(CBS Connecticut) — At the state Capitol, lawmakers and representatives of the clean energy industry today called for the restoration of some or all of $175-million worth of state energy efficiency funds.

The money was swept out of the funds to help balance the state budget.

General Assembly Energy and Technology Committee Co-chair Lonnie Reed says she is hoping to alter state law, to make it more difficult to use energy efficiency for other purposes in the future.

Reed said 34,000 people work in industries that depend on the funding.

“They are beginning to lay people off, they are beginning to downsize, they are beginning to be unable to take new projects,” Reed said. “It is having an immediate impact, and it is only going to get worse.”

The money comes from a surcharge on electric bills.

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