Our long statewide nightmare is over. In a hastily arranged press event on the steps of the Capitol late Tuesday afternoon, Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced she would veto parts of the budget and then allow it to become law.
Her decision comes after the legislature worked overnight to vote on and pass a budget. During that session, Democratic legislators inserted an additional $8 million, to which Rell responded: "This spending is an insult."
The Republican governor called it "well intentioned pork, but pork nonetheless."
Rell announced she would use her line item veto power to strike out the new spending. She could have signed the budget, rejected it, or done nothing on the bill. By taking no action, it will automatically become law after five days.
Democratic leaders have called their budget "a balanced approach" to closing the state's deficit and ending a monthslong impasse with the governor and the Republican minority in the legislature.
"When the governor complains about having to cut so-called ‘pork-barrel spending,’ I wonder if she is going to count in that the money that she and the lieutenant governor added back into this state budget at the last moment for their own Capitol offices," said Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney in a statement sent to NBC Connecticut.
Rell said the budget crisis has taken its toll, lingering for too long over the state. Rejecting the entire budget, Rell feared, would not bring the state closer to a resolution.