Gov. Dannel Malloy followed through with his promise to veto the Republican budget today, saying that it “grabs savings today on the false promise of change a decade from now.”The veto of the $40.7 billion, two-year GOP plan came as Connecticut enters its 14th week without a budget. Having narrowly passed the State Senate by a 21-15 majority on Sept. 15 and the House by a 77-73 vote on Sept. 16, the budget now returns to the legislature, which must decide on whether to override the veto. Such an action requires a two-thirds vote: 101 in the House and 24 in the Senate.
Given that only five House Democrats and three Democrats in the Senate voted in favor of the plan, that appears to be a tall order: Republicans would need 29 House Democrats and six Democratic Senators to join them in overriding the veto.
Connecticut faces a projected $3.5 billion deficit over the next two fiscal years.
House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) said in a statement, “While not unexpected, the governor’s decision today to veto the bipartisan budget is frustrating if not infuriating, not just for the legislators who got it through our chambers here, but more so for the local leaders who for months have pleaded for us to get a budget in place to allow them to provide the core services their constituents expect – educating children, paving roads and simply keeping town halls open.
“Make no mistake, the governor has stamped his seal on this crisis faced by municipalities and people who depend on core state services – he rejected the only plan that made it through the legislature, favoring his roughshod approach that will undoubtedly draw cities and towns deeper into the ‘permanent fiscal crisis’ he and his team in the legislature fueled,” he said.
“We intend to fight for the bipartisan budget, which fully funds local schools and municipalities, by pushing our Democrat colleagues to override the governor’s veto,” Klarides said.
Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) said that Malloy’s veto “has now put Connecticut in chaos.”
“His executive order cuts core social services, slashes municipal aid, and zeros out funding for public education – a constitutional requirement,” Fasano added. “There are widespread implications of vetoing this budget and allowing the executive order to remain in effect that no one has a full understanding of yet.
“For example,” he continued, “the governor’s actions today threaten federal funding for programs such as women’s crisis centers. Lawmakers can correct this by overriding the governor’s veto. But first they are going to have to make a decision. Are they going to vote the party line? Or are they going to vote to protect their towns, cities, students and core services? What is their priority: politics or policy?”