Connecticut's governor announced on Friday morning that layoff notices have gone out to state employees.
Gov. Dannel Malloy confirmed the information at a news conference following a bond commission meeting on Friday morning. It is unclear how many notices went out or to what departments.
Both Democrats and Republicans said they are concerned and calling for major union concessions. Malloy said that if those concessions were not made, layoffs would be needed.
Malloy said $33 million needs to be cut from the budget immediately and it looks like cities and towns will directly feel the impact. The governor said "aggressive steps" need to be taken in order to make sure the budget is balanced.
On Thursday, Malloy's team met with the Connecticut State Police Union. Eyewitness News learned that five state troopers could be laid off, something that hasn't been done since 2011. It could save about $300,000.
Some of the governor’s ideas require legislative approval, but others don’t.
Both Democrats and Republicans said they are concerned. The plan for immediate cuts could affect everything from financial help for elderly renters to funding for regional vocational-technical schools.
But lawmakers would have to approve his other idea, which is to not pay cities and towns more than $19 million in June from the state’s share of slot machine revenues from Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino.
When it comes to making up the rest of the $389 million deficit, Malloy wants to drain the rainy day fund and layoffs may be the only other option.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said they’ll have to work together to get out of this mess.
"We're all going to bring ideas to the table," said Sen. Len Fasano, a Republican. "We are having conversations because it is going to take a bipartisan effort to set the state right."
"When you look at the state budget, one of our challenges is that an increasing amount of it is in fixed costs, that is in payments to pensions, health insurance both for current employees and retirees,” said Sen. Martin Looney, Democrat, senate president.
The session ends in less than five weeks so the pressure is on to get a budget balanced.
The governor's team is also meeting with labor unions and looking for big concessions.
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