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Legislatively Speaking
Legislatively Speaking: Legislative “hot button” issues

By Alma Graham, CT State Grange Legislative Director

  December 5, 2015 --

Thanks to all who sent in resolutions for this past State Session. We had some interesting discussions on the difficult topics. We ended up with 35 resolutions which included restructuring dues late fees for Granges and some Pomona redistricting. That one re-defined which towns were under the jurisdictions of East Central Pomona and Mountain County Pomona since there has been multiple Pomona Grange merges in those areas.

One hot topic was the possible return of tolls on Connecticut roads. The original resolution came in support of returning tolls on our roads. It was pointed out that the states around us all have toll roads and that we are not taking advantage of that potential income. The new toll stations are nothing like the old ones we remember. New ones may not require the cars to stop at all and may not require even slowing down. The members were very mixed on this and voted to return this to committee. The committee re-submitted a resolution opposing tolls but this was also returned to committee. The final resolution that was approved requests that all revenues that are collected from the gas tax remain in the transportation fund and be used for improving our highway infrastructure before the state considers reinstitution of tolls on major highways. We asked that these funds not be diverted to the general fund. This is similar to a past resolution which had been passed at a previous session that requested funds such as taxes, tolls and emissions that have been diverted to the general fund be returned to their initial funds for their intended uses.

The delegates restated our support of maintaining the Community Investment Funds and oppose any diversion of these funds to the state’s general fund.

The Legislative Committee will be incorporating these new resolutions into our Legislative Policy Guide. These will be distributed to all of the Legislators along with the Governor and Lieutenant Governor at the beginning of the session.

The next Legislative Session will begin on February 3, 2016 and is a “short session” which is “supposed” to only act on bills concerning budget changes. Connecticut officials are predicting a large budget deficit so there will be many recommendations coming out of both parties as well as the Governor’s office. The Governor and both parties are actually presently working together to come up with a solution to cover our present budget deficit.


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