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Fri June 24, 2011
Malloy Says 7,500 Layoffs Coming Soon
With a deal between the state and its unions all but dead, Governor Dannel Malloy says he plans to start layoffs as soon as possible to balance the budget. WNPR’s Jeff Cohen reports. Malloy made it clear in a press conference that this was his last choice. “Listen, I don’t want to be laying off 7,500 people, or more. I think it’s bad for the economy, I think it’s bad public policy. Or to put it another way, there were preferable ways to go. Those preferable ways are no longer available to us. The big promise I made is that we would have a balanced budget and it would be balanced without gimmicks. That's what I'm going to do." It appears as though a majority of the state’s employees will approve the concessions deal that would have put $1.6 billion back into the state budget. But thanks to the unions' complicating voting rules, that's not enough. So now, Malloy says he’s moving on. He’s called for a special session of the legislature next week, and he plans to ask it to give him the authority he needs to make the necessary cuts. “I think the easiest and quickest way to get this resolved would be to give me the recisionary authority we sought earlier in the session. And then I’m prepared to do what is necessary to balance the budget. " For the time being, Malloy says that he'll try to spare the state's towns and cities. “With respect to local governments, in year one, I’m going to do everything in my power to minimize that impact.” But at the state level, the governor said he plans to start laying off 7,500 employees as soon as he can. He also said that, due to labor contracts, some state workers will be more secure in their jobs than others. “If you have more than 10 years in seniority, you might be pretty safe.” But he had this message for legislators. “Every day that we delay will increase the number of layoffs that will have to take place. The later we start to terminate employees, the more employees will have to be terminated.” Malloy says he has ruled out further negotiations with the unions. For WNPR, I’m Jeff Cohen.