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Legislatively Speaking
Legislatively Speaking: Little Has Changed in 86 Years

By Alma Graham, CT State Grange Legislative Director

  March 1, 2021 --

While digging through a box of old photos and documents for another project, I came across a March 8, 1935 copy of the Willimantic Daily Chronicle. When I noticed the headline I just started laughing. This is quoting the 1935 Chronicle.




“Second Month of Session Closes With Bulk of Major Legislation Still Hanging – Defeat of Rehabilitation Bill Most Important Action Thus Far. “

The article goes on saying: “The General Assembly has closed its second month with the bulk of major legislation still hanging fire. Aside from committee hearings, scheduled soon to report on liquor and milk control, old age pension, government reorganization, labor and the budget, little in the way of prominent reform has been accomplished.”

It is interesting that 86 years later the same can be said about the present General Assembly. Many bills have been introduced and different committee hearings are occurring. The only bills that have been presented and voted on so far by the Legislature have been judicial appointments. This is not uncommon thought at this point in the session. Note that one of the topics from the 1935 session was about liquor control. This session we are also discussing liquor control, allowing sales of wine and beer in grocery and big box stores.

In early February, Governor Lamont presented his proposed bi-annual budget. The Governor proposed some new revenue sources which included legal marijuana sales, sports betting, online betting and a new fee on tractors-trailers traveling through the state. He did not include highway tolls this year. His budget proposal avoids major tax increases. He is relying on the federal pandemic relief funds to help close some of the projected deficits.  He is not planning on any major cuts to towns and has slightly raised some school grants to towns. The legalization of marijuana will be one of the controversial topics of the budget.   It has been proposed before and there has been strong opposition to it.   One major thing to note is that many of our neighboring states have now legalized it so they are receiving revenue benefits by our resistance to legalize marijuana.

Now the members of the General Assembly will review, tear apart, and present their versions of a budget. Hopefully they will present a revised budget before the end of the session.



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