Flanked by community leaders, politicians and organizations across the political spectrum, Governor Dannel Malloy signed legislation to reform Connecticut’s criminal justice system on Wednesday at Faith Congregational Church in Hartford.
Should Connecticut repeal the estate and gift taxes? Should members of the military and their spouses be forced to jump through the red tape of Connecticut's occupational licensing laws? These are just two of the many bills that were debated throughout this week. Below is a run down on which bills Yankee testified on and our position.
A bill that would roll back the controversial state practice of civil asset forfeiture is headed for a public hearing before the Banking Committee on Thursday.
The proposed bill would require a criminal conviction in order for the state to forfeit property related to the commission of a crime.
When local law enforcement makes a drug trafficking arrest, the court has the ability to seize property - including cars and money - thought to be a part of the illegal operation. Vehicles and other property are then sold at auction and the proceeds are split between several state agencies. The practice is known as civil asset forfeiture and it brings in millions to state agencies.
But some local police departments are slow to pay up.
The Connecticut State Legislature will begin its 2023 session on January 4th and will adjourn on June 7th. The “long session,” as non-election years are called in Hartford, will be centered around the biennial budget. The Office of the State Comptroller reports that state government found a way to spend $47.11 billion in 2022 and, if trends continue, we can expect that number to grow even more going forward. Concerns over energy prices, inflation, and general cost of living continue to dominate the headlines and the threat of a recession hovers over economic forecasts.
What will our elected officials be working on to improve policy outcomes for Connecticut residents? What tax reform proposals will there be? What can be done to lower home heating bills? How will state and local budgets be affected by fewer federal resources? How will schools be implementing to curriculum requirements?
While we wait to see the thousands of individual and committee bills that while dominate the myriad policy debates this year, Yankee Institute is hard at work promoting free-market solutions to the problems we face from Stamford to Putnam and Mystic to Salisbury. To that end, we have produced a new edition of our Charter for Change. The Charter provides commonsense reforms to make Connecticut’s government work for its residents.
Though the list of reforms may be exhausting to review, it is far from exhaustive! And that’s why we want to work with you to build a broad-based coalition to encourage sound policy reforms to enable Connecticut residents to forge a better future for themselves and their families.
It’s also imperative that we do so. As we noted in a report and CT Mirror op-ed last year, the debate over whether we’re in a national recession really misses the point for Connecticut residents. We had more people employed in the private sector in 2007 than we do today. Our economy has grown at one of the slowest rates in the nation for the past decade, and we are getting outpaced year after year. We’re not attracting innovation and industry. We’re losing some of our best and brightest as they seek other parts of the country where it’s easier to make a living.
But together, we can reverse this trend.
At Yankee Institute, we know Connecticut is a state with boundless opportunity, and we intend to help make our state more than a place where people are just able to make ends meet! Connecticut should be a place where everyone can thrive – and with your help, it will be.