House to vote on override Tuesday
Updated 9:47 pm, Monday, October 2, 2017
HARTFORD — After another 90-minute meeting with House and Senate leaders, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy emerged from his office on Monday night predicting that if a budget compromise cannot be reached within a week or so, his executive order will likely continue through November.
“I think that for the state to go into November would be a great mistake,” Malloy said about 7:30 p.m., after Republican and Democratic leaders took some swipes at one another while sharing a podium outside Malloy’s office. The lawmakers appeared no closer to a final, bipartisan deal, three full months after the start of the fiscal year.
“I would say that the same ideas are being talked about,” said Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven. “Did we find some common ground on smaller things? Yes, but it’s really going to come down to the bigger-ticket numbers. We still haven’t found common ground.”
Connecticut is the last of the 50 states to not have a new budget.
The House of Representatives has scheduled a noon session on Tuesday, at which the Democratic leadership anticipates the chamber will fall short of an override of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s recent budget veto. “We’ll come in at noon, we’ll put up on the board the budget that passed and was vetoed by the governor, and we’ll hold the vote to override the veto,” said Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz. He is confident the votes necessary to override the veto of the two-year $40-billion will not materialize.
“I am very disappointed in the fact that we are here now,” said House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, who charged the vote is being expedited by Democrats to avoid growing local backlash over Malloy’s executive order, which will withhold school funding this month for more than 80 of the state’s wealthier towns if a budget deal can’t be reached. “I feel that this is done in a quick manner for a reason. I understand the speaker’s feeling that he wants to get this done, but I don’t think it’s in the best interests of the state of Connecticut.”
Klarides and Republican Senate Leader Len Fasano said the budget that passed with the votes of three Democratic senators and five House Democrats should be the basis of future negotiations because it was as close to bipartisan as the state has gotten. Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, however, said the actual compromise should be somewhere between the Republican budget and a Democratic budget that was offered early on the afternoon of Sept. 15 and failed.
To override the veto, Republicans will have to round up 101 votes, two-thirds of the chamber. The GOP leaders maintained lawmakers could not meet for an override session until Oct.10, but Democrats, citing precedents and the fact that the special session of Sept.15 was never adjourned, said they can go ahead with the session on Tuesday.
“Is it an opportunity to end, a week early, the political silliness around this budget? Yes, and I’m taking advantage of it,” Aresimowicz told reporters. “We need to get serious about passing a budget for the state of Connecticut. They can say it was a bipartisan budget, which it was. But it wasn’t a compromise budget. They left one party out of the compromise and it’s the gentlemen who sits in this office that has the ability to veto.”
“Use of the word ‘silliness’ is offensive to the people of this state,” Klarides said, getting back to the podium. “Because you don’t like it, doesn’t make it silly. It is people lacking courage.”
”Taking $300 million out of higher education in the state of Connecticut that is vital to our economic recovery is silly,” Aresimowicz” replied. ”Going out and hurting the middle class in Connecticut is silly. We are elected officials of the state of Connecticut. If we take our jobs seriously and we love the state as much as we say we do, let’s get in a room. Let’s come up with a deal that works."
Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, said the negotiations are more cordial that what they might appear through Klarides’ remarks. “I’m concerned about her comments here and what sounded like partisanship,” Duff said.
“Their budget does a $300 million pension deferral. That is sticking gum in a hole.” He said another $200 million in unspecified savings is also included in the GOP plan that Malloy vetoed, and would leave the state with multibillion deficits after the two-year budget period.
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