Martin would like to mandate cost-benefit analysis on proposed legislation

State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) Feb. 23 submitted testimony to the legislature’s Commerce Committee in support of a bill he proposed. SB 399, “An Act Requiring A Cost-Benefit Analysis And Economic Impact Statement On Proposed Legislation,” would give lawmakers more information about the bills they consider.

Martin said, reported a press release from Senate Republicans, “All bills submitted to the legislature started out as someone’s ‘good idea.’”

The problem, he said, according to the press release, is that legislators don’t know about the problems some bills may cause until after they are passed.

“As legislators, we deal with the law of unintended consequences,” Martin said via the press rleease. “We pass bills that we hope will solve problems and make our communities better, but in reality may create new problems.”

While the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis provides legislators with a fiscal note for all bills that reach the House and Senate floor for a vote, the press release reported Martin said receiving more comprehensive information earlier in the process is needed.

“The goal behind SB 399 is to provide legislators with more information about the potential real world impact bills could have on Connecticut,” Martin said in the press release. “What is the cost associated with proposed legislation and are the benefits worth it? Could a proposal have a negative economic impact we aren’t seeing?”

According to the press release, Martin acknowledged that passing his bill does not guarantee that all new legislation coming out of the General Assembly will be great. He said he is hopeful it will provide information to help lawmakers make better decisions.