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Legislatively Speaking
Legislatively Speaking: Capitol Moves Toward Normal

By Alma Graham, CT State Grange Legislative Director

  March 1, 2022 --

The State Grange Legislative Committee completed assembling the 2022 Legislative Guides and they were delivered to the members of the Connecticut General Assembly.

The 2022 session of the General Assembly convened on February 9th in Hartford. This year’s Legislative session is a short session which means that bills are supposed to only address budget issues. The first order of business following the approval of the normal first day housekeeping bills was a joint resolution which declared a public health and civil preparedness emergency in the state which extended the Governors executive powers until June 30th.

This year the House and Senate members were able to meet in person in the chamber halls. The Capitol and Legislative Office Buildings are open to the public on a limited basis. The public can only access the first floors of each building. In the Capitol that does not give access to much as all. The Governor’s office is located on the second floor. In the Legislative Office Building you can access a limited number of hearing halls and the cafeteria. The plan for the early days of the session is to only have virtual public hearings via ZOOM. They will re-address virtual hearings after a month to consider opening up committee hearings to in person hearings. Right now, if you want to testify on a bill you must sign up for ZOOM access.

The Governor did give his address in person to the General Assembly in which he outlined his budget proposals. He presented some very optimistic budget proposals hopefully appealing to both sides of the chamber. Connecticut is not facing a budget deficit so far so there were many recommendations for tax cuts. One suggestion is reducing the tax on vehicles. The Governor also is proposing major improvements to the state’s infrastructure using the funds from the Presidents infrastructure bill.

The legislators are now submitting their bills to be presented. These will be assigned to the different committees who will review them and select which bills will be forwarded to public hearings for public input. Hopefully the General Assembly will get back to addressing the States issues and not just the pandemic.



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