Bear hunt to unused satellite TV dish ban before Assembly


You’ve heard about the budget deficit, legalizing marijuana, and highway tolls, but there are dozens of other issues being addressed by proposed new laws in the new General Assembly session.

Bear hunts, a ban on plastic bags, and unused satellite TV dishes are also being proposed. Some of these proposals have been made before, but new laws often take several sessions to get passed. At least one of these has already been withdrawn.

In a few months,  backyard-visiting black bears looking for bird feeders and other meals will return after their winter months of sleep. Environmental officials say the population is growing by 10 percent per year especially in Litchfield County.

Related: Home break-ins by black bears surge in Connecticut suburbs

A bill has been filed that would call for a controlled bear hunt to bring the population down because of the danger to people and livestock. 

“There were 26 home invasions over the last year. That means bears into peoples’ houses and that number continues to grow,” said Sen. Craig Miner.

Another proposal would require that no longer used TV satelitte dishes be removed from buildings, which is becoming a problem in some urban areas. It’s proposed by Rep. Gerry Reyes (D-Waterbury) who says, “It’s blight by another name. It’s not appealing. It definitely does not give you curbside appeal and I want to put in a law that if you put a satellite dish on, you take one off. It’s that simple.”

There is also a renewed effort to ban plastic straws and ban, or tax, plastic bags. Several communities have already done this, but this proposal would be statewide. “We’re trying to ban as much disposable plastic as we possibly can so that will include plastic bags and plastic straws,” says bill sponsor Rep. Josh Elliot (D-Hamden).

Related: Stonington to consider banning plastic bags and straws

At the suggestion of a constituents, two state reps have proposed a law that would allow lottery jackpot winners to remain anonymous. But after consulting with Lottery officials, the two reps have discovered that you can already do this by establishing a trust and have your lawyer pick up the winnings. 

Co-sponsor Rep. Whit Betts (R-Bristol) saying,   “I’m much more comfortable now that the identity of a winner is indeed safe guarded and it does not jeopardize the integrity of the lottery system in Connecticut.”  The sponsors have now asked that that bill be withdrawn.

Other proposals this year include requiring back seat passengers to wear seat belts and no alcohol sales on Easter Sunday.

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