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Furloughed workers lead rally in Hartford

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HARTFORD -

Hundreds of people rallied in Hartford Wednesday as nonprofits across western Connecticut shut down for a furlough due to the state's failure to pass a budget.

Lawmakers are almost two months late passing a spending plan.

Protesters came from across the state. They included people with physical and intellectual disabilities and the nonprofit workers who take care of them. 

"I'm very frustrated, because there's nothing we can do about it," says Adriana Aristy, a Bridgeport mother whose son missed out on his usual day program Wednesday due to the furlough. "We just came here to show the government that we need their support."

Meanwhile, state Democrats released their latest budget proposal this afternoon. It includes a modest hike for sales tax, which Republicans and Gov. Dannel Malloy, a fellow Democrat, both oppose.

The plan would increase regular sales tax to 6.85 percent and increase fees for cigarettes, ridesharing trips, car registrations and restaurant meals.

"I doubt very much that this budget will get through anywhere, but it may be the basis to have some discussions," Malloy says.

The Democrats' new plan also completely cuts state funding to wealthier school systems like the ones in Fairfield and Westport. Bridgeport and Norwalk would see small increases.

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