My girlfriend, an educated teacher and longtime resident, can’t believe the Connecticut legislature doesn’t vote on anything for either seven or nine months a year. Every citizen should spend three days of their life at the legislature and witness the dysfunction first hand.
It has created a system of no accountability and massive entitlement. Until ‘we’ fix it, it doesn’t matter who the governor is. Gov. M. Jodi Rell is a very nice lady, she just didn’t accomplish much. John Rowland was indebted to both public unions and private contractors as much or more than either Govs. Dannel Malloy or Ned Lamont. Governors in Connecticut simply have no choice because they are too weak and the legislature has no accountability.
I said ‘we’…that means the citizens of Connecticut. Because the legislature will not fix itself. It doesn’t even view itself as dysfunctional or broken. It should be much smaller, full-time, and unicameral. Two separate houses are unneeded in a state as small as ours and creates duplicate bills that often never see the light of day. The annual Bacchanalia engulfs the legislative office building each year as they try to craft a budget in the last two weeks, and everything else gets dropped.
The probate educational redistricting map from last year may be a non-starter for education reform, but it is a great way forward for legislative reform. Get rid of senators completely. Let there be one full-time representative for every 50,000 people in Connecticut, broken down according to the probate map. Three and a half million residents would mean 70 representatives. Pay them $90K per year, for year round round work, with a calendar that votes on legislation four to six times per year. And then hold them accountable. Oh…and only two terms for anyone.
Doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting a different result is called insanity …and we have been living it in Connecticut for the past 60 years.
I’m seriously considering running for governor and my goal would be to piss off everyone, until we solve the problems. I want to drive a stake through the heart of the status quo …and perhaps draw and quarter any special interest lobbyist who dares show his or her face in Hartford.
David Weinberg lives in East Hartford.
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Absolutely excellent ideas, Mr. Weinberg! Also needed in this state are citizen referendum and initiative laws. Please run – you’ve got my vote!
I agree time to clean house!
90,000?!?!? Where did you pull this number out from???
But while we are talking change— Let Connecticut voters have Initiative and Referendum and Recall power. If the legislature can’t stomach a spending cap, the voters can initiate and vote it in, like the propositions used in California to freeze property taxes. Time for our supine voters to get with the program and start leading the leaders to right this ship of state!
It is going to take Connecticut voters to change the legislature. Sadly, most people don’t vote. In the most recent election to fill an empty legislative seat, 300 people in East Hartford turned out to vote. $90,000 seems fair. Though the Doctors, Lawyers and Retirees who currently serve as Representatives will say they could never survive on $90,000…if the public could change the legislature, the public would also decide what to pay them.
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