Jim Shea: The Legislature Accomplished Much…We Think

Until someone actually reads the last-minute legislation we won't know

The state legislature adjourned last week.

Some people believe this is never a bad thing. Some people say it makes them feel safer.

I think they did some good stuff.

Of course, what they actually did accomplish cannot be fully determined until someone actually reads the hundreds of pages of legislation that were crammed into in the session's closing hours.

This may come as a shock, but sometimes legislators aren't sure what they voted for or against.

Anyway, here are some of the bills that were passed and will become law … we think.

The Budget

The main thing to understand about the budget is that no one understands it. The important things for people to know about the budget are as follows:

The sales tax did not increase.

The state income tax did not increase.

You won't be getting that $55 rebate in the mail.

Other than that, how the budget was arrived at, where the money is coming from and where the money is going is anyone's guess.

Breathalyzers

The measure mandates those convicted of driving under the influence must have a breathalyzer ignition lock installed in their vehicles. These devices require the driver to pass a breath test to prove their blood alcohol level is under the legal limit before the car will start. Just a suggestion, but maybe next session lawmakers could pass a bill that would require restaurants to keep customers from leaving until they passed a breathalyzer test for garlic.

Puppy Mills

This bill established a series of standards to improve the living conditions of pets sold in stores in Connecticut. While I applaud this bill, I am disappointed it did not address another problem commonly found in many pet stores. I am, of course, talking about the horrors associated with gold fish mills.

Victory for Mr. Ed

Essentially this new law says a horse is a horse, and not a dangerous animal, even if it bites someone. Hold on, horses bite?

Knockout Game Vote

Now, you would think that a bill, which made it a Class D felony to randomly punch a stranger in the face for the purpose of rendering him or her unconscious, would be something everyone could agree on. Yet the Senate vote on the measure was 28-8. Does this mean we have eight pro knockout game members in the Senate?

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