Christine Stuart photo
Freshman legislator and former Wethersfield Mayor Rep. Russ Morin said when he first came up to the legislature this year he wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But with just hours left in the session he’s a little surprised at the pace.

He said as mayor when something needed to get done, he did it. Now he’s one of 151 legislature’s vying to pass legislation and the pace is a little slower.

He said he thought things would be more orderly, but its one of those things you can’t understand until you’re up here experiencing it. He said he’s enjoyed the long hours he’s had to put in this week with his fellow legislators. “You’re up here a long time and you get to sit down and talk to each other as people,” he said.

He said he enjoyed the beginning of the session where he got to hear both sides of every issue at the various public hearings. He said he also likes when bills are not Republican or Democrat and there’s a good give and take during the debate.

One bill that fits this description is the bill to ban protests of military funerals. He said he felt good when the House passed the legislation that would take effect in time to stop a radical Baptist Church from Kansas that announced plans to picket Friday’s funeral of Army 1st Lt. Keith Heidtman, 24. Heidtman was co-piloting helicopter that was shot down in Iraq on May 28.

Another bipartisan effort he felt good about passing was the medical marijuana bill, which is on its way to Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

Rell tried to dismiss the question about if she would sign the legislation saying she hadn’t seen it yet and will make a determination when it comes to her desk.

Stay tuned for more freshman observations later tonight.