House Speaker’s Attempt to Kill Bipartisan Budget Fails- For Now
HARTFORD – In a hastily called special session of the State House of Representatives convened with less than one day’s notice, State Representatives Laura Hoydick (R-120) and Ben McGorty (R-122) criticized House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) for his attempt to kill the bipartisan budget passed by the legislature in September, but vetoed by Governor Malloy. Firmly aware that there would not be the necessary 101 votes to override the veto, the session was called by the Speaker to quickly defeat the bipartisan budget – but that’s not how it played out.
House rules require the bill to be recalled by a member on the prevailing side of the bill, and none who voted in favor of the budget called the bill to assure its defeat. The Stratford legislators joined with supporters of the bipartisan budget, both Republicans and Democrats, in preventing action from being taken, thwarting the Speaker’s attempt to kill the budget bill. Having not taken action on it, the budget remains on the table, though both Stratford legislators recognize that getting an additional 24 Democrats to support the budget is a tall task.
“This was nothing less than an attempt to quickly defeat the bipartisan budget and the Speaker clearly hoped to get a cheap political victory today,” said Rep. Hoydick. “By refusing to take up the bill, we have managed to keep this bipartisan budget alive and on the table for the time being – but we are now no better off than we were 24 hours ago, continuing under the governor’s executive order which slashes all $21 million of Stratford’s state education funds, as well as mental health and addiction services, and programs for the disabled. I will continue to fight to preserve the funding for these essential services and restore the education funding Stratford’s education system depends on.”
“As long as we are in special session we can recall the bipartisan budget that Governor Malloy vetoed,” said Rep. McGorty. “Ours is the only budget on the table right now that has the support to pass both chambers, and it should stand. Today the leaders of the majority essentially declared that they would prefer communities across the state like Stratford to lose their education funding and see critical services gutted over passage of this bipartisan agreement. They are trying to start over from the beginning as if it were six months ago, meanwhile we are the lone state in the U.S that remains without a budget.”
The General Assembly would need 101 votes in the House and 24 in the Senate to override Governor Malloy’s veto. A date for the next session has not been set as of today.