Gov. Dannel P. Malloy voiced doubt that the partial government shutdown would end soon and said the state is taking steps to ensure that vital services continue to be met.
“I’m very concerned about WIC, I’m very concerned about disabled veterans,” the governor said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference at the state Capitol.
Malloy said his administration is communicating with social service providers and others impacted by the shutdown, which he believes could linger on for some time.
“I think we’ll be talking about a plan in the coming days because, after a kind of a hopeful Thursday and Friday…it appears to me, if I had to bet, that they’re not going to reopen the government soon,” he said.
The state has already stepped in to help fund a Bridgeport Head Start program that was endanger of closing its doors after funding dried up due to the shutdown. Malloy said the state will look into helping other safety net services similarly imperiled by the shutdown.
“We’re looking at other programs including additional Head Start programs that after Nov. 1 could fall into similar situations,” Malloy said.
But, he added, “we don’t have an unlimited amount of money to spend.”
While Malloy expressed hope that the state will be reimbursed by the federal government for the funds it extended, there are no guarantees. “We cannot have pregnant women go without nourishment, we cannot have young children go without nourishment,” he said. “That’s a reality and so I’m focused on those life-sustaining, family-sustaining services…[that are] of paramount importance.”
Malloy’s frustration with Congressional Republicans was evident. “This is not the Republican party that any of us would recognize,” he said. “The Republican [party] has been hijacked by a hyper-political group of people who are more than willing to cut off your nose to spite your face.”