HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– It’s ‘do or die’ for the big state labor union concession deal on Monday.
According to Democratic leaders; that deal that includes $1.57 billion in concessions over the next two years is the key to solving the budget stalemate. Republican leaders say it will tie the hands of state government for the next decade.
Democratic leaders in the State Senate tell News 8 they will bring the state labor union concession deal to the floor on Monday even though three of their members (Sen. Joan Hartley of Waterbury, Sen. Gayle Slossberg of Milford, and Sen. Paul Doyle of Wethersfield.) have expressed concerns about the deal. Democratic Majority Leader Bob Duff of Norwalk says if the deal fails to get the 18 Democratic votes needed to pass those that vote against it will have to explain why they voted to put the budget battle into further chaos.
What’s really scary is that if you do approve this, you’re stuck for ten years. There’s no way you can get out of this no matter what the economic circumstances are. I believe you’re stuck.”
Republicans argue that because the union agreement extends contracts to the year 2027, that the initial savings in the first years will be dwarfed by the raises and bonuses in the out years when the State could be in red ink again. Added Fasano, “If we don’t get it right now, I don’t know what this state’s going to look like in 2018.”
But Attorney General George Jepsen has said that if the Republican plan to change labor laws goes on the books, he can’t predict how a legal challenge from the unions would turn out and the unions have a pretty good track record winning disputes in court.
“Len Fasano is trying himself in knots to not vote for this thing, but the reality is when I became Governor my hands were tied and yet I brought labor to the table, not once but twice,” said Governor Malloy.
The Governor says the Republican plan would allow thousands of state employees into a more expensive pension plan rather than a less expensive plan created by the deal adding, “This is a recipe for disaster for the State of Connecticut brought to you by the same party, the Republicans, who brought the first disaster which was not properly funding the pensions to begin with.”