Funding sought for possible BRAC fight

Hartford - Members of southeastern Connecticut's legislative delegation are pushing for at least $500,000 in state funds to help defend against future threats of closing the Naval Submarine Base.

The money largely would support efforts of the Subase Coalition, the group that fought to keep the base open in 2005. Although a Pentagon spokesman recently said there are no plans for another Base Realignment and Closure process in its next budget, state officials fear the BRAC threat could resurface for 2015.

"It's not a question of if, but when" the threat returns, Bob Ross, executive director of the state's Office of Military Affairs, said Friday, adding that "2015 is still out there, so we have to be prepared. We need to get the funding in place so when we start up we'll have the resources."

State Rep. Tom Reynolds,

D-Ledyard, said the amount of their state funding request is not final but he hopes it would be in the "high six figures." He noted that other states, including New York, are setting aside money to guard their defense industry assets.

The funds could be added to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's budget adjustment plan when it's taken up by the Appropriations Committee.

"I'm confident this governor gets it," Reynolds said. "The last BRAC taught all of us a lesson."

jreindl@theday.com

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