An hour should have been enough in normal times.
But these are times that try men’s souls, or at least fry their soles. As the temperature rises and the political season goes into high gear, it was nice to hear some balanced comments from our legislators last week.
After the dust of the recently concluded legislative sessions had settled, they took it upon themselves to appear in the Weston Town Hall to explain their side of the story.
One of the good things about this meeting was that it fit comfortably into the setting. The tastefully appointed and historic look of the room was respected by those who set up the event. Every detail of the evening said “respect” to the traditions of our town hall.
Many of those present in the audience were not from Weston. They seemed respectful of their surroundings. Senators Boucher and McKinney and Rep. Shaban expressed their opinions about the major actions that were taken, and then asked for responses and questions.
At the most basic level, many in the audience wanted to know what was happening in that far away place called Hartford. Busy trying to stay employed and keep up with family responsibilities, they understandably hadn’t had the time to stay on top of Connecticut’s legislature.
I was not as polite as the others. I asked how the omnibus implementation bill HB6001, passed in the recent special session to implement the budget, could include in its 200-plus sections some that had not passed in regular session — and thus would appear to not have been implementable.
My answer came from Senator McKinney. He had just explained how Senate Democrats had removed a “rat” from the legislation that had been designed to exempt from the Freedom of Information law contracts between the state government and businesses moving to Connecticut.
So what was the answer to my question? As the senator recounted, “because we could” was the answer that had been given to that exact question by the majority leader of the House.
They don’t call it the “Supreme Court” for nothing!
I was delighted that the Supreme Court did not overturn the Health Care law passed a couple of years ago. Especially because to me their decision exemplified what reaching consensus on a polarizing issue is all about.
First lesson: You have to know your basic arithmetic. It takes five in agreement for the Court to reach a decision. That is five “yes” votes of nine. No such thing as “maybe.”
As I followed the release of the decision online, and studied its substance, it seemed to me to reinforce the idea that our government is still a three-legged stool, still in balance! Congress passed the patient protection act, the President signed it, and many states sued. What was the result?
That the government is legally employing a new tax to implement this law. It is nothing more than that. And we all know how popular taxation is.
NOTE: “About Town” is also a television program. It appears on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on Cablevision Channel 88 (Public Access). Or see it at aboutweston.com.