A diverse group of Connecticut residents gathered on the lawn of the state capitol in Hartford on Tuesday. Their message, however, was the same: Lawmakers and the governor must quickly come to an agreement on a state budget.
The current fiscal year ends one week from Tuesday with no signs that a budget agreement will be reached by that time.
Governor Rell says Democrats have been reluctant to make the spending cuts needed to deal with a projected $8 billion deficit for the next two fiscal years. Democrats counter by saying the governor would cut, or even eliminate, programs and services that many state residents rely upon.
Those who turned out for Tuesday's rally urged the legislature to pass a budget that does not cut programs they say they badly need.
Lawmakers who spoke were all Democrats who said it is unconscionable to try to balance the budget on the backs of the poor, the elderly, and the disabled.
Governor Rell said Tuesday the state's economy continues to deteriorate and that the majority Democrats who control the General Assembly must pass an affordable, responsible state budget for the next two years. She said the Democrats are calling for massive tax increases that would force her to veto the budget the Democrats are getting ready to offer.
A vote on a budget could come later this week, but details of what's in the plan have not been announced.