Lapses in the State Budget and How it impacts state employees

WHAT ARE LAPSES IN THE BUDGET AND HOW DOES IT IMPACT STATE EMPLOYEES?

  1. What is a lapse? Lapses are uncommitted funds that remain unspent at the close of a fiscal year and are returned to the fund from which they were originally appropriated or allocated. Lapsed money can also be reallocated to other parts of the budget.
  2. Does every budget have lapses built in?
    1. With a biennium budget around $50 billion, some amount of lapses is expected to be built into each budget. For example, when an employee retires, it might take a few months to replace that employee, those few months of salary ‘savings’ contribute to the overall lapse in savings.   Lapses are also created by delays in starting new programs, and/or higher than predicted federal reimbursements of state programs.
  1. Why is this year’s lapses line item so big?
    1. One way to get around the spending cap is to build savings targets into the budget plan through assumptions. The new budget recently passed assumes the governor will lower General Fund spending by $134 million next fiscal year and by $183 million in 2024-25 by finding savings along the way for a total of $317 million over the biennium.

This figure represents a significant increase in lapses than what we normally see in a budget, especially during years of surplus, and is a consequence of our Governor’s rigid adherence to the spending cap.

  1. What do lapses mean for state employees?
    1. Typically when significant lapses are included in the budget it is in during years of budget crises  – assuming large lapses avoids the General Assembly taking responsibility for cuts and programs in services and leaves it to the governor to implement the savings through job freezes, agency allotment reductions,  or sometimes even layoffs.   However no budget crisis is expected in the upcoming biennium.

So in this sense, the assumed lapses in the current budget may turn out to be essentially an accounting gimmick having no impact at all.    However, they do give the Secretary of OPM additional power to slow or fail to fill positions, and so could end up exacerbating our ongoing fight to protect and expand public services for residents, and job opportunities for state employees.

  1. What is SEBAC doing? 
    1. The assumed lapses are but one part of the problem with the budget. The organized efforts of our members along with allies in the broader labor movement and Recovery for All pushed the budget in as positive direction as we could – significantly better than the governor’s original starting point.  But the governor’s dogmatic interpretation of the spending cap has resulted in a budget that fails to seize real opportunities for progress, especially for working families, black, brown and white, and even moves backwards in crucial areas such as funding for public higher education.  It also presents challenges to getting fair contracts as we move into wage reopeners and new full agreements.  We will need our members to continue to fight against the damage this budget does, and for greater equity and fairness for our members and all working families.

 

Recently Tracked Legislation Impacting UConn, Higher Education, Labor

Recently Tracked Legislation as of 2/3/2023

HB 6564 - An Act Concerning The Unfunded Pension Liability Portion Of The Fringe Benefit Cost For Employees Of The Constituent Units Of The State System Of Higher Education.

HB 6567 - An Act Requiring Public Institutions Of Higher Education To Establish A Policy Regarding Freedom Of Expression On Campus.

HB 6585 - An Act Concerning A Study To Promote Workforce Development Using The Global Entrepreneur In Residence Program As A Model.

SB 922 - An Act Prohibiting An Institution Of Higher Education From Withholding Transcripts.

SB 923 - An Act Prohibiting The Consideration Of Criminal History During The Admissions Process At An Institution Of Higher Education Or Private Career School Or By An Educational Or Apprenticeship Program.

SB 936 - An Act Concerning Workforce Development.

Upcoming Hearings

Tue 2/7 @ 10:00 AM - HB 6285 - An Act Concerning Employers And Employees' Union Memberships.

Tue 2/7 @ 11:30 AM - HB 5438 - An Act Establishing A Debt-free State College Program For Employees Of Day Care Facilities, Home Health Care Agencies And Nursing Homes.

Tue 2/7 @ 11:30 AM - SB 936 - An Act Concerning Workforce Development.

Thu 2/9 @ 11:00 AM - HB 6585 - An Act Concerning A Study To Promote Workforce Development Using The Global Entrepreneur In Residence Program As A Model.

Fri 2/10 @ 12:00 PM - HB 6585 - An Act Concerning A Study To Promote Workforce Development Using The Global Entrepreneur In Residence Program As A Model.

Updated Legislation

HB 5438 - An Act Establishing A Debt-free State College Program For Employees Of Day Care Facilities, Home Health Care Agencies And Nursing Homes.
Status: HED Public Hearing: Tue 2/7 11:30 AM @ ROOM 1B  AND ZOOM AND YOUTUBE LIVE (2/3)

HB 5464 - An Act Concerning Complaints Against State And Municipal Employees.
Status: Reserved for Subject Matter Public Hearing (2/2)

HB 5737 - An Act Concerning Health Insurance For Retired Part-time Faculty Of The Connecticut State University System.
Status: Reserved for Subject Matter Public Hearing (2/2)

HB 6285 - An Act Concerning Employers And Employees' Union Memberships.
Status: LAB Public Hearing: Tue 2/7 10:00 AM @ ROOM 2D  AND ZOOM AND YOUTUBE LIVE (2/3)

HB 6355 - An Act Increasing The Number Of Student Members On The Board Of Trustees Of The University Of Connecticut.
Status: Reserved for Subject Matter Public Hearing (2/2)

SB 228 - An Act Concerning Employees Loss Of Health Care Coverage As A Result Of A Labor Dispute.
Status: LAB Public Hearing: Tue 1/31 01:30 PM @ ROOM 1E  AND ZOOM AND YOUTUBE LIVE (1/27)

Recently Tracked Legislation

HB 5148 - An Act Excluding Overtime And Mileage Reimbursement Payments From State Employee Pension Calculations.

HB 5183 - An Act Requiring Notice Of An Employee's Right To Choose To Not Be A Member Of A Union.

HB 5343 - An Act Concerning Public Employees' Selection Of An Exclusive Bargaining Unit.

HB 5416 - An Act Establishing A Personal Income Tax Deduction For Principal And Interest Payments On Post-secondary Education Loans.

HB 5424 - An Act Establishing A Tax Credit For Educational Access And Opportunity Scholarship Donations.

HB 5438 - An Act Establishing A Debt-free State College Program For Employees Of Day Care Facilities, Home Health Care Agencies And Nursing Homes.

HB 5464 - An Act Concerning Complaints Against State And Municipal Employees.

HB 5737 - An Act Concerning Health Insurance For Retired Part-time Faculty Of The Connecticut State University System.

HB 5742 - An Act Allowing In-state Tuition At Public Institutions Of Higher Education For Refugees And Asylum Seekers.

HB 6099 - An Act Concerning Investigations Of Intimate Partner Violence By Institutions Of Higher Education.

HB 6130 - An Act Concerning A Cap On State Employee Pensions.

HB 6281 - An Act Concerning State And Municipal Employees And Collective Bargaining Agreements.

HB 6285 - An Act Concerning Employers And Employees' Union Memberships.

HB 6355 - An Act Increasing The Number Of Student Members On The Board Of Trustees Of The University Of Connecticut.

SB 110 - An Act Concerning Annual State Retirement Benefits.

SB 111 - An Act Concerning A Study Of The Feasibility Of A State Employee Pension Buyout.

SB 220 - An Act Ensuring Each Institution Of Higher Education In The State Implements Its Policy Concerning The Availability And Use Of Opioid Antagonists On Campus.

SB 228 - An Act Concerning Employees Loss Of Health Care Coverage As A Result Of A Labor Dispute.

SB 253 - An Act Increasing Funding For Public Higher Education.

SB 274 - An Act Prohibiting The Diversion Of Child Care Subsidy Funding To Union Dues.

SB 280 - An Act Preventing Political Bias In The Classroom.

SB 343 - An Act Expanding The Personal Income Tax Deduction For Contributions To 529 Qualified State Tuition Program Accounts.

SB 344 - An Act Establishing A Personal Income Tax Deduction For Student Loan Debt Relief Received By A Taxpayer.

SB 407 - An Act Concerning Tuition At Public Institutions Of Higher Education.

SB 408 - An Act Concerning Free Speech On Campuses Of Institutions Of Higher Education.

SB 482 - An Act Requiring Clear And Conspicuous Statements Concerning A State Or Municipal Employee's Right To Opt Out Of A Union.

SB 638 - An Act Concerning A Fee Waiver At Public Institutions Of Higher Education For Members Of The Connecticut National Guard.

SB 650 - An Act Prohibiting Collective Bargaining And Arbitration Agreements From Conflicting With State Law.

SB 737 - An Act Prohibiting Tuition Waivers At The University Of Connecticut For The Family Members Of Employees.

SB 738 - An Act Prohibiting The Use Of State Funds By Public Institutions Of Higher Education For Speaking Fees.

Updated Legislation

HB 5027 - An Act Establishing A Pilot Program For Student Health Services At The University Of Connecticut Campus Located At Avery Point.
Status: Reserved for Subject Matter Public Hearing (1/19)

SB 8 - An Act Concerning Higher Education Affordability, Graduate Retention And Student Health.
Status: Vote to Draft (1/19)