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The state is so desperate to save money that even the dead are taking a hit.


One of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget proposals would reduce spending for burials for the indigent from $1,400 to $1,000. The reduction would save $1 million.

The money is used to help pay for a funeral, cremation, or burial for those with no ability to pay. The budget document says $1,000 is more in line with the benefit offered in other states.

But the living are also going to feel the pinch if the General Assembly goes along with cuts eyed by Malloy in his quest to slice $570 million from the next budget.

Though most of the reduction isn’t detailed — the governor wants to leave it up to commissioners to reduce much of their spending — the spending plan Malloy provided does mention quite a few specifics as well.

Among the cuts eyed in the governor’s proposal are the closure of a prison, a reduction in mental health and substance abuse grants, less money for arts and tourism, the closure of two highway rest stops, and much else.

Malloy aims to save $30,000 by eliminating one-time funding for the Veterans History Project at Central Connecticut State University and $380,000 for the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy at CCSU.

His proposal would abolish a computer access program that provides computers, training, and high-speed Internet access to 1,600 poor families in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury in order to save $155,000.

Early childhood literacy also is targeted.

The Even Start program that gives families access to the training and support they need to create a literate home environment is on the chopping block to save $451,000. Another early reading program would be erased to come up with $142,000 more.

Adult education pilot programs in Manchester and Meriden — as well as at Gateway Community College and at a New Haven high school — are slated to end to save $400,000.

The budget proposal suggests ending the state’s $71,000 in funding for the Connecticut Radio Information Service that provides quality audio access services for people who are blind or print-challenged.

In the Office of Aging, Malloy’s plan would save $206,000 by reducing funding for fall prevention and respite programs.

Highway rest areas in Southington and Willington would close under the plan, along with the welcome center in Westbrook. That would save almost $1.2 million.

Hospitals aren’t spared either.

The Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is slated to get $725,000 less. And the $30 million in hospital cuts made in December will be carried forward.

Young people on Medicaid who need orthodontic work may have a harder time, too. The proposal would save $3.2 million by making it so fewer people will qualify for assistance.

Malloy seeks to take $700,000 from the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund by axing an asthma outreach and education program and dropping support for pediatric and adult Easy Breathing programs in 2017.

State Department of Public Health support for community health centers would cease in order to save $422,000, while paring school-based health centers would save another $477,000.

A study of Lake Pocotopaug in East Hampton would be axed to save $100,000.

The Department of Economic and Community Development would save nearly $500,000 by ending funding for the Connecticut Grizzlies, the Stamford Parade, the New Haven Symphony, the Blackwell School of Music, Opsail, Schooner and the Dream It, Do It program.

A pilot program for veterans at the Department of Labor would be pared by $27,000.

The Department of Consumer Protection would ax its Office of State Broadband to save $307,000.

The Health Equity Commission would be wiped out to save $147,000.

State Police overtime would be reduced by $930,000 through dispatch center changes and ending discretionary trooper services for the New London Sailfest, Hartford Riverfest, The Big E, Stamford Alive at 5, State Police Youth Week, and the New Haven MC/ATV Rally.

Malloy aims to save $207,000 by decommissioning the 240 Oral School Road Building in Mystic.

The general welfare fund for veterans is slated for a $179,000 reduction.

The cuts sought are so widespread that even Iowa State University will suffer a bit.

Malloy hopes to save $400,000 by axing a program that helps Connecticut students study veterinary medicine there.