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Connecticut News

Connecticut Legislature Fails To Override Malloy's Vetoes

The Connecticut Capitol Building in Hartford
Johnathon Henninger
The Connecticut Capitol Building in Hartford.

Connecticut lawmakers have failed to override any of Governor Dannel Malloy’s seven vetoes of bills passed this year. The General Assembly held a veto override session on Monday.

One of the bills Malloy vetoed would have changed the terms of a state bailout of Hartford.

Republicans, including Senator Scott Frantz of Greenwich, had argued that the state cannot afford the $550 million bailout of the financially troubled capital city over the next 20 years.

“The state simply can’t afford to do this kind of thing. We’ve gone from $18 billion in bonded indebtedness to $24 plus billion in bonded indebtedness in seven-and-a-half years. That’s at a time of low interest rates.”

The argument failed to convince enough Democrats. The vote was 17 to 14. Twenty-four votes were needed for an override.

Another bill would have prevented future governors from making mid-year cuts to public education funding. It stemmed from lawmakers being angry over Malloy’s decision to make such mid-year budget cuts last year. It passed the House but not the Senate. Democratic senators, including Beth Bye of West Hartford, argued that the bill would have unintended consequences and tie the hands of future governors.

“My concern about having special protection for just education cost sharing in the budget, and writing that in forever, is that I’m afraid that other parts of the budget over time will erode to protect ECS.”

Other vetoes lawmakers failed to override include Malloy’s veto of a bill that would have created new standards for suspending students. Others would have created an animal abuser registry, allow town clerks to choose an Election Day registration location and expand a state tax credit for an apprentice program to smaller businesses. The final one is a bill that would have created more legislative oversight of the state Department of Children and Families.

Speaking on Monday, Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano accused Senate Democrats, who supported many of the bills during the regular session, of being "in lockstep with the most unpopular governor in the country."

Malloy's spokesman commended what he calls "a thoughtful approach" in deciding whether to override his seven vetoes.