House to consider overriding Malloy budget veto Tuesday

CTMirror.org file photos

Senate Republican leader Len Fasano, left, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy

The House of Representatives will waste little time in deciding whether to allow Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s veto of a Republican-crafted state budget to stand.

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, announced Monday that the chamber will come into session at noon Tuesday to settle the potential veto override question.

The Senate had not announced any session plans as of early Monday afternoon. Legislative leaders originally had targeted Oct. 10 as the date for an override session.

Senate Republican leader Len Fasano of North Haven said the quick call for an override session was meant to prevent public support from building for an override.

“Every day pressure increases to adopt a budget that paves a path out of chaos for our state,” Fasano said. “But the speaker is trying to take the only viable option off the table as quickly as possible. He is rushing to hold a veto session in an attempt to kill this budget before sympathetic Democrats have a chance to witness the full devastating effect of the only alternative: the governor’s executive order.”

The Democratic governor last week vetoed a GOP budget that had garnered support from five Democrats in the House and three in the Senate when it narrowly passed in mid-September. To override the veto, the GOP would need support from 29 Democrats in the House and six in the Senate.

Malloy called the vetoed budget a gimmick-laden measure that would consign Hartford to bankruptcy, devastate public higher education, invite certain lawsuits from state employees and add to Connecticut’s pension liabilities.

“In sum, this budget is unbalanced, unsustainable and unwise,” Malloy wrote in his message.

Republican leaders have countered that none of the budget proposals offered to date — including those from Malloy — are perfect as the state tries to close huge projected shortfalls.

Analysts say state finances, unless adjusted, would run $1.6 billion in deficit this fiscal year and $1.9 billion in the red in 2018-19.

Municipal advocates also have endorsed the GOP-crafted budget, which largely holds local aid flat.

Connecticut has gone 13 weeks into the new fiscal year without a budget, forcing Malloy to manage finances by executive order.

Because surging retirement benefit and other debt costs are fixed by contract — and because state income tax receipts aren’t growing as expected — Malloy has had to reduce spending for municipal aid and social services.

The governor’s executive order eliminates the entire October installment of the Education Cost Sharing grant to 85 school districts.

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