Update on CT’s Tenth Amendment Legislation


Thank you to everyone who, once again, made the trip to Hartford for the Government Administration and Elections (GAE) Committee meeting on February 19, 2010.  We are pleased to report that the Committee did vote to raise the Tenth Amendment resolution for a public hearing. 

As you recall, we asked the Committee to raise three proposals: (1) a resolution requesting Congress to adopt only laws for which Congress has authority under the Constitution to adopt; (2) a bill that would establish a new state statute that would reassert Connecticut’s rights under the Tenth Amendment, adopts a method for the legislature to declare any federal laws unconstitutional, and notifying Congress whenever the legislature declares a federal law to be unlawful; and (3) a bill identical to the bill in item #2 except that it omitted notification to Congress.  Unfortunately, the Committee did not raise either of the bills for a public hearing. 

We had hoped to use a particular legislative rule to “petition out” the bill or bills so that the committee would hold a public hearing on the bills, as well as on the resolution.  Upon checking with legislative attorneys, State Rep. John Hetherington, a ranking member of the GAE Committee, and a supporter of the Tenth Amendment legislation, informed us that it will not be possible to “petition out” the bill or bills for a public hearing because these two measures were not officially drafted as proposed bills, nor could they be in this session when individual legislators were only allowed to officially draft proposed bills having to do with budgetary issues.  Because the bills technically were never before the committee as “proposed bills”, there is nothing before the committee to “petition out” for a public hearing.  The resolution and two bills merely were sent to the committee in the form of suggested concepts for the committee to raise for a public hearing.  Since the committee only agreed to raise the resolution for a public hearing, there will be no public hearing on the bills.  We will have a public hearing, however, on the resolution.

We still have no date for the public hearing, but it will take place sometime before the committee’s deadline for public hearings to be held, which is on March 12, 2010.  As soon as we know the date for the hearing, we will let everyone know.

Before the public hearing takes place, we also hope to schedule an informal meeting of those interested in testifying at the hearing to answer any questions about that process.

For more information, contact:  Deborah Stevenson, dgs31@yahoo.com, (860) 354-3590.