Massive budget cuts loom over the University of Connecticut as the state continues to operate without a budget for an 87th day.
The state House of Representatives and state Senate passed the Republican-backed budget, which Gov. Dannel Malloy has vowed to veto. On Monday, he took his fight against that spending plan to UConn’s Avery Point campus in Groton, the campus UConn officials said they will have to close if this version of the budget passes.
"We cannot allow this budget to take a gigantic step back for the University of Connecticut and roll it back from the wonderful progress it has made throughout its history,” Malloy said.
The budget contains $300 million in cuts for UConn over the next two years.
UConn officials said the proposed cuts could lead to increased tuition, closing regional campuses and chopping financial aid.
UConn President Susan Herbst and UConn students holding “I Love Avery Point” signs attended the governor’s news conference.
Meanwhile, Republicans are defending their budget.
"… (W)e have been giving UConn billions of dollars over multiple years. But now when solving a budget deficit totaling billions upon billions of dollars, when core social services are in jeopardy of being slashed, all areas of government have to scale back and live within the state’s means" State Senator Heather Somers (R-Groton) said.
"Well, it's getting a lot of publicity because president Herbst is out there making it sound like it's Armageddon and you know the truth of the matter is of this $200 million that she doesn't want to absorb but she can, look if she has a solution, I want to hear her solution," said Senate Republican Leader. Len Fasano.
Spending cuts will be triggered on Oct. 1 if no budget is passed and the governor has expressed doubts that legislators will make that deadline.