Well, it’s finally feeling like spring in CT which can mean only one thing: the CT General Assembly (CGA) has decided to call it quits for this session, and our legislators are going on vacation! Before they decided to call it quits for the session, the General Assembly passed a handful of bills. Some of the bills were good and enabled additional liberties while other bills continued to infringe on the rights of CT citizens. Let’s take a look at what has been going on the past few days:
The CGA passed a bill making bump-stocks illegal. The bill also made it illegal to modify any firearm that makes it easier to fire, made it harder for firearm hobbyists to build and restore firearms and created a new layer of bureaucracy to infringe on the freedoms of CT gun owners. While some have called this “common sense legislation, what it does is limit gun owners from making their legally owned firearms easier to use in situations such as self-defense (this bill made it illegal to ease the trigger weight of a firearm; if you don’t know what this is, look it up)
A significant victory for CT citizens. The CGA did not bring this issue to a vote due to the overwhelming rejection by CT residents. This horrible idea what a Democratic ploy to raise more funds to be used, as usual, haphazardly. CT residents are tired of being taxed to death and let their voices be heard with their legislators. We will have to continue to press the CGA to reject this bill in upcoming legislative sessions.
While we stopped tolls, we weren’t able to forward the debate on making marijuana legal in the state. Neither part of the CGA held floor votes on the issue which would allow legalized marijuana and hemp use. The CGA continued its prohibition-mindset by not holding a floor vote despite marijuana being a non-addictive alternative to opioid painkillers which the state continues to struggle to address.
Financial Aid for Dreamers
While it’s great to see the CGA wanting to treat the children of undocumented workers as human beings, the question that must be raised following the passing of the bill allowing these children to access state tuition funds: where do we get the money to fund this?
The CGA decided it wanted to force us to pay for the sins of a construction company out in Winchester and charge is $12 on top of our homeowner's insurance. It’s questionable since FEMA had provided federal grant money to address this issue; where did that money go?. Now it may not seem like much, but we’re talking principle here; how long will we need to pay? Will that figure go up? Will this money be spent only on concrete foundations or will it include reimbursing for damage caused by the concrete, i.e., a flat-screen TV that was scratched by a piece of concrete? Damage to a finished basement? In typical CGA fashion, there is no outline for how the money will be used.
Sports Betting and Casinos
The issue of a casino being built in Bridgeport passed the House but wasn’t called for a vote in the Senate. While the state has benefitted from our financial arrangement with our Native American tribes, it’s not right that they can hold the monopoly on gambling in this state. With any luck, Bridgeport will be allowed to have their casino built and inject some much needed economic growth into the state’s largest city. Sports betting was not called for a floor vote during this session; the Supreme Court has not ruled on whether to allow it or not but if it is, there appears to be the momentum it needs to get a positive floor vote from CGA. Finger’s crossed!
National Popular Vote
On a party-line vote, the CGA decided that it would join the National Popular Vote Compact (NPV). CT agreed to award it’s electoral votes to the winner of the NPV; so if a libertarian wins CT but a Republican wins the popular vote, the electoral votes go to the republican. Does that make sense? No? Didn’t think so. This is a cheap way of disenfranchising smaller states and one step closer towards an effort to eliminate the electoral college. CGA should be ashamed of themselves.
Lastly, we come to the budget. Due to the increase in capital gain’s taxes, our budget suddenly became a billion dollar surplus. This is how the CGA was able to pass a bipartisan budget last night with no new tax increases (they increased them last time on capital gains) and funding everyone’s pet projects. Big cheers for the CGA…they taxed their way out of another budget deficit. They set no new limits on spending and did not pay down any additional debt. They are taking victory laps after reaching into the pockets of CT residents and taking their money. Rich or poor, white or black, man or woman it doesn’t matter: taxes are repressive and repeatedly used in reckless ways.
The CT Libertarian Party supports the reduction of government to the smallest form possible while encouraging the most amounts of freedoms for its citizens. This is how governing should be thought of, and each year that the CGA fails to follow these two principles, they have failed CT citizens. A change is needed to allow a third voice, a reasoned and principled voice into the CGA to begin reigning in the atrocities of big government bureaucracy. Stay awake folks there is a change in the air, and it’s spelled LPCT