Feb. 16, 2007
By Ken Krayeske • Hartford • 1:15 AM EST
State Sen. Eric Coleman (D-Hartford-2) has proposed or co-sponsored 33 bills so far this session. His mass mail piece, aka franking, sent out at our taxpayer expense this week, focuses on two main issues: Health Care and Energy.
Now, when isn't a photo of a stethoscope in a trusting hand with the headline "Increasing Access to Affordable, Quality Healthcare" a sure vote getter? He wants to "promote preventive care" and "Expand HUSKY coverage." Who doesn't? Tell me how we pay for it, Senator.
And it's a safe bet to talk to inform constituents about "Smart, Affordable Energy for Today and Tomorrow." Sadly, Sen. Coleman avoids any talk about reducing our reliance on fossil fuels or what he is doing as a representative to work towards a solution.
But, hey, it's a free campaign ad. I prefer instead to go straight to the source, and look at the 31 other measures he is involved in. Some seem straight from the progressive populist playbook, like SB00652, "AN ACT CONCERNING URBAN COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION."
Sen. Coleman proves his vision for government as a force for good when he stands alongside 51 other elected officials for measures like SB00685, "AN ACT CONCERNING COMPASSIONATE CARE FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT."
It's the single-person bills and lascivious laws he seeks to pass that I want him to inform about in his franks though. For example, I am really curious about SB00891, an act seeking to grant KENIRA POTEAT the rights to file a claim against the state. What did we do to her?
Also, I think the frank mailer would really create a community stir if it explained the community importance of SB00834, AN ACT CONCERNING ADOLESCENT RELATIONSHIPS, wherein Coleman, the lone sponsor, seeks to decriminalize consensual sexual activity between teenagers close in age to each other.
I can hazard a guess that in our community, statutory rape may be used as a prosecutorial device in cases of underage pregnancies. The tool, though, smacks of institutional racism, because authorities are likely to charge a 17-year-old who impregnates a 15-year-old, despite mutual consent, with statutory rape.
They're old enough, so, I think Coleman is saying here, let them be. Elsewhere, in SB00833, AN ACT CONCERNING YOUTHFUL OFFENDERS, Coleman takes a stand, "To clarify eligibility for youthful offender treatment for a youth who is accused of the commission of a felony offense." With so many people in Hartford incarcerated, this is important.
With youth on the mind, I'd encourage him to write a bill to allow 16-year-olds to vote.
One more dream: let's see if Sen. Coleman will take that liberal attitude towards another prosecutorial weapon the police state employs to ensnare hundreds of other urban youths in the prison-industrial complex: the war on drugs.
I long for the day a Sen. Coleman February Frank says: "Coleman calls for decriminalization of Marijuana and medicalization of Heroin."