The Judiciary Committee passed more than half of the 90 bills on its agenda Monday before time ran out.
What didn’t make it out of committee was a resolution to vindicate the families of two men and nine women hanged in Colonial Connecticut because they were believed to be witches, and a number of other bills, including one to reform the bail bond industry, two gun bills opposed by the gun lobby, and one bill introduced to make technical changes to the 2005 civil union law.
Judiciary Committee Co-Chairman Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, said it seemed like there was a little filibuster going on after the caucuses, so they reprioritized the agenda and didn’t get to as much done as they anticipated. “It wasn’t the type of cooperation that’s characteristic of the committee,” he said.
As for the witches, Lawlor said they’ve waited 350 years, one more year won’t hurt them. And as for the bail bond bill Lawlor said there was another bill passed by another committee that can act as a vehicle for the type of reform lawmakers are looking for.
As far as the filibuster goes, Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, said “there was no filibuster.” He said every time Democrats are unable to get things done they always blame the Republicans.
However, Rep. William Hamzy, R-Terryville, did ask an extraordinary amount of questions and Democrats replied with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers as much as they could, but there were just some things that couldn’t be answered with one word.
There was a short debate over Rep. Henry Genga’s bill that would prohibit smoking in vehicles carrying children under the age of 7. Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, said “I’m voting against it and I don’t need to talk about it.” But Rep. Hamzy did.
Hamzy asked if someone was smoking an unlit cigar, could they still be pulled over and fined? Sen. Ed Meyer of Guilford said that’s something that could be settled in court. The bill passed 29 to 14.
A bill that would require gun manufacturers to implement microstamping technology in the manufacturing of guns never even came up for debate. Proponents of the bill said it would help law enforcement link spent shell cartridges at a crime scene to the gun that fired it. Firearm manufacturers, the National Rifle Association, and Sportsmen groups opposed the technology which they said was unreliable.
With a Supreme Court decision due out any day on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in Connecticut, the bill suggesting technical changes to the 2005 civil unions law quietly died on the calendar with the gun bills.
Here’s a short list of bills that passed Monday:
Click here for the minutes of the meeting and find out what bills made it and which ones didn’t.