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Patch's Poll: Should Connecticut Go The Route Of Wisconsin?

The New Haven Register says Connecticut could learn a few things from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker when it comes to dealing with unions and taxes.

In light of Wisconsin’s recall election last week - in which voters in that state decided to keep the controversial Gov. Scott Walker in power — the New Haven Register published an editorial saying Connecticut should follow in that state’s lead when it comes to Walker's initiatives on unions.

Walker faced public scrutiny over the past year due to Wisconsin’s new law stripping public unions of the right to collectively bargain on benefits and giving state employees the freedom to choose whether to join the union or not.

But the Register argued those moves helped close a $3.6 billion budget gap to $143 million in less than a year, “without laying off any employees.”

“As a result of Walker’s initiatives, Wisconsin is one of the few states with net job growth and an unemployment number significantly below the national average,” the editorial said.

In contrast, the Register said that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the state Democrats have taken a different strategy in raising taxes and increasing spending.

“While last year’s agreement with the unions did increase some costs and reduce some benefits for the state’s union workers, it did not adequately address the main drivers of expense: health care and pension benefits,” the editorial said. “Consequently, Connecticut faces significant, future financial shortfalls and is not remotely close to balancing its budget.”

In a year when budget shortfalls, union benefits and controversial leadership all came to a clash, do you agree with the Register's assessment and think Connecticut should go the route of a system similar to Wisconsin? Or do you think that will cause too much backlash and that Connecticut’s approach is more appropriate? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

James Patchen June 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Just the obvious...We are bleeding jobs and population. Companies are relocating and graduating students running for our borders. If we were not a bedroom for NYC, our state's revenue source would be even direr. Yes, make some structural changes in the state's spending...That is the obvious that will be ignored. Malloy goes to sleep each night hoping that the “Fund Fairy” made a visit to the state treasury as he slept.
Thad Burr June 13, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Absolutely no doubt that pension overhaul for State employees is needed, and the fix needs to be sooner rather than later. Increasing taxes, user fees, tolls, etc can only result in an economic downward spiral towards bankruptcy aka California. The problem of excessive benefits needs to be addressed head on.
Gary June 19, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Yet CT State troopers top brass just got a 53% increase in salary which will burden the pension fund some more.

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