Gov. Ned Lamont issued his first vetoes of the year on Thursday when he rejected five bills passed by the state legislature and denounced as “environmentally and fiscally irresponsible” another bill affecting the disposal of solid waste in Connecticut.
In his first vetoes of 2023, Lamont struck down several measures including a notable one aimed at a major rise in municipal aid. Other vetoes addressed procurement, a local tax disagreement, and environmental matters, particularly waste disposal. To date, Lamont has signed 223 bills into law.
He vetoed HB 6496, An Act Concerning Test Bed Technologies, SB 73, An Act Establishing Local Representation on the Connecticut Siting Council for Local Projects, SB 1213, An Act Concerning the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Fund, HB 6893, An Act Concerning Certain Adjustments to Gross Assessments of Taxable Real Property, and SB 1143, An Act Concerning Solid Waste Management Throughout the State.
One of the bills he vetoed he said was duplicative and would have confused the process for requesting more information about what a solid waste facility should look like in Connecticut. “Running another similar but more limited RFI would at best be both duplicative for the Department and confusing for the private sector,” Lamont wrote in his veto message.
In an unusual move, Lamont wrote a letter to lawmakers letting them know he signed the solid waste disposal bill that seeks to begin to put an end to shipping 860,000 tons of solid waste per year to other states, but ended it letting them know he wasn’t happy about it and thought his proposal was better.
He said the bill he signed into law provides for “at best 45,000 tons per year of diversion and no clear path for developing new disposal infrastructure, addressing only 5% of this pressing problem. Further, House Bill 6664 imposes additional costs on consumers by increasing electric rates and by shifting escalating costs for waste disposal to taxpayers.”
Following the Bond Commission meeting, Lamont said the solid waste bill was “disappointing.” He said he wants legislators to take environmental issues seriously.
“I signed it with some reluctance because it doesn’t solve the problem,” Lamont added.
However, he said he took 10% of a loaf, instead of vetoing it.
The issue is likely to be back for debate again next year.