Witkos, Chapin, Case Stand with Republicans Calling for Special Session to Fix Failing State Budget

October 13, 2015

Local Republicans join fellow lawmakers in submitting petitions calling for action

Hartford – Following calls by hospitals, advocates for the disabled, and many others for legislative action to address Governor Malloy’s recent devastating budget cuts, Senate and House Republican legislators have all signed a petition seeking a special session of the General Assembly to rebuild the state budget and formally requested Democrat legislators do the same.

Today the lawmakers submitted all 79 petitions to the Office of the Secretary of the State signed by each and every Republican state lawmaker. If a majority of state lawmakers in each chamber sign this petition, it will trigger a special session. To gain a majority, at least 4 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.

“This is about people, not politics,” said Sen. Witkos, Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore. “Thousands of people will be hurt by the governor’s budget cuts to the poor, to the elderly, to the disabled, and to the mentally ill. There’s no one-time fix to the significant problems within the Democrats’ budget. It is an unstable budget that will continue to fail our state and result in even more future cuts unless we do something significant to change it. I urge Democrats to stand with Republicans and sign this petition so that we can go into special session and work collaboratively to fix this mess and do what’s right.”

“The Governor’s cuts to hospitals will do serious harm to the healthcare system in the 30th District,” said Sen. Chapin. “Although I agree cuts in state spending need to be made, Connecticut residents would be better served if the Governor included the legislature in determining the least harmful areas to cut. Even though the Governor has unilateral rescission authority, I stand ready along with many of my colleagues to offer input in a special session.”

“Until the Governor and majority party address our budget on a larger scale, instead of targeting certain professions and businesses, our taxpayers will continually suffer consequences and our most vulnerable citizens will be left without a safety net,” said Rep. Case. “If there are democrats serious in making balanced cuts, then they will join us in calling for a special session.”

The petition calls for a 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, for a total loss of $192 million in funding for Connecticut’s hospitals. The result is hospitals become net taxpayers to the state of approximately a half a billion dollars.