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.
Every family who lives in Bob Duff’s district and every business operating in Fairfield County needs to be aware of what their elected State Senator just did to threaten their livelihoods last week. The labor contract agreement that just passed and will now become law is another in a long line of sweetheart deals with unions negotiated by Gov. Dannel Malloy that has prolonged the fiscal crisis and created the poor economic climate our families and businesses suffer in every day.
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.
Affordable, quality health care can’t become a luxury: it’s a fundamental need, and access to it must become a fundamental right. Creating a single-payer system is the most effective way to guarantee access to healthcare for every person. … It’s time for Congress to advance a public healthcare system that provides every American — and all 3.6 million Connecticut residents — with affordable, quality healthcare. If Congress refuses to do it in Washington, it’s up to us to do it here in Connecticut.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the first line of defense against financial scams for our service members and veterans. Unfortunately, the U.S. House recently voted for the Wrong Choice Act (H.R. 10), which dismantles the watchdog.
Last month, we learned that insurance giant Aetna, after operating in Hartford for 160 years, will move to New York. But Connecticut’s loss is not New York’s gain. In fact, it’s a losing proposition for working families in both states.
I was raised by lifelong Republican parents who always told us to respect all people no matter what they look like. They were challenged in their beliefs as their daughters fell in love with men of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Until now, I believed the majority of Americans also held these values, even if our politics were different. This election has shaken those beliefs.
It is troubling that several of the budget proposals floating around the State Capitol call for the merger of the Office of Early Childhood into the State Department of Education. It was just three years ago that we finally brought together services touching families with young children from five different agencies into one stand-alone Office of Early Childhood, under the direction of a commissioner.
Summer jobs for teenagers have been canceled, state college and university charges keep rising, and every area of public life is affected by the state’s budget crisis — all in the second wealthiest state in the country, with the second highest level of inequality. Connecticut’s budget shortfall is projected at about $2 billion per year. Yet, the wealthiest residents face a lower effective tax rate than the rest of us, and hundreds of millions are lost every year through corporate loopholes, special exemptions, legal tax avoidance, and outright tax evasion. If the wealthiest households paid at the same rate as the rest of us, more than $2 billion per year would be raised, erasing the deficit!