Newtown State Representative Mitch Bolinsky (R-106) is still trying to come to grips with what he described as a “backwards” concept of negotiating and approving a decade-long labor contract with state unionized workers while Connecticut is foundering in uncertain waters without a current state budget in place. But he did hold out hope that with this major budgetary sticking point resolved — albeit to his and his GOP colleagues’ dissatisfaction — the legislative leadership will move aggressively to resolve that biennial budget impasse.
“Now it seems like there is some relief on the part of the speaker [of the House] and the [Democratic] majority leader, to clear the way for a budget,” he said. “If I had a crystal ball, this gives them the power, or the calling, to propose their next budget using the same leverage they used to get all those folks to pass this bad labor deal. That means a budget that includes significant tax increases, because that seems to be the only way you can present a balanced budget without making structural changes to the way we staff state agencies.”
On a tie-breaking vote by Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman on Monday, July 31, the Senate gave final approval to a state employee concessions deal according to The Connecticut Mirror. Most workers would accept a three-year wage freeze and three furlough days. About half the value of the deal is in wage concessions, the rest in pension and health changes.
The deal also would double pension contributions for most workers, from two to four percent; create a hybrid pension/defined-contribution plan for future employees; increase health care co-payments and premiums, and require active…
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