Malloy signs budget, line item vetoes hospital tax language

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy (WTNH / Joe Sferazza)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A new state budget is now law.

123 days late, Governor Malloy signed a budget plan into law ending the longest state budget stalemate in the nation.  He did use his executive authority to veto part of the budget the one we’ve been telling you about for the past week; the tax on hospitals.

Shortly after he signed the 900 plus page document the Governor saying,  “The reality is that this budget is a lot of wins on the things that I thought and Nancy (Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman) thought were important to the state.”

On the plus side, the Governor says the budget plan includes a formula-driven education cost sharing grant that recognizes the impact of poverty and English language learners on cities like New Haven and Hartford; and it restores much of the higher education funding for UConn and the Connecticut State College system.  It makes actuarially required contribution payments to the state employee and teacher pension system.  The Governor added, “I had to balance what was accomplished versus what wasn’t accomplished and the necessity for Connecticut to have a budget.”

The Governor used his line item veto authority to cross out the language about the hospital tax saying, “If the legislature wants to avoid penalizing the citizens of the State of Connecticut by over a billion dollars, they need to act.”

The Governor is submitting language to lawmakers that he says the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Service will accept that should be approved as quickly as possible by the legislature to fill this potential hole.

“If the legislature wants there to be any chance at all of receiving CMS approval, then they need to change the language,” said the Governor.

Senate Republican Leader, Sen. Len Fasano was first to react saying,  “Well look at it. The urgency of which may not necessitate something necessarily tomorrow but certainly we’ll continue to look at it.”

Democratic leaders issuing similar statements, praising the Governor for signing the budget and saying they will review the hospital tax language the Governor is suggesting.

Jennifer Jackson, CEO, Connecticut Hospital Association, released the following statement:

The Governor’s line-item veto of hospital supplemental payments undermines the agreement to maximize federal funds for the benefit of the state, hospitals, and the patients they serve. 

In his line-item veto letter, Governor Malloy articulated concerns with language in the state budget document related to hospitals.  Hospitals have addressed his concerns.  We agreed to one change the state suggested, and we pointed out that the language in the budget approved by the General Assembly is similar to language used and approved in other states.  We stand ready to work with the state to address additional legitimate issues throughout the implementation of the hospital agreement contained in the budget.

We continue to be very grateful for the ongoing support of hospitals by the members of the General Assembly.

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