Connecticut families and businesses need to understand the state union agreement the legislature has just approved and what it means for them. While one union leader called it “the best and longest public-sector pension and health care contract in the country,” its far-reaching budgetary consequences will likely not draw such enthusiasm from Connecticut taxpayers.
The governor, to his credit, negotiated the agreement with state employee union leaders in an effort to achieve savings in the face of the looming $5.1 billion deficit and the state’s perennial budget crisis. Although the deal, estimated to save about $1.5 billion in 2018-19, takes steps toward labor cost reforms that my colleagues and I have long advocated, it doesn’t go far enough in making the structural changes necessary to eliminate Connecticut’s massive unfunded liabilities and persistent deficits. And it includes significant, long-term concessions by the state and the taxpayers who fund it.