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CT's 2023 legislative session ends this week. Here's what to know

Dec 30, 2023Dec 30, 2023

This story is part of CT Mirror Explains, an ongoing effort to distill our wide-ranging reporting into a "what you need to know" format. To dive deeper on any element of this topic, use the links in the story.

Compiled by Gabby DeBenedictis.

The Connecticut General Assembly began its 2023 legislative session on Jan. 4. Over the last five months, lawmakers have debated bills surrounding aid-in-dying, zoning reform, Medicaid, gun control and much more.

Now, the session nears its close. Here's what to know.

Wednesday, June 7 is the final day of the 2023 legislative session. Lawmakers have until midnight that day to pass bills, and they are trying to finalize a state budget by then as well.

After legislation passes both the House and Senate, it goes to Gov. Ned Lamont for final approval. During session Lamont has less than a week to veto a bill after it was presented to him. But after session adjourns, that time frame increases to 15 days.

If Lamont vetoes a bill, the legislature can reconvene to reconsider it. If it passes with a two-thirds majority, it becomes law.

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Any bill that Lamont has signed or taken no action on becomes law as well.

The must-do list is relatively short, topped by the passage of a two-year, $51 billion budget for the biennium that begins July 1.

House leaders have said they remain confident a bipartisan deal will be enacted before adjournment June 7.

The Connecticut General Assembly would call a "special session" to keep negotiating until legislators and Lamont agree on a new budget.

CT Mirror's 2023 bill tracker shows the status of certain bills as they work their way through the legislative process.

The bills shown are a selected few of the hundreds filed this session — the bills we believe are likely to have the most impact, interest or relevance.

Visit CT Mirror's bill tracker here.

Shrinking a bill means shedding provisions that are controversial, a step towards negotiating a shorter debate.

Bills that would legalize red-light cameras, overhaul utility regulation and encourage tire recycling are examples of bills revised within the last couple weeks to broaden their appeal.

It's not abnormal at this point in the session for amendments to include big changes to a bill or to combine multiple concepts into one bill as lawmakers push to get votes on their bills before session ends.

With majorities of 24-12 in the Senate and 98-53 in the House, Democrats typically control all levers of power in the General Assembly, aided by a Democratic governor who gets the last word with a signature or veto.

But the balance of power shifts to the Republican majority near a session's end, when the legislature's tradition of unlimited debate means a minority can kill most bills simply by talking.

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Finding answers to big questions in Connecticut. CT Mirror Explains is an ongoing effort to distill our wide-ranging reporting on Connecticut topics into a "what you need to know" format.

CT Mirror Explains, Gabby DeBenedictis When will Connecticut's 2023 legislative session end? What happens if lawmakers and Lamont don't agree on a state budget by the end of session? What bills are legislators ? Legislators will sometimes "shrink" a bill. What does that mean? The balance of power shifts to Republicans as the session nears its close. Why?