General Assembly To Hold Session Monday


Governor Rell vetoed a total of 19 bills this legislative session, and the Legislature will meet Monday July 20th to see if they can override eight of these.

Here is the list of bills expected to come up today.

Amongst these bills include some high profile proposals to repeal the Death Penalty , require the posting of nutritional information at restaurants, and killing the Chestnut Hill energy project in downtown Waterbury. It also includes the proposed Democratic budget which passed the House 91-48 and the Senate 25-11.

In order to override the Governor’s veto, the Constitution requres that 2/3 of the House and 2/3 of the Senate vote in favor of a measure to succeed. That would require 101 votes in the House and 24 in the Senate. If every Democrat votes in favor of the measures, they could easily pass the measures in question, but keeping such a consensus has been difficult, particularly on fiscal matters and the abolition of the death penalty. If one Senator breaks ranks and all Republicans hold opposition, then the measures die. In the House, the Democrats number 114 and there are 37 Republicans.

Here are some of the bills that passed both houses of the General Assembly, with their vote count. Included are the votes of Wolcott’s two legislators, Rep. Corky Mazurek (D-80) and Sen. Sam Caligiuri (R-16).

HB 6502 An Act Concerning the Standard Wage for Certain Connecticut Workers
This bill looks legnthy and appears to mandate a “prevailing wage”. In other words, all workers for certain classifications in the bill must be paid the same as the highest paid workers of the same type in Hartford County. In other words, when a person makes a certain wage in Hartford, someone in Sterling, Stamford or Waterbury must be paid the same amount, including benefits.

Passed the House 112-35 and the Senate 30-6. Mazurek Voted YES. Caliguri voted yes on a procedural vote called “Order of the day”. I’m not sure what that means, though it might be a bundle of bills that are grouped together for one vote.

HR 6531 Deals with insurance underwriting and requires certain approvals before insurance contracts are re-written or changed from the Insurance Commissioner.
The House Passed this 112-36 and the Senate 36-0 Mazurek and Caliguiri both voted Yes.

HR 6578 An Act to Repeal the Death Penalty generated a large amount of debate at the Capitol. This bill would ban the Death Penalty for future cases. Dr. William Petit waited hours before speaking at a public hearing on the bill. This bill is unlikely to come up for a veto over ride because the numbers simply are not there.

The House passed it 90-56 and the Senate 19-17. Caligiuri and Mazurek both voted No.

HR 6582 Was a plan to begin converting state health plans from certain private insurance administrators such as Anthem to the State of Connecticut plan. This bill allows non-state employees and municipalities to enroll in the state health plan. The Sustinet Proposal itself is more than one billion dollars just to be implemented.
It passed the House 109-36 and the Senate 21-12. Mazurek voted yes and Caligiuri voted no.

HR 6600 This is to begin implementation of the Sustinet Plan. This plan has been derided as universal healthcare by many. The price tag, just for implementation, will add over $1 Billion to the budget.

It passed the House 107-35 and Senate 23-12. Mazurek voted Yes and Caliguri voted No.

HR 6649 – Deals with cetain requirements of the DOT. I’m unclear why the Governor vetoed this bill. It passed the House 143-2 and the Senate 36-0. Mazurek and Caligiuri voted Yes.

Sources:
ATalbot; “A Heavy Hand; July 2, 2009; http://ctlocalpolitics.net/2009/07/02/a-heavy-hand/#more-4830

Bigelow, Chris; “Governor No”; July 8, 2009; http://ctlocalpolitics.net/2009/07/08/governor-no/

Bigelow, Chris; “Rell’s Veto Pen Active”; June 24th, 2009; http://ctlocalpolitics.net/2009/06/24/rells-veto-pen-active/

Goodman, Susan and Debra Bogstie; “Gov. Kills Bill Abolishing Death Penalty”; June 8, 2009; http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Gov-Expected-to-Veto-Death-Penalty-Friday.html?=123

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