Sen. Kane: Common sense ideas that could become law []

February 28, 2013

Editorial as it appeared on

By Sen. Rob Kane
Published:Thursday, February 28, 2013 7:07 AM EST

I am pleased to report that several of the bills I have authored are still “alive” and making their way through the legislative process.

The first bill is my proposal to allow easier access to the ballot box for overseas military personnel. The bill, entitled “An Act Concerning On-Line Voting for Military Personnel Stationed Out of State”, received a public hearing February 22 by the legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee. Currently, members of Connecticut’s military can submit applications for absentee voting online, but cannot cast their ballot over a secure website. I feel that allowing our military personnel serving overseas to return their ballots electronically will help to solve the problem of military absentee ballots which sometimes arrive too late to be counted in elections. We owe this to the men and women who fight for us and put their lives on the line for our country.

They are overseas defending our freedoms, including that precious freedom so many of us take for granted – the freedom to vote.

My second bill seeks to develop a “Connecticut Antiques Trail,” and it received a February 19 public hearing by the legislature’s Commerce Committee. A few years ago, we were able to get signage on Interstate 84 that began this process, and the dealers themselves put their own signs in Woodbury. I explained to the committee that this is just another step in the process to place signs for a trail along Route 8 from Seymour to Torrington. The trail would include Seymour, Oxford, Southbury, Woodbury, Roxbury, Wash??ington, Bethlehem, Mor?ris, Litchfield, Bantam and Torrington. We want to emulate the wine trail that has been created, and I believe it’s a good piece of economic development for the entire region. There are a lot of area small businesses which stand to see a big boost through this designation.

My third bill would allow members of the armed forces who have earned motorcycle endorsements while in the armed forces to have that endorsement qualify for a Connecticut motorcycle license. The proposal received a Feb. 19 public hearing in the Veterans Affairs Committee. Most members of our armed forces are not able to take multiple days off to take a DMV class and test when they’ve already proven in a different branch of government that they have the skills required to operate a motorcycle safely. Our current state law results in a frustrating and duplicative process – one which requires our active duty members of the armed forces to take a short leave of absence that they really shouldn’t have to take. This is a common sense measure which will make serving our state and our country a little easier for those who choose to ride motorcycles. The idea for the bill came from Christopher Curtin of Bridgewater, who is an active duty Marine currently stationed at Camp Lejeune. I am proud to say the state’s Motorcyclists Rights Organization, the Connecticut Motorcycle Riders Association (, supports this bill.

If you have any questions or comments on these proposals or any other issues, feel free to contact me at Rob.Kane@cga.