More On The State Budget

May 20, 2011

Budget crunchers and negotiators for Governor Dannel Malloy met today with reporters to field questions about their tentative agreement with state employees.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. Last week, Malloy announced that he and state employee unions had reached a deal to save $1.6 billion over the next two years.  Earlier this week, his administration released some details on how they arrived at that figure.  Then today, they held a lengthy press conference on the deal. "With a few exceptions, there were not a lot of new revelations." That's Keith Phaneuf, who covers the capitol for the Connecticut Mirror.  "We've all seen the breakdown, the problem is everyone wants to know: How did you get there?  For example, if you're saying we can save $102 million a year basically by strongly encouraging, even penalizing, workers if they don't join a wellness program -- how did you come up with that number?" Phaneuf said he didn't get specifics on that or lots of other things. But he did learn this:  While Malloy has pledged no layoffs for four years, that only applies to current employees - not new ones. So, if the state hires you once the deal is in effect... "Over the next four years you could get laid off -- even if you were a unionized employee in a bargaining unit that, before you were hired, agreed to the concessions." But laying people off, Phaneuf says, is something Malloy has said he doesn't want to do. For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.