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Budget Veto Stands After Connecticut Republicans Decline To Challenge It

Oct 3, 2017

Governor Dannel Malloy's veto of the Republican budget remains unchallenged. 

Democratic leadership in the state House of Representatives Tuesday called a special session, with the intention of holding an override vote, calculating they had the votes to sustain the veto.

But in an unusual development, Republican lawmakers refused to make a motion to reconsider the budget bill, a procedural move that effectively allows Malloy's veto to stand.

House minority leader Themis Klarides accused Democrats of rushing the override session. 

“To sit here in the middle of negotiations and to call us in today, knowing damn well that those votes were not here today and we possibly could have gotten them moving forward is a disservice to this state, and a disservice to the citizens of the state of Connecticut,” she said on the floor of the House.

After the session wrapped up, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz was scathing. “Given the opportunity to discuss, defend and vote for a veto override on their budget, the Republicans decided to take a pass,” he said. “I don’t know what that was about.”

For now, the state will continue operating under the Governor's executive order.

But at Tuesday's session House Majority leader Matt Ritter offered an option that he said could move the state forward even in the absence of a full budget.

Ritter is proposing the House agree on a single sheet of revenue items that were included in both the Republican and Democrat budget plan, while leadership and the Governor hammer out the rest of the budget.   

“If we can get revenue done you can avoid the executive order, and you can change the dynamics of the negotiations,” said Ritter in a press conference after the session. “There’s no-one opposed to the revenue on this sheet.”

After the drama of the session, all sides went back into talks with the governor.

“There is substantial movement to get to a position where we could have real, hard and fast discussions,” said Governor Dannel Malloy at the conclusion of those talks. “There are many issues that aren’t that far apart.”

"Without putting lipstick on it, I'm trying to admire the pig," he said.