In The Loop – November 23, 2022

It’s a New Hill to Climb in Hartford

As the newly elected legislators begin to focus on the issues of the 2023 legislative session, it’s quite evident that they will face a host of challenges. These challenges include skyrocketing energy costs, the curtailment of federal dollars to supplement the state coffers, the state’s challenging workforce, the rapid growth of mental health needs for CT’s residents and the lack of affordable housing and the growth of homelessness across the state.

These are not easy topics to tackle, and it will take a laser focus, determination, and grit to find the right solutions. It’s said that there are three kinds of people – the marshmallows, the jelly beans and the rocks. Soft inside and out, marshmallows quickly squish under a little bit of pressure, with a hard shell but a soft squishy inner core jelly beans can withstand some stress but can also often buckle with the right amount of pressure. Rocks are a different breed. They can handle anything. They’re hard, but surprises are sometimes found when the inside is exposed to the world.

Successful legislators have the ability to know what they know, know what they don’t know and know where to find out what they need to know in order to meet the challenge of the day. They also have the ability to maintain their determination and motivation over long periods of time despite the obstacles, adversity, failure and chaos. Grit in the CT legislature is the best indicator of legislative success.

As the sessions comes into focus, the freshman class is made up of 35 first time elected legislators. Their immediate task is to figure out where their office is located; what committees they will serve on; who is around to help them learn the ins and outs of the legislative office building as well as the Capitol; and who they can count on to help them learn the ins and outs of the legislative process. Then, they can focus on what’s important to their district as well as their personal passion projects.

In this new post pandemic world, legislators are also having to figure out not just the details and facts of the issues but how to rebuild the legislative culture, creating connections among their legislative teams as well as the key stakeholders and the executive branch.

When the session ends in June, I’m betting on those legislators that figured out the building and process logistics and used their “special sauce” – GRIT – to achieve not good stuff, but great stuff!…… KEEP READING.

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