Lawmakers to Vote this Week on Raises for More Government Lawyers

April 16, 2019

Sens. Fasano, Formica Ask Gov. Lamont to Stand with Republicans to Reject Unaffordable Pay Increases for Newly Unionized State Tax Attorneys


Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and Appropriations Ranking Member Senator Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) wrote to Governor Ned Lamont to ask him to stand with Republicans to oppose a labor contract for a group of newly unionized tax attorneys formerly classified as managers who work for the state of Connecticut.

The contract includes an 11.6% wage increase for Department of Revenue Services attorneys, which includes a 3.5% general wage increase and a 2% annual increment. It is scheduled to come before the General Assembly for a vote this week under Senate Resolution 26/House Resolution 23.

“Our state is clearly facing future budget deficits. Contracts such as these will add to those deficits and make it harder to protect funding for core government functions and services for the most vulnerable,” Sen. Fasano and Sen. Formica wrote to Gov. Lamont.  “We are asking that you raise your voice in unison with ours and encourage lawmakers to change our state for the better.”

The lawmakers pointed out that Gov. Lamont did not speak out against multiple other contracts that came before the legislature so far this year, including one to give lawyers in the Attorney General’s office significant raises. The result was those contracts were approved by Democrat lawmakers. There are 13 more contracts still expected to come before the General Assembly for a vote.

The lawmakers also emphasized the importance of the governor making his position clear to aid in future contract negotiations and warned about the damaging precedent approving this contract could set.

“To not weigh in on the negotiation of these contracts would be a missed opportunity to set the record for the future. In future years, we fear inaction today could come back and haunt your administration as you try to negotiate other contracts,” they wrote.

“State leaders previously made a decision not to give these raises to managers because we could not afford it in the state budget; but now these managers have joined a union to seek the very same raises our state budget cannot sustain. While only impacting a limited amount of people, we are concerned that approving yet another contract containing such provisions will continue setting a precedent in Connecticut that unaffordable wage increases are acceptable even when they do not match the state’s economic reality and the true cost of living. Much like the last three contracts Democrat legislators approved this year, we fear this contract perpetuates the same high-priced plans our state simply cannot afford.”

Click to view full letter.