Veto override flies through General Assembly
HARTFORD — The 2017 legislative session, which should have ended June 7 of last year, finally sputtered to a conclusion last week.
The House and Senate last Wednesday quickly overrode Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s veto on Medicare Savings Program funding for about 90,000 Connecticut seniors and disabled persons. It took the House less than 15 minutes, while the Senate debate and vote lasted about eight minutes, putting the final piece of the current-budget puzzle in place, for the time being.
Lawmakers admitted that they will revisit the overall funding issue, especially the second year of the popular savings program, in the budget-setting session that started this Wednesday.
The override legislation was approved 131-4 in the House, with three Democrats and Republican Rep. Craig Fishbein, of Wallingford, voting against the move. The Senate vote was 30-1, putting the final touch on a budget that took effect last July 1. Sen. Gary Winfield, D-New Haven, voted against the override.
The legislation assures that various income levels, between $2,120 a month for singles and $3,328 for couples, will remain in effect. Last fall, participants in the program were warned the levels would be cut in half starting in the new year.
Malloy has vetoed the bill after assuring funding for the program through the fiscal year, which ends June 30. In his veto message, Malloy criticized the funding mechanisms lawmakers chose, stressing that they should focus their attentions on a deficit in the current state budget that tops $240 million.