Monday, February 9, 2009

Economic Meltdown, Who Ya Gonna Purge?

Disclaimer: While this post will not contain offensive language, it might just bore you to tears. Or make your jaw drop from disbelief. In any event, please read this when you have lots of energy. Thanks.

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.


  1. Always stressful when jobs are on the line, hope yours is safe through this crisis. That many of the cuts are vacacancies being eliminated seems better than being all people. Good luck!

  2. A leaner government could maintain these jobs if they just were more efficient. But that's probably asking too much of human beings.

  3. Joanne: I think mine is relatively safe. There are enough rules built into the contract in regards to bumping rights that I shouldn't have to worry.

    The fortunate thing about my dead end job (payroll), is that it's the top of the clerical/financial side, so no one can bump me out.

    There isn't that many vacancies statewide to begin with. I believe those 465 are all the vacanicies that are out there.

    Charles: A leaner government? That is something that would be a novel concept in this day and age, especially on the state level.

    A very valid idea, but one that is the proverbial 800lb gorilla in the living room.

  4. I hear Canada is very nice in spring! That's not a solution either, as this has turned very global. It is tough isn't it?

  5. Unfortunately govenmenet by and large is an ass, due to the nature of its beastliness.

  6. Especially on the state level.

    The current budget proposal has already run into a snag, since it's possible that what the state might get under the "stimulus" plan is one or two billion dollars less then expected.

    However, it seems to me that in this state, the current mess is a creation of one party and one party alone.

    That party is the one that is currently in control of the Presidency and the Senate.


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