Fear among those that depend on services for the disabled because of budget stalemate

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Legislative leaders have admitted there will be no budget vote Tuesday. With this news, another week without a state budget is beginning to show fear and pain at more of the state’s non-profit agencies that take care of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

Close to 12,000 Connecticut residents receive services for the intellectually and physically disabled in more than 150 different non-profit agencies across the state.

Agencies that depend on state funding, which has been limited for most of the past decade, are now facing a ten percent further cut under the Governor’s Executive Order because the legislature has failed to pass a budget.

Related Content: Budget crisis cutting off Connecticut’s most vulnerable

People like 69-year-old Jane Minor are facing additional difficulties due to the lack passing of a state budget. She was born perfectly healthy but contracted a fever as an infant which caused developmental disabilities she and her family must cope with daily. This is a task made easier by the services of the non-profit known as “Harc,” which serves communities from Durham in Southern Connecticut all the way to the Massachusetts border.

The fear is these services will be curtailed, or worse, eliminated for some. Jane’s nephew, Greg Calnen, asks,  “Where’s she gonna go, what’s she gonna do? I’m working, our family works, so she would be…the burden [that] would then fall onto us to say what’s gonna happen. Where can we go? What can we do?”

42-year-old Anne Cloonan gets help at home but is able to take the bus to a job at a Hartford law firm every day. However, she couldn’t do it alone. Her dad, Bob Cloonan, says, “These people depend on having a place to go every single day.”

Related Content: Capitol Report: News 8’s Mark Davis shares his thoughts on Capitol happenings

The Governor visited Harc on Monday and said that if the legislature would just pass the 90-day mini budget, the cuts to this agency and others would only be about half as bad. However, Gov. Malloy explained that with no budget, his hands are tied, saying, “If the people in the legislature were feeling the kind of pain that the people at Harc were feeling we’d get there. And when they start to feel that level of discomfort we will get there.”

While the Speaker of the House says negotiations between legislative leaders and the Governor’s office are “progressing,” the Governor said today they are nowhere near a budget.

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