Gov. Dannel P. Malloy plans on giving the legislature a “roadmap” for how he plans on reducing the two-year, $40.11 billion budget by $1.6 billion in the next 24-hours, according to top administration officials.
Malloy’s Chief of Staff Tim Bannon said the governor will give lawmakers a plan for balancing the budget before July 1 and an idea of just how many pink slips he will send out in the next day. Last week he threatened to send out as many as 7,500 almost immediately, but has since said he will try to reduce that number wherever possible. Ben Barnes, Malloy’s budget director, said pink slips will go out in about two weeks.
Malloy spent the afternoon in Stamford launching his business tour with Economic Development Commissioner Catherine Smith, while top officials in Hartford hammered out the details for Thursday’s legislative session.
Meanwhile, union leaders spent the day at a Hartford union hall trying to figure out their next steps now that their members have rejected the tentative agreement for a wage freeze and changes to their health and pension benefits. The press conference they scheduled has been pushed back from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Malloy said last week that he will not re-open negotiations and union leadership has so far been unable to point to any provision in the various union constitutions that allow for a re-vote.
But at least some union members want Malloy to sit down and renegotiate the contract.
“We are not opposed to compromise regarding this matter,” Moises Padilla, vice president of the Cheshire Correctional complex employees AFSCME Local 387, said in an email. “There is a simple and common sense solution to this dilemma. Let’s get back to the bargaining table because any attempt by SEBAC to change the rules or reintroduce this agreement in its present form will have serious consequences to their respective organizations and will lead to exactly the same end result, but with a more pronounced NO VOTE.”
Padilla said the agreement failed in part because of the health care provisions.
“The primary reason that the SEBAC 2011 Tentative Agreement was rejected by the four respective units is due to the belief by some that SEBAC along with Governor Malloy’s representatives attempted to insert a social experiment, the Enhanced Healthcare Plan, into a collective bargaining agreement in the hopes that it would eventually lead to universal healthcare, otherwise known as Obamacare or Sustinet, in our state,” Padilla wrote.
Union leaders, administration officials, lawmakers, and even one conservative radio host have tried, to no avail, to explain that there is no social experiment, SustiNet, or any other form of social health care experiment included in the plan. It’s the same health care state employees have been offered in the past, only they are being asked to keep up their schedule of annual and age appropriate visits to doctors. If they fail to see a doctor once a year, they will be penalized and asked to pay $100 more per month and could face up to a $350 deductible.