To the Editor:
Spring is upon us, and the Connecticut legislature is about halfway through its session. All the bills have been introduced. Most public hearings have already occurred, and many of the committees are debating and voting on bills.
If you have never participated in a public hearing at the legislature or never watched a legislative debate at the Capitol, I strongly urge you to give it a try.
I say that because plenty of people that you probably don’t agree with certainly are participating. They are active and engaged, and their progressive agenda is being realized more and more every day. Sadly, that also means that traditional American principles of freedom, hard work as the mechanism for success, and an allegiance to representative government where the will of the people is respected are not.
So, what is advancing? One bill that recently passed out of committee would raise the age for free healthcare to undocumented immigrants to 26. There is even a bill to give illegal aliens and prison inmates the right to vote! Another bill would lower the voting age to 16. Another proposal would require everyone to vote or face a fine if you don’t. Meanwhile, my attempts to pass a photo ID requirement, require a voter identification system for absentee voting, as well as audits on Election Day registration, and restrictions on ballot harvesting, repeatedly fail on party lines.
There are bills moving forward that undermine our property rights. You may have heard about proposals for rent controls, but there are also bills to prevent landlords from doing background checks and preventing evictions for several months out of the year. What will happen when housing providers can no longer operate in our state? Concerned about your home’s value? Did you know there are proposals to require the construction of deed-restricted apartment buildings in residential neighborhoods of small towns – regardless of local zoning? Imagine the impact of that.
There are bills to ban gas stoves, create a task force to study reparations, hire more enforcement agents to audit your taxes, and even bills to pay unemployment to workers who are on strike!
There are bills that would eliminate the ability for employers and employees to determine benefits themselves, instead transferring that decision to the state government. There are bills that would prevent restaurants from paying the tip wage – effectively eliminating tipping for servers and wait staff – and very likely reducing their overall pay dramatically. There is a bill that would make a homeowner responsible if a contractor that they hire to do work on their home fails to pay their employees!
There are bills that purposely exclude parents from having a say in their children’s education. There is a bill to require state forms to include a third option for gender or lack thereof. There are bills to grow government in countless ways and to spend your money on things you would never agree to voluntarily. These measures are just a small sample of the bad ideas that are closer to becoming law every day at our state Capitol.
It seems like the majority is more emboldened than ever to advance a truly dramatic agenda of big government intervention. Of course, there are the typical bills that restrict lawful gun ownership, advance woke ideology, and spend more taxpayer dollars to create a more and more dependent population in our state.
And there are countless others that are often hard to describe based on how complicated they can be but have the result of limiting our freedom of choice in so many areas, from what healthcare we can choose, to what foods are available to us, or how our employment situation is determined.
Freedom and choice are shrinking.
Since my first experience as a newly elected lawmaker, one thing has always troubled me, and that is the lack of participation in the legislative process from people who share my worldview. That situation is only getting worse.
Tune in to a public hearing on any given day to watch bills regarding public health, or labor, or housing – and you will see witness after witness advocating for more communism, more government control, more wealth redistribution, more recognition of woke, nonsensical policy that undermines our nation’s history and values – and common sense. You will see very few courageous people testifying in defense of free markets, individual liberty, private contracts, punishing criminals, defending civil liberties, or even standing up for reality.
That must change if we are going to preserve our nation and our way of life. It’s time to get involved. As always, you can find me at www.senatorsampson.com.
State Sen. Rob Sampson
Sampson, a Republican, lives in Wolcott and represents Wolcott, Prospect, Southington, and Waterbury in the State Senate.