Legislative leaders may be prohibited from raising the minimum wage and expanding job proposals during the upcoming special session due to the narrow scope of a resolution calling them back, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Tuesday.
In order to convene a new legislative session, lawmakers passed a resolution on May 9, but the wording of the resolution was reserved for bills needed to implement the budget.
Both House Speaker Chris Donovan and Senate President Donald Williams have expressed an interest in raising bills that didn’t pass during the regular session.
Williams has said he plans to raise Senate Bill 1, a measure expanding the jobs programs passed last October. Meanwhile Donovan wants to pass a proposal to raise the minimum wage 50 cents over two years. Both bills died on the last night of the regular session.
Malloy said if they plan on raising bills that do not have to do with the budget, they need to adjust the special session resolution.
“There’s a legal issue and that is they have to address the call because it’s clearly not included in the call,” he said. “If they have the ability to do that then they need to do that if they’re going to take up non-implementation issues.”
House Majority Leader Brendan Sharkey said last week that expanding the call for the special session is something they’re considering.
Republicans have argued the session should only be used to implement the budget. House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero said when the House passed the resolution calling for a special session, he specifically asked about the scope of the session and was told it would be strictly for budget-related bills.
“If we can make no justification on how [raising the minimum wage] implements the budget, they’re breaking their word,” Cafero said.
Adam Joseph, a spokesman for Williams, said they’re working on nailing down what can be raised during the session.
“We’re working with legislative leaders and the governor’s office to define what the call for the implementer session covers,” Joseph said Tuesday.
Malloy said he does believe that a proposal removing a statutory requirement that the state employ at least 1,248 state police troopers belongs in a special session.
“There are direct budgetary implications with respect to the police, as you well know, it’s about $18 million,” he said.