The Connecticut AFL-CIO, AFSCME Council 4, and AFT Connecticut made the following statements in response to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget address:
Lori J. Pelletier, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO:
“We are extremely disappointed with Gov. Malloy’s proposed budget, which heavily relies on cutting vital public services and limiting workers’ voices, yet asks nothing of the state’s corporations and extremely wealthy.
“Our budget should be based on investments in Connecticut’s workers, not austerity measures that further drag down an already struggling economy.
“Why not push for a fee on low-wage employers that abuse our social safety net and essentially steal from taxpayers, or reduce costly outsourcing schemes like the botched 3M job at the DMV that cost the state millions more than it should have, or review and repeal tax expenditures that no longer make sense and cost the state over $7 billion?
“Governor Malloy still does not understand the results of the 2016 election. Instead of closing loopholes and going after corporations that take advantage of the state and limit public services for individual taxpayers, Malloy wants the legislature to rubberstamp a budget that once again hurts working people.
“I urge the legislature to learn from the mistakes of last year’s budget and reject Malloy’s rerun budget. I strongly urge the General Assembly to hear the voices of those who are still struggling to get ahead, listen to their frustrations and stand up to Governor Malloy so that they may create a fair budget that grows our economy for everyone in the state, not just the wealthy few.”
Sal Luciano, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 4:
“The governor's proposed budget feels like Groundhog Day by focusing once again on cuts and austerity that will hurt Connecticut workers. Demanding nearly $1 billion in concessions from state workers is a back-door tax increase. Demanding paraprofessionals, police officers and plow drivers pay for his municipal mandate relief is a back-door tax increase. The governor’s budget asks for no sacrifice from the super-wealthy, like the hedge fund CEOs who dodge their tax obligations. It fails to address significant savings measures that are sorely needed, like reining in reckless outsourcing.
“If this proposal is the beginning of a discussion, then the governor and the General Assembly need to end at a different and better place – a stable revenue system that is fair and does not fall disproportionately on middle- and lower-income workers.”
Jan Hochadel, President of AFT Connecticut:
“The governor’s proposed state budget would put a great deal of additional pressure on local schools, many of which already struggle to meet their students’ needs. While some of his stated goals are laudable — particularly those aimed at greater equity for all children — the unintended consequences could be worse than the problems he’s pledged to solve.
“Shifting existing resources away from schools that are delivering a high quality education to those that are facing extreme poverty threatens to divide what should be a united effort. A far better approach to reclaiming the promise of public education would be to raise the floor rather than ‘punish success,’ as the governor often says. That takes a more comprehensive plan with new revenues and resources so all our communities' schools can thrive.”
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