Governor Malloy: Gov. Malloy on Status of Union Negotiations, "Plan B" Budget

{Governor Malloy Press Release Masthead}
 May 10, 2011
(HARTFORD, CT) Governor Dannel P. Malloy released the following statement regarding the status of negotiations between his administration and the state employee unions, as well as the "Plan B" budget.
"After more than two months of talks, I'm afraid that my administration and the state employee unions have not reached agreement.  Our talks have been respectful and forthright so far, and I remain willing to continue the discussions if the unions are willing to do so.  However, we must all be willing to work toward a settlement that Connecticut taxpayers can afford in the long run.
"We need to cut an additional $1 billion in spending in order to balance the budget in each year of the biennium, because I refuse to raise taxes beyond what has already been agreed to.  We held off on any layoff notifications while we tried to complete a deal over the weekend and on Monday night.  Unfortunately, absent an agreement and in order to comply with contractual notice requirements and the provisions of the budget agreement signed last week, we need to begin those notifications today.
"Therefore, I have directed OPM to begin issuing layoff notices in an orderly fashion to the first 4,742 state employees.  Those layoffs will result in savings of approximately $455 million.  I've also directed OPM to begin the process necessary to cut an additional $545 million in spending; those cuts, many of them programmatic, will be spread across state government, and will, in all likelihood, result in additional layoffs.
"I want to be clear that this is not the road I wanted to go down.  I didn't want to lay people off, and I didn't want to make additional spending cuts beyond the $780 million in spending we've already cut. 
"But I have no choice.  I promised the people of Connecticut that I would change the way we do business in Hartford.  I promised to deliver a budget that is balanced with no gimmicks, and I will. 
"My preference is to do that by asking everyone to share in the sacrifice, including my fellow state employees.
"The savings we are seeking to achieve with our state workforce are predicated on two principles: we need to achieve the short-term savings necessary to balance this budget, and we need long-term, structural savings in order to make state government sustainable.  To do so, I am attempting to bring the benefits enjoyed by state employees -- wages, healthcare, and pension benefits -- more in line with those enjoyed by their counterparts in the private sector and in the federal workforce.
"The state employee representatives have thus far not offered enough.
"I want to say to the people of Connecticut, again, that this is not the road I want to go down.  But I simply refuse to dig us into a deeper hole.
"Come July 1, we will have a balanced budget in place - one that is balanced honestly, with no gimmicks, and one that begins the process necessary to build a smaller, leaner, more affordable state government."
For Immediate Release: May 10, 2011