HARTFORD, CT — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy suggested Wednesday that any urban Democratic lawmaker that wants to override his veto of a bill that makes changes to the Hartford bailout should “have their heads examined.”
The bill, a bipartisan compromise would have modified the $534 million bailout lawmakers gave Hartford to avoid bankruptcy, is one of seven Malloy vetoed this session.
In his veto message, Malloy said the changes to the Hartford bailout are “a reflection of indignation on the part of some legislators,” who were upset that the Municipal Accountability Review Board “exercised its statutory authority in coming to the aid of our capital city.”
Lawmakers are expected to convene a veto override session on Monday, June 25 to consider overriding some of his vetoes.
“To pretend that Hartford’s problems could be solved by a couple of years of appropriations is itself living a lie,” Malloy said at a bill signing at the Connecticut Science Center. “Connecticut’s tax structure hurts Connecticut’s cities.”
He said Connecticut is more reliant on cities for hospitals, colleges, and jobs than its smaller cities even though the tax structure is the same.
“We should not be closing a tool box with respect to those,” Malloy said. “And quite frankly anyone living in an urban area who would sign onto that Republican package should have their heads examined.”
Senate Republican President Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said the implication that a veto override would hurt Democrats at the polls is “ridiculous. “
“Clearly he has no idea what the public thinks of his policies which have led to Democrats losing seats and trying to distance themselves from the governor as much as possible,” Fasano said. “This is not sound political advice.”
Democratic legislative leaders did not respond to requests for comment.
The bill passed the Senate 28-6. The six Senators to vote against it were all Republicans. In the House it passed 105-45. Some of those who voted against it were urban Democrats.
To override the veto the House would need 101 votes. The Senate needs 24 votes to override a veto.
They are currently discussing what bills they will raise on Monday for an override.
The Hartford bailout is one. Another bill they are considering overriding would change the governor’s authority when it comes to cutting education aid.
That bill would have prohibited the governor from cutting education cost sharing grants to towns by using his rescission authority or his ability to reduce funding to an agency.
The bill, “An Act Prohibiting the Executive Branch from Making Rescissions or Other Reductions to the Education Cost Sharing Grant During the Fiscal Year,” passed the House 117 to 32 and the Senate approved it 36 to 0.
On Wednesday Malloy said “supporting communities with very low mill rates with state dollars towards education doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
Fasano countered that both bills were written and passed with bipartisan support.
“This legislation was crafted by legislators on both sides of the aisle coming together to do what was in the best interest of Connecticut residents and taxpayers,” Fasano said. “We should work together again to stand up to the governor’s arrogance. If Democrats want to improve our state and show the public that they are not the same as Governor Malloy they should work with Republicans to override his vetoes.”