School districts, disabled feeling effects from lack of budget - WFSB 3 Connecticut

School districts, disabled feeling effects from lack of budget

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Budget talks continue among lawmakers in Hartford (WFSB) Budget talks continue among lawmakers in Hartford (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The fallout continues without a state budget.

On Wednesday, House Democrats put forth yet another budget, but Republicans don't like it and the Governor may not sign it.

Meanwhile, cuts are being felt across the state, hitting the disabled and school systems.

"Passing a budget is what needs to happen and one that prioritizes people with disabilities in the non-profit community,” said Andrea Barton Reeves, CEO of HARC.

The second of six furlough days have now hit non-profits. The cuts are part of the governor's executive order, a temporary way to run the state until state lawmakers finally pass a budget.

On Wednesday, Penny Parks brought her disabled son to a rally to stop the cuts. She was able to get her son into a group home where there are 200 on the waiting list.

"He gardens, he volunteers in a soup kitchen, he has a happy independent life, and I can work now, I can work because I am not sitting home watching TV with a 21-year-old,” Parks said.

Students will be headed back to school soon, but in many districts, there will be fewer teachers. Districts are losing millions of dollars.

"In West Hartford, we could fire, we have, and it still wouldn't cover the short fall and the point is, of course, we won't fire the teachers. We will have to make up money in the only way we can, we will have to raise property taxes again,” said Cheryl Greenberg, who sits on the West Hartford Board of Education.

The House Democrats budget proposal on Wednesday raised sales tax from 6.35 to 6.85 percent. Senate Democrats haven't said if they support that.

"We have to have a vote. We need to do our job, our communities need us to. The state needs us to," said Democratic State Senator Beth Bye.

"We are not raising taxes. The last thing people want in this state want or need is more taxes," said Republican State Rep. Themis Klarides.

The governor has joined Republicans in speaking out against raising taxes. He has said on a few occasions he may vote against a budget with higher taxes.

Despite the pressure, lawmakers are not expected to vote on a budget until the week of Sept. 11.

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