Cities, Towns Want To Get Out From Un...

Cities, Towns Want To Get Out From Under Costly State Mandates

There are 39 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Feb 3, 2009, titled Cities, Towns Want To Get Out From Under Costly State Mandates. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

Cash-starved cities and towns would save nearly $30 million next year if they're allowed to ignore several state-imposed rules on schools, tenant evictions and property revaluations, municipal leaders told a ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

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Greedy Government

Old Lyme, CT

#1 Feb 3, 2009
The size and cost of our State government is unsustainable.
Well meaning government busy bodies have created a program for every need, and a government staff for every program,
We need to get back to basics and rethink every "service" until the cost of government meets the available revenue.
Dropping State Mandates to Towns is an obvious place to start.
I love to see the excesses of the past addressed, maybe we can learn to keep government smaller when this is over.
West Haven

West Haven, CT

#2 Feb 3, 2009
Cut the school year by 5 days? With all the delayed starts and early dismissals due to snow, aren't the kids already a bit shortchanged?
hugh beaumont

South Windsor, CT

#3 Feb 3, 2009
Yea what a bunch of crap. Cutting the school hours. How about getting rid of some high paid mangement in this state.
NBRepublican

Shelton, CT

#4 Feb 3, 2009
Our legislature is a joke. These guys just don't get it. We have so many unfunded mandates that shouldn't happen at all, and then they want to pilot for a year to see how it goes?? I would've floored that guy as soon as he said it. How about he pays for all the mandates out of his own pocket?
At last

Selkirk, NY

#5 Feb 3, 2009
This is the first time any of these groups have come to the state with a plan to reduce costs by reducing state mandates. Every other story is about how they want to soak taxpayers for every dollar we have in our pocket. Let's see more cost cutting and less cost raising. We can't take it anymore.
At last

Selkirk, NY

#6 Feb 3, 2009
Here's another idea - get rid of the Feb break, consolidate the school year. Get out of school early. Better for parents, students and the budget.
ANGEL

Tyler, TX

#8 Feb 3, 2009
CONNECTICUT HOUSES a bunch of whiners.

DOWNSIZE.
ANGEL

Tyler, TX

#9 Feb 3, 2009
Greedy Government wrote:
The size and cost of our State government is unsustainable.
Well meaning government busy bodies have created a program for every need, and a government staff for every program,
We need to get back to basics and rethink every "service" until the cost of government meets the available revenue.
Dropping State Mandates to Towns is an obvious place to start.
I love to see the excesses of the past addressed, maybe we can learn to keep government smaller when this is over.
THANK YOU....thank you.
Joe Visconti - WHTD TC

West Hartford, CT

#10 Feb 3, 2009
It's time to watch the AFSCME ET AL crowd as they start singing:"Look for the Union Label". For everyone else, start singing: "I beg your pardon we never promised you a Rose Garden, along with sunshine there's got to be a little rain sometimes".
Appalled

Wethersfield, CT

#11 Feb 3, 2009
Cut school days? I cannot support this. Cut some athletic programs that cost a fortune and require kids to WALK to school for exercise.
Jingles

AOL

#12 Feb 3, 2009
"bar unemployment benefits for part-time or seasonal workers who worked less than 1,000 hours in a year"

So does this mean that seasonal employers no longer have to pay into the unemployment fund? That reduces payroll costs by about 10%.

Here's how that will work - seasonal employers stop paying into the fund. When each employee reaches 950 hours, they'll be laid off and new people will be hired. That will do a lot to help joblessness in CT. The employer saves 10% of payroll costs by not contributing to the unemployment fund. If I were a seasonal employer, I'd be thrilled.
Less Than Sympathetic

Tolland, CT

#13 Feb 3, 2009
Appalled wrote:
Cut school days? I cannot support this. Cut some athletic programs that cost a fortune and require kids to WALK to school for exercise.
The way American business works, a C-student who played lots of football is more likely to succeed than the A-student who was on math team. The typical cubicle farm is more of a popularity contest than it is a think tank. So don't overvalue academics in lieu of sports... this isn't Japan, we don't have a hundred million tech jobs waiting for them.
Rel said

Mansfield Center, CT

#14 Feb 3, 2009
Rell said that cuts would be "painful"..... Before incurring any pain, it would seem that there is PLENTY of cuts - such as these outlined - that could be made.

Simple things such as placing limits on the number of copies a worker can make would save thousands! How many flyers and memos are trashed every year in schools, town halls, offices? Millions!

Also, the state interferring with local school boards always costs the municipality more....... It never fails. Imposing requirements that the local tax payers don't want or need wastes millions. Funny, isn't it, how the State of CT gets upset by the federal rules imposed by no child left behind yet they see fit to impose equally as ridiculous requirements for local towns?
State Mandate Relief

United States

#15 Feb 3, 2009
What about relief from predatory taxes for residents?
An example, for one, is the predatory practice of property taxes!
The rules are convoluted. The practice as a whole precludes incentive to invest in capitol asset improvement, personal or business ... hence squeezing sales tax revenues that provide 'really meaningful public service'. Not that sales taxes are a fair representation of the value received, for 'yet more' money stolen from the private sector by agents of public service.
Reevaluation of property taxes on homes being postponed??
You know, more public sector employees and promoters of bureaucratic largess really should be out 'in the street' just like
the ever increasing private sector population is experiencing today February 3, 2009.
So you 169 Municipalities want relief from State Mandates?
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO WANT????
Less Than Sympathetic

Tolland, CT

#16 Feb 3, 2009
Jingles wrote:
"bar unemployment benefits for part-time or seasonal workers who worked less than 1,000 hours in a year"
So does this mean that seasonal employers no longer have to pay into the unemployment fund? That reduces payroll costs by about 10%.
Here's how that will work - seasonal employers stop paying into the fund. When each employee reaches 950 hours, they'll be laid off and new people will be hired. That will do a lot to help joblessness in CT. The employer saves 10% of payroll costs by not contributing to the unemployment fund. If I were a seasonal employer, I'd be thrilled.
Maybe the towns could get together and form a temp labor exchange program... once they reach 950 hours, send them to another town. They could all contribute to a smaller unemployment pool that would only be paid out to those who can't be transferred for lack of demand or whatever reason.
Think About It

Mansfield Center, CT

#17 Feb 3, 2009
Appalled wrote:
Cut school days? I cannot support this. Cut some athletic programs that cost a fortune and require kids to WALK to school for exercise.
let's think about this a minute.

I, for one, am always amazed and shocked at the number of wasted "half-days" that our children are carted off to school only to return by noon for mandatory teacher in-service trainings.......

Think about the waste. Kids are there for a 1/2 day, they KNOW they are going home early and aren't focused. We spend the thousands per day to transport them: Fuel, drivers, croasing guards, etc....

In any other profession - Physicians, Social Workers, Certified Nurses, Attorneys, etc..._ the require continuing education requirements are the responsibility of the professional. They must schedule, arrange and PAY for their own trainings. Why can't teachers do the same? They have three months off per year, have short class days. We could save millions AND reduce the school days (as stated in the article) by terminating these wasteful, half-day in service fiascos.

The children, in the end, would have the SAME actual hours in a legitimate classroom setting and still save one-to-two weeks operating cost from teh overall scheduled year/budget.

God knows my employer doesn't pay for my day off to obtain CEU's nor do they pay for the actual course or my annual lincesure fees.... Maybe this is a common sense concession the teacher's union could make to save ALL taxpayers (including themselves) millions.......
Richard

United States

#18 Feb 3, 2009
Rather than trying to save money by closing the schools for a week, why not get rid of some of the bureaucrats?

So much for the "importance of education"; just as long as the bureaucrats continue to be paid, they'll be happy.
Richard

United States

#19 Feb 3, 2009
Maybe some kind of agreement could be implemented ... a hands-off policy from the state toward the towns, along with cutting taxes and letting the towns look to their own financing.
Think About It

Mansfield Center, CT

#20 Feb 3, 2009
ANGEL wrote:
CONNECTICUT HOUSES a bunch of whiners.
DOWNSIZE.
Although I agree that the state is flush with mid-management/supervisory positions that are not needed, we need to make decisions with an economic sensability.....

Cutting the jobs of these employees only stands to more gegatively effect the overall economy. It will add unemployment to the already burgeoning rolls that grow daily.....

Those that will be able to pay taxes will be less. Spending power in the economy will be less. Retail and manufacturers will make less.....

Instead, let's REALLY look at the waste that exists in the current structure - of which, there is plenty!

State provided transportation, mileage reimbursement, over-time pay (at times, 2 1/2 times base pay for managements inability to simply plan an adequate schedule!!!!!!!), greedy union negotiated increases, supply abuse (copiers, parts, office supplies, etc....) and even the simplest of things - leaving computers on stand-by all evening when state offices are closed adds thousands to state electrical costs!

To lay the state workers off out of misguided personal frustration would only further devastate an ailing economy. There is NO WAY that anyone could say otherwise....

getting unions to recognize their responsibility within the matter, making concessions and even "give backs", would do everyone better.

This applies to teachers, town employees, statse employees, etc.....
Jingles

AOL

#21 Feb 3, 2009
Less Than Sympathetic wrote:
<quoted text>
Maybe the towns could get together and form a temp labor exchange program... once they reach 950 hours, send them to another town. They could all contribute to a smaller unemployment pool that would only be paid out to those who can't be transferred for lack of demand or whatever reason.
I like your thinkng but I'm not sure it would work. First of all the unions would never go along with that. Second, it is my understanding that the cities and towns (and probably the state) do not pay into the unemployment system. If a town employee is terminated for any reason and is granted unemployment benefits, the town (read taxpayers) is responsible for the full amount for the first 26 weeks. I don't know if the union would contribute to that or not. I searched the DOL website and couldn't find out who is exempted out of unemployment taxes.
I read some posts that were calling for 10,000 job layoffs. If the state government doesn't pay into employment, the taxpayers would be paying those benefits. State employees health benefits would go to the COBRA plan. Some states are now helping out with COBRA payments.

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