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Encyclopedia > Connecticut General Assembly
Connecticut General Assembly

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Type Bicameral
Houses Senate
House of Representatives
President of the Senate Michael Fedele, (R)
since January 3, 2007
Speaker of the House James Amann, (D)
since January 5, 2005
Members 187
Political groups Democratic Party
Republican Party
Last elections November 7, 2006
Meeting place Connecticut State Capitol, Hartford, Connecticut
Web site http://www.cga.ct.gov/

The Connecticut General Assembly (or CGA) is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is a bicameral body composed of the 151-member lower Connecticut House of Representatives and the 36-member upper Connecticut Senate. It meets in the state capital, Hartford. In government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. ... The Connecticut State Senate is the upper house of the Connecticut General Assembly. ... The Hall of the Connecticut House of Representatives. ... The President of the Senate is the title often given to the presiding officer, or chairman, of a senate. ... Michael Fedele, a Republican, is Connecticuts 107th Lieutenant Governor. ... GOP redirects here. ... is the 3rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... The term Speaker is usually the title given to the presiding officer of a countrys lower house of parliament or congress (ie: the House of Commons or House of Representatives). ... James A. Amann (born 1956, in Bridgeport, Connecticut) is a Connecticut State Representative. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic... is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic... GOP redirects here. ... The Connecticut State House The Connecticut State House is located in the capital of Hartford, Connecticut and houses the State Senate and House of Representatives. ... Hartford redirects here. ... Official language(s) none (de facto English) Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport[2] Largest metro area Hartford Metro Area[3] Area  Ranked 48th in the US  - Total 5,543[4] sq mi (14,356 km²)  - Width 70 miles (113 km)  - Length 110 miles (177 km)  - % water 12. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      In the United States of America, a state legislature is a generic term referring to the... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of... Official language(s) none (de facto English) Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport[2] Largest metro area Hartford Metro Area[3] Area  Ranked 48th in the US  - Total 5,543[4] sq mi (14,356 km²)  - Width 70 miles (113 km)  - Length 110 miles (177 km)  - % water 12. ... A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house. ... The Hall of the Connecticut House of Representatives. ... For the demesne in The Keys to the Kingdom series, see The House An upper house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house. ... The Connecticut State Senate is the upper house of the Connecticut General Assembly. ... In countries with federal constitutions divided into subnational entities known as states, the state capital is the administrative center of a state. ... Hartford redirects here. ...


During even-numbered years, the General Assembly is in session from February to May. In odd-numbered years, when the state budget is completed, session lasts from January to June. The governor has the right to call for a special session after the end of the regular session, while the General Assembly can call for a veto session after the close in order to override gubernatorial vetoes. For the rental car company, see Budget Rent a Car. ... In a legislature, a special session is a period when the body convenes outside of the normal legislative schedule. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


During the first half of session, the House and Senate typically meet on Wednesdays only, though by the end of the session, they meet daily due to increased workload and deadlines.

Contents

Membership

Members of the General Assembly, regardless of chamber, serve two-year terms; there are no term limits imposed on them. The 2007-09 House is made up of 44 Republicans and 107 Democrats, while the 2007-09 Senate has 13 Republicans and 23 Democrats. This article is about constitutional law; for the book by Vince Flynn see Term Limits (novel). ... GOP redirects here. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic...


As with most New England state legislatures, the Connecticut General Assembly is traditionally a moderate body. Most urban and suburban areas are represented by Democrats, while many rural or more affluent areas have Republican representation. Among state legislatures, the Connecticut General Assembly is known for its good working and personal relationships between the two parties.[who?] This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... “Moderates” redirects here. ...


Political scientists consider the General Assembly to be a part-time, professionally-run state legislature. Most legislators have jobs aside from their political positions, and aside from leadership, few are present at the Capitol Monday through Friday. Legislators with more time to offer are generally placed on "A" committees, which meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while others are assigned to "B" committees that meet only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All legislators are expected to be present for "session," or days when their chambers are in session, regardless of committee assignments.


Although it is a part-time body, the legislature is known for having some of the best support services among state legislatures,[who?] including its large staff, Legislative Commissioners' Office (which helps with the writing of bills), Office of Legislative Research, Office of Fiscal Analysis, and other services available.


Leadership

The Speaker of the House is Democrat Rep. James A. Amann of Milford and the President Pro Tempore is Sen. Donald E. Williams, Jr. of Brooklyn. The Speaker or one of his deputies officiates over all House proceedings, while the lieutenant governor, currently Republican Michael Fedele of Stamford, presides over the Senate. The term Speaker is usually the title given to the presiding officer of a countrys lower house of parliament or congress (ie: the House of Commons or House of Representatives). ... James A. Amann (born 1956, in Bridgeport, Connecticut) is a Connecticut State Representative. ... Nickname: Location in Connecticut Coordinates: , NECTA Region Named 1640 Incorporated (city) 1959 Government  - Type Mayor-council  - Mayor James L. Richetelli, Jr. ... A President Pro Tempore is a constitutionally recognized officer of the United States Senate who presides over the chamber in the absence of the President of the Senate. ... Brooklyn town hall Brooklyn is a town in Windham County, Connecticut, United States. ... A Lieutenant Governor is a government official who is the subordinate or deputy of a Governor or Governor-General. ... Michael Fedele, a Republican, is Connecticuts 107th Lieutenant Governor. ... Nickname: Location in Connecticut Coordinates: , NECTA Region Settled 1641 Incorporated (city) 1893 Consolidated 1949 Government  - Type Mayor-Board of representatives  - Mayor Dannel Malloy (Dem) Area  - City 134. ...


Legislation is introduced before each chamber by the majority or minority leader. Traditionally, the majority and minority leaders represent urban or large suburban areas, just as the Speaker of the House is usually from a city. In the current House, the majority leader is Democrat Christopher G. Donovan of Meriden; the minority leader is Republican Lawrence W. Cafero, Jr. of Norwalk. In the Senate, the majority leader is Democrat Martin Looney of New Haven and the minority leader is John McKinney of Fairfield. Christopher G. Donovan (born October 22, 1953, in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania) is a Connecticut State Representative. ... Nickname: Location in Connecticut Coordinates: , NECTA Region Incorporated (town) 1806 Incorporated (city) 1867 Consolidated 1922 Government  - Type Council-manager  - Council leaders Mark Benigni, Mayor Matthew C. Dominello, Deputy Mayor Stephen T. Zerio, Council Leader Keith Gordon, Deputy Leader Patricia D. Lynes, Deputy Leader  - City manager Lawrence J. Kendzior Area  - City... Norwalk is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. ... Martin Looney is a Connecticut state senator who currently serves as the majority leader. ... New Haven redirects here. ... Fairfield is a town located in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. ...


Facilities

Most of the General Assembly's committee and caucus meetings are held in the modern Legislative Office Building (or LOB), while the House and Senate sessions are held in the State Capitol. The two buildings are connected via an underground tunnel known as the "Concourse," which stretches underneath an off-ramp of Interstate 84. Most offices for legislators and their aides are also housed in the LOB, though some legislative leaders choose to be based out of the State Capitol itself. The Connecticut State House The Connecticut State House is located in the capital of Hartford, Connecticut and houses the State Senate and House of Representatives. ... Interstate 84 (abbreviated I-84) is an interstate highway extending from Dunmore, Pennsylvania (near Scranton, Pennsylvania) at an intersection with Interstate 81 to Sturbridge, Massachusetts at an intersection with the Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90). ...


Each committee has its own office space, with most being located in the LOB. A few committees, particularly select committees, have their offices in the Capitol. Committee chairs and ranking members normally choose to have their personal offices near their committee offices, rather than staying in their caucus areas.


The General Assembly is also provided with facilities such as a cafeteria, private dining room, newsstand, and library.


Committee system

The General Assembly has 27 committees, all of which are joint committees; that is, their membership includes House and Senate members alike. Several committees have subcommittees, each with their own chair and special focus. A committee comprises a mechanism of bureaucracy or of proto-bureaucracy whereby a limited number of people receive delegated functions of government or administration. ...


Before most bills are considered in either the House or Senate, they must first go through the committee system. The primary exception to this rule is the emergency certification bill, or "e-cert," which can be passed on the floor without going through committee first. The e-cert is generally reserved for use during times of crisis, such as natural disasters or when deadlines are approaching too quickly to delay action.


Permanent committees

Most are permanent committees, which are authorized and required by state statute to be continued each session.


The twenty-three permanent committees of the General Assembly are:

  • Appropriations Committee
  • Banks Committee
  • Commerce Committee
  • Education Committee (K-12)
  • Energy and Technology Committee
  • Environment Committee
  • Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee
  • Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee
  • General Law Committee
  • Government Administration and Elections Committee
  • Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee
  • Human Services Committee
  • Insurance and Real Estate Committee
  • Internship Committee
  • Judiciary Committee
  • Labor and Public Employees Committee
  • Joint Committee on Legislative Management
  • Planning and Development Committee
  • Program Review and Investigations Committee
  • Public Health Committee
  • Public Safety and Security Committee
  • Regulation Review Committee
  • Transportation Committee

Of those, the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee, Internship Committee, Joint Committee on Legislative Management, Program Review and Investigations Committee, and Regulation Review Committee are considered bi-partisan and feature leadership from each party.


Select committees

Some committees are "select" committees. They are authorized to only function for a set number of years before being brought up for review. Most select committees deal with issues of major import during a particular time period and are created in response to specific problems facing the state.


The four select committees of the General Assembly are:

  • Select Committee on Aging
  • Select Committee on Children
  • Select Committee on Housing
  • Select Committee on Veterans' Affairs

Leadership and staff

Most committee chair positions are held by the ruling party, but committees considered officially bi-partisan have chairs from both the Republican and Democratic caucuses. Bi-partisan committees are ones that are mostly administrative in nature, such as the Legislative Internship Committee and the Legislative Management Committee. Most committees have ranking members, or leaders from the minority party who serve as the leaders of their party on each committee. A caucus is most generally defined as being a meeting of supporters or members of a political party or movement. ... Ranking member, in American politics, is a term used to refer to the member of a committee in Congress who is the longest-serving member of the party not in the majority (the longest-serving member of the majority is the chairman). ...


All committees have their own staff members. Most are led by a committee clerk and two assistant clerks. The committee clerk and one of the assistants are appointed by the majority party, while the minority party appoints the additional assistant. The exception to this rule is the Appropriations Committee, the legislature's second-largest behind the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding committee. The Appropriations Committee hires a non-partisan senior committee administrator, who outranks the clerk and works equally with both parties. For other uses, see Clerk (disambiguation). ...


Unlike the majority-controlled committees, non-partisan committees only hire non-partisan staff. Most of these staff members are researchers and analysts who deal with specific issues throughout the session.


Each committee is assigned staffers from the Office of Legislative Research, the Office of Fiscal Analysis, and the Legislative Commissioners' Office. These staffers specialize in various areas of research and legislation that pertain to the committee's mission. For example, the Transportation Committee has researchers who specialize in the state's mass transit plan and car taxes. In the United States of America, transit describes local area common carrier passenger transportation configured to provide scheduled service on fixed routes on a non-reservation basis. ... Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in the United Kingdom, often known as car tax, is an annual tax on the ownership of road vehicles, collected and enforced by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. ...


Public participation

The majority of General Assembly proceedings are open to members of the public. Public hearings are held regularly during the session for residents to be given a chance to testify on pending legislation. Viewing areas are offered in both chambers for people who would like to observe, though the floor of each chamber is generally restricted to legislators, staff members, interns, and certain members of the media collectively known as the Capitol Press Corps. Additionally, the Connecticut Network, or CT-N, broadcasts the majority of each session for viewing on television.


Members of the public are often recognized during legislative proceedings, particularly sessions of the House. Representatives and senators can call for a "point of personal privilege" when there is no business pending on the floor, which allows them to introduce family members or residents of their districts to the rest of the membership. The entire chamber often recognizes civic and youth groups, particularly championship-winning sports teams. Some residents receive special citations from the membership as well.


See also

The Connecticut State House The Connecticut State House is located in the capital of Hartford, Connecticut and houses the State Senate and House of Representatives. ... The Hall of the Connecticut House of Representatives. ... The Connecticut State Senate is the upper house of the Connecticut General Assembly. ...

External links


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