While the state House and Senate passed the budget and sent it on to the governor, that was not the only thing on the agenda as the session came to a close.
Several bills remained up for debate.
- Domestic Violence Legislation: The Senate passed a package of domestic violence bills that the House passed earlier to allow for a pilot program for electronic monitoring of high-risk offenders, allows victims to break leases with landlords if they feel threatened and strengthen enforcement of restraining orders.
- UConn Health Center: Authorization of a massive overhaul of the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington and development of a regional health network. The $362 million project calls for $237 million in state bonding and $100 million in federal grant funds that Connecticut officials are seeking.
- Seat belts on Buses: The legislation provides a financial incentive for public school districts to voluntarily buy school buses with three-point restraints. School can receive rebates of 50 percent of the state sales tax.
- Energy Reform: Wide-ranging energy reform bill that calls for lowering electric rates by 15 percent by July 2012, adopting California's efficiency standards for appliances by 2013, requiring electric and gas companies to offer discounts to low-income customers and encouraging use of solar and other renewable energy.
- Jobs bill: The legislation extends loans to struggling small businesses, helps train the unemployed for new careers, creates income tax credits for "angel investors" who invest in qualified technical industries, and extends an existing job creation tax credit to more small businesses.
- Chimpanzee Bill: Time ran out for a bill to allow police officers who use deadly force against a mammal to be eligible for mental health services under the state workers' comp law. The bill was introduced after Travis, a 200-pound chimp mauled Charla Nash in Stamford. A police officer shot the chimp to death.
- Kleen Energy: Lawmakers could not reach an agreement on a bill that would address power plant safety after a devastating explosion on Feb. 7 at the Kleen Energy plant in Middletown. Six men died from the blast. Proponents hoped to require state agencies to work together to develop standards for power plant safety in Connecticut.
- Smoking Bans: Two bills that would have expanded the state smoking ban died. One bill removed the minimum number of employees required for the current ban on smoking in workplaces to kick in. The other would have banned smoking at child day care centers and group day care centers licensed by the Department of Public Health.
- Keno: Lawmakers and Gov. M. Jodi Rell ultimately decided against allowing bars and restaurants to offer Keno, a lottery-type of gambling, to raise money to help cover the budget deficit. Some lawmakers were concerned that Keno could risk the state's agreement with the two federally recognized Indian tribes, which provide the state 25 percent of their slot machine revenues.
- Paid Sick Leave: There was not enough support in the Senate for a bill that would require businesses with 50 or more employees to allow their workers to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick time each year. Some lawmakers said they didn't believe this was the appropriate year for such a mandate on business given the state's poor economy.
Copyright AP - Associated Press