SEN. WILLIAMS, REP. KLARIDES AGREE $2 BILLION IN UNION CONCESSIONS CAN BE DONE; BUT WILL THEY?

State Sen. President Don Williams (D-Brooklyn) and state Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) agree that Gov. Malloy’s quest for $2 billion in state employee union concessions can be achieved. However, there seems to be doubt—particularly on Klarides’ part—that Malloy will get those give-backs.

The legislators appeared on Sunday’s edition of WFSB’s (Channel 3’s) Face the State with Dennis House. House posed the question to Williams in a way that many people in the state would. In essence: Are you in favor of the governor’s budget or do you side with labor (which has elements that simply does not want to concede any bargained-for benefits)? Williams clearly sided with Malloy, saying with some minor changes, the governor’s budget would be the bill going forward.

Williams astutely pointed out that the approximately 2.4-percent increase in spending in Malloy’s budget is necessary to maximize federal funding. Former Gov. Rell failed badly in getting Connecticut’s fair share of federal money. Williams also challenged Republicans to present an alternative budget containing their cuts.

Klarides was unexpectedly charitable to the governor, acknowledging the huge deficit he has to deal with. But she also objected to the tax increases in the budget plan and the unwelcoming nature of the state as far as business. When questioned about where she would advise cutting the budget if Republicans had their way, she didn’t offer specifics other than vaguely saying state employee rolls could be pared back.