Republican leadership called a press conference Tuesday to talk about the lack of action by the Democratic super-majority on issues both parties agree on like the energy and health care crisis in the state.
“The Democrats have a super-majority here and there’s no competing philosophy on so many of these issues,” Republican House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, said. He said he wanted to remind his colleagues across the aisle that the clock is ticking and there’s just 77 days left.
He said the media needs to start holding the Democrats to their promises.
Speaker James Amann, D-Milford, told the New Haven Register in December that “Soon after the legislature convene in January, Democrats will put forth a comprehensive plan for long-term energy policy for the state.”
It’s been hung up between the House and the Senate for a few months now.
One reporter asked Cafero if he thought the delay could be contributed fighting within the Democratic party. Cafero said there’s four different ideologies in the Democratic party. “I think when you’re talking about the energy and health care crisis you need to check your ego at the door,” he said referring to the sometimes divisive Democratic party.
Senate President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, called the Republican press conference a “stunt.” He said the Republicans know how the committee process works. He said when you’re dealing with enormous challenges like energy and health care policy you can’t rush to get something done because its likely you won’t be able to weed out all the special interests.
Senate Minority Leader Louis DeLuca, R-Woodbury, said last year during the last few days of session Democrats finalized their energy proposal, but time ran out. Hesitant to call a special session in the fall, Democrats promised to get something done as soon as this session began, but they haven’t done anything, he said.
“Let’s do the things we agree on,” DeLuca said.
Another issue Republicans raised was eminent domain. Cafero said its been 637 days since the Supreme Court ruled on the New London case. He said 30 other states have introduced or passed legislation in response to the decision which upheld the city of New London’s decision to take the property for economic development.
Cafero said they don’t put the governor’s education proposal, which includes an income tax hike to pay for it, in the same category as eminent domain, energy, and health care. Deluca and Cafero said they understand how that one has to wind its way through the process.
Williams wonders why these other issues are being put in a different category. He said energy policy and the health care crisis are not simple issues and need to be vetted. In fact, legislation that deals with these issues is the “most substantive I’ve seen since I’ve been up here,” Williams said.