Connecticut Lawmakers Moving to Restrict ‘Faithless’ Electors

Matt Blumenthal

Connecticut has never had a “faithless” elector who refused to certify the results of a presidential election, but some state lawmakers argue there needs to be a law preventing it.

A legislative proposal, which recently cleared a key committee, would nullify the electoral vote of a so-called “faithless” presidential elector in Connecticut who fails to cast their ballot for the candidates that the elector ran on the official ballot.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Urged to Shine Sunlight on Local Campaign Finances

CT Capitol Money

Political contributions to municipal elected officials in Connecticut would be more accessible to the public under a proposal being considered by state lawmakers.

The legislation, which is pending before the Legislature’s Committee on Government Administration and Elections, would require candidates running for local elected office to file their required campaign disclosures with the state’s Electronic Campaign Reporting Information System, known as eCRIS, which supporters say will increase transparency in local elections.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Press for Absentee Ballot Probe into September Incident

Connecticut lawmakers are calling for an investigation and changes in state election laws following allegations of absentee ballot fraud in a mayoral election.

Following the Sept. 12 primary, John Gomes, a Democrat who challenged incumbent Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, released video footage showing a woman depositing absentee ballots into a dropbox a week before the election. Gomes lost to Ganim by 251 mail-in or absentee votes despite beating him at the polls, according to the election results.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Push for Military Funding

Members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation are touting hundreds of millions of dollars for the state in a new military spending bill.

The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, approved by the Senate Committee on Appropriations last week, includes more than $331 billion for Connecticut submarine building facilities and veterans’ services, according to lawmakers who pushed for the funding.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Approve $7.5 Billion Borrowing Plan

Connecticut’s General Assembly passed a $7.5 billion two-year bond package on Wednesday, sending the package to Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk on the final day of the legislative session. 

The plan, approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature on a bipartisan vote, includes borrowing authorization for up to $5 billion for transportation, housing, capital projects and public schools over the next two fiscal years. 

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Connecticut Lawmakers Approve Early Voting

Connecticut voters would get up to two weeks early voting ahead of federal and state elections under a proposal headed for Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk for consideration.

The legislation, which passed the Democratic-controlled state Senate Tuesday on a 27-7 vote, authorizes a 14-day early voting period for general elections, a seven-day period for primaries, and a four-day early voting period for special elections and presidential primaries. Lamont has pledged to sign the bill, which the House previously approved.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Advance Gun Control Measure

Connecticut lawmakers are advancing a wide-ranging package of gun control measures billed as the most significant changes since the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre.

The Democratic-led proposal, approved by the state House of Representatives Thursday on a largely party-line vote of 96-51, calls for prohibiting the open carry of firearms and further tightening the state’s existing restrictions on military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines. 

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Connecticut Lawmakers Seek to Expand Public Fraud Protections

Connecticut lawmakers are moving to expand the authority of the Attorney General’s office to fight fraud and abuse in state government.

The proposal, which passed the state Assembly on a 138-7 vote, would expand the scope of the state’s False Claims Act to allow the AG’s office to investigate fraud and other government spending abuses beyond state-administered health or human services programs.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Seek Mail Balloting Referendum

Connecticut voters may get a chance to decide whether to adopt “no excuse” mail voting with a referendum inching towards the 2024 ballot.

A proposal approved by the state House of Representatives on Tuesday seeks to ease restrictions on the use of “no-excuse” absentee ballots, a move that would allow Connecticut residents to vote by mail in federal, state and local elections.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Hike Spending over Gov. Lamont’s Budget Plan

Connecticut Democrats are moving ahead with a $51 billion two-year budget that includes more money for education, health care, and other priorities.

The spending plan, approved Wednesday by the Legislature’s Democratic-led Appropriations Committee, calls for boosting spending in the next fiscal year by an estimated $400 million over Gov. Ned Lamont’s preliminary budget, filed in February.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Weigh Tax Relief for Middle Income Earners

Connecticut lawmakers are looking to provide more relief for middle-income pensioners as part of a broader tax package working its way through the legislative process. 

The proposal, which is being considered by the Legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee this week, would exempt more middle-income retirees in Connecticut from paying state taxes on earnings from pensions and annuities. 

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Connecticut Lawmakers Resurrect Transportation Climate Plan

Connecticut lawmakers are advancing a climate change bill that critics say would give the state broad authority to raise gasoline taxes and take other aggressive steps to reduce tailpipe emissions. 

The proposal, which was recently approved by the Legislature’s Environmental Committee, would empower the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to implement climate change policies aimed at helping Connecticut reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gases to 80% of 2001 levels by 2050.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Advancing Lamont’s Gun Control Bills

Connecticut lawmakers are advancing Gov. Ned Lamont’s proposal to close “loopholes” in the state’s gun control laws in response to a spate of mass shootings nationwide.

The legislation, which is teed up for a vote in the state Legislature, would tighten the state’s ban on “ghost” guns, increase the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21, prohibit open carry in public, ban the bulk purchase of handguns and expand the state’s restriction on large-capacity firearm magazines, among other changes.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Weigh Plans to Expand Affordable Housing

Connecticut lawmakers are taking aim at restrictive local zoning laws as part of a broader effort to address the state’s affordable housing crunch, but the move faces pushback from critics who say it would usurp local authority. 

A proposal that’s being considered by the state Assembly would require cities and towns to conduct assessments on the need for affordable housing in their communities and come up with plans and zoning for a set number of units of affordable housing, based on the needs of the region. 

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Connecticut Lawmakers Weigh Tax Breaks to Expand Affordable Housing

Connecticut lawmakers are debating a plan that would offer property tax relief to senior citizens who agree to deed-restrict their homes as affordable housing.

The proposal, which cleared a key vote by the Legislature’s Housing Committee earlier this month, would allow seniors with household incomes of up to 80% of the area median income to “opt-in” to a program that deed-restricts their homes as affordable. In exchange, they wouldn’t be required to pay local property taxes. 

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Connecticut Lawmakers Push for Repeal of Trucker Tax

Connecticut lawmakers are pushing to repeal or scale back a new mileage tax on tractor trailers that went into effect earlier this year amid the threat of a legal challenge over the requirements. 

The new law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, requires commercial truckers to pay rates ranging from 2.5 cents per mile for trucks with a gross weight of 26,000 pounds to 10 cents per mile for trucks weighing 80,000 pounds. Trucks weighing more than 80,000 pounds are slated to pay 17.5 cents per mile under the new regulations.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Revisit Medical-Aid-in-Dying Proposals

Connecticut lawmakers are revisiting proposals that would authorize physicians to administer lethal doses of medicine to terminally ill patients.

A pair of bills being considered by the General Assembly would put Connecticut in line with Vermont, Maine and seven other states that have “death with dignity” statutes, also known as physician-assisted suicide or medical-aid-in-dying laws.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Weigh Plan to Scrap Film Tax Credits

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a plan to scrap a controversial tax credit that has been criticized as a giveaway for big Hollywood movie studios.

A new proposal filed by several lawmakers would phase out the state’s film tax program, which doles out tens of millions of dollars each year in tax credits for movie and TV productions. 

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Connecticut Lawmakers to Get Huge Pay Boost in New Year

Connecticut lawmakers will see fatter paychecks in the new year with a law that bumps their base pay by upwards of $12,000, once it goes into effect.

Legislation approved earlier this year, signed by Gov. Ned Lamont, increases rank-and-file lawmakers’ pay from $28,000 to $40,000, with future raises pegged to the cost of living in every two-year legislative cycle. Compensation for the House speaker and Senate president will increase from $38,689 to $50,000 next year under the law.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Approve Gas Tax Holiday Extension

Connecticut motorists will continue to see relief at the pumps after the state Legislature approved an extension of the gas tax holiday until next year.

Meeting in a special session on Monday, the Democrat controlled House and Senate approved a proposal to waive the 25 cents per gallon retail tax on gasoline until Dec. 31. The gas tax holiday, which was initially approved in April, was set to expire Nov. 30. 

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Connecticut Lawmakers Seek Hearings over Energy Rate Hikes

Connecticut lawmakers are calling for regional public hearings over a proposal by one of the state’s largest utilities to dramatically hike electricity rates.

In a letter to the state Public Utility Regulatory Authority, a group of 20 state senators wrote that they are “profoundly disturbed” by Eversource’s proposed rate increase, and called for hearings on the “exorbitant and punishing” rate increase. 

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