Facing a state budget deficit now double earlier estimates, local governments are worried they will take the hit. This comes as two of Connecticut’s biggest cities have announced dozens of layoffs.
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities wants local government cuts off the table as legislators look for ways out of the state funding crisis.
The group made the request to Governor Rell in a letter on Monday, before her administration announced a new projected deficit of more than 300 million dollars.
That was also the same day that Bridgeport announced layoffs of 31 city workers, including ten police supervisors. New Haven laid off 35 workers last week and Hartford is in talks with municipal unions about ways to pare down its workforce.
It is not just Connecticut's biggest cities that are feeling the crunch. Connecticut Conference of Municipalities spokesman Kevin Maloney says it is a challenging time for towns of all sizes.
"You have many small towns who went through budget rejection after budget rejection this spring, because residents don't want to pay anymore higher property taxes. There are still a handful of towns now who are still without an operating budget for this fiscal year as they're into 2nd, 3rd, 4th referendums on their budget."
Maloney says his group isn't responding to any specific state budget proposals. He says local governments want to head off consideration of any mid-year cuts, something they went through just five years ago.
"In fact the state has never really replaced that money that they took away midyear that year, so it was a real heart attack for towns, and we have marching orders from our members to do everything possible to keep that from happening again."
But with the governor's bigger deficit numbers, Rell says her administration is considering cuts in all parts of the budget, including state employee layoffs.