HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — There’s a push to exempt Social Security income from state taxes in Connecticut.

Many lawmakers are said to be in support of the idea, but with a large budget deficit looming, the question is whether the state can afford to lose about $45 million in tax revenue.

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State Sen. Len Fasano says exempting seniors from having to pay taxes on their Social Security would help curb the exodus of retirees from the state.

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“People who are of that age group are folks who do a lot of volunteerism in our state, they are pillars of our community, and we’re forcing them out of the state because they don’t want to pay that tax,” Fasano said. “We have a massive migration out of Connecticut, which is hurting our economy. So I think one of the things we need to talk about is how to keep people here, how to keep those folks with money here.”

The idea is gaining support among many lawmakers in Hartford, Fasano said, adding that they like the idea of seniors remaining in Connecticut and spending their retirement income there.

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But the big issue looms as lawmakers struggle to close a projected budget deficit of $1.4 billion.