DeLauro, area officials meet on federal budget cuts
NEW HAVEN >> Uncertainty in Washington is causing uncertainty with many elected officials in Connecticut who are trying to determine the best course to shore up programs and funding amid potential federal budget cuts.
U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, D-3, met with mayors and first selectmen from the 3rd District municipalities Tuesday to discuss the impact of the federal budget on Connecticut towns.
“We need to work together,” DeLauro said.
She emphasized the importance of collectively figuring out the critical issues for each town and how to best proceed with an uncertain federal budget.
“This meeting is where the rubber meets the road,” she said.
Funding for job training, transportation and the opioid crisis were the major issues discussed. DeLauro said these areas hopefully will see increases in funding.
DeLauro said she is looking to increase apprenticeships to help the unskilled labor force in the state and increase other job training programs, which have suffered large budget cuts.
“Job training programs have been slashed,” DeLauro said. “These areas can provide services without raising property taxes.”
Officials of the municipalities voiced their concerns.
North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda cited transportation issues in his town and across the state.
Republican Prospect Mayor Robert J. Chatfield brought up the effect of the opioid epidemic on his community and across the state. Opioid-related overdoses accounted for more than 900 deaths in Connecticut last year.
DeLauro said the state is receiving a $5 million grant to help combat the crisis. The focus will be on treatment and to “and make sure we can provide mental health services, because these issues are often connected,” she said.
Most of the 25 cities and towns in the 3rd District were represented at the meeting.
DeLauro said she feels hopeful towns can work together to find solutions despite the many cuts in the federal budget.