HARTFORD – State Representative Tom O’Dea (R-New Canaan, Wilton), Deputy House Republican Leader-at-Large, voted with a majority of his colleagues in the House to override Public Act (P.A.) 18-35, An Act Prohibiting the Executive Branch from Making Rescissions or Other Reductions to the Education Cost Sharing Grant During the Fiscal Year. The bill was taken up in the Senate, but did not secure the necessary votes to override the veto.
“I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who voted in favor of the override, but I am greatly disappointed with the Senate Democrats who reversed their position and sided with the governor,” Rep. O’Dea said. “Many towns across Connecticut were blindsided by the governor’s rescissions on education funding, which is why the legislature came together to pass this bill in the first place. We will work even harder to pass a similar bill in the future, but it is unfortunate that this happened. Many Democratic Senators proved they are uninterested in changing Connecticut’s present course.”
Following the passage of the compromise budget in October, Governor Malloy used an executive order to cut funding mid-year to several towns across the state, including New Canaan and Wilton. P.A. 18-35, had the veto been overridden, would have prohibited future governors from making rescissions to a school board’s education cost sharing grant during the fiscal year. Towns have asked for more predictability and sustainability from the legislature, which resulted in this bill.
Despite the bill’s unanimous passage in the Senate on May 9th and overwhelming support in the House, 117-32, the governor vetoed P.A. 18-35 earlier this month. While every Republican in the House and Senate voted in favor of the override, ten Senate Democrats changed their position during the veto session, effectively killing the bill.
“There were six other bills the Governor vetoed that we wanted to take up; however, the majority party in the Senate prevented them from being called,” Rep. O’Dea added. “The most important of those bills was S.B. 528, which corrected the improper financial bailout of Hartford against the wishes of the vast majority of legislators from both parties.”
S.B. 528 passed the House 105-45 and Senate 28-6, enough votes to easily override any veto if legislators voted the same during the veto session. Unfortunately, the Senate Democrats never called the bill despite every Republican’s desire to do so. In this past fiscal year, Hartford was given $420,446,241 in taxpayer money, not even including the monies given to non-profits in Hartford. New Haven was given $327,251,588. On top of the foregoing, the Mayor of New Haven is filling a $14,000,000 deficit this year with monies that were supposed to go to pensions, has increased taxes by 11% and has given out 11% raises to administrators and other “confidential” employees.