As word spread that state employee unions had officially rejected the budget-balancing labor agreement, a Hartford Superior Court judge dismissed a lawsuit asserting the budget was unbalanced on the day it was signed.
Judge James Graham dismissed the suit, agreeing with the attorney general's office that the budget was an ongoing process not ripe for adjudication and that by entertaining the case, the judicial branch would be interfering with the affairs of the legislature.
Associate Attorney General Perry Zinn-Rowthorn's motion to dismiss the suit rested on those two points.
He said the budget was and continues to be, an ongoing process. He acknowledged the union's rejection of the agreement which at that time wasn't known but was assumed.
"We don't know what this budget is going to look like but it likely will not depend on the [State Employees Bargaining Coalition] agreement," he said.
Still he said the plaintiffs' case will likely be irrelevant when the budget is finalized. He urged the court's restraint and deference to avoid what he said would be significant chaos and uncertainty if the lawsuit were to move forward.
I'm just glad that this ridiculous publicity stunt is over...
With AFSCME Local 391 members putting the final nail in the coffin by rejecting the concession package with a 955 to 527 vote, lawmakers and union leaders were at a loss to pinpoint exactly why the agreement, which preserved jobs for four years and made changes to health and pension benefits, was defeated by a minority of the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition.
"The people who voted 'No' have a lot of explaining to do to all the members that voted 'Yes'," Rep. Patricia Widlitz, D-Guilford, said Friday.
Sixty percent of the coalition voted in favor of the agreement, but AFSCME's rejection was enough to kill the deal, denying SEBAC the 80 percent threshold it needed for approval. In the end, just two of the 15 unions rejected it.
Widlitz called the agreement's defeat "incomprehensible" and "unfortunate." She said she didn't understand why members would give up job security and "outstanding health and pension benefits."
Gov. Malloy should do everyone a favor and give every clown who voted this concession package down a pink slip. In this economic climate, I wish I was promised job security and a raise in salary like the one outlined in the agreement. Unreal...
Ganim's trying to figure out the best course for reclaiming his old job should he take the leap. Democratic primary? General election as an independent? No doubt there's nostalgia in some city neighborhoods for Joe. But how does he galvanize the support? OIB polling shows Joe could perform well in a crowded Democratic field. He'd need bodies to scour 2,000 Democratic voter signatures in a short two-week window to get his name on the ballot for September, following the party endorsement in July that will go to Finch, just as the other three announced Dems must do, Mary-Jane Foster, John Gomes and Charlie Coviello. If Joe opts for an independent run he simply needs 126 signatures from registered voters submitted by August 10. Presto, you're on the ballot in November. But why would Dem and unaffiliated voters support Joe over presumably Mayor Bill Finch in the general election with such a small window to resuscitate his standing with the electorate?