All politics, all the time? / Waterbury editorial blog by Matt Stevens

October 7, 2015

In August, Connecticut Senate Minority Leader Leonard A. Fasano, R-North Haven, initiated his call for a special legislative session to revise the 2015-17 state budget Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and all but four Democratic lawmakers approved in late June.

Sen. Fasano stepped up his game after problems on the fiscal year 2015-16 side of the budget prompted Gov. Malloy to order nearly $103 million in emergency spending cuts in mid-September.

As virtually all Connecticut residents know, the governor’s cuts stand to hit the state’s hospitals especially hard. For this reason, they have been criticized by legislators of both parties.

It now is clear – and it seems even some Democratic lawmakers agree with this – that a special session is the best vehicle for reversing the hospital cuts and giving Connecticut a fundamentally sound budget.

However, Gov. Malloy has resisted the idea of calling lawmakers back to Hartford and based on the tone he took during this Oct. 5 interview with Fox CT, it doesn’t seem that he will change his mind any time soon.

Sen. Fasano summed the situation up succinctly when he told Fox, “This is a governor that has his door locked and sealed.”

It is highly possible that Gov. Malloy, like House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, opposes a special session because he knows calling one to revise the budget would amount to an implicit admission that Democrats, and Democrats alone, got Connecticut into a heap of budget trouble.

As I wrote in my Sept. 30 post on Speaker Sharkey’s special-session stance, it is hard to see how Democrats would prosper politically if their leaders were to offer even a tacit concession of the party’s complicity in Connecticut’s latest budget disaster.

It seems, as we have posited on the editorial page a number of times over the years, that Gov. Malloy is as politics-obsessed as his friend President Obama.