I had the privilege of joining some of my fellow legislators, as well as members of the Intellectual/Developmentally Disabled Community, at a Furlough Day Rally at the Capitol on Wednesday, August 23, 2017. The furlough day was the result of the budget impasse in Hartford. Typically, the state budget is drafted and approved by the General Assembly on or before the last day of the regular session, which was on June 7, 2017 this year. That day came and went, and still no budget has been approved. House Republicans offered several fully vetted balanced budgets, and was ready to proceed before the end of session in June, but unfortunately, these were never called by the Speaker for a vote.
The legislature’s inaction has left many communities across Connecticut in a state of limbo. Until a budget is passed, Gov. Malloy will continue running the state by executive orders. School districts have pushed back their start dates, and staff and faculty members face layoffs. Even more troubling is the cuts to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, some of our state’s most vulnerable residents. At the rally, many individuals living with I/DD and their families spoke out and expressed their disappointment with the state’s budget crisis, and how this unfortunate situation has left them uncertain about the future. We must take quick and decisive action to help those most in need of our assistance. Every passing day makes their lives more difficult, and they simply cannot afford to wait.
As always, I will do my best to keep you posted on any developments regarding the budget situation.
During a social event last week, a constituent – a long-time Democrat and a friend – approached me insisting to know what compromises the Republicans were prepared to make in order to pass a state budget. He is very concerned – as am I and so many of my colleagues – about the negative impact of having our Governor run our state by executive order in the absence of legislative action.
Under these executive orders, non-profits who work with the elderly and the disabled are being forced into furlough days, veterans’ funeral honor guards have been eliminated, and even the Fresh Food For The Elderly program has been defunded mid-stream, leaving some farmers stuck with worthless state checks they can’t collect.
Amid these devastations the governor announced the establishment of a heavily subsidized bus route linking UConn Storrs to Hartford. Governor Malloy is using taxpayer dollars and mandatory increased student fees to fund a project that makes no sense whatsoever while our state carries a $5.1 billion deficit into this next two-year budget cycle. Still, the worst is likely yet to come. Under this power of executive order, the governor also wants to redistribute education and other municipal aid from our towns to our major cities. This will have a devastating effect on our local schools. Suffield’s educational funding would be cut by 70% (approximately $4.5 million) and East Granby’s by 100% ($1.5 million), so that they are left with nothing.
Each year countless animals across the country are rescued in a “Clear the Shelters” event that helps local animal shelters find forever homes for homeless pets. This event helps shelters free up limited space for other animals who are abandoned, neglected, struggling, lost or injured, and in need of rescuing.
This year, the event will take place tomorrow Saturday, August 19th and I am proud to share that Windsor Locks Animal Control, Hole in One Animal Rescue, Connecticut Cat Connection and Mary’s Kitty Korner will be participating. Attendees will have the opportunity to adopt a new companion with potentially reduced fees, for this event only.
As a pet parent, I proudly stand by the mission of this event. Shelter organizations work tirelessly to place abandoned and mistreated animals into loving homes and, this year, you could make a real difference and save a life.
Local locations and times include:
Windsor Locks Animal Control
4 Stanton Road
Windsor Locks, CT
By Appointment (Call 860-627-1461)
Hole in One Animal Rescue
592 Elm Street
Windsor Locks, CT
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Connecticut Cat Connecticut
40 Stevens Mill Road
11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Mary’s Kitty Korner
281 Salmon Brook Street
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
If you have are able and have considered adding a new pet to your family, please consider adoption. There are countless animals who need good homes, and caring friends to look after them.