Veto threat prompts House to cancel today’s session

Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s promised veto has prompted House Democrats to cancel today’s vote on the deficit mitigation plan approved early today by the Senate.

Doug Whiting, a spokesman for House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan, D-Meriden, said that House leaders decided around 9 a.m. there was no point to bring the plan to a vote, given Rell’s response.

The Senate approved the plan 21-15, three votes short of a veto-proof margin.

Donovan’s office issued this statement:

“Governor Rell continues to stand in the way of Connecticut’s progress
toward recovery,” Speaker Donovan said. “Unfortunately, she is out of
state, so we will have to wait to talk with her to hear her concerns.”

Speaker Donovan continued, “I commend Senate Democrats who passed a
strong mitigation plan early this morning, one that makes significant
spending cuts, restores aid to cities and towns, and delays a tax break
for owners of wealthy estates. The plan has many of the Governor’s own
ideas, as well as additional cuts for next year.

“This is the second time the Governor has said no to legislation that
would resolve the budget deficit,” he said. “Her threat to veto this
legislation is further proof that she would cut aid to cities and towns
rather than delay tax breaks for wealthy estate owners. She’s putting
those tax breaks for the wealthy ahead of solving the state’s budget

“We passed a budget last year and a mitigation plan in December, and we
will pass another mitigation plan. We will not hide from these
challenges. The people of Connecticut cannot afford it.

“I think it’s significant that Republicans and Democrats soundly
defeated her own plan in the Senate last night. She clearly has no
support for her plan. We made some difficult decisions this week but we
were able to put a plan together. I hope the Governor will join us in
making these difficult decisions because they pale compared with the
challenges that lie ahead.”

Adam Liegot, the governor’s spokesman, issued this statement:”The Speaker of the House complains of a veto ‘threat.’ Governor Rell did not make a veto threat. She made a veto promise.

“Governor Rell would have definitely vetoed the Democrats’ deficit mitigation package because it contained three times as many tax increases as spending cuts.

The taxpayers of Connecticut should be grateful that the House of Representatives cancelled their Saturday vote. The cancellation saved taxpayers money, time and unnecessary political theater.

Majority Democrats continue to show that they simply cannot cut spending and reduce the size and scope of state government. The people of Connecticut want a resolution to our budget problems. They do not want political fighting and sniping. Now is the time for all sides to work together, make tough decisions and tackle this budget deficit head on.”