NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) —On the last day of the legislative session, every second counts at the capitol in Hartford as Connecticut lawmakers work to pass key legislation.
“Obviously, we all know this is the make or break day on bills,” House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora said.
The last few frenzied hours of the legislative session are critical to debating, negotiating, and passing hundreds of bills.
“It really is like a test of humanity,” Connecticut Speaker of the House Matt Ritter said. “It really is like a test with every bill that gets called up there, and you never really know what’s going to happen.”
Gov. Ned Lamont addressed the general assembly briefly at the close of the legislative session to share his remarks. Lamont praised state lawmakers for their ability to work collaboratively to pass key legislation and the state budget.
“Getting the budget done at a time with such strong bi-partisan support, that sends a message,” Lamont said.
Among the priorities for Democrats and Republicans in the state House and Senate is getting through remnants of the state budget bill.
- Senate Bill No. 1: An act concerning transparency in education by providing equal access and academic opportunity for all children in the state
- A bonding bill for capital improvement projects
- A Biannual school construction bill – $960 million for projects across the state
“You kind of feel the energy of the building, and everybody’s trying to do, getting their bills and their interests and moving things forward,” Senate Republican Minority Leader Kevin Kelly said.
“Everybody knows we are up to an absolute deadline, which is not true any other day of the session,” Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney said.
While lawmakers have their differences and don’t always see eye to eye, many agreed on this particular legislative session’s bipartisan nature and cooperation.
“When you foster an atmosphere of collegiality, and people feel that they are heard on most bills, or they can make minor amendments, they feel OK,” Ritter said.
“I think we have had a lot of bipartisan cooperation, and I think Connecticut is different from Washington and a lot of other places,” Kelly said.
The legislative session ends at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. Gov. Ned Lamont is expected to deliver remarks during a joint convention of the Connecticut General Assembly at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
Stay with News 8 for the latest developments.
The video in the player above is from an earlier newscast on June 7, 2023, at 6 p.m.