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Local lawmaker speaks against proposed cut to indigent burial benefit

A local lawmaker is speaking out in a proposed drop in the indigent burial benefit to $1,000.


Governor Dannel Malloy's proposed budget calls for a $400 cut in the indigent burial benefit, which was reduced by that amount last year as well.  Connecticut first offered a stipend, known as the indigent burial benefit, in 1984.  30 years ago it was $1,200.  The benefit increased to $1,800 in 2006. 


During a hearing before the legislature's Appropriations Committee yesterday, Bridgewater state Senator Rob Kane said the state can't claim to be there for the very vulnerable and then turn around and cut this benefit.  He says funeral homes in urban centers will have to pick up the difference.


The state Department of Social Services says Connecticut spent about $4.5 million in fiscal year 2014 for about 2,500 funerals and burials.  DDS says cutting the maximum benefit would bring Connecticut more in line with surrounding states.