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Connecticut Speaker’s Union Employment Draws Scrutiny

January 8, 2017 By Staff
Connecticut Speaker’s Union Employment Draws Scrutiny

Democrats elected Joe Aresimowicz the new Speaker of the House in Connecticut on Wednesday. Republicans protested his union employment.

On the first day of the legislative session, Democrats picked Joe Aresimowicz as the new speaker. The election is not without controversy, though.

See, a state union employs Aresimowicz. Aresimowicz is an aide for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The CT Mirror calls AFSCME an “influential public-employee union.”

Aresimowicz’s work will no doubt impact the AFSCME in 2017, as the Mirror‘s Mark Pazniokas explains:

Aresimowicz, 46, now the House majority leader, is the choice of the Democratic majority to be elected speaker Wednesday when the General Assembly opens a 2017 session in which legislators will face pressure to cut labor costs as they confront a budget shortfall exceeding $1 billion.

Connecticut’s Office of State Ethics ruled there was no conflict of interest for Aresimowicz. However, House Republicans disagreed. Minority Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) said she “refused a request by Aresimowicz to second his nomination.”

The arrangement has even caught some national attention. Reid Wilson, a national correspondent for The Hill, tweeted about Aresimowicz the other day:

It seems the new speaker is destined to start his term with many observers skeptical of his lucrative employment with AFSCME.