It was a busy legislative year in Connecticut. Lawmakers in that state considered a number of controversial issues before adjourning in mid-May. Here are how they dealt with some of these hot topics:
Dreamers – There has been a push on the federal level to do something to resolve the legal status of “Dreamers,” children who were brought to the U.S. as illegal immigrants. While there has been no consensus in Washington on what to do about these individuals, there has been movement in Hartford. Connecticut legislators passed a bill that would allow Dreamers to apply for financial aid for state higher education institutions.
Marijuana – While there was a push to legalize recreational marijuana, legislation that would accomplish this did not receive a vote in either house of the legislature. However, the House Appropriations Committee did pass the bill, which is further than similar proposals have advanced in the past. Advocates hope to build on this small show of support during next year’s legislative session.
Gun control – Legislators overwhelmingly voted for a bill that would ban bump stocks, which can be added to guns to mimic automatic weapons fire.
The Electoral College – Connecticut will join the “National Popular Vote” compact under a bill passed this year. If states that have 270 electoral votes join this compact, then each individual state has agreed to allocate its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationwide, regardless of which candidate prevails in that state.
Minimum wage – Labor leaders pushed legislators to enact a $15 an hour statewide minimum wage, but bill to mandate this wage level passed either house.
Net neutrality – in the wake of the Federal Communications Commission ending federal regulations that treated Internet service providers as “common carriers” subject to stricter rules, Connecticut legislators considered a bill that would impose net neutrality in the state. While this bill passed the Senate, it did not receive a vote in the House.
Do you think that Connecticut should legalize recreational marijuana? Should a state give its electoral votes to the national winner of the popular vote, regardless of who wins in that state? Should states raise their minimum wages to $15 an hour?