SPECIAL SESSION OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE AS BUDGET SHOWDOWN LOOMS

We have the unions, the legislature and the Malloy administration—put a tent on each and you have a three-ring circus. The “donkeys and elephants” return to the state capitol today as Gov. Dannel Malloy seeks unprecedented authority to unilaterally cut the state budget to fill a $700 million hole for the fiscal year that begins at midnight.

Just what will happen with the state finances as the July Fourth weekend approaches is unclear but as The Hanging Shad has reported this week, lawmakers are open to increasing the governor’s authority to cut the budget but extremely hesitant to give him the power to slash municipal aid.

Meanwhile, leaders of the state employee labor unions are reeling as the governor is now proposing legislation that would cut labor’s future benefits in the wake of the rank and file’s rejection of what was widely seen as a reasonable concessions package. Even the more ardent supporters of labor unions are upset at best and furious at worst at the rejection of the deal that promised no layoffs, pay increases of 9 percent over five years and some changes in health and pension benefits.

Here’s the Shad on WTIC this morning.