Posted on February 4, 2019 by jdooley
Since there are many bills this legislative session, I thought I would share how proposed legislation actually becomes law.
This year, 2019, is the long session running from January to June. Every legislator is permitted to propose individual bills to the committees of cognizance and also the General Assembly crafts a two-year state budget.
Although every legislator can propose a bill, the committees have discretion which bills they will raise for a public hearing. When committees are raising bills for public hearing, it permits the bill to get a public airing and legislators on the committee hear testimony from interested members of the general public.
To track specific pieces of legislation, you have to do is visit the Connecticut General Assembly www.cga.ct.gov. Each day during the session a Daily Legislative Bulletin in published which gives you the schedule. Public hearings on bills require 5 days’ notice for the public.
Anyone is permitted to testify on a bill whether they are in favor of the bill or opposed to the bill. You can either submit written testimony to the committee or testify in person. Every committee has different rules which will be in the Bulletin.
Read the legislative bulletin for the particular information on the sign-up process, for that day. The sign-up sheet has space to print your name legibly, the bill(s) you are speaking on, and sometimes, whether you are for or against the bill. Sign-up sheets are usually in place one hour before the hearing. Turn in your written testimony before the hearing begins so committee staff can distribute to committee members.
After signing up to testify, wait your turn. Once they call your name you will go before the committee and indicate right away whether you support the bill, oppose it, or are offering suggestions to improve it. Then explain your reasoning. Follow this procedure for each bill you discuss. Keep your remarks short; 3-5 minutes is usually enough, but be sure not to exceed any announced time limits.
After the hearing process, the committee will schedule meetings for votes on the legislation. Not all the legislation which gets a public hearing ends up getting a final committee vote, especially if the bill received significant negative testimony in the public hearing.
Once the committee votes out a bill, it moves to the floor of either the State Senate or House of Representatives depending if the bill is a House or Senate bill. The bill will appear on the calendar and then awaits debate. Keep in mind many bills pass one of the two chambers but don’t get out of both. Some bills sit on the calendar and just languish there until session ends. Any bills not acted upon by the end of the legislative session die and must go through the whole process in the next session.
Finally, if a bill passes both the House and Senate the bill moves to the governor’s desk for his signature.
Posted on January 29, 2019 by jdooley
HARTFORD- For the 2019 legislative session, State Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) has put forward several pieces of legislation to reduce the size of government an additionally she has come out against proposals that will have a devastating effect on the families of Cheshire.
As a member of the House Republican leadership team, Rep. Zupkus and her leadership have worked to address many of the inefficiencies that currently exist in state government and looking for ways to reduce state spending.
“I steadfastly believe government has a lot of waste and we should work to trim some of the bloated bureaucracy. Making government more efficient and saving taxpayers’ money will lower everyone’s tax burden,” said Rep. Zupkus.
Zupkus has also voiced opposition to some of the newest tax hike schemes being floated out of Hartford that would hurt Cheshire families.
Two tax proposals being talked about at the State Capitol are: a bill to increase the sales tax rate to 6.85%. (Senate Bill No. 475.), and a proposal which would create statewide property tax on top of local property taxes. (Senate Bill No. 431).
“The General Assembly seems intent on hurting middle class families. Let’s continue the budget reforms we began two years ago. Higher taxes, whether they be the state sales tax and or local property taxes and tolls will only set back the budget progress we have made,” said Rep. Zupkus.
Zupkus noted she is also opposed to another bill that would hurt Cheshire residents. One is a bill marketed as a way to change the state’s car tax structure but would actually result in higher property taxes for many. The bill includes provisions to reduce certain assessed property values in towns and cities, thereby forcing municipalities to increase mill rates leading to higher property taxes on everyone. (Senate Bill No. 431)
Zupkus concluded, “I am fully committed this session to pass pro-growth and pro-jobs legislation which will assist Connecticut’s economy to thrive.”