HARTFORD, CT (AP / WCBS 880) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says Connecticut cannot sustain the wage, health care and pension benefits awarded to state employees and it’s time to begin discussing labor concessions.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reports from Hartford

The new Democratic governor, who addressed a joint session of the General Assembly on Wednesday, unveiled his two-year, nearly $40 billion budget that calls for $2 billion in labor savings and concessions.

Malloy ticked off some savings ideas, such as moving state employees to a health benefits package like the one covering federal employees. He says that would save about $300 million over two years. Three more furlough days over two years would save $80 million.

Malloy says the cost-savings suggestions made by state employees so far are not enough to cover the state’s projected $3.2 billion deficit beginning July 1.

Malloy is also calling for across the board tax hikes.

Larry Dorman, spokesman for the State Employee Bargaining Coalition, told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau that “the real issue here is that Connecticut has a revenue problem, not a spending problem. You know, cuts to public services will not get this economy moving in a forward gear.”

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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