As we near the end of the state legislature session, which is set to adjourn June 5, the House and Senate are considering a flurry of bills that have made their way through the legislative committees.
It might be appropriate at this point to suggest lawmakers adopt a “First Do No Harm” approach to the legislation they are passing – or even a “Less is More” approach. Every time lawmakers pass a bill, they create ripple effects in the economy, the state’s towns and cities, in our schools and in people’s lives. As the state spends more money, regulates more behaviors and asks businesses and individuals for more money, lawmakers should tread carefully.
Particularly in regards to the following bills:
- The budget, as proposed by the Appropriations Committee.
- HB 6431 exempts healthcare providers from anti-trust laws after approval by the Attorney General.
- HB 5713 asks the State Board of Education to encourage districts to include a unit on labor history and law – including organized labor, the collective bargaining process, and labor laws – in their curriculum.
- HB 6352 modifies the state spending cap so the state can spend more money.
- SB 387 increases the minimum wage, which businesses have warned will increase the already high youth unemployment rate.
- SB 54 creates a state-administered retirement plan for low-income employees.
- HB 6359 creates the Office of Early Childhood Education, which is supposed to consolidate and simplify the delivery of services for families with young children. But it adds more state employees.
- HB 5149 asks the Department of Consumer Protection to study whether home contractors and landscapers should have to pass a test and be licensed by the state. This despite the studies that show Connecticut already licenses more professions than most states.
- SB 203 gives property tax exemptions to renewable energy sources.
- SB 925 provides workers compensation benefits to public safety personnel who suffer a cardiac emergency, whether at work or not.
- HB 5799 requires all boarding facilities and kennels to place their state license number on all advertisements.
- HB 6383 implements state hiring standards for school athletic directors.
- SB 6499 forms a working group to produce on a study on whether the United States should ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- SB 6525 says teachers can’t keep kids in from recess as a punishment, and that teachers can’t make kids perform physical activity as a punishment.