News Clips Archive

Malloy hears from angry taxpayers

March 10th

By Kenton Robinson

Publication: The Day

Published 03/10/2011 12:00 AM

Norwich – No question. It was, as stand-up comics are wont to say, “a tough room.”

When Gov. Dannel P. Malloy returned to southeastern Connecticut Wednesday night for another “town hall” to defend his budget, he got an earful.

Even before he took the lectern in the City Hall’s council chambers – a venue so small the fire marshal had to turn away an angry crowd – people were shouting through bullhorns from the street, “Let us in! Let us in! We want to be heard!”

True, when the governor came on, he was met with cheers and loud applause, and like any good performer, he started with a joke.

“I always have a smile on my face when I come to Norwich,” he said, “even if it’s to get yelled at.”

But that smile faded soon enough.

His first questioner was John Ondusko of Norwich, who told him, “I am president of AFSCME Local 749, representing state employees of the judicial branch. And another thing: I voted for you.

“And I am absolutely stunned that you’re trying to get $2 billion out of state employees. I’m a math guy. I ran the numbers immediately, using the 50,000 approximate state employees, working it out to $20,000 per state employee per year over the next two years,” Ondusko said. (more…)

Poll: Voters Don’t Like Malloy’s Budget Or Taxes

March 9th

by Christine Stuart | Mar 9, 2011 7:04am

(Updated with video) Gov. Dannel P. Malloy often says he knows he won’t be liked for his budget proposal, but a new Quinnipiac University poll tries to calculate just how much voters don’t like him and his proposals.

The poll found voters disapprove 40 – 35 percent of the job he is doing, with 25 percent undecided. It is the first time Quinnipiac University has polled his job approval, which is much lower than the 70 percent former Gov. M. Jodi Rell had during her first few months in office.

“What explains Malloy’s low approval rating? Only 32 percent approve of his handling of the budget, while 51 percent disapprove,” Quinnipiac University Poll Director Doug Schwartz said in a press release. “Specifically, they think he is raising taxes too much.  While voters think he is raising taxes too much on the middle class, they think he could raise taxes on the wealthy more.” (more…)

Malloy takes his budget woes directly to the unions

March 4th

March 4, 2011

By Mary E. O’Leary
Register Topics Editor

HARTFORD — Labor leaders Friday heard Gov. Dannel P. Malloy tie his political fate and the fate of union workers together as he stuck to his script that he needs $2 billion in savings from them to balance the $40 billion biennium budget.

“The consequences are unimaginable for me and for you,” Malloy said if they are unable to come to an agreement as he attempts to close a $3.5 billion deficit by cutting $800,000 from state agencies, raising $1.5 billion in taxes — the largest in the state’s history— and nailing down concessions from the 45,000 state workers.

“I’m not going to say anything different in this room than I say outside,” said the governor,who reiterated that there will be thousands of workers laid off, possibly half his deputy commissioners and a shredded safety net if talks with labor fail.

Beyond that he predicted he would not be re-elected and the workers would no longer have a governor “who actually believes in government and believes in unions at the same time.”

He said his approach of balancing cuts with tax increases stands in contrast to New Jersey, Ohio, Wisconsin or Indiana, where collective bargaining rights are under siege and unions are seen as the enemy. “Understand in many ways, I represent the difference,” Malloy said.

While the 200 union leaders at the Hartford Hilton mentioned the things they liked in his budget plan — particularly funding of the Educational Cost Sharing grant — they did not feel his request represented “shared sacrifice” when he will only increase the tax rate on the highest earners by 0.2 percent.

As members of the middle class, they said they will pay more taxes, in addition to the request that they cut wages, benefits and pension changes. (more…)

Malloy preparing for a visit to the House of Labor

March 1st

March 1, 2011

By Mark Pazniokas

Gov. Dannel P.  Malloy’s complicated relationship with the House of Labor enters a new phase this week as his administration formally opens concession talks and Malloy addresses a public gathering of union leaders and members.

Malloy, whose mother helped found a municipal union, is not new to labor relations that are nuanced, to say the least. As an urban mayor for 14 years, Malloy knew cycles of labor peace and strife, respect and enmity.

But what is labor to make of a Democratic governor, a man whose half-a-point victory they helped assure, who strenuously defends the rights of labor on national television, while mentioning he might have to lay off “thousands and thousands and thousands” of state employees?

The coalition of state employee unions has been engaging Malloy publicly with the care of a diplomat, registering expressions of concern, but saying nothing that could derail a relationship that still is slowly unwinding.

“We’re early in what’s going to be a long process,” said Larry Dorman, a spokesman for SEBAC, the State Employees Bargaining Agents Coalition. (more…)

Malloy has plenty of new ideas, not enough dollars

January 10th

January 10, 2011

By Keith M. Phaneuf Jacqueline Rabe and Arielle Levin Becker

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s transition team presented more than 1,800 pages worth of policy recommendations Monday, including sweeping proposals to overhaul education funding, institute universal pre-kindergarten, find new transportation revenues and end the regional tourism district system.

And while Malloy thanked his team’s Policy Committee for developing a report that offers guidance his administration will use over the next four years, he reminded members that these goals–though valuable–will be limited by a $3.7 billion budget deficit looming less than six months away.

“It is a new day for the state and for our people,” Malloy said. “Sacrifices will be made but strong partnerships will be built.” (more…)

The Shameful Attack on Public Employees

January 5th

Robert Reich

Fmr. Secretary of Labor; Professor at Berkeley; Author, Aftershock: ‘The Next Economy and America’s Future’

Posted: January 5, 2011 09:14 PM

In 1968, 1,300 sanitation workers in Memphis went on strike. The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to support them. That was where he lost his life. Eventually Memphis heard the grievances of its sanitation workers. And in subsequent years millions of public employees across the nation have benefited from the job protections they’ve earned.

But now the right is going after public employees.

Public servants are convenient scapegoats. Republicans would rather deflect attention from corporate executive pay that continues to rise as corporate profits soar, even as corporations refuse to hire more workers. They don’t want stories about Wall Street bonuses, now higher than before taxpayers bailed out the Street. And they’d like to avoid a spotlight on the billions raked in by hedge-fund and private-equity managers whose income is treated as capital gains and subject to only a 15 percent tax, due to a loophole in the tax laws designed specifically for them.

It’s far more convenient to go after people who are doing the public’s work — sanitation workers, police officers, fire fighters, teachers, social workers, federal employees — to call them “faceless bureaucrats” and portray them as hooligans who are making off with your money and crippling federal and state budgets. The story fits better with the Republican’s Big Lie that our problems are due to a government that’s too big. (more…)

Lawmakers Agree Shared Sacrifice Needed, But How Long Will The Honeymoon Last?

January 5th

by Christine Stuart | Jan 5, 2011 6:01pm

It’s unclear where the cuts will be made and how long the honeymoon between the newly elected governor and legislature will last, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said Gov. Dan Malloy struck all the right notes Wednesday in his inaugural address to the joint General Assembly.

The speech, which was similar but a little longer than he one he gave earlier in the afternoon at the armory, touched on Connecticut’s history of innovation and ingenuity, its challenges, and how those challenges will require shared sacrifice. (more…)

Malloy business task force lays out key goals

January 5th

By Anthony Cronin

Publication: The Day

Published 01/05/2011 12:00 AM
Updated 01/06/2011 09:13 AM

A new report to Gov.-elect Dan Malloy offers a sweeping set of recommendations, including streamlining state agencies and revitalizing lagging urban centers, to jump-start Connecticut’s recession-battered economy.

The report, developed by Malloy’s Jobs and Economic Development Working Group, offers strong language on the state of this state’s economy, saying the “list of needs is long” for putting in place an effective economic development plan that will allow Connecticut to effectively compete in a global 21st-century economy.

“Overshadowing all the specific programs and policies that need to be put in place is the state’s financial situation,” says the 15-page report. “Without direct, swift and certain actions here, economic development and the job creation it brings will remain a cherished goal, and nothing more.” (more…)

New Governor, Legislature Sworn In Today

January 5th

by Christine Stuart | Jan 5, 2011 5:00am

Dan Malloy, the first Democrat to win the governor’s office in more than two decades, will take over Wednesday as the state’s 88th governor.

Malloy is scheduled to take the oath of office at 2 p.m. at public ceremony in the state Armory named after Connecticut’s last Democratic governor, William A. O’Neill.

Then it’s back to Capitol for some work. Malloy is expected to sign a series of executive orders including one which will change the way the state does its accounting. It’s that executive order which will make it harder for Malloy to resolve what is expected to be a more than $3.67 billion budget deficit. (more…)

Auditors: New agency needed to handle whistleblower complaints

January 4th

January 4, 2011

By Keith M. Phaneuf

Despite a record-setting budget deficit, the state should consider creating a new agency to resolve a growing backlog of employee complaints of corruption, mismanagement, waste and unsafe behavior, Connecticut’s retiring state auditors proposed Monday.

Robert G. Jaekle and Kevin P. Johnston also used their final annual report to recommend closing a loophole in the state pension system and tighter restrictions on when state government can waive competitive bidding.

“The statutory requirement that our office review all whistleblower complaints filed with our agency affords our agency no flexibility in deciding which complaints are worthy of spending limited state resources to review and investigate,” wrote Jaekle and Johnston, who traditionally do not comment beyond their written reports. (more…)