Herbst would target UConn, DOT as governor

HARTFORD — Former Trumbull First Selectman Timothy Herbst has set his sights on eliminating waste at the University of Connecticut and the Department of Transportation, and overhauling the state employee pension and benefits plans in his campaign to become the state’s next governor.

The Republican said lawmakers in Hartford have created a “dysfunctional” environment and the next governor will be faced with a “pervasive culture of entitlement,” of which residents have become resentful.

There is no way to have a discussion about tax cuts, Herbst said, without first adjusting the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition agreement, including forcing employees to contribute more to their pensions.

“Existing employees need to recognize that to preserve their retirement security, they’re going to have to contribute more,” Herbst said during an interview Wednesday with the Journal Inquirer. “New hires are going to have to go into a defined contribution plan,” which would, at least, stop the state’s liability from increasing.

In order to make changes, he said he would seek a “statutory remedy” to the SEBAC deal “right out of the gate.”

He said it’s “outrageous” that employees are able to use their mileage reimbursements when calculating their pensions.

The system of collective bargaining and binding arbitration “clearly needs to be reformed,” Herbst said. “I don’t think we have a choice.”

After that, he said, he would propose the elimination of the estate tax and income tax for people making $75,000 per year or less, as well as a reduction in corporate tax rate to promote economic growth.

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