Governor Says He Won't Support A Bill That Could Lead To $3M In Assistance To Striking Workers

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday he doesn't support a vague bill passed in the final minutes of the legislative session that creates a $3 million fund that could financially benefit striking union workers, signaling he would will likely veto it.

“Everything I know about it, I’m not going to support it,” he told reporters during a post-session news conference, calling lawmakers' tactics to pass the bill “too cute by half.”

Senate Democrats mostly avoided describing the bill as supporting striking workers. Rather, Sen. Julie Kusher repeatedly said during the late-night debate the bill would help “low-wage workers” and State Comptroller Sean Scanlon would iron out the details.

Minutes after the vote, a coalition of unions praised the legislation as a step toward creating an assistance fund for striking workers. Ed Hawthorne, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, said such a fund would “level the playing field for working people” and allow them to strike without facing foreclosures, evictions and repossessions.

Lamont said he supports unions but was unenthusiastic about using taxpayers' money to subsidize strikers.

New York and New Jersey allow striking workers to apply for unemployment benefits, a proposal that failed this session in Connecticut.