Christine Stuart photo

The House passed a bill along party lines that calls for mental illness to be treated the same as physical illness under Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s Charter Oak Health Plan for uninsured adults in the state. The Charter Oak Health Plan was passed last year by the legislature and is expected to be offered July 1 to any uninsured resident in the state.

The bill, which Rell has promised to veto, passed by a vote of 104 to 44, but only after Republican lawmakers made their first attempt to attach their budget proposal to it.

Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, vowed to try and amend any bill possible with the Republican budget proposal that includes an early retirement plan for 4,200 state employees. Cafero said the retirement program could save the state $163 million, but Rell and Democratic leaders disagree.

With regard to the state budget, Rell sent leaders in both parties a letter Monday reminding them that she will veto any bills with a fiscal impact. “Finally, I must caution that I will disapprove any bill that comes to my desk with a fiscal impact that has not been addressed in the manner described above. It would be fiscally irresponsible of me to do otherwise,” Rell wrote.

Click here to read her letter and see the number of bills already passed by at least one chamber that may need to be revised.