State House Minority Leader Larry Cafero (R-Norwalk), doubting the concessions deal between the Malloy administration and state employee labor unions adds up to what the two sides say it will, wants an independent actuary to look at the numbers. Cafero, often blasted by The Shad for his over-the-top, sometime nonsensical rhetoric, is right on this one (although I’d still need ear plugs to listen to him make his case on it).
For far too long, budget deals forged by the state legislature have relied on assumptions that don’t come to pass, leaving the state with a deficit leading up to the one it faces now. The budget the General Assembly passed and Gov. Malloy signed this year has the “Mother of All Assumptions” in it. It wouldn’t hurt to have an outside expert take a look.
Malloy and labor say their deal saves $1.6 billion over the next two years without layoffs, furloughs and with raises totaling nine percent over the last three years of the five-year deal. Critics are calling it “Malloy Math.” The deal relies heavily on union members leaving state service. That and changes to the health and pension plans add up to the $1.6 billion. Former fiscal experts who have worked on state budgets in the past tell The Shad they doubt the numbers add up.
If the actuary Cafero wants is truly independent and the taxpayers don’t have to pay for it (apparently the GOP is willing to pick up the tab), the Malloy people shouldn’t object. In fact, if their numbers are right, they should welcome another analysis.