Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed two deficit-reduction bills last week and submitted legislation to expend her authority to cut spending.
The Republican governor vetoed a bill passed by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly that would have delayed by two years a $76. 2 million cut to estate and gift taxes.
Democratic lawmakers also passed a deficit mitigation bill that would have reduced general fund spending by $12.4 million and increased revenue by $27.4 million, primarily by transferring money to the general fund from other government funds.
“Called into special session to deal with a budget deficit estimated between $337 million and $550 million, the Democrats in the Legislature managed to trim state spending by a feeble $12.4 million,” Rell said in a press release.
“The Democrats want to move money around from one account to another and one fiscal year to another in the vain hope that increased taxes will fill the holes left behind.”
Rell proposed that the governor’s authority to make rescissions when the state is in deficit be expanded. Under current law, the governor can cut spending of up to 3% of the total appropriation from any fund or 5% of any appropriation when a budget deficit is great than 1% of the general fund.
Rell proposed that the authority be increased to up to 10% of the total appropriation of any fund or 15% of any appropriation when the state has a deficit of 5% or more.
“If they are not willing to do what it takes to reduce government spending, then they must give me the power to do it by increasing the rescission authority of the governor,” shel said.
Under the state’s rescission statute, the governor is not allowed to cut aid to Connecticut municipalities and pension and health benefits for state employees and retirees.