Afternoon update: If you attended Mayor Bill Finch’s weekly brown bag lunch today, you munched with staff. Hizzoner is on vacation this week. That means layoffs to close an $8 million budget gap will wait until next week. There’s always a chance some unions may step up to offer givebacks, and what mayor wants to lay off workers while on vacation? So the game of chicken presses on. Who’s going to blink first? Some of the smaller unions have agreed to concessions, but the major bargaining units are digging in. They feel they’ve given enough, and now they’re being asked to cough up more.
The City Council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee heard from city bean counters Monday night. Council members were told union concessions the city seeks are based on the size of each union work force, although if you talk to some union officials they see it much different.
I chatted with State Rep. Chris Caruso Tuesday night about his choice for governor. The Big Wave hasn’t made a decision about whom he’ll support, Ned Lamont or Dan Malloy. State Rep. Jack Hennessy hasn’t made a decision yet. Sounds like Caruso and Hennessy, if they endorse, will go as a bloc.
Tsunami Tuesday Discussion
Mark your calendars for Aug. 5, 6:30 p.m. Black Rock Library, 2705 Fairfield Avenue. OMG, what a panel. Former Bridgeport Post-Telegram scribes (predecessor papers to the Connecticut Post) Jim Callahan and John Gilmore and little Lennie here will regale you with stories about crazy Bridgeport primaries we covered and for me managed, and we’ll handicap the primaries for governor, U.S. senate, congress and even the GOP race for registrar of voters to take place Aug. 10. Callahan and Gilmore, those cranky coots, like to give each other the business on OIB. Can’t wait for what they might say Aug. 5. I’ll do my best to provoke them. Then they’ll probably gang up on me. So join us for lots of stories, blustery winds and a cool time.
Where Does Your Money Go?
Our friends at www.ctmirror.org ran a piece about bonding projects approved by the state on Tuesday during the fiscal crisis. Check this out:
From Dan Malloy:
CSEA, ONE OF STATE’S LARGEST UNIONS, ENDORSES MALLOY
CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 will organize ‘aggressive get-out-the-vote effort’ by 25,000 active and retired members for August Primary
July 14, 2010 – Dan Malloy, the Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate for Governor, today accepted the formal endorsement of CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 in his bid to become Connecticut’s next governor. In making their endorsement, CSEA leaders said their “top priority” would be mobilizing their 25,000 active and retired members in a get-out-the-vote effort to assure that Dan Malloy wins the Democratic Party’s Primary Election August 10, as well as the General Election in November.
In endorsing Malloy, CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 President Catherine Osten said this is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to elect a governor who will be a true partner” and that Malloy is “the best candidate running, the best candidate for Connecticut, and the best candidate for our members.”
Other members of CSEA echoed Osten’s comments, noting that Malloy’s track record as Mayor of Stamford makes him well-suited to help Connecticut grow jobs and preserve vital public services.
Malloy thanked CSEA for their support, and pledged to serve as a partner to their members as Governor.
“Connecticut’s workers are the backbone of our economy,” said Malloy. “The fact is, recent Governors simply haven’t treated them with the respect they deserve – they’ve either ignored or outright disregarded their input and their interests when it comes to creating jobs and getting the state’s economy back on track. As Governor, I’ll welcome CSEA and other labor groups to the table as a partner, because I know that Connecticut won’t be able to turn itself around without their help and support.”
Malloy has also been endorsed by SEIU Locals 1199 and 32BJ. Other announced labor support for his campaign includes AFSCME Council 15, the Communication Workers of America Local 1298, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 478, the New London Police Union (AFSCME Local 724), the Hartford Police Union, the Waterbury Police Union Local 1237, the Carpenters Local 210 and the Connecticut Police and Fire Union (CPFU).
From Ned Lamont:
Lamont Unveils Plan to Reduce Health Care Costs
Labor and Business Leaders Praise Lamont’s Strategy
New Haven, CT – Today, businessman and Democratic candidate for governor Ned Lamont released his Plan for Affordable, Accessible Health Care. During a press conference at Meriden’s Community Health Center, Lamont and his running mate, Mary Glassman, laid out the strategies they will employ to lower health care costs for the state, businesses, and families; improve care and modernize our health care system; and put Connecticut in a good position to benefit from reforms on the federal level.
“Connecticut families pay more every year in health care premiums, and aren’t getting any healthier. High health care costs keep small businesses from hiring, and make it risky for workers to take a new job or start their own company,” Lamont said. “To get serious about fixing our budget deficit, we need to talk about fundamentally reforming our health care system, which accounts for 40 percent of our budget. That’s what I’ll do as governor.”
Sal Luciano, AFSCME Council 4’s Executive Director, said “Walter Cronkite once said, ‘The American health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.’ Ned has proposed a true system that is both healthy and caring. Because it focuses on prevention and is evidence-based, it will achieve better health outcomes for all residents of Connecticut, while also reducing costs.”
Mike Critelli, the former CEO of businesses services company Pitney Bowes, said “Good health is good business. Ned’s health plan–and the collaborative and thorough process by which he developed it–demonstrate that he understands a strong focus on making people healthier and the commitment to driving economic growth reinforce one another.”
As governor, Lamont will:
• Spread consistent health information technology statewide. Different systems should be able to talk to each another so that critical medical records are available they’re needed, wherever a patient may be.
• Leverage the state’s purchasing power to phase in payment reform over time. Rather than a “fee for service” model that rewards providers for the volume of tests and services they perform, we should pay based on how patients fare.
• Expand access to primary care by establishing “medical homes” for families who have state health care. Every patient deserves an informed caregiver who can “quarterback” his care.
• Rewarding state employees who take care of themselves. We’ll reduce co-pays and give rewards, like a $50 savings bond for expecting mothers who go to all of their prenatal care visits.
• Create a cabinet-level position focused on long-term care and giving Connecticut residents community-based alternatives to nursing homes.
Lamont’s full plan is available on his website: action.nedlamont.com/page/s/healthcare1