With little more than 12 hours left in the legislative session it’s clear that a number of controversial bills just won’t make it before the clock strikes midnight.
Democratic leaders in the House said Tuesday that a bill which asks consumers to pay a nickel for every plastic or paper bag they receive at a grocery or retail store won’t be called for a vote. The bill was supposed to encourage the use of reusable cloth bags.
Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, said it was a good idea and by raising the bill the legislature created awareness of the issue. While the bill will certainly be revived next year, it won’t be called for a vote this year, he said.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell said in March that she hated the idea of charging for bags. She said she likes the carrot approach where the grocery store gives you a nickel back for using a reusable cloth bag.
Also a bill which would ban the private ownership of dangerous animals may die on the House calendar. The bill was drafted by Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in response to the tragic chimp attack in Stamford.
In a statement sent out Tuesday, Blumenthal said, “I am disappointed that lawmakers failed to pass my proposal to ban private ownership of dangerous animals in Connecticut. The tragic chimp attack, leaving the victim with severe, lifelong injuries, underscored the urgent need to carefully regulate and restrict private possession of wild animals. Unregulated ownership of exotic pets is a tragedy waiting to happen, and the state should act before another person is badly injured—even killed. Wild animals belong in zoos or similar facilities under the care of experts—not private homes where they could do harm.”
“I will continue fighting for legislation banning dangerous animals,” he added.
Republican lawmakers filed a number of amendments on the bill including one which would have owners of the dangerous animals drop them off at the Attorney General’s office in Hartford.
The fiscal note on that amendment authored by Rep. Craig Miner, R-Litchfield, and Rep. Clark Chapin, R-New Milford, was significant.
The fiscal note for the amendment reads: “Potentially dangerous animals run the gamut in terms of size and enclosure needs. The OAG is located at 55 Elm Street in Hartford and is not large enough to contain large animals and therefore the building would require extensive renovations in anticipation that any animal cited in the bill could be taken into custody. Additionally, some potentially dangerous animals may be aquatic in nature and thus require an enclosure containing fresh or salt water with a filtration system.”