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What point will Malloy have in being governor then? The competence he demonstrated in his long tenure as mayor of Stamford was his great qualification in last year's election, but having made himself hostage to the unions, he now stands before the state as dissembling and inept.

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Prada Cahier Bag Blue

The first budget assumes that the state employee unions will find some way Prada Crossbody Nylon

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´╗┐Malloy proves inept

And what has he left for anyone not on the government's payroll to care about except getting out of government's insatiable way?

For the time being the governor will make a big show of issuing layoff notices to build pressure on the union members who voted against the concessions agreement. But as the new budget year began Friday, most positions to be eliminated and the spending to be cut had not yet been identified.

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The question is whether the governor himself is going away or whether he means to press the compensation issue and in which direction. But even if the unions do reconsider, the machine of government in Connecticut will have been left on automatic, cannibalizing everything in its path just to feed itself.

The second budget, the product of the legislature's special session last week, allows the governor to make up for the $1.6 billion from the rejected concessions by cutting spending by as much as 10 percent, excluding state grants to municipalities, and to lay off 6,500 state employees. Or the governor needn't bother with all that cutting if, as he and legislative leaders hope, the unions find a way Prada Double Bag Mini

When the General Assembly went home last Friday morning from its one day special session, Governor Malloy declared, "Connecticut has a budget in place that is balanced honestly, with no gimmicks."

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Actually, Connecticut now has two budgets, neither really balanced at all, both incomplete, each full of gimmicks, each calculated by mere speculation, with neither really in effect and no one sure what will be implemented, except for the record tax increases in both.

Chris Powell is the managing editor of the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Conn.

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of arranging for majority rule to decide on whether to accept the tentative concessions agreement with the Malloy administration, which was approved by 57 percent of union members but not enough to meet union coalition ratification requirements. The concessions agreement is said to be worth $1.6 billion over two years, but the governor now acknowledges that it doesn't really cut anything but rather just restrains contemplated increases in compensation, and there is documentation for only 40 percent of the supposed savings. They are largely implausible.

Malloy remarked afterward: "While I think the House should have taken up the labor reforms I proposed, I'm glad we've at least started the conversation in a real way. We need to make the relationship between the state and our employee base sustainable, something it currently is not. Whether through collective bargaining or the legislative process or by some other means, this issue of how we compensate our state employees isn't going away."

Prada Cahier Bag Blue

Prada Cahier Bag Blue

As legislators went home Friday the governor also declared that the new budget, whatever it Prada Backpack Pink

to accept the agreement, in which case the state can return to the first budget.

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Prada Cahier Bag Blue

turns out to be, contains "deep spending cuts." If the agreement with the unions is not ratified and if the layoffs and spending cuts to be imposed by the governor hold, state spending might be down a little by the end of the fiscal year. But the Prada Cahier Bag Blue budget everyone hopes to return to, the one incorporating the supposed concessions, raises spending by more than 2 percent. While the Senate agreed, the House of Representatives, whose Democratic caucus is especially in thrall to the unions, refused to act.

Not going away? From the moment the governor was inaugurated and the General Assembly convened in January to the adjournment of the special session Friday, state government has demonstrated that shielding state employees from the worsening financial pressures on taxpayers is by far its greatest concern if not the only thing that matters.

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