Greenwich Reps Praise House Override of Malloy Veto, Criticize Majority Party for Siding with Governor

The following is a release submitted by Republican State Reps Floren, Bocchino and Camillo regarding Monday’s override session, in particular PA 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 veto was overturned in the House, but sustained in the Senate.

State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-Greenwich, Stamford), Mike Bocchino (R-Greenwich) and Fred Camillo (R-Greenwich) praised the House’s decision to override Governor Malloy’s veto of Public Act (PA) 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.

“Education has always been a priority for me as a parent and legislator, and I was thrilled that the House was able to override the governor’s decision,” Rep. Floren said, who was unable to attend today’s veto session due to an urgent family medical issue. “With that said, I am disappointed the Senate was unable to do the same. Many towns across Connecticut were blindsided by last year’s cuts to education funding. It is unfair to put our students and educators in this predicament when they rely on us to give them the funding they need. I hope the General Assembly reconsiders this legislation in the near future.”

“I think today’s veto session was a waste of time for the taxpayers of this state because while the House did its job by overriding this misguided veto, many Senate Democrats voted to uphold the governor’s decision,” Rep. Bocchino said. “Education is one area where politics must absolutely be left aside for the sake of our children. This bill would have given our local school boards much needed budgetary relief during a very unpredictable time for our state. It was wrong for Governor Malloy and the majority Democrats who voted against this override to put their political interests ahead of our education system.”

“Today, many Senate Democrats caved to special interests and to Governor Malloy by choosing not to override any of the bills the governor vetoed, especially the education cost sharing bill,” Rep. Camillo said. “Despite initial strong support during the regular session, many Democratic legislators chose politics over policy, and in the process, have left our schools in a tough spot. They also turned their backs on the people of this state who were very supportive of this bill, and many others that were vetoed this year. It is disheartening that we have been forced to go back and resubmit these legislative proposals again next year, but this is part of the legislative process – one we must accept and work even harder to prevent in the future. I thank my House Democratic colleagues who voted with us on the override.”

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 Greenwich.

P.A. 18-35, had it been overridden, would have prohibited future governors from making rescissions to a town’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.

Following its initial passage in the House and Senate, the governor vetoed the bill earlier this month. While every Republican in the House and Senate voted in favor of the override, several Democrats in both chambers voted to uphold the veto. In the Senate, the nays were able to prevent a two-thirds majority, which would have resulted in an override.

The House overrode the veto on P.A. 18-35 by a vote of 103-33, while the Senate voted 19-10, sustaining the veto. In order to override a veto by the governor both the Connecticut House of Representatives and Senate must repass with a two-thirds majority, which equates to 101 members of the House and 24 members of the Senate.