Governor’s Bill H.B. 6356 – “An Act Concerning Benefit Corporations and Promoting Social Enterprise” took another important step towards passage on Thursday, March 7th. Thanks to the strong support of reSET members, staff, and policy makers, the Commerce Committee issued a “joint favorable report” and voted unanimously to pass the bill on to the Judiciary Committee, for further legislative review.
For those of you who haven’t heard the term joint favorable report since high school civics, here’s a reminder of what it is, and why it is important. Before a bill can be voted on by the entire legislature, it must first be considered by one or more committees. A committee is a group of legislators comprised of members of both political parties and both legislative bodies (the House and the Senate) who are tasked with considering bills that fall into specific categories (such as education, or veterans affairs). Each bill must be considered by at least one committee. However, oftentimes, more than one committee is tasked with review, according to the subject matter of the bill. Typically, for a bill to move forward in the legislative process, the committee considering it must vote to give the bill a “favorable report”, and refer it to either another committee or to the House or Senate floor.
On Thursday, members of the Commerce Committee voted in support of H.B. 6356, and issued a joint favorable report. This means that members of the Commerce Committee from both the House and Senate supported the bill (hence the term “joint”), and favored its consideration by another committee. In the case of H.B. 6356, The Commerce Committee forwarded the bill to the Judiciary Committee, which will weigh in on the bill because it alters Connecticut’s corporate code.
The fact that H.B. 6356 was referred on to the Judiciary Committee is the best possible news that we could receive at this point in the legislative process. The bill’s joint favorable status means that it is one step closer to passage, and that it has received (in this case) unanimous, bi-partisan, and bicameral support.
Once the bill is reviewed by the Judiciary Committee, it must receive yet another joint favorable report in that committee. From there, it will then (likely) move to the Appropriations Committee, which considers bills that have an impact on the state budget, before it can be voted on by the full House and Senate.
We look forward to keeping you updated on H.B. 6356′s progress as it makes its way through the legislative process. Make sure to check back in with us each week with more news about H.B. 6356 and reSET’s work to bring benefit corporations to Connecticut.