The state budget crisis continued into day 95 on Tuesday as lawmakers in the House did not vote on overriding the governor's veto.
No one made a motion for an override. The consensus was that there was not enough support. That means Connecticut remains the only state in the country without a budget.
"We are unable to climb a mountain today, but we need to begin to take chunks off this problem," Majority Leader Matt Ritter said.
Gov. Dannel Malloy vetoed a Republican budget last month, despite it being passed by both the state House of Representatives and Senate. He called the budget unbalanced and legally unsound when it comes to changes to how the state funds pensions. He also said the cuts to higher education are too deep.
Republicans, who managed to get Democratic support for their budget, said they had enough to get it to pass both chambers and added they needed more time to get support for an override.
"It's disappointing that this happened so quickly and the reason is this," Minority Leader Themis Klarides said. "We absolutely positively stand behind the fact that overriding this veto is the best for the state of Connecticut."
For the override to go through, two-thirds of the legislators must agree to it. In the meantime, the governor and lawmakers continue to try and hammer out an agreement. Malloy addressed the need for executive orders beforehand.
"We can't spend more money than we take in," Malloy said.
The governor's executive order stays in place and contains painful cuts to cities and towns stays in effect.
"I didn't want an executive order and i don't want to to continue," Malloy said. An executive order is not a budget. It is meeting our requirement that the state having no budget not spend more money than it takes it."
On Tuesday, lawmakers in the House adjourned with no override of governor veto in place.
"So where do we go from here is the question? We were asking each other this morning," House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said."So we want to propose alternatives in a few minutes we are going to meet with the governor again."
There are many problems with the executive order. One is it doesn't allow the state to raise any revenue. A hospital tax is being negotiated may change that.
Earlier in the morning, 60 mayors and first selectmen from cities and towns across the state held a news conference about how their municipalities will move forward after the governor's executive orders.
“We are asking as town leaders behind me, a very bipartisan group, asking that they recognize the urgency and get to work right away," Mayor of Waterbury Neil O'Leary, who is CCM 1st Vice President, said. Our message is, we need to get to work today, we need to go to work right away, we’re expecting that from our legislators and so are their constituents.”
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities representatives met at the Wallingford Hilton Garden Inn on Tuesday morning. Connecticut Conference of Municipalities Executive Director Joe DeLong said a state budget "must be a budget for all of Connecticut."
"The leaders that stand behind me have worked very hard not only representing their districts but understanding how inter-connected and inter-dependent we all are in a prosperous state," DeLong said. “And we’ve seen many times this session that communities have been pitted against each other by the general assembly, who represent their district and not the state as a whole.”
First Selectwoman of Portland and CCM President Susan Bransfield said: "the local property tax increases severely hurt low-income residents as well as seniors and the competitiveness of the state of Connecticut."
"They represent the entire state of Connecticut and we have to pass policies that create jobs, create economic growth and prosperity in our urban centers, preserve our special way of life in our small communities," DeLong said. “These folks have come together with special recommendations on how to do that. It’s not that it can’t be done, it’s just that the general assembly has chosen not to take up their recommendations at this point.”
Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) requested an opinion from Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen on the governor's revised executive order. Fasano said the revised executive order "dramatically shifts education dollars and makes changes to municipal aid."
“Since the governor has now vetoed the legislature’s budget, it is imperative that lawmakers know whether or not his executive order is in fact legal, or if these changes violate statutory mandates which would require legislative approval,” Fasano wrote in the letter. “I believe it is extremely important that you respond to this outstanding request prior to a veto override session taking place so lawmakers have all the relevant information prior to deciding whether to allow the governor’s veto to stand, which will lead to his executive order remaining in effect.”
Fasano initially sent a letter to Jepsen on Aug. 18. In that letter, Fasano said in the revised executive order, the following items "do not fall under executive authority" of the governor:
To read the full letter, click here.
Stay with Eyewitness News for continuing coverage of the state budget crisis.
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