Response to Governor’s Budget Address: Connecticut Has a Revenue Problem, Not a Spending Problem

by Matt O'Connor on February 16th

In his budget address, Governor Dannel Malloy asked for middle class families, including state employees, to make significant sacrifices. While state workers agree that these are difficult times, it is our belief that Connecticut has a revenue problem and not a spending problem.

Asking middle class workers to accept higher taxes, and asking those middle class workers who are state employees to accept $1 billion in concessions, while asking Connecticut’s wealthiest residents to increase their tax rate only two-tenths of one percent does not seem balanced to us.We need to make sure the solutions don’t revolve around punishing middle class workers and slashing vital public services that help the people the governor wants to protect. To that end, state workers have offered the Malloy Administration ideas to produce savings and efficiencies that don’t damage, and in fact enhance, the critical services and public structures needed to turn the economy around.

We firmly believe these ideas will generate significant savings to protect education, health care, public safety and all the vital services our members provide.

Our coalition has previously stressed that discussions so far have not included collective bargaining issues. Should that change, not only would our members need to be informed, but those discussions would not take place through the media. We have never found “bargaining through the press” to be an effective way to work together to reach agreements.

At the same time, the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) joins many other groups in expressing concerns that the broad structure of the budget suggests too much emphasis on cuts, and not enough on raising revenue from Connecticut’s largest corporations and very wealthy.

Connecticut is already the fifth leanest state in the country in terms of public spending. Meanwhile, the very rich pay less than half what the middle class pays in state and local taxes (4.9% of income as compared to 10%), and many big corporations like Bank of America pay no state income taxes at all.

And, thanks to the extension of the Bush cuts, Connecticut’s wealthiest five percent of wage earners realized a $3 billion windfall last year.

We agree with the governor that Connecticut will get through this difficult time, and that by the broad constructive engagement of Connecticut’s people, we will find the right balance of savings, revenue, and investments in Connecticut’s future. We look forward to working with a broad coalition of Connecticut’s working and middle class families, the administration, and the General Assembly to find the right balance that moves our state towards a better future.

To learn more about SEBAC’s campaign for a fair budget and a livable state with great public services visit www.InThisTogetherCT.org.

2 Responses to “Response to Governor’s Budget Address: Connecticut Has a Revenue Problem, Not a Spending Problem”

  1. anthony frattallone Says:

    here we go again another governor looking to cut the budget on the backs of state employee’s.he say’s we all must share the pain private sector and state employee’s but he never said in his budget speech that state employee’s will not only pay 1 billion this year but 1 billion next year also on top of that we have to pay all of his tax increases and also have to work even harder because he wants to down size state dept.that means the depte i work in D.O.T witch already is a very hard and dangerous dept has to be even harder for me and my crew. while the private sector only has to pay the tax increases.why are people afraid to address the real problem,its not the sate employee’s or the average private sector worker.it was greedy wall street the corrupt housing companys the banking industries and formost it was the goverment whom allowed the the people whose job was to watch over what was going on with these company’s.there it is i said it so why are we the private sectors and the state employees forced to pay over and over while bail outs are handed out bonuses are handed out.the federal goverment should step up to the plate and fix the mistake by paying the bill instead of each state trying to find the money on the backs of there people to pay it.

  2. Sheila Chunis Says:

    We need to stand strong as union members in solidarity with other state unions. AFCSME had a donation button to help defray costs. We need to put up the funds so when it is our turn, we will get some help.
    The real problem is the corporate greed that crushed jobs in the private sector. We need to show them how to stand up and fight for jobs and maintain the middle class.
    Time to reconfigure the entitlement programs and make the wealthy pay their fair share.
    Time to get organized and talk back!!!!!!!!

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