HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)— Less than 24 hours after he received the Republican budget from the Secretary of the State, the Governor signed a veto message and returned it, citing many of the problems he’s outlined in public appearances the past week.
“It’s violative of the law, it’s not balanced, it doesn’t do the things they say it will do, it doesn’t send to the communities the money they say it will send on a net basis.”
He also cited the cuts to the UConn and the scholarships for the needy that would be defunded in the Republican budget as unacceptable and counter productive to UConn’s status in the nation.
Republican leaders immediately changed course, from urging him to sign their budget to urging lawmakers to override the veto.
House Minority Leader Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) said, “I think there’s an opportunity and a responsibility by the legislators in this building to override this veto and move forward.”
The Republican Senate President Pro tem, Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven) added, “I’m kind of surprised he would sign it so soon to start the clock ticking, but it is what it is, and we’ll probably have a veto session, at least by our calculations, October 10th.”
Under the rules of the Assembly, it would take 24 votes in the State Senate and 101 votes in the House to over ride the Governor’s veto and make the Republican budget law. Those are considered insurmountable numbers. Legislative rules will require an attempt at an override early next month.
And it now appears that even a vote tomorrow on the hospital tax element of the budget is in doubt. Democratic Senate President Pro tem Sen. Martin Looney (D-New Haven) said, “It looks less likely than it was based upon the fact that there are continuing talks going on between Secretary Barnes and the hospitals.”
Secretary Barnes is Ben Barnes, the Governor’s budget director technically called the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. Late his afternoon, the coalition of Connecticut small towns joined the chorus of Republicans urging the legislature over ride the Governor’s veto.