90 state workers laid off amid budget woes - WFSB 3 Connecticut

90 state workers laid off amid budget woes

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

More state workers including those who help people with disabilities received layoff notices on Tuesday.   

With less than 48 hours to go until the end of the legislative session, lawmakers said there's still a lot of loose ends to tie up, including the state budget.  

Gov. Dannel Malloy issued his third proposal on Monday. It's one meant to demonstrate compromise with some concessions.

Lawmakers said the next 48 hours are critical. The deadline is midnight on Wednesday. 

A special session is possible of there's no vote, but those cost extra and it's money the state can't afford to spend.

Malloy has said that he expected the number of layoffs involved in balancing this budget to be close to 2,500. To date, nearly 650 were announced and more were expected to be announced in the near future. 

The SEIU 1100 union said 89 Department of Developmental Services workers were laid off on Tuesday. A spokesperson released a statement in response.

“[Tuesday's] layoffs to workers who have dedicated their lives to caring for the intellectually disabled are very harmful for our state,” said SEIU 1199 spokesperson Jennifer Schneider.  “Eliminating workers who care for the disabled should be Connecticut’s last resort, not the first step in solving budget deficits. We encourage the governor and lawmakers to use a portion of the $406 million in the state’s rainy day fund before making the drastic step to remove caregivers from the disabled who depend on them for their most basic every day needs.”  

The state's Office of Policy and Management released a statement on the layoffs on Tuesday. 

"This is a difficult process, one that we aim to ensure is done respectfully and legally," the statement said.

Here's the breakdown of the layoffs by state department:

  • DDS: 89
  • DCF: 127
  • DECD: 4
  • DMHAS: 76
  • DOC: 186
  • DSS: 78
  • UCHC: 89
  • MIL: 1 

On Tuesday, Mary Ann Duval was speech pathologist with the Department of Developmental Services for the past 30 years. On Tuesday, she got a pink slip. 

"I had an email when I came in this morning that said to go to HR at 2 p.m.," Duval said.

Duval said she would help people with developmental disabilities, so they can communicate with others. 

"A lot of the people I work with don't speak and they can have behavioral disorders or just not communicate and how to get to get the most out of them, what they like, what they don't like," Duval said. 

 Duval said she sees about six or more patients a day. She also added that she trains staff who are with the patients 24 hours, 7 days a week.  

Workers said these job cuts could cause more harm than good. 

"When you have a developmental disability a lot of times you have a harder time finding your way through the world. So to have those relationships, being in sync with people makes life easier and much less frustrating so it's going to be hard," Duval said. " To have people to just leave suddenly, it's heartbreaking. It's breaking my heart."

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