February 15, 2011
QUESTIONS FOR COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITIES NOMINEE
By: James Orlando, Associate Analyst
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITIES (CHRO) (CGS § 46A-52)
● The commission consists of nine members. The governor appoints five and legislative leaders appoint four (president pro tempore and minority leader of the Senate and the speaker and minority leader of the House each appoint one).
● Governor's nominees serve five-year terms; other members serve three-year terms.
● Commission oversees the state agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws.
QUESTIONS FOR THE NOMINEE
1. What is CHRO's primary mission? Is CHRO primarily a law enforcement agency or is it primarily a civil rights advocacy agency?
2. What background do you have in civil rights or other areas to qualify you for this position?
3. Given the state's fiscal challenges, what role can a commissioner play to ensure that the investigation process is working as cost effectively as possible and that the commission's resources are being used efficiently?
4. Do you have any specific recommendations for making the enforcement of civil rights laws more effective and efficient?
5. What do you think about expanding the classes of people protected under Connecticut law? Do you have any suggestions?
6. CHRO participates in community forums and informational sessions to inform the public about the commission and provide information about discrimination. What more can the commission do to inform the public about their rights under the state's anti-discrimination laws?
7. How much power and influence should CHRO commissioners exercise over CHRO's day-to-day operations?
8. What role can a commissioner play to ensure the complaint investigation process is fair and is perceived as being fair and unbiased by complainants and respondents alike?
9. What are your views on affirmative action? Is there any tension between affirmative action and the laws prohibiting employers and others from discriminating against people?
10. How long should it take, on average, to complete an investigation? Do you know how long it takes currently to complete an investigation?
11. Human rights referees conduct hearings to determine whether discrimination has occurred. They also have the authority to remedy any discrimination they find. How much control, influence, or authority should the commission have over referees?