduce the size of government.

Gov. Malloy vetoed a bipartisan budget that would have maintained funding for municipalities and imposed no significant tax increases, in part because it offered reforms to Connecticut’s pension and benefits system after 2027.

As a result, Connecticut remains without a budget — the last state in the nation without one. Under the governor’s executive order now operative throughout the state, cities, towns, and taxpayers will be forced to lay off teachers, cut services and raise taxes — all to ensure that Connecticut’s government unions keep their expensive, defined-benefit pensions (among the most generous in the country).

“The backroom deal negotiated between Gov. Malloy and government union leaders has left the families of Connecticut on the hook for a $3.5 billion deficit,” said President of Yankee Institute Carol Platt Liebau. “Once again, protecting the government union special interest groups has taken precedent over the hard-working people of Connecticut, and communities that are already struggling to make ends meet.”

Not only is the government union deal affecting this year’s budget debate — it will impact budget debates for the next decade, as fixed costs like pensions and retiree healthcare benefits crowd out essential state services and create multi-billion dollar deficits.

3 comments

Rick October 8, 2017 at 11:19 am

back room deal where have we heard that before?

Norwalks politicians have found a rolled-up newspaper works the best, this ensures the Hour a few more years.

over 800 people a week are leaving Ct spreading the debt out is working fine.

Don’t worry be happy .

Isabelle Hargrove October 8, 2017 at 3:26 pm

If Mr. Malloy truly had the interest of the State in mind, he would have negotiated the State union contracts as part of the overall budget, instead of orchestrating a deal ahead of time which set 40% of the budget in stone with still a $3.5 billion-dollar deficit remaining.

Legislators, like Senator Duff, should have been up in arms with the governor for sticking them with such a large balance of the deficit to miraculously cover. Instead, Duff praised the contract; fool or partisan, you decide.

All these players should be thrown out of office the next chance we get. That, hopefully, will be the easy part. However, the road to long-term prosperity for CT must include some structural changes. The players are guilty here no doubt, but the process is also vastly responsible.

CT is one of the very few states that doesn’t set state employee benefits and pensions by statute instead of collective bargaining. Our governor is the sole negotiator to contracts that bind taxpayers for years and represent a large chunk of our state budget. Over the years, this has led to disasters for CT, under both D and R governors. Time to change that. Voters should make it a major litmus test for any candidate running for office next year.

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NancyOnNorwwalk.com was conceived as the place to go for Norwalk residents to get the real, unvarnished story about what is going on in and around their city. NancyOnNorwalk does not intend to be a print newspaper online; rather, it exists to pull the curtain back and shine a spotlight on how Norwalk is run and what is happening regarding issues that have an impact on taxpayers’ pocketbooks and safety. As an independent site, NancyOnNorwalk’s first and only allegiance is to the reader.

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Nancy came to Norwalk in September 2010 and, after reporting on Norwalk for two years for another company, resigned to begin Nancy On Norwalk so she engage in journalism the way it was meant to be done. She is married to career journalist Mark Chapman, has a son, Eric (the artist and web designer who built this website), and two cats – a middle-aged lady and a young hottie who are learning how to peacefully co-exist.