The General Assembly will convene on January 6, 2021, exactly ten months after the state’s first COVID-19 positive test. This presentation discusses how the pandemic altered the workings of state government in 2020. Nonpartisan staff review key events from the past year, from the governor’s emergency declarations and executive orders to the July and September special legislative sessions and changes in legislative operations.
Jennifer Proto, OLR
Terry Adams, OLR
The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on public health. This presentation explores the impact COVID-19 has had on access to health care services and insurance coverage. The presentation provides a review of steps the governor and legislature have taken to respond to issues presented by the pandemic. It also discusses initiatives the legislature may pursue in January to expand access in the future.
Nicole Dube, OLR
Janet Kaminski Leduc, OLR
James Orlando, OLR
Alex Reger, OLR
Economic activity has entered uncharted territory due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the actions taken by individuals, businesses, and government to curb the virus’s spread. This presentation provides a snapshot of the effects on the state’s labor force, housing market, and consumers and businesses. It also describes what these indicators mean for the shape of the state’s economic recovery and budget.
Shaun McGann, OLR
Rute Pinho, OLR
Heather Poole, OLR
Neil Ayers, OFA
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the governor ordered all public schools closed for in-person classes, school districts were forced to quickly come up with remote learning plans and had to plan for the fall reopening amidst uncertainty. Child care facilities were allowed to remain open, but they faced a range of issues, including adapting to new safety protocols while struggling with an abrupt decline in demand. In this presentation, nonpartisan staff present key challenges for child care and K-12 education and the state’s most recent responses to these ever-changing challenges. The presentation provides legislators with an overview of where the state stands in these two areas today as the legislature prepares to start the 2021 legislative session.
Jessica Callahan, OLR
John Moran, OLR
Marybeth Sullivan, OLR
During a special session this past summer, the General Assembly passed legislation that made several changes to police practices. This presentation examines the main points of that act, as well as other recent legislation on the structure, training, actions, and oversight of state and local law enforcement in Connecticut. It concludes with a discussion of legislatively-directed studies and legal provisions that are scheduled to be completed or go into effect in the coming months.
Duke Chen, OLR
George Miles, OLR
Several events—a tropical storm, power outages, a rate hike and subsequent reversal—shifted the focus to electric rates this summer. The legislature met in special session to pass a law that, among other things, may bring changes to how electric rates are determined. This presentation examines current electric rates by explaining the individual charges on a residential electric bill and the laws, policies, and other factors that affect them.
Mary Fitzpatrick, OLR
Lee Hansen, OLR
In tandem with the conference, OLR has prepared a series of Issue Briefs — concise two-page reports providing an overview of topics that may be of interest in the upcoming legislative session.
- Remote Learning and the Digital Divide
- Utility Storm Response
- Hemp Production in Connecticut
- Retail CBD Sales
- COVID-19 Housing Assistance
- Public Assistance Programs and COVID-19
- Connecticut Health Insurance Reform Proposals
- Recreational Marijuana
- Funding the Unemployment System
- Motor Vehicle Mill Rate Cap
- COVID-19 and Connecticut Long-Term Care Facilities
- Connecticut School Immunization Requirements
- Foreclosure Mediation Program
- Pandemic-Related Business Assistance
- Absentee Voting in the 2020 Election
- Budget Reserve Fund
- Student Loan Relief Options During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Police Recording Equipment
- Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing
- State Veterans Affairs & Military Agencies
- Care 4 Kids