The 2011 Connecticut legislative session is over, but not without a promise from the Governor to have a special session held in the fall focusing on one issue: jobs.
It was a session that saw a magnitude of controversial bills. Governor Dannel Malloy told the Legislature that he was proud of what was accomplished, but that there was still work to be done.
“… we made some real progress on some important issues, and we began to fix what was broken for so long in Hartford,” Malloy said speaking to joint Legislature immediately following the close of the legislative session at midnight on Wednesday.
“We should feel good about what we did, but we should also be mindful of how much more there is to do,” Malloy said referring to job creation.
The Democratically controlled House and Senate took advantage of having the state’s first Democratic governor in over 20 years. Bills that have been vetoed by previous Republican governors passed this year with the promise of a signature from Malloy.
Decriminalizing marijuana, mandating certain companies provide sick days, stronger rights for transgender individuals, and implementing a budget which includes massive tax increases, are a few progressive and controversial bills which have become or soon will become state law.
“On each of these issues, and a few others, we managed to pass into law progressive policies that will define Connecticut as a place of common decency,” Malloy said.
“It’s been historic in all the wrong ways,” Minority Leader Larry Cafero said after the speech. Cafero and other Republicans have voiced their concern over what they believe as the Legislature creating outrageous tax increases, an anti-business climate and polices that are out-of-tune with Connecticut residents.
The next legislative session begins in February. However, the Legislature may have to return before then to fix the budget if the unions do not ratify the current agreement. No special session date has been set yet either, but Gov. Malloy said he is reaching out to legislative leaders about it.