HARTFORD — On Thursday, people with disabilities and their families joined the opposition of new budget cuts to human services in Connecticut.
"Speaker Sharkey and all the nice legislators I have met here in Hartford, where is your courage? People with disabilities have to have courage every day,” Justin Moore, a young man with intellectual and development disabilities, said Thursday.
Republicans Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano and House Minority Leader Themis Klarides hosted the press conference and called for a special legislative session to find alternatives to the cuts.
"This is what this is all about. This is why we get elected, this is why we run, to help people who need it,” Klarides said.
In February, the governor ordered rescissions for the state’s upcoming two-year budget.
The legislature restored some of those in June when the budget was passed.
Then last week, the governor said he needed to trim an additional $100 million out of the $40 billion two-year budget because of Wall Street volatility.
Human service providers said a $16 million cut would impact some of the state’s most vulnerable. The Department of Developmental Services is expected to lose approximately $7.5 million in funding.
"We don't have enough resources to serve all the need that there is in our state. That's a fact. That's the fact that we live with every single day in a very painful way,” DDS Commissioner Morna Murray said.
Murray also said that the department is working to effectively limit the impact of the cuts.
"Is there a way our consumers won't feel the $7.5 million cut? I can't say absolutely but I can say we are looking at every possible way, every single way, to make sure that they don't,” Murray said.