Using the HARC as a backdrop, a non-profit that works with the intellectually disabled, Governor Dannel Malloy chided lawmakers for their inaction on even a short-term spending plan.
He said a "mini budget," as he’s called it, could have provided some relief from sweeping budget cuts that are the result of the state not having a two-year budget in place.
“Nobody was willing to check their egos at the door,” Malloy told a group of reporters, in a room filled with staff and advocates for the HARC.
At the HARC, staff there said they have had no choice but to start limiting programs and furloughing staff in response to the cuts that have already taken effect.
For now, some staff will be forced to take one unpaid day off soon, and those who oversee the facility said the wide-ranging impact across the organization will be significant.
“I don’t know if I can really quantify that but I can tell you that it is much more than that one person,” said Hajib Habesch, who sits on the Board of the HARC.
Democrats and Republicans in the Connecticut Senate had voiced their support for a mini budget, acknowledging it was a way forward even though it wasn’t their favored method of running state government.
In the Connecticut House, however, both Democrats and Republicans ruled out a short-term spending plan, killing any notion of passage.
Democrats in the House will meet Tuesday to discuss a possible route forward on the budget.
Gov. Malloy described the lack of a short-term budget in terms of a lost opportunity.
“If we’re not going to have a permanent budget or a biennium budget in a matter of days then let’s get beyond that and bring something about that brings a level of relief,” Malloy said. “That’s what I’m looking for.”
At the HARC, Irene Fortier spoke with the governor about her sister who’s been in the group’s care for nearly four decades.
Fortier said she hopes lawmakers and the governor comprehend what will happen without a budget for the foreseeable future.
She said, “It’s frightening to not know what the future holds for my sister or anyone else that the HARC is helping.”