An alarming paradox has taken shape in legislation before Congress: Our representatives would violate Americans’ First Amendment rights in order to protect the State of Israel. This draconian legislation is H.R. 1697/S. 720, the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act,” is a proposed law that could harshly penalize the free speech of Americans who support the international Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
Imminent state budget cuts means that the hours of staffing that will be lost, the transportation funding that will disappear, the recreation dollars that will not be available, will remove choice and opportunity from the people we serve. These cuts will set our profession back decades in terms of equality, civil rights and equal access for people with intellectual disabilities.
In the 1990’s, I was part of a group of women who wanted to reconcile reproductive choice with disability rights in the then new era of prenatal screening. Some in our group had disabilities such as spina bifida or muscular dystrophy that arose in utero. Others like me had conditions like cerebral palsy that occurred at or after birth but were concerned about ripple effect. Would we all become a new class of illegitimates?
Last Thursday, the Connecticut House of Representatives debated a bill, HB 5434, which would include Connecticut in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. When this bill passes in enough states, the NPV Interstate Compact will change the way the American people elect the President of the United States. During the Connecticut House debate, an argument was made that the NPV Compact is an “end run around the Constitution.” This assertion is not true.
What’s true on it is that I was born at 4:44 a.m. Oct. 27, 1967. It’s also true I was born in Norwalk Hospital. And I’m guessing that Eric G. Norrington, MD, who’s listed as the attending physician, really was there.
What’s not true are the names typed in all caps under “Full Name of the Child’s Mother and Father.”
The organizing efforts of black and white abolitionists in the 1800s can provide us with powerful inspiration as we face the dangers of Trump and the Republican majority. That’s one reason on May 18 I will be joining the upcoming celebration of Frederick Douglass’s first visit to the capital city at the Center Church (First Church of Christ in Hartford).
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, nationally, women earn about 80 cents for every dollar earned by men and this gap is even more pronounced for women of color – black women earn 63 cents and Hispanic women earn 54 cents as compared to white men. This economic injustice affects not only women, but every man and child who has a woman in their lives.
As open carry is legal in Connecticut, I cannot say it would be appropriate or reasonable to allow police to demand a permit of a person who is acting within the law. That being said, open carry is uncommon so, right or wrong, people may be concerned by the sight of a gun. I believe the only constitutionally acceptable remedy is to require permit holders to present their permit during any interaction with police.
The General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee is considering H.B. 6200, a bill that would allow police officers to demand to see one’s pistol permit if they “observe” a pistol or revolver. The problem with this bill is that it targets only the law-abiding. The purpose of this bill is squarely to punish legal behavior — behavior that the advocates of this bill dislike.
I am concerned about two bills proposed in the Connecticut General Assembly; SB 108 introduced by Sen. Len Suzio, 13th District, and SB 133, introduced by Sen. Art Linares, 33rd District. These bills would change how Connecticut awards its Electoral College votes to presidential candidates.