HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Republican state lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have signed a petition asking for a special session of the General Assembly to do what they call “rebuild the budget.” Republicans on Tuesday submitted 79 petitions, one for each GOP lawmaker, to the Secretary of State’s office. It would take a majority of lawmakers in each chamber to force a special session, that means republicans would have to convince four Senate Democrats and 12 House Democrats to agree.
“We are urging all lawmakers who disagree with Governor Malloy’s cuts to stand up and take action,” said Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven). “Our hospitals, our mental health programs, and our developmentally disabled services cannot wait until next year. The governor’s cuts will have a devastating impact on health care across the state. And we fear these cuts are only the beginning as the deficit is likely to continue growing. We cannot continue to budget month to month. We cannot continue to cut funding for hospitals and other vital services making the most vulnerable among us pay for failed budget policies. We need to get into a room together now and work collaboratively to rethink this budget to prevent a health care crisis. I know there are many Democrats who want to join us in protecting the most vulnerable. I know we all want to preserve health care quality and access. I hope all lawmakers will put politics aside and do the right thing.”
Democrats call the Republican move a stunt.
“I wish it were shocking that Republicans want to have a special session without actually proposing a balanced budget. Their failure to produce a comprehensive, balanced alternative budget demonstrates their total lack of commitment to actively participate in the budget process all the way to a responsible conclusion. In all of the hours of filibustering, they never showed the courage to offer a comprehensive substitute as an amendment to the proposed budget. This is just more empty rhetoric from a party that doesn’t have a plan” said State Senator Martin Looney.