Legislative session over, monied interests win again
The Connecticut legislative session is thankfully over and its main accomplishment was to increase public support for the restoration of the British monarchy. Queen Elizabeth, how would you like to move into the Governor’s mansion? You will even be near to eponymous Elizabeth Park. Your corgis will love it. We will even take Harry and Megan if you are unavailable.
Unlike previous sessions, there was no attempt to pretend that any social pathologies could be remedied. The towel has been thrown in. Rather new legislation merely made it possible for the poor and urban minorities to become more addicted to drugs and gambling so as to finance the fat pensions and Cadillac health insurance of our political class. Watching these battles was entertaining for us political junkies. It was all about the money.
Legalizing weed required one page of legislation. Instead, we ended up with a 270-page monstrosity that enables Big Marijuana to front minority entrepreneurs and aide them in the development of clever marketing plans to get more kids addicted. When the Black ministers objected, they were promptly put in their place: “How dare you have the chutzpah to interfere with our wish to tax weed so that we can fleece your congregants?”
The sensible and least expensive way to legalize weed was to allow potheads to grow small amounts for themselves. But this is prohibited until 2023, when Big Marijuana will again pay off our political class to continue this prohibition indefinitely in order to “maintain standards.” Again, it’s all about the money.
Newly legalized sports gambling – taxed of course – will be a harmless vice to most people, but gambling addicts and our urban poor will be obliterated financially as this sucker’s game saps the little resources they have. The main issue during the debate over this legislation was not the social costs of this plague, but how to divvy up the cash between the casinos and the government.
Then there was an unintentionally hilarious attempt the repeal the zoning laws of our suburbs so that urban minorities could have access to the superior suburban public schools. This was brutally but effectively swatted down by “The Corkscrew Rebellion” – suburban white liberals threatening to trephine the skulls of their elected representatives with the corkscrews they normally used to open $200 bottles of Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. The face-saving compromise legislation allowed for in-law apartments and more apartment buildings, but towns have can opt out of the latter.
Some bullets were dodged but Gov. Ned Lamont got his foot in the door for future tolls by signing legislation requiring trucks to pay “user fees.” This cost will now be passed down so that Connecticut citizens now have the privilege of paying more for the products the truckers deliver to our state. A regressive gas tax masquerading as a climate change initiative even irritated liberal legislators to the point where it was not considered. But these issues will return. Hopefully Queen Elizabeth will put her foot down.
As our urban poor become more drug addicted and broke from gambling, our political leaders will come up with their favorite panacea to every social pathology their liberal values have created – more mental health treatment. And this may not be a bad thing. As a medical student, I once naively expressed concern over the plight of a depressed patient to my professor. The professor responded “Psychiatrists have to feed their kids too.”
Joe Bentivegna is an ophthalmologist in Rocky Hill.
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