Municipal leaders came to the state Capitol Tuesday to urge state lawmakers to maintain municipal aid.

After thanking them for rejecting a proposed $84 million cut in municipal aid this past December, Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold said municipalities understand the state will continue to struggle with historic deficits and the temptation to cut municipal aid will remain.

“Municipal aid is an enticing target whenever the state’s budget gets tight,” Griswold said.

Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell proposed $45 million in unspecified municipal cuts on Monday as part of her deficit mitigation plan. The $45 million cuts would come in the second year of the budget and would be in addition to the $12 million in cuts Rell proposed as part of her budget address in February.

“The state must understand, however, that towns and cities cannot sustain their service-delivery responsibilities when municipal aid is cut, mandate relief is denied, and non-property tax revenue options continue to be unavailable,” Griswold told the Appropriations Committee Tuesday.

New Haven Mayor John DeStefano said the state needs to start thinking about how it provides employee health care and pension costs.

“The current system is not sustainable,” DeStefano said.

Click the play arrow to watch DeStefano talk about what he thinks needs to change.

“I see very little getting done this year,” DeStefano said.

He said he sees lawmakers crossing their fingers hoping things get better this year until a new governor is elected.