With public hearings now over, Connecticut lawmakers will be voting on more than 700 bills until session’s end, June 6 — and most of them steer away from expanding free market principles and individual liberties.
Such is life in the Constitution State; but there are shockingly several ‘good’ bills that survived the committee process and will now receive their day on the General Assembly floor.
Here are five that you should support. Our full list can be found here.
H.B. 5796: An Act Establishing a Task Force to Study Mandatory Public Comment Periods at Public Agency Meetings
At Yankee Institute, we believe lawmakers and public officials should be held accountable for their actions, as well as ideas they are proposing. To think that public comment periods are not required at public agency meetings currently is unbecoming of a representative democracy. This bill will ensure members of the general public are guaranteed an opportunity to directly engage with policymakers on issues that affect them is not a burden on government. We need transparency and accountability — and this bill will foster those ideals.
H.B. 6562: An Act Concerning Telehealth
Telehealth became a necessity for doctors and patients during the pandemic, but now it allows for continued, accessible care without the hassle of going into the office. H.B. 6562 would expand telehealth, allowing for out-of-state health care providers to operate in Connecticut on a permanent basis. This would benefit residents, especially those in rural areas or without easy access to in-person facilities.
S.B 135: An Act Establishing a Maximum Charge for Certain Occupational Licenses, Certifications, Permits and Registrations
Otherwise known as the ‘Free to Work’ bill, S.B. 135 would bar the Commissioner of Consumer Protection or the Department of Consumer Protection to charge individuals a license, permit, certification or registration fee in an amount that is greater than $100 per year. Connecticut already has some of the most burdensome occupational licensing regulations in the nation, as YI’s Bryce Chinault pointed out so well. Even President Barack Obama’s White House reported in 2015 that occupational licensing imposes “significant costs” on not only individuals, but also “costs on goods and services.”
H.B. 6567: An Act Requiring Public Institutions of Higher Education to Establish a Policy Regarding Freedom of Expression on Campus
UConn believes this legislation is “not necessary.” Yet the university has received poor marks for its defense of free speech. Lately, college campuses across the United States have become hubs of “homogenous thought,” as YI’s Chris Tohir explored in his recent study, rather than bastions of free expression. Speakers are often shouted down, not only by students, but also faculty. This trend needs to be squashed for it goes against the very principles of the U.S. Constitution and a university’s ethos: where preconceived ideas should be challenged and explored.
H.B. 6710: An Act Concerning Association Health Plans and Establishing a Task Force to Study Stop-Loss Insurance
Firstly, the ‘Freedom to Associate’ bill is bipartisan, which is remarkable. Secondly, it would allow small businesses and non-profits to voluntarily come together and provide better health insurance options for their employees will help Connecticut residents. As YI’s Bryce Chinault stated in a Feb. 21 press conference, small businesses would “benefit from economies of scale that large businesses do.”