Malloy signs Executive Order, powerless to stop pay raises for judges

- FILE - Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy (WTNH)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Saying it was “regrettable,” Governor Malloy has signed an Executive Order to keep the state running after midnight.

It comes one day after Democrats in the House failed to vote on a temporary, 90-day mini budget that would have avoided many of the deep spending cuts that the Governor is now forced to make. Because of the budget impasse, one group of state employees will end up getting a pay raise starting tomorrow.

One of the first things that happens at midnight is that the State’s 178 judges, who make between $167,600 and $185,600 a year, all get a 3-percent pay raise. It also means that starting next week, if a judge is ready to retire, he or she can retire with a higher pension for life, based on the new higher salary.

“I asked, specifically, that they take up a mini budget, in part, so that we could address that issue,” said Gov. Malloy.

The Governor is powerless to stop the raises because it must be done by the legislature. And it appears the Speaker of the House may not be able to include reversing the judges raises even if his proposed two year budget were to pass some time in July.

News 8 has learned that the state’s top judge; Supreme Court Chief Justice Chase Rogers, has warned top lawmakers that there may be legal and logistical problems if the legislature attempts to take back the raises later. And the raises will start as other judicial employees will be voting to continue to freeze their own pay and cut their benefits under the union concession deal.

Added the Governor, “Imagine how you would feel about voting on that agreement in the context in which other people are receiving $400 a month raises.”

It also comes as hundreds of Connecticut school kids are getting the word that their state funded summer jobs are being cancelled. Malloy is also powerless to stop this.

“We had to notify the towns early this week that the likelihood of a summer program happening was pretty slim,” said Bill Villano of Workforce Alliance, the agency that administers the funds.

The City of New Haven will move forward with the summer youth jobs program even though it will cause a deficit.  “We’re hoping that when the final budget comes out we get reimbursed but we cannot afford to have 600 of our youth idle for the summer months,” said New Haven Youth Program Administrator Jason Bartlett.

Some other cities are doing the same if they can with the help of charitable contributions. But some communities have had to cancel their program.

 

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