Sound off: Should Connecticut have a smaller legislature?

Posted on December 22, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

“Streamlined” and “efficient” have been buzzwords this year for Connecticut’s legislators. Where can we make cuts? Where is there waste? How can we do more with less?

When the 2012 legislative session kicks off in February, Senator Gary LeBeau of East Hartford plans to really put those questions to the test, reprising a proposal he brought to the table four years ago to eliminate either the House of Representatives or the Senate – or, in a new proposal, reduce the size of both.

Four years ago, when LeBeau first brought up his idea, he proposed one chamber with approximately 60 members.

This year, according to the Connecticut Mirror, Connecticut is budgeted to spend $65.3 million on the House, Senate, and support services.

It’s an interesting concept, particularly when paired with the results of a report released earlier this month from the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Research.

According to the report, the 2010 U.S. Census puts Connecticut’s population at 3,574,097; California, in contrast, sits at 37,253,956. Connecticut has 187 legislators; California has 120.

Because state legislative district maps were re-written following the 2010 Census and will remain in effect for a decade, LeBeau’s plan (if passed) would not take effect until 2021.

What do you think? Would a smaller legislature be better for Connecticut – or stretch resources too far?

P.S. Happy, happy holidays to you and your families – here’s to a wonderful 2012!

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