HARTFORD – State Representative Richard Smith (R-108) expressed guarded optimism at the passage of a bipartisan state budget through both chambers of the General Assembly late Friday night.
After three Democratic State Senators broke ranks and voted for a GOP budget amendment, which passed the Senate earlier that afternoon, the House passed, now called a bipartisan document by a vote of 77-73. It now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law, although it is possible he will use his veto power to block it from becoming law.
“After months of debate, House Republicans were finally able to get their budget called for debate and, in an historic vote, five moderate Democrats joined us in passing a zero tax increase budget that restores education funding to our towns and cities. Clearly, with the bipartisan support that this budget received, we are now in a position to make the necessary structural changes to state government to turn Connecticut’s economy around,” said Rep. Smith. “For the first time in a very long time, there is hope for our state.”
After the Republican budget passed the State Senate, Governor Malloy declared his intention to veto the budget bill passed by the General Assembly. The Danbury legislators urged the governor to reconsider, citing the “draconian” effects his executive order could have on local education and other state services.
“If the governor were to veto this budget, he would be standing in the way of fiscal policies that would dramatically reform this state and impose brutal funding cuts to local aid and education funding – it would be a terrible move,” said Rep. Smith. “Governor Malloy needs to listen to the voices of Connecticut residents who elected legislators to change the course of this state and get out of the way of progress.”
The budget crisis in Connecticut is currently in its third month. Should the governor block passage of this budget bill, it is unlikely the state will adopt a budget prior to the October 1 deadline for education payments and the governor’s executive order would take effect.