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After $50 Million in Municipal Cuts, Malloy Proposes Changes for Towns

February 1, 2017 By Staff
After $50 Million in Municipal Cuts, Malloy Proposes Changes for Towns

Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) used his volley in the budget battles to extend an olive branch to towns, on budget matters and collective bargaining.

On Tuesday, Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) made several proposals that would make it easier for towns to raise spending, revenue, and have “tighter wage standards” for municipal projects.

More from the CT Mirror‘s Keith Phaneuf:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy unveiled a plan Tuesday to ease municipal mandates, including tighter wage standards on construction projects and greater flexibility in property assessments.

The governor also proposed: eliminating the controversial local spending cap; changing binding arbitration rules; waiving the requirement that there be a superintendent in small school districts; and allowing towns to collect more property taxes on antique cars.

The proposed changes come after Malloy cut $50 million from towns late last year; leaders in Connecticut towns and cities blasted those cuts at the time.

Reaction was mixed. The Connecticut Council of Small Towns, consisting of Republicans and Democrats, was thankful:

The Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) had a more measured reaction, highlighting the elimination of spending caps and flexibility on negotiations for employee retirement contributions:

Unsurprisingly, though, one of Connecticut’s biggest labor unions is not happy about towns’ increased flexibility to hire non-union construction work:

Currently, remodeling projects that cost more than $100,000 and new projects costing more than $400,000 must meet a competitive wage scale based on the regional market. Municipal officials say, though, that this standard generally reflects artificially inflated costs paid chiefly to unionized construction workers.

…But Lori Pelletier, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, said prevailing wage changes “are not going to save” municipal budgets, but will harm working families.

Surely, reaction will continue to pour in as legislators and interest groups review the proposal. Malloy’s full budget is expected to come later this month.