The elected officials that run the legislative branch of Connecticut state government—the senate president, speaker of the house and the minority leaders of the senate and house—are showing a dispiriting disregard for its employees by not giving them a clue as to any layoffs and cutbacks that are in store; not even a timeline as to when they’ll be announced. Last week, Gov. Dannel Malloy released a detailed plan on the layoffs and cutbacks he will impose in the executive branch to close the budget deficit. The judicial branch did as well. Yet there’s been nothing from the legislative branch. The offfice of legislative management (OLM) said last week that not even preliminary discussions on the issue have been held.
The governor’s budget outline calls for the legislative branch to eliminate 50 positions at a savings of $9 million in the first year and $13 million in the second year of the new, two-year budget. However, it’s mathematically impossible to reach those numbers through 50 layoffs. Leaders would have to lay-off 50 workers who make $180,000 each to get to the $9 million figure. The problem is, according to OLM, only one employee makes $180,000 or more. The thought is that substantial money would be saved through other means such as not filling vacant positions, cutting back on equipment and supplies and the like. Yet not even those details have even been discussed.
Where exactly will the other savings come from? When will legislative leaders give even a hint as to a plan (The Shad tried all last week to get an answer but no phone calls were returned)? No one knows. And that’s simply disrespectful to the employees who have families to worry about and bills to pay just like everyone else.