Connecticut Law and Government

Hartford has been Connecticut’s only capital since 1875. Before that, New Haven and Hartford alternate as capitals.

Constitutional history

Abbreviated as CT by ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Connecticut is known as the “State of the Constitution.” While the origin of this title is uncertain, the nickname is supposed to refer to the Fundamental Orders of 1638 – 1639. These Fundamental Orders constitute the framework for the first formal writing of government by a representative body in Connecticut. The government has acted under the direction of the four separate documents, in the course of Connecticut’s Constitutional History. After the Fundamental Orders, Connecticut was granted governmental authority by King Charles II of England through the Connecticut Charter of 1662.

Separate branches of government did not exist in that period, and the General Assembly acted as the supreme authority. A constitution similar to the current Constitution of the USA. It was not adopted in Connecticut until 1818. Lastly, the current state constitution took place in 1965. The 1965 Constitution absorbs most of its 1818 predecessor, but incorporates a handful of important modifications. Another possible source for the nickname “State of the Constitution” comes from Connecticut’s pivotal role in the federal constitutional convention of 1787, in which Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth helped organize what is known as the Connecticut Compromise, or the Great Commitment. This plan combines the Virginia and the New Jersey Plan to Form a Bicameral Legislature, a form copied in almost all state constitutions since the approval of the federal constitution.


The governor heads the executive branch. From 1639 until the approval of the Constitution of 1818, the governor presided over the General Assembly. Connecticut was the first state in the United States to elect a woman as governor without the election of her earlier husband, Ella Grasso in 1974.

There are several executive departments: Administrative Services, Agriculture, Banking, Children and Families, Consumer Protection, Correction, Economic and Community Development, Development Services, Education, Environmental Protection, Higher Education, Information Technology, Insurance, Labor, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Military, Motor Vehicles, Public Health, Public Safety, Public Services Control, Public Works, Tax Services, Social Services, Transportation and Veterans Affairs. In addition to these departments, there are other independent agencies, offices and commissions.

In addition to the governor and the lieutenant governor, there are four executive directors, according to the state constitution, who are directly elected by the electors: the secretary of state, treasurer, comptroller, and attorney general. All executive officers are elected for four-year terms.


The legislative power is the General Assembly. The General Assembly is a bicameral body made up of a higher body, the State Senate (36 senators), and a lower body, the House of Representatives (151 deputies). Bills must pass each chamber in order to become law. The governor can veto the law, but this veto can be overridden by a two-thirds majority of each chamber. Senators and representatives, all of whom must be at least 18 years old, are elected for two-year terms in November, in even-numbered years. The Lieutenant Governor presides over the Senate, except when absent from the chamber, when the president pro tempore presides. The Speaker of the House presides over the House.


The highest court of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is the Connecticut Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of Connecticut. The Supreme Court of Justice is responsible for deciding on the constitutionality of the law or the cases that relate to the law. Its procedures are similar to those of the United States Supreme Court, without the testimony of witnesses, attorneys for both parties present oral testimony of no more than thirty minutes. After court proceedings, the court can take several months to reach a verdict.

In 1818, the court became a separate entity, independent of the legislative and executive branches. The Court of Appeal is a lower state court and the Superior Courts are lower courts that resemble the district courts of other states.

Local government

Connecticut has 169 populations, which serve as the fundamental local political subdivision of the state. The entire State is territorially organized into municipalities. Connecticut shares a form of local government with the rest of New England called the People of New England. There are also 21 cities, most of which are adjacent to the towns of the same name and combine a city-population form of government. There are two exceptions: City of Groton, which is a subdivision of the City of Groton, and the City of Winsted in the city of Winchester. There are also nine incorporated municipalities that can offer additional services to a sector of the city. One of them, Naugatuck, is a consolidated city.

  • CountryAAH: Offers a full list of cities and towns in Connecticut, together with postal codes for each of them, and including capital city of Connecticut.

Unlike most other states, Connecticut does not have a county government. The county government was largely eliminated in 1960, with the exception of the sheriffs elected in each county. In 2000, the county sheriff was abolished and replaced by the state marshal system, which has neighborhoods that follow the old county territories. The court system is divided, at the trial court, into judicial districts that largely follow the old county lines. The eight counties continue to be widely used for purely geographic and statistical purposes, such as weather reporting, and census information.

The state is divided into 15 planning regions defined by the State Office of Planning and Management. The Directorate of Intragovernmental Policies of this office coordinates regional planning with the administrative bodies of these regions. Each region has an administrative body known as a regional council of governments, a regional council of elected officials, or a regional planning agency. The regions have been established for the purpose of planning coordination of regional and state planning activities; redesignation of logical planning regions and promoting the continuation of regional planning organizations in the state.

Connecticut Government