HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Dannel Malloy says it can’t work and it will make the deficit worse.
In spite of that, state lawmakers approved a fix to the Medicare Savings Program.
The governor says he’ll veto the plan, but it doesn’t matter because it passed by a veto-proof majority.
By an overwhelming majority, the State Senate (32-1) followed an overwhelming vote in the House (130-0) approving a plan to fix the Medicare Savings Program.
It means 113,000 seniors and disabled will be covered by the program until at least July 1. Lawmakers are pledging to do a further fix for the rest of the year in February.
Lawmakers from both political parties heard from thousands of residents affected by this cut far more than they had expected.
Sen. Martin Looney (D-New Haven) the Democratic Senate President Pro tem stated, “Found a way to restore benefits for 113,000 seniors in the state of Connecticut. On the average more than 3,000 in each of our districts.”
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House Minority leader Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) added, “We need to make sure, particularly with the little amount of money we have and the financial problems we have in this state, that we take care of people who need our help the most.”
But the governor says the fix will have to be fixed because the plan approved today by lawmakers is full of holes. He stated, “Double counting monies is not a good way to do that.”
The Speaker of the House, Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) retorted, “That’s not our belief. We’ve also had our fiscal folks looking at it and we had the Office of Fiscal Analysis in the room as we were discussing it and we’re very confident with our numbers moving forward.”
There was some good budget news on Monday. December state income tax receipts at the state tax department are up nearly a billion dollars over what was projected.
But there seems to be almost universal agreement that this bump is because of the rush to pay deductible state taxes before the new federal income tax law became effective on Jan. 1.
It’s also believed that much of this bump is because many hedge fund managers in Fairfield County were required to bring overseas profits back the U.S. by Dec. 31 and a new state law requires that much of it go to the state’s Rainy Day Fund.
In other words, we’re not out of the woods.