Statement from House GOP Leader Klarides on the Attorney General’s SEBAC Opinion

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HARTFORD – House Republican Leader Themis Klarides today reacted to the Attorney General’s SEBAC opinion by saying it validates the House GOP’s budget proposal to overhaul the state employee wage and benefit systems, and called the House Speaker’s analysis of it “woefully misinformed.”

She added that Gov. Malloy’s efforts to a strike a budget deal with Democrats by continuing to disparage the Republican budget proposal were “desperate.”

Klarides said, “It is unfortunate, at this juncture, that the Speaker misunderstands that our House Republican plan to fundamentally reconfigure Connecticut’s bloated bureaucracy is fully within universally recognized legal and constitutional means. The Democratic SEBAC agreement will put taxpayers and future generations of Connecticut residents in peril, and they are trying to justify their proposal through some ginned up legal hokum.”

Nothing in the opinion offered undercuts the GOP budget because Republicans have never proposed undoing any existing state employee contracts, but only want to make legal, statutory changes.

She said the Speaker’s request to Attorney General Jepsen for a stilted legal opinion was predictable and pointless.

“When the Democratic Speaker of the House asks the Democratic Attorney General for a legal opinion on a Republican budget, you get what you ask for,” Klarides said.

This, coming on the eve of an expected vote in the Senate Monday on the tentative SEBAC agreement that passed the House Monday with no Republican votes, was fully expected.

“We understand that the Governor, desperate to get this deal done with the Democrats, will say or do virtually anything to create political cover and support. That does not change the basic premise that what House Republicans have proposed is legal, reasonable and in the best interests of Connecticut and would withstand any court challenge,” Klarides said.