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State Rep. Pam Staneski Op-ed: Stopping the Governor’s Cuts to Education

Posted on July 2, 2018 by jdooley


On June 25th, the General Assembly was summoned into session to vote on overriding seven bills that the Governor had vetoed. These bills passed both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support, so one would think that this would be a quick up and back day ending with the General Assembly voting to override all of the bills—or at least one, right?  Wrong! Not one vetoed bill was overturned.

I was hopeful that at least one of the bills would get the votes necessary in both chambers to overturn the veto. That bill was HB-5171—An Act Prohibiting the Executive Branch from Making Recessions or Other Reductions to the Education Cost Sharing Grant During the Fiscal Year.

Municipal leaders have practically begged for the general assembly to provide stability in the budget process. HB5171 did just that and it originally passed the House 117-32, and the Senate 36-0.  We, the House, voted to reconsider the bill and, in fact, it received the required two-thirds vote to move it to the Senate.  Unfortunately, it did not receive two-thirds of the necessary votes in the Senate to uphold the override, so the Governor can continue to cut education grants to towns midstream by using his rescission authority, an act this governor (and the only governor) exercised with Orange and Milford.  I am disappointed that many Senators reversed their original votes and blocked the override standing with the governor.

Contrary to the governor’s veto message, this bill was not about how education funding is distributed through the state; it was about timing and ensuring predictability. School districts, students, and taxpayers will continue to be exposed to uncertainty. Upholding this veto was a knock on every school board and town that works to manage their finances.

All of the Governor’s vetoes were upheld in this special veto session. For more information on these bills go to:

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