Fairfield Republicans Call for Special Session to Fix Failing State Budget

October 14, 2015

Following calls by hospitals, advocates for the disabled, and many others for legislative action to address Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s recent devastating budget cuts, Fairfield Republican legislators have signed a petition seeking a special session of the General Assembly to rebuild the state budget.

On Tuesday (Oct. 13), a petition signed by Sen. Tony Hwang, Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) and Rep Laura Devlin (R-134) and every Republican state lawmaker was submitted to the Office of the Secretary of the State.

If a majority of state lawmakers in the House and Senate chambers signs the petition, it will trigger a special session. To gain a majority, at least four Democrats in the Senate and 12 Democrats in the House will need to join Republicans in signing the petition. Thus far, the governor and Democrat leaders have denied Republicans’ requests to hold a special session.

“We hope majority Democrats will do the right thing for the people and not politics. We need to convene a special session to prevent devastating cuts to services for the sick, the elderly, and the disadvantaged,” Sen. Hwang said. “So far, they have resisted. Their hesitation will result in job losses and reduced access to health care for the neediest patients. Each day that goes by, Gov. Malloy and legislative Democrats have an opportunity to protect medical care for the poor, our seniors and the infirm. Each day that goes by, the most vulnerable residents of Connecticut will suffer more and more. Let’s get back to work.”

“The state budget that passed in June without any Republican input or support and seems to be falling apart day-by-day. This is an opportunity for the majority to show some bipartisanship and work together to fix this flawed budget and address the real problems our state is facing,” Rep. Kupchick said.

“Making devastating cuts to our hospitals, our mental health programs, and our developmentally disabled services hurt our most vulnerable populations. Let’s come together and find some common ground,” Rep. Devlin said.

The petition calls for a special session, “To make adjustments to the state budget for the biennium beginning July 1, 2015, including adjustments to restore Medicaid funding and other state support for hospitals, health care and other services.”

The General Assembly can be called in to a special session by the governor or by majority party legislative leaders. However, if rank and file legislators demonstrate that a majority in both chambers deem it necessary to meet in special session, they can initiate a session themselves.

The governor’s $103 million in cuts include millions in cuts to mental health and substance abuse services and programs that help those with disabilities – all areas that were already slashed in the Democrats’ budget. It also includes $64 million in Medicaid cuts that directly affect hospitals and translate to a loss of $128 million in federal dollars.