Legislation as a Collaborative Effort

April 17, 2024

Utilizing the expertise of professional academic researchers is an important part of the equation for writing effective new laws says Representative Jaime Foster in an opinion piece she co-wrote earlier this year.

Rep. Foster, who serves Ellington, East Windsor and Vernon, hosted a conference called "Moving Beyond Implications” at the Legislative Office Building in January featuring the Connecticut Chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network and UConn’s Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy.

UConn Health Research

An emphasis was placed on the benefits of legislators and researchers relying on each other's expertise to produce policies that will have their intended results.

Along with Rep. Foster, co-author Kerri M. Raissian, an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the University of Connecticut and co-leader of the Connecticut Scholars Strategy Network wrote that "effective policy requires both perspectives, and more accurately, it requires ongoing conversations with policymakers and researchers."

State Capitol

The benefits of collaborating with academic researchers is multi-faceted they wrote: "Using objectivity and scientific methods, they analyze the effects of policies or interventions. Their training allows them to synthesize knowledge across studies, determine policy effects, interpret nuance, and understand implementation challenges."

As part of the conference, 15 research presentations were made to eight committees of the Connecticut General Assembly covering a wide range of issues including ways for teachers to address childhood anxiety in schools; solutions to de-carbonize the transportation sector; and why physician conversations regarding secure firearm storage do or don’t happen. You can access the conference program and all the research briefs here.

Read Rep. Foster's full op-ed as published in the CT Mirror here.