Parents of disabled children plea to stop state layoffs

The layoffs would lead to cuts at centers that house severely disabled people.

The layoffs would lead to cuts at centers that house severely disabled people. (4/21/17)

NEWINGTON - Parents of disabled children made a public plea to Gov. Dannel Malloy Friday to reconsider possible layoffs that he announced a day earlier.

It came in response to Malloy's warning that as many as 1,100 state employees could lose their jobs if unions didn't make more concessions.

The layoffs would lead to cuts at centers that house severely disabled people.

"These staff members are more than just a number on a budget line," says Maureen Schaffner-Duboys, of Fairfield. "They are the very lifeline for my brother."

The parents said they understood the state's budget issues, but thought the state's "most vulnerable" citizens shouldn't be part of balancing it. They're asking Malloy to find budget savings elsewhere. So is at least one state employees' union, which says it has already made money-saving concessions.

"State workers have continually come and helped the state have savings," says Jennifer Schneider, of the SEIU.

She says the state can look in other places to come up with an alternative.

"We have 17 billionaires," she argues. "We're one of the richest states in the entire country."

But overtaxing the rich to make budgetary ends meet may not be a viable solution. Ultra-wealthy residents have already been moving out of Fairfield County for states with lower taxes.

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