ctnewsjunkie file photo
Empty House chamber (ctnewsjunkie file photo)

HARTFORD, CT — The House convened a special session Wednesday to debate several measures, including a bill that would set new performance-based standards for electric rates and one to authorize $500 million in borrowing for school construction.

There are several other topics, including a mechanism to improve the counting of absentee ballots, one that clarifies that condominiums are eligible for coverage through a program for homeowners with crumbling foundations, and one that will change how polluted property is sold.

The Senate is expected to meet in special session on Thursday to tackle the same issues.

The two chambers are trying not to be in the state Capitol, which is closed to the public, at the same time.

Republicans in the Senate have been critical of the process, saying they’ve been left out of drafting the legislation. They also succeeded Tuesday in beating back a rule change that would allow senators to send their votes to the Senate chamber. The House has a new remote voting system that allows the state representatives to vote from their offices.

“This special session is the poster child of how one-party rule is destroying the legislative process,” Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano said earlier this week. “We do not even have to be in special session.”

Fasano contends that all of what the Democrats want to do can wait until January or can be done through executive order.

Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff said Monday that Republicans largely agree with the legislation put forth by the Democrats.

Duff said he finds it hard to believe Republicans will be against the energy legislation or the school construction funding which is important to the economy.

“The Take Back Our Grid bill and the Transfer Act should be bipartisan,” Duff said.

Fasano said “it’s about politics and power and not about people.”

He said there have been no public hearings and it’s unclear who is directly involved in writing the language for some of this legislation.

The General Assembly also plans to confirm one Supreme Court justice and three Appellate Court judges. The Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on the nominations Wednesday morning.

In July, Gov. Ned Lamont nominated Christine E. Keller to the Supreme Court and Joan K. Alexander, José A. Suarez and Melanie L. Cradle to the Appellate Court. Keller is the mother of House Majority Leader Matt Ritter, D-Hartford.