State Public Service Workers Respond to Governor’s Latest Budget Cuts – “Rell Targets The Most Vulnerable Once Again”by Matt O'Connor on November 25th
State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) representatives today responded to the Governor’s latest budget mitigation plan with frustration over her continued cuts to vital public services. Yesterday, Governor Rell announced a $470 million proposal and called the General Assembly back into special session to vote on the plan before the end of the calendar year.“We’re deeply disappointed, but not all that surprised Governor Rell is proposing massive cuts” said Patrice Peterson, Secretary-Treasurer of CSEA/SEIU Local 2001. “For example, she’s recently directed gutting the state’s Early Connections program for infants and toddlers with Autism and other developmental delays, so the latest cuts are sadly nothing new” she continued. “Now that she’s not running for re-election, she should be guided only by doing the right thing and less pressured politically.”
The Governor is proposing $16.8 million in cuts that target services provided by the Departments of Social Services (DSS) and Developmental Services (DDS). Her plan would eliminate funding for High Meadows treatment facility, reduces the Autism pilot program, reduces AIDS services for children, suspends special magnet school subsidies, and eliminates expansion of elderly nutrition funding among many other vital public services. Governor Rell has also proposed deep cuts to municipal aid for cash-strapped cities and towns.
“By cutting vital services on the state level, and also cutting funding on the local level, the Governor is creating the perfect storm,” said Sal Luciano Executive Director of Council 4 AFSCME. “Cities will have no choice but to increase property taxes which impact everyone — small businesses, the poor, the middle class” he said “This will affect absolutely everyone in our state. It’s going to be a dreadful holiday season for a lot of people if this proposal is passed.”
Governor Rell’s plan does not address or identify any new revenue sources but attempts to close the budget gap with even more draconian cuts to state services and aid. The legislature is scheduled to come back into special session on December 15.
CSEA/SEIU and Council 4 are two of thirteen unions in the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC), which serves to unite approximately 50,000 Connecticut State Employees to address issues of common concern. To learn more about the coalition’s campaign for a fair budget and a livable state with great public services visit www.InThisTogetherCT.org.
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