Republican plan to cut 2016 deficit forgoes state layoffs - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Republican plan to cut 2016 deficit forgoes state layoffs

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Republicans say their plan to cut 2016 deficit forgoes state layoffs. (WFSB File) Republicans say their plan to cut 2016 deficit forgoes state layoffs. (WFSB File)

A 10 percent cut in legislative pay, a two-day furlough for state employees and targeted cuts to various state accounts are among the ideas being suggested by Connecticut Republicans to slash the fiscal year's $220 million deficit.

Republican leaders, who represent the legislature's minority party, unveiled their proposals Tuesday.

"If the state fails, we fail,"  Minority Leader Themis Klarides said. 

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asked General Assembly leaders last week for ideas on how to address the shortfall.

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano said their plan eliminates the need for state worker layoffs this fiscal year, which ends June 30.  Their plan makes 15 percent cuts in certain state accounts, requires legislative approval for labor contracts, a cap on spending and a 10 percent pay cut for legislators.

Malloy suggested $6 million in workforce reductions. Malloy plans lay off at least 1000 state employees and withhold millions in payments to hospitals.

"What I am saying is there is less money coming in," Malloy said. "Basically, we are renegging on everything because we have less money to spend."

The GOP plan also preserves anticipated state funding for hospitals.

The governor said he's willing to work with both sides.

Majority Democrats have said they're examining cuts in municipal aid and vendor contracts. 

Republicans said they feel layoffs could be avoided, if unions agree to furlough days, two days off without pay. They said the controversial University of Connecticut contract with big raises would have sailed through, if it wasn't for the negative publicity and the huge deficit.

"Their inaction has led to a financial failure," Fasano said. 

"So far labor is not interested in opening up their contract, which they must do for this to happen," Malloy said.

Republican leaders said they have met with the unions. They said they explained why they feel furlough days would be better than layoffs and they feel the governor should be exploring more alternatives.  

As for the entire budget, both sides resume talks on Wednesday. The governor was also expected to meet privately with lawmakers on Wednesday.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.