On Friday, mayors from four Connecticut cities met in Hartford to present a case for preserving the state’s municipal aid programs.
As lawmakers try to work through daunting deficits, mayors from Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and Waterbury discussed the importance of state-initiated reliance on financial aid.
They all said they are facing serious cuts to their budgets, ones they said they can't afford to take, unless they pass the burden on to the taxpayers.
"We will have to either cut services or we will have to raise taxes," said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.
The state overall is facing a $220 million deficit, and Gov. Dannel Malloy released $65 million worth of recissions earlier this week. It doesn't specifically threaten money that has been set aside to go back into cities and towns, but mayors certainly are concerned.
Officials said $105 million was supposed to be put in reserve, but now only $30 million is there, and mayors have already put that expected money into their budgets.
What is worse is even with that expected money that doesn't seem to be guaranteed, Waterbury, Hartford, and Bridgeport come up tens of millions of dollars short, and that's when they said local cuts will happen, and even other towns will feel them.
"The urban cities provide the suburban towns what they need. The hospitals, the social services, education, higher education," said Waterbury Mayor Neal O'Leary.
Those mayors warn that all services may be at risk, so obviously it is a tough situation for everyone involved.
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