Though nothing is ever written in stone when it comes to the legislative process, some current dynamics are leading to speculation that the 2022 General Assembly session that convenes Feb. 9th could be a little less frenetic.
These dynamics include: a projected FY 2022 operating surplus of $915.6 million and a Rainy Day Fund that has reached its statutory cap of just over $3 billion; a pandemic that continues to hamper workplace operations; and statewide elections in November. Note: All 187 General Assembly seats, Constitutional offices, and the executive branch are up for grabs in the general election.
Among the issues that may be deliberated this session, according to legislative leaders and various committee chairs, are:
- Whether to extend the Governor’s emergency authority and which Executive Orders to codify into law.
- Measures to alleviate the current mental health crisis, particularly as it relates to children unable to access psychiatric treatment in hospitals.
- How to decrease the juvenile crime rate.
- Data privacy proposals.
- Proposals to address the quality and cost of healthcare and pharmaceuticals.
- Proposals to fully fund special education grants and PILOT formulas.
- Measures to ensure that Connecticut’s infrastructure, environment, and housing stock are better prepared to deal with climate change.
- Proposals to address the anticipated retirement of up to one quarter of the state’s work force or 14,764 employees before July 2022.
- Various tax proposals, including increasing the property tax credit and decreasing the sales tax, among others.
Given the fact that this will be a short, three-month session—adjournment is on May 4th – it would not be surprising for the Legislature to break some of the broader, more controversial proposals down into bite-size pieces and deal with them incrementally, or just hold off acting on them altogether until next session — after the election.