Rell Tells CBIA She Plans Additional Spending Cuts
October 29, 2009
Gov. M. Jodi Rell used an address before the state's main business advocacy group Wednesday to warn that she plans to use executive powers to reduce state agency spending beyond the state budget cuts.
"The real budget wars are about to begin," she said at the Connecticut Business and Industry Association's 194th annual meeting, at the Hartford Marriott.
Rell, who in September allowed the budget to become law without her signature, will rely on powers allowing her to make cuts of up to 5 percent in state agency budgets without legislative approval, in some cases "literally stopping services," she said.
The governor, who has used her powers of rescission in the past, did not name specific services.
She also relayed advice given to her by an unidentified New York state legislator she described as a friend: "'What you really need to do is cut, cut, cut.'"
On Tuesday, Moody's Investor Services downgraded its outlook for the state's bonds from "stable" to "negative," evidence, Rell said, of the budget's inherent flaws.
"This is not going to be a pretty time," she said.
Murray Martin, chief executive of Stamford-based Pitney Bowes, spoke after Rell, urging business leaders to view the recession as a time to devise new ways to do business rather than merely cutting costs.
"All of this cost-cutting does not really do anything to enhance the value we deliver to customers," he said.
Pitney Bowes, which employs about 3,500 in the state, has cut about 500 local employees over the past two years.Pitney Bowes set up a network on its intranet site where employees are encouraged to respond to company-issued "challenges" seeking solutions to specific problems.
One early suggestion led to a series of instructional videos on YouTube that demonstrate the use and repair of Pitney Bowes equipment.
"I don't know why I didn't think of it," Martin joked.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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