Line-Item Veto Power in Connecticut

Back • Publication Date: October 6th, 2009

Authors: F. Wade Gibson

Downloads: Download #1

Governor Jodi Rell attempted to line-item veto portions of the Fiscal Year 2010-11 budget bill without signing it. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal advised the Governor that she lacked such authority under the Connecticut Constitution, and Rell withdrew her veto. This issue brief clarifies two aspects of the Connecticut line-item veto — that it requires the Governor to sign the underlying bill and that it extends only to “items of appropriation.”

Governor Rell attempted to veto both actual budget line items and budget sections committing line-item funds to particular uses. Both sorts of vetoes likely would have stood had she signed the bill, as both are “items of appropriation.” The Governor’s partial veto authority, however, extends no further than such items, and at least one of the attempted vetoes exceeded the Governor’s authority.