Connecticut Budget Bill Vetoed Again

INDEPENDENT Gov. Lowell Weicker Jr. vetoed another state budget Wednesday, lashing out at Democratic and Republican legislators as lacking the "spine" to pass an income tax in Connecticut."It would be easy for me to sign this budget, devised in the wink of an eye on cocktail napkins and scraps of paper, and then stand back and watch it crash and burn," Governor Weicker said in a televised speech. Weicker's latest veto again left Connecticut on the brink of fiscal chaos, with state government operating through Sunday on the governor's emergency powers and Wall Street threatening to lower state credit ratings. Connecticut began the July 1 fiscal year with a deficit of about $3 billion and stands as the only state in the country still without a budget. Legislative leaders said the Senate would try to override Weicker's veto, and send it to the House. The General Assembly failed to reach the two-thirds votes needed to override two previous budget vetoes. Last month, Weicker shut down nonessential services and furloughed 20,000 state workers for almost a week, closing most offices and agencies until he allowed a temporary budget. The General Assembly late Sunday night rejected another income tax compromise, passing instead a budget that would have raised taxes and various fees by $827 million, including $193 million in new business taxes. The budget developed by a rare coalition of majority Democrats and Republicans would have extended the state's 8 percent sales tax to a host of items and essentially was similar to the two earlier budgets.

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