HARTFORD - Five people were arrested at the state capital building after refusing to leave the Governor’s office Tuesday afternoon, according to State Capital Police.
The arrests came after a group representing the Connecticut Cross-Disability Lifespan Alliance showed up outside the Governor’s office demanding to talk to him. Their demand stemming from anger of the state’s current budget turmoil.
As the state continues on without a budget, some people with disabilities argue they are dealing with cuts to services they say they rely on. Some of the key impacts are to nonprofit groups and social service organizations who provide daily care programs for people with disabilities.
There is also a mounting fear among people with disabilities about the state budget proposals that are currently on the table, as they may also come with cuts to disability programs.
Those fears and frustrations are largely responsible for Tuesday’s incident at the Governor’s office.
“People of all ages with disabilities are desperately terrified because things are being removed and they don’t know if they are going to have what they need tomorrow or the next day or next week,” Elaine Kolb, a person with a physical disability, said. She added she and the group she was with Tuesday at the Capital are pleading the Governor for a “moral budget.”
“We want them to stop making cuts for essential services that make a difference as to whether or not we can live or have a life worth living,” Kolb said.
The Governor was not at the Capital during the protest.
Police said the incident occurred around 12:15 p.m. and that they arrested and charged Elanah Sherman, 66, of Norwich; Gary Gross, 67, of Unionville; Melissa Marshall, 57, of West Hartford; Molly Cole, 67, of Windsor; and Elaine Kolb, 67, of West Haven.
All five people were charged with 2nd degree trespassing. Some of the five people were disabled and in wheelchairs.
The people arrested were not handcuffed but were issued misdemeanor summons, released on promise to appear, and are due in court July 26.