On April 21, 2009, a Connecticut political blog reported that Spallone had filed paperwork to create an exploratory committee for statewide office. It is rumored that Spallone would like to run for Secretary of the State of Connecticut.
James attended local public schools - Deep River Elementary, John Winthrop Junior High School and Valley Regional High School. He graduated from Valley Regional as valedictorian in 1983. He graduated from Williams College in Williamstown in 1987 and spent his junior year at Oxford University in England.
In 1989, James enrolled at the University of Connecticut School of Law. He served as an associate editor of the Connecticut Journal of International Law and studied English law and European Community law for a semester at the University of Exeter during law school. He graduated from UConn Law in 1992.
After graduating from law school, James served as a law clerk for the Honorable William J. Lavery of the Connecticut Appellate Court for the 1992-1993 term. He has practiced law before state and federal courts for over 15 years and currently has his own practice in Essex, focusing in civil and criminal litigation. He previously served as an associate at the firms of Gould, Larson, Bennet, Wells & McDonnell in Essex and Waller, Smith, and Palmer in New London, and is now in private practice
James served as a field organizer for the Dukakis for President campaign in 1987-1988 and as a staff assistant for the Democratic National Committee from 1988-1989.
James' mother, the late Jeanne Field Spallone, was an assistant to the late Governor Chester Bowles of Essex and was elected state representative and Deep River Probate Judge for four terms. His father, the late Daniel F. Spallone, served as a judge of Connecticut's courts for over thirty years and concluded his career as an appellate judge. James is married and has two children.
Spallone has been recognized by his colleagues and several organizations for his commitment to good government initiatives, protecting the environment and crafting cost-saving legislation that benefits cities and towns.
In 2008 Spallone was one of five Democratic members of the Connecticut House of Representatives that voted against the state budget. His rationale for voting in opposition to the proposal included lost opportunities to reform the property tax and municipal financing systems. During that same session James proposed a bill that now allows cities, towns and local school districts to participate in reverse auctions. James also co-sponsored two environment bills, one (Public Act 09-98) capped greenhouse gas emissions at 10% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% below 2001 levels by 2050, and the other (Public Act 08-174) preserved small community farms by creating a segregated funding account in the state budget.
In 2007 Spallone led the fight to amend elections law to allow 17-year-olds to vote in a primary assuming they attain the age of 18 by the general election. The bill, House Joint Resolution 11, overwhelmingly passed both chambers and, as it required a change to the state constitution, was before the general electorate in the 2008 election. Voters approved the change by a large margin. He also focused on legislation that would require legislators to disclose outside income and an initiative that moved the presidential primary from March 4 to February 5 in order to encourage more candidates to visit Connecticut.
Other legislative initiatives that Spallone has focused on include a requirement that an environmental review be performed prior to the sale of state property; crafting a stable revenue stream for open space, shoreline access and affordable housing; a news reporter "shield" law, which would prevent new reporters from being compelled to reveal confidential news sources or information; campaign finance reform; increased access to health care; and preserving the integrity of the election process.
This year Spallone was a leader in ensuring passage of a bill (SB913) that would require a special election in the case of a vacancy in the office of United States Senator. Connecticut law presently allows for gubernatorial appointment. Spallone claimed that such a process was ripe for corruption and violated one of the most basic principles guaranteed by state and federal law: the right to vote. James was also at the forefront of a movement to enact an election day registration provision. The bill, House Bill 6435, passed the House of Representatives but died in the Senate due to inaction.
For the past several legislative sessions, Spallone has been a lead proponent of legislation that would permit Connecticut to join a national compact to elect the President of the United States by National Popular Vote, rather than through the Electoral College. Presently five states have joined the compact. Recent public polling shows that 74% of Connecticut residents would prefer that the president be elected by popular vote.Member, Southeastern Connecticut Committee on Foreign Relations (2003–Present)
Director, Valley Shore YMCA (2003–Present)
Member, American Bar Association (1996–2008)
Member, Connecticut Bar Association (1993–Present)
Member, Rhode Island Bar Association (1998–Present)
Member, Middlesex County Bar Association (1996–Present)
Member, New London County Bar Association (1996–Present)
Director, Block Island Club (1989–Present)
President, Block Island Club (1996–2002)
Member, Essex Democratic Town Committee (2000(?)-present)