Letter: New government
To the Editor:
Thus far in the 2019 CT General Assembly session over 3,700 bills have been introduced. That is over double the number introduced for the 2018 session, with 208 completed. The number completed has been in the range of 200-300 in the past nine years (legiscan.com/CT).
The majority of introduced bills will never make it out of committee but while there each gets its 20 minutes of fame if not more time in public hearings. That is one reason why our state government gets bogged down.
What new government might strive for is limiting each legislator to introducing a maximum of 8 bills per session including any cosponsored. Over a dozen other states do limit the number of bills that can be submitted. Sounds too harsh? With 187 members in the CT General Assembly that could still be 1,500 bills proposed every year.
Connecticut is also among eight states that allow submission of short-form bills. These lack detail, are more of a statement of intent while fulfilling a means to gauge interest and do not yet tie up the time of bill writing staff. However, when overused, they allow our elected officials to proudly proclaim: “Look what I’m doing” when in truth they are achieving little if anything. New government would stop the practice of short-form bills.
New government might also reduce the number of these elected officials. CT has a population of 3,580,000 and a landmass of 5,543 square miles. New York has a population of 19,850,000 million and a landmass of 54,556 square miles with 213 senators/representatives. Would we really suffer if we cut by half our state senators (36) and representatives (151)?
The citizens of Connecticut deserve a state legislature that is not organized and operated along 19th and 20th century models.