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.