Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Better Choices for CT - What Rell's Veto Means

Governor M. Jodi Rell Monday announced she has vetoed House Bill 7101, An Act Concerning the Estate and Gift Tax, and Senate Bill 2101, An Act Concerning a Deficit Mitigation Plan for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2010, calling both bills "...further examples of the Democrat-controlled Legislature’s refusal to confront the reality of the state’s financial crisis by cutting spending. Because the majority party in the Legislature is unable to make the needed cuts, Governor Rell said she is submitting legislation expanding the authority of Governors to make rescissions."

The Governor has also submitted proposed legislation to increase her rescission authority essentially signifying that if the Democrats will not resolve the deficit through cuts to bring the budget into balance, then she is willing to do so if given the authority. Under existing law, a Governor can make rescissions when a budget deficit exists that is greater than 1 percent of the General Fund. Current rescission authority is limited to up to 3 percent of the total appropriation from any fund or 5 percent of any appropriation.

Governor Rell is proposing that a Governor’s rescission authority be increased incrementally:

* Up to 6 percent of the total appropriation from any fund or 10 percent of any appropriation when a deficit of 3 percent or more exists
* Up to 10 percent of the total appropriation from any fund or 15 percent of any appropriation when a deficit of 5 percent or more exists

Unless the Democrats are able to successfully override the Governor's veto, all cuts in the Deficit Mitigation Plan previously submitted by the Governor, are back on the table.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Health Care for America Now: Finish Reform Right

Dec 23, 2009

This is it.

One month ago, the House of Representatives passed an historic health care bill - one that would make great strides towards the guarantee of quality, affordable health care for everyone in America. It would tightly regulate insurance companies and give us the choice of a public health insurance option.1

The Senate has taken the first step towards passing its health care bill. While the Senate bill includes significant reforms, it looks small in comparison with the House.2 As Richard Kirsch, our National Campaign Director, said, progressives are "very, very angry and disappointed" with the Senate bill.3

The Senate bill cannot be the final bill sent to President Obama's desk for his signature. We have one last chance to fix it.

The Senate bill will shortly head into "conference" with the House bill, where Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama will come up with a final bill by merging the two. Conference is an opportunity to fix what's wrong with the Senate bill and stand up for what's right in the House bill. It is our last chance - we must stand up for what we believe in and demand that our leaders finish health reform right.

Click here to send a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and President Obama, demanding they finish reform right.

The final bill coming out of conference must be passed by the Senate and House, but no changes are allowed, so conference is the last chance we have to make things better.

This last chance demands unprecedented effort, so we're pulling out all the stops. Today is just the start of an aggressive campaign to put a good bill on the President's desk.

We're asking organizations involved in health care reform, political and policy experts, and grassroots supporters to sign onto the same letter to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and President Obama. We must all speak with one voice and demand quality, affordable health care for all if we're going to win.

It's time to stand up - it's our last chance. Click here to read and sign the letter.

What are we asking for in conference? Two things:

Make good health care affordable:

Low and middle income families must be able to afford health insurance if they do not get it through work, and employers must be asked to provide good health coverage for their employees so health care is affordable at work. Health reform should not be paid for by taxing our health care benefits.

Hold insurance companies accountable:

If the insurance companies win, we lose. Insurance companies must be held accountable with strong regulations and consumer protections, and we must be given the choice of a national public health insurance option available on day one.

Raise your voice right now: Click here to sign and send this letter to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and President Obama.

We're nearing the end of this fight. Your efforts, in coordination with thousands around the country, will make this bill the historic health care reform we believe in.

We must finish reform right.

Happy holidays,

Levana Layendecker
Health Care for America Now

Send a letter

1. BREAKING: House passes health reform bill! - HCAN NOW! blog
2. The House Bill and the Senate Bill - HCAN NOW! blog
3. Labor Leaders Mull Strategies on Health Bill - New York Times