The Bristol Blog features news and information about Bristol, Connecticut.
September 1, 2009
Rell to allow new budget to become law
Press release from Gov. Jodi Rell:
Governor Rell: Budget Will Become Law Without
Her Signature – and Without Pork-Barrel Spending
Governor Will Not Sign Bill, But Will Line-Item Veto $8 Million
in Earmarks, Other Spending Added at Last-Minute
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that she will neither sign nor veto the state budget given final approval by legislative Democrats early Tuesday morning, allowing the bill to become law without her signature according to the state Constitution. However, Governor Rell said she will exercise her line-item veto power to remove new earmarks and new “pork-barrel” spending items added to the bill.
“Democrats have repeatedly called this budget a ‘compromise,’” Governor Rell said. “It is hardly a compromise. Last week I put a new budget proposal on the table – my fourth – in which I accepted tax increases I did not want in return for cuts in state spending. The Democrats just could not cut, once again showing they are unwilling – or simply unable – to make meaningful reductions. They refuse to accept the reality that families and businesses accepted months ago: We must live within our means.
“Instead, this budget calls for more borrowing and vague plans for future savings,” the Governor said. “Worse still, in the hours before this budget was brought to a vote the Democrats had the audacity to add more spending. It is as if they believe the people ofConnecticut do not care, are not watching and will not notice.
“Because of this complete disregard for our taxpayers, I will be using my line-item veto to eliminate all of the new earmarks and pork-barrel spending. The total is some $8 million – not an overwhelming amount in the scheme of the two-year budget. But this spending is an insult – a slap in the face of our taxpayers.
“I will not veto the entire budget,” Governor Rell said. “However, I will not sign it into law, because I do not believe in this budget. I do not want, by my signature, to put a stamp of approval on their spending, their inability to make cuts or their levels of borrowing, revenues and taxes.
“But a veto will not bring significantly different results, I fear – and the people ofConnecticut are starting to truly feel the effects of our stalemate. This budget crisis has lingered longer than any in state history. Struggling families, people who have lost their job or their home, people with disabilities, cities and towns, schools, state agencies and non-profits – all have been left wondering about the future. They need to know state resources are in place and available. Now they will know.
“Let me repeat: This budget is not the compromise I sought – but it is a fight that has saved our taxpayers billions of dollars,” Governor Rell said. “By digging in my heels, I have forced the Democrats to sharply lower their demand for new taxes. They went from $3.3 billion in new taxes in their April budget to $2.5 billion in the June budget, dropping to $1.8 billion in their July budget – and $900 million in the current proposal.
“This budget reduces the corporate surcharge that the Democrats first proposed at 30 percent to 10 percent over the next three years, and excludes nearly all small- and medium-sized businesses in the state. This budget makes significant changes and reductions in the inheritance tax and requires the state sales tax to drop. And it does cut some state spending. Most importantly: This budget crisis must be resolved. For the good of our state, this crisis is now resolved.”
Under the state Constitution, the bill automatically becomes law without the Governor’s signature five days after passage.
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