Do these facts shock you?

July 28, 2017

(If you are shocked by the facts in my op-ed below, please call CT Senate Democrats today at 860-240-8600 and urge them to vote “no” on the state union deal.  The vote is happening on Monday, so call as soon as you can.  Please share this information with taxpayers!)

Connecticut’s lucky 13 percenters

By Sen. Len Suzio

(Waterbury Republican-American op-ed, July 25, 2017)

What if you walked in to your job tomorrow and your employer told you the following:

You have a guaranteed job for the next four years. And when year three begins, you will start getting raises every six months. By year four, you’ll be making 13 percent more than you do now”?

Would you be thrilled and relieved to hear that good news?

This, in essence, is what Connecticut government is poised to offer unionized state workers.

The offer is being made as services are being cut for the intellectually and developmentally disabled, the homeless, and domestic-violence victims.

The offer is being made as state funding for municipalities and local education is on the chopping block; and after taxpayers have endured the two largest tax increases in state history over the past six years.

As a state lawmaker, I am being asked to vote on the union deal.

Details and contracts are being released daily, but here’s what I know so far: A 13 percent raise in these fiscal times with a “no-layoff” provision that would severely limit our budget options is a deal-breaker in itself.

Connecticut barely can pay its bills today. Wall Street credit-ratings agencies have downgraded us, and they are watching us like hawks, ready to downgrade us again. We face multi-billion-dollar budget deficits. Where will Connecticut be four or five years from now?

How, as a representative of all the people in my Senate district, can I sign off on 13 percent raises?

I simply can’t.

If I did:

  • I would be signing off on more and more tax increases, and I won’t.
  • I would be giving a green light to more draconian cuts to the neediest and most vulnerable residents of Connecticut, and I won’t.
  • I’d be saying “OK” to cuts to school aid for towns, and I won’t.

 

In the end, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s deal with state-employee unions may pass into law.

In the end, state employees may receive that 13 percent increase in salary with the no-layoff guarantee.

Call it the Lucky 13 Percent if you wish.

Here’s my guarantee:

My vote on Gov. Malloy’s union deal will be a resounding “No.”

*Len Suzio (Len.Suzio@cga.ct.gov), R-Meriden, represents the 13th Senate District communities of Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown and Rockfall.