“Does anyone in Connecticut believe that?”

June 27, 2018

(Please read and share this editorial from the Waterbury Republican-American then send me your comments at [email protected]. For the record,I voted to override Gov. Malloy’s vetoes.)

 No overrides; no confidence

(Waterbury Republican-American Editorial)

Many in Connecticut entertain the notion that representatives and senators ponder the messages they receive from their constituents, balance those messages against their own lights and political reality, and draft legislation accordingly.

That notion got blasted to smithereens Monday, when lawmakers were unable to muster veto overrides for any of the measures they had passed overwhelmingly just a few months ago.

In all, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy vetoed seven bills during and after the legislative session that ended May 9.

Among them were a bill intended to help teachers maintain order in their classrooms; protect taxpayers statewide from subsidizing Hartford’s irresponsible spending practices; establish a council to oversee the state’s long-troubled Department of Children and Families; ensure that the flow of education cost-sharing grants from the state is reliable and predictable; and expand the availability of apprenticeship tax credits for businesses.

Not to worry, insisted Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven.

The legislature upheld the vetoes in response to the “compelling arguments” contained in Gov. Malloy’s veto messages, and the issues addressed by the vetoed bills will be taken up in future legislative sessions.

Let’s back up.

Our wise, all-knowing governor pointed out legal or practical defects in every one of these bills that did not occur to a single one of the 36 senators and 151 House members who were involved with the drafting, debating and voting that took place during the legislative session?

Does anyone in Connecticut, inside or outside of government, believe that?

This legislation was crafted by legislators on both sides of the aisle coming together to do what was in the best interest of Connecticut residents and taxpayers,” Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Leonard A. Fasano, of North Haven, said days before the failed veto-override attempts.

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, accused legislative Democrats of playing politics with important legislation.

“The Democrats had a chance to make our classrooms and schools safer, limit the Hartford bailout, and help manufacturers,” she said Tuesday.

“Each time, they opted for politics over public policy, and it is unfortunate.”

Gov. Malloy neither gains nor loses from the veto-override debacle; he’s a deeply unpopular lame duck office-holder.

But legislative Democrats may pay a high price because there is no way to clear the air of the political stench their actions produced.

If one buys Sen. Looney’s point about the power of Gov. Malloy’s veto messages, the inevitable conclusion is that the Democratic Party – with a majority in the House and the tie-breaking vote of Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy S. Wyman in the evenly divided Senate – is insufficiently competent to discern the deficiencies Gov. Malloy cited.

And did it not occur to Sen. Looney, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, or anyone else to ask the governor his opinion of controversial bills the legislature was considering?