Editorial page editor of the Norwich Bulletin Ray Hackett notes that in addition to the piddling legislation one might expect of a legislature and government in transition, two important bills are in the legislative hopper awaiting introduction soon after Governor-elect Dan Malloy is sworn in:
“There also are two extremely controversial bills filed guaranteed to serve as major distractions — the repeal of the death penalty and a proposal to allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at Connecticut colleges and universities.The timing on death penalty repeal, Mr. Hackett notes, is awkward:
“The Legislature passed a bill last year repealing the death penalty that was vetoed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell. Supporters believe that with Gov.-elect Dan Malloy, the chances of success have improved greatly. Malloy supports the repeal if the measure is not retroactive. That’s a big hurdle to clear, but far from the only problem.”
“First, the trial of accused Cheshire home invasion suspect Joshua Komisarjevsky is scheduled to begin in February — the same time lawmakers would be taking up the debate. Obviously, no one considers timing an important issue.
“And second, the two chairmen of the Judiciary Committee where that debate will begin — state Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, and state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, both staunch supporters of repealing the law — are leaving the General Assembly to join Malloy’s administration. Replacements have yet to be named.”