Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Laws of Connecticut: About

Learn More

Enactment of Bills (Connecticut General Assembly)

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (Connecticut History)

Constitutional Offices of Connecticut (CT State Government)

CT Supreme Court (CT Judicial Branch)

US Senators and Representatives (CT State Government)

Connecticut Constitutional History (CT State Library)

Connecticut Government and Society (Encyclopedia Britannica)

How to Amend the CT State Constitution (CT General Assembly)

Governmental Structure

State government in Connecticut has three branches: executivelegislative, and judicial.

Voters elect six state officers: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Comptroller, and Attorney General. All have four-year terms. Connecticut voters also elect two U.S. Senators and five U.S. Representatives.

The General Assembly or legislature has a Senate and a House of Representatives. Members of both houses represent districts based strictly on population. Currently, there are 36 state senators and 151 state representatives.

The Judicial Department is composed of the Superior, Appellate, and Supreme courts. Except for probate judges, who are elected by the voters of the town or district they serve, all judges are nominated by the governor and appointed by the General Assembly.

Connecticut has no county government. Below the state level, governing units are either cities or towns. (Continue reading from CT State Government)

How A Bill Becomes A Law In Connecticut

The Steps of How a Bill Becomes a Law in Connecticut provided by the Connecticut General Assembly learning center.

1. Proposed Bill - Ideas for bills often come from lawmakers and constituents like you!

2. Bill Numbering - The bill is sent to the clerk of the House of the sponsoring legislator for numbering. Bill title, number and sponsors are printed in the House and Senate Journals

3. Sent to Committee - Bill is sent to the appropriate joint standing committee of the General Assembly, depending on the bill's subject matter. The committee may

    1.) have the bill drafted in legal language;

    2.)combine it with other bills and have it drafted as a committee bill;

    3.) refer the bill to another committee; or

    4.) take no action, so the bill fails. The committee may also write a new "raised" committee bill.

The committee holds public hearings for the public, state agency representatives and legislators on all bills it wishes to consider. The committee may then report the bill favorably, defeat the bill or issue no report. Bills requiring action by another committee are referred to that specific committee, e.g. a bill requiring expenditure is referred to the Appropriations Committee.

4. Legislative Commissioners' Office - After leaving the last committee, the bill is sent to the Legislative Commissioners' Office to be checked for constitutionality and consistency with other laws.

5. Office of Fiscal Analysis - This office adds an estimate of the bill's cost and fiscal impact on the community. The Office of Legislative Research then adds a "plain English" explanation of the bill.

6. Calendar - The clerk assigns the bill a calendar number and it then goes off for final printing.

7. On the Floor - Lawmakers debate and draft amendments in the house of origin. The house may send the bill to another committee before voting. A "yes" vote sends the bill to the other house for placement on the voting calendar. The bill is then returned to the first house for concurrence if amended by the second house.

8. To the Governor - If not amended, the bill is sent to the governor. If The House and Senate cannot agree, the bill is sent to a joint conference committee. If the conference committee reaches an agreement, a report is sent to both houses. If one or both houses reject the changes, the bill fails. If both houses pass the bill, it is sent to the governor. The governor can:

1.) sign the bill; 2.) veto the bill, or;  3.) take no action.

If the governor vetoes, the bill is returned to the house in which it originated. Vetoed bills can be reconsidered by both houses. The bill becomes law if:

1.) the governor signs it; 2.) the governor fails to sign it within 5 days during legislative session or 15 days after adjournment from the day it was presented to him;  3.) the vetoed bill is repassed in each house by a 2/3 vote of the elected membership (Continue reading from CT State Government)

Return to The American Government Resource Guide Series