Tour Time

“Family Friendly” tours of the Legislative Office Building, the State Capitol Building, the Supreme Court Building and the Old State House to be held July 24 and August 9.

Giving tours of the State Capitol and the Legislative Office Building to Farmington residents has become a very rewarding aspect of serving in the state legislature for me.

From describing Connecticut’s legislative process to discussions of pending legislation to stops at the many impressive historical statues, each tour has been unique.

I have had the honor and the privilege to give private tours of the Legislative Office Building and the State Capitol Building to many residents of the Town of Farmington over the past year and a half. Some of these tours have been a result of bidding at silent auctions for various local not-for-profits. In addition to the thousands of dollars that these auctions have raised, it also provides an insight into the legislative process in Hartford for the successful bidders. I also offer these tours to anyone who is interested. It is always a special opportunity to share the process of government and the depth of history with all of you. I believe that the term “Representative” is just that and that I want to share the experience with everyone.

This summer, the Judicial Branch of the State of Connecticut and the League of Women Voters  have scheduled “Family Friendly” tours of the Legislative Office Building, the State Capitol Building, the Supreme Court Building and the Old State House on Tuesday, July 24,2012 and Thursday August 9, 2012. This is the third year in a row that this opportunity has been offered and is primarily focused on children with the theme being “Day Trips with Kids”.  While the League of Women Voters offer free guided tours of the Legislative Office Building and the State Capitol Building on a year round basis, the inclusion of the Supreme Court Building and the Old State House will provide a more complete experience of the three branches of our government and will include  a significant historical perspective.

What will you see on this tour?

The Old State House was built in 1796 and was the fourth structure used for our government since our settlement of the area in 1635. The building was used in the process of government until the current Capitol Building was completed in 1878. Since that time, the Old State House has had many uses including being used as City Hall for Hartford. Over the years, many renovations and improvements have been contributed to the current condition and we should be thankful for those before us that realized the importance of preserving our historical building. It provides a look into the past unlike any other in the area.

The State Capitol Building was built in 1878 and is an architectural masterpiece.  As the location of the Executive and Legislative Branches of our State Government, it has been the center of every piece of legislation since that time. As you stand in the Chambers of the House of Representatives or the Senate Chamber, you are keenly aware of the history that has taken place there and also can imagine the debate and the voting that will take place on future issues. Just being there will provide a sense of how our legislative process works. There are also display cases in the basement that provide some history of the State of Connecticut.

The Supreme Court Building was completed in 1910 and contains the State of Connecticut Supreme Court, Memorial Hall and the State Library. The Supreme Court is the provides the highest and last interpretation of the laws created by the General Assembly and most, if not all, of their decisions are notable  . Memorial Hall has many artifacts showing the history of the State of Connecticut and includes the Charter of 1662, which features significant in the history of Connecticut when it was attempted to be reclaimed by England. This led to the legend of the Charter Oak. The State Library contains documents pertaining to the history of the State of Connecticut and makes them accessible to the public.

The Legislative Office Building was built in 1988 and contains most of the support functions for the General Assembly. The committee rooms on the first and second floors are used by the 27 joint standing committees for public hearings and deliberation on proposed legislation that may find its way onto the floor of the House or the Senate. The building also contains offices for State Senators, State Representatives and staff.

Please contact me at 860-240-8353 or by email bill.wadsworth@cga.ct.gov if you plan to take advantage of the opportunity for the tours of the Legislative Office Building and the State Capitol Building on Tuesday, July 24 or Thursday, August 9 and I will be available to meet with you.

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