Assessing Wins and Losses This Legislative Session

June 10, 2019

We can celebrate the passage of legislation in the recently concluded session, some after years of effort while I am disappointed that certain bills would have to start over next year. Among the wins are:

  1. State Water Plan-passed after 18 years, the plan creates a management system for water resources endorsed by multiple state agencies and based on scientific assessments of available water.
  2. Reimbursement of Wallingford’s expenditure for a municipal water line to homes on South Broad Street (originally passed by late Rep. Mary Fritz).
  3. Additional funding for workforce development.
  4. Relief for Oakdale Theatre from an unfair admissions tax not paid by other theatres.
  5. Restoration of PEGPETIA money to its original purpose, the support of community access television.
  6. Bill to help those with opioid addiction get assessment and long term care.
  7. Delinquency proceedings legislation to direct juvenile car thieves to alternative programs rather than adult prison.
  8. A raise in age for tobacco and vaping to 21 years.
  9. Free community college for full time students.
  10. Offshore wind energy proposals for up to 2,000 megawatts will be solicited by CT DEEP.
  11. More favorable conditions for solar power by changing net metering.

Among the losses are:

  1. Bottle law update was gutted by a leadership amendment. The bill would have expanded the types of containers covered and given a raise to local redemption centers.
  2. Bill to allow purchase of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada.
  3. A more ambitious renewable energy goal for the state to address climate change.
  4. A bill that would have promoted regional 911 call centers.

Persistence is important in passing legislation, and some ideas take multiple years before finally passing into law.