Conn. Senator Looney Discusses Agenda For Next Session
Connecticut Senate President Martin Looney says he's feeling strong after kidney transplant surgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital earlier this week. The 68-year-old New Haven Democrat says he’s looking forward to being back at the state Capitol for the first day of the new session on January 4.
In a phone conversation from Yale New Haven Hospital, Looney says he’s thankful he was able to receive a donated kidney from Superior Court Judge Brian Fischer.
“His great kindness has given me a new healthy kidney and I’m coming along quite well.”
He also says he’s happy that following the surgery he was been able to conclude a power sharing agreement with Senate Republican leader Len Fasano.
“The arrangement is that I will be elected as president pro tem of the Senate. And that Senator Fasano will be Republican president pro tem.”
The arrangement to share power is because for the first time in more than 120 years the Connecticut Senate is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. Looney says despite the diminished power of the Democrats, he has an ambitious legislative agenda for this upcoming session, including a bill that would legalize the sale of marijuana.
“It can be a very significant revenue enhancer for the state of Connecticut if we move along the lines of taxation similar to what Colorado imposed.”
Other bills filed by Looney include one that would, over fives years, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and another that would exempt social security benefits from state taxes. Looney has also filed a bill that would allow Connecticut to enter into a National Compact to ensure that the winner of the U.S. popular vote would also win the presidency.