(Updated: 4:11 p.m.) Republican Gov. M Jodi Rell said Monday that she will veto one of a handful of bills passed by the General Assembly last week.
The move, which doesn’t come as a surprise to Capitol insiders, may put an end to the longest budget battle in the state’s history.
By Monday afternoon Rell had vetoed one of the two general government bills saying in her veto message that “We cannot enact legislation, regardless of how well intentioned, without considering the economic climate the state faces.”
What doesn’t she like about the bill?
“There are a number of options for saving the state some money and some of those options are being taken away, plus some additional spending is being earmarked in that legislation,” Rell said at a press conference Monday morning.
The bill passed by the General Assembly prohibits reductions in Judicial branch spending, earmarks $650,000 for a study and services for children of incarcerated parents, and prevents the administration from privatizing groups homes for the developmentally disabled.
“You can’t tie the hands of the administration and find the savings,” Rell said.
Last week when asked if the General Assembly will return if Rell vetoes the bill, Sen. President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, said “no,” and Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, said “yes.”
The bill passed 19 to 14 in the Senate and 96 to 35 in the House.
Asked about the Senate’s chance of returning to override a veto, Williams has said “zero.” But Donovan has said he was aware of the Senate vote and was still optimistic it could happen.
Williams has said he rather wait until the start of the next regular session in February.
“Gov. Rell’s veto is unfortunate,” Derek Slap a spokesman for the Senate Democratic caucus said Monday. “The bill would have helped to grow jobs by strengthening the state’s small business incubators and would have protected the Judicial Department from capricious decisions made by the Rell administration that could make the criminal and civil justice systems less efficient.”
There’s no appetite amongst the Senate Democrats to return for a veto override session. However, Donovan’s spokesman Doug Whiting said Monday that the Speaker has not ruled it out.
“It is time for the budget battle to end,” Slap said in a prepared statement. “The focus must now be on ensuring that the Rell administration follows through on its obligation to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from executive branch agencies.”
Whiting said Donovan would like to talk to Williams before ruling out a veto override session.