Early Thursday morning the House and the Senate passed a bill that would allow a judge to revoke the pensions of corrupt public officials and state employees.
The House passed the bill 124 to 13 after midnight and the Senate passed the bill 33 to 0 shortly before 1 a.m.
Before the end of the regular legislative session, the House and Senate couldn’t agree on whether a judge should be able to revoke the entire pension of a state employee, whose pension is negotiated as part of a collective bargaining agreement. Other lawmakers felt that if a state employee violated the law then their entire pension should be taken away.
The bill passed by the House and the Senate Thursday morning seeks to strike a balance between the two sides by giving a judge the discretion to determine whether a union employee’s pension should be entirely revoked or partially revoked. It would be up to a judge to decide whether the criminal act constituted a mutual breach of the collective bargaining agreement.
Rep. Diana Urban, D-North Stonington, said when it comes to an impasse it’s only right to put it to the courts.
By putting the ball in the judge’s court, it puts the unions on notice that their pensions can be revoked when their contracts expire in 2017, Rep. Chris Caruso, D-Bridgeport, said.
Sen. Gayle Slossberg, D-Milford, said Connecticut is the only state that negotiates its pensions in its collective bargaining agreements. She said the new bill acknowledges that those agreements exist and sets one standard for both public employees and elected officials.
The draft language of the bill was negotiated between Urban and Slossberg.
Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz said Wednesday “see what happens when women are in charge.”