Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - April 24, 2018 


Trump’s Secretary of State nominee gets a narrow thumbs-up, but his Veteran’s Affairs nominee is put on hold. Also on our rundown: protests against Wells Fargo set for Des Moines today; and cannabis advocates blame Florida officials for “reefer madness.”

Daily Newscasts

CT Public Safety Workers Rally to Save Jobs

State workers rally at the Connecticut State Capitol on Tuesday, asking lawmakers not to cut their pension and health-care benefits. (Adavyd/Wikimedia Commons)
State workers rally at the Connecticut State Capitol on Tuesday, asking lawmakers not to cut their pension and health-care benefits. (Adavyd/Wikimedia Commons)
March 29, 2016

HARTFORD, Conn. - Faced with layoffs and cuts, public safety workers are telling Connecticut legislators to find other ways to balance the state budget.

"Respect Those Who Protect" is the message members of the Connecticut Public Safety Employees Coalition hope lawmakers will hear at today's rally at the State Capitol.

Governor Dannel Malloy wants the unions that represent court security, corrections officers, firefighters and police to renegotiate their pension and health-care benefits.

But Charles DellaRocco, a Connecticut Judicial Branch police officer, says when the state asked for sacrifices in those areas five years ago, they came through.

"And we gave $1.6 billion in concessions back then," says DellaRocco. "And we also signed within that contract that it would not be opened up until 2022."

Faced with a $220 million shortfall in this year's budget, and a $900 million deficit in the next, Gov. Malloy says without cuts to state workers' benefits, the state may be forced to lay off thousands.

But according to DellaRocco, more concessions won't close the gaps and, unless the state looks elsewhere for income, workers will still be laid off, putting public safety at risk.

"With the numbers that they're talking, 4,000 to 5,000, that's going to hit Connecticut pretty hard and cause a lot of issues," he says. "I just don't know if the workforce can actually sustain that. I think that's way too much."

DellaRocco points out that pubic employees are taxpayers too, and says the state should find new ways to raise revenue, rather than making state workers once again bear the burden of closing budget gaps.

"I'm getting hit pretty hard as it is, not only through my municipality but also with the state and now, them wanting to come after my pension and health care, I'm just getting taxed again," he says.

Governor Malloy says the next round of retirements, which won't be announced until April 1, may help reduce the number of workers who will be laid off.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT