Lavielle votes to override governor’s veto on education funding

Gail Lavielle speaks on the floor of the House.
Gail Lavielle speaks on the floor of the House.

State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) released a press release Wednesday regarding her vote on Monday, June 25, to override Gov. Dannel Malloy’s veto of Public Act 18-35, which would have prevented future governors from making cuts in the middle of a school year to Education Cost Sharing funds allocated by the state budget to individual municipalities.

Although the House voted 103-33 to override the governor’s veto, the effort failed to achieve two-thirds support in the Senate, which allowed the veto to stand. The legislature also failed to override vetoes on several other pieces of legislation that passed in both chambers earlier this year, as Senate Democrats sided with the governor.

“Before the governor’s recent decisions to withdraw education funding for districts in the middle of the school year, we had never seen this happen, and the impact was severe for many districts,” said Lavielle, who is ranking member of the Education Committee. “It was clear to many of us that the legislature must not allow this to happen again.

“Contrary to what the governor said in his veto message, this bill was not about how funding is distributed among towns. It was about timing and ensuring predictability and stability for school districts, towns, and local taxpayers. While I was pleased that we were able to override the veto in the House, it was very disappointing to see many Democrats in the Senate, where the bill had originally passed unanimously, reverse their prior votes to sustain the governor’s veto. Killing this bill showed tremendous disregard for the importance of education, and it was a slap in the face to everyone in local government trying to manage town and school finances effectively. The issue is not going away, and I am determined not to let it rest.”

All seven of the governor’s vetoes were sustained in the General Assembly’s special session on Monday. “These bills were designed to help taxpayers, school districts, and towns, and I will continue advocating for them,” Lavielle said.

The 143rd district includes parts of Norwalk, Westport, and Wilton. She is the ranking member of the General Assembly’s Education Committee and a member of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee and the Transportation Committee.