Budget protest at Capitol, celebration a few blocks away

(WTNH/ Mark Davis)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hundreds of families directly affected by the state budget stalemate converged on the State Capitol Wednesday.  They were urging lawmakers and the Governor to reach a deal that will fund the non profit agencies that serve their loved ones.

Wednesday marked the 54th day with no budget, and the second day that the state’s non-profits have had to face with no funding.

Hundred of Connecticut residents and family members that depend on services for the intellectually and physically disabled filled the north side of the State Capitol as the agencies that serve them faced a second forced furlough day because of the state budget stalemate.

Among them; 20 year old Jacob Botwick and his mother Jennifer. They made the trip to the Capitol from New Haven to make a simple point.  “My message is to pass a budget that supports people with
intellectual and developmental disabilities because it’s going to impact me personally,” said Jennifer.

Other parents also had to take time off from work today because the various agencies that serve their adult sons and daughters had to close.  “I’m not going to be here forever. He deserves to be independent, have an apartment and move on but he needs support.”   Lynn Arezzini brought her son Karl and said,  “Day programs are being starved of the funding they need so the whole thing is just really dire. It’s the worst now that it’s ever been and we’re very concerned.”

It was a sharp contrast just a few blocks away as every top political leader in the state celebrated the grand opening of the new, $140 million UConn Hartford campus. After the ribbon cutting the Governor said he sympathizes with those at the rally, “If I wasn’t here I would have been with them. I met with some of those folks earlier today.”

More details of the budget plan being pushed by Democrats were rolling out today…the one that includes a hike in the state Sales Tax.

Here’s the exchange I had with the Governor today on that issue;

[DAVIS] Would you or would you not veto a bill that included an increase of any kind in the state Sales Tax?

[MALLOY] “If that’s the only revenue? You know…that would be interesting…I’d take a look at it.”

Later in the day the Governor’s office issuing a statement saying the latest budget plan is not something he could support in its current form.

Here’s details of the House Democrats budget proposal.

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