More than 1,000 protest at state Capitol demanding more money toward essential services
More than 1,000 protesters converged on the state Capitol, standing shoulder to shoulder, demanding the state put more money into essential services. It comes as state lawmakers try and hammer out a state budget for the next two years.
They filled the front of the Capitol and formed a human chain, saying despite Connecticut being one of the wealthiest states in the country, there are hundreds of working people who are struggling.
Those demonstrators are asking state legislators to put more money toward essential areas like education, health care, housing and social services--which they believe would help Connecticut families' quality of life.
They say adjusting the spending cap and establishing an equity fund to dedicate more money outside the general fund would be able to go towards basic services working families need.
Currently, Gov. Ned Lamont and state law makers are negotiating a state budget, both sides say they are close to a deal and arguing they are helping.
"I think all of us agree on the necessity of the middle-class tax cut. I think most people, almost everybody, supports the guardrails that have been so successful in this state, you know, going back five or six years - given us five balanced budgets in a row," Lamont said.
House Speaker Matt Ritter said they're making progress, but warned these groups won't get everything they want.
"We're going to meet today with the governor...we did turn a corner yesterday, I think, and that was really good," he said.
But these groups say the budget proposals on the table shortchange struggling families in the state.
"We know we have the resources, we know that there's money, there's ways to to go around the constraints of the spending cap," said Sarah Ganong, state director of Connecticut Working Families.
Lawmakers have until June 7 to pass a budget, but the House speaker wants a deal by the end of this week.