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CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL CHAIRMAN REPORT

Gregory G. Davis   9 April 2013

 

Chairman Report:  Developing Legislative Traction

 

The following summary identifies the key concepts of CT Legislative process.

 

The Connecticut General Assembly (CGA) is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is a bicameral body composed of the 151-member House of Representatives and the 36-member Senate. It meets in the state capital, Hartford. There are no term limits for either chamber.

During even-numbered years, the General Assembly is in session from February to May. In odd-numbered years, when the state budget is completed, session lasts from January to June. The governor has the right to call for a special session after the end of the regular session, while the General Assembly can call for a "veto session" after the close in order to override gubernatorial vetoes.

During the first half of session, the House and Senate typically meet on Wednesdays only, though by the end of the session, they meet daily due to increased workload and deadlines.  (Ref:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connecticut_General_Assembly)

 

The General Assembly has 27 committees, all of which are joint committees; that is, their membership includes House and Senate members alike. Several committees have subcommittees, each with their own chair and special focus.

Before most bills are considered in either the House or Senate, they must first go through the committee system. The primary exception to this rule is the emergency certification bill, or "e-cert," which can be passed on the floor without going through committee first. The e-cert is generally reserved for use during times of crisis, such as natural disasters or when deadlines are approaching too quickly to delay action. 

(Ref:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connecticut_General_Assembly).

 

 

The CGA PROCESS:  HOW A BILL BECOMES LAW:

 

Reference:  http://www.cga.ct.gov/html/bill-law.htm

 

1.  The Proposed Bill (introduced by an elected legislator).

 

2.  Bill is sent to the clerk of the House of the sponsoring legislator for numbering.

 

 

3.  Bill title, number and sponsors are printed in the House and Senate Journals.

 

4.  Bill is sent to the appropriate joint standing committee of the General Assembly, depending on the bill's subject matter.

Committee may:
1.  have the bill drafted in legal language;
2.  combine it with other bills and have it drafted as a committee bill;
3.  refer the bill to another committee; or
4.  take no action, so the bill fails. 
The committee may also write a new "raised" committee bill.

 

 

5.  Committee holds public hearings for the public, state agency representatives and legislators on all bills it wishes to conside

 

6.  Committee may report the bill favorably, defeat the bill or issue no report (the bill fails).

 

7.  Bill requiring action by another committee is referred to that committee, e.g. a bill requiring expenditure is referred to the Appropriations Committee.

 

8.  After leaving the last committee, the bill is sent to the Legislative Commissioners' Office to be checked for constitutionality and consistency with other law.

 

9.  The Office of Fiscal Analysis adds an estimate of the bill's cost. 

10.  The Office of Legislative Research adds a "plain English" explanation of the bill.

 

11.  Clerk assigns the bill a calendar number. (In the house of origin)

 

12.  Vote on bill. (In the house of origin).

 

13.  A "yes" vote sends the bill to the other house for placement on calendar.

 

14.  Other house votes on the bill.

 

15.  Final printing of bill.

 

16.  Debate and amendments in the house of origin.  House may send the bill to another committee before voting.

 

17.  Bill returned to first house for concurrence if amended by second house. If not amended, bill is sent to the governor. If House and Senate cannot agree, the bill is sent to a joint conference committee.

 

18.  If the conference committee reaches agreement, a report is sent to both houses.

 

19.  If one or both houses reject the changes, the bill fails.

 

20.  If both houses pass the bill, it is sent to the governor. 
 

    The governor can
1.  sign the bill.
2.  veto it, or
3.  take no action.

 

21.  If governor vetoes, the bill is returned to the house in which it originated.

 

22.  Vetoed bill can be reconsidered by both houses.

 

The bill becomes law if:
  1.  the governor signs it;
  2.  the governor fails to sign within 5 days during the legislative session or
      15 days after adjournment;
  3.  the vetoed bill is repassed in each house by a 2/3 vote of the elected membership.