State legislators and various organizations gathered at the Capitol Monday to protest proposed budget cuts by Governor Jodi Rell to programs and services that serve Connecticut's children. WNPR's Ray Hardman has more:
State Representative Toni Walker, House chair of the legislature's Human Services Committee, itemized over $47 million in proposed cuts that would affect children, including $2.6 million in cuts to school-based health clinics, almost $4 million for child day care, and almost $5 million for after-school programs. Walker says if the Governor's budget mitigation plan is passed by the General Assembly, many families in the state will have to make some painful decisions:
"A family's day care closes - which parent chooses to continue working, and which one has to stay at home? Connecticut tuition goes up, and oh my gosh, I can't believe that the tuition goes up. How do we keep our best and brightest in Connecticut? We can no longer sustain a limited vision to resolving our fiscal crisis. All of our proposed cuts have far-reaching impacts in a multitude of directions."
The protest comes on the day before yet another special session to deal with the state's $467 million deficit. Governor Rell has called lawmakers back to the Capitol to consider her plan to cover the deficit. State Representative Toni Walker says the state's budget should be balanced, but not on the backs of Connecticut children.
For WNPR, I'm Ray Hardman.