A rally meant to urge lawmakers to pass a state budget drew crowds of people to the capital city on Thursday.

The rally was organized by a coalition of nonprofit community-based human service groups, and was held at the state capitol building.

The groups called on lawmakers and Gov. Dannel Malloy to end the budget impasse.

"Pass a budget and protect services," said Gian Carl Casa, president CEO of the CT Community Non-Profit Alliance.

It's been nearly 70 days that Connecticut has been operating without a state budget.

A vote in the House is a week away, and even after sitting behind closed doors for nearly two hours, it appears state lawmakers aren't any closer to finding common ground when it comes to the budget.

"We're still working to find consensus in some areas. It's a little more difficult than we first imagined," said State Rep. Joe Aresimowicz.

The frustration illustrated outside in Hartford on Thursday shows hope amongst the people could be fading. New information shows taxpayers are acting, by packing up and hauling out.Since 2013 Connecticut has seen a consistent drop in population. In fact, 4,000 people left our state last year. That truth now reflected in the TV market rankings, which is an indicator of a city's size. Out of 210, last year, Hartford-New Haven was 30. This year, we're at 32.

On Thursday, Gov. Dannel Malloy released list of things he's willing to compromise on. They include increasing town aid by $225 million over the next two years while having cities and towns only contribute the employer share of educator pension payments, that saves $315 million in 2018 and $231 million in 2019.

Channel 3 asked Democrats if they’d be willing to agree on that compromise.

“It's a positive step forward, it shows that we can possibly get to the finish line but we need to see the details of the document,” Aresimowicz said.

Republicans left before commenting on camera, but gave Eyewitness News the same answer.

A vote is expected in the House on Thursday.

Leaders on the democratic side say they'll continue discussions on Friday and throughout the weekend, even have private discussions with the Governor.

They left a message for the Republicans too saying they either need to compromise or hold their ground and let the Governor's executive order roll out.

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