After two months of back-and-forth involving the town\u2019s three major boards, the Trumbull Town Council voted Tuesday night to finally pass First Selectman Tim Herbst\u2019s 2016-17 budget. Trumbull Education Association (TEA) leadership announced that the town\u2019s teachers and other education employees will be joining the Connecticut Partnership 2.0 Plan \u2014 a switch in health care providers that claims savings of $3 million, according to Herbst; however, negotiations with the town remain ongoing, leaving a possible $1-million-plus shortfall on the education side of the budget. If there is a shortfall, student programs or the number of teachers are expected to be cut from the Board of Education\u2019s budget. The total budget proposed for the 2016-17 fiscal year was $163.4 million, which was reduced $231,025 throughout the night and passed with unanimous Republican support. Five of the six Democratic council members abstained from the vote after speaking out about the budget\u2019s potential shortfall \u2014 and with arbitration lingering as a possibility. Herbst told the council members that the savings from the health care switch could reach as high as $3.7 million. \u201cI want to emphasize this point, as we sit here tonight under the Anthem plan, under the self-insured model, in this fiscal year, there is a significant deficit in the health care plan,\u201d he said. \u201cSo to plug that hole and to save money going forward, going to the state health care plan is going to eliminate the current deficit.\u201d Councilman Jason Marsh was critical of approving a budget that was short on the education side. He said that originally the Board of Education proposed a budget that included $12.6 million for health care premiums. Somewhere along the way, he said, the Board of Education moved that line item to the town\u2019s side of the budget \u2014 to the Board of Finance. When moved back to the education side, the number was $11.6 million \u2014 $1 million less than originally proposed, and hinging on the TEA\u2019s negotiations with the Partnership 2.0 plan. \u201cMy problem is how they arrived at the budget number,\u201d said Councilman Marsh. \u201cWe as a body need to plan for the worst and hope for the best, not hope for the best and keep our fingers crossed.\u201d The total education budget passed was $107.4 million \u2014 a reduction from the originally proposed $108.7 that went in front of the council\u2019s finance committee on April 7. In addition, the TEA's leadership reported that over 80 non-tenured teachers are being laid off by Friday due to the potential budget cuts. The highest possible number\u00a0 Marsh\u2019s opposition to the final number drew Councilman Jack Testani\u2019s ire, and he asked the Democratic councilman, \u201cAre you proposing a reduction Mr. Marsh? Because that\u2019s all we can do tonight?\u201d Majority Leader Rick Costantini said after the vote that the Town Council funded the education budget with \u201cthe highest number possible.\u201d \u201cI don\u2019t believe in abstaining in votes as the five Democrats did,\u201d he said.