Friday, June 19, 2009

CT Budget Battle Update - Time to Act!

In the battle for a just and equitable state budget, Working Families is canvassing in various state senate districts, including that of conservative Democrat Joan Hartley SD 15. Canvassers are doorknocking and asking Hartley's constituents to call her while they are the door. It is proving an effective method, last a WF staff person said that probably 80 calls had been generated. Discussions are being held about setting a meeting in her district to discuss the state budget.

Council 4 AFSCME will be holding a meeting of its PEOPLE committee on Monday June 29 to discuss meetings of AFSCME members with state senators.
The retirements taken under the state's Retirement Incentive Plan (RIP) will probably have a detrimental effect on the delivery of state services and programs. Governer Rell talks of permenantly shrinking state government at a time when it is obvious that only government and public programs can solve the economic and social crises we face. She seems determined not to fill most of the vacancies created by these retirements. How do we run departments when no management is left? As demand for state services increases during this economic crisis how do less state workers continue to provide the same services? Governor Rell's no new taxes-shrink goverment stance must mean we should just trust the invisible hand of capitalism or perhaps divine intervention to pull us from this mess.

The call for "No Cuts, No Layoffs, Tax the Rich" can be integrated into every activity in anticipation of the special legislative session to determine a budget for the State of CT. The legislature must not be bound by what Republican Gov Rell has said she will sign. The guidepost should be the needs of the people in this economic crisis. The state workers have stepped up to the plate and taken $700 million in cuts (furlough days and healthcare co-pays). Those earning over $250,000 a year should pay an income tax at least equal to the percent of income that the poorest residents pay. And, it is time to stop corporate tax giveaways so that health care, housing, education and other human needs can be met.

On Wednesday, June 24 a statewide rally will be held at the Governor's mansion demanding that she sign the Sustinet healthcare bill into law. Expanding healthcare coverage to everyone and raising the funds by taxing the richest 5 percent their fair share can go a long way to solve this crisis. Call Gov Rell to sign Sustinet. Call your State Rep and State Senator to create a progressive income tax in our state and solve the economic shortfall.

No comments: