HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS Connecticut and AP) – A union that represents 7,000 state workers is stepping up its opposition to looming state budget cuts and layoffs with a new television ad that urges the governor and lawmakers to consider alternatives such as higher taxes on the wealthy as they try to craft a new, two-year agreement.
The Service Employees International Union local 1199 began airing the spot on Monday. It’s the latest in a series of ads planned by the union, which also expects to increase its daily presence at the state Capitol.
The ad features children saying they want to balance the deficit-plagued state budget by doing things such as cutting middle-class state workers and services for the disabled when they grow up. One little boy shyly says he wants to “take my orders from corporate lobbyists.”
The union is insinuating that’s what Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and state legislators are considering.
“We’re trying to have people and legislators realize there are other options and to think twice about some of the things they’re saying at the Capitol, day in, day out,” said Jennifer Schneider, a union spokeswoman.
But both Malloy and Democratic and Republican leaders have stressed they do not want to significantly increase taxes, with Malloy insisting the process should not be “revenue-driven.” The new fiscal year that begins July 1 is projected to have a $2.3 billion deficit. A typical annual budget is $19 billion to $20 billion.
Negotiations between Malloy and legislative leaders are scheduled to resume this week. Meanwhile, Malloy’s administration is continuing to try and negotiate a $700 million labor concession package with the state employee unions. He said Friday he is more hopeful than a couple weeks ago that a deal can be reached soon.
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