HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – The legislative session is over and a lot has happened this year.
Despite the pandemic and the state Capitol shutdown for much of the year, lawmakers have taken action on bills they have been debating for years.
Throughout the session, almost all of the hearings that have taken place on each bill have proceeded virtually.
While people couldn’t come to the Capitol to testify, they could still participate on Zoom.
In some ways it was perhaps a little more convenient, especially since some hearings lasted 24 hours.
Scott McLean, professor of political science at Quinnipiac University, said in some ways that people have more access, but it’s not always perfect.
“What are we doing with zoom technology? It has some advantages, it’s convenient, and people don’t have to travel that far. People may be given the opportunity to participate in ways that they might not otherwise have, and yet something is missing when we don’t have people present for a vote or really can’t. we get along with each other, ”McLean said.
After many ups and downs, the Senate passed recreational marijuana last Thursday.
Connecticut’s recreational marijuana bill passed the Senate late Thursday morning.
Like everything else, there are pros and cons. Grandparents like Liz Boulanger don’t like people being able to light up in parks.
“I don’t think this is a good exhibit for young children,” Boulanger said.
There will also be challenges for businesses.
“Employers will have to create policies. They will have to find ways to determine whether someone’s work productivity is declining or is being affected in some way, ”McClean said.
After years of trying to come to a deal on sports betting, lawmakers have also managed to do so this year. Casinos are in the action, and so is the lottery. By the end of the year, people will be able to place bets on their phones.
Another big bill that passed was the removal of the religious exemption for childhood vaccines.
Lawmakers also passed a ban on plastic bags from July 1.
Other bills passed cover telehealth, nursing home protection and a kilometer tax on large tractor-trailers.
Democrats have a strong majority and a good working relationship with the governor.
“I think it had to happen that there were a lot of landmark laws in this session and that’s what happened,” said McClean.
The next session, the plan is to have more in-person audiences, but zoom audiences won’t go away completely.
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