The chairs of Connecticut’s Democratic and Republican parties issued a rare joint statement Thursday voicing disappointment in the failure of a bill to change the date of the state’s presidential primary.

The bill, which passed the House unanimously last week, would have shifted the date of Connecticut’s presidential primary several weeks from the end of April to the first Tuesday of the month. If it had passed, the change would have required approval from the national political parties, which manage primary schedules along with individual states.

The Senate, which spent most of the final day of the legislative session locked in a debate over housing policy, did not act on the presidential primary bill before its midnight deadline. 

On Thursday, Democratic Chair Nancy DiNardo and Republican Chair Ben Proto said the proposal had been expected to easily pass the Senate and called the bill’s demise a “missed opportunity.” 

“Moving the Presidential Primary Election from the last Tuesday in April to the first Tuesday would have allowed Connecticut to join several other New England states, including New York, bringing more candidates, visibility and business to our state, and giving Connecticut voters a greater voice in their party’s Presidential nominee,” DiNardo and Proto said. 

However, the bill did not have universal support in the Senate and fell victim to time constraints, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, the bill had some opposition in the chamber and we didn’t have time to debate the bill and pass it,” he said.

The bill also would have made other changes including extending the deadline for minor parties to file nominations with the Office of the Secretary of the State. 

The two chairs appeared together during a March hearing of the Government Administration and Elections Committee to testify in support of the bill. In Thursday’s press release, DiNardo and Proto called their testimony “a notable moment of bipartisan unity.”

“Not only did we both speak in support of the legislation, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle pledged their support,” they said. “So we’re disappointed that although the bill passed the House, and was expected to pass the Senate easily, it never was brought to a vote there.” 

In March, the party chairs also urged lawmakers to support a separate proposal to raise the maximum limit on contributions to the two political parties from $10,000 to $15,000. That bill failed to pass either chamber before the end of the legislative session.