Martin M. Looney

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

An Advocate for Us

December 14, 2017

Senate Democratic Caucus Submits Signatures Triggering a Special Session to Restore the Medicare Savings Program

Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) today announced that the Senate Democratic Caucus has submitted 17 petition signatures to the Secretary of the State’s Office requesting a special session to restore the Medicare Savings Program.

With all four caucuses submitting signatures this week, the Secretary of the State must call the General Assembly to meet sometime between December 24 and December 29.

“The Medicare Savings Program helps many seniors and residents with disabilities make ends meet,” said Senator Looney. “It is important that we reach a bipartisan consensus to restore the Medicare Savings Program just as it critical that we continue our bipartisan work on a deficit mitigation package to bring the budget back into balance.”

“State Senate Democrats are always focused on making Connecticut a great place to live,” said Senator Duff. “Our state Medicare Savings Program benefit helps make Connecticut an attractive place to retire and once again demonstrates our commitment to our seniors.”

Following Republican statements today, Senator Looney added:

“This is just desperate grandstanding from the Republicans,” said Senator Looney. “They already know that the Governor will not call the General Assembly into session unless a full deficit mitigation plan is considered. The Senate Democrats have submitted their petitions to the Secretary of the State. We are going into session later in December. Republican statements fly in the face of reality.

“It appears that the Republicans are more interested in political theater than doing what is best for the State of Connecticut. Perhaps after the long struggle of producing a bipartisan budget, they can no longer handle sharing in the burden of solving our State’s fiscal issues. They would prefer to pick and choose what to work on instead of sitting at the table and governing.”

Yesterday, the Senate President and Senate Majority Leader invited all of the other legislative leaders to begin bipartisan talks about the Medicare Savings Program as well as the deficit mitigation plan. To date, no one has yet to respond.

Senator Looney continued, “Just six months ago Republican leaders said, ‘It is irresponsible and Connecticut can’t afford to give deficit mitigation efforts low priority.’ (Malloy Fasano Team Up to Push for Plan to Cover Current Deficit, Connecticut Mirror, May 30, 2017). Now that they’ve helped craft this budget they don’t seem to be in a rush to play a role in rebalancing it.”

“Let’s look at the historical facts: the Senate Republicans have proposed cutting the Medicare Savings Program since at least 2015—well before we found ourselves dealing with the current deficit. That is a fact. Now, they’re trying to rush in and play hero to reverse a policy for which they were the original advocates.