From the Hartford Courant

By Christopher Keating

Legislative leaders say no action will be taken Monday to override any of Gov. Malloy’s nine vetoes

HARTFORD — Finding no consensus to take action, House Speaker Brendan Sharkey said Friday that there will be no overrides of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s nine vetoes in the legislative session.

Some legislators and advocates had been pushing for overrides on some education bills, but the Democrat-controlled legislature has not overridden a veto since Malloy, a Democrat, took office in January 2011.

Republicans said Friday that they will show up at the constitutionally required veto session Monday prepared to overturn Malloy’s decisions.

“Fortunately, this is not a decision for only the majority leaders to make,” House Republican leader Themis Klarides and Senate Republican leader Len Fasano said in a joint statement. “Under our constitution, it is up to the legislative body’s majority vote to consider an override of a governor’s veto.

“As such, there should be an opportunity for the assembly as a whole to voice its opinion. To gavel in and out without any reconsideration and without hearing input from all lawmakers violates our constitutional duty and therefore our obligations as elected representatives.”

The state’s largest teachers union said it was upset with the apparent lack of action on a bill that would have set specific qualifications for the commissioner of education.

“Educators across the state are shaking their heads in disbelief today wondering why legislators, who overwhelmingly passed HB 6977, An Act Establishing Qualifications for the Commissioner of Education, have today decided against an override of the governor’s veto of the bill,” said Mark Waxenberg, executive director of the Connecticut Education Association.

Malloy Vetoes Bill Setting New Education Commissioner Requirements
“Clearly there is something wrong when state law requires high standards for all professionals in the education community except the person at the helm — the commissioner of education,” he said. “It’s distressing that the commissioner of corrections, who oversees prisoners, is required to have specific industry experience, while the state’s education chief, who safeguards our most precious resource, our children, is not required to have education experience.

“We will revisit this issue again in the next legislative session and urge legislators to once again support the measure and right this wrong by requiring reasonable qualifications for the state’s education chief, similar to the qualifications required of the commissioners of corrections, public health, emergency management, and other state agency heads.”

Veto overrides are rare because they require a two-thirds vote of both chambers of the legislature: 24 votes in the Senate and 101 votes in the House of Representatives.

Govs. William A. O’Neill and John G. Rowland both served 10 years in office and never had any vetoes overridden. During the past 75 years, Gov. Lowell P. Weicker had the most vetoes overturned, with 17, while Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell had 16 overturned by a Democratic legislature in 61/2 years.

Copyright © 2015, Hartford Courant

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