Lawmakers addressed the elephant in the room during a standing-room only meeting of Connecticut’s Education Committee to consider bill concepts, including regionalization of education services. The subject on everyone’s mind was a bill proposal introduced by Sen....read more
Professor of Finance for the College of Staten Island and Research Fellow at The University Transportation Research Center Johnathan Peters says if Connecticut lawmakers are looking to raise revenue for transportation, they might be better off looking somewhere else...read more
**Update: Senate Democrats have confirmed the figure of 40,000 students was a mistake in the bill. Instead, the regionalization effort would apply to towns with less than 40,000 total population. The article below is amended to reflect that change** Senate President...read more
Along with a new year, a new governor, and a new legislative session comes a new attempt — make that new attempts — to wipe the business entity tax off the books. The business entity tax is a $250 tax paid by businesses every two years simply because they, well, are...read more
Officials in the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut used dues money to fund the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Organization, pay for trips for UPFFA President Peter Carozza and his fiancé, and borrowed money from its own charity...read more
State employee unions gained 2,952 members between April and December of 2018, according to figures from the State Comptroller’s Office, but half of those gains came from just two bargaining units: Corrections Officers and the Judicial Professional Employees Union....read more
The Policy Corner With Scott Shepard
In a recent piece, the CTMirror addressed the persistent issue of outmigration of the affluent – and whether it was a matter of fact or myth. With some reluctance, the authors concluded what Yankee has repeatedly demonstrated: that many of Connecticut’s wealthy – and...
The incoming governor and legislature are already feuding about whether to raid the Rainy Day Fund to balance the books in 2019. Governor-elect Lamont is right about this: the Rainy Day Fund must be saved for the next economic downturn. The fiscal life of the state depends on it.
The Fitch Files
Connecticut’s Whiting Forensic Hospital was forced to rehire employees terminated in 2009 and 2010 for the abuse of state psychiatric patients after grievance arbitrators overturned management decisions, according to documents obtained through a freedom of information request.read more
The Fitch Files: Connecticut woodworking company becomes victim of national pension crisis, gets sued out of existence
Mark originally wanted a union shop so that J-Con Inc. could do business in neighboring New York and Rhode Island. He contributed toward his employees’ pension fund with the carpenters union, along with health benefits and good pay.
Little did he know that this would ultimately destroy his business.read more
On A Side Note: Policy Mixed with Pop Culture (and a little humor)
Connecticut already has what many regionalism proponents want — shared services and regional decision-making entities. This raises the question, “Why the renewed push for regionalism?”read more
Facing a $4.6 billion deficit over the next biennium, lawmakers will find themselves in the position of a political captive — hands tied, blind-folded and locked in a dingy basement.read more
FAQ's About How a Bill Becomes Law
1: A Bill Has Been Proposed. What Happens Next?
Initial bill proposals are really just concept bills with general language. Hundreds of bill will be proposed at the beginning of session, often about the same topics. The bills are referred to the appropriate committee, which then decides whether or not to take up the bill or possibly combine it with other similar bills. The committee may have the bill drafted into legal language before bringing it up for a public hearing. Or, the committee could choose to have a "subject matter hearing" in which the general concept of the bill is put out for public comment and debate.
2. How Can My Voice be Heard at a Public Hearing?
Any member of the public is able to make his or her voice heard at a public hearing. When the public hearing is scheduled, members of the public show up to the public hearing, give their opinion to lawmakers and answer any questions committee members may have. Individuals can also submit written testimony through the committee's webpage. After the public hearing the committee will vote whether or not to pass the bill out of committee.
3. The Bill Has Passed out of Committee, What Happens Next?
Depending on the nature of the bill and if there will be any significant costs associated with the legislation, it may be referred to a second committee. Otherwise, the bill will be checked for constitutionality and consistency with law. The Office of Fiscal Analysis will determined the costs associated with the bill and the Office of Legislative Research will produce a "plain English" explanation of the bill. The clerk then assigns the bill a number and it can then be taken up for a vote in either the House or Senate.
4. If One Chamber Passes the Bill, Then What?
If the bill passes in one chamber, it is then referred to the other chamber. This does not necessarily mean it will be voted on, however. Amendments to the bill may be debated and added, and the bill may have to be referred to another committee. However, if both chambers agree on the bill and all its amendments, the bill is then sent to the governor for approval or veto. A governor's veto can be overruled by a 2/3 majority in the House and Senate.
5. What Can I Do Right Now?
You can write or call the members of the committee to express your opinion. You can say if you want a bill to be brought for a public hearing or not; you can express support or opposition to any of the bills they are considering. Below is a list of legislative committees and links to their webpages. You can also keep up to date through Yankee Institute's email list.
- Aging Committee
- Appropriations Committee
- Banking Committee
- Committee on Children
- Commerce Committee
- Education Committee
- Energy and Technology Committee
- Environment Committee
- Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee
- Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee
- General Law Committee
- Government Administrations and Elections Committee
- Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee
- Housing Committee
- Human Services Committee
- Insurance and Real Estate Committee
- Internship Committee
- Judiciary Committee
- Labor and Public Employees Committee
- Joint Committee on Legislative Management
- Planning and Development
- Public Health Committee
- Public Safety and Security
- Legislative Regulation Review Committee
- Transportation Committee
- Committee on Veterans' Affairs
The Yankee Institute for Public Policy Studies is a research and citizen education organization founded in 1984 under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. As one of America’s oldest state-based think tanks, Yankee develops and advocates for free market, limited government public policy solutions in Connecticut.