As session has now ended, this will be the last regular weekly update, but we will continue to send out periodic updates as events warrant. We hope this has been helpful in lending some overall context to the legislative process.
Democratic Priorities Passed
Overall, Democrats had quite a productive session, accomplishing nearly all of their priorities and setting the stage to accomplish the remainder of their priorities next session. For the first time in years, the legislature has been able to pass a budget in consecutive years before the end of regular session.
The most valuable commodity during session is time. With an overwhelming majority in both chambers, given enough time the democrats in the legislature would have been able to pass all of their priorities. Dems were able to pass minimum wage, paid family leave, the “Time’s Up” bill, and a number of election bills. Tolls, of course, remains undone, but the Governor is planning on calling back the legislature in special session to take up tolls—the legislature has already called themselves in to handle bonding (and associated projects) along with school construction. No dates for special session have been set yet.
United Technologies HQ Leaving Connecticut
The biggest story since the end of session is the announcement of the merger between UTC and Raytheon, and the decision of UTC to move their corporate HQ from Farmington, CT to Boston, MA. While nearly all 19,000 CT employees of UTC will stay in the state, the loss of the HQ and the 100 or so high paying, corporate jobs will no doubt be a loss for the state and will be a political football for the next few months as we head into the debate on tolls. Republicans will no doubt blame the move on CT’s passage of paid family leave and other democratic priorities, whereas Democrats will point to the fact that UTC Leadership has stated that the move is more about recruiting talent and not about CT being “a bad place to invest or a bad place to be.”
No Vetoes Planned
Governor Lamont had stated the Friday after the end of session that he does not anticipate vetoing any of the bills that have been passed this year. That being said, the Governor’s legal team will be reviewing the mad rush of bills that passed in the final few minutes of session—about 25 in the House and 50 in the Senate. This is unusually low for the last day, but it likely a result of Republicans using time as leverage to force Democrats to call some of their priorities, as well.
By the Numbers
This year, a little over 200 bills passed both the House and Senate, most of which were called in the other chamber (i.e., House Bills in the Senate, and Senate Bills in the House) within the last 36 hours of session. By comparison, 216 bills were passed in 2018 and 266 in 2017. While the overall level of legislation passed in the last few years was down a bit, the overall number of bills and amendments, or “LCO files,” reached over 11,000. This is the highest number of legislative documents that has ever been drafted in a regular session—a couple years ago the legislature briefly reached LCO number 10,000, and the House chamber had to come to a halt because the computer system had not anticipated the LCO files reaching five digits. Clearly this had been fixed for this session, as there were more bills and amendments to track than we’ve ever seen in previous years.
2020 Session Countdown: 238 Days
Please contact us if you have any questions.
Ross S. Gionfriddo, Esq.