BUDGET TALKS CONTINUE; UNION SPOKESMAN: ‘UNION MEMBERS BEING SCAPEGOATED’

Negotiators for state employee unions and the Malloy administration met well past midnight Thursday but with no deal. Raising the rhetoric a bit, a union spokesman says labor is “being scapegoated” for the state’s budget woes.

Larry Dorman, the hard-working union spokesman, was a guest on FOX-Connecticut’s “The Real Story,” hosted by Laurie Perez (and co-hosted by your loyal Shad). Dorman stuck closely to the script, saying the unions want to be part of the solution but as a part of a bigger effort to solidify the middle class in the state and create a positive atmosphere for working families. But upon a question I asked about the lack of public and legislative sympathy for labor, Dorman said he fully understands labor is being scapegoated. Dorman, in The Shad’s opinion, has done a great job of being responsive while not tipping his hand. However, it’s also clear that there is no stomach in the General Assembly to stave off the layoffs of state workers that is now in progress.

Malloy administration spokesman Colleen Flanagan was also a guest—in a separate segment—on The Real Story, taped last night. She reiterated that both sides are working hard to try to get a deal. She repeated the Malloy position that the budget that was passed is “honest.” There are those who are starting to question that as the approved budget has a $2 billion hole it and Malloy’s “Plan B” budget shreds the state’s safety net while cutting aid to cities and towns—two things he said he would not do. What we hear now is that he doesn’t want to do it, but needs to have a plan in place. Curious.

The Real Story airs on FOX-Connecticut (Channel 61) at 6:30 Sunday morning and again Sunday night on CT-N. It an also be seen online.