House Republican leadership on Tuesday wrote to Governor Lamont to ask him to delay $135 million in state employee pay raises that are scheduled to go into effect July 1. Read the letter below, and see the original here.
Dear Governor Lamont,
We are writing on behalf of members of the House Republican Caucus to request that you exercise your authority under Section 28-9(b)(1) of our General Statutes and defer pay increases that are scheduled to go into effect starting July 1st.
We are all proud of the work we did in the 2017 bi-partisan budget to create such large budget surpluses that have replenished our Rainy Day Fund to historic levels. Unfortunately, it appears that the impact of this pandemic will require us to exhaust those funds even faster than they accumulated. In other words, while the money in the Rainy Day Fund is extremely helpful during these times, it will not save us from existing underlying state budget problems and the downturn in the economy.
Therefore, we will need to look at all aspects of our state budget to find ways that we can save money. We believe that one significant and meaningful step that you could take through Executive Order is to delay the scheduled pay increases for state employees. The delay of wage increases should apply at the very least to employees who are not working on the front lines of the battle against the pandemic. If increases were delayed for all state employees, this would result in $135 million in savings to our state budget and an additional savings of $60 million to other state entities, including UConn and our State University System.
More importantly, business owners and their employees in the private sector are beyond suffering. You know all too well the magnitude of business closings and layoffs. Frankly, it would be an insult to those people and their families to allow 4% and 5% pay increases for state employees. There is no rational way to justify such increases.
We hope that you give this request serious consideration. Thank you for your efforts to lead us out of this crisis. We look forward to continuing to find ways to work together.
Rep. Themis Klarides
House Republican Leader
Rep. Vincent Candelora
Deputy House Republican Leader