Trumbull legislators call for special session to fix failing state budget

State Reps. David Rutigliano (R-123), Laura Devlin (R-134), and Ben McGorty (R-122) and every Republican state lawmaker signed a petition that was submitted to the Office of the Secretary of the State Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Following calls by hospitals, especially Bridgeport and St. Vincent’s hospitals, advocates for the disabled, and many others for legislative action to address Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s recent devastating budget cuts, Trumbull Republican legislators have signed a petition seeking a special session of the General Assembly to rebuild the state budget.

If a majority of state lawmakers in the House and Senate chambers signs the petition, it will trigger a special session.

To gain a majority, at least four Democrats in the Senate and 12 Democrats in the House will need to join Republicans in signing the petition.

Thus far, the governor and Democrat leaders have denied Republicans’ requests to hold a special session.

“I signed this petition with 78 of my colleagues because having the chambers come together to work together to solve this problem is how our state government is supposed to work,” said Rep. Rutigliano. “This is the hard work that comes with being an elected official, and it’s time for our colleagues across the aisle to step up to the plate—if not, we’ll be hurting the residents of Connecticut.”

“Making devastating cuts to our hospitals, our mental health programs, and our developmentally disabled services hurt our most vulnerable populations,” added Rep. Devlin. “These cuts strike an economic blow to middle class hospital workers, in the form of layoffs. Let’s come together and find some common ground.

Rep. McGorty said that “the governor's way...has clearly failed."

"The governor cannot be relied on to create a balanced budget, and now he has demonstrated that he can't be relied on to make good policy choices when faced with making necessary cuts,” he said. “Instead of living month to month praying for state receipts to rebound, the legislature needs to convene and make sound policy decisions, reverse these cuts to our state hospitals and restore the funds he is sweeping out of the treasuries of cities and towns."

The petition calls for a special session that will “make adjustments to the state budget for the biennium beginning July 1, 2015, including adjustments to restore Medicaid funding and other state support for hospitals, health care and other services.”

The General Assembly can be called in to a special session by the governor or by majority party legislative leaders.

However, if rank and file legislators demonstrate that a majority in both chambers deem it necessary to meet in special session, they can initiate a session themselves.

The governor’s $103 million in cuts include millions in cuts to mental health and substance abuse services and programs that help those with disabilities – all areas that were already slashed in the Democrats’ budget. It also includes $64 million in Medicaid cuts that directly affect hospitals and translate to a loss of $128 million in federal dollars.