State budget battle continues in Hartford - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State budget battle continues in Hartford

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The CT State Capitol (WFSB) The CT State Capitol (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The budget battle is heating up at the state capitol.

Democrats have just released their plan, but it isn’t enough to fix the deficit, and republicans and the governor are calling it incomplete.

"We are taking suggestions from everybody - everyone knew this was a different year,” said State Senator Beth Bye, who co-chairs the Appropriations Committee.

The democrats budget has more than a half billion dollars in cuts, but it is a far cry from what is needed.

"If that's how we are going to fix a budget then we are pulling the wool over the eyes of the people of Connecticut,” said State Rep. Themis Klarides.

"It’s a hard one --- no doubt about it. There are $569 million in cuts in there,” said State Rep. Toni Walker, who also sits on the Appropriations Committee.

Republicans call the plan woefully inadequate of solving a $900 million deficit, and Gov. Dannel Malloy agrees. His communication director said “this budget only addresses part of the challenge before us – it is incomplete."

There are cuts to social services, but not as bad as the governor proposed, but there is uncertainty.

"We continue to be very concerned about what is ultimately going to be negotiated,” said Heather Gates, of Community Health Resources.

"It’s not good. We have over 2000 on a residential waiting list. We have 100 on a day service waiting list,” said Lauralyn Lewis, whose child has special needs.

There are no specifics about state worker layoffs, but republicans said it is in there.

"It is up to the governor to do layoffs but clearly their budget includes those layoffs - they're an intricate part of that budget,” said State Senator Len Fasano.

Democrats are hoping for union concessions, a smaller workforce and that revenue projections get better, but the state comptroller is less optimistic.

If things do not improve, it will go back to the cutting board.

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