Senator Kelly Opposes Legislation Granting 
Increased Rescission Power to Governor Malloy

July 1, 2011

HARTFORD – State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21) stood in opposition to legislation that expands the Governor’s authority to make unilateral spending reductions to the state’s budget.

During the regular 2011 legislative session, the General Assembly passed a budget agreement that set out to re-coup a savings of $1.6 billion through concessions from the state’s workforce. That labor agreement has not received the necessary votes from union members, requiring the legislature to convene for special session and take action to fill that fiscal gap.

House Bill 6701, AN ACT CONCERNING THE BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2013, which passed both the State Senate and House of Representatives, is a measure granting Governor Malloy greater rescission authority to make unilateral spending cuts in order to fill the $1.6 billion gap in the state budget. Under the bill, the Governor’s rescission authority is doubled to 10 percent. Other provisions in the bill reduce the value of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

“The Governor is seeking unprecedented rescission power to unilaterally make the necessary cuts to the budget to make it balance,” stated Senator Kelly. “My concern is that the separation of powers under the State Constitution granted this authority to the General Assembly, not the Governor. As such, this is not a Republican or Democrat issue, but one of Constitutional importance to protect the legislative institution. Keep in mind that the legislature is a separate and equal branch of government. While we may have one party rule as a result of the election, we do not have one branch rule under the Constitution. I believe we were elected to do that job and cannot delegate it to anyone else.

“In the six months that Governor Malloy as been in office, we have seen the largest tax increase in state history, a one billion increase in state spending, a failed union agreement, and an overall failed budget process. This governor does not deserve more authority. He has harmed the middle class and our state’s taxpayer enough.”

Recommendations set out by Governor Malloy had sought to also grant him cognizance over municipal aid reductions, but ultimately that measure did not pass. Going forward, Governor Malloy will have between July 1st and September 30th to use his increased power to impose rescissions of up to 10 percent of the total Fiscal Year 12 and Fiscal Year 13 appropriations from any fund or 10 percent of any appropriation for Fiscal Years 12 and 13

Earlier in the day, the State Senate took up Senate Bill, 1301, AN ACT CONCERNING THE BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2013, which included Governor Malloy’s recommendations to make changes to the collective bargaining process. Language in the bill would cap longevity bonus payments for those currently receiving, and eliminate longevity for all those not currently eligible. The bill would also redefine how state employees’ compensation is calculated for the purposes of determining retirement benefits – reconfiguring it to no longer include overtime, mileage or longevity.

Senator Kelly added that, “While this bill is an attempt to address necessary cuts, it comes far too late in the budget process and does not go far enough in making meaningful spending reductions. It is unfortunate that it takes a failed concession package for real cuts to even be discussed. We can not afford to wait until the eleventh hour to do what is right for our state’s overburdened residents.”

SB 1301, passed the State Senate, but was not taken up in the House of Representatives.