The Office of Fiscal Analysis was able to verify about half of the estimated savings, which House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, described as “very troubling.”
“Two months after the announcement of this deal about $800 million worth or half of Governor Malloy’s planned savings via the concessions plan still can’t be verified by OFA,” said Cafero. “Despite their best efforts, the details continue to elude the best fiscal minds as to how those savings can be achieved.”
The OFA analysis determined that the aspects of the concessions package, such as $204 million from value-based health and dental, $90 million from technology initiatives and $180 million from employee suggestion boxes for savings ideas were “uncertain.” Cafero also noted in a press release that the original estimates were based on a full 12 months of savings when the state is already two months into the fiscal year.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan said Cafero must be spending too much time listening to the national Republicans.
“If you didn’t know any better, you could close your eyes and listen to what Representative Cafero was saying and swear it was coming from Speaker Boehner,“ Flanagan said. “The Republicans in Washington do little more than espouse a doom-and-gloom outlook on everything they can while aggressively working to block the President at every chance they get. Sound familiar?”
“But certainly if Rep. Cafero is so focused on state government receiving a “meaningful cut” he should feel free to start with his caucus, whose layoff and savings plans are still MIA. And Rep. Cafero’s assertion that the new taxes all land on the middle class is ridiculous. More than 45 percent of the tax increase falls on the 4 percent or so of taxpayers with incomes above $250,000. This is Larry Cafero’s middle class? That’s going to be news to the rest of Connecticut.”
She said no matter what Malloy will find the estimated savings, which were verified by two actuaries.
“Republicans in the General Assembly have offered plans that included reductions of our own budgets, pay and staff only to see them roundly ignored or rejected by the Governor and Democrats,“ Cafero countered. “The point remains – the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis can not verify that half of the Governor’s projected savings can realistically be achieved. Nothing in the Governor’s office response changes that fact.”
He said the one thing they can both agree on is that fact that Malloy will be held accountable for the savings.
The unions agree the savings estimated in the package can be achieved.
“The revised Tentative Agreement creates a process for putting over 300 cost-saving ideas from front-line workers to work,“ DOIT Information Technology Analyst Timothy Searles said Tuesday. “These are recommendations that would increase efficiency and save hundreds of millions of dollars over the next two years. It begins the process of empowering state workers like me to transform state government and improve the delivery of services that all Connecticut residents can count on.”