Today is it–the final day of the 2019 regular legislative session. By law, the legislature must adjourn sine die at midnight tonight. At that point, any bill that has not passed both chambers will no longer be considered.
As has been the past few years, a special session after sine die is almost a certainty. This year, legislative leaders have already committed to fulfill Governor Lamont’s request to come in for a special session to discuss tolls. They are also likely to also bring up economic development, including a potential bonding package. The budget, which passed the House on Monday, passed the Senate late last night. With several of the big “talkers” out of the way, leaders will be negotiating the last batch of bills to be called in the hours leading up to midnight.
The Enemy vs. the Opposition
There’s an old story often told at the Capitol about a freshman member of the House Democrats who had asked his Majority Leader where the Republican offices were, saying he wanted to “meet the enemy. The Leader replied, “The Republicans are not the enemy, they’re the opposition. The Senate is the enemy.” By Monday of this week, only twenty bills had passed both the House and Senate. As is typical this time of session, Senate leaders are House bills hostage until their bills are called in the House, and House leaders hold Senate bills hostage until their bills are called in the Senate. As a result, not much business moves until Democratic leaders in both chambers meet to negotiate their priorities. Expect the Senate and House to either run several bills in the last hour, or none at all if legislative leaders fail to reach an agreement.
Democrats are in high spirits as a large chunk of their priority list passed this year: A Minimum wage increase, Paid Family Leave, the “Time’s Up” bill, and a number of election bills, and tolls are on the horizon. There will likely be fanfare and applause on the democratic side, (and a bit of melancholy on the republican side), but everyone will be celebrating a productive session.
We will provide another update tomorrow morning post session.
Sine Die Countdown: 4 Hours
Please contact us if you have any questions.
Ross S. Gionfriddo, Esq.