June 6, 2019
What’s on television now that the Legislature’s “Long Session” is over?
It used to be that few people watched the Legislature on TV. But it seems that people have been increasingly tuning in since a fantastic improvement in broadcast quality occurred in the past year or so!
In my case, though, I watch on my computer. And as I do so I can research specific bills and review legislative history that is provided at the Connecticut General Assembly’s website.
Traditionally the Senate has begun its day at a later time than the House. This year, though, it seems that the Senate has particularly made a point of conducting business in prime time. I’ve found myself wondering at times if the Upper Chamber has been trying to boost its TV ratings!
In a recent Senate session President Pro Tempore Senator Martin Looney presided at the start, in place of Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz. It was thus his responsibility that day to choose a fellow Senator to lead the pledge of allegiance.
In considering what to wear each day some legislators apparently make a habit of first checking with their leader to see if bills they are associated with will be on deck for consideration. Perhaps that accounts for why new Senator Alexandra (“Alex”) Bergstein, as Chairperson of the Banking Committee, assumed she would not be required to stand, present, and parry in debate that day. Much less be chosen to lead the pledge.
Nevertheless, that day she was chosen for that honor by Senator Looney. With the result that she had to walk a rather long distance to the podium, in full view of the cameras, while wearing stretch pants. This is what passes for humor in the proceedings of the staid and polite Upper Chamber.
I often find it exciting, though, to watch the orations of the Senators, even if just in regard to style points. It’s interesting, too, that seating arrangements in the Senate Chamber are not based on Party, but rather on the basis of district numbers.
If you prefer to hear penetrating analyses of questions that you may or may not have considered, though, chances are you would often find it preferable to watch the proceedings of the House.
Some might wonder why I am writing about the Legislature at this time, since the Long Session is now over. But as the noted philosopher Yogi Berra famously stated many years ago, “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” And it appears that there will soon be a Special Session addressing tolls and economic development.
While we await that Session, I would note that the Governor has already proven himself to be a friend of Weston when it comes to the issue of funding teacher retirement costs.
While at the same time, for better or worse, he has continued the Connecticut gubernatorial tradition of learning to punt. I can’t recall any Connecticut Governor who has delivered on fiscal promises made during his or her campaign.
Why is that? One factor might be that as hard as we may try Connecticut will never become an economic or activity hub like New York City or Boston. We’re a pass-through place. We have no subways, no skyscrapers, and, relatively speaking, no crowds or bright lights. And during Presidential Elections no visits by candidates, except perhaps in Greenwich.
And what’s wrong with that?
“About Town” is also a television program. It appears on Fridays from 5:30 to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 to 10:30 a.m. on Cablevision Channel 88 (Public Access). Or see it at www.aboutweston.com.