HARTFORD, CT — Republican Senate President Len Fasano thinks the governor’s new executive order is illegal and he wants Attorney General George Jepsen’s opinion.
In a letter Monday to Jepsen, Fasano said he doesn’t believe the planned shift in education funding and municipal aid is within Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s executive authority.
Specially, Fasano doesn’t believe Malloy can cut support for special education or withhold money from the Municipal Revenue Sharing account without legislative approval.
“While the state is unfortunately living without a budget for the fiscal year 2018 to fiscal year 2019 biennium and the governor is exercising his executive authority to continue the operations of the state of Connecticut, he is not above the Connecticut General Statues and must operate within existing statutory constraints,” Fasano wrote to Jepsen.
Kelly Donnelly, a spokeswoman for Malloy, said the governor is just doing his job.
“We’ve made it very clear that allocating state funding by executive order is not ideal or preferable,” Donnelly said. “However, the Governor has an obligation to faithfully execute the law in the absence of a legislatively adopted budget, and that is precisely what he is doing.”
She did not opine specifically on the allegations Fasano made in the letter.
“The executive order will continue to be adjusted in the future to address statutory requirements for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2018,” Donnelly said. “The bottom line is that the state needs a budget now, and that requires action by legislative leaders, including Senator Fasano.”
Jaclyn Severance, Jepsen’s spokesperson, confirmed receipt of Fasano’s letter.
“We have received Sen. Fasano’s opinion request and will carefully consider the issues presented,” Severance wrote. “As is our practice on opinion requests involving state budgetary issues, we will seek input from all appropriate parties before coming to any conclusions. We would decline further comment at this time.”