The Connecticut General Assembly convenes Monday for the required “veto session” but as of now, it’s uncertain whether override efforts will take place or if it will be a gavel-in, gavel-out assembly. Complicating any override efforts is that an absolute two-thirds majority is needed to override Gov. Dannel Malloy’s veto, not just two-thirds of those present and voting. That means 24 senators and 101 House members must vote to turn back a veto.
“It’s too soon to tell,” says Senate President Marty Looney who has been at a conference out of state, returning just Sunday. “We will be caucusing the vetoed bills this week. We’ll go over the governor’s veto messages to see if he has compelling reasons to veto the bills,” he said.
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Looney says there are other matters to consider for the veto session. “I haven’t had a chance to talk to Speaker [Brendan] Sharkey to see what the House will do because, of course, a two-thirds majority is needed in both chambers.”
Veto attempts are especially difficult because they take place in the middle of summer when many lawmakers are with their families doing summer things. Routinely, some are out of state on long-planned vacations.
The hurdles to winning an override won’t stop special interest groups from trying. The Connecticut Education Association seems somewhat insulted that Malloy would veto a bill it championed. The thought here is that Malloy is right in turning back a bill that would tie his and future governors’ hands in choosing an education commissioner. The CEA has great influence in the state House and Senate but it remains to be seen if it can persuade enough lawmakers to vote its way.
In the end, Malloy vetoed nine bills (and signed 286).