Letter to Governor Malloy

August 11, 2016

Dear Governor Malloy:

The MetroHartford Alliance serves as the region's economic development leader and the City of Hartford's Chamber of Commerce. Our investors include businesses of all sizes, health care providers, arts and higher education institutions as well as the municipalities of North Central Connecticut. Our mission is to ensure that the region competes aggressively and successfully for jobs, capital, and talent so that it thrives as one of the country's premier places for all people to live, play, work, and raise a family.

We are writing to you today to thank you for both continuing to look at Connecticut's budgeting process in a new way and for your outspoken commitment to doing what is needed to bring stability back to the state's finances. Connecticut's budget challenges occurring at a time when state employee contracts are being negotiated present a unique opportunity to strengthen the long term fiscal stability of our state. As you continue to negotiate with the state employee union's 14 collective bargaining units on wages and working conditions, we encourage you to fight for reasonable concessions that would bring contracts in line with the business practices that create a sustainable prosperous business environment in the state. We also encourage you to consider an important resource to help address our state's fiscal challenges: Connecticut's network of private providers.

According to a January 2012 Connecticut General Assembly Program Review and Investigation Committee analysis, the cost to provide care in a state-run setting was more than double when compared to a private setting, with no difference in the quality of care provided. Additionally, unlike care provided in a private setting, state-run care brings long term budget implications through increased retired state employee pension and health care costs.

We have deep respect for the dedication of state employees and the services they provide. However, to ensure that tax dollars are spent most effectively, we urge that the contracts currently being negotiated with state employee unions include clear authority for the state to contract with private providers when these providers can deliver services more efficiently or cost-effectively.

As we have expressed in prior communications, Connecticut's state budget factors significantly in the decision making of our state's employers. Sound fiscal management is critical to reinforcing Connecticut's employers' confidence that our state is a place where they can be successful while investing capital and growing jobs. As you continue to negotiate with state employee union leaders, we encourage you to view the state's private providers as a component of a solution that will help ensure near term budget savings and long term fiscal sustainability.

Oz Griebel
President & CEO
MetroHartford Alliance