This is my first email of the 2022 campaign season. I hope you have heard that I am seeking the nomination to be the Republican candidate for the newly created 42nd district state representative seat in Hartford. The district includes all of Wilton and portions of New Canaan and Ridgefield. Please share this email with everyone you think would be interested in hearing from me and have them sign up so they can get my emails directly.
I will never share my email list and I promise to send emails only when I need to share important information with you -- as I am doing here.
On Monday, the Appropriations Committee voted along party lines to move a resolution approving 15 state union contracts (all grouped together as one under the SEBAC umbrella) out of committee and on to the state House and Senate for approval, where it is guaranteed to pass with Democratic votes. This is an election year, and it’s no secret that the majority party relies on the support of Connecticut’s public-sector unions to retain its seats. I must add that I do not have any issue with the employees themselves, but rather with their union leadership, who have handcuffed our state to unfunded pension liabilities that will burden our children for many decades to come.
These contracts include shockingly high wage raises, bonuses, and retroactive pension increases, the likes of which have not been seen for years in the private or nonprofit sectors, and they will cost the state (in other words, all taxpayers in Connecticut) $1.9 billion over the next four years. The retroactive payments for our current fiscal year alone, as reported in the fiscal note prepared by the legislature’s nonpartisan staff, are $292.5 million and this amount only grows in each of the following years accumulating to the $1.9 billion.
There are more than 46,000 state employees, all of whom will receive a 2.5% increase retroactive to July 1, 2021, and each year for the next 2 years. The agreement runs through the fiscal year 2025. However, the salary increase has not yet been agreed upon for the final year, so we cannot be told what the ultimate full cost will be – and legislators will have to vote without that important information. Under the agreement, all full-time employees will receive a retroactive bonus of $2500 (part-timers will get a prorated amount).
Another $1,000 bonus will be distributed after July 1,2022. New costs for Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, and retiree health-related fringe benefits will be incurred based on these wage adjustments. Total public sector compensation already outstrips that of the private sector and nonprofits. When the value of this agreement is added to the health and retirement benefits that unionized state employees receive, their total compensation will be significantly greater than that received by non-government employees in the private and nonprofit sectors who will be paying for it.
At the Appropriations Committee’s public hearing before the vote, I testified on our behalf and told the committee that the contracts are a bad deal for the taxpayers of CT. Not only do we not receive the kind of wage increases, bonuses, and benefits given to state employees, but we must pay for them thru taxes with our own income and savings.
My testimony, which has been cited extensively in the media can be found here.
Here are a few examples:
Hartford Courant - Wilton certified public accountant Kim Healy, a Republican member of the board of selectmen, also urged rejection, saying that inflation and high electricity costs have hurt cash-strapped taxpayers who are hurting as the two-year pandemic continues. “People want to know where their tax dollars are going,’' Healy told lawmakers. “The SEBAC agreement is a bad deal for Connecticut ... pandering to special interests in an election year. ... Frankly, enough is enough.’'
Danbury News-Times - “Our not-for-profits and many of our small businesses are still hurting from the COVID restrictions imposed by the state,” [Healy] said. “We should use the savings from a better-negotiated agreement to support them appropriately and in the long term. The SEBAC agreement is a bad deal, I believe, for Connecticut. It is tone-deaf and appears to even regular folks like me to pander to special interests in an election year.”
CT Mirror - Wilton Selectwoman Kim Healy called the cost of the raises and bonuses “shocking” and warned taxpayers won’t appreciate these contracts. “They are over-extended and fed up, and who could blame them?” she said.
We deserve representatives who advocate for us just like the unions do for public-sector employees. As your state representative, the only interests, the only voices I will respond to and act upon will be yours.
I plan to earn your support.