Number of state layoffs could total 2,000, Malloy says - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Number of state layoffs could total 2,000, Malloy says

Posted: Updated:
The number of state employees laid off could total up to 2,000. (WFSB file photo) The number of state employees laid off could total up to 2,000. (WFSB file photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

State officials said layoffs were unavoidable in their quest to reduce a state budget shortfall.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said layoffs could total up to 2,000.

"I don't want to cause panic, but we're talking about a substantial number of layoffs," Malloy said. 

Department of Correction Commissioner Scott Semple said 147 of his employees will be laid off. It's considerably lower than the 600 that was initially projected for this department. 

It's the first in what's expected to be a series of state layoff announcements meant to help reduce a $930 million deficit for next fiscal year.

"After working diligently to come up with cost saving measures, we were able to impact the number of layoffs significantly," Semple said in a memo to staff. "But in the end, they were not altogether avoidable."

Semple informed the department of the impending layoffs on Friday.

"When making the extremely difficult decision to identify positions for layoffs, let me reiterate our commitment to maintaining the department's core services with an emphasis on safety and security," he said.

The laid off employees will be notified sometime in mid-April, Semple said.

The commissioner called it a business decision in part of a new economic reality that's challenging the state.

"This is not these employee's fault," Malloy said. "They're good employees, hard-working employees, but there is a reality that the financial circumstances change."

Malloy said total state layoffs could total between 1,000 and 2,000 before all is said and done.

"I don't think we have a final number, but it's well in excess of 1,000," Malloy said. "It could easily be approaching 2,000." 

Malloy said during a news conference on Friday that he wanted to get all of the layoffs done by July 1, so affected employees will not be on the payroll in the new fiscal year.

"They'll have an effect, let there be no doubt about it," Malloy said.

For weeks, the governor warned of layoffs and asked those who could retire to do so to save other jobs. In total, 360 people stepped forward to retire. 

Malloy said the budget put out by the appropriations committee would translate to these cuts.

"Based on the most recent budget document, it could go as far as 4,000," Malloy said.

Larry Dorman, who is the public affairs coordinator At AFSCME, released a statement on Friday after the  announcement of layoffs. 

"We are fighting for them, we make sure they understand their rights," Dorman said. "We explain how the governor and legislative leadership arrived at this point and that the fight will continue beyond layoffs."

Lawmakers did craft a new budget for the year, but Malloy said it fell short by about $360 million.

The governor said he'll release a budget next week to close the gap. He would not hint at what it would look like, but confirmed that he would not raise taxes.

"It requires hard decisions to be made, it requires that we change our behaviors," Malloy said. "I think we're making progress, but not sufficient progress or making it fast enough." 

Lawmakers recently came to an agreement to cover this fiscal year's $220 million shortfall. However, Malloy called it a temporary fix. He warned that a substantial number of layoffs would be needed to bridge next year's budget gap. 

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Number of state layoffs could total 2,000, Malloy saysMore>>

  • State budget battle continues in Hartford

    State budget battle continues in Hartford

    Wednesday, April 6 2016 7:23 PM EDT2016-04-06 23:23:43 GMT
    The CT State Capitol (WFSB)The CT State Capitol (WFSB)

    The budget battle is heating up at the state capitol. Democrats have just released their plan, but it isn’t enough to fix the deficit, and republicans and the governor are calling it incomplete.

    More >

    The budget battle is heating up at the state capitol. Democrats have just released their plan, but it isn’t enough to fix the deficit, and republicans and the governor are calling it incomplete.

    More >