Nearly 500 Dept. of Developmental Services employees to be laid off

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HARTFORD -- The latest round of state layoffs is hitting the Department of Developmental Services.

A budget plan released Tuesday said 76 employees will be laid off after September 1, 2016. Another 416 employees will be laid off after January 1, 2017.

113 layoffs were already completed as of this budget plan which took effect in July.

"The plan follows national trends and best practices for reducing publicly-run residential and larger institutional facilities and continuing on a path of providing cost effective, community-based options for individuals supported by DDS," Commissioner Morna Murray said in a memo to the state.

"The DDS budget plan maintains the trend toward reducing service delivery through the public sector by transitioning some individuals currently being served in public sector settings into the care of highly qualified private non-profit providers," Murray added. "In most cases, supports will continue at the same location."

The union SEIU 1199 released a statement in response to the layoffs:

"The Governor’s proposal would decimate our state's ability to provide services for the disabled," said spokesperson Jennifer Schneider.  "Services for the intellectually and developmentally should be a core function of our state.  If the state can find $22 million to give to the world's largest hedge fund than surly they can find the money to keep the disabled in the only home many of them have ever known.  We urge the Governor to find a better way than balancing the budget on the backs of the disabled."