The 2009 legislative session got underway today. The governor gave her state of the state address, which struck an unsurprisingly somber tone about the bleak financial picture. The message is pretty clear: cuts, big ones, are on the way.
There are already some very, very interesting new bills that have been filed. Let’s take a look:
Rep. Joe Mioli has proposed quite a bit of legislation. For instance, AN ACT PROHIBITING THE RETAIL USE OF PLASTIC BAGS would, well, ban retail use of plastic bags. Simple enough.
Another: AN ACT CONCERNING THE IMPOSITION OF THE ESTATE TAX, which would eliminate the “cliff” in the estate tax. No go?
One proposal of Rep. Mioli’s that I found especially interesting was this one, AN ACT INCREASING THE TERM OF OFFICE FOR MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, which is being pushed as a way to cut expenditures of the Citizens’ Election Fund by half each cycle! The bill would amend the state constitution to “increase the term of office for members of the General Assembly from two years to four years. Additionally, the election of such members shall be staggered to have one-half of the members of each chamber of the General Assembly elected at each general election.” Hmm. I’d love to know what people think about this one.
The Interstate National Compact to elect the president by popular vote is back, and is sponsored by a ton of legislators. I bet it goes nowhere.
Another bill having to do with elections is AN ACT TO STUDY THE NEED FOR EARLY VOTING IN CONNECTICUT, proposed by Rep. Drew.
Rep. Morin has proposed AN ACT CONCERNING THE INSTITUTION BY MUNICIPALITIES OF A LOCAL HOTEL TAX, which I’m betting would be popular with cash-strapped towns and cities.
Rep. Drew wants to see more parking at train/bus stations, and has proposed AN ACT CONCERNING THE DETERMINATION OF PARKING NEEDS AT RAILROAD AND OTHER MASS TRANSIT STATIONS. Certain towns in Fairfield County won’t like this one.
Over in the Senate, a bill that I’m guessing will get a lot of play is AN ACT CONCERNING ECONOMIC SECURITY FOR CONNECTICUT FAMILIES. Still no word on what this bill will actually do.
Sen. Prague and Rep. Ryan want to stop CRRA from placing an ash landfill in Franklin or Windham, and has proposed AN ACT PROHIBITING THE ACQUISITION OR USE OF CERTAIN PARCELS OF LAND AS ASH RESIDUE DISPOSAL AREAS. I wonder if they had a problem with an ash landfill being in Hartford? Probably not.
Sen. Crisco is proposing AN ACT CONCERNING MONTHLY PAYMENT OF PROPERTY TAXES, which is designed to help people cope with high property taxes.
So, they’re off and running!