Learning the Legislative Process

April 18, 2013

Now that we are in the middle of April, the legislative session is starting to transition from a period of committee activity to the floor of the Senate and House of Representatives. Some of the more powerful committees, such as the Appropriations and Finance committees, will continue to work on developing the next two-year state budget. Many of the other bills that made their way through the committee process will be considered by legislators before the last day of session.

Since January, legislative interns have been supporting staff and legislators with daily tasks. Throughout the session, these students work on bill analysis and tracking, spot and in-depth research, drafting news releases and speeches, liaison work and constituent casework. The building comes alive with the many interns who seek to gain practical and professional experience.

As you may remember, I have served on the legislature’s Internship Committee for several terms. Each fall, the General Assembly accepts applications for internships during the legislative session. We interview and choose the brightest students from all over the state to come and work for a semester with senators, representatives and other staff. The program is an excellent educational opportunity for students interested in pursuing a future career in public service.

Since the start of session, Jason Langeway has been working in my office and supporting my legislative priorities. One bill that I was particularly interested in passing this year focused on improving public awareness of the pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS). I was especially thankful for Jason’s work with Lynn Johnson, the executive director of the PANDAS Resource Network, who supported my bill.

Originally from Bristol, Jason is continuing his studies as a junior at the University of Connecticut. Currently studying Finance and Political Science, Jason is a member of the Honors Program and the Special Program in Law. Outside the classroom, he is active in community service, volunteering with the Special Olympics and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He is also considering studying abroad in London.

Next week, I will be on vacation, and Jason will write his own column about his background and what he hopes to accomplish during the session. More specifically, he will be writing about social capital, why it is important and how it connects with his current experience as an intern. If you or someone you know may be interested in becoming a legislative intern, please visit the program’s website at www.cga.ct.gov/ISC.