Connecticut Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy has said he will veto a Republican budget that was passed by the Connecticut General Assembly over the weekend. In stunning political move, three Senate Democrats—Paul Doyle of Wethersfield, Joan Hartley of Waterbury and Gayle Slossberg of Milford—and six House Democrats joined Republicans in voting for the bill.
House Minority Leader, Themis Klarides, a Derby Republican, praised passage of the bill. She says it means that despite the governor’s veto Republicans will be involved in a final budget deal.
“We are in this room, I believe because we love this state. And we want to help make it better.”
Connecticut’s budget is already more than two and a half months late. Malloy, who supported the Democrats’ budget plan, is currently controlling state spending under his limited executive authority. He has proposed Draconian cuts to state aid to cities and towns if there’s no budget by October 1. A deal with hospitals would also be jeopardized.
Legislative leaders from both parties have said they are prepared to resume negotiations to try and reach a consensus budget before October 1.
Previously, an attempt by Democrats to pass a budget collapsed last Thursday.
After lawmakers spent the whole day at the Capitol waiting for the debate to begin, by 11:30 p.m. it was evident that the Democrats were not able to bring up the bill.
Senate Democratic President Martin Looney of New Haven says they couldn’t get the documents prepared for a vote.
“Our latest report was that all the documents wouldn’t be ready until 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning. The House then decided to not try to vote this evening, given the length of the wait that would be required.”
Senate Republican President Len Fasano of North Haven says the Democrats never had the votes.
“How do you come out with a multiple page budget, all these tax increases, keep it a secret from your membership, and expect that you are going to get everybody in line in a couple of hours?”
Klarides says it was a waste of time to have lawmakers there all day.
“We spent the entire day here and nothing has happened."
Republicans are urging Malloy to sign their budget. They say nine Democrats voted for it, so it has bipartisan support. Malloy says the nine Democratic lawmakers probably did not understand how damaging cuts in the GOP budget would be to the Connecticut economy.
Malloy says he thinks it is unlikely lawmakers will pass a budget he will sign by October 1.