CTNJ file photo
Gov. M. Jodi Rell (CTNJ file photo)

Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Tuesday she’s poised to veto portions of a criminal justice bill that toughens penalties for repeat, violent offenders. The bill, which was passed last week by both the House and the Senate, was crafted in part as a response to the deadly home invasions in Cheshire and New Britain.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Rell said she is willing to sign the portion of the bill that strengthens and streamlines the persistent felony offender law, even though she would prefer “the bill also include a strong ‘three strikes’ provision.” She said the problem with the bill is the $10 million appropriation to hire more prosecutors, probation officers, and state police and increase spending on prison re-entry programs.

“I am willing—indeed, I am eager—to sit down with legislative leaders to find a way to pay for these much-needed changes. But to sign Senate Bill 671 in the absence of a state budget would be irresponsible,” Rell said.