Governor M. Jodi Rell opposes a full-time legislature.
“Where on earth are the legislature’s priorities?” Rell said in a press release Thursday. “They have been in session for two and a half months – 79 days now – and they have produced exactly one bill for my signature. Our citizens want and need action on education, energy and health care.”
Keep reading to see Rep. Christopher Caruso’s response.
“The founders of our state envisioned a vibrant and spirited debate about our government and that includes change,” Caruso said. “That’s what we are doing in the Government Administration and Elections Committee as we plan for an informational hearing on the merits of a full-time legislature.”
Click here to read our first story on the issue.
“Our committee has considered many important issues,” Caruso said. “Ethics in government is as important as energy, healthcare and the budget. The last thing we need is a Governor who has closed her mind to debate and education in light of the corrosive effect that conflicts of interest have on the process of governing and more importantly on the confidence and trust that the people have in their elected officials.”
“People want less government, not more,” Rell said. “The last thing in the world we need is a legislature that never ends.”
“Connecticut has had a part-time, citizen legislature since our founding – and that part-time legislature still comes up with an average of 2,000 bills each session. We need the members of the General Assembly to spend their time wisely by addressing the needs of the people they were elected to serve – not wasting time by debating an even longer session,” Rell said.
The Governor noted that only 11 of the 50 states currently have legislatures that meet full-time. About 15 states have legislatures that meet three months or less and several meet just a little over two months. The average session is between 4 and 5 months and the shortest—Utah’s legislature—meets just six weeks.
The Connecticut General Assembly convenes for five months one year, then three the next.
“Connecticut has been well-served by its part-time citizen legislature,” Rell said. “Having people from all walks of life brings different perspectives to the Assembly. If anything, we should be debating whether to reduce the length of the session, not to increase it.”
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