Council 4 Ready as State Legislature Convenes

The 2019 Connecticut legislative session convened Jan. 9, 2019.

Taking the oath of office in the House of Representatives were 90 Democrats and 59 Republicans. They were joined by 20 Democrats and 13 Republicans in the Senate. Two House members and three Senators, all Democrats, were not sworn in, opting instead to join the Lamont administration. (Special elections to fill those vacant seats are set for Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.)

This marked the beginning of the “long session,” which will run until midnight on Wednesday, June 5th. Legislators will have until then to adopt a new biennium state budget and consider a number of proposed bills.

Council 4, through our legislative advocates Brian Anderson and Zak Leavy, will pursue a legislative agenda built on advancing workers’ rights, protecting collective bargaining and preventing outsourcing.

  • Click here for a summary of the Council 4’s 2019 legislative agenda.

A number of union members were also sworn in as legislators for the first time, including Mary Abrams and Julie Kushner in the Senate and Pat Wilson-Pheanious and Tom Arnone in the House of Representatives. They join a group of incumbent union members headed by Council 4 Education Joe Aresimowicz, who begins his second term as the Speaker of the House.

  • Click here to listen to our Council 4 podcast interview with Joe Aresimowicz.

Key bills supporting working families were also introduced Jan 9. SB 1 and HB 5003, which would establish an earned family leave program, and SB 2 and HB 5004 which would raise the minimum wage.

A note on the state budget: State Comptroller Kevin Lembo is predicting a budget surplus of $242.2 million when the books close on FY 2019, which will bring the projected Rainy Day Fund balance to $2.1 billion. However, executive and legislative branch analysts estimate budget deficits of $1.7 billion in FY 2020 and $2.37 billion in FY 2021.

Governor Lamont will present his budget proposal to legislators on February 13. Working with the Connecticut AFLCIO, we will encourage the Lamont administration and the General Assembly to adopt a state budget that grows the state’s economy by focusing on investment, wage growth, fair taxation and economic opportunities for working families – and not cutting workers’ wages, benefits and bargaining rights.

As always, we need our members to be active and engaged.

And make plans to attend our Council 4 Lobby Day on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at the State Capitol in Hartford. 

  • Click here for a Hold the Date flyer for Lobby Date.

if you want to help our grass roots lobbying efforts, please contact Brian Anderson at [email protected] or Zak Leavy at [email protected].