Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Wednesday afternoon that “I will not sign any bill that beats down” the budget process. She was referring to the health care bill both chambers passed early Wednesday morning.
She said she can’t sign it until there is a budget in place to appropriate the money. But she would sign a bill concerning the teacher’s pension fund even though it includes both bond money and an appropriation.
Democratic leaders, Speaker James Amann and Senate President Donald Williams shot back with gusto saying that Rell signed the energy bill this year and an economic development bill last year that required millions of dollars before there was a budget.
Why would she sign one and not the other?
The teacher’s pension fund bill passed with bipartisan support. The health care bill passed mostly along party lines.
Regardless, Amann said there’s still a $200 million hole in the governor’s budget which means you will need to raise taxes in order to sustain the large amounts of education spending the governor has proposed. Williams said Rell is trying to avoid implementing a fairer tax system by vetoing the progressive income tax Democrats passed. He said Rell’s “no new taxes” rhetoric is “false” and tax increases have been on the table since negotiations began.
“This governor needs to show up and help us get to work,” a fiery Williams said.
He said Democrats waited 8 hours the other day for an answer because of the “scandals that plague the governor’s office.” Williams was referring to the CHRO complaint against the governor’s Chief of Staff M. Lisa Moody. In addition, he said the governor will be “embarrassed” when they don’t approve her nomination for Department of Children and Families Commissioner.
According to Democratic staffers Susan Hamilton, a veteran DCF social worker and attorney had close ties with Kristine Ragaglia, the former DCF Commissioner who got caught up in the Rowland corruption scandal.