State budget proposal creating large impacts on towns


Governor Malloy's revised budget proposal asks many towns to do more with much less and that will lead some towns to make drastic changes.

Glastonbury is one of the towns that will be impacted by the proposed state budget. They are being asked to use 84% less funds than what they are used to.

Whitney Billerman is a mother in Glastonbury and said she loves the town for many reasons.

"It's a great family town. We have two little ones and I know they have a great school system," Billerman said.

All of the things Billerman loves are being threatened by Governor Malloy's new budget proposal.

His initial budget proposal was to flat fund state education aid, but the new proposal cuts $113 million statewide.

Eyewitness News spent the day digging into the numbers, going town by town, and found many towns are staring at cuts in the millions. Glastonbury would be the hardest hit.

In the last fiscal year, Glastonbury got $8.1 million in aid. This year, that's been cut by $6.8 million. They're only getting $1.28 million now and next year, it's even low.

At the end of the 2019 fiscal year, after paying out teacher retirements, Glastonbury will actually owe the state $1.2 million.

"They have some tough decisions they need to make," Billerman said.

Glastonbury Town Manager, Richard Johnson, talked about the tough decisions. He said asking him to work with $6 million less in a span of just one year will result in reductions in town and education spending, and could increase property taxes.

"I think it's a scary time to live in all of Connecticut though, because I know there are a lot of other towns experiencing similar cuts," Billerman said.

Not all towns are actually losing funding under the Governor's proposal. Big cities like East Hartford are seeing a bump in aid.

East Hartford got roughly $60 million last year and by the end of 2019, they'll be seeing $2 million more.

Billerman said she's willing to share the burden with cities that need the funds, but to an extent.

"To a degree, but I don't know that it's necessarily fair that the towns like Glastonbury need to fully support other towns," Billerman said.

Even with bills inevitably about to be raised and a school systems that most likely won't look the same way it does now, Billerman is proud to call Glastonbury her home.

"We're not going to leave, we love the town our neighborhood, hopefully it all works out," Billerman said.

Because this is just a proposal, nothing is set in stone with the state budget yet. In the meantime, the Glastonbury town manager wants to know what the formula was for creating this budget.

Eyewitness News asked the state for the formula, but hasn't heard back yet.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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