Sen. McKinney: Establish Statewide Rehiring Procedures; Increase Oversight

February 9, 2009

Hartford, CT – In response to an investigative report first published in Sunday’s Hartford Courant, State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield) today said he will work with legislative colleagues to establish a consistent statewide rehiring procedure to help prevent potential abuses under the current system.

An analysis of state records published in The Courant found that nearly 1,000 state-agency retirees collected both a pension and a paycheck from the State of Connecticut in 2008, earning more than $14 million in salaries last year, on top of more than $44 million in pension payments. The vast majority of the rehired retirees worked for state universities and colleges, or the University of Connecticut Health Center.

Senator McKinney said, “I was alarmed by the number of state employees ‘double dipping’ on pensions and salaries. The number of rehired retirees and the salaries they are being paid raises questions as to whether the system is being abused at taxpayer expense.”

Senator McKinney is calling on legislative leaders to fast-track Governor M. Jodi Rell’s proposal requiring every executive branch hiring in every state agency, including state universities, to be fully vetted and approved by the Office of Policy and Management (OPM). He is calling on the legislature and judicial branch to adopt similar policies. He is also looking to review all exceptions to the state’s 120-day rule, which limits the number of days someone collecting a state pension can also earn income from a state job.

“The state of Connecticut needs to maintain fiscal control over its hiring processes by establishing a reasonable standard for evaluating whether or not the services of rehired pensioners actually saves the state money or benefits Connecticut taxpayers in some other way,” said Senator McKinney.