Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano and House Minority Leader Themis Klarides address reporters (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

HARTFORD, CT — Senate Republican President Len Fasano, R-North Haven, is hoping that when Gov. Dannel P. Malloy vetoes the budget, the General Assembly will find the votes for an override.

The House would need 101 votes and the Senate 24 votes to override a gubernatorial veto. That means if every Republican voted to override the veto they would need 29 Democratic legislators in the House and six Democratic legislators in the Senate to join them.

It’s uncertain if the five Democratic legislators in the House and the three in the Senate who voted in favor of the Republican budget more than a week ago would hold firm and join Republicans in overriding a governor from their own party.

“There is no budget out there that can garner support from the House and the Senate, but the budget that was passed,” Fasano said.

At a press conference in Hamden Wednesday, Fasano said there’s no other alternative.

“The Democrats do not have support for their budget,” Fasano said. “So where do we go from here? If the governor vetoes it we override it.”

Fasano said the Republican budget doesn’t have a cellphone tax and doesn’t shift the cost of teacher pensions to municipalities and property taxpayers.

Fasano made his remarks before bipartisan budget talks at the state Capitol Wednesday afternoon where Malloy called on legislative leaders to get to work on a budget.

As reporters questioned Malloy about where negotiations stood over the hospital tax, which would raise $900 million per year, the governor told them, “Guys, this is a budget story. We don’t have a budget. We should be talking about the absence of a budget. A budget that would allow us to do things.”

Malloy received the Republican budget Wednesday while he was meeting with legislative leaders.

He has five days, excluding Sunday, to either sign it or veto it.

Then two weeks after that, the legislature will be given an opportunity to override it. Malloy said he doesn’t believe they would succeed at overriding the veto.

Legislative leaders emerged from Wednesday’s meeting and said they spoke about their differences when it comes to education policy.

The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Thursday morning in the state’s challenge of a lower court decision that it says erred in finding the state’s educational system violated the constitution’s equal protection clause.

Malloy said Wednesday’s meeting, which lasted more than two hours, allowed Democratic and Republican legislators to air their views on the very different positions they hold.

“It was a very important step,” Malloy said.

However, it doesn’t get the state much closer to a two-year budget.

Earlier Wednesday at the Legislative Office Building, students and teachers from the Connecticut State University System, which would be cut $93 million in the Republican budget proposal, rallied against the cuts.

Jack Kramer / ctnewsjunkie
CSUS rally against Republican budget cuts (Jack Kramer / ctnewsjunkie)

Rep. Toni Walker, D-New Haven, said it’s a “sad day when we have to fight for funding for education.”

The $93 million in cuts would be spread over the four state universities and the 12 community colleges.

Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State University System, said they “cannot pass on further financial burden to our graduates who are from Connecticut, and want to stay and work here.”

He said they know they will play a role in balancing the state budget, but the cut the Republican budget proposed is too deep.

“We should focus our efforts on making sure we do not put high quality public education out of reach for Connecticut students,” Ojakian said.

The University of Connecticut has also been decrying what it says is $309 million in budget cuts.

On the other hand, several groups have also spoken in support of the Republican budget proposal.

The Connecticut Council of Small Towns said the governor’s executive order will increase property taxes an estimated 20 to 30 percent in some of Connecticut’s smaller communities.

Litchfield First Selectman Leo Paul said the governor should sign the budget he received Wednesday because it “will ensure that education and other critical local services can be provided without disruption.”

Malloy said he has to assume COST and its leadership didn’t read the budget document because if they had then he doesn’t believe they would be calling on him to sign it. Or they were simply focused on the part of the budget that impacts them.

“Somebody has to be in a room saying we need a document that works for the whole state,” Malloy said.

Gov. Malloy says CT needs a budget.

Posted by on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Jack Kramer contributed to this report.