Governor Rell Never Fails to Disappoint

Yesterday, Connecticut governor Jodi M. Rell vetoed seven bills including an omnibus health care bill that included the bone marrow testing item I had testified in favor for.

The state has been without a budget since the fiscal year began on Wednesday since the detached Governor and the state legislature are seemingly miles apart on how to deal with the budget. The Governor wants cuts everywhere but none that will effectively deal with the projected $9 billion deficit projected over the next two years.

The state legislature wants a budget that sharply raises fees and taxes along with cuts.

In an effort to appear fiscally responsible, Rell vetoed each of the seven bills yesterday noting how they will wind up costing us money we don’t have “Each of these bills is problematic in some fundamental way,” Rell said in today’s Hartford Courant. “Some — like the ‘menu bill’ — are attempts to legislate what should be common sense, and would impose burdens on the people of Connecticut and add costs for businesses and agencies in the midst of a deep recession.” The menu bill would have required nutritional information be included in chain food restaurants. While the state was recognized as the third fittest (or third least obese) this week, she felt this was an unnecessary act. And a bill that would have required the state to apply for federal stimulus funds to create “green jobs,” and promote “green energy” seems not only cost-efficient but forward-thinking.

“Does it come as a surprise to anyone that a vegetable salad is healthier and more nutritious than a bacon cheeseburger?” Rell asked. “There has been a growing and troubling tendency by some to legislate nearly every aspect of our lives and society, including personal responsibility. Such legislation always comes at a cost to the taxpayer and to individual freedom.”

Closer to home, the veto included the health care bill which would have obligated health insurance companies to cover various medical treatments, including hearing aids for children, prosthetic devices, bone marrow testing, wigs for certain patients who suffer hair loss, and ostomy supplies.

I want to thank everyone for the lobbying effort last month but clearly the governor is disinterested. I am deeply disappointed in the specific bill being rejected but the larger issue appears to be our governor playing chicken with every aspect of our lives in order to appear prudent when she is instead showing a distinct lack of leadership during a time of fiscal concern.

6 comments

  • mattw

    HB 5021 is right on the edge of a veto override — it had 25 votes in the Senate and 98 in the House with 4 Dems absent. It could still pass over Rell’s veto if the Republicans that voted aye can stay on, or if normally-good healthcare votes like Deb Heinrich, Linda Schofield, and Jonathan Harris can be brought on.

  • I’m so sorry. Here, they passed the bill to make restaurants post the calorie counts of everything while ignoring the screaming need for a budget in California. Where are the leaders?!

    But at least my ostomy supplies are covered by my insurance, and I’m sure they only are because the insurance company must be required to.

  • Laurie Rozakis

    I wish I lived in CT so I could vote against the woman. She should be ashamed of herself, as she lacks all sense of human decency.

  • Allie Moo

    My heart sank reading that the bill got vetoed. I, who has never liked politics or ever written to a political leader on my years on this earth, e-mailed Gov. Rell a few weeks ago to urge her to sign it. (I conveniently left out the fact that I am no longer a CT resident.) Here’s hoping they can manage to override her veto.

  • Beth Goodwin

    I too am disappointed by much the Governor et al. have done regarding the budget, or lack of same. I am deeply saddened to hear the bill you championed got vetoed. It would have helped me as well with the children’s hearing aids.

    In addition, the budget cuts proposed will reduce funding to people with developmental disabilities who receive funding for their vocational and day programs. These funding cuts not only affect their ability to work without the support on their jobs, it makes it virtually impossible for the non-profits, like the one I work for, to continue to operate. Thus we have to reduce our staff to meet our bills which leads to greater unemployment, including perhaps me. No good all the way around!

  • Heather Dean

    It’s unfortunate. I’m really sorry for all those that this impacts so negatively. We can only hope she will follow in Sarah’s steps soon and resign.

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