The legislature passed a medical malpractice bill that would have required the state insurance commissioner to approve increases in the malpractice insurance rate. It also would have provided an income tax break for physicians, among other reforms. The bill would not have capped jury awards for pain and suffering.
The governor vetoed the legislation.
Two laws were passed regarding clean air standards. One, an act concerning clean cars, creates tougher vehicle emission standards and another, an act concerning climate change, calls for a regional framework for planned reduction of greenhouse gas emissions passed.
The governor signed both bills.
Two laws were passed regarding prison reform. One law requires the Department of Correction to develop a plan to reduce the state prison population by 20 percent. Changes were included to speed up the parole process and allow judges to order drug treatment instead of jail time. Another bill calls for funding for more parole officers and a community justice center in Hartford for 500 prisoners. These are awaiting the governorâs signature.
A bill calling for tougher penalties for ethics code violations and regulations for public officialsâ legal defense funds, including the governorâs blind trust, was passed and signed by the governor. Lawmakers also approved, and the governor signed, legislation that protects funding for three state watchdog agencies. Legislation requiring contractors to sign affidavits proclaiming any gifts to state officials has not as yet been signed by the governor.
Major legislation that died this year included bills relating to stem cells, medical marijuana, campaign finance, and property taxes.
This legislation would have enabled embryonic stem cell research in Connecticut. One proposal would have restricted experimentation on embryonic stem cells to a Petri dish in a laboratory, forbidding implantation.
This bill, which would have allowed chronically ill patients to grow and use marijuana to relieve debilitating symptoms, was passed as an amendment by the House of Representatives. The amended bill, however, never received a final vote.
Legislation that would have created a voluntary, publicly funded system for candidates in top statewide races died in committee. It had been described as a major initiative by advocates for reform.
The House failed to act on a bill to allow cities and towns to levy a property tax surcharge up to 15 percent on nonresidential property, including commercial and industrial.