Beyond the Guns: Post-Sandy Hook Includes Special Task Force on Mental Health

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Much has been made—and rightly so—about the gun control measures in the post-Sandy Hook legislation that the General Assembly will take up Wednesday. After all, it would give Connecticut the toughest gun control laws in the nation. But the bill also contains provisions to address the mental health aspect of the problem.

A special task force will be formed to determine issues such as where resources should go—DCF? DSS? Right into the schools? State Sen. Beth Bye says the task force is needed to get it right. “We could have just thrown a million dollars at the schools but that wouldn’t be effective,” she said.

Sen. Bye, like other senators on both sides of the aisle, is generally satisfied with what they will be voting on. “Overall I think we made great progress. It was a tough negotiation. Our (Democratic) leaders were not going to give in on the important issues that had to be addressed,” she said.

There are still serious questions remaining about the post-Sandy Hook bill. As of this writing, there is no “fiscal note” –the determination by legislative staff of how much all these measures will cost. There should be one before a vote.

Also, the bill is being put through by “emergency certification” or “e-cert.” That means none of it goes through the regular committee process. It remains to be seen if any lawmaker objects to that.

It won’t be a quiet day at the Capitol by any means. Hugh McQuaid of is reporting the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsman is busing in gun owners for the debate.