Tag Archive | "Office of Policy and Management"

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Malloy Postpones Raises for 1,600 State Agency Managers







































































WASHINGTON — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy postponed raises Thursday for about 1,600 non-union managers, saving more than $5 million this year – an opening, cost-cutting salvo on the eve of bipartisan negotiations to stabilize state finances.

The governor, who will begin talks Monday with legislative leaders to close an estimated $118 million deficit in this year’s budget – and to begin mitigating a larger shortfall after the next state election – also directed agency heads to intensify efforts to identify services that are not core government functions and therefore could be cut.

Malloy’s office didn’t release any statement about the directives.

But according to a memorandum from his budget chief, Office of Policy and Management Secretary Benjamin Barnes, cost-of-living and merit raises due next month for non-union managers are deferred “until at least January 1, 2016.” The directive does not affect $1.4 million in raises awarded in December 2014 to 200 appointees of Malloy and other constitutional officers.

The governor and the legislature had included about $5.1 million in this fiscal year’s budget to provide raises starting in mid-November for about 1,600 departmental and agency managers.

This included a 3 percent cost-of-living raise and merit pay hikes averaging about 1.5 percent, for a total average increase of about 4.5 percent.

“Because of the scale of the problem we face, we need to make every effort to ensure that we are able to realize savings,” Barnes wrote to commissioners.

The governor’s budget director also asked agency heads to continue several efforts that have been in effect throughout the fiscal year – and for much of the past five years, including:

  • Deferring all spending possible “without impacting health and public safety.”
  • Restricting overtime, hiring and other staffing costs whenever possible.

Barnes also tasked each department with reviewing all services it currently provides “with an eye toward identifying what activities are core government functions and what are not. We must acknowledge that our budget reality today demands that we consider reducing or eliminating some non-core services.”

Malloy announced on Monday that weaker-than-anticipated state income tax receipts have opened a $118 million hole in the budget. That represents a relatively modest two-thirds of 1 percent of the general fund, which covers the bulk of the state’s annual operating costs.

But there are other causes for concern.

This is the second deficit Malloy has reported since the fiscal year began on July 1.

In mid-September, the governor reported a $103 million shortfall – also attributed to weak income tax receipts – and closed that gap largely with emergency cuts to hospitals and social services. Legislators from both parties have since objected to those cuts and pledged to find alternative spending reductions.

Also, the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis says state finances, unless adjusted, are on pace to run much deeper in the red – about $927 million – in 2017-18, the first fiscal year after the November 2016 state elections.

And if the income tax revenue erosion trends identified this fall project out into the next few years – as they traditionally do – the post-election shortfall swells to about $1.1 billion.










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School Prepares For Reduced Staffing

HARTFORD — State officials are wrangling over how to adjust to the shortage of resources for the state’s technical school system, including the lack of teachers.

At a meeting today, the volunteer board that oversees the Connecticut Technical High School System  expressed concern about current staffing levels authorized by the State’s Office of Policy and Management and asked the state education commissioner and CTHSS superintendent to prepare an impact statement that would show how the reduced staff would affect student services in Connecticut’s seventh largest school system.

CTHSS will open its doors to over 10,000 students on Aug. 27, but not enough teachers. Only 48 of the 161 teacher and staff  who took the Retirement Incentive Program were approved for replacement.

This, according to official, presents the possibility of understaffed classrooms and trade shops, as well as position shortages in food services, maintenance, and academic support throughout our school system, said Beverly Bobroske following a meeting today of the State Board of Education’s Subcommittee on Technical High Schools, which she chairs.

Co-chair Allan Taylor concurred.

“We are concerned that students will be entering many classrooms and trade shops on Aug. 27th with too few teachers to instruct them,” Taylor said.

 Although there has been staff transfers, the elimination of several administrative positions, the suspension of operations at Wright Tech and other cost-cutting measures, it is not enough, giving that schools will be open in 15 days, Taylor said. “We need to know how this will play out as we open schools throughout the state.”

Both  Bobroske and Taylor said they have asked the Commissioner and CTHSS superintendent to develop an impact statement for each of the remaining 16 regional technical high schools as well as an overall report that addresses these issues system wide.

Among the possible impacts would be the reduction of academic and trade program offerings, elimination of all extracurricular and sports activities, and disenrollment of freshmen students.  The elimination of varsity sports would affect schedules for other high schools participating in the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.

The Connecticut Technical High School System is Connecticut’s seventh largest school district, serving more than 10,000 high school students, and more than 5,000 adult students in tuition-supported evening programs.

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