GENERAL ASSEMBLY SLAPS GOV. RELL WITH SIX VETO OVERRIDES

The state legislature has stuck it to Gov. Rell as Republicans teamed with Democrats to override six of the governor’s 13 vetoes in what appears to (at least partially) be retribution for Rell cutting the Republicans out of budget negotiations, according to at least one Republican source.

“Obviously I am disappointed with the overrides,” Rell said in a statement. “When I veto a bill, it is after careful consideration and because I feel the legislation represents bad public policy, is too expensive or creates more bureaucracy.”

But in at least one instance, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Rell vetoed a bill that would have expanded Off-Track Betting— http://scullycommunications.com/2010/gen-news/rank-hypocrisy-by-rell-even-in-the-final-months/ —to restaurants in Manchester, New London and Windham. Rell objected to the expansion of gambling with the OTBs. But this is the same governor who supported the video gambling game keno (and the revenue it would bring) and included it in every budget she proposed this year.

Senate Minority Leader Republican John McKinney stood with the governor, saying it’s bad economic policy to expand gambling.

The legislature also voted to extend the real estate conveyance tax—an important source of revenue for cities and towns. It did, however, also pass a measure to exempt foreclosed property from the tax.

In another override, lawmakers voted for the so-called “ban the box” bill that will remove the check-off box on state-employee applications asking whether a person had ever been arrested. The General Assembly also overrode Rell to allow for a two-tier licensing system for social workers so that Connecticut would have the same system as 45 other states, including the states that border us.

Additionally, the legislature voted to establish a special commission to study criminal sentencing. and yet another override will allow improved parking at the main Stamford train station, and the final override will, among other things, deal with the construction of waste facilities near water resources.