On Tuesday, Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the bipartisan budget passed by the Connecticut General Assembly into law.
According to NBC Connecticut, though Malloy approved of the rest of the budget, he vetoed appropriations for a new hospital tax proposal.
Malloy said he vetoed the hospital tax because he thought there were legal and structural issues with it and he was “concerned” about the state’s ability to keep it in balance over the biennium and beyond.
“While this may be a step in the right direction, make no mistake about it- this is by no means a perfect document,” Malloy said in a statement. “I urge my colleagues in the General Assembly to convene as soon as possible to pass a legal alternative to the illegal hospital tax and troublesome supplemental payment and rate language presented in this bill.”
Malloy said Connecticut’s families and businesses deserve to have a budget in place that “provides a stable environment to live and work.”
“After 123 days without a budget, it is time to sign this bipartisan bill into law and continue the steady and significant progress our state has made over the past several years,” Malloy said. “While there are certainly many provisions of this budget I find problematic, there’s also a clear recognition of many of the fiscal priorities and concerns I’ve consistently articulated since January. I appreciate the work of the General Assembly in passing a budget to my desk that I can sign.”
The budget cuts funding to the University of Connecticut by $143 million over the next two years, a reduction from the original proposed reductions of over $300 million.
The budget includes “reforms” to strengthen Hartford and other cities, including the creation of a municipal accountability review board aimed at playing “a significant role in bringing the City of Hartford back from the brink of bankruptcy and providing the state the necessary tools to intervene early to restore fiscal stability to struggling towns and cities,” according to NBC Connecticut.
It also includes a constitutional spending cap and municipal mandate relief and requires votes on all collective bargaining agreements by the legislature, according to NBC Connecticut.
In a statement, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides said there are both pros and cons to Malloy’s actions on Tuesday.
“The good news is that our towns and cities will finally have relief in the way of state aid and our much needed social services program will continue. The bad news is the issues regarding our hospitals remain unresolved because of the governor’s line item veto, and the House and Senate will have to address that,” Klarides said.
Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney said in a statement the budget “truly meets the needs” of Connecticut.
“[The budget] invest[s] in our workforce, our students and our state colleges and universities, while providing cities, towns and boards of education with certainty and predictability. At the same time, this budget makes important systemic reforms that will result in significant long-term savings and pays down Connecticut’s pension liabilities,” Looney said.
Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.