Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Democrats’ Candy Store at the State Capitol

A special session of the Connecticut General Assembly convened today just a month after we adjourned the regular session. Sounds mundane to most people outside the Capitol until they hear what’s really happening here.

The legislature is normally scheduled to meet February 8th to May 9th this year. Nearly 4,000 bills were submitted at the beginning of the regular session but less than 400 of these bills were approved by both houses of the legislature by the deadline on May 9th.

Bills that failed to make it across the finish line are often introduced again in future years – sometimes taking several attempts to make it across the finish line. This is a good process because the vetting process identifies weaknesses in legislative ideas and improves them before final approval. Bad ideas are hopefully weeded out by this process.

Today we have a “special session within a special session.” Archaic legislative rules allow the majority Democratic Party legislative leaders to sidestep the regular legislative process by taking a ride to the “candy store” today. We have before us 658 pages of legislation to vote on with only a few hours to research. Nearly one-hundred bills that didn’t make it across the finish line are back on the table. In addition, many initiatives before us now never saw the light of day before today.

Why would Democratic Party legislators claim transparency in everything they do at the Capitol but be so sneaky with a “special session within a special session?” The candy store is the reason. Load up everything you couldn’t get across the finish line in the bright light of a regular legislative session with public hearings and committee meetings and jam it into a special session within a special session.

My bosses – the voters of the 24th Senate District expect me to seek input on legislation before voting. When the Democrats “turn the lights off” at the State Capitol for their “special session within a special session” to ramrod legislation in the dark they are ignoring our constituents.

My vote today is a firm NO.