HARTFORD - Gov. Dannel Malloy signed into law the bipartisan budget agreement reached by the General Assembly last week, but vetoed a line item related to a new hospital tax.
“After 123 days without a budget, it is time to sign this bipartisan bill into law…while this may be a step in the right direction, make no mistake about it: This is by no means a perfect document and it is not one I would have negotiated,” Malloy said.
Malloy vetoed a line item relating to supplemental payments to hospitals, saying it was legally unsound.
“(It) would leave Connecticut taxpayers exposed to legal challenges and a potential $1 billion budget shortfall per year,” Malloy said.
Jennifer Jackson, CEO of the Connecticut Hospital Association - a network of hospitals and health-related organizations including the Hospital for Special Care and the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain - disagreed with the governor’s decision.
“The line-item veto undermines the agreement to maximize federal funds for the benefit of the state, hospitals and the patients they serve,” said Jackson. “Governor Malloy articulated concerns with language in the state budget document related to hospitals. Hospitals have addressed his concerns. We agreed to one change the state suggested, and we pointed out that the language in the budget approved by the General Assembly is similar to language used and approved in other states.”
Malloy is urging the General Assembly to convene as soon as possible to pass a “legal alternative” to the hospital tax.
“We stand ready to work with the state to address additional legitimate issues throughout the implementation of the hospital agreement contained in the budget,” Jackson said.
Angie DeRosa can be reached at 860-801-5063 or firstname.lastname@example.org