BRIDGEPORT - Local mayors say they are being forced to look for state financial help as winter weather continues to blast city budgets in southwestern Connecticut.

Amid a state budget deficit of between $193 to $356 million, local leaders say they will need more aid from the state to survive the winter and provide basic services like sanding and plowing.

During a state Conference of Municipalities meeting Monday, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch says he has already cut 220 jobs and is trying to chop away at the city?s $20 million deficit.

?We really have a long way to go, but Bridgeport is a couple of blizzards away from bankruptcy,? says Finch.

State lawmakers are being urged to come up with alternative ways to raise revenue.

Budget talks are set to begin at the capitol Wednesday.