Connecticut adjourns largely bipartisan session

Hartford, Conn.: Connecticut’s Democratic-controlled General Assembly passed protections for abortion providers and gave more power to libraries facing book challenges — and they did it with Republican support.

All but 13 Republicans voted for the $51 billion two-year state budget and a handful even voted for a major gun control bill that’s already being challenged in court.

Bucking the partisan rancor seen in other legislatures this year, Connecticut lawmakers on Wednesday night wrapped up what’s been one of the most bipartisan legislative sessions in recent memory. And they’re crediting old fashioned relationship-building, a willingness for compromise, a healthy budget surplus and a strict adjournment deadline.

“Oregon hasn’t met in a month because the senators have just left the building. Think about that,” Democratic House Speaker Matthew Ritter said hours before Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont addressed lawmakers in a traditional midnight speech, lauding them for a “job well done” and for working collaboratively.

“We’ve talked about it. We’ve tried to create a culture in the House whereby people have to learn to compromise, not only with Republicans, but with each other in their caucus,” Ritter said. “We have insisted on people sitting down, working it out.”

Ritter, who acknowledged the state’s strict session deadline also forces the part-time Legislature to compromise, took a moment during the final hours Tuesday night to praise his members for their collegiality and commitment to public service during a time of “strife and division” in the country.

Image courtesy of Connecticut Courant

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