Connecticut passed a budget, but Gov. Dannel Malloy is hardly celebrating.
Malloy is left with a $1.6 billion shortfall after state employee unions failed to ratify a labor accord intended to balance Connecticut's two-year, $40.1 billion spending plan.
While 57% of unionized employees approved the deal that State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition executives and the governor's negotiation team had agreed upon, only 11 of 15 bargaining units approved it. The proposal needed 14 of the 15 groups to win SEBAC's blessing.
The General Assembly on July 1 granted Malloy extensive budget-cutting powers. He must provide details on his proposed cuts by Friday. The legislature could approve them, or hold hearings to reject or modify them before Aug. 30.
Unions turned back a package that would have involved the loss of about 6,700 jobs.
On Tuesday, SEBAC asked Malloy to "reconvene discussions to see what is necessary to reach an agreement that can be finalized and implemented," in a letter from chief negotiator Daniel Livingston.
Moody's Investors Service last week dropped its outlook on Connecticut's general obligation bonds to negative from stable and affirmed its Aa2 rating. The state has about $14 billion of outstanding GO bonds.