Today's post will be about the current state of economic destruction as it pertains to the state of Connecticut. On February 4th, our esteemed Governor of Connecticut, M. Jodi Rell, presented the FY2010-FY2011 Biennium budget to the masses for consumption. The budget (click here for the budget highlights, and click here for the more detailed version) is frightfully long on specifics and unfortunately short on happy news.
Since I'm a state worker and thus my immediate future is intimately tied to this budget, I would like to offer my two cents on a few of the items that are being proposed here.
- Consolidation of state agencies: The Governor is proposing to consolidate/eliminate 20 state agencies, with a potential combined savings of approximately $27 million over the next two years. As it stands, most of what these agencies do are duplicated within other agencies elsewhere. In addition to the monetary savings, there is another potential savings....
- Eliminating 865 jobs: The Governor is proposing that 865 jobs be eliminated, through a combination of eliminating vacant positions and layoffs. This is about 1/4 of the total amount of people who were laid off in 2003. This total can possible rise due to another factor....
- Concessions from the state unions: The Governor is proposing a two year wage freeze, along with a two year suspension of binding arbitration (a perpetual budget killer). As expected, the unions immediately started to whine about this, which only goes to show you how out of touch the union leadership is with the rank and file.
- Eliminating Boards and Commissions: The Governor is proposing to eliminate about 70 boards and commissions, plus the 900 appointees that are required to staff them.
- Selling state assets: The Governor is proposing to sell state assets, in order to help with the budget. One example is the leftover/unused property that the state acquired for transportation projects that either never materialized or didn't use all that was required. Potential savings there is estimated to be $6 million.
These are just a few examples of the items being presented to the General Assembly. And just like up in D.C., the General Assembly is dominated by one party. Unlike in D.C., down here the Democrats have a veto proof majority.
And like the gang in D.C., the gang down here is in the hip pockets of the labor unions. Let's hope for once that they remember who they're actually working for: the people who elected them, not the people who buy them.
Anyways, my main concern with this entire budget is that the union is going to attempt to play hardball. I feel that way because the lesson that was painfully learned in 2003 when they last tried to play hardball with the Governor (in this case John Rowland) and 2,800 people lost their jobs, will be once again forgotten and more than 1/7 of the 2003 total will be laid off. By the way, of those 865 job cuts, about 50% of them are paper cuts. In other words, they are vacancies that are being eliminated. The remaining 50% are humans.
It's gonna be a stressful Spring/Summer.