No state budget triggers soup kitchens, drug treatment cuts - WFSB 3 Connecticut

No state budget triggers soup kitchens, drug treatment cuts

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CT Community Nonprofit Alliance members and consumers talked about the impact of the budget. (WFSB) CT Community Nonprofit Alliance members and consumers talked about the impact of the budget. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB/AP) -

The state labor union concession deal may have squeaked by the senate, but, funding for soup kitchens and other food service programs across Connecticut is one of the latest casualties of the state's budget woes.

Peter DeBiasi, president and CEO of The Access Community Action Agency, says funding from the Department of Social Services for 18 programs ends on Tuesday. He says those services "are lifelines for people."

State lawmakers have yet to reach an agreement on a new two-year budget that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will sign into law.

Without a budget in place for the new fiscal year, which began July 1, the Democratic governor has been running state government using his limited spending authority.

That has meant cuts in state funding for many social service programs.

On Tuesday, substance abuse and mental health treatment programs received a 2.5 percent reduction.

Amber Brulotte considers the people at BHcare her family.

"Without BHcare, we wouldn't have a place to be right now. We would be in a dark place,” Brulotte said.

These are people with mental illness and addiction where they learn a number of things, like budgeting and daily life skills.

Just as important, it’s a place where they can socialize and make friends, but budget cuts are hitting close to home.

"If not for this club they would be isolating themselves in their home and not participating in community activities - it would be very lonely for them,” said Trudy Higgins, of BHcare Community Services.

Democrats like State Rep. Catherine Abercrombie didn't vote for the governor's mini-budget, which could have prevented cuts. She wants to negotiate a full budget.

"What's going on here today cannot continue. Our nonprofits are lifelines in this state," Abercrombie said.

"Those providers need to be treated with more respect in regards to their budgets and that's why I urge day after day we make progress," Gov. Malloy said.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.