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SUSAN BIGELOW

Can’t get enough of the bills raised by the legislature this year? I’ve got you covered.

Every year I compile a massive list of interesting bills throughout the first weeks of the legislative session, only a fraction of which make it into my roundup column.

But this year I wanted to share the whole list, because it’s a cross-section of the wide range of work the legislature is doing. I’ve added a short piece of commentary for each, which you can feel free to ignore.

Please do click on the bill number to go to the bill’s CTNewsJunkie page, where you can register your own opinion and vote up or down!

Interesting Raised Bills for 2020

Bill No.Bill TitleDescriptionCommentary
HB 5001 AN ACT EXEMPTING ALL AIRCRAFT FROM THE SALES AND USE TAXES To provide a uniform sales and use taxes exemption to all aircraftSusan says… I mean, we all own aircraft, right? This is middle-class tax relief!
HB 5017AN ACT INCREASING ACCESS TO FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTSTo provide feminine hygiene products to women who otherwise may not be able to afford such products.Susan says… This is a great idea. These are basics that should be available to everyone who needs them.
HB 5022AN ACT EXEMPTING SENIOR CITIZENS FROM THE PASSPORT TO THE PARKS MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION FEETo exempt senior citizens from payment of the Passport to the Parks motor vehicle registration feeSusan says… This is but one of many similar bills. Many legislators absolutely hate Passport to the Parks.
HB 5029AN ACT ESTABLISHING A TAX CREDIT FOR GRADUATES OF INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND PRIVATE OCCUPATIONAL SCHOOLS IN THE STATETo establish a personal income tax credit for in-state graduates with a bachelor’s degree, associate degree or an advanced manufacturing certificate who live in the stateSusan says… This is part of the Live Here, Learn Here initiative to keep students in the state. I hope it works.
HB 5034AN ACT ELIMINATING THE ESTATE TAXTo eliminate the estate tax.Susan says… The Republicans do keep trying.
HB 5040AN ACT ESTABLISHING AN EXCISE TAX ON AMMUNITIONTo establish an excise tax on ammunition to increase funding for gun violence prevention and reduction effortsSusan says… The Second Amendment doesn’t say we can’t tax the heck out of your bullets.
HB 5044AN ACT CONCERNING IMMUNIZATIONSTo protect the public health by ensuring adequate and appropriate immunizations of childrenSusan says… Please vaccinate your children. Because I bet this bill doesn’t ever see a vote.
HB 5052AN ACT CONCERNING THE THEFT OF WASTE VEGETABLE OIL OR ANIMAL FATSTo establish the theft of waste vegetable oil or animal fats as larceny in the fourth degreeSusan says… This was a great Simpsons episode. This bill comes up every year, though—is it that big of a problem?
HB 5055AN ACT CONCERNING A PROPERTY OWNER’S LIABILITY FOR THE EXPENSES OF REMOVING A FALLEN TREE OR LIMBTo impose liability on certain owners of real property for the expenses of removing a tree or limb that falls on an adjoining owner’s private real propertySusan says… This one is ridiculously complicated. To establish liability, you have to have an arborist inspect the tree and find it dangerous within the past five years, but the owner doesn’t have to let the arborist on their property.
HB 5056AN ACT CONCERNING THE UNLAWFUL DISSEMINATION OF INTIMATE IMAGESTo elevate the penalty for dissemination of intimate images in the case of dissemination to multiple persons by certain electronic meansSusan says… Getting a handle on this problem is a good thing.
HB 5080AN ACT ELIMINATING STATE FUNDING FOR THE XL CENTERTo eliminate any current state funding for the XL CenterSusan says… Sure, just let the roof fall in.
HB 5104‘AN ACT PROHIBITING THE IMPORT, SALE AND POSSESSION OF AFRICAN ELEPHANTS, LIONS, LEOPARDS, BLACK RHINOCEROS, WHITE RHINOCEROS AND GIRAFFESTo prohibit the import and trade of any big six African speciesSusan says… If you’re keeping a giraffe in your bathroom, shame.
HB 5113AN ACT REQUIRING LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL FOR THE MERGER OR CLOSING OF INSTITUTIONS WITHIN THE CONNECTICUT STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIESTo require legislative approval for the merger or closing of institutions within the Connecticut state colleges and universitiesSusan says… This is in response to the fantastically unpopular Malloy administration idea to merge all of the community colleges into a single entity. Good.
HB 5118AN ACT REQUIRING LANDLORDS TO PROVIDE SECURITY SYSTEMS AND LIGHTING IN RENTAL PROPERTY HALLWAYSTo require landlords to provide security systems and lighting in rental property hallways for the safety of tenantsSusan says… Landlords should be doing this already. It’s a shame the government needs to force them.
HB 5126AN ACT CONCERNING INSPECTIONS OF RENTAL PROPERTY PRIOR TO OCCUPANCY OR TERMINATION, LATE RENTAL PAYMENTS AND DESIGNATION OF A RENTAL HOUSING OMBUDSMANTo permit tenants to request an inspection of rental property prior to occupancy and after notice of termination of a tenancy, to cap late fees for rental payments and to create a Rental Housing Ombudsman within the Department of HousingSusan says… This seems like a great idea. Too many landlords treat tenants like garbage.
HB 5129AN ACT CONCERNING A TRANSITION PROGRAM FOR INCARCERATED PERSONS BEING RELEASED FROM PRISONTo require the Departments of Correction and Housing to establish a transition program to ensure that incarcerated persons obtain housing prior to their release from prison.Susan says… Excellent. This addresses a real problem for people getting out of prison.
HB 5133AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF THE PENFIELD REEF LIGHTHOUSE AS A COLUMBARIUMTo authorize the use of the Penfield Reef lighthouse as a columbarium (a place where cremated remains are stored)Susan says… Sign me up! I love this idea so much. Really, if this passes I’m reserving a space.
HB 5141AN ACT PROHIBITING THE SALE OF ENERGY DRINKS TO PERSONS UNDER SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGETo prohibit the sale of energy drinks to persons younger than sixteen years old.Susan says… Okay. Should we also require an ID for espresso? Still, this is a sound idea, energy drinks aren’t great for kids. Or anyone.
HB 5146AN ACT ESTABLISHING A YOUTH SUICIDE PREVENTION PILOT PROGRAMTo require the Department of Children and Families and the Office of the Child Advocate to establish a youth suicide prevention pilot programSusan says… Good idea. Sadly necessary.
HB 5147AN ACT ADJUSTING STATE LEGISLATOR SALARIES FOR INFLATIONTo adjust state legislator salaries for inflation since the current rate was established in 2001Susan says… For many reasons, this is a good idea. It’ll never happen.
HB 5148AN ACT CONCERNING THE FUNDING OF SMOKING PREVENTION EFFORTSTo prevent smokingSusan says… This bill would require a portion of cigarette tax money go to smoking prevention programs. Which was supposed to be the point!
HB 5152AN ACT DECREASING LEGISLATIVE POSTAL COSTSTo decrease the amount of state funds used for legislators to send mailSusan says… Can we decrease it to zero?
HB 5153AN ACT ELIMINATING THE INCREASE IN THE GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTION FEETo eliminate the recent increase in the greenhouse gas reduction feeSusan says… Seriously?
HB 5162AN ACT REQUIRING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE LEARN HERE, LIVE HERE PROGRAMTo require the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development to establish the Learn Here, Live Here program to help graduates of any institution of higher education or certain certificate programs of private occupational schools save toward a down payment on their first home in the state by segregating a portion of their state income tax payments for up to ten years after they graduate.Susan says… Good idea, I hope it helps. Losing young people has been very hard on us.
HB 5168AN ACT AUTHORIZING SPORTS WAGERING IN THE STATETo authorize sports wagering in the stateSusan says… I would not place bets on this happening.
HB 5172AN ACT CONCERNING ACCEPTABLE FORMS OF CURRENCY AS PAYMENT IN LOCAL BUSINESSESTo prohibit persons who offer consumer goods and services to the public from refusing to accept cash as a form of payment.Susan says… This is fine—but what about cash only businesses?
HB 5180AN ACT CONCERNING THE PROVISION OF CATERED FOOD AND BEVERAGES IN FUNERAL HOMESTo enable funeral directors to offer catered food and beverages to persons attending funeral services.Susan says… Please have Pizza Hut cater my funeral, thanks.
HB 5215AN ACT CONCERNING THE INCLUSION OF CLIMATE CHANGE INSTRUCTION IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL CURRICULUMTo include climate change instruction in the public school curriculum of the state.Susan says… Sad but necessary. This warm winter has me freaked out.
HB 5242AN ACT CONCERNING THE RISK OF HOMELESSNESS FOR THOSE RELEASED FROM THE CUSTODY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONTo require the Department of Correction to assess the risk of homelessness for incarcerated persons released from its custody and to create a program to address such homelessness and to require additional reports to measure the extent of such homelessnessSusan says… Re-entry programs like this are vital.
HB 5290AN ACT CONCERNING INTERSEX PERSONSTo address the needs of the intersex community who have suffered from discrimination and inaccurate documentation of their sex by providing relief from such issues.Susan says… I’m very pleased to see this. Hopefully this was done with input from the intersex community.
HB 5278AN ACT REVISING CERTAIN ABSENTEE VOTING STATUTESTo revise certain absentee voting statutes to no longer require that an elector be absent from his or her town of voting residence during all the hours of voting at a primary, election or referendumSusan says… Why not just get rid of these rules for absentee ballots altogether?
HB 5283AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL ETHICSTo require every municipality to adopt a code of ethics and the Office of State Ethics to develop a model municipal code of ethics for municipalities to adopt.Susan says… Today I learned that towns don’t currently have to have a code of ethics. Great.
SB 6AN ACT CONCERNING THE LEGALIZATION AND TAXATION OF THE RETAIL SALE OF MARIJUANATo legalize and tax the retail sale of marijuanaSusan says… I doubt the votes exist for this.
SB 5AN ACT CONCERNING INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS AND NET NEUTRALITY PRINCIPLESTo require Internet service providers to register and pay registration fees and to require the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to apply net neutrality principles to Internet service providers and enforce such principles with civil penalties.Susan says… I remember caring about net neutrality. It seems like a lifetime ago.
SB 19AN ACT CONCERNING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ON COLLEGE CAMPUSESTo (1) establish a Council on Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey to create a sexual misconduct climate survey for use by institutions of higher education in the state, and (2) protect students who report being a victim or witness of sexual assault, stalking or violence from disciplinary action by the institution of higher education.Susan says… Not sure what good another survey will do, but protecting victims is very important.
SB 31AN ACT ESTABLISHING A CREDIT AGAINST THE PERSONAL INCOME TAX FOR THE PURCHASE OF A GUN SAFETo establish a nonrefundable credit against the personal income tax of up to one hundred fifty dollars for the purchase of a gun safe for personal use.Susan says… Only in America. Sigh.
SB 56AN ACT ESTABLISHING TAX CREDITS FOR TAXPAYERS THAT REFRAIN FROM USING GASOLINE-POWERED LAWN AND LANDSCAPING EQUIPMENTTo establish tax credits for individual and commercial taxpayers that refrain from using gasoline-powered lawn and landscaping equipment.Susan says… Finally, an excuse to let my yard revert to meadow/blight!
SB 89AN ACT CONCERNING SCHOOL LUNCH DEBTTo prohibit disciplinary action against public school children for unpaid school lunch charges and to allow any public or private parties to donate to pay off such debt.Susan says… I hate that we even have to address this. What sort of monsters put third graders in debt because they wanted to eat?
SB 98AN ACT CONCERNING THE DRAW DOWN SCHEDULE ON LAKE BESECKTo provide for a longer six foot draw down period of Lake Beseck in odd-numbered years in order to increase the likelihood of root exposure for aquatic plants to temperatures that assist in the effective management of such plants.Susan says… I have no idea what’s going on here, but it sounds cool.
SB 105AN ACT ESTABLISHING A RIGHT TO HOUSINGTo establish a right to housing for all residents of the state.Susan says… This is interesting! I’d like to know more. Looks like a bill to establish services to help people pay rent/utilities and/or provide emergency housing.
SB 108AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE OPEN CHOICE VOUCHERS PILOT PROGRAMTo establish a pilot program to enable certain families participating in the interdistrict public school attendance program to move to the town where their children attend school.Susan says… Great idea. Prepare for a flood of racism disguised as concern for property values or some other nonsense.
SB 117AN ACT REDUCING THE SUBSIDY FOR CTFASTRAKTo reduce the subsidy for CTfastrakSusan says… Republicans will never stop hating the busway. The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Sampson, is from Southington—which is outside the range of CTFastrak.
SB 118AN ACT CONCERNING FEES RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES FOR COMMEMORATIVE LICENSE PLATESTo require that the fee paid for a commemorative license plate be used for the purpose for which the license plate was created and not be deposited into the General Fund.Susan says… The “I thought they did this already!” Act of 2020, also known as the resigned sigh bill.
SB 128AN ACT CONCERNING FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGETo provide tuition-free community college for Connecticut residents.Susan says… Good luck!
SB 192AN ACT CONCERNING A LIST OF THE ONE HUNDRED MOST DELINQUENT CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGORSTo end the publication of the names of delinquent child support obligors.Susan says… How else will we keep track of Robert Hyde? But I’m okay with a little public shaming in this case.
SB 227AN ACT CONCERNING A FAIR WORK WEEK SCHEDULETo prohibit the practice of on-call shift scheduling.Susan says… Good. This is a lousy practice. People need to know their work schedules in advance.
SB 237AN ACT CONCERNING CONFLICTS OF INTEREST DUE TO AN EMPLOYER OTHER THAN THE STATE UNDER THE STATE CODE OF ETHICSTo apply substantial conflict of interest provisions in the state code of ethics for public officials and state employees to conflicts involving the public official’s or state employee’s nonstate employer or spouse’s employer.Susan says… So, if for instance the Speaker of the House were to be employed by the state employee union, that would be a conflict of interest in the future.
SB 17RESOLUTION PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO PERMIT EARLY VOTING’Constitutional amendment to allow early votingSusan says… I’d love to see this. I wish it didn’t take an amendment to the constitution to allow it.

Susan Bigelow is an award-winning columnist and the founder of CTLocalPolitics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and their cats.

DISCLAIMER: The views, opinions, positions, or strategies expressed by the author are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of CTNewsJunkie.com.

Susan Bigelow

Susan Bigelow is an award-winning columnist and the founder of CTLocalPolitics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and their cats.