Connecticut House of Representatives
|Connecticut House of Representatives|
|2015 session start:||January 7, 2015|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||J. Brendan Sharkey (D)|
|Majority Leader:||Joe Aresimowicz (D)|
|Minority leader:||Themis Klarides (R)|
Democratic Party (86)
Republican Party (63)Vacant (2)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art III, Connecticut Constitution|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 (151 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016 (151 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Connecticut Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Representatives
- 6 Standing Committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
The House convenes within the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford.
In odd-numbered years, legislative sessions begin on the Wednesday following the first Monday in January and adjourn no later than the first Wednesday following the first Monday in June. In even-numbered years, legislative essions begin on the Wednesday following the first Monday in February, adjourning no later than the first Wednesday following the first Monday in May.
As of February 2015, Connecticut is one of 7 Democratic state government trifectas.
Article III of the Connecticut Constitution establishes when the Connecticut State Legislature, which the House of Representatives is a part of, is to be in session. Section 2 of Article III states that, in odd-numbered years, the Legislature shall convene its regular session on the Wednesday after the first Monday in January. Section 2 requires regular sessions in odd-numbered years to adjourn by the Wednesday after the first Monday in June.
The Constitution does not establish when the Legislature is supposed to meet in even-numbered years, so these dates are established by law. In even-numbered years, the Legislature convenes on the Wednesday following the first Monday in February, pending the decision of the Legislature, and it must adjourn by the Wednesday after the first Monday in May.
- See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions
In 2015, the Legislature is in session from January 7 through June 3.
Major issues during the 2015 legislative session include a projected state budget deficit, transportation infrastructure, job expansion, lowering electricity costs for consumers and domestic violence restraining orders.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature was in session from February 5 to May 7.
Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included the biennial state budget, gun control, mental health, police training and creating the Office of Early Childhood.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 9 through June 5.
Major issues during the 2013 legislative session included restrictions on gun ownership, an increase to the minimum wage, labels on genetically modified foods, and the ability for illegal immigrants to apply for driver's licenses.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House of Representatives was in session from February 8 to May 9.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the House of Representatives was in session from February 3rd to May 5th.
Role in state budget
- See also: Connecticut state budget and finances
- Budget instructions are sent to state agencies in July.
- State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in September.
- Agency hearings are held in January.
- Public hearings are held from February through June.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in February.
- The legislature adopts a budget in May or June. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget. Likewise, the legislature must adopt a balanced budget.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 which indicated that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. Among the challenges states faced were a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Connecticut was one of 29 states with mixed results regarding the frequency and effectiveness in its use of cost-benefit analysis.
Ethics and transparency
Following the Money report
- See also: "Following the Money" report, 2014
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, Connecticut received a grade of B and a numerical score of 83, indicating that Connecticut was "advancing" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Connecticut was given a grade of A in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Elections for the office of Connecticut House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 12, 2014, and a general election on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was June 10, 2014.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Connecticut House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 106||Mitch Bolinsky||0.1%||11,439||Lisa Romano|
|District 105||Theresa W. Conroy||0.8%||10,244||Len Greene, Jr.|
|District 89||Lezlye Zupkus||1.9%||12,225||Vickie Orsini Nardello|
|District 81||David Zoni||2.9%||10,589||Cheryl Lounsbury|
|District 21||Mike Demicco||3.9%||11,911||Bill Wadsworth|
|District 119||James Maroney||4.1%||11,526||Pam Staneski|
|District 2||Dan Carter||4.1%||10,263||Steven B. DeMoura|
|District 144||Michael Molgano||4.2%||9,758||Michael Pollard|
|District 42||Timothy R. Bowles||4.3%||9,173||Mike France|
|District 67||Cecilia Buck-Taylor||4.4%||10,360||Andrew B. Grossman|
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 8 for candidates of either the Republican or Democratic parties and August 4 for others such as independents. The primary Election Day was August 10, 2010.
In 2010, the total amount raised by candidates running for office was $7,114,872. The top 10 overall campaign contributors were:
|2010 Donors, Connecticut House of Representatives|
|Speakers Leadership Cmte||$70,683|
|House Democratic Caucus Cmte||$55,636|
|Mahoney, Dennis E||$20,250|
|House Democrats Caucus Cmte of Connecticut||$18,295|
|Candelora, Vincent J||$14,106|
|Working Families Party||$13,910|
|Connecticut House Democratic Majority||$8,031|
Elections for the office of Connecticut House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 12, 2008 and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $5,657,925. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Connecticut House of Representatives|
|Speakers Leadership Cmte||$27,924|
|Connecticut House Democratic Caucus Cmte||$14,142|
|Shapiro, James A||$8,400|
|Connecticut House Democratic Majority||$5,730|
|Connecticut Democratic Party||$3,543|
|Fairfield Republican Town Cmte||$3,000|
|Connecticut Education Association||$2,250|
|Protective Services Employees Coalition||$2,250|
|Wilton Democratic Town Cmte||$2,133|
Elections for the office of Connecticut House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 8, 2006 and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $4,878,009. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Connecticut House of Representatives|
|House Republican Majority Cmte||$71,636|
|United House Democrats||$66,585|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte of Connecticut||$56,201|
|Connecticut Lawyers for Excellence in Government||$47,350|
|House Democratic Majority PAC||$34,096|
|New Majority Democrats||$32,339|
|Connecticut House Democratic Majority||$25,110|
|Black, Peter L||$25,000|
Elections for the office of Connecticut House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 10, 2004 and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $4,776,294. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Connecticut House of Representatives|
|House Democrats Campaign Cmte of Connecticut||$54,940|
|Connecticut Lawyers for Excellence in Government||$50,250|
|House Republican Majority Cmte||$41,257|
|House Democratic Majority PAC||$34,600|
|Connecticut Association of Realtors||$31,250|
|House Democrats 2004||$29,163|
|GOP Leadership Fund||$28,815|
|New Majority Democrats||$25,210|
|Connecticut Education Association||$24,950|
|Connecticut State Employees Association||$23,925|
Elections for the office of Connecticut House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 10, 2002 and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $4,749,372. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Connecticut House of Representatives|
|Leadership for Connecticut||$116,112|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte of Connecticut||$87,476|
|Connecticut Lawyers for Excellence in Government||$59,225|
|House Republican Majority Cmte of Connecticut||$54,751|
|House Democratic Campaign Cmte of Connecticut||$54,131|
|GOP Leadership Fund||$51,994|
|House Majority PAC||$34,799|
|House Republican Victory Fund of Connecticut||$32,500|
|Connecticut Business & Industry Association||$30,600|
|Connecticut Association of Realtors||$27,300|
Elections for the office of Connecticut House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 12, 2000 and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $3,937,787. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Connecticut House of Representatives|
|Connecticut House Republican Campaign Cmte||$62,241|
|House Majority PAC||$57,000|
|Connecticut House Democratic Campaign Cmte||$49,137|
|Connecticut Lawyers for Excellence in Government||$47,775|
|Leadership for Connecticut||$31,639|
|Connecticut House Republican Majority Cmte/Hrmc||$30,000|
|Connecticut Business & Industry Association||$28,650|
|Connecticut Association of Realtors||$23,650|
Article III, Section 4 of the Connecticut Constitution states: The house of representatives shall consist of not less than one hundred twenty-five and not more than two hundred twenty-five members, each of whom shall be an elector residing in the assembly district from which he is elected. Each assembly district shall be contiguous as to territory and shall elect no more than one representative. For the purpose of forming assembly districts no town shall be divided except for the purpose of forming assembly districts wholly within the town.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the House, a special election must be conducted to fill the vacant seat. The governor must call for an election no later than 10 days after the vacancy happened. All special elections must be held no later than 46 days after a governor's declaration. If the vacancy happened with less than 125 days left before the general election, the special election must be held on the same day as the general election. No election can be called by the governor if the vacancy happened with less than 49 days before the general election.
- See also: Redistricting in Connecticut
The General Assembly is responsible for redistricting. The legislature appoints a bipartisan committee to draw new maps, which are then presented to both chambers for a 2/3 majority vote. Should the legislature fail to meet its deadline, a nine-member commission is appointed to assume the task. Should the commission miss its own deadline, the task then falls on the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Connecticut's population grew 4.9% from 2000 to 2010. The Assembly failed to adopt a plan in time, and the commission that took over the process barely passed one in time itself, finishing a House map with two days to go, and a Senate map leaving just hours to spare.
The Speaker of the House presides over the House of Representatives. The Speaker is elected by the majority party caucus followed by confirmation of the full House through the passage of a House resolution. In addition to presiding over the body, the Speaker is also its chief leadership position, and controls the flow of legislation and committee assignments. Other House leaders, such as the majority and minority leaders, are elected by their respective party caucuses relative to their party's strength in the chamber.
|Current Leadership, Connecticut House of Representatives|
|Speaker of the House||J. Brendan Sharkey||Democratic|
|State House Majority Leader||Joe Aresimowicz||Democratic|
|State House Minority Leader||Themis Klarides||Republican|
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of February 2015|
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Connecticut legislature are paid $28,000 per year. They receive no per diem.
When sworn in
Connecticut legislators assume office the Wednesday following the first Monday of the January next succeeding their election.
- See also: General Assembly Committees
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Connecticut State House of Representatives. The Connecticut State House is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. During the final three years Connecticut was under Democratic trifectas.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Connecticut state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Between the years 1992 and 2005, Connecticut ranked in the top-10 in the SQLI ranking, in the top-5 for twelve of those thirteen years, and ranked 1st in 1992 and 1993. Beginning 2005, Connecticut dropped out of the top-10 and began a trend downward until hitting its lowest spot during the period of the study (33rd in 2012). Connecticut had divided government for eighteen years before having a Democratic trifecta in 2011. The state’s greatest decline in the SQLI ranking occurred between 2011 and 2012, when Connecticut dropped fourteen spots in the rankings. Connecticut has never had a Republican trifecta between 1992 and 2012.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 26.00
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: N/A
- SQLI average with divided government: 6.63
- Official website of the Connecticut House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the Connecticut House of Representatives
- Connecticut House Republican Caucus
- Connecitcut House Democratic Caucus
- U.S. Census Bureau, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed January 6, 2014
- U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population: 2000," April 2, 2001
- Connecticut General Assembly, "Length of terms of Connecticut State Senators," accessed December 16, 2013
- Session Scheduling Rules website and Connecticut Constitution, Article III, Section 2
- The Register Citizen, "Connecticut budget deficit, transportation among top session issues," January 4, 2015
- Washington Examiner, "Expected issues for 2014 Conn. legislative session," February 2, 2014
- ctmirror.org, "Winners and Losers from the 2013 legislative session," June 6, 2013
- StateScape, State Legislative Snapshot," accessed June30, 2011
- National Conference of State Legislatures "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Follow the Money: "Connecticut House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money, "Connecticut 2008 Candidates," accessed July 5, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Connecticut 2006 Candidates," accessed July 5, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Connecticut 2004 Candidates," accessed July 5, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Connecticut 2002 Candidates," accessed July 5, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Connecticut 2000 Candidates," accessed July 5, 2013
- Connecticut General Assembly, "Connecticut General Statutes," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 9-215(a), Connecticut General Statutes)
- 2009-2010 Connecticut House Democratic Leadership
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
State of Connecticut
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