Gov. Dannel P. Malloy vetoed two more bills Monday, rejecting measures regarding the municipal property tax circuit-breaker program and the cost of removing fallen tree limbs.

Monday’s vetoes bring to four the number of bills the governor has blocked from the 2014 regular General Assembly session, which adjourned in early May.

The circuit-breaker measure involves an existing program that reduces property taxes for certain, low-income elderly and disabled residents on a fixed income. The bill specifically would have allowed communities to limit credits for recipients based on the equity in their homes.

“I have reservations about the policy of this bill, particularly since the state currently reimburses towns at a nearly 90 percent rate for the property tax loss associated with this program,” the governor wrote in his veto message.

Malloy also rejected a bill Monday that would have held tree owners liable for the cost of removing a tree that had fallen on a neighbor’s property if:

  • The affected neighbor had notified the tree owner previously that the tree was diseased or likely to fall.

  • And if the tree owner had failed to prune or remove the limb within 30 days of receiving that notice.

“I am concerned that this bill weighted too heavily in favor of neighbors who want branches and trees taken down and provides no avenue for a tree owner to contest a neighbor’s assertion that their tree or branch is ‘likely to fall,’” Malloy wrote. “Without such a provision, there is a strong possibility that tree owners will feel compelled to remove a tree upon merely receiving a letter from a neighbor, even when the tree may, in fact, be healthy.”

In recent weeks, the governor also vetoed bills that would have:

  • Created a new public review process for proposals to increase health or long-term care insurance rates.

  • And lifted the statutory ban on fishing in Connecticut waters for a species now under consideration for threatened status, the glass eel.

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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