Real structural changes, billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers

Democrats in the State Senate voted last week to approve significant concessions and structural changes — the types of structural changes many of us have long sought — to Connecticut’ state employee labor agreements (SEBAC). This vote is just the latest step Democrats in Connecticut have taken to make government more affordable and more efficient for our taxpayers, and the labor concessions in this agreement represent the most critical piece crafting our next biennial state budget — eliminating about a third of the projected state budget deficit.

The biggest concessions in state union agreement came from taxpayers

Connecticut families and businesses need to understand the state union agreement the legislature has just approved and what it means for them. While one union leader called it “the best and longest public-sector pension and healthcare contract in the country,” its far-reaching budgetary consequences will likely not draw such enthusiasm from Connecticut taxpayers.

Use new sales tax revenues to exempt Social Security from state income tax

I am disappointed that the General Assembly passed the state employee concession contracts.  I believe that may have broken the back of Connecticut.  I will state the obvious.  The Democrats who voted to pass the contracts have also voted for tax increases to pay for those contracts and for the seemingly unending flow of taxpayer dollars into cities.

On concessions deal: Why the same powerless position?

As Connecticut senators vote on a labor “concessions” deal, the irony is that even greater savings can be achieved without any deal at all. Gov. Dannel Malloy claims to have extracted $715 million in wage savings over two years through a “wage freeze.” Yet, without any deal, he could achieve $770 million in wage savings. The simple truth is that wages can only be raised by contract. No contract, no raises.

The state employee concession agreement is not just legal — it’s moral

The state House of Representatives took a significant step July 24 toward solving Connecticut’s fiscal crisis by ratifying a concessions deal with the state workforce. The State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) agreement now heads to the state Senate for further consideration. If passed by the state Senate, the savings achieved by this historic deal are substantial and unprecedented.

State lawmakers should prioritize job-creating legislation in final hours

Connecticut is at risk of losing an opportunity to boost the state’s economy and create hundreds of jobs unless lawmakers act quickly on pro-growth legislation. With just hours before the regular legislative session comes to a close, the legislature has yet to pass a bill seeks to change existing laws related to vehicle sales, allowing manufacturers — such as Tesla — to open brick-and- mortar stores across Connecticut where they can sell cars directly to consumers.

Licensing reform bills cut red tape, aid CT economy

If there were a proposed policy that would create more jobs in our state, would you support it? If you could cut taxes and regulations on small businesses and entrepreneurs, would you do it? If you could help ex-offenders stay in a job and out of prison, would you help them? Thankfully, the General Assembly is considering two licensing reform bills that would accomplish these goals by cutting red tape.

The moral case for letting Connecticut go under

Amidst growing concern over the shaky financial conditions of California, Illinois, and New Jersey, my home state of Connecticut is often overlooked. Its size and population are relatively small, and its position between Manhattan and Boston make the state appear unimportant. Moreover, with some of the nation’s wealthiest communities — Darien, New Canaan, and Greenwich — how bad could things really be? Very bad, according to a 2016 study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The study calculated the fiscal health of each state according to its short- and long-term debt, unfunded pensions, and other key fiscal obligations. Connecticut came in the sickest of all.

Support small business: Pass paid leave this year

As the owner of a small business in Colchester, I support paid family and medical leave as a critical safety net that will support workers during times of financial insecurity, when their last concern should be missing a paycheck. Contrary to the narrative spread by the big business lobby, a new poll shows that 77 percent of small business owners in Connecticut support paid family and medical leave. When respondents learn more about paid leave, including how a range of research has demonstrated its benefits for businesses, support for legislation climbs to 85 percent. And it’s easy to see why.

Legislators must approve family medical leave bill

This past January, Connecticut lawmakers introduced two paid family and medical leave bills: Senate Bill No. 1 and House Bill No. 6212: An Act Concerning Earned Family and Medical Leave. The legislation passed through the Labor Committee successfully in March, but since then supporters of paid family leave have anxiously awaited further action from the Assembly. With less than a month to go before Connecticut legislators adjourn for the summer, Connecticut citizens need to demand that our representatives take action on these bills and pass paid family and medical leave in Connecticut.