Layoffs of state employees could be possible in CT - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Layoffs of state employees could be possible in CT

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

The threat of what could be thousands of layoffs looms as state lawmakers and the governor look for ways to fix the state's budget.

Republicans and Democrats are realizing they may have to pull together to get out of this mess.

State lawmakers said layoffs may be only part of the solution.

"This is not an easy process,” House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said.

The state has had deficits before, but not like this.

“The deficit being as large as it is $2.7 billion,” Aresimowicz said.

The house speaker sat down with the minority leader to show both sides are committed to fixing the problem.

"It’s not going to be fixed just for today, but for years down the road,” Minority Leader Themis Klarides said.

On Wednesday, the governor called for immediate cuts of more than $33 million. Cities and towns would feel some of the pain. The court system and hospitals are being hit again.

The governor's staff has been negotiating with the labor unions. Dannel Malloy and Republicans are looking for $700 million in concessions. If they don't get what they want, there could be thousands of layoffs.

"I think $700 million is an absolute minimum for us at this rate with the deficit we now have,” Senate President Martin Looney said.

Looney was asked if he was optimistic they would get that amount of concessions."

"It has to,” Looney said. “If not there will be more painful layoff and cuts to our workforce."

Some of the concessions on the table are higher co-pays for health care, contributing to pensions and a salary freeze.

But, they are running out of time and money and the session ends in less than five weeks. Everyone is now scrambling to put together a new revised budget.

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