With mandatory adjournment at midnight tonight, time is growing short for resolution on issues such as campaign finance reform, eminent domain, electricity prices, the "zone pricing" of gasoline and Hartford's property revaluation.
The main reason for the lack of action on many issues is a sharp division within the Democratic and Republican caucuses, which could result in debates that last hours as lawmakers run out of precious time. Under the legislature's rules, bills that are not acted upon by midnight will die on the calendar. (Keating)
If there's a better argument for longer sessions, I don't know what it is. The General Assembly has a lot of important business to cram into a few hours, and none of these bills will get the kind of lengthy consideration they deserve.
Some things are going to be left undone. I hope campaign finance reform isn't one of them. It's important that CFR be as good as we can make it before it goes into effect after the November elections. I'd also like to see them take up eminent domain, but I'm not holding my breath.
The sharp-eyed should also be on the lookout tonight for stealth bills, such as one that would have exempted legislators' email from FOI laws which was passed last year and a last minute income tax passed in the early 1970s, to fly through at the last second.
Keating, Christopher and Elizabeth Hamilton. "Little Action On Big Issues." Hartford Courant 3 May, 2006.