One of the cuts in the Republican budget that passed over the weekend would affect Connecticut’s state universities and community colleges. Democrats said the plan would leave 15,000 students in the state system without financial aid in addition to making devastating cuts to UConn.
Jake Chamberlain, who is a Pell Grant recipient and a student at Gateway Community College, said he’s appalled.
“The hypocrisy of senators -- who make quite a lot of money than the average person here or the family of the average person here -- to tell us that we don’t deserve to have access to these financial resources that they already have,” said Chamberlain. “Why is it that people who don’t understand our financial circumstances are making decisions for us?”
During a press conference at Gateway Wednesday, New Haven Democratic leaders gathered and encouraged students to call their local representatives to voice their opinions.
Alanna Daniels, secretary of the student government, called the financial aid cuts scary.
“Having to deal with a budget cut that might affect my education in the future, for me or for my kids, it would be such a devastation to have had,” said Daniels. “But I will thrive through it and I will get the students to thrive through it.”
Another protest was held at UConn where health care students and faculty gathered to speak out about the potential impact that budget cuts would have on their education and training.
— UConn (@UConn) September 21, 2017
According to UConn, the GOP plan would reduce state support for the university overall by more than $300 million. School officials said that would be a devastating blow.
Governor Dannel Malloy has said he will veto the Republican budget. He also said Wednesday he believes it’s highly unlikely Connecticut will have a budget by October 1, the date his latest executive order is due to go into force.
That would mean drastic cuts to many K-12 school districts. All sides confirmed Wednesday they have yet to meet to discuss a compromise budget.
Meanwhile, Republican Senate leader Len Fasano, dismissed UConn's protests over potential cuts as "bellyaching."
Harriet Jones contributed to this report.