Where the Legislative Battlelines are Drawn for Connecticut 2022

January 29, 2022

The 2022 legislative session is about to begin in the Connecticut General Assembly and your guess is as good as mine whether it will be an in-person or virtual affair – or if the Governor will again attempt to renew his emergency declaration and the powers that go with it.  I remain hopeful that common sense will prevail, the Governor will relent, and the people’s representatives will once again have a say in the future direction of our state.  There are perennial topics that will no doubt return. We will hopefully find common ground on many of them despite party differences.  However, where we disagree is what matters most.

These are the top three hot button issues for 2022 as:

First is the continuous and rising wave of juvenile crime, particularly car thefts but also including a rash of bold thefts in retail stores in broad daylight, car jackings, and a jolting escalation in the murder rate in our larger cities.  I have been making the case against the bad policies that have led to this result for a decade now.  Legislative Democrats driven by their far-left progressive wing have dismantled much of the law and order we are used to in Connecticut, raising the age for juvenile offenders, closing juvenile detention centers, releasing violent felons early, preventing consent searches and vehicle chases, not to mention passing wildly irresponsible laws undermining police officers and literally erasing criminal records – even for violent crimes.  I am sad to say that list is not even all-inclusive.  What I want you to know is that you can count on me to continue standing up for the rule of law as I debate the need to restore law and order in our state.

Second on my list is election laws.  As the ranking Republican on the Government Administration and Elections Committee, I have been the tip of the spear battling against the most nonsensical and genuinely criminal election law proposals imaginable.  Sadly, with huge majorities, legislative Democrats have destabilized numerous aspects of our election laws, feigning nothing but a simple desire for more access, they have butchered the process, routinely undermining protections designed to ensure the integrity of the vote and creating new policies that will invite mistakes – and fraud.  Possibly even worse, they have radically diminished the confidence in our election process nationally and here in our state.  Cleverly, they vilify anyone who calls into question these changes or desires more checks and balances.  They spin that it’s all Trump’s “big lie” or that we are diminishing the work of the many decent and honest people who work the polls across Connecticut.  Don’t believe it!  There is so much to report here, it could not be done justice in a short column as this one.  Please know that I will continue to fight for good policies like requiring photo ID for voting, creating a verification process for absentee ballots, audits, and above all making sure that maintaining the integrity of the vote stays as important as expanding access to do so.

Third and certainly not least – restoring sanity surrounding how our state should operate in a true state of emergency and making sure the truth is told about the COVID-19 pandemic and the countless abuses our government is responsible for in their zeal for power and control – the exact thing America’s founders warned us about.  There has been a seismic shift in the coronavirus narrative in recent weeks and I predict it will continue.  Much of what I have been saying for a year or more, and much of it dismissed by the progressive left, is coming to light now and I pray it continues.  Every American deserves the truth.

I have continually reported the facts about where we stand in relation to the pandemic, the relative danger to our hospital system and the true value (or lack thereof) of the Governor’s countermeasures – each time using data right from the administration’s own Department of Public Health as well as federal agencies like HHS and the CDC (my remarks from July 14, 2021 State SenateSeptember 28, 2021 State Senate).  The data reported by the administration has been overly vague and often purposely misleading, making statistics appear worse than if they were given proper context.  I continue to seek the facts for the purpose of generating sound public policy. (Sept 2021 LetterJan 2022 Letter)  The Governor and the majority Democrats have long been exaggerating Covid’s impact on the ability of our state government to operate. It’s shameless and in my opinion, criminal.

How do they explain the near identical public health outcomes in other states with no emergency declarations, totalitarian government mandates and edicts, and no blundering leadership?! National news is finally catching on. Even before Omicron, the CDC acknowledged that the vaccines cannot prevent transmission – effectively eliminating any science or logic behind vaccine mandates.  The CDC has changed its tune on masks also,  and even the UK has given up on mask mandates!

When we look back on this experience, we should never forget the incredible breaking points to which many of us have been brought, not because of COVID-19 but this government’s response to it.  People have lost their businesses and their livelihoods. Many have had to sacrifice their careers, their retirements, and their savings both by complying with nonsensical policy mandates, or by refusing to comply with them on principle.  Mental health problems are skyrocketing.  Crime is rampant. Suicides are at record levels.  Remote learning has been a disaster that is failing our students.  The ramifications of this government’s actions will be felt for decades to come. None of us should ever allow any of it to be forgotten.

COVID-19 will likely be with us for years to come but it is time to for us to demand that it is addressed truthfully. It should not be under or overstated, and not used for the political purposes it has been for the last two years.  Our duty now is to undo the mess and begin laying the groundwork for workable changes that enable people to return to work, students to return to school, and each of us to return to living their lives.

You can count on me to help develop a path to real recovery so we can move forward. That will begin once the Governor abdicates his monarchical rule and returns the government and the state to the people.