After Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed an almost $60 million increase in the state’s revenue figures last week the Finance Committee met Friday morning to try again.
This time they increased the state’s revenue figures by $25 million, the exact amount of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s settlement with Eli Lilly and Co. a few days ago.
Rep. Cameron Staples, D-New Haven, said aside from the additional revenue realized from Blumenthal’s settlement the only other revenue figure adjusted was the amount of money the state expects to securitize. The amount the state will securitize is $9.3 million less than the $1.3 billion had expected.
None of the Department of Motor Vehicle fees the legislature’s Democratic majority wanted to increase in order to spare rail and bus commuters a fare hike were included in Friday’s proposal. As a result it’s “conceivable rail and bus fees will go up,” Staples said.
In her veto message last Friday Rell said she would do everything she could to keep rail and bus fares from increasing.
Sen. Andrew Roraback, R-Goshen, said the people in the state of Connecticut are “winners by virtue of the governor’s veto of the last revenue bill.”
However, pleased no revenue increases would be coming from increased fees. Republicans lawmakers were still concerned about state Comptroller Nancy Wyman’s letter.
In the letter Wyman warned that if trends continue the state will face a $500 million budget deficit.
Rep. Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford, wanted to know how much the revenue figures they were voting on Friday were adjusted as a result of Wyman’s letter.
“It appears to be not much,” he said.
The Office of Fiscal Analysis said none of the figures were adjusted to reflect any changes in the state’s revenue projections. New numbers are expected Oct. 15.
Staples said Wyman’s letter was just a monthly letter to the governor and did not trigger any deficit mitigation requirements.
Republicans said they were just being realistic about what the future holds for the state, but at least one Democratic lawmaker told them the “doom and gloom” was the worst thing they could be talking about as public officials.
Rep. Demetrios Giannaros, D-Farmington, said the numbers are changing everyday.
“I beg all of you to stop talking so negatively,” he said.