Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, has been saying for weeks that he would like to see the General Assembly override Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s veto of a bill passed during special session on Oct. 2.
However, his colleagues in the state Senate have been less than enthusiastic about the prospects of an override.
Derek Slap, a spokesman for the Senate Democratic caucus, said in a phone interview Monday that Sen. President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, will ask the caucus if they’re willing to return this week to override the bill.
Asked about the Senate’s chance of returning to override a veto on Oct. 2., Williams said “zero.”
Based on the 19 to 14 Senate vote, Capitol insiders are less than optimistic it will happen.
At least three Democratic Senators, Sen. Gayle Slossberg, D-Milford, Sen. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, and Sen. Andrew Maynard, D-Stonington voted against the bill on Oct. 2. Two Democratic Senators, Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, and Sen. Jonathan Harris, D-West Hartford, were absent for the initial vote.
But even if McDonald and Harris had voted in favor of the bill the Democrats would still need all 24 Democratic Senators to vote in favor of the bill to get the override.
Meanwhile, Donovan has asked members of the House, which day this week they’re available to return for an override session.
The bill passed 96 to 35 in the House and an override will require 101 votes.
So what exactly is it that Donovan is looking to override?
The bill would prevent Rell’s administration from privatizing and closing group homes for the developmentally disabled and psychiatric hospitals.
It also earmarks about $1.3 million over two years for a needs assessment and service contract for children of incarcerated parents, a $50,000 earmark for the Connecticut Pardon Team Inc., and a $75,000 earmark for the Connecticut Sentencing Commission. In addition it exempts the Judicial branch from cutting $7.8 million over the next two years.