Before the ink had even dried on the deficit mitigation plan the Senate expected to take up Friday night, Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell sent out a statement saying she would veto it.
Rell, who is currently in Colorado, said in the statement that the package Democrats planned to put forth Friday night is “woefully short on real spending cuts and burdensomely high on tax increases.”
“In essence, this Democrat deficit mitigation plan raises taxes by $180 million, cuts spending by a paltry $65 million and relies on $175 million in other revenue, creative accounting and blithe assumptions to make up the difference,” Rell said in the statement.
Democratic leaders who were waiting for the budget bill to be drafted were not immediately available for comment, however, a spokesman said “Rell’s veto threat is unwarranted and irresponsible.”
“Democrats have a plan to cut the budget by more than $600 million and it is done without raising taxes on the middle class and without cutting municipal aid,” Derek Slap spokesman for the Senate Democrats said.
Rell’s Budget Director Robert Genuario visited the Capitol press room to deliver the news around 11 p.m. Friday evening. He said the Democratic bill, which has yet to be drafted, only includes about $65 million in real spending reductions, $10 million in new taxes, and $175 million in other types of new revenue.
Democratic lawmakers have argued that their plan includes $140 million in spending cuts, sweeps $39 million from off-budget accounts including $6 million from the Citizens‘ Election Program, gets rid of the longevity payments for non-union employees and as of July 1 eliminates almost two dozen of Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s deputy commissioners.
In addition it relies on $75 million in new revenue by eliminating the Jan. 1 estate tax reduction. It also reinstitutes a hospital tax to help bring in more than $103 million in additional federal funds.