Winners & Losers: A legislative scorecard
HARTFORD -- People thirsty for a Sunday six-pack of beer are winners. So are 1,000 more 3- and 4-year-olds who will join the state's pre-school programs this fall.
Sunday bow-and-arrow hunters are losers, consequently making those shrub-gnawing deer partial winners.
Cities and towns that pay an estimated $1.2 million a year to dispose of 350,000 discarded mattresses are losers, too.
But pet owners could be reimbursed up to $500 in veterinary fees under the new "Pet Lemon Law" that heads to the governor's desk.
As the echoes of early morning Thursday parties faded in the post-session emptiness of the state Capitol, leaders of the General Assembly were examining their achievements and plotting strategies for next month's trailer session.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told lawmakers early Thursday that the education reforms voted this week are making a solid commitment to the state's children, but it may be years before the investments pay off.
"We're putting more education dollars into our lowest-performing districts, something almost no other state is doing -- and we're ensuring that those dollars will be spent wisely," Malloy told a joint session of the House and Senate.
The 1,000 additional pre-K seats could help the children attain the goal of grade-level reading comprehension by the third grade.
Both majority Democrats and Republicans agreed that the education bill, a compromise after weeks of negotiation, was the most important bipartisan piece of legislation.
By early next week, the governor is expected to sign the legislation allowing Sunday retails sales of alcohol that had stalled for years under opposition from state package stores. But Malloy failed to achieve his goal of lower prices through the elimination of industry price setting.
Also on the way to his desk is the recent bill legalizing the use of marijuana for people with debilitating medical conditions. Malloy has already signed the repeal of the state's death penalty.
While the bow-hunting bill -- the first time any hunting would have been allowed in the state on Sundays -- was set for final approval late Wednesday night, it died at 12:01 a.m. Thursday in the Senate.
In the House, the mattress-collection bill, which would have forced the industry to take charge of recycling old mattresses that often litter town and city streets, expired.
Other bills, such as a proposed ban on people under 18 using tanning facilities, was one of literally thousands of bills introduced this year that never made it out of committee.