Connecticut – -(Ammoland.com)- Sportsmen have the votes for implementing Sunday Hunting!! Why didn’t it pass?
H.B. No. 5412 AN ACT CONCERNING DEER MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY AND AUTHORIZING BOW AND ARROW HUNTING ON PRIVATE PROPERTY ON SUNDAYS. http://tiny.cc/jwoiyw
After a positive vote in the House of 107 to 19, 24 absent of which 12 committed to voting for the bill, it was then sent to the Senate and was ready for action on May 30 2013.
A vote count of the Senate showed 25 positive, some uncommitted, and a few negative. Almost all legislators counted were personally contacted. The bill with its overwhelming House vote and our Senate count could have passed it easily. Senate leadership, Sen. Williams and Looney, could have called the bill expecting little or no debate. They were visited by the Commissioner DEEP, the DEEP Deputy Commissioner, and the Governor promoting the bill. In addition, many House Leadership and legislators of both parties were pushing the bill. All apparently to no avail.
Many deals were being made between the House and the Senate to pass Sunday Hunting. Virtually every day we heard of trade offs promised. On the last day of the session the bill was still in limbo.
“The fate of the Office of Early Childhood appears to have been tied up in the frenzy of last minute deal-making that, some say, paired its future with a bill permitting allowing bow and arrow hunting on Sunday. That’s what Sen. Andrea Stillman, co-chairwoman of the Education Committee, said she was told when she talked to House Minority Leader Larry Cafero on Wednesday, the last day of the session.
“He did say, ‘if you want the Office of Early Childhood called, then the Senate has to call the hunting bill,” said Stillman. Cafero says the hunting bill, which he has tried to get passed for a decade or so, was a key element in some of the trading going on in the waning hours of the session, but he denied that it was directly linked to the chances for the Office of Early Childhood. “It was a combination of a whole bunch of things,” Cafero said. “In my opinion, the Democrats didn’t keep their word and unfortunately the early childhood bill fell victim.” Advocates who worked countless hours over the last few months, honing the bill and earning seemingly universal support were dispirited by the news (On both bills)… But in the calculus of the last day of the legislative session, it was the widespread support of the early childhood bill that made it a valuable chit in the final hours. “You have to be careful. If somebody knows that something is important, they can use it to leverage and that’s what happened this time,” Stillman said.
Cafero said he made assurances to the governor, House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, and Williams that “if they keep their deal on all sorts of bills, I would ensure, from my end anyway, that I would do anything I could to help that early childhood bill go through in seconds, but they didn’t call.” He attributed the death of the bill to “certain people’s stubbornness.” … Williams, who has long opposed Sunday hunting, said he thinks the “public would be offended” if they knew that a bill like the early childhood bill “could be blocked and held hostage for minor legislation that is wholly unrelated.” ( http://tiny.cc/jfpiyw )
In the last-minute crush of legislative business Wednesday, a bill that created the Office of Early Childhood died on the House calendar because, according to Democrats, the Senate refused to pass a bill that would allow Sunday bow hunting. Republicans countered that it was a ridiculous accusation.
According to Democratic lawmakers, House Republicans led by House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero promised to filibuster the bill creating the Office of Early Childhood if the Senate Democrats led by Sen. President Donald Williams didn’t pass the bow hunting bill.
“Republicans killed the early childhood initiative because they linked it to a completely unrelated and obscure issue — Sunday hunting,” Williams said Friday.
Cafero said that’s not entirely accurate. He said you can’t boil the issue down to one bill or another. He said the Democrats wasted time on the last day by trying to sneak language into a bill that moved up the date of when undocumented immigrants could apply for their driver’s licenses. That language was eventually removed, but in the meantime Republicans slowed down debate on the floor killing precious minutes in the final few hours of the session — the only power they have as a minority.
“They can call a bill anytime they want,” Cafero said Friday. “They don’t have to wait until the last day.” ( http://tiny.cc/3hpiyw )
Had the Sunday Hunting bill been called in the Senate, the confusion and accusations may have been nil. And it was not that they ran out of time – the Senate quit debate 17 minutes early to the 12PM deadline.
After nearly 20 years of attempting to get some form of Sunday Hunting passed (this bill is the minimum) the Coalition will pursue it again next year.
About Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen:
The Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen is the only state sportsmen’s organization singularly dedicated to the protection, promotion and preservation of hunting, fishing, trapping and the scientific wildlife management programs which support them; Right to Keep and Bear Arms Constitutional provisions; Boating; Land use; and other sportsmen associated issues through legislative lobbying, legal defense in the courts, and political action. No other state sportsmen organization has as its sole purpose these activities. The Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen takes pride in its unsurpassed achievement and service to all of the Connecticut sportsmen’s community. Visit: www.ctsportsmen.com