Budget Stalemate Continues As House Declines To Consider Veto Override
HARTFORD, CT — A hastily called special session Tuesday didn’t lead to a veto override, prolonging the budget stalemate that’s now in its fourth month.
Shortly after House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz called for any legislators who were on the prevailing side of the two-year, $40.7 billion budget to move for a reconsideration of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s veto — the chamber fell silent.
“Is there anybody who has a motion?” Aresimowicz asked. “Is there a motion for reconsideration of emergency certified House Bill 7501?”
“Is there a motion from any member on the prevailing side of House Bill 7501?” Aresimowicz asked again.
On Monday, Aresimowicz had predicted the House would sustain Malloy’s veto and put an end to the “political silliness.”
Republican legislative leaders insisted the budget the governor vetoed is the only viable option at the moment and they refused to kill it by calling it for a vote.
But it’s not going to be raised again for a vote.
Aresimowicz is the only one with the ability to call bills during a special session and said afterward that he won’t be calling the veto for reconsideration in the future.
That didn’t stop Republican legislative leaders from arguing that their budget passed with the help of eight Democratic legislators and should be used as the basis for any budget negotiations moving forward.
“We talk as if there isn’t a viable budget option out there,” House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, said. “This budget that passed that the governor vetoed is not perfect … but it is beyond me why on Oct. 3, 2017, we cannot start with a budget that has passed as a base and move forward.”
Klarides said Democrats, who hold a slim majority in the House, knew the Republicans wouldn’t have the 101 votes they needed to override the veto Tuesday. However, she said given a little more time they might have been able to gather more votes.
Three of the five Democratic legislators who voted for the Republican budget the first time were absent Tuesday, even though there was no guarantee they would have voted to override the veto.
“How can you say our budget is bad when you don’t have a budget?” Klarides asked.
Aresimowicz said the Republican Party decided Tuesday to take a pass on overriding the budget.
“They campaigned around the state for it,” he said. “And then given the opportunity we heard nothing but crickets from the other side of the aisle.”
He said it’s an indication of a “flawed document.”
Aresimowicz said he called for the veto override to move away from the “impossible and get to the possible.” He said once that vote was behind them then they could work toward a two-year budget with the governor.
Majority Leader Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, tried to find common ground with his Republican colleagues during his floor speech.
“Let me talk about a path forward,” Ritter said. “It is a real path forward.”
He said there is about $853 million in new revenue that both Democratic legislators and Republican legislators agree upon.
“We need a bridge over troubled financial waters and that we do not have,” Ritter said.
“Because Republicans raise revenue so much there are some similarities,” Malloy said. But he’s not in favor of taking a piecemeal approach to the budget like Ritter proposed.
He said he hates to throw cold water on someone’s idea, but “I don’t think that’s what the framers of the state constitution envisioned.”
Malloy, who met with legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle following the House session Tuesday, said everyone knows what would have happened if there had been a vote today. He said the veto would have been sustained.
“I think everyone in the room realizes we need to get a budget and we need to get it sooner than later,” Malloy said.
The new deadline for a budget is Oct. 13.
None of the Republicans or the One Democratic legislator who voted for the budget would move for reconsideration of Gov. Malloy's vetoPosted by CTNewsJunkie.com on Tuesday, October 3, 2017