NORWALK - Gov. M. Jodi Rell was in Bridgeport Wednesday afternoon to discuss her bare-bones budget plan with Mayor Bill Finch.Initially, Finch said he was pleased with the budget. He said he appreciates the governor's pledge to keep education funding and direct aid to cities flat despite the $8 billion deficit.The mayor said he is upset that Bridgeport stands to lose about $2.5 million in other forms of aid and grants.
During her visit, Rell drove home her plan not to balance the budget on the backs of taxpayers. One of Rell's top priorities is the suspension of unfunded state mandates for two years.
"We hear it year after year after year - 'It's no more mandates without appropriate funding,'" said Rell.Finch echoed the governor's concerns, saying many good intentioned directives from the state end up hitting the mayor's desk without the funds to follow through.
"The message we want to give to the governor and legislators is cities, especially Bridgeport, are already sacrificing a great deal and there's not much more room for sacrifice," said Finch.