Anyone who has had any contact with the Connecticut General Assembly or has advocated for a particular issue knows that at this late date in the session, time is the enemy of passage of good bills. That’s why the state House of Representatives needs to be sure to make time to pass the landmark “Yes Means Yes” bill.
The important legislation would require all Connecticut colleges and universities to adhere to uniform standards to combat sexual assault. It builds on and sharpens legislation passed last year in the wake of campus sexual assault cases that appeared to approach epidemic levels. UConn and Yale were both involved in trying to resolve scandals.
Under the leadership of energetic and quickly rising Democratic state Sen. Mae Flexer, whose district includes UConn, the new bill passed the state Senate 34 – 1.
(The one “no” vote was from Republican state Sen. Joe Markley of Southington whose activities this session have him approaching half-a-whack-job status.)
Flexer tells The Hanging Shad she does not anticipate any problems in the lower chamber. “There were good conversations outside the formal debate [in the Senate] so hopefully the House debate but be informative but no attempt to kill the bill. It has broad, bipartisan support so it shouldn’t get caught up in partisan bickering,” she said.
Flexer adds the bill is right on the mark. “It’s as strong as I could hope it could be. This is not only important legislation but it should help change the conversation about campus sexual assault so that the burden is not on the victim.”
State Rep. Greg Haddad will present the bill in the House.
Flexer hopes that will be either Tuesday or Wednesday. The constitutionally mandated adjournment date for the 2015 is midnight on June 3. There is always a mad scramble to finish business on that day. The legislature still has other important legislation pending including the state budget (very little chance a spending plan will get passed and signed by the governor by the adjournment time), a process for a new casino, the controversial “Second Chance Society,” transportation, and more.
Let’s get ready to rumble.