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Connecticut News

After House Passage, Malloy’s Labor Deal Heads To Senate

Jessica Hill
Connecticut Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, addresses the Senate during a special session at the state Capitol in Hartford, Conn., in 2015.

The Connecticut Senate is scheduled to be back in session on Monday to vote on the $1.5 billion labor concession deal reached between Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy and state employee unions.

Malloy says lawmakers need to approve the deal in order to help reduce a projected $5 billion deficit in the state’s next two-year budget. That budget is already one month late.

Connecticut Senate Republican President Len Fasano of North Haven says he’d like to see three conservative Democratic senators join the Republicans and vote no on the deal.

“I think they know what I would like them to do without me saying it. I think they know what my position is with respect to the deal. But I’m not actively seeking them to tell me how they are voting.”

Fasano says House and Senate GOP budget proposals have more long-term savings than is contained in the union concession deal. Democratic Governor Malloy disagrees. He says the GOP savings would only be realized if there is a massive layoff of state employees.

“This is a recipe for a disaster for the state of Connecticut. Brought to you by the same party – the Republicans – who brought you the first disaster which was to not fund the pensions to begin with.”

Malloy is talking about the public employee pensions. He says voting against the union concession deal will make it harder to balance the state’s next two-year budget.

“If the agreement is not approved, there will be no savings. Then they are going to be obligated to propose a budget that cuts another $700 million year one and another 800 plus year two. So collectively that’s going to be pretty hard to do.”

The Senate vote is coming a week after the state House of Representatives approved the agreement on a party line vote of 78 to 72. Democrats control the House by a slim seven-member margin. In the Senate the partisan split is 18-18. So if there’s a party line vote in that chamber, Democratic Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman would have to break the tie, in order to approve the deal.

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