1. Support the termination and/or renegotiation of the current SEBAC (State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition). Connecticut is one of only four states in the United States that still negotiates contracts through collective bargaining with the executive branch. I will advocate that all union benefits be decided by the General Assembly.
2. Reform pensions by transitioning current state employees from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan. Ask state employees to contribute more to their pensions and health care benefits. Institute a pension “buyout” program, which would allow for retired state employees to opt to receive cash from the pension fund in return for removing themselves from the states pension and benefit liability. Some additional reforms include raising the retirement age and not allowing overtime to count as part of salary calculation.
3. Cap pension retirement income at $100,000. Currently there are over 1,400 state employees collecting pensions of over $100,000 in retirement and 10 collecting close to $300,000 per year. We must also put a hard freeze on all cost of living adjustments.
4. All current and former state employees will receive health care benefits similar to the private sector.
5. Change the assumed 8% investment return to a 6% discount rate when factoring unfunded liabilities in our actuarial analysis, while aiming for a 8% return after a full business cycle.
6. Eliminate the Sole Fiduciary rule in the Treasurer’s office. Currently, only Connecticut and two other states allow the Treasurer to have unanimous authority over the $34.4 billion of assets under management. I would advocate for an Investment Advisory Council, comprised of investment experts, to make a collective decision on investments.
7. Support long term returns as the primary focus of our pension fund with a goal of 8%.
(Through 2015, the average 10-year return for the 41 largest state funds was 6.59%)
8. Create a Bonding Responsibility Committee that consists of a non-legislative panel of experts, who will be tasked with recommending appropriate levels of annual bonding based on the state’s economic projections and current fiscal status.
9. Allow bonding only for basic government related projects and below the annual bonding cap of $1.9 billion
10. Extend 529 Education Savings Accounts from Kindergarten through high school. This will allow high income and high tax individuals to reduce their overall tax liability that was recently increased from the reduced benefits of the SALT deduction. Currently, 529’s only help offset federal tax liability for college savings. This will stop the wealth flight in Connecticut.