This article needs additional citations for verification . (August 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Connecticut General Assembly
|Houses|| Senate |
House of Representatives
Senate Majority Leader
House Majority Leader
|Seats||187 voting members|
State Senate political groups
House of Representatives political groups
|Connecticut State Capitol|
The Connecticut General Assembly (CGA) is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is a bicameral body composed of the 151-member House of Representatives and the 36-member Senate. It meets in the state capital, Hartford. There are no term limits for either chamber.
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.
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.
The three settlements that would become Connecticut (Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor) were established in 1633, and were originally governed by the Massachusetts Bay Company under terms of a commission for settlement. When the commission expired in 1636 and the Connecticut Colony was established, the legislature was established as the "General Corte", consisting of six magistrates along with three-member committees representing each of the three towns. In 1639, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut were adopted, which changed the spelling to "General Court;" formalized its executive, judicial, and legislative authority; and changed its membership to consist of the governor and six magistrates (each elected for one year terms) and three or four deputies per town (elected for six-month terms). Although the magistrates and deputies sat together, they voted separately and in 1645 it was decreed that a measure had to have the approval of both groups in order to pass. The Charter of 1662 changed the name to the General Assembly, while replacing the six magistrates with twelve assistants and reducing the number of deputies per town to no more than two. In 1698, the General Assembly divided itself into its current bicameral form, with the twelve assistants as the Council and the deputies as the House of Representatives. The modern form of the General Assembly (divided into the upper Senate and lower House and devoid of all executive and judicial authority) was incorporated in the 1818 constitution.
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 a 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 in the State Capitol itself.
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.
The General Assembly has 26 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.
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.
Most are permanent committees, which are authorized and required by state statute to be continued each session.
The twenty-five permanent committees of the General Assembly are:
Of those, the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee, Internship Committee, Joint Committee on Legislative Management, and Regulation Review Committee are considered bi-partisan and feature leadership from each party.
Some committees are select committees, authorized to only function for a set number of years before being brought up for review. Most select committees deal with issues of major importance during a particular time period and are created in response to specific problems facing the state. As of the 2013 legislative session, there are no active select committees.
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. Most committees have ranking members, or leaders from the minority party who serve as the leaders of their party on each committee.
All committees have their own staff members. The four largest committees (Appropriations, Finance, Judiciary, and Public Health) are led by non-partisan senior committee administrators. The rest are led by a committee clerk appointed by the majority party. The majority and minority party appoint assistant clerks.
Each committee is assigned additional non-partisan staffers from the Office of Legislative Research, the Office of Fiscal Analysis, and the Legislative Commissioners' Office who, respectively, research legislation and issues, assess fiscal impacts, and draft legislation.
The General Assembly has subpoena power under Connecticut General Statutes §2-46. Recent decisions by the Connecticut Supreme Court, the state supreme court, have clarified and limited this power.
§2-46 vests the Connecticut General Assembly with broad subpoena power. The power to compel documents and testimony is vested in the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, or either of the chairman of any committee (Connecticut has joint Committees, with a chairman from each house of the General Assembly). Once subpoenaed, a person refusing to comply may be fined between $100 and $1000, and imprisoned for between one month and one year.
The legislature has the power to subpoena the sitting governor of Connecticut in limited circumstances. The Connecticut Supreme Court clarified these circumstances, during the John G. Rowland impeachment, in Office of the Legislature v. The Select Committee On Inquiry, 271 Conn. 540 (2004), holding that the legislature can issue subpoenas only in conjunction with its mandate under the state constitution. Impeachment is a constitutional power of the legislature under Article IX of the Connecticut Constitution, and therefore the legislature can compel the testimony of the governor in conjunction with impeachment proceedings.
The ability of the legislature to subpoena judges of the state court has also been clarified in court. During the controversy surrounding the retirement of the chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, William "Taco" Sullivan, the Connecticut General Assembly subpoenaed the testimony of Sullivan, who was still sitting on the Court. Sullivan challenged the subpoena in Connecticut Superior Court. The court ruled, in Sullivan v. McDonald (WL 2054052 2006), that the legislature could only subpoena a sitting Justice in an impeachment proceeding. On appeal, the entire Connecticut Supreme Court recused itself, and the argument was made before the judges of the Connecticut Appellate Court sitting as the Supreme Court. The Judiciary Committee, who issued the subpoenas, argued that they could also issue subpoenas in conjunction with their constitutional confirmation power. Sullivan voluntarily testified before a ruling was issued.
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.
A state legislature in the United States is the legislative body of any of the 50 U.S. states. The formal name varies from state to state. In 27 states, the legislature is simply called the Legislature, or the State Legislature, while in 19 states the legislature is called the General Assembly. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the legislature is called the General Court, while North Dakota and Oregon designate the legislature the Legislative Assembly.
The Massachusetts General Court is the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The name "General Court" is a hold-over from the earliest days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when the colonial assembly, in addition to making laws, sat as a judicial court of appeals. Before the adoption of the state constitution in 1780, it was called the Great and General Court, but the official title was shortened by John Adams, author of the state constitution. It is a bicameral body. The upper house is the Massachusetts Senate which is composed of 40 members. The lower body, the Massachusetts House of Representatives, has 160 members. It meets in the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill in Boston.
The Colorado General Assembly is the state legislature of the State of Colorado. It is a bicameral legislature that was created by the 1876 state constitution. Its statutes are codified in the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.). The session laws are published in the Session Laws of Colorado.
The North Carolina General Assembly is the bicameral legislature of the State government of North Carolina. The legislature consists of two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The General Assembly meets in the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States.
The Florida Legislature is the legislature of the U.S. State of Florida. It is organized as a bicameral body composed of an upper chamber, the Senate, and a lower chamber, the House of Representatives. Article III, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the legislature and how it is to be constituted. The legislature is composed of 160 state legislators. The primary purpose of the legislature is to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws. It meets in the Florida State Capitol building in Tallahassee.
The Colorado Senate is the upper house of the Colorado General Assembly, the state legislature of the US state of Colorado. It is composed of 35 members elected from single-member districts, with each district having a population of about 123,000 as of the 2000 census. Senators are elected to four-year terms, and are limited to two consecutive terms in office.
The Tennessee General Assembly (TNGA) is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Tennessee. It is a part-time bicameral legislature consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The Speaker of the Senate carries the additional title and office of Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee. In addition to passing a budget for state government plus other legislation, the General Assembly appoints three state officers specified by the state constitution. It is also the initiating body in any process to amend the state's constitution.
The Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico is the territorial legislature of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, responsible for the legislative branch of the government of Puerto Rico. The Assembly is a bicameral legislature consisting of an upper house, the Senate normally composed by 27 senators, and the lower house, the House of Representatives normally composed by 51 representatives. Eleven members of each house are elected at-large rather than from a specific legislative district with all members being elected for a four-year term without term limits.
The Maryland Senate, sometimes referred to as the Maryland State Senate, is the upper house of the General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Maryland. Composed of 47 senators elected from an equal number of constituent single-member districts, the Senate is responsible, along with the Maryland House of Delegates, for passage of laws in Maryland, and for confirming executive appointments made by the Governor of Maryland.
The Connecticut State Senate is the upper house of the Connecticut General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Connecticut. The state senate comprises 36 members, each representing a district with around 99,280 inhabitants. Senators are elected to two-year terms without term limits. The Connecticut State Senate is one of 14 state legislative upper houses whose members serve two-year terms; four-year terms are more common.
Impeachment in the United States is the process by which a legislature brings charges against a civil officer of government for crimes alleged to have been committed, analogous to the bringing of an indictment by a grand jury. Impeachment may occur at the federal level or the state level. The federal House of Representatives can impeach federal officials, including the president, and each state's legislature can impeach state officials, including the governor, in accordance with their respective federal or state constitution.
The Florida Senate is the upper house of the Florida Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida, the Florida House of Representatives being the lower house. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of Florida, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted. The Senate is composed of 40 members, each elected from a single-member district with a population of approximately 470,000 residents. Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures, provided by the federal decennial census. Senators' terms begin immediately, upon their election. The Senate Chamber is located in the State Capitol building.
The Kansas Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Kansas. It is a bicameral assembly, composed of the lower Kansas House of Representatives, with 125 state representatives, and the upper Kansas Senate, with 40 state senators. Representatives are elected for two-year terms, senators for four-year terms.
The Utah State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Utah. It is a bicameral body, comprising the Utah House of Representatives, with 75 state representatives, and the Utah Senate, with 29 state senators. There are no term limits for either chamber.
The Nevada Senate is the upper house of the Nevada Legislature, the state legislature of U.S. state of Nevada, the lower house being the Nevada Assembly. It currently (2012–2021) consists of 21 members from single-member districts. In the previous redistricting (2002–2011) there were 19 districts, two of which were multimember. Since 2012, there have been 21 districts, each formed by combining two neighboring state assembly districts. Each State Senator represented approximately 128,598 as of the 2010 United States Census. Article Four of the Constitution of Nevada sets that State Senators serve staggered four-year terms.
The Oklahoma Senate is the upper house of the two houses of the Legislature of Oklahoma, the other being the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The total number of senators is set at 48 by the Oklahoma Constitution.
The Kansas House of Representatives is the lower house of the legislature of the U.S. state of Kansas. Composed of 125 state representatives from districts with roughly equal populations of at least 19,000, its members are responsible for crafting and voting on legislation, helping to create a state budget, and legislative oversight over state agencies.
The Government of West Virginia is modeled after the Government of the United States, with three branches: the executive, consisting of the Governor of West Virginia and the other elected constitutional officers; the legislative, consisting of the West Virginia Legislature which includes the Senate and the House of Delegates; and the judicial, consisting of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and lower courts.
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which, along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—constitutes the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Legislative staffers in Colorado are employees of the state tasked with supporting the function of the Colorado General Assembly and the members who comprise that body. With very few exceptions, these personnel are non-partisan public servants. Colorado employs a total of 345 legislative staff across various functions.
|Wikisource has original works on the topic: Connecticut General Assembly|