THE CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2011

The House of Representatives was called to order at 1: 34 o'clock p. m. , Speaker Christopher G. Donovan in the Chair.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The House will please come to order.

Will members, staff and guests please rise and direct your attention to the dais where Assistant Chaplain Reverend Garland Higgins will lead us in prayer.

ASSISTANT CHAPLAIN REVEREND GARLAND D. HIGGINS:

Let us pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, there's no one besides You to help us in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength. Please guide our legislators as they make decisions on behalf of Your people. And may Your continued covenant and loving kindness towards us be a constant reminder of how awesome You are.

And to you, Oh God, we give all praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power and strength forever.

Amen.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you.

Would Representative Elaine O'Brien of the 61st District please come to the dais and lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

REP. O'BRIEN (61st):

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Are there any announcements or introductions? Any announcements or introductions? If not, will the Clerk please call Calendar 133.

THE CLERK:

State of Connecticut House of Representatives Calendar for Thursday, May 19, 2011.

On page 5, Calendar 133, House Bill Number 6412, AN ACT CONCERNING THE SMALL TOWN ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, favorable report of the Committee on Planning and Development.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Linda Gentile, you have the floor, madam.

REP. GENTILE (104th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and good afternoon.

Mr. Speaker, I move for acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The question is acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

Will you remark?

REP. GENTILE (104th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, this bill will make Small Town Economic Assistance Programs, otherwise known as STEAP, available to groups of municipalities and hopefully encourage regional cooperation.

I move for passage of the bill.

Before we do that, Mr. Speaker, the Clerk is in possession of LCO Number 6510. I ask that the Clerk call it and I be granted leave to summarize.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 6510, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule "A. "

THE CLERK:

LCO 6510, House "A," offered by Representatives Gentile, Cassano, Aman and Senator Fasano.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize. Any objection? Hearing none, Representative, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. GENTILE (104th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, what this does is two things, actually. It makes it perfectly clear that the maximum dollar amount of the grant would be no more than $ 500,000. Whether that's applied to an individual municipality or to a group, each individual group would receive the maximum of 500,000. And furthermore it makes it effective from passage.

I move for acceptance.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The question is on adoption.

Will you remark further?

REP. GENTILE (104th):

On adoption.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Remark further?

Representative Aman.

REP. AMAN (14th):

Yes. Good morning, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Good morning, sir.

REP. AMAN (14th):

This is an amendment that's been brought forward by both the chairs and ranking members. After it had gone through committee there were several people that asked regarding the intent of how money should be spent.

And while I think the four of us understood what the bill was supposed to mean, the feeling was if it was confusing to some people it may be confusing to others, and therefore we came up with the amendment that makes it very clear that any one municipality can receive up to $ 500,000 less whatever their portion of an interlocal agreement that they have signed.

The $ 500,000 number is really at this point fairly academic because in the past it was limited -- or the last few years no grant was greater than $ 250,000. And it's in my understanding that these grants may not be included in the final budgets that are coming forward.

So in that regard I think it does set the law very clear for in the future and I urge my colleagues to approve the amendment.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Would you care to remark further on the amendment?

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Good afternoon.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

Good afternoon.

The Small Town Economic Assistance Program is one that has given an incredible boost to towns that have not been able to play in the past because they, before it was put into action, they had to apply for urban act dollars. And by the time the large cities funded their large projects the small towns weren't able to receive funding.

I can tell you about projects that have gone to some ball fields. I can tell you some projects that have gone to some historical projects that go all the way back to the revolutionary era. But I can tell you also about some main street projects that have been remarkable in turning around some of our town centers.

But when you have some of these smallest of towns that want to do a regional project and it's going to cost more than half a million dollars, to give them the ability to do that together I think is sound, sound fiscal prudence for the State to look towards giving access to a group of towns to be able to accomplish one project.

And I would like to thank all the people that worked so hard on putting this language together because I know there was different differing opinions and I would like to compliment the chairwoman for all of her work on this and the ranking member.

Thank you.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good afternoon.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Good afternoon.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

If I may, a quick question to the proponent of the amendment?

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

As I understand it, I appreciate the intent of the bill for us to be able to regionalize. Do all the municipalities, if they get together to have a joint project, do they all have to be STEAP eligible towns?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Gentile.

REP. GENTILE (104th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

Yes. It does not change the eligibility factor at all. It just allows them to group together.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I appreciate that answer. I think it's a great program, but I wouldn't want to see us diluting the pot by allowing municipalities who are not eligible to get in.

Thank you.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Would you care to remark further on the amendment? Care to remark further on the amendment? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor of the amendment, please signify by saying, aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

All opposed, nay.

The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted.

Remark further on the bill as amended?

Representative Aman.

REP. AMAN (14th):

Yes. Less than 24 hours ago I happened to stand here and say that we continually have things that we're trying to do to let municipalities continue to work together and that that bill might have corrected everything.

And at the time I was speaking I forgot that this was going to be the first one out of the box today in that once again we are trying to write legislation that will encourage and make possible municipalities to work together. And again, this is one more step in the process of attempting to look at the state of Connecticut as a whole for the municipalities and not as 169 entities. And yet it still is able to give each of those municipalities control over their participation, what they can and cannot do. So I urge my colleagues to support this measure.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Would you care to remark further? Would you care to remark further? If not, staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Members take their seats. The machine will be open.

THE CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber. The House is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber, please.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? Please check the roll call board to make sure your vote has been properly cast. If all the members have voted the machine will be locked and the Clerk will please take a tally. The Clerk, please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 6412 as amended by House "A. "

Total Number voting 142

Necessary for adoption 72

Those voting Yea 142

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 9

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The bill as amended is passed.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar Number 158.

THE CLERK:

On page 36, Calendar 158, House Bill Number 6413, AN ACT CONCERNING THE STATE'S CONSOLIDATED PLAN FOR HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, favorable report of the Committee on Appropriations.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Linda Gentile.

REP. GENTILE (104th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Sorry for the delay.

Mr. Speaker, this bill adds technical --

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Excuse me, Representative. Do you want to move the bill?

REP. GENTILE (104th):

I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

REP. GENTILE (104th):

I move for acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you.

The question is acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

Will you remark?

REP. GENTILE (104th):

Certainly, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, this bill just adds technical changes to our existing current law. The bill replaces all references to the long-range state housing plan with references to the State's consolidated plan for housing and community development. This would eliminate duplicative reporting requirements.

I move for passage of the bill.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Would you care to remark further?

Representative Bill Aman, how are you doing, sir?

REP. AMAN (14th):

Very well, Mr. Speaker.

I would love to ask a lot of long, detailed questions about this bill, but I think it would be pretty difficult to do.

The chairman did state that it's primarily technical. It replaces one set -- or two reports that are virtually identical and allows one report to be written, which will hopefully save a little bit of time at CHFA and DECD.

So again, it is a technical bill and I urge my colleagues to support it.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Would you care to remark further on the bill? Would you care to remark further on the bill? If not, staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Members take their seats. The machine will be open.

THE CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber. Members to the Chamber. The House is voting by roll call.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? Please check the roll call board to make sure your vote has been properly cast. If all members have voted the machine will be locked. The Clerk will please take a tally. Clerk, please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 6413.

Total Number voting 142

Necessary for adoption 72

Those voting Yea 142

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 9

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The bill is passed.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar 326.

THE CLERK:

On page 44, Calendar 326, Senate Bill Number 828, AN ACT ESTABLISHING A PAINT STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM, favorable report of the Committee on Judiciary.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Pat Widlitz, you have the floor, madam.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good afternoon Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Good afternoon.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

I move acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The question is acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate.

Will you remark?

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, this bill brings forward an important environmental initiative which will increase the recovery post consumer paint while saving our municipalities significant amounts of money and providing better service to Connecticut's residents, taxpayers and businesses.

I move adoption, sir.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The question is, will you remark further?

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Yes. Thank you.

Many of you may remember this bill. We did pass it, I believe, unanimously during the previous legislative session. It unfortunately landed on the other side of midnight during the last session on the Senate consent calendar. So with your indulgence I'm going to go through the bill for the benefit of our newer members to this Chamber.

The bill requires the producers of architectural paint sold at retail in Connecticut to jointly establish a statewide paint stewardship program. The program must be established through a nonprofit organization created by the producers of architectural paint.

And the plan, it must minimize public sector involvement in the management of consumer paint by reducing the generation of that paint, post consumer paint and promoting the reuse and recycling of post consumer paint. Also to negotiate and execute agreements to collect, transport and process such paint for environmentally sound end-of-life management.

The plan will provide more convenient and available statewide collection of post consumer paint, will propose a paint stewardship assessment for each container of paint that is sold in the state of Connecticut, will include a funding mechanism for that payment, and will identify each producer participating in the program and the brands sold in the state covered by the program.

The plan will also coordinate with existing hazardous-waste election infrastructure and allow for retailers to voluntarily be collection sites for post consumer paint. That plan will then be presented to the DEP commissioner on or before March 1, 2013. And within 2 months of that date the commissioner will determine whether or not to approve the plan. If approved, that will go into effect and be implemented within two months of the approval.

On or before March 1, 2013, and every two years thereafter the representative organization shall propose a uniform paint stewardship assessment for all architectural paint sold in the state. The proposed assessment shall be reviewed by an independent auditor to assure that the assessment does not exceed the cost of the paint stewardship program. And that auditor will recommend an amount of the department.

The DEP shall be responsible for approval of that assessment. And for accountability the department will actually select the independent auditor and not less than every five years select a different independent auditor and the cost of that auditor will be funded by the paint stewardship assessment.

The DEP will list the names of participating producers and the brands of architectural paint covered by the program on its website. And after the implementation date no producer, distributor or retailer shall sell architectural paint in this state if they are not a member of that representative organization.

There are follow-up reports to the DEP on the details of the program, how it's working. And every two years the DEP will submit a report to the Environment Committee that describes the results, and if necessary, make modifications.

That's an outline of the program, but why do we need it? Just for a little background, an estimated 7. 4 million gallons of paint, both latex and oil-based, are sold in Connecticut each year. Approximately 10 percent is sold -- sold each year is left over or goes unused, probably piling up in your garage as it is mine.

Consumers need legal, affordable options to dispose of that unused paint. Oil-based paint should be disposed of as hazardous waste. Latex paint currently has to be completely dried for disposal as solid waste. Most of the latex paint could be reused or recycled, but there's no program in Connecticut where consumers can take that used paint.

The cost of disposing of these approximately 136 gallons of post consumer paint was $ 620,000 in 2008, or $ 4. 50 a gallon which was borne by all of our municipalities, the ones that offer hazardous waste collections. This program will save municipal taxpayers collectively at least $ 620,000 a year. And the paint disposal actually accounts for -- to -- from anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of the total cost of hazardous-waste collection.

The initiative is consistent with the Connecticut solid waste management plan, which states that solid waste management efforts in Connecticut will be guided by the principle of shared responsibility, or product stewardship. This legislation also builds upon the approach we took with the electronics recycling, which we passed in 2007.

Interestingly enough about this program, it is an initiative of the industry. The establishment of the Connecticut Paint Stewardship Program is an initiative of the Connecticut Product Stewardship Council which has been working with DEP, the American Coatings Association in Washington DC, and many of our municipalities who are very, very eager for this to pass and for the burden to be lifted from them.

I urge adoption, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Remark further?

Representative Chapin.

REP. CHAPIN (67th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Through you, some questions to the proponent.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. CHAPIN (67th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I heard mention of the term "architectural paint. " Would that include commonly used oil as well as latex based paints?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, actually Representative Sawyer had asked me a question last year and I was expecting to answer that question. I happened to have a whole list of products that are covered. It would be both oil paint, latex paint, deck coatings, floor paints, waterproofing, wood sealers, masonry sealers, primers, stains and shellacs, varnishes, lacquers, wood coatings, just as an example.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Chapin.

REP. CHAPIN (67th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And again, through you, so it sounds like it would be virtually any paint that any person may walk into the local paint store or hardware store to purchase to paint the inside or outside of their house. And I believe I heard the proponent talk about the ways and the costs associated with getting rid of those paints through hazardous household waste day.

Can she tell me if hazardous household waste day collection also includes latex? And if it doesn't, how do people dispose of that presently?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Actually the household hazardous waste collections do not collect latex paint and the only way to currently dispose of it in Connecticut is to, first of all, dry it out either with kitty litter or sawdust which makes it very heavy and then it has to be disposed of us solid waste which makes are tipping fees go up.

This would eliminate that process totally and they would -- the latex paint would be accepted at these centers that accept the used paint.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Chapin.

REP. CHAPIN (67th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And again through you, I believe I heard a figure that exceeded $ 4 per gallon presently to dispose of oil-based paints at household hazardous waste days. And I understand that there -- that the fee hasn't been set under this, what would be this new program, if it passes and gets signed in to law.

Are there any estimates available that tell us how much that price goes down from over $ 4 a gallon through this disposal mechanism or more appropriately, this recycling mechanism?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Yes. We have information from the State of Oregon which is currently doing this program. Their fees based on their costs would be 35 cents for a pint or a quart of paint, 75 cents per gallon, and for a 5-gallon, which would be the maximum amount that you could turn in, it would be a dollar 60. That's based on their experience. We would probably have a similar experience.

And again, it would -- the cost of these fees only covers the cost of implementing the program. There's no profit in this whatsoever.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Chapin.

REP. CHAPIN (67th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the gentlelady for her answers.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the bill before us today. As the proponent did indicate, it's virtually the same bill that passed this Chamber last year unanimously. This year the Senate has seen fit to pass it unanimously as well.

It does -- I believe it will fix an ongoing problem that we have both in the excessive costs associated with disposal or recycling of oil-based paints through our household hazardous waste days. And even though latex paint isn't considered household hazardous waste -- I don't know if you're like me, Mr. Speaker, but I probably have 20 partially used cans, at least, at my home. So I look forward to having a more convenient and viable way to dispose of them. And I encourage my colleagues to support the legislation before us.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And a question through you to the proponent of the amendment.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Please proceed, madam.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

Madam Chairwoman, in the history of this particular, bill you have heard, not once, but more than once through public hearing from different people on this particular bill. Can you tell us in those hearings was the discussion of aerosol spray paints brought up as well? Is that something that will also receiving a fee?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

It would not include aerosol paints nor would it include industrial paint such as automobile paint. This would be architectural paint.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

And through you, Mr. Speaker, would the small sample paints that some of the paint distributors are now giving -- selling at a very low price, the very small samples you can take home; put a little tiny swatch on the wall before you decide which color. You may buy two or three in making your decision which color would be just perfect for that room. Are those -- would those also be -- fall under the fee as well?

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

Yes.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

And through you, Mr. Speaker.

Who would set these fees?

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

That is part of the charge to the organization that will be formed by the participating producers and that fee will be thoroughly vented by an auditor. And the DEP will approve or disapprove of the entire plan which will include the fee.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And through you, was there one or more than one nonprofit that had an interest in this? And the reason for my question is, is this something that's going to be competitive? Would there be multiple nonprofits that might be able to apply to the DEP to run this program?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

This is a program that is being organized by the American Coatings Association. It is the national association of the paint producers. And it's a very complicated thing to set up and for that reason they are rolling it out state by state to do a very good job.

Now certainly as far as the collection points, the retailers have the option of being a collection point. I would think there would be an opportunity for a private entity or a nonprofit to be a collection point as well if they were so inclined.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

So in the case where -- let me step back, one, from what the chairwoman said, through you, Mr. Speaker, that this is being done in other places.

Could you tell us what other states this is being done in?

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

This is currently operating in Oregon. They were the first state to actually do the pilot program to see how we could set this up -- not we, but how the association could set this up.

The bill has passed in California. They're in the process in setting it up. And we will be third in line. There are several other states that have legislating pending and are very excited about doing this, but again, because we want to make sure this is done properly, it will be rolled out one state at a time and the paint industry is doing it in that fashion.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

(Deputy Speaker Aresimowicz in the Chair. )

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Good afternoon, madam.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

Through you, what is -- what will be -- where will the power lie, say, in five years? This program, say, has been ruled out and there are perhaps some unsuccessful parts to it. What power does the State have then to be able to go back and make some changes, make some corrections in the particular program?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

A report will be given by the DEP to the Environment Committee for an update on the progress and for any possible recommendations for change. The DEP has full authority through -- by virtue that they select the independent auditor to make sure everything is satisfactory to the department and then they will report to the Environment Committee.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And through you, if in the case where they, the DEP might truly disagree with the price that's being set, whether it's too low, whether it's too high, what ability does the DEP have to be able to adjust that fee?

And the reason I ask that question is, this fee to me is very similar to a tax, a recycling tax. Because you cannot -- after this is passed you cannot buy paint without paying this money. The money is not going to the State. The money is going to a nonprofit and not multiple nonprofits, just one. And there's no competition for who's going to apply to actually run this. It's one that is bringing this forward.

So I'm very cautious about totally handing over the reins.

It's a very laudable program. I totally understand why we would want to do this, but I'm concerned about the structure underneath. That nongovernmental agency or group or association will be setting a tax, a recycling tax or fee on cans. And down to the smallest of the sample cans, that will be used, we think, we hope, in a very successful way, but we won't know until its audited.

And then we don't really have the authority, we don't have a government agency that has the authority to pull back the reins unless we totally have a legislative change. Is that correct?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

The DEP has full authority to reject the plan if they are not convinced that this is a suitable fee as analyzed by their independent auditor or there's any other component of the plan; they have full power not to accept the plan.

This only goes into effect if the DEP accepts the plan. That plan will be reviewed yearly by their independent auditor and reports will be made back to the Environment Committee and there will be ample opportunity for changes, or outright rejection if necessary. Through you, Mr. --

One other point Mr. Speaker in reference to a recycling tax. Right now you are paying taxes to your municipality which are much more -- they are four times the cost, at least of disposing of this unused paint and not even doing it in an environmentally safe manner, necessarily. By filling a can of unused latex paint with kitty litter and throwing it into the trash, to pay tipping fees it is the worst way you could probably dispose of this and the most expensive way.

So you are, in fact, already paying taxes to dispose of any of this paint that is brought to a hazardous waste collection. Your municipality is billed for that at a much higher rate than this program would incur.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

She brings up two very interesting points. The first -- I'll address the second one first and that would be I suspect our taxes aren't going to go down once this is passed for recycling, but I'll leave that one there.

And if I might just go back one. Will the DEP, just for clarification from what you said, Madam Chairwoman, that will the DEP be able to make changes in the plan on a yearly basis or is it just the one-time authority when they approved the plan initially, Mr. Speaker?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

The DEP will accept or reject the plan initially. Certainly if they reject the plan, I assume that they would offer suggestions if they were interested in actually doing the program as to how it could be improved. Through you, Mr. Speaker, but that would have to come back to DEP for approval before it becomes enacted.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

And then I presume from your answer that once the program is up and running the DEP does not have the authority to make any changes in the plan unless it comes to this body.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Again, through you, Mr. Speaker.

I think once the DEP accepts the plan it will be evaluated on a yearly basis and they certainly could reject the plan or recommend changes.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Through you, so the -- your expectation is that the DEP will approve a plan that has authority, future authority for them in the plan.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Yes. Mr. Speaker, that is correct. There will be review. There will be annual review of this plan by DEP, but you need to give it a chance to start up and work.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

That part I understand.

I would like to thank the chairwoman for all of her work on this. This has been a long process and it has -- is one that I, think still for me, has some unanswered questions, but because of the newness of it, that we only have one and a half states that are there and we are looking at completing -- as the third.

We have the option of looking at the flaws that are perhaps happening in the others and perhaps we'll be able to be very cautious on which of the plans' parts that we like the best.

I do have an unease about having a nongovernmental agency setting a tax or a fee onto a disposable product, because we have not done that in other recycling efforts, but I'm willing to be open minded on this, particularly knowing that the DEP will have the ability to review it on a yearly basis and maintain some control or authority.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

I thank the gentlelady for her comments.

Representative Roy of the 119th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. ROY (119th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this bill. This is one more step in the Environment Committee's efforts over the past several years of ridding toxic products from our environment. And I thank Representative Widlitz for the hard work she put into this bill. And I urge all my colleagues to vote in favor of the bill.

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Representative Hetherington of the 125th you have the floor, sir.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

If I may, to the proponent, a question or two?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

Is there a timetable for a creation of a plan in Connecticut for approval of the plan and implementation?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Yes. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

This, the plan is to be presented to the DEP by March 1st of 2013. The DEP will have two months to review it and either approve or reject. If they approve it will go into effect two months after that. So it will be, I think July 1, 2013.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, in the interim the paints are disposed of in the way they are currently.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

Unfortunately yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you.

What if a plan is not approved, if not approved by the DEP in the two months, either because they don't get to it or because they don't find it sufficient?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

The DEP is very anxious to get to work on this initiative. I expect that they will fully be able to comply with the timetable and I don't expect that to be a problem.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

But just in case they don't, would that be a reason to, in effect, give a continuance to the processing of paint the way it currently is processed?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Well, certainly, Mr. Speaker.

Through you, it's in the best interests of the residents of Connecticut to implement this as quickly as possible. And I think the DEP has every intention of keeping up with that timetable.

Until we have the recycling infrastructure in place and the collection sites in place, I would assume that we would just continue the current practice.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

Was there any consideration given to simply requiring the, for example, the paint manufacturer to charge, in effect, a deposit and then take the material back and remove it in an acceptable way?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

This proposal is an initiative of the industry, of the American Coatings Association. It is the paint -- it is the industry-paint-representing organization, if that makes any sense.

And this is the pilot program that they used in Oregon. This is the program that is currently operating in Oregon. And because there is interest on the part of so many states in doing this they would like to have a uniform program.

So I guess the short answer is, no. There was not a different proposal. This came to us from the industry as the most effective way and the most cost efficient way for them to be able to agree to participate in this.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, always interested in learning. And in my limited experience, if you leave a can of latex paint open, it -- the large water component will evaporate and you are simply left with the pigment substance.

I've never actually mixed paint and kitty litter. And am I wrong in that the water simply evaporates and you're left with the pigment residue?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Widlitz.

REP. WIDLITZ (98th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

No. The gentleman is not incorrect, but you would have to, I guess, leave that can of paint without the lid on it in a place that you wouldn't mind having that can of paint storing -- storage around your House, or in your garage, or wherever, but certainly you could try it out.

Most people when they decide to get rid of something just make the decision to do that. I don't know personally if I would want to leave a can of open pain hanging around my garage because I would probably have a problem with it at some point.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

I thank the good lady for her answers and for her work on this.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further? Will you remark further? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House. The members please take their seat. The machine will be open.

THE CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber. The House is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? If all the members have voted please check/determine if your vote has been properly cast. And if all members have voted the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk will please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

Senate Bill 828.

Total Number voting 143

Necessary for adoption 72

Those voting Yea 143

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 8

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The bill is passed.

Are there any announcements or introductions? Any announcements or introductions?

Representative Alberts of the 50th, sir, you have before.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

For a point of personal privilege, if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

With us in the gallery today are several students from one of my schools in Brooklyn, the Learning Clinic and their instructional staff. And I would ask that members join me in welcoming them for the day.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Welcome to your capitol.

Thank you very much, sir.

Are there any other announcements or introductions? Any announcements or introductions?

Representative Lavielle of the 143rd, you have the floor.

REP. LAVIELLE (143rd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I just wanted to introduce a constituent from the 143rd District, from the town of Wilton, Helen McSweeney who is with us today on the floor. She is a travel consultant and living proof that the travel consultant industry is alive and well, especially for us in Wilton.

Thank you so much and I hope you'll all welcome her here today.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Welcome to the Chamber. And I'm sure some folks in here would probably like to talk to you for June 9th and thereafter.

Any other announcements or introductions? If not, we'll return to the call.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar 149.

THE CLERK:

On page 36, Calendar 149, Substitute for House Bill Number 5802, AN ACT ADOPTING CERTAIN SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE THOMAS COMMISSION, favorable report of the Committee on Energy and Technology.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Orange of the 48th, you have the floor, madam.

REP. ORANGE (48th):

Thank you, sir. Good afternoon to you.

I move acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question before the chamber is on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and the passage of the bill.

Will you remark, madam?

REP. ORANGE (48th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, this legislation comes after the horrific tragedy that occurred at the Kleen Energy Power Plant in Middletown on February 7, 2010.

And if I could, Mr. Speaker, I would name this bill Dylan's Law, after he -- Dylan is now seven and I would name it Dylan's Law after my friend -- his late father, Ron Crabb.

He is so proud of his mother, as am I -- Jodi Thomas, for all the work that she has done over the past year. She has attended both state and federal meetings and hearings where she testified and it was difficult for her.

Dylan, after learning that his mother was working, as her priority of workplace safety -- as her number 1 priority, Dylan was very happy to know that his mother was working to make and help us create this legislation and working to make it so that this type of tragedy would not occur in the future.

The first and most important thing that this bill does, Governor Rell, in our wisdom created the Nevis Commission and the Thomas Commission. And the first -- and the most important thing that this bill does is that it codifies Executive Order Number 45 which was issued by Governor Rell to ban the procedure of gas blows.

Mr. Speaker, the Clerk is in possession of an amendment, LCO Number 6505. May he call and I be allowed to summarize?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Will the Clerk please call LCO Number 6505, which will be designated as House Amendment Schedule "A. "

THE CLERK:

LCO 6505, House "A," offered by Representatives Orange and Dargan.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection to summarization? Please proceed, madam.

REP. ORANGE (48th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, basically what this amendment does is it cleans up some drafting within the legislation. It prohibits any person from using flammable gas to clean or blow gas piping, not just a person who constructs or operates an electric plant.

It establishes that the fee will be set by 29-251(c) of the Connecticut general statutes; be used in training of the -- for the fee to be set for the training of the local fire marshal. It increases the penalty to $ 100,000 and up to two years of imprisonment, instead of $ 1,000 and six months. And it also deletes certain qualifications of the special inspector.

Mr. Speaker, I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question before the Chamber is on adoption of House Amendment Schedule "A. "

Will you remark on the amendment?

Representative Giegler of the 138, you have the floor, madam.

REP. GIEGLER (138th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise in support of the amendment before us, but I would like to ask the proponent of the bill a couple of questions -- or the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, madam.

REP. GIEGLER (138th):

Thank you so much.

The amendment before us brought a lot of clarity to the original bill. On line 27, Section D, Number 2, you made reference to the fact that there were three -- originally there were three ways to satisfy an inspector's experience and it is removed in this amendment -- two options.

By eliminating B and C, are we limiting the number of individuals who can qualify as inspectors?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Orange.

REP. ORANGE (48th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Through you to Representative Giegler. No. It does not. It just -- the bill was kind of redundant and all did the same thing.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Giegler.

REP. GIEGLER (138th):

Also on line 29, it refers to the Connecticut Siting Council approving the inspector. Does the siting council have standards of their own for the inspectors?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Orange.

REP. ORANGE (48th):

Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Giegler.

REP. GIEGLER (138th):

I thank you for your answer.

You also made reference in the change in the penalty from a thousand to a hundred thousand. Is an individual subject to the same penalty as a company?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Orange.

REP. ORANGE (48th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Basically, Representative Giegler, whatever party that violates the statute, whether it be the contractor himself or the subcontractor, would be in violation, would be paying the fine and subject to imprisonment up to two years.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Giegler.

REP. GIEGLER (138th):

Thank you very much.

Just to follow up on that, do you believe that the individual, would they be covered by their employer?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Orange.

REP. ORANGE (48th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would believe so, Representative Giegler, that people are insured when they're doing contracting or subcontracting work.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Giegler.

REP. GIEGLER (138th):

I thank you very much for your answer and I appreciate all your hard work and efforts on behalf of the town of Middletown on this tragedy.

Thank you so much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, madam.

Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, I will try your minds. All those in favor, please signify by saying, aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Those opposed, nay.

The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted.

Will you remark further on the bill as amended?

Representative Carpino of the 32nd, you have the floor, madam.

REP. CARPINO (32nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

As you all know a year ago we had a horrible tragedy in my district and lives were lost and many more were affected. To this day those fears are felt by the constituents in the district and in surrounding communities.

This is a step in the right direction and ensuring that this doesn't happen in anybody's district and doesn't affect anybody in the state anymore, ensuring our security. So ask for support from both sides of the aisle and making sure that each and every one of our constituents are safe.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

I thank the gentlelady for her comments.

Representative Lesser of the 100th District, you have the floor, sir.

REP. LESSER (100th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, a year ago on a February morning, a Sunday morning, I was at home in my district and heard the windows rattle. And the -- later on that afternoon I got a sense of what had happened, the scope of the disaster in the city that I'm privileged to live in and represent.

And I went up to the site of the disaster that evening and again in the weeks that went ahead. It's been over a year since my community, the community that I live in was rocked by this terrible tragedy. And this legislation has been the product of a great -- much effort, a lot of effort.

I want to commend Representative Orange and the rest of the Middletown delegation for their work on this issue as well as the Nevis Commission and the Thomas Commission and the U. S. chemical safety board and all of the investigators who have looked at this tragedy.

I rise in strong support of this bill. It goes hopefully some measure towards bringing comfort to the families of the victims of the tragedy, the workers who were there and I believe it moves our State in the right direction towards improving safety at power plants. I strongly urge adoption.

And thank you for your indulgence.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Representative Miller of the 122nd, you have the floor, sir.

REP. L. MILLER (122nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise in strong support of the bill as amended and congratulate Representative Orange for all of her hard work.

All the new generation, electric generation plants that are being built, the choice of fuel is natural gas and we will probably see a heck of a lot more of these things going up in the years to come. And I think that adopting the safety regulations will go a long way in protecting workers who assemble these facilities. So I encourage the support of the Chamber.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir. Representative Srinivasan of the 31st, you have the floor, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31st):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Through you to the proponent of the bill, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Orange, please prepare yourself.

Please proceed, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31st):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This bill, as said by the previous speakers, a step definitely in the right direction and I fully plan to support this bill as well, but my question through the proponent is, does this bill go far enough?

And it says that during the construction phase the inspector should have at least -- they have suggested at least one meeting during the entire process. My concern is on what basis that one meeting was decided because I feel that probably more than one may be required, you know, for something like this during the entire construction phase.

So is one enough, is my question? Of course, come to support it, but I felt that more than one meeting would have been required given the magnitude of what the construction is about.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Orange, would you care to respond, madam?

REP. ORANGE (48th):

Thank you.

Representative Srinivasan, it does state one meeting, but that doesn't mean that there couldn't be more than one meeting held in this instance.

And I also would like you to know as well as the Chamber that the U. S. Chemical Safety Board is watching this legislation to become a national model.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31st):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Srinivasan, thank you for your comments, sir.

Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Will the members please take your seats and the machine will be open.

THE CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber. The House is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? Will the members please check the board to make sure your vote has been properly cast. If all the members have voted the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk will please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill Number 5802 as amended by House "A. "

Total Number voting 144

Necessary for adoption 73

Those voting Yea 144

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 7

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The bill as amended passes.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar 370.

THE CLERK:

On page 19, Calendar 370, Substitute for House Bill Number 6538, AN ACT CONCERNING THE COLLECTION OF BLOOD AND OTHER BIOLOGICAL SAMPLES FOR DNA ANALYSIS, favorable report of the Committee on Judiciary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox of the 146th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. G. FOX (146th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I move for the acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question is on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and the passing of the bill.

Will you remark, sir?

REP. G. FOX (146th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This proposal came to the Judiciary Committee from the chief state's attorney. I should point out that what it does is it simply addresses how we deal with our current existing law regarding collection of DNA samples from our DNA data -- for our DNA database.

The way the law currently works is that when an individual is convicted of a felony they are required to provide a DNA analysis for the DNA databank. This does not change anything along those lines. I know there's other bills that are out there, but this bill deals specifically with those who are convicted of felonies.

And what the proposal does is it enables the law enforcement, when an individual either fails or refuses to give a DNA sample, it allows them to use reasonable force to acquire that sample. And what is happening and the way the testimony came before the committee is that in many situations -- or not -- but there are certain situations where it might be beneficial for someone not to give a DNA sample simply because that they may have committed other crimes and they would be better off not giving a sample and accepting that penalty, than giving the DNA sample and perhaps solving other crimes that are currently unsolved.

Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment, LCO Number 6511. I would ask that it be called and I be permitted to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 6511, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule "A. "

THE CLERK:

LCO Number 6511, House "A," offered by Representatives Fox, Hetherington, Aresimowicz and Olson.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection to summarization? Hearing none, Representative Fox, please proceed with summarization.

REP. G. FOX (146th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

There is certain clean-up language with respect to this amendment. It also addresses a section of the bill that deals with those situations where a crime is committed, DNA is collected, an officer has reasonable and articulable suspicion as to an individual who may have committed the crime.

And what it does is it authorizes the law enforcement to make that request of the DNA databank to determine whether or not there has in fact -- or there is, in fact, a match.

Mr. Speaker, I would urge adoption of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question before the Chamber is adoption of House Amendment Schedule "A?"

Would you remark on the amendment?

Representative Hetherington of the 125th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This amendment further carries out the purpose of the underlying bill. It cleans up a number of questions and I think will provide a very useful tool in the criminal justice system. So I urge adoption.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not I will try your minds. All those in favor of the amendment please signify by saying, aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Those opposed, nay.

The amendment is adopted.

Would you remark further on the bill as amended? Would you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Will the members please take their seat and the machine will be open.

THE CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber. The House is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? If all the members have voted please check the board to make sure your vote has been properly cast. If all the members have voted the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk will please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 6538 as amended by House "A. "

Total Number voting 144

Necessary for adoption 73

Those voting Yea 144

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 7

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The bill as amended is passed.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar 420.

THE CLERK:

On page 22, Calendar 420, Substitute for House Bill Number 6440, AN ACT CONCERNING APPLICATIONS FOR GUARDIANSHIP OF AN ADULT WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY AND STATUTORY CHANGES RELATED TO INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY, favorable report of the Committee on Judiciary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Holder-Winfield, you have the floor, sir.

REP. HOLDER-WINFIELD (94th):

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

This bill, House Bill 6440, I move acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question is on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

Will you remark, sir?

REP. HOLDER-WINFIELD (94th):

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

What this bill seeks to do is deal with some issues of transition for individuals who have intellectual disabilities and their parents' abilities to remain their guardians at the point at which they turn 18.

Currently under the law parents cannot put in a request to become the guardians at 18 of the children who are their children by birth. What this would do is allow them 180 days prior to the child turning 18 to put in that application, thus creating a seamless transition.

Mr. Speaker, the Clerk is in possession of an amendment. It is LCO 6557. I request that the LCO -- or that the amendment be called and I be granted leave of the Chamber to explain.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Will the Clerk please call LCO Number 6557, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule "A. "

THE CLERK:

LCO Number 6557, House "A," offered by Representatives Fox and Lyddy.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarization of the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection to summarization? Hearing none, Representative Holder-Winfield, please proceed with summarization, sir.

REP. HOLDER-WINFIELD (94th):

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

This amendment strikes the bill and becomes the bill upon passage of this amendment. What it does is it does exactly the same thing as the bill except it also comports this bill with the notion we passed in another bill, that we do have respectful language, therefore removing language that is -- talked about mental retardation and inserting language which talks about intellectual disabilities.

And I urge passage, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question before the Chamber is adoption of House Amendment Schedule "A. "

Will you remark further on the amendment? Would you remark further on the amendment? If not, I will try your minds. All those in favor of the amendment, please signify by saying, aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Those opposed, nay.

The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted.

Will you remark further on the bill as amended?

Representative Lyddy of the 106th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. LYDDY (106th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, very quickly I just wanted to thank the probate court, Representative Holder-Winfield, as well as a constituent of mine, Mr. Stein for his continued advocacy for children/young adults with intellectual disabilities.

This bill certainly protects families' rights and preserves the dignity of each child and young adult with an intellectual disability. And as we know, the continuum of services and care for these individuals is paramount in their progress. And this bill certainly ensures that we close a loophole that hadn't been recognized by us in the past. So I appreciate the support of the Chamber, the Judiciary Committee and the probate court.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

My good friend Representative Alberts of the 50th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

If I may, a question to the proponent?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed -- please prepare yourself, sir.

Please proceed, Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

There are several references in the bill now amended that's before us. In line 131, for example, there is the language, persons with autism. And for purposes of establishing legislative intent, wherever the word "autism" is used, is it not our desire to include anyone in the autism spectrum, to include, for example, individuals that may have Asperger's?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Holder-Winfield.

REP. HOLDER-WINFIELD (94th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And through you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, it is our intention to include all of those who would be on the spectrum.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I thank the gentleman for his answers.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further?

Representative Hetherington of the 125th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise in strong support of this bill. This permits parents to apply for a guardianship for their intellectually challenged children prior to the child reaching the 18th birthday.

And this will allow for guardians to be in place when the young person reaches 18 and therefore allow the seamless delivery of services and care for the disabled person. And I urge adoption.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House. The members, take your seats. The machine will be open.

THE CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber. The House is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? Will the members please check the board to ensure your vote has been properly cast. And if all the members have voted the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk will please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 6440 as amended by House "A. "

Total Number voting 143

Necessary for adoption 72

Those voting Yea 143

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 8

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The bill as amended is passed.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar Number 210.

THE CLERK:

On page 9, Calendar 210, House Bill Number 6433, AN ACT CONCERNING ADULT EDUCATION, favorable report of the Committee on Education.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann of West Hartford, you have the floor, sir.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I move acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question is on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Will you remark, sir?

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Yes, Mr. Speaker.

This measure before us regarding adult education really does something quite simple. It ensures that a student who attends adult education during a period of expulsion is not required to withdraw from their school system in order to do so.

This addresses a real problem that was brought to our attention where students are expelled. They want to continue their education. They go to adult ed. Adult ed says, sure, you can attend. Just sign the following papers. And they and their parents do.

And then when the expulsion is over they go to return to their public school system and discover they cannot do so because they've been withdrawn from their public school system. That, Mr. Speaker is not good education policy.

We want students to get their education. We don't want them pushed out of school. That's why this bill received unanimous support of the Education Committee. And I'm hoping it will do so today on the floor of the House.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Representative Giuliano of the 23rd, you have the floor, madam.

REP. GIULIANO (23rd):

Mr. Speaker, thank you very much.

I want to align my remarks with those of my colleague, the chairman of the House Education Committee.

This bill does create an important thread back for students who have left high school via expulsion and then were -- felt to be moved into other educational circumstances, not necessarily of their choice. It's a correction that is necessary to provide that kind of thread back into a more normalized high school experience and I urge my colleagues to support this bill.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, madam.

Will you remark further on the bill before us?

Representative Miner of the 66th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

If I might, just a couple of questions to the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann, please prepare yourself.

Will the Chamber please lower the noise a little bit so the question can be adequately heard by the Representative.

Please proceed, Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

So the way the bill is drafted, the intention is that once the individual who has been expelled has stayed out of the school system for the period of time that they would have had to through that process, they would then be able to enter the educational process through the adult education, not before the penalty was served. Is that correct?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

No. That is not my understanding. My understanding is this, when a student is expelled --

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

I know there's a lot of other business being done, but please keep the noise level down. The Representatives are not that far away from each and are having difficulty hearing.

Representative Fleischmann, please continue. Sorry for the interruption, sir.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

When a student is expelled they maintain their constitutional right to an education here in Connecticut. And so districts are required to provide some sort of alternate form of education. That can take the form of a couple hours of tutoring a day. It can mean an alternative education program or it can mean adult education.

There have been many instances brought to the attention of the Education Committee where a student chooses adult education during their expulsion. They attend adult ed classes. They feel that they're moving forward. Their expulsion period ends. They go to return to their high school or middle school and discover they're not permitted to because in agreeing to attend adult education they were forced to withdraw permanently from their school system.

Most students are shocked and surprised to discover that this was a price that they payed to attend adult ed. They never expected to be permanently knocked out of their high school. So this bill addresses the challenge.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

So if an individual were expelled from the Litchfield school system, if -- let me ask this question. If an individual brought a weapon to school, what would the be process be for that person to be removed? Is that expulsion?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

Yes. Not only is that an expellable offense, but that's a unique situation. If a student is found to be possessing a weapon or selling drugs, that requirement to offer alternative education does not come into play.

Those crimes are considered so serious that, in fact, those students are expelled without the requirement on the local school system to provide alternate education.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

So in these cases, under this bill, would those individuals be allowed to enroll in Adult Education during the period of time that they would have otherwise been expelled?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

This bill doesn't address that situation in any way. I believe that the local school system has discretion. They are not required to provide any education whatsoever to the student who's committed that serious offense. They may do so if they wish to. We leave that to local control.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And lastly, there's nothing in this bill that would obligate a municipality to provide that opportunity.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

That is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And I thank the gentleman for his answer.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you, sir.

Will you remark further?

Representative Miller of the 122nd, you have the floor, sir.

REP. L. MILLER (122nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Just one question to the proponent. If the child is not willing to go back to school, he's not required to go to adult education classes.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

I'm clear on the fact that the school district must provide alternate education to the student. I don't believe that the student has to accept that alternate education. I think the duty is that the school system provide it, but if that expelled student doesn't choose to take it and they are, say, 17 years old, right now I think they're allowed to dodge it.

There's a little vagueness due to a drafting error in a bill that we passed a bill a couple of years ago, but I believe that the responsibility is that the alternative be offered and I believe the student can decline it.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Miller.

REP. L. MILLER (122nd):

Thank you for the answer.

And I thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further?

Representative Hetherington of the 125th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

A question or two to the proponent, if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

Would the adult education courses taken by the expelled students be of the nature of courses typically part of the high school curriculum?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

That depends. But typically, yes. Students aim to go ahead and pick up where they left off and pursue coursework which is parallel to that, which they were pursuing in high school.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, and would the courses taken during expulsion be counted for academic credit upon being reinstated in high school?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

This legislation does not directly speak to that, which means that such decisions are left to local control.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

I thank the proponent.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you for your questions and comments, sir.

Will you remark further?

Representative Hoydick of the 120th, you have the floor, madam.

REP. HOYDICK (120th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

A few questions to the proponent of the bill, through you, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, madam.

REP. HOYDICK (120th):

Thank you.

Mr. Speaker, I'm curious. Currently can a board of education allow an expelled student to participate in adult education as -- or is this just a means to allow them to do this? Is that what this bill enables to do?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

Under our current statutory framework, adult education is one of the alternate types of education that a school system offers to a student who is expelled. They can offer an alternate high school. They can offer tutoring or they can offer adult education.

Under our current statutes, if they offer adult education the student has to withdraw from the school system. So that when the period of expulsion is done and a student goes back to the high school to say, my expulsion is over. I'm ready to come back, if they have participated in adult ed, that school door is barred to them and this is usually a surprise to the student who is affected.

So all this bill seeks to do is to make it clear that if the alternative education provided to the student is adult ed, that the student is able to return to their school after the period of the expulsion.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120th):

Thank you, Representative Fleischmann.

Mr. Speaker, having served on the board of education for several years and served as chairperson of expulsions, I was a little surprised to understand that when a student disenrolls they are not -- they don't have the option to reenroll. Because in my community they did have that option to reenroll.

So another question to the proponent of the bill, is this pervasive throughout Connecticut or -- which would be the result of this legislation? Or is this just certain communities that operate this way?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

It was brought to the attention of the Education Committee that there are a number of communities in Connecticut that take that withdrawal of a student from the school system to pursue adult education as permanent, and say, sorry. You're withdrawn. You're not permitted back.

I'm pleasantly surprised to hear that your community is an exception to that. I think your community is pursuing the better educational policy, but it is absolutely crystal clear that there are some communities that are not as enlightened as yours and that are not permitting students back into their schools if they have gone over to adult ed.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And I thank Representative Fleischmann for his kind words and the complement.

I'm curious, through you, though, Mr. Speaker, why we feel the need to legislate this instead of just make this administrative advisory through CABE or other board of education and superintendent caps, societies and associations.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

As my good colleague probably is aware from her previous public service on a board of education, an advisory from the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, it would have advisory powers. It would help guide districts, but it would not require districts to follow a certain policy.

And the Education Committee, on a bipartisan basis, felt strongly that this is something that ought to be consistent statewide policy. That we have in our Constitution a student's right to an education and that in essence by barring the school door for the child who went and pursued adult education during expulsion, we're really not respecting the spirit as well as the letter of our Constitution.

So we don't want it to be an advisory. We don't want it to be guidance. We'd like all districts to clearly follow the policy that my good colleague's district already follows.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And thank you, Representative Fleischmann.

The boards of education are elected locally. Are they not? And are they responsible for managing and running and the fiduciary -- they have the fiduciary responsibility of the district. Is that correct?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

In most cases, yes. In some cases members of boards of eds are actually appointed by the mayor or first selectperson of a community, but they are given the role of overseeing their school district. That school district and that municipality are political subdivisions of the State of Connecticut.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

So this would be limiting local control, if I understand it correctly.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

This would be setting a clear statewide policy regarding what happens after a student is expelled and attends adult education.

Some of the testimony before the Education Committee made it clear that there are district that are seeking to push children out of their schools through this backdoor route of saying, go ahead and attend adult ed; good option for you, not making it clear to the students that they will never be permitted back in their school.

That, Mr. Speaker, seemed like poor public policy to the entirety of the Education Committee and that is the reason this bill is before us.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I thank the kind gentleman for his time.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, madam.

Will you remark further on the bill before us? Will you remark further on the bill before us? If not, will all staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Members please take your seat. The machine will be open.

THE CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber. The House is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? Will the members please check the board to ensure that their vote has been properly cast. If all the members have voted the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk will please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 6433.

Total Number voting 141

Necessary for adoption 71

Those voting Yea 135

Those voting Nay 6

Those absent and not voting 10

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The bill passes.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar Number 403.

THE CLERK:

On page 22, Calendar 403, Senate Bill Number 933, AN ACT CONCERNING SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS, favorable report of the Committee on Education.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann, you have the floor, sir.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I move acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question is on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

Representative Fleischmann, you have the floor.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

In essence this measure before us would restore power that the education commissioner of Connecticut enjoyed for many years, which was to waive requirements that substitute teachers, employed by local or regional boards of education, have at least a bachelor's degree.

Those waivers were given in circumstances where people were able to demonstrate that they were appropriate individuals to be at the front of the classroom. There were many communities in Connecticut that relied on those teachers with waivers to be substitutes.

We had gotten rid of this requirement a couple of years ago. We've heard from a lot of districts that it's created hardships for them. So in essence this would be easing a burden on our localities and our local school systems and potentially reducing some of the costs they face. So I hope all members of this Chamber will act in the bipartisan manner that the Education Committee did and support this measure before us.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Representative Ayala of the 128th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. AYALA (128th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise this afternoon to support this bill and thank the chairman of Education for moving this forward.

As a teacher in the school system I've seen how we've often left out people who had very interesting life experiences who did not have a bachelor's degree that could manage a classroom and do the job necessary to be a substitute. And unfortunately in certain circumstances the district is not able to get enough substitutes to ensure that there is an adult in the classroom.

So I believe that this bill goes a long way in addressing some of those concerns and also creates the opportunity for those individuals that may not have a bachelor's degree, but yet have the life skills and life experience to be able to apply for these positions. And based on what the characteristics and the criteria in the bill -- be able to substitute in our school systems.

So thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further?

Representative Candelora of the 86th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I too rise in support of this bill and I want to thank the chairman and the ranking members of the Education Committee for bringing this forward.

I think not only does it help improve being able to get substitute teachers I had a constituent who had approached me where they were allowed to be a paraprofessional in the classroom. And we certify our paraprofessionals.

They do a wonderful job in the classroom and what this will do is allow our paraprofessionals, who may not have a bachelor's degree, but have the certification to be able to substitute in that classroom if the teacher is absent at any time. So this gives great flexibility to the school districts and I thank the chairman for bringing this forward.

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Representative Giuliano of the 23rd, you have the floor, madam.

REP. GIULIANO (23rd):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

I rise in support of this bill. It came through the Legislature's Education Committee unanimously. I think that it helps to give a limited opportunity for superintendents of schools to request a waiver from the commissioner of education.

Again, the commissioner and the expectation of the State Department of Education is that these circumstances would be limited and infrequent, but there are circumstances, particularly in rural school districts or small school districts when finding adequately qualified substitute teachers may be problematic, particularly when an individual who is functioning in an instructional capacity within the school would like to or would -- it actually would be in the best interests of students to employ that person on a short-term basis as a substitute teacher.

This allows for a very narrow window of waiver infrequently to be implemented, but I think it gives the latitude that is appropriate to superintendents.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, madam.

Representative LeGeyt of the 17th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. LeGEYT (17th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good afternoon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. LeGEYT (17th):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to support this legislation and to align my remarks with those of Representative Ayala, recently given in regard to the benefit of having a bachelor's degree as a requirement for a substitute teacher.

In my career as a public school teacher I experience many times situations where substitute teachers who had bachelor's degrees were not very qualified to be substitute teachers. And so I would attest to the fact that a bachelor's degree is not necessarily a criteria that could be used to gain the work of a good substitute teacher. And so I rise to support this bill.

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Representative Lavielle of the 143rd, you have the floor, madam.

REP. LAVIELLE (143rd):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

I also rise in support of this bill and particularly because this is such a -- the activity of teaching is not something that can be stopped because no one is available to do it.

I have a couple of very short questions for the proponent for the purposes of the record and for information of those in the Chamber.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, madam.

REP. LAVIELLE (143rd):

If I may, Mr. Speaker?

So through you, I believe there is a limit to the number of days that a substitute without a bachelor's degree may serve.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker .

I don't have the section of statute opened before me, but I believe that is correct.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143rd):

Thank you.

I believe from what we discussed in the Education Committee it was 40 days, if that's approximately right.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

40 days is my recollection as well.

REP. LAVIELLE (143rd):

Thank you.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, and finally one further short question. I believe that there is specified, at least in the OLR analysis, that there is a minimum set of requirements that people must have which are not a bachelor's degree, but either some other type of certification or a certain number of credits. And I just wanted to check that, Mr. Speaker.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Thank you.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes. The substitute must have at least 12 semester hours of credit in the subject or elementary grades to be taught, and two, the employing school board must attest that no properly certified teacher is available for the position.

So this is in essence showing, A, that the person does have appropriate background, B, that they don't have someone with certification who's available.

I'd also like to add that in the event that the substitute needs to be their longer than 40 days, they are a long-term substitute. There are higher standards for such a substitute, which include a bachelor's.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143rd):

I thank the gentleman for his answers.

That's very useful and I do urge my colleagues and everyone in the Chamber to support the bill.

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, madam.

Representative Srinivasan of the 31st, you have the floor, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31st):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Through you to the proponent of the bill, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann, please prepare yourself.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31st):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I think I heard you just previously say -- I just want to make sure I heard that right -- that an attempt would be made and in what form will that be documented? That a teacher with a bachelor's degree was not available for that particular position and hence, we went for the substitute teacher.

I did -- I do recall you just mentioning that, but I wasn't sure in what format. Is it a formal way or is it relatively informal?

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

The school board must make a formal attestation to the State Department of Education that no certified teacher was available for the substitute teaching position.

And as I think my colleague is well aware, a certified teacher not only has a bachelor's degree, they have all sorts of additional expertise and often a master's degree as well.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31st):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I thank Representative Fleischmann very much for his answer.

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you, sir.

Will you remark further on the bill before us? Will you remark further on the bill before us?

Representative Genga of the 10th District, you have the floor, sir.

REP. GENGA (10th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise in support of the bill and want to talk about experiences in substitute teaching because I've done that. And this bill is narrow in that it has the requirements that a school system and the State Department of Education must prove that the person is capable, but this is for short-term substitution. This is not a long-term sub.

And people in the classroom, such as paraprofessionals that were mentioned here, because they've been in a classroom, they have that on-the-job experience and they have the wherewithal of the students and the curriculum. And we are talking about short-term where prepared curriculum is given and an ability to handle and make sure that the students in the classroom manage in an appropriate way and do not take advantage because they have somebody who they're not used to.

Long-term substitution is much different. You most developed your own curriculum, you must continue that. And that is distinguished in this bill. And that's why I'm in support of this bill and ask the colleagues to support it.

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further on the bill before us? Will you remark further on the bill before us? If not, staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Members please take their seat. The machine will be opened.

THE CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber. The House will be voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? Will the members please check the board to ensure that their vote has been properly cast. If all the members have voted the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk would please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

Senate Bill 933 in concurrence with the Senate.

Total Number voting 144

Necessary for adoption 73

Those voting Yea 142

Those voting Nay 2

Those absent and not voting 7

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The bill passes.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar 197.

THE CLERK:

On page 47, Calendar 197, Substitute for House Bill Number 6484, AN ACT CONCERNING THE AVAILABILITY OF ACCIDENT RECORDS OF THE STATE POLICE, favorable report of the Committee on Public Service.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Dargan.

REP. DARGAN (115th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I move for acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question is on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate.

Representative Dargan, you have the floor.

REP. DARGAN (115th):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Just a brief background on this, just some legislative history. This bill has already been before us. On April 13th it was voted out of this Chamber unanimously. And then on May 12th the Senate took this bill up.

Just a brief summary of the bill: it deals with accident reports that must -- that are compiled by the state police, that will be given in a timely manner within 30 days.

At that time, Mr. Speaker, the Clerk -- the Senate took up Senate Amendment "A. " May he please call and I be allowed to summarize LCO Number 5971?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Will the Clerk please call LCO Number 5971, which will be designated as Senate Amendment "A. "

THE CLERK:

LCO Number 5971, Senate "A," offered by Senator Hartley.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection to summarization? Hearing none, Representative Dargan, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. DARGAN (115th):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

The amendment just simply states if there is a criminal investigation or there's a death because of a motor vehicle accident, that sometimes it takes more than that 30 days and that's the intent of the amendment.

And I move for its adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question before the Chamber is on adoption of Senate Amendment Schedule "A. " Will you remark on the amendment?

Representative Giegler, you have the floor, madam.

REP. GIEGLER (138th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I too rise in support of the amendment before us. As representative Dargan referred to is -- this is a bill that we passed out of here 128 to nothing. And this amendment that the Senate proposed actually makes it better to deal with criminal investigations. And I urge my colleagues' support.

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, madam.

Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, let me try your minds. Those in favor of the amendment, please signify by saying, aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Those opposed, nay.

The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted.

Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Members take your seats. The machine will be open.

THE CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber. The House is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? Will the members please check the board to ensure that their vote has been properly cast. If all the members have voted the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk would please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill Number 6484 as amended by Senate "A" in concurrence with the Senate.

Total Number voting 143

Necessary for adoption 72

Those voting Yea 143

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 8

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The bill as amended is passed in concurrence with the Senate.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar 234.

THE CLERK:

On page 39, Calendar 234, Substitute for House Bill Number 6227, AN ACT CONCERNING A REGIONAL STRUCTURE FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AND MISCELLANEOUS CHANGES TO THE GENERAL STATUTES CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, favorable report of the Committee on Finance Revenue and Bonding.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Urban, you have the floor, madam.

REP. URBAN (43rd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I move the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question is on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

Representative Urban, you have the floor.

REP. URBAN (43rd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This proposes some important changes in the organization of the Department of Children and Families. First there is a very fiscally important change. By conforming state law to federal requirements for foster care programs it makes us eligible for the 4 to 5 hundred thousand dollars, which we otherwise would have lost in Title 4E reimbursement funds from the federal government. And it removes obsolete language, Mr. Speaker, in order to do this.

However, the heart of this bill lies in creating distinct serviced regions for DCF. And, Mr. Speaker, the commissioner of DCF, who I think everyone in the Chambers has had a very positive interaction with, envisions a new system of providing services to our five regions in the state.

And this would be achieved by having six -- or establishing up to six unclassified regional directors and empowering these regional Directors to create what the commissioner refers to as mini DCFs. She wants to see us move from a focus on safety only to focusing on health, safety, learning for all, age-appropriate growth and development, fostering the special talents of each youth, encouraging civil engagement and tracking the success of our children in school and in life.

It includes a change, Mr. Speaker, from a focus on tracking how much we did to focusing on reporting how well we did it and is anyone better off? And I believe that is called results-based accountability which we are all familiar with in this Chamber.

Mr. Speaker, it also repeals several obsolete areas of DCF. One is the annual reporting regarding the kinship navigator program. Another is the CJTS Public Safety Committee which will now be under the auspices of the CJTS advisory group and thirdly, the DCF annual report on the status of children committed to its custody.

I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, madam.

Will you remark further on the bill before us?

Representative Betts of the 78th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. BETTS (78th):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

I rise in support of this bill, but I'd like to pose one question to the proponent if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed.

REP. BETTS (78th):

Thank you.

In the fiscal note here it says that there's four to five hundred thousand dollars against subsidized partnership program expenditures. Through you, Mr. Speaker, could you give us an idea of what some of those expenditures may be?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Urban.

REP. URBAN (43rd):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

My understanding is that if we do not change the language of the bill that we would then not be eligible for any of the 4 or 5 hundred thousand dollars in expenditures in the foster care program.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS (78th):

Thank you for that answer.

I just was just looking. Perhaps I can ask the commissioner if you don't know. I was trying to get an idea of what, whether it's housing or what type of expenditures are related to the foster care program that will make this eligible. I understand we're changing it to become eligible. I was just trying to get an idea of what some of those programs would be.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Urban.

REP. URBAN (43rd):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

From what I understand, one would be subsidized guardianship.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS (78th):

Thank you very much.

And I would strongly urge my colleagues to support this. I think this is a very good bill and I thank the chair and the committee for all the work they did on this.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further?

Representative Wood of the 141st, you have the floor, madam.

REP. WOOD (141st):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise in support of this bill as well for many of the reasons that Representative Urban outlined. The other thing I'd like to note is that four committees passed this unanimously: Children's Committee, Human Services, Finance and Labor all unanimously.

It does make sense for good reasons and in particular we are, I think in state government, we tend to add layers rather than subtract layers and this does subtract some of the reporting requirements, which I think is good. It also allows us to qualify for federal funding of up to $ 500,000 by changing the reporting requirements and how we do that.

I also would like to comment on Commissioner Katz. I think she's brought wonderful energy and I think the idea that she's bringing to this commission is great. And I think her idea for regionalization and not how much we're doing, but how well we're doing it is very important. And I urge you all to support this bill.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, madam.

Representative Gibbons of the 150th, you have the floor, madam.

REP. GIBBONS (150th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good afternoon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Good afternoon, madam.

REP. GIBBONS (150th):

I too support this bill and I'm very pleased to have Commissioner Katz on board with DCF.

I've served under several different commissioners and this is the first time I think we truly have one that not only understands the direction of the agency, but is trying to bring new scope and energy to the department and figure out how to best help these children.

That being said, I've got one question, if I may please, for the proponent of the bill?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Urban, please prepare yourself.

Madam, please proceed.

REP. GIBBONS (150th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

As I recall that the bill asks the CJTS advisory group to review the safety and security issues that affect Middletown concerning with CJTS. Is that still in the bill, please? Through you, Mr. Speaker, and if so do you have any idea how this is going to be handled, please?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Urban.

REP. URBAN (43rd):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

Yes, it is still in the bill and that was the -- that was changed from CJTS public safety commission because that commission was never put together. So now by putting it in the advisory group we will expect that this will actually take place.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

REP. WOOD (141st):

Thank you.

And again, through you, Mr. Speaker, so am I to understand there will be an advisory group that will be appointed that will include representatives from the town and from CJTS to review some of the concerns that the town has with the training facility?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Urban.

REP. URBAN (43rd):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

Yes. The good Representative is absolutely correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Gibbons.

REP. GIBBONS (150th):

Thank you.

I think that this goes a long ways towards solving some of the issues that Middletown has had, what CJTS has had and through hopefully making some necessary changes in the Department of Children and Families.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, madam.

Will you remark further? Will you remark further on the bill before us? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Members take your seats. The machine will be open.

THE CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber. The House is taking a roll call vote. Members to the Chamber, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? Will the members please check the board to determine if their vote has been properly cast. If all the members have voted the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk would please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 6227.

Total Number voting 142

Necessary for adoption 72

Those voting Yea 142

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 9

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The bill passes.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar 105.

THE CLERK:

On page 4, Calendar 105, House Bill Number 6508, AN ACT CONCERNING TIMELY HISTORY REPORTS FOR COMMERCIAL RISK INSURANCE POLICIES, favorable report by the Committee on Insurance.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Megna of the 97th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. MEGNA (97th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I move the committee's joint favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question is on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and the passage of the bill.

Will you remark?

REP. MEGNA (97th):

Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Essentially this bill will help businesses obtain a replacement insurance in a more timely manner by requiring loss history reports to be generated in a more timely manner by the previous insurance company.

Mr. Speaker, it's important in obtaining loss reports as soon as possible when you're out shopping for insurance, because if not, if too much time lapses, a business more be subject to a more expensive insurance or a more restrictive insurance such as that which is available in the non-admitted marketplace.

Mr. Speaker, the Clerk is in possession of LCO 6320. I ask that it be called and I be permitted to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Will the Clerk please call LCO Number 6320, which will be designated as House Amendment Schedule "A. "

THE CLERK:

LCO 6320, House "A," offered by Representative Megna and Senator Crisco.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection to summarization? Hearing none, Representative Megna, please proceed with summarization, sir.

REP. MEGNA (97th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

What this amendment does is it changes 10 days to 30 days and it removes insured's authorized producer. The amendment represents an agreement with the insurance industry primarily through the IAC, whom I need knowledge for their hard working -- and coming and working with us to help businesses out.

Thirty days we felt was a good compromise as opposed to statutorily with 60 days. And like I said earlier, Mr. Speaker, it's important to minimize that timeframe to get those loss reports.

And with that, I move adoption of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question before the Chamber is on adoption of House Amendment Schedule "A. " Will you remark on the amendment? Will you remark on the amendment?

Representative Coutu of the 47th District, you have the floor, sir.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, this has been worked on. 10 days was too quick of a turnaround, but 30 days is a fair timeline and I support this amendment.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Would you remark further on the amendment before us? Would you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, let me try your minds. Those in favor of the amendment, please signify by saying, aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Those opposed, nay.

The amendment is adopted.

Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Members please take your seats. The machine will be open.

THE CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber. The House is taking a roll call vote. Members to the Chamber, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? Will the members please check the board to make sure your vote has been properly cast.

If all the members have voted the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk will please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

On House Bill 6508.

Total Number voting 142

Necessary for adoption 72

Those voting Yea 142

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 9

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The bill passes.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar 144.

THE CLERK:

On page 35, Calendar 144, Substitute for House Bill Number 5438, AN ACT LIMITING COPAYMENTS FOR CHIROPRACTIC SERVICES, favorable report by the Committee on Appropriations.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield of the 16th, you have the floor, madam.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I move acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question is on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

Will you remark?

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This bill simply prohibits health plans from imposing a co-pay of greater than 50 percent on chiropractic services. It doesn't change the underlying existing mandate to include chiropractic services in the benefits, nor does it change any other rules in relation to the medical management or deductibles related to chiropractic services.

It's really an issue about truth in advertising, that if a health plan says it has a chiropractic benefit and then really doesn't pay anything for it, where your co-pay end up being a hundred percent or close to a hundred present, it's not really a benefit. They call that an illusory benefit or a phantom benefit. What this does is basically prohibit health plans from having those sorts of phantom benefits.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Clerk has an amendment, LCO 6613. I ask that the amendment be called and I be allowed to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 6613, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule "A. "

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The amendment simply makes --

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Hang on, madam.

THE CLERK:

LCO 6613, House "A," offered by Representatives Megna and Schofield.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection to summarization? Hearing none, Representative Schofield, please proceed with summarization, madam.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The amendment simply makes clear that that 50 percent of co-pays -- or the cap on co-pays applies to the aggregate chiropractic benefit, not to each individual procedure code or service.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please move adoption, madam.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you, madam.

The question before the Chamber is on adoption of House Amendment Schedule "A. "

Will you remark on the amendment?

Representative Alberts of the 50th District, sir, you have the floor.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Actually, I am going to reserve my comment for the bill when we get to that.

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark on the amendment before us?

Representative Coutu of the 47th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I was hopeful that the proponent of the amendment could just repeat and clarify one more time. I just didn't understand exactly what she stated.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu, you would like her to repeat the summarization, sir.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Yes, sir.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield, would you just please repeat the summarization, madam.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Certainly, Mr. Speaker.

Basically the amendment just clarifies that the cap of 50 percent applies to the overall chiropractic benefit as opposed to each individual visit.

So for example, just to help you understand that, there are many different procedure codes and you don't want to have a health plan have to have, you know, 800 different co-pays for each different procedure code. So this just says in general whatever the health plan pays, 50 percent of it, you can't have more than 50 percent in co-pays.

It makes it much more administratively simple for everybody so you can have a flat co-pay that applies for every office visit regardless of what happens during that office visit. And sometimes that will be 46 percent. Sometimes it will be 52 percent, but on average it will be 50.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And through you, if the first time is the only time that the service is needed and it comes in at 40 percent co-pay coverage, what happens in that situation?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

It's really about the plan, the overall plan expenditures. You look at the total amount of claims cost, that the plan has to spend at least 50 percent, and the aggregate number of members in that plan can spend no more than 50 percent either. I hope that's clear, sir.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark on the amendment before us?

Representative Srinivasan of the 31st, you have the floor, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31st):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Through you to the proponent of this bill. For clarification, when a patient goes in for a service with a chiropractor and more than one service is rendered on that particular day, are you -- would the amendment, say, be 50 percent co-pay for each of the procedures or just that one, one co-pay for that particular visit?

Because in the medical field, as you know, as you very well know, when multiple CPT codes are used or when they come to a co-pay it is just a one co-pay, $ 10 to $ 50 per visit as it does not matter how many things are done at the physician's office.

I just wanted to be -- I wasn't sure with this amendment the same thing were to apply to a chiropractor too, that he or she would have -- the patient would have to pay only one co-pay where they go to see a chiropractor per visit -- per visit.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Yes. Through you, Dr. Srinivasan, you're absolutely right. It would be the same as what you experience in your medical practice, that sometimes you do multiple CPT codes in a visit. Sometimes you don't, but it's the same co-pay.

And that's why we made this amendment, was to make it easier so you wouldn't have to have a whole schedule of co-pays for every single CPT code out there.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31st):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Thank you very much for that clarification and I will definitely be supporting this bill.

Thank you, sir.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor of the amendment, please signify by saying, aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Those opposed, nays.

The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted.

Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended?

Representative Alberts of the 50th District, sir, you have before.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

A question to the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you.

As I understand it, the effective date of the bill that is now before us, the amendment to the bill -- the bill as amended is now January 1st of 2012. Is that not correct?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Yes, Mr. Speaker. That is correct.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

So municipalities which have already passed budgets, if this bill does become law, it goes into effect, there may be an additional cost that they may incur because this will require a change to the copayment rate. Is that not correct?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Actually when you -- I looked at a report that UConn did for us on mandates and they provide some very helpful detail. And it appears that group plans are really very much within the 50 percent. It's not going to be an issue for them, and from what we've heard from the chiropractors as well. It seems to be more of a common problem with individual plans.

So even the OFA fiscal note said it might potentially be, but they weren't aware of any particular issue with any specific municipalities. But again, looking at the study it showed that the typical co-pay on group plans is about 20 percent, and on self-insured plans is about 26. 9 percent. So that's well below the 50 percent threshold. I don't really foresee it as a problem.

Thank you. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I thank the lady for her response.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Representative Klarides of the 114th, you have the floor, ma'am.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, through you a few questions to the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, madam.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you.

Just for clarification, why is this fix that we have in this bill only for chiropractic?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

That's probably because that's the group that came to us and asked for it.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Klarides.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I was just curious as to, I mean, clearly the policy that we've heard today and that we heard in the Appropriations Committee the other day that's going on, I certainly agree it should be fixed. I'm just curious as to why this only occurs in the chiropractic field. I mean, is there a reason if the proponent those?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

You know, it may well be possible that this happens occasionally in other fields. My suspicion is that it does happen mostly with just this one benefit. And that quite frankly, it was a way of getting around the intent of the law that exists mandating that benefit. That's my best guess.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Klarides.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And one last question through you. I mean, I hate to put it this way, but is it -- was it happening just because, I mean, is it our believe that this was happening because people were really just trying to take advantage and get around the law and we're fixing it. I mean, is that kind of oversimplifying it of what we believe to have been happening?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

Perhaps being too harsh in describing it that way. I mean, I think it may have been an attempt to control medical costs and keep premiums low, but there is that concept, both in federal law and policy and in our own insurance department, that we really should not have illusory benefits.

And so, personally feel that this is an appropriate thing to make sure that when people buy a policy with the understanding that a benefit is covered, that there's some meat to the sandwich, as it were. Thank you.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, madam.

Representative Klarides.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I thank the lady for her answers.

I certainly support this bill because, you know, one of the things, one of the most important things we do as legislators is make sure that people aren't being taken advantage of. And whether it's insurance companies or anyone else who is not living up to the letter of the law, I'm glad that this was brought to our attention and it's something that we can fix. So I urge my colleagues' support.

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, madam.

Representative Coutu of the 47th District, you have the floor, sir.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, this is an insurance mandate and often with these mandates there's, in my view, a direct correlation with the cost of insurance in the state or states that have the most insurance mandates.

Connecticut is one of those states that has a very high number of insurance mandates and indirectly, often the cost for health insurance is higher than it is in many other states. So this will potentially increase the cost of insurance to Connecticut small businesses and individuals.

With that, through you, Mr. Speaker, I have a few questions to the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. COUTU (47th):

First, is there any other states that have this coverage for chiropractic care as a mandate?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Yes. There are. I couldn't tell you off the top of my head how many, but I could look it up for you if you wanted to wait.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

Is it the majority of the states? Or do we have -- just curious if there's a large number, a small number or if we know by chance.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Would the gentlelady like a moment to look at that?

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Unless you want to indulge me in a few minutes to look it up in this book over here, then I couldn't tell you off the top of my head.

I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

We can move on.

The -- in this piece of legislation it's noted that there is an impact to municipalities and I just was curious what -- how exactly would that impact affect our local municipalities.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

That was also the question Representative Alberts asked and I think it's always a valid concern. But as I pointed out, at least according to this UConn study, group plans are pretty well within the 50 percent already. So I really don't expect that there would be any municipalities that would be affected because they already have lower co-pays. Group plans on average have somewhere between a 20 and a 27 percent co-pay, so that's well within that 50 percent cap.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

And Mr. Speaker, I just want to verify that this mandate will not affect those cities or municipalities that have self insurance.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

It definitely would not affect them because they are self insured and not subject to the mandate at all.

Although interestingly according to this study, 86 percent of self-funded plans already do cover chiro -- chiropractors, and their co-pays average 26. 9 percent. So they are mostly in compliance already. Thank you.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Thank you for that answer.

I guess part of my concern is just relating to the individual plans which would be affected with this mandate. I just want to try to understand the process a little bit better.

Does this mean that individual, meaning a small business owner or just a couple who need insurance for their family, are -- is that what we mean by individual?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker .

Yes. That's correct. Individuals, purchased by an individual for themselves or their family.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

And do we know the number of potential individual plans? Is there are a total of 200,000 plans that may fall into this? Or is it smaller number?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

There certainly are not 200,000 plans. There may be 200,000 individuals. I'm not quite sure. I know it's about 7 percent of the commercially insured population is insured through individual insurance.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

So does that mean, through you, Mr. Speaker, that this piece of legislation at the end of the day is really being written for 7 percent of Connecticut's insured population?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Well, I think it's important to recognize that, you know, I'm talking in terms of averages. So there, it's possible that there's an outlier there and, you know, most health plans would want those outliers to come into conformance with the what other plans are doing that are more what I would describe as reputable.

When you've got one plan that's really, you know, not treating consumers well, everybody suffers from the bad reputation that creates. So it's possible that there might be some out-of-state plan that has very few covered lives here, but is engaged in this activity. It's possible.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Mr. Speaker, I have a concern with that answer. Just first and foremost, if it's a very small number of our population we have to question, do we pass legislation because a certain group, while many of us know people that use these services, should we be listening to a potential group which would be considered a special interest to change a law that would affect such a small population?

Through you, Mr. Speaker, does -- the insurance plans that are out there in the state of Connecticut, some have a hundred percent coverage. Some have 50 percent coverage. Some, I assume, have lower coverage for these services. At this time basically the businesses can choose what coverage they want or the individuals can choose what coverage they want, or what they can afford to pay.

I just want to verify, through you, Mr. Speaker, is that the case, they currently offer plans at every level of coverage for their service?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would venture to guess there are no plans offering a hundred percent coverage for chiropractic. From some of the testimony we heard there are plans that have co-pays that equal a hundred present. You know, and while those are probably few and far between I think it is important that we protect consumers even when they are the minority. Even if there are relatively few of them people should not be deceived or subjected to inappropriate business practices just because there are relatively few of them.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, in the testimony we had testimony from the insurance department and they made it very clear that in 2014 the President's health care plan will include the essential benefit package.

And in that, if we have mandates that are not covered by the essential benefit package the State of Connecticut will potentially be responsible for those additional costs. And I just want to verify that to the proponent of the bill, is that the case?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Yes, Mr. Speaker.

I'm glad you raised that. That is indeed true, but as I pointed out the existing mandate is already there and this doesn't change the existing mandate. So I do think that in here 2014 when we -- or beforehand, when we know what is in the essential benefits package, we may need to look at whether that mandate for chiropractic services is something that we want to continue or not if it's not included in the federal package. But it's already there so we already have that problem, so to speak, so this doesn't really change that.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

And through you, Mr. Speaker.

There was a comment made that we're really looking out for the end patient. In testimony it was stated that they need this coverage. And in the testimony we have addressed here we have the president of the Chiropractic Association and another member of that association.

So I just want to clarify, were there many patients who came in and testified or was it really just these organizations who have really a financial interest in this potential mandate?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Thank you. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

I don't recall that there were many patients who came in, but I could be wrong. I certainly do recall that there were, as you noted, a couple of chiropractors, practitioners who came in.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Another question through you, Mr. Speaker.

Are these patients able to ask their chiropractor for rates in advance?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

I'm not quite sure what the question is asking, but I'll give it my best shot. I mean, patients can always ask their chiropractor what their hourly rates are. They won't always know offhand what their health plan is going to pay and I'm not sure that chiropractors can always answer that.

So they may find out after the service is delivered that when they get the actual bill that they owe basically the whole amount and I think that's what triggered the concern about the existing practice.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Mr. Speaker, I'm sorry.

Could the gentlewoman please repeat that one more time?

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

No.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Schofield.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

I'm not sure I can remember all that. I believe that what he was asking is whether someone can ask their chiropractor what the rate would be in advance. And yes, the chiropractor could certainly, I would presume, could certainly answer what their -- what they charge for a visit, but they don't always know what a health plan will pay them.

So sometimes you get the bill after your visit from your chiropractor where the patient has to pay their balance and it turns out the balance in some instances is, you know, close to a hundred percent of what the original bill was. And so the patient may not know that until after the service has been delivered.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Mr. Speaker, what I view is there is an insurance market and a potential patient or someone who purchases insurance, like an individual for themselves or for their wives, or their family, they have the opportunity to go to multiple insurance agencies. They have the opportunity to get riders, get different coverage.

In here we're mandating exactly the amount that we're going to cover. So on one front the market enables people to choose the coverage they want and then pay the premiums they can afford. And far too often we forget at the end of the day who is going to end up paying when we have a mandate. It does increase insurance. And according to the fiscal note there will be a cost to various municipalities.

I think there's a few reasons that I am concerned about this legislation. I know it has good intentions. We did not have any patients come and testify that they need this coverage.

In my family, one of my members is actually going to get this coverage as we speak. Each day -- and the cost is somewhere around $ 40 for ten minutes. We pay out of pocket because that person doesn't have insurance. So the reality is in the market, in the insurance field we all have many vendors, many insurance companies who provide these services and that's why there may be coverage at 80 percent. There may be coverage at 60, there may be at 40, but who are we to artificially say we need to cover at 50 percent?

In 2014 we are passing this legislation and we're going to have to look at it again in one or two more years. I don't know why we would pass legislation that in a year or two we are going to have to review all our mandates, every one -- right now we're pushing 55. One of the highest counts in America, indirectly results in some of the highest insurance costs in America.

We will review all of these mandates to see if they are within the essential benefit package. And if they're not, the State of Connecticut will be responsible for those additional costs.

Mr. Speaker, there's also an example. We had literally 500 realtors come to our capitol. And one of their biggest issues was accessibility to insurance for small-business owners and their employees in the Realtor industry. And what we realized was the National Realtor Association has an insurance plan, but there's only two states in America where they will not provide their realtors access to that plan, Connecticut and one other state.

And the reason is because the number of mandates, the costs of insurance in the state of Connecticut prices them out of the market and it doesn't work for the brokers, the Realtors or the National Realty Association.

Third, there's people like my family. Just a few years ago -- we graduate college. You're not making a lot of money. Most people in the private sector pay between 30 and 40 percent of the premiums. We all know Connecticut, our employees have a great plan. They pay 11 percent of the premiums.

So if people like my family, you add these mandates one after another, the cost goes up. And it might be $ 2, $ 5, $ 10, but at the end of the day you can't afford insurance and you get priced out of the market.

And once again, Mr. Speaker, these mandates do add up. I think it's important that we pay attention to the number of mandates and when we really believe that we need a new mandate we have to prioritize them. All of them will be reviewed in a year or two and then either the State is going to have to pay or we're going to have to pass new legislation to curb the number of mandates that we have.

So with those reasons, Mr. Speaker, I will be voting no on this piece of legislation.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further on the bill as amended?

Representative Srinivasan of the 31st, you have the floor, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31st):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

I just wanted to make a couple of general comments that the -- with the medical background that I have on the subject matter. So I was not sure since I'm a freshman is such a thing is permitted on the floor or not, and I wanted to seek your permission for that.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Sir, the bill is amended. The amendment has been adopted. We are debating the bill as a whole. You can feel free to remark, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31st):

Yeah. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Just a couple of general comments on what was raised by Representative Klarides as well as Representative Coutu. It is my understanding that when one applies for medical insurance, and you can pick and choose what your insurance coverage can be or should be.

And so when you look at chiropractic service, like we would do for a plastic surgery for example, some of which is included and not included, it doesn't come under the purview of a mandate in that sense of the word because we could opt not to seek that particular coverage and have a smaller premium.

I think the issue here is confusing between the mandate where it is applicable to everybody or something that we could choose. And once having chosen to pay the extra amount, then the coverage should be appropriate and the customer, the patient should not be taken for a ride where he or she assumes that she has the coverage. She has paid for the coverage.

She has paid for the coverage, and then finds out that the cost, when they go to the chiropractor, is in excess of 50 percent. I think that is where the difference comes between a mandate, which is really -- this is not a mandate in that sense as far as the cost of premiums are concerned.

And the other issue that was raised, why is this specific to the chiropractor? I think among all the fields in medicine, in no other field, luckily, is the co-pay as high as 50 percent. And in my practice as an allergist and other practices, nobody sees a co-pay. You know, we shudder when our patients have a co-pay of $ 20, $ 30 or $ 50 a visit. Definitely not up to 50 percent and more.

Whereas specifically to this particular health field, unfortunately the insurance companies have been charging the premiums and kind of not being fair to the patient by charging them the excess amount of co-pay. And that is what is different about a chiropractor compared to the other fields of medicine.

I'm sorry if I took up the time and made some comments, but these were just general comments in the field and I took the liberty of making then.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for indulging me and giving me this opportunity.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much for your comments, sir.

Will you remark further on the bill is amended?

Representative Candelora of 86th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I rise also to support this bill. I do not believe this it is an insurance mandate, but rather it is, as the good Representative had pointed out, to close an illusory benefit.

We certainly have a public policy here of encouraging preventative medicine, which chiropractic does do. Connecticut right now has some of the highest prescriptions, number of people on prescription drugs in this state. It's up around 9 percent. If we could get that lower we could lower health care costs across the board.

As a personal experience I had a son who -- came off of four prescriptions as a result of chiropractic care and I think that this bill is bringing the needed parity to the system to start giving the proper support that we need to be giving to alternative health. And I would urge everyone to support it.

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further on the bill is amended? Would you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, will all staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Will the members please take their seat. The machine will be open.

THE CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber. The House is taking a roll call vote. Members to the Chamber, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? Will the members please check the board to ensure that their vote has been properly cast. If all the members have voted the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk will please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill Number 5438 as amended by House "A. "

Total Number voting 141

Necessary for adoption 71

Those voting Yea 138

Those voting Nay 3

Those absent and not voting 10

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The bill as amended is passed.

Are there any announcements or introductions? Announcements or introductions? If not we will return to the call of the calendar.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar 104.

THE CLERK:

On page 34, Calendar 104, Substitute for House Bill Number 6471, AN ACT PROHIBITING MOST FAVORED NATION CLAUSES IN HEALTH CARE PROVIDER CONTRACTS, favorable report of the Committee on Appropriations.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Johnson of the 49th, you have the floor, madam.

REP. JOHNSON (49th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I move acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

Will you remark, madam?

REP. JOHNSON (49th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This bill prohibits health plans from including most-favored-nations clause in a contract with health care providers. These clauses are typically used by the largest health plans and they make sure they always get the best deals for their network providers.

Most-favored-nation clauses have a chilling effect on competition and that the provider cannot get a better deal to start up a small plan or help them get a leg up on a dominant plan. Most-favored-nation clauses are really designed to assure that the king of the hill stays the king of the hill. They can be expensive for a provider to prove compliance with most-favored-nation clauses' requirements and to satisfy their contractual obligations.

Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment, LCO Number 6154. I ask that the amendment be called and I be allowed to summarize.

LCO Number 6154. I ask that you call that amendment, please, and that I be allowed to summarize it, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 6154, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule "A. "

THE CLERK:

LCO Number 6154, House "A," offered by Representative Megna and Senator Crisco.

(Deputy Speaker Orange in the Chair. )

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE:

Representative Johnson, please proceed.

REP. JOHNSON (49th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

The amendment simply changes the effective date to assure that existing contracts do not have to be opened up and that the most-favored-nation clauses take effect January 1, 2014 -- or any of the other contracts that expire between the time this bill passes and 2014 will actually not be able to include the most-favored-nation clauses.

(Deputy Speaker Aresimowicz in the Chair. )

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Can you move adoption, madam?

REP. JOHNSON (49th):

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I move adoption of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question before the Chamber is adoption of House Amendment Schedule "A. " Will you remark on the amendment? Will you remark on the amendment?

Representative Coutu, you have the floor, sir.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I just had a question through you. The date that we have effective prior to October 1, 2011, it will not affect those contracts. I just want to verify that we talked to all interested parties to determine that date.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Johnson.

REP. JOHNSON (49th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And thank you for your question.

Yes. We have made agreements with all the interested parties and that none of the agreements will have to be touched until they expire and new ones are made.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Will you remark further on the amendment? Will you remark further on the amendment?

Representative Wright of the 77th, did you want to remark on the bill or the amendment, sir?

REP. C. WRIGHT (77th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

On the bill, sir.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor of the amendment, please signify by saying, aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Those opposed, nay.

The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted.

Will you remark further on the bill as amended?

Representative Wright of the 77th, you now have the floor, sir.

REP. C. WRIGHT (77th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise in favor of the bill. This is a bill that would simply prohibit insurance companies from requiring health care providers, doctors, hospitals from providing them with the lowest possible rate on any procedure.

I know that in my case, in my town, in Bristol Hospital there was a case where the hospital was negotiating a -- with one of the insurance companies who was insisting that they do this. And Bristol Hospital literally spent several months and at least a couple hundred thousand dollars auditing every single patient that they had had in the preceding year, proving that this insurance company was receiving the lowest rate on every single patient on every single case.

This is something that was a great hardship to Bristol Hospital and I just rise in support of this bill so that other hospitals don't have to go through this same procedure.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further on the bill as amended?

Representative Coutu of the 47th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, through you, a couple questions to the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Johnson, please prepare yourself.

Representative Coutu, please proceed, sir.

REP. COUTU (47th):

I just want to verify if there are any other states in America that have this type of most-favored-nation provision.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Johnson.

REP. JOHNSON (49th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And thank you for your question.

Yes. All the surrounding states have the prohibition against the most-favored-nation and 13 other states in addition to that.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

I just couldn't hear, Mr. Speaker. Can you say that one more time, please?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

I'd like to remind the Chamber that while we're asking the questions if we could please watch the noise. The Representative who was asking the question could not hear the response.

Representative Johnson, would you please repeat your reply?

REP. JOHNSON (49th):

Yes. Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

And yes. The surrounding states all have prohibitions against most-favored-nation clauses and 13 additional states in addition to the surrounding states.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And thank you for that answer.

I guess one other question is relating to in the situations where two separate parties are forming a contract, is this a situation where they can negotiate most-favored-nation within these contracts?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Johnson.

REP. JOHNSON (49th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Through you, the most favored nation, this would be a situation where the most-favored-nation clauses would be removed from the contract so there would be no ability, if this bill passes, to have those kinds of clauses in the contract.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

I'm more trying to figure out currently without this piece of legislation, under current law the most favored nation, is it negotiated between two separate parties at this time?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Johnson.

REP. JOHNSON (49th):

Could you ask the questioner to try and make it a little more clear for me so I can understand?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu, could you please reframe your question?

REP. COUTU (47th):

Mr. Speaker, what I'm trying to determine is, is most favored nation in every contract across the state of Connecticut? Or is this something that two separate parties can determine through the negotiation process?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Johnson.

REP. JOHNSON (49th):

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And thank you for your question.

I think, if I understand what you're saying is, can two parties alone make this, make this deal? The problem with the most-favored-nation agreements is that it tends to interfere with the contractual rights of the providers to make agreements with other providers because they crowd the field, so to speak. So that's the problem. So that's why we need this, because it's actually anticompetitive.

And I thank you for your question.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Mr. Speaker, there's many people on both sides of the aisle that would agree. Is most-favored-nation fair? There's a lot of debate over that. And obviously across America there's also quite a bit of debate, because the minority of states only have a similar piece of legislation that supports no more most-favored-nation.

What I'm trying to determine is when a hospital and the potential insurance provider start negotiations, is it for the most part a guarantee that they will end up with the most-favored-nation clause in that contract?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Johnson.

REP. JOHNSON (49th):

No.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

And I think that's where I have some concern, Mr. Speaker. When two people go into contract negotiations for anything, the question is always, how much should government get involved?

I'm not sure if this is negotiated and then results in a lower cost for the majority of hospitals. We know of one situation where this individual hospital hired attorneys. The costs became excessive and it was brought to some of the Legislators in the Chamber that most-favored-nation hurt their hospital. But the question is always, how much government is too much government? And how much government should we have relating to contract law? In this case just a few state, 20 states give or take out of 50, have a situation where they don't have most favored nation anymore.

So through you, Mr. Speaker, relating to most favored nation, do we know if the reason people negotiate and accept that, is it because it decreased costs? Or is there any positives for most-favored-nation? Because it's been there for a while and its supported by some people.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Johnson.

REP. JOHNSON (49th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I think what -- there's only one insurance company that provided testimony during the whole hearing procedure that spoke in favor of the most-favored-nation clauses. All the rest of the health insurance companies spoke against it because the one that spoke in favor of it actually was the largest provider in the state.

And so it was the reason the other insurance companies spoke against the most-favored-nation clauses is because it's anticompetitive and it's been closing the field out for these other health insurance companies.

But thank you for your question.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Coutu.

REP. COUTU (47th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I'll summarize. I know there's bipartisan support and we did have a lot of testimony in favor, supporting getting rid of most favored nation. I do believe -- for the most part I agree with many of those people who testified and said most favored nation is a challenge for hospitals like Bristol Hospital.

I do have a concern once again relating to the potential impact and the precedence that we are going to start and influencing contract negotiations between two hospitals. As far as I know, even if this -- between two hospitals and an insurance provider -- as far as I know, there are many insurance companies across the State of Connecticut. We are the insurance capital of the world. And companies and hospitals have the option to get insurance plans and coverage through many different insurance companies. So while one company may have this, I believe often they have the option to purchase insurance from another company.

So with that, I have mixed feelings about this piece of legislation, but I will support this legislation, Mr. Speaker.

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, Representative.

Representative Perillo of the 113th you have the floor, sir.

REP. PERILLO (113th):

Mr. Speaker, thank you very much.

I just rise very, very briefly in support of the bill before us. Essentially what MFN clauses have done here in the state of Connecticut, they have become very, very anticompetitive.

And I'll make a simple analogy. Imagine if the one station, the largest gas station in your town required that regardless of what the price of their gasoline was, they made you pay the highest price in the State of Connecticut.

That is essentially what MFN does. It's anticompetitive and it leaves hospitals in a situation whereby they have no choice but to accept the lowest reimbursement in order to gain share of patients in their region. And for that reason I rise in support of the bill before us and I would urge my colleagues to support it as well.

Thank you, sir.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House. The members, please take your seats. The machine will be open.

THE CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members to the Chamber. Members to the Chamber. The House is voting by roll.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? Will the members please check the board to determine if their vote has been properly cast. If all the members have voted the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. Will the Clerk please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 6471 as amended by House "A. "

Total Number voting 140

Necessary for adoption 71

Those voting Yea 140

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 11

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The bill as amended is passed.

Are there any announcements or introductions? Are there any announcements or introductions?

Representative Nicastro of the 79th, for what purpose do you rise, sir?

REP. NICASTRO (79th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

For purposes of introduction.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. NICASTRO (79th):

Thank you, sir.

Down in the well of the House we're very proud to have some students here from Bristol Eastern High School, Bristol Central High School and St. Paul High School.

We have Bristol Eastern High School Senior Class President Calvin Brown and St. Paul High School Senior Class Vice President Jason Langeway, Bristol Central Senior Class Officers Desiree Francis and Logan Gomez.

If we could have our young students please stand up and have -- let's give them a nice round of applause, please, and a nice welcome into the House of Representatives.

Thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you all very much on your visit today.

We also have another fine Representative of the city of Bristol that would like to say a few words. Representative Betts of the 78th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. BETTS (78th):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker and thank you for allowing us to do this.

I just want to congratulate all these students who are all going to be going to college. We had a very extensive interview with them. And let me tell you, our future looks very, very bright because of these kids, who, by the way, want to come, live and work in Connecticut.

They're going to come back this summer after college and work here. And they've given us some very good ideas on what we need to do to be able to bring some more young people like them.

Thank you for spending the time with us.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Representative Betts and Representative Nicastro came out and couldn't wait to introduce. They were very impressed by all of you as students and as people. So keep up the great work. And it was our pleasure to welcome you to the House.

If we can give them one more round of applause for coming up today, please.

Thank you.

The House will stand at ease.

(Chamber at ease. )

(Speaker Donovan in the Chair. )

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Will the Clerk please call Calendar 361.

THE CLERK:

On page 18, Calendar 361, House Bill Number 6599, AN ACT CONCERNING DISCRIMINATION, favorable report of the Committee on Judiciary.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Honorable Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Representative Gerry Fox, you have the floor, sir.

REP. FOX (146th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I move for the acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The question is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

Will you remark?

REP. FOX (146th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This bill addresses our antidiscrimination statutes, and what it does is it adds the term "gender identity" or "expression" to our existing statutes which include -- and I'll go through the -- the list of some of our areas where we have antidiscrimination laws -- and it includes race, color, religion, creed, age, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, mental disability or other forms of disability. What this does, Mr. Speaker, is it does add the term "gender identity or expression. " And this bill has been around for -- I think it's been around since before I got here. I know it's been around for about a decade in various forms. It has passed several times out of the Judiciary Committee.

And what -- what happened we had a public hearing where we heard some very compelling testimony from a number of individuals who have gone through the process or -- or are going through the process of either changing their gender or having their gender -- or feeling that their gender is not the gender that they were assigned at birth. And I recognize and I know many of us recognize that this is not common. It's not something that --

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Cafero, for what would you rise?

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Excuse me, Mr. Speaker. May I ask that they volume of the Chamber come down? We're having trouble hearing Representative Fox.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

I ask that the members keep the volume down so that -- Representative Fox is trying to describe the bill. I'd appreciate it by -- if everyone could please listen. If you have any conversations, please take them out into hallway.

Thank you, Representative Cafero.

Representative Fox, you may continue.

REP. FOX (146th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I -- I was saying that this is not a common situation for -- for individuals. It's something that many of us are not familiar with. We have -- but we do -- we did hear testimony on it, and we do recognize and I think all of us recognize that it does, in fact, exist. The conditions of being transgender or questioning your gender or your gender identity is something that does exist, it has existed and is going to continue to exist.

The -- during our public hearing we heard testimony from a number of individuals who described what they have gone through as a result of -- of this experience and this change in their lives or what they are feeling in their lives.

We also heard from people who love these people. We heard from parents who talk about their children. There was compelling testimony from a number of agencies and organizations, including our -- our Child Advocate in support of this bill, also the Connecticut Education Association which represents teachers and students. They came forward with testimony in support of this bill. Also, Mr. Speaker, the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services Center, they -- they also supported this bill. They are the organization that deals with sexual assault victims. They felt that this bill was necessary in order to provide protections to those citizens who do question their -- their gender identity and whose expression of their gender identity is different than the one that had been assigned to them at birth.

I know that there has been a number of discussions and a lot of back and forth with respect to what -- what this bill means, but I -- I think for many of us and I recognized no one here wants to discriminate, no one here is supporting a form of discrimination. And why this bill has come before in the past and why it's here today is it's an effort for us to treat all of our citizens, including those citizens who are not great in number, to give them the same rights as everybody else.

As I said we recognize this is not a large group. It is not -- I don't -- I don't have a specific number, but I know that should this bill pass it's not anticipated that there would be a significant number of increased claims or lawsuits. But it is important to those individuals who are in this situation.

Many of us, should this bill pass, will never -- will not be impacted at all. We'll just go about our lives and it will be -- there will be no change whatsoever. But for those who are in this situation, for those who do meet this -- these criteria, this is something that would -- provide them with those extra protections or the -- the same protections as the rest of us.

I urge passage of the bill.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Would you care to remark further? Would you care to remark further?

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

First of all, I want to thank Representative Fox for bringing out the bill and, most particularly, the way he brought out the bill. He did so, as is his custom, in a respectful manner.

And one of the things he said is -- which I greatly appreciate -- is no one here wants to discriminate. That rings so true with me because my father, 91 years old, God bless him, does not have a bias bone in his body and he and my mother raised their two boys that way. And God willing myself and my wife, my brother and his wife will raise our children that way and hopefully that will pass on for generations. And that's really what we all hope. Because there isn't a person here, as Representative Fox says, that wants to discriminate.

The thought that in history we've had people who have been deprived jobs because of the color of their skin, or their religion or their ethnicity is repugnant to most, if not, all of us. It is repugnant to us. As a father, I have no control over my child's choices in life, what happens to them biologically or psychologically. But I know this, that's my kid, and I'll fight to my death for that kid for he or she to have every single right that they're entitled to.

But I also realize, as we've discussed over the last few days, that there are occasions where in our effort to do good by people, to be fair to people, without intending it, folks, we have unintended consequences that result in being unfair or unjust to other people. And it's our job as a Legislature to weigh that. And this is that one of those kind of bills. It's not an easy one. It's not a no-brainer. And yet one might say if you read the title of the bill it's AN ACT CONCERNING DISCRIMINATION. Would someone want to go on record saying I'm for discrimination personally? Of course not. But it requires us to dig a little deeper and ask some questions to make sure that we're doing the right thing.

And please -- I'm going to say this in advance to this Chamber and I mean this with every bit of sincerity I have in my body. The questions that are going to be asked by me and maybe others mean absolutely no disrespect to anyone -- to anyone. But, as Representative Fox said, the group or class of people that this bill is intended to protect is a small class. And there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about the people that are members of that staff -- this class, excuse me. And we, as a Chamber, as we vote on this need to understand about the class of people that we hope to protect by this piece of legislation.

And with that, through you, Mr. Speaker, I would ask a few questions to Representative Fox.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Representative Fox, the class -- the discrimination that we are trying to prevent in this piece of legislation are people's gender identity and expression and that is a relatively obviously brand new term to our statutes. It might be a new term to some of the people in this room and, most importantly, to many of the people that we represent.

And in the years that this bill has come up it was an education for me to understand the various people that we are hoping to protect with this piece of legislation. There are some common nomenclature that we have used or heard and this is where I -- I don't mean to be disrespectful -- and I need to ask through the Speaker if these -- what the definition is with regard to this law of these terms, if you will, and how they fit into this.

We've heard of the term "transvestite. " Through you, Mr. Speaker, could Representative Fox explain what that is?

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I -- I will do my best to try to identify these -- the terms at least as they have been explained to me and through the public hearing. I -- my understanding of transvestite is that it would mean somebody who -- and there will be those who disagree but -- who acts like the difference -- who acts, for example, as a man who may dress like a woman but is a man in terms of biologically at least.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, does a transvestite -- is that recognized in -- in psychology, in medicine, in psychiatric medicine as was someone is -- I guess what you're saying is physically a man but dresses -- just dresses like a woman or feels like a woman -- identifies themselves internally as a woman?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I -- I do believe it includes dresses. It may also include feels internally like the opposite sex.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

See -- see that's important, folks. Because one of the things we try not to do in legislation, as tempting as it might be, is legislate based on feelings. So it's my understanding that there are certain individuals, I believe they are termed "transvestites" who are born of one sex but internally believe, feel and act like another sex. Is that accurate? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. That -- that may also be identified, I believe, as -- as you -- yes, I do believe that is correct.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Okay. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

Another term that we hear is "transsexual. " Through you, Mr. Speaker, if the good gentleman could define transsexual and maybe distinguish that from transvestite? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. It is my understanding of -- transsexuals are in conflict with their assigned gender at birth. So if somebody at birth is deemed to be a man and -- but internally they feel like a woman and they've been -- they've always felt that way that -- that would be a transsexual.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the gentleman's answer but if -- if -- to me, anyway, that sounds an awful like the transvestite description, and I'm wondering if the good gentleman could distinguish the two.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That's -- the transvestite might be more in line with what people would consider a cross-dress -- cross-dresser whereas the transgender would be the identifying more yourself with internally with the opposite sex.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Is it fair to say that someone who, say, is a man and dresses like a woman -- at least at that moment -- is identifying himself as a member of the opposite sex?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I don't know that that alone is conclusive. I -- it would be an indication that that might be how that person feels.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. We also are aware of the fact that certain people go through sex change operations, have their genitalia changed and their body changed to look like someone -- to look like the opposite sex of which they were born; is that correct? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I -- I believe the procedures that were just described are -- go further than to look like. I -- I think they actually seek to become the opposite sex of what they were born.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And that being the case, in the case of someone who goes through an operation to physically become the opposite sex, do they fall into either the category of transsexual or transvestite?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I believe the term is a post -- postoperative transsexual, I -- I believe.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, the descriptions given by Representative Fox and he also indicated commonly, I assume, it's a commonly used term "cross-dresser. " Through you, Mr. Speaker, other than the act of dressing as either sex, is there -- a psychological or psychiatric thought process assign -- associated with someone who's a quote, "cross-dresser. "

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, that I don't know.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Thank you, Representative Fox.

I -- I might have some other questions but I guess what we're learning is -- and the good Representative is trying his darndest, and I'm certainly not faulting him to describe the differences in the terminology that I just indicated. It's tough and it's tough because a lot of it is internal, unlike a person who has a different color skin, obvious. A person who is -- who is obvious at least to the eye to be a female or male because we have laws with regard to sex -- one might argue -- obvious, someone who is -- of a certain religion less obvious, someone who is of a certain national origin less obvious.

With regard to the descriptions of the people who would be covered under this bill a lot of it is subjective based on feelings. There are various kinds of discriminations that go on beyond not only the classes that we already categorize and prohibit discrimination and even the one that's before us.

You've heard reports that in some cases, maybe that of job opportunities, people who are obese or overweight are discriminated against. In some cases, people who are not appealing to the eye are discriminated against. In some cases, people who are short of stature are discriminated against. I guess it happens. And when we talk about discrimination, at least in our mind, what first comes to mind is to prohibit somebody from saying, Hello, Mr. Jones, you've applied for this job. Well, I'm not giving you the job because you are black or you're white or you're Jewish. You're not getting the job because I don't like those people, blatant, obvious discrimination.

So I'm wondering, in this case, if someone came in to an office, as I've described, and was -- had male features but was wearing a dress, if the perspective employee said, Hey, I think you are a transvestite and I don't like transvestites and I'm not going to hire you for this job.

That is as discriminatory if they had done that if the person was a different color or of a different religion.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, to Representative Fox, do the laws, as we have them today, prevent or -- have it actionable for that hypothetical employer that I just mentioned who said you're a transvestite and I ain't giving you this job, is that person subject to any lawsuit?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. They could be subject to a lawsuit, yes.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

We have laws that prohibit discrimination based on sex. Much of what we've talked about here is how a person defines their sex either internally or by physically altering their sex by operation. That's our current law, and we prohibit discrimination based on that.

We also have laws that prohibit discrimination based on someone's sexual orientation. Now sexual orientation could be described or defined as many things. How is one oriented internally sexually not only to other people. Are they male attracted to a male or a male attracted to a female or a male who might be attracted to both or a female who might be attracted to both. We have laws right now against discriminating against people who feel that way, who are that way. So you have to scratch your head as many of us had for years to say, well, how does this one fit in? And maybe it -- with due respect, you could say, well, there's a subtle difference. But it's so subtle that, again, with due respect to Representative Fox, even he had trouble describing. But you might conclude after all that, hey, Cafero, you just said we're all against discrimination. So whether you can identify a transsexual versus a cross-dresser versus a transvestite versus a postoperative transsexual. What the hell is the difference?

We stand for antidiscrimination so pass the bill. Simple. Not that simple, folks. Not that simple. Because if someone violates the law that we are about to pass, it is a Class A misdemeanor. And a Class A misdemeanor requires that they pay 2,000 bucks and face potential jail term. We take our laws seriously here as well we should. So you have to say well, as we've said before in this Chamber, you just have to obey the law.

But if was clear cut, that wouldn't be a problem. What do I mean by "clear cut?" The sign says stop; you kept going. Huh. Hello? Pretty easy. Speed limit is 55, you went 80. You violated it. Easy. But what about the circumstances here? Could somebody out there get themselves in some serious trouble without ever intending to do so, without ever intending to discriminate as we define it in our mind's eye? I think they could.

If you're a proprietor of a restaurant -- we have some here in this Chamber -- and you have a men's room and a women's room. Yeah, I heard all the talk about the bathroom bill, et cetera. I think it demeaned the concerned, quite frankly, and I resent the label. But these are real live stuff, folks. You own a restaurant, you got a men's room and a women's room. Maybe you've got a constant clientele -- Mrs. McGillicuddy, Mrs. (inaudible), they come every week. And somebody walks in who at that moment feels like a member of the opposite sex. Maybe they're dressed like me, maybe they just have a t-shirt on and jeans. But that particular day they feel like a woman. They want to go use the restroom. Their genitalia is that of a man and use the restroom like a man might. That might be offensive, shocking, disturbing to other people.

So maybe the proprietor of the restaurant says, hey, excuse me, I can't have you use the restroom. Do you mind using the other one?

Now they could say you're violating my rights. Today I feel like a woman. I'm going in that bathroom. And you don't let me, I'm going to sue you.

You see we even under our current law -- under our current law we have exceptions for that. No, we can't discriminate against sex, but in our current law we -- we recognize the fact that there are men's rooms and ladies' rooms, men's dressing rooms and women's dressing rooms, men's locker room and women's locker room. We recognize that because that's common sense.

But this law blurs that line. And you might say, ah, get over it. You're in a restaurant -- too bad. Get over it. It's 2011.

Let's talk about -- forgetting adults -- let's talk about children for a second. I've got to share with you a story just to show you how impressionable second graders are, for example. I'll never forget. I remember like it was yesterday. What was it? Forty-some-odd -- God knows years ago. I'm in second grade. My second grade teacher was Mrs. Barber. Mrs. Barber, I saw her every day, loved her -- loved her. I didn't know Mrs. Barber happened to be divorced. What the heck did I know? We loved Mrs. Barber. Over the Christmas break, Mrs. Barber got married. She came back in January, she was Mrs. Smith. To a second grader that was mind-boggling. It screwed us up for months. How could Mrs. Barber be Mrs. Smith? I'm serious. It actually, for a bit, had a serious disruptive effect on the educational process.

Now under this law if Mr. Jones is teaching second grade and one day feels like a woman and wants to wear a dress. They could do that under this law and, frankly, should be able to -- God bless them. But it happens to be that their occupation is to teach second graders, in my example. Does the employer, the school system in my example, have a right to say, Hey, Joe, it is seriously disruptive to the educational process if one week you come in, you know, dressed as a man and the next week you come in dressed as a woman. It's disruptive. And I -- I'm not going to fire you, of course, but I just -- you know, maybe we could make other arrangements. That's not allowed under this bill.

Folks, that's common sense stuff. You see what we think of discrimination, we think you shall not deprive me of the job, you shall not deprive me of drinking at a water fountain, you shall not deprive me -- but there's other kinds of stuff that can be interpreted as that is my right.

And I want you to think about this. Right now under our current law if you have a female teacher, let's say, or a male teacher -- we can do it both examples -- but a female who walks into a classroom and is dressed provocatively, plunging neckline, short skirt, whatever it might be. And the principal calls that person over and says, hey, your attire is disruptive to the educational process. It is inappropriate for the workplace. And, by the way, it doesn't have to be a -- excuse me -- it doesn't have to be a school, could be a corporation, a law firm, an insurance company. You know you -- you can't come in dressed like that. It's inappropriate. Why? It's distracting.

Now according to this law, I'm not so sure dress codes could be enforced. Think about it. If I was a transsexual or a transvestite or a cross-dresser and I chose one day as a man the next day to dress as a woman and I chose to wear a plunging neckline or a short skirt, do I fall under the same categories if that boss or employer said to me, hey, inappropriate.

Uh-uh, you can't touch me. I'm protected under this law.

Will it happen? I don't know. Could it happen? Yeah.

In real life, it could happen, folks. And that person who's enforcing or the -- that dress code or prohibiting the person from using the ladies' dress room, et cetera, they don't mean -- they're not bad people. They're not trying to be discriminatory. They're not wearing hoods over their heads. They're just trying to exercise a little common sense. But, under this law, they're breaking the law. They're facing a $ 2,000 penalty and possible jail term.

Now you might say, well, come on it's not going to happen that -- well, when would that happen? Well, all it has to happen is once.

And you know what folks? With those kind of examples that I gave, there's easy ways to fix it, easy ways to fix it that we've done in other discriminatory statutes because we recognize common sense. And those suggestions were given over and over again, but they're not, unfortunately, part of this bill.

So if you see people standing up today and you see people saying why are we doing this? You've got to know why. And it's not based on cruelty or meanness or bias. God knows it's not based on that. It's based on common sense, folks -- common sense. You know it when you see it.

I presume the debate is going to be lengthy today, ladies and gentlemen. I ask you to listen to it based upon common sense from your everyday life's experiences. We, as a Chamber, could fix this bill and make it right so we don't discriminate against not a single person but not like this, not like this.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

(Deputy Speaker Aresimowicz in the Chair. )

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further?

Representative Schofield of the 16th, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I want to speak in support of this bill. I think we've all gotten lots of emails on the topic, some for, some against, and there's been a lot misinformation, I think, a lot of red herrings about the situation. And I, as many of you know, am a nurse by background and I kind of look at these things from kind of a clinical perspective. And in talking with some of my colleagues I felt that it might be helpful to look at it a little bit clinically. So I went back and did a little bit of research and wanted to just share some of that with you.

I -- I think what's really important to me in this debate and particularly having heard, you know, read a lot of emails where people seem to think that intersexed or transgendered individuals are just choosing a lifestyle that they don't understand that gender is really a continuum. That it's not black or white or as I say it's not pink or blue, it's a continuum. There are shades of lavender in there which is why I'm wearing purple today.

You know I've worked with a lot of other nurses in my short career as a nurse, one of whom worked at Johns Hopkins for a while. And Johns Hopkins has a specialty clinic -- a specialty service -- inpatient service in their hospital. And I was a nurse a long time ago so I assume it's still there but back then what they did was actually deal with a lot of babies that were born with -- what were called ambiguous genitalia. And there are a number of different conditions where this happens. And what they did back then was pretty much assign, without necessarily really knowing what you were, they would assign a gender at birth. It typically was female because that surgery is easier to do. It's easier to construct female organs than male organs when you've got some confusing combination of the two because back then, and probably still today, when you look at a birth certificate there's a checkbox, male or female. There isn't an “other,” there isn't a checkbox for intersexed. But there are people who are born that way. And so they were given an option. So Mother Nature made have made mistakes with gender assignment and then that may have been complicated further with medical science making mistakes with gender assignment as well.

Gender can be ambiguous externally. You can have a mixture of male and female organs. You can have kind of not a lot of either one. You can have the external looking all one way but the internal being different. You know, we have undescended testes inside, labia on the outside, or the reverse so that the internal and external organs don't match.

And what we're discovering, in more recent decades, is that sometimes even if the internal and external organs look the same that what's in your brain is not the same and that there's a mismatch between your mental gender and your physical gender. So it's not just about XX chromosomes or XY chromosomes which probably you remember from your high school science classes but there are people who are born with XXY -- not sure what those are necessarily. In fact, surprisingly one in 500 to 1,000 men have XXY chromosomes. They don't all show externally that have an expression of different gender but it -- it may affect them. That's called Klinefelter's Syndrome.

There's a condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia in which babies look like girls at birth but when they reach puberty they develop more male looking organs.

There's another condition called gonadal dysgenesis; another one called androgen insensitivity syndrome. There's another condition that's actually fairly common, about one in 200 males have what's called hypospadia where the urethral opening is where a woman's urethral opening would be rather than at the end of their penis. That's something that's often surgically repaired. Their chromosomes may be normal, but it's a symptom of a somewhat gender-bender situation.

So it's -- it's not just chromosomal. What happens in utero is your -- as a fetus? There are lots of chemicals that the maternal body exudes into your uterine environment and that affects how your organs develop. When you're a little tiny embryo, we all have exactly the same set of cells. They look the same. It's that combination of chromosomes and the chemicals that you're exposed to that cause those, sort of, root organs to differentiate over the nine months of your gestation.

If the maternal organs -- if the maternal chemicals aren't released at the right time or in the right quantity your gender expression can be different.

I don't want to, you know, bore you all with a lot of clinical details, but I thought it was important to make it clear that Mother Nature doesn't always get it right, at least not as we see it in the pink versus blue differentiation. And I listed some of these clinical conditions because I wanted you to realize that even though we understand some of these now, there are additional conditions that we probably don't understand where we don't have a scientific name for them yet where that mental gender is different from the physical gender.

And I think it's important to help our constituents understand this because what I hear in my emails is that people don't understand. They really see it as a black or white thing and I see part of our role as helping to educate them because discrimination, historically, has been based on fear of the unknown.

People didn't understand leprosy and they were, as we say today, treated like lepers, tossed off into an island and people threw rocks at them and treated them horribly. People made fun of folks with birth defects. They used to stick them in the circus and the freak shows. People with mental illness were discriminated against.

As we come to understand these things, from a medical perspective over time, we realize all right these people are just like us but a little bit different. God made them a little bit differently is not a reason to assign vicious intent to them or think that they're bad people.

So I just want us all to fight some of the fear mongering and red herrings that we've all been seeing in emails with an understanding that, again, gender is not always clear. It's a continuum. We don't even know everything about it at this point. And I hope you'll join me in helping the rest of the public to understand what a complex issue this is and that we shouldn't discriminate against people just because Mother Nature or God made them differently.

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, Madam.

Representative Mikutel of the 45th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. MIKUTEL (45th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I, like many of my colleagues, have concerns about this bill. Certainly we don't want to discriminate but the perception to discrimination should not preclude us from asking some serious questions and -- and voicing our concerns.

To me, this is an issue of self-expression. And where do we draw the line on self-expression? Does society have the right to draw the line as to what is and is not acceptable behavior? I mean, we do that on many different issues. We -- we certainly don't let people walk around naked in the public square. We don't let people use all the drugs they want to do but a lot of people think using drugs is a matter of self-expression. People who go to nudist camps think it's a matter of self-expression. People who have this gender identity issue think it's a matter of self-expression.

I personally don't care what a person does in his own household. And if a private employer wants to -- adopt a policy that allows cross-dressing, that's fine. I mean if that's the policy they want to adopt, that's fine.

But I -- I get a little concerned when we're dealing with young people, especially captive audience young people, children who are captives in the school system. They're going there. You expect that to be a learning environment. I'm concerned about how this bill, if it becomes law, how does it impact the learning environment of our young children -- but also how does it -- how does it -- how do they deal with it? How does a young child deal with this situation where one day their teacher is dressed like a man and next week he's dressed like a woman? I imagine that that situation can happen.

Representative Fox, is that a possibility if this bill becomes law that I -- that I just described that situation. On any given day can a person who has a gender identity crisis, can that person who is a teacher cross-dress every other day or any other day?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I was about to answer that it could happen today but then when the -- at the end of the question the good Representative said any other day, and I would state that would be very unlikely to use the benefits of this law if somebody is switching back and forth.

REP. MIKUTEL (45th):

But -- but how will --

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Mikutel.

REP. MIKUTEL (45th):

Yes, through you, Mr. Speaker. I -- under the law as I read it they have that protection as -- of self-expression so if one week they want to dress as a man, what -- what would preclude them in the law from dressing like a woman the following week?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. MIKUTEL (45th):

For Legislative intent are we saying that that law would preclude them from -- from being a cross dresser?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The -- the definition that is -- that is provided states that it would be -- it would require that the individual's gender identity be that of the opposite sex -- opposite gender. It would be difficult -- and I don't know of any examples at least that came before us through our public hearings and I know that they testified. There was testimony regarding the other states -- I believe there is 13 other states that have passed this -- oh, excuse me, I'm being corrected -- 16 states that have passed this type of legislation and that there were no examples of somebody alternating day by day and then using the protections of this law.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Mikutel.

REP. MIKUTEL (45th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. But is that -- could that be a possibility even though you don't know of any particular instance?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. If the individual were -- were changing their identity on a day-to-day basis --

REP. MIKUTEL (45th):

-- but not -- excuse me, Mr. Speaker. Not necessarily on a day-to-day basis. Let's say on a -- on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Mikutel, just for the procedure -- this is going to be a long debate. Let's make sure we're addressing all questions to the Chair and the question through you, Mr. Speaker, so I don't have to guess as to when the question has ended and then allow the good Representative to answer.

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I believe the question was -- was changed from day-to-day to week-to-week, and I would think that the same logic would apply in that one would not successfully prevail using this bill as a basis for a discrimination lawsuit if they were not, in fact, acting in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity.

REP. MIKUTEL (45th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. But if a person likes to cross-dress and under this bill, as I read it, if he is -- or she is afforded -- protection to do that, how can you say that the person on a, let's say, on a month to month basis decides that they want to -- to cross-dress and -- I know -- are you saying that that is -- that is going to be precluded under this bill?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. This is an antidiscrimination bill. And what it is doing is adding a -- a group to our existing classifications --

REP. MIKUTEL (45th):

I know it has.

REP. FOX (146th):

-- with respect to discrimination. With respect -- what it's adding is gender identity or expression. It does not necessarily mean that one who likes to cross-dress. It is somebody who really is, as Representative Schofield previously stated, really is somebody who identifies with a gender that is different than the one that has been assigned to them.

REP. MIKUTEL (45th):

Through you --

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Mikutel.

REP. MIKUTEL (45th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. My understanding of this bill is that -- and your definition of a transvestite includes cross-dressers and those are people who do not have to biologically change their sex. They're just people who -- who like to dress in the opposite sex' clothing. So they, to me, are covered under this bill.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, to the Representative Fox, are they not covered under this bill and afforded legal protections?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. It -- my answer would be that it depends if their purpose for cross-dressing is related to their gender identity as well.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Mikutel.

REP. MIKUTEL (45th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I -- I really want to focus on how this impacts on our constituents. I'm not quite sure and I think other Legislators are not quite sure as to how -- what this law -- what this law will mean in terms of how it impacts parents, how it impacts the school system, how it even impacts employers. I'm going to listen to this debate.

You know, all I can say is that our constituents expect us to use good judgment and common sense in passing laws. They expect us to look out for their welfare and especially the welfare of their children. Again, I have nothing against what people do in their own homes but when it -- when it impacts society and it impacts children, in particular, we must be careful that we are not turning the norms of society upside down to protect the small class of individuals' desire to be different, to express themselves differently.

I -- I guess I want to ask one last question to Representative Fox. Would you -- through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. MIKUTEL (45th):

Representative Schofield mentioned some issues relating to why a person be -- becomes a transvestite. I mean it's like a biological thing I recall, but what is -- what is the American Psychiatric Association's position on this? Do you -- do you have -- do you know what their position is with respect to transvestites?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I don't know their position specifically with respect to transvestites. There was testimony -- I don't have it in front of me, though, from a psychology or psychiatric organization that is in support of this bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Mikutel.

REP. MIKUTEL (45th):

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Well, I'm going to listen to this debate. I want people to know that I'm going to try to be understanding. I'm going to try to be sympathetic but I -- I need to weigh that against how I feel this will impact my constituents.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much for your questions and comments, sir.

Representative Rowe of the 123rd, you have the floor, sir.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you. Good evening, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Good evening, sir.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you. Maybe I can start with a few questions to the proponent please. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox, please prepare yourself.

Please proceed, sir.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you. When you brought out the bill, Chairman Fox, I think you referenced -- somewhere in your discussion -- how big or small a problem this was and how many people, perhaps, this -- this impacted. Could you repeat that answer or tell us how big a problem this is maybe is a better way to frame the question? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And through you, I don't know if I was specific other than to say it's a -- it would be a very small percentage of our population.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you.

And do you -- do you know the number -- the percentage number? I mean not -- not in trying to nail you down to a precise figure but we're talking less than 1 percent. Are we talking less than one-tenth of 1 percent, as best you know please, through you?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Somebody may be able to get me the information. I'm not sure that there's a -- an actual count, but it is a extremely low percentage. So I'm sorry if I don't have a direct answer.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you.

Now, if we could -- well, let me ask you a related question. How many -- are you aware that there have been discrimination claims made by individuals based upon their gender identity? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, there has.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Okay.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you.

And can you tell us how -- how numerous or innumerous those have been? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps a way to -- to answer the question and that might help to get it where the Representative is going is the -- to look at the fiscal note which I believe estimates that there would be less than 10 cases per year that this would impact.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you.

Do you know the basis of OFE's estimation that we're looking at fewer than 10 a year? Through you please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Your back and forth is -- you're doing great.

I -- I presume that they looked at the number of cases that have been filed.

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I don't have a direct knowledge as to the basis.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

I'll try and ask longer question so you can do what you need to do up there but --

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

So -- so what we know so far is that the -- the gender identity issue applies to a very small percentage of people and that we have an estimate or guesstimate that fewer than 10 people annually would avail themselves of this -- of this statute were it to pass.

Maybe we could -- we could talk a little bit about the standards that I believe are found -- to the extent there are standards, beginning in line 74. Am I correct that the standards by which we will use to identify one who is claiming a gender identity or expression discrimination is found in lines 74 through 78? Through you, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. That is correct.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Okay.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Okay. Thank you. So the standard that -- that has been set forth in this legislation is that gender identity or expression means a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth. Correct? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. That is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Through you, is there anything else in the 30 so paged bill that gives us a better idea of how to -- how to define or gives us additional standards by which we can ascertain to whom this would apply? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. There are -- perhaps, I don't know if the Representative is getting to this but there is an amendment that has been filed when I initially brought out the bill I'm not sure if it had been actually -- if it had actually come out. And I'm not sure if there's a fiscal note yet.

There is? Which there is a note. I'm getting a nod on the heads -- nod of the head saying that there is. And there's no fiscal impact so if the Representative wants to continue in this line of questioning, perhaps, this will be a good opportunity for me to call this amendment if we want to go along because it does provide additional standards in the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe. The question is to you. Do you want to continue debate -- the debate or would you like to see the amendment? Is that where your question is going or would you like to go to another area?

REP. ROWE (123rd):

I think it's probably where I'm going with this line. Let me ask you. Where do I -- what happens to me in the queue -- on the board? Am I going to be 73rd or --

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

No, not 73rd. We will return to you after the good Representative brings out the amendment, sir.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Okay and if it's the Chairman's pleasure, I will -- I will yield the floor I suppose and we can bring out -- or he can bring out that amendment and we'll go from there.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Okay. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox, you have the floor.

REP. FOX (146th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And thank you to Representative Rowe.

We did have a number of discussions earlier today regarding some of the questions involving how you -- how do you define -- what goes into identifying someone's gender identity or expression. And there were some who felt that the definition was somewhat limited so with that, Mr. Speaker, and I would ask that the Clerk call an amendment. It's LCO Number 6685 and if it could be called, I'd be allowed to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Will the Clerk please call LCO Number 6685 which will be designated as House Amendment Schedule "A. "

THE CLERK:

LCO Number 6685, House "A" offered by Representative Fox.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection to summarization?

Hearing none, Representative Fox, you have the floor to proceed with summarization, sir.

REP. FOX (146th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

What the amendment attempts to do is to establish a means by which a court or -- a court could determine evidence that would lead them to support a claim for discrimination based on gender identity or expression. There were those who felt that -- that medical history, care or treatment should be something that would provide evidence of an individual's gender identity or expression. So that -- that is one potential basis.

There's also those who -- to get to the situation of, you know, what if somebody decides one day to be one gender, change it the next day, change it back. There was -- it's a provision here that says that the person's gender identity would be consistent and -- consistent and uniform assertion of that person's identity. So these would all be evidence of that person's claim -- or evidence to support that person's claim of discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

There's also at the last line of the amendment, line 12, that the person could not assert this claim, could not say that they are discriminated against based on their gender identity or expression if they are making that assertion for an improper person -- purpose. So it is hoped that this amendment will help to provide some clarity to those who had some reservations regarding the bill, and I would urge adoption of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

The question before the Chamber is on adoption of House Amendment Schedule "A. " Will you remark on the amendment?

Representative Rowe of the 123rd, you have the floor, sir.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

I do. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And on the amendment this obviously does flesh out better what they -- what is -- frankly, I think, in the underlying -- there's a standard list definition so this gives some guidance.

And maybe if I could just -- just ask one or two quick questions. The -- in line -- in line 8 -- beginning in line 8 when it talks about -- and this I think is the new language -- but not limited to medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held part of a person's core identity or not being asserted for an improper purpose. Does this -- does this language seek, at least in the beginning part maybe in line 8 when it talks about medical history, does this amendment seek to recognize that there is a American Psychiatric Association definition or diagnosis of gender identity disorder? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I'm not sure if it's called gender identity disorder. However, there -- there was testimony throughout the public hearing that medical treatment, medical -- medical history is -- is something that many of those who are undergoing or are in this situation would -- would have gone through. And so this will be one means by which evidence could be presented that a discrimination claim based on gender identity or expression could be supported.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you.

And through you, in line 7, it reads which gender related identity can be shown by providing evidence, et cetera. Ought we -- ought we -- well, I was going to say ought we but -- ought the amendment not read which gender-related identity must be shown by providing? In other words, by using the word "can," are we -- are we again being too vague and why -- why wouldn't the amendment require this type of -- this type of evidence? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. It -- the reason it does not say -- or it says "can" is because in some situations there would be no medical evidence but there might be a consistent and uniform assertion meaning that somebody hasn't shown for some time that they are of this other -- that they believe -- that they identify with another gender. So it was not meant to be limiting but it was meant to give guidance, in essence, to a court that this is the type of evidence that would be used to support a claim.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you.

And in line 12 where the new language ends with "or not being asserted for an improper purpose," can you talk about the improper -- the reason improper purpose was included in the language please? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. For some that was included reluctantly. They -- it was aimed more to address some concerns from those who had questions about the bill that an individual could use this bill for an improper purpose. It was not meant to say that they would but it was meant to say that they could not if they did.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Okay. Thank you.

And I guess that's -- that's all the questions I've have -- have on the amendment. Maybe I'll -- the -- I think the amendment improves slightly the underlying definition but the fact that the word "can" is in there and the fact that there are still so many ways, vague ways, frankly, in which one will be able to avail themselves of this statute -- of the amendment.

I think that it runs the danger of including not just the people that are intended to be included but a host of others. So I appreciate and I know the Chairman has made efforts to tighten things up and have a more workable bill but this, in my estimation, falls short so I will not be supporting the amendment.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Just as a point of information also with all the folks lined up to speak on this bill, we are referring to the amendment so if you'd like to speak on the amendment, if you raise your hand or stand, I will recognize you and put you on the list as not to clear the board.

In that vein, I represent -- I recognize -- Representative Klarides of the 114th. Ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I rise for a few questions to the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

And I'd like to say first, I know the House Republican Leader has mentioned this before I -- I have to applaud Representative Fox for all the work he's done on this and his good faith effort to try and come to some agreement. And I -- I admire that and I would like to thank him for that.

But through you, sir, I'd like to ask a few questions of the Chairman.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, ma'am.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I know my colleague from Trumbull had asked the question about line 7, the word "can" being in there. So I won't go through that again.

I guess my question would be in line 8, talking about everything in lines 8 through 12 and can be used as evidence including but not limited to -- and it goes through the litany of things that we can look at. Are those things that the person who is claiming that he or she has been discriminated against can use as evidence to prove that he or she does fit into this protected category? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Klarides.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And if the Chairman can just briefly go through how a case like this might be handled if somebody believes they have been discriminated against and he or she then has the burden of showing that they fit into this category that should be protected, what happens after that? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. It can depend upon the context what you -- whether it's employment, whether it's denial of -- of access, but it would apply -- should this bill become law, it would apply the same way as any other discrimination case would be brought in that a complaint would be filed usually with the CHRO and a hearing would be held.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Klarides.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And I'm asking these questions honestly just for the edification of the Chamber who might not be familiar with how one of these cases might be handled. And at the end of the day when the person who believes he or she has been discriminated against presents their evidence as to why they believe they fit into this category, would a judge make the final determination? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, or a hearing officer or judge.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Klarides.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

So as -- as with any judge or hearing officer making determination, it's based on their subjective opinion based on the evidence that they -- they hear during -- during the hearing or the case. Would this list in this amendment in lines 8 through 12? Because we say "evidence including but not limited to," this is just a list of possible things that the person who believed they're being discriminated against could use to show that they fit into the category that was protected? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. As -- as the language says it's not limited to but it is -- it did identify some of the strongest concerns that people had and amongst them included some sort of independent medical verification, as well as a continuous assertion of this -- of an identity that is different than the one that they were assigned.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Klarides.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And let's just imagine for a second that -- that this amendment did not exist or did not become part of the underlying bill and that underlying bill became law without this part in it. How would one go forward in trying to overcome their burden of proof to show that they belong to this group that was being protected? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

The question is -- should -- if the amendment did not pass, what would be the impact of the underlying bill? I still -- I do believe that the -- criteria that are set out in the amendment would still be strong evidence of one who was bringing a claim of discrimination. So -- I don't know that it would change it so much but it -- what the purpose of the amendment is to do is to state, as part of the bill, and outlined in the bill that these are the types of criteria that would support this type of claim.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Klarides.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

So if this amendment did not pass and the underlying bill did pass, someone who were -- who was -- found themselves in the category of overcoming a burden of proof to prove they were in this category of protected people could use medical history, could use consistency and uniform assertion of gender-related identity, the belief that -- the belief that that gender-related identity is sincerely held and any of these in lines 8 through 12. The person could use these things anyway to prove if this amendment did not pass to show that they're -- that they fit into this protected category. Is that correct, Mr. Speaker, through you?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, they could use these criteria anyway.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Klarides.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I thank the gentleman for his answers.

I guess my problem, at this point, is even though I -- as I mentioned earlier -- it was certainly a good faith effort on the part of the Chairman.

We've listed these things in here but in reality what this is is a suggestion list. You might want to use these things if you find yourself in this case -- in this situation, but it won't really make any difference insofar as what we have to prove in overcoming a burden of proof legally. Because the language we have is "can" be shown by providing this evidence so it's not a must. So it may or may not and it's evidence including but not limited to. So you may use these; you may use another thing. So this is a suggestion list, of sorts, which I appreciate but, in my opinion, doesn't change, at all, the underlying bill.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, madam.

Would you remark further on the amendment before us? Would you remark further on the amendment before us?

Representative Thompson, you have the floor, sir.

REP. THOMPSON (13th):

Sorry. I've been very quiet all year so I'm not too familiar with all of this.

I've listened to the debate and, certainly, I've had many minutes, perhaps hours, thinking about this issue over the years. And I came to the conclusion that I believe that we have something that we should correct.

And I -- I can best explain it by a young man I grew up with. We both went to the same high school. We chummed around. And I was the athlete playing baseball and basketball and pretty good competition. He was the guy who enjoyed dancing and working hard but enjoyed different things. And he dated at that time. Well, the long and short of it was he was, in my terms, gay. And it didn't change anything as far as I was concerned. But I went off to the service right after high school and my friend went to college. And in college he participated in a form of the ROTC only he became a Marine Corps officer and I became -- in my youth -- a Marine Corps private.

I went overseas for a couple years -- not for a couple of years. I spent a year in Korea. Came home a corporal, I was barely 20 years old and I was released. My friend, after college, went into the Marines as an officer, spent four years there and was discharged honorably as a captain.

We didn't see very much of each other. I -- went away to school, and I spent most of my formative years up in Vermont. And he went to work and I think he was very close to my sister and my family and so I kept tabs with him. And he has lived an exemplary life, never married, has a partner and as far as I know served his country honorably, and so on.

And we had some reunions and I saw him and he was just another guy. But he would be affected by this legislation and am sure would handle it fine. But I -- I think it's very difficult for me. I have my own -- excuse me.

I will try to stay on the amendment. Well, the amendment defines something and tries to put in so many words an explanation about the physical and background that affects some of our -- our people who are affected by this. But I think, in all, I would be crazy not to simply say that Linda Schofield, the Representative, gave a very, very, I think, clear explanation of how some people are in -- become involved in this situation.

My friend went off to the Marines. He survived four years in that organization. And I'll tell you, I didn't -- didn't have to stay that long with them but I survived, too. And he's a man with a problem, and I think that problem was explained by Linda. I don't think the world will come tumbling down. I think religious rights, and so on, are protected under the law or under the proposal -- or defined correctly under the proposal.

So I would be remiss if I would single him out for any kind of discrimination or anybody else like that. And I -- I think they have a cross to bear in some ways. They manage. We have all known people who are, for want of a better word, gay and are homosexual and live a very decent life and contribute to our society and don't cause problems. And a lot of their social life is among each other but some of it is joined with us. And it's never been a problem in my life, I don't believe, nor in my friend's life. But I believe he probably took some heat along the way. So I -- I think that the definition helps the cause and, you know, is a good explanation. And as I said, Representative Schofield, I thought, did a very nice job in explaining what may be a terrible burden to carry through life, but some people do it with class. And I think it's possible, as long as we recognize that this situation exists in our society and it hasn't brought us down, I don't think. And people have survived, we have survived. And they have a cross to bear and they bear it, I think, in most cases bravely and courageously and contribute positively to our society.

So I think to discriminate against them because of this is wrong and that should be removed. And I believe that we'd be doing the right thing. That's my belief. So I wanted to add that -- my two cents to the argument.

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further on the amendment?

Representative O'Neill of the 69th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I have a few questions, if I may, to the Chair of the Judiciary Committee and proponent of the amendment to go through some aspects of the amendment and get some definition of it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I think I'm going to start at the -- at the bottom of the amendment and work my way backwards through it.

So I would ask in the language that's here it says that the gender identity or expression is not being asserted for an improper purpose. And I'm not sure exactly what that is supposed to mean. And since this is going to probably construed by, at least, the CHRO and possibly by a court at some point, it might be helpful if we identify what would be considered by the proponent of the amendment to be improper purposes for the assertion of a gender identity or expression. So if the Chair of the Judiciary Committee could give me some examples of what he believes improper purposes would be.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. There was, I believe, testimony during -- or not testimony but discussion during the debate when this item was voted on in the Judiciary Committee, as well as discussion that has taken place throughout the course of this bill whether it be the public hearing or after this bill came out of the committee, that individuals would -- you'd take advantage of this provision -- or take advantage of this addition to our antidiscrimination law and utilize it somehow for their own personal advantage whether it be -- and it's difficult to think of an example because I don't -- I don't necessarily believe that it should be part of the bill, but it was done more in a way to -- make those who had this concern be somewhat at ease with the -- with the prospect of this being added to our antidiscrimination laws.

I guess -- I guess some of the examples -- if I can recall and maybe the members who proposed those examples can state them but -- something along the lines of somebody claiming to be a different gender for some sort of, whether it be financial advantage, maybe there was -- I think there was a comment regarding -- getting better insurance rates. Perhaps just utilizing this antidiscrimination law as a means to stay they're -- say they're another gender when their -- when they-- that is really not their gender identity.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Okay. What I -- derived from that answer is, and I will follow up a little bit but, that the proponent himself does not necessarily believe, can't really come up with any examples that he believes would constitute an improper use of it but relying on a recollection of someone of making an assertion that a person might try to use this statute and the protections afforded it under it to get a better insurance rate.

But -- I guess the question is does the -- does the proponent believe that, in fact, that would be asserting a, under this, a gender expression or identity of, let's assume for the moment, a male asserting to be female on an insurance application because you get a lower rate on either car insurance or perhaps life insurance or something that that would, in fact, be an improper use of -- of their gender identity or expression and that if they were challenged by the insurance company, for example, that -- or told they couldn't make that assertion that would, in fact, be a -- a improper use of this statute? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

Okay. So -- and I thought I also heard that a large part of this language was meant to -- and if I could summarize it to sort of give the opponents of it or those who are uncomfortable and felt uneasy about this legislation that this language is sort of a -- essentially a kind of a comfort to make them feel more comfortable with it that there is some sort of protection. And aside -- but aside from the insurance example that the proponent cannot think of any other examples of an improper use of this assertion of a different gender from their physiological one.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. If an individual were to say that they identify with a gender that is different than the one that they are assigned at birth or -- or different than their physiology and they were to use that for any purpose other than that -- that that is their true -- truly how they identify, then it could be an improper purpose. If they were to use it for a financial purpose, if they were to use it to take advantage of a different rate for a different gender, that sort of thing. It would -- it would be the type of thing and the purpose of this entire bill is to protect those who do identify whose -- with a gender that is different than that by which they were assigned.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

Okay. I -- I think there are maybe two different issues that are sort of mixing together here. And perhaps it's my fault, perhaps, for starting at the bottom instead of at the top. But -- but assuming that an individual has consistently for a number of years who is biologically a male, dressed and expressed themselves as a female. They've not undergone sexual transformation and transitioned from male to female but they have simply dressed as a female, called themselves a female, express themselves as a female. And they apply for insurance and it's -- and claimed to be female on the insurance policy. Would that be considered to be an improper purpose? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

If they are doing so -- if they are act -- if they are acting in a way that is consistent with their gender identity that they can do. If they are acting in a way solely to benefit financially and I -- I would assume that that would be an improper purpose.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

Okay. So that -- so that under the terms of this and really I don't know the degree to which this had been discussed earlier of whether it is, for example, to have a -- an insurance policy, even though insurance rates are different because males have different medical trajectories and become susceptible to diseases at earlier ages and I guess they get lower life insurance rates, at least when I remember looking at the tables -- and how much would life insurance is going to cost for a male at a certain age and a female at a certain age that it would be okay for a person who says -- expresses themselves consistently as -- as female even though they are biologically male to make a claim as say that they are female for purposes of obtaining a life insurance. I just want to be clean that's one of the things this bill is going to authorize to be done.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I don't know that there's a specific reference to life insurance in this -- in the antidiscrimination laws so I -- that -- if it is not a current basis for discrimination then that would not be the intent. So -- through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

Okay. My recollection is that there were some provisions in this bill, and I -- I don't have -- I'm trying to stick to the amendment. I don't want to drift off into the -- the details of the bill. But since this changes the definition and then sort of opens the door to everything else in the bill. Is -- is there a provision in the bill that requires for -- relates, let's say, to financial matters such as obtaining credit? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I'm not sure if there is. If the Representative is aware of a section I can point to that.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

I -- I thought that -- I mean I know that it covers a wide range of things including obtaining electrical service and -- a variety of other activities. There's a long list of changes to discrimination laws and the inclusion of gender identity or expression. But that would seem to me to be another potential area, I suppose, it would be -- and I'll give the gentleman some time maybe while I'm talking to find one. But he mentioned some kind of financial consideration. I imagine that there are loans, for example, small business programs or something like that that are targeted towards racial minorities and women. And I know I have seen these kinds of programs mentioned in various places where a certain amount of money is -- is set aside. The State in its contracting programs has set aside for minority- and women-owned businesses. So and I think there's language in the bill that relates to the agencies of the State not being able to discriminate based on gender expression or identity.

So is -- is there a provision, for example, there were a person could apply for a loan as a -- who is biologically male -- but apply for a loan (inaudible) checking the box that says "female" saying that they qualify for a loan that's meant for minority- and women-owned businesses and they meet the criteria in terms of they dress as a female, identify themselves as a female, express themselves as female even though they are biologically male to anybody looking at them from a physical standpoint? Would this affect a state program that has a set-aside for male- and minority-owned -- or female- and minority-owned businesses? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I don't know if the Representative can point to a specific section.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

Well, I was kind of hoping that the proponent of the bill might be able to tell me if there are places where this -- I'm trying to figure out where there's this improper language fit into the bill. At what -- what aspects -- what abuse of the potential rights under this bill does not being asserted for an improper purpose cure? What -- what do they -- what does that fix in that might be improperly used in the bill or it might constitute a misuse of the bill? It sounds like there are no -- am I to understand that there are no financial benefits that one can derive by being -- by asserting a gender other than the one that they were assigned at birth? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I don't think that there would be. However, it began with the question as to what was mentioned during committee and that was my recollection that somebody had asked that question. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

I -- I've been given to understand that 32-204, which is covered by the bill and affects those -- that section of our law deals with DECD grants. And so apparently -- and -- and the DECD grants do provide for a -- a benefit for female-owned businesses as I understand it. So that this law -- the bill that's before us and now the amendment that's before us would affect how those grants might be allocated. And I -- so is it the proponent's understanding that that's correct? That does -- the DECD would be affected by the bill and, therefore, the amendment affecting the bill would affect the grants in some way? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The -- to the extent that it would apply -- and I'm looking for a section where it might, there is certainly antidiscrimination -- I believe that my recollection is that there's antidiscrimination language in a number of places. So I do think the Representative is correct in that. And to the extent that someone has stated that might -- their gender or identity or expression would apply then to that extent, they could not be discriminated against.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

All right then. So if the bill is adopted a person could -- it sounds like that a person who is -- has said for a period of time -- and I'm not sure how many years it has to be -- but for whatever period of time is considered an adequate period of time and they've consistently presented themselves, expressed themselves as female. They apply for a DECD loan or get a contract from the State that is part of a set-aside for women-owned businesses. A biological male asserting themselves and presenting themselves as female would be eligible to get that contract or loan. It would not be an improper action for them to make that assertion. Is -- is that correct? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. It would require that their gender identity or expression be -- be that of the gender that they are purporting to be.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

Okay. Then, so if -- if a person presented themselves as -- as a male, a biological male presented themselves as female to the DECD saying I want to get the woman-owned business contract, set-aside as a (inaudible) done for -- for women. That would be an improper purpose then that they could not be eligible for the loan because they were not biologically female. And is -- is that what would happen that DECD would have to turn them down saying even though you dress like a woman and identify as a woman because you're not biologically female, you do not get the women-owned business set-aside? Is -- is that correct? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I -- I don't know that that is correct. I believe they can -- if -- if the basis for denial is the -- based upon the gender identity or expression of the individual applying then, perhaps, that would be a basis for denial.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

I -- I guess I'm puzzled. I'm not sure. If -- if a person shows up and they've -- they've met the other criteria in the amendment to meet the definition of what it takes to be, in effect, a sincere expresser of a different identify from their biological assigned-at-birth gender identity and they apply for a loan, are they going to be able to get the loan or the set-aside which is intended for females if it's a male applying who expresses themselves as a female? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. When -- that the term "improper purpose" would mean -- the way I would read it -- is if somebody were claiming to have a different gender identity for purposes of getting the loan.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

Okay. Well, I have a feeling this is something that is going to end up being sorted out but at a different location. I thank the gentleman for his answers.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further on the amendment before us?

Representative Carter of the 2nd, you have the floor, sir.

REP. CARTER (2nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Just two quick questions to the proponent of the

bill -- the amendment.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. CARTER (2nd):

The -- I want to make sure I understand this

completely. The way the amendment reads is if somebody is discriminated upon by being transgender, they do require some sort of evidence that shows that they're either in treatment, have a uniform assertion but if they don't have anything like that they can be -- how to say this, they can be discriminated upon? Let me rephrase that, make it easy.

I've got to have proof that I'm transgender? Is that correct?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Anybody bringing in an a claim of discrimination would need to have proof.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Carter.

REP. CARTER (2nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

So -- so here's -- here's one concern I have because I see this amendment as actually being discriminatory. And I'll say why. This amendment or this bill actually claims to protect the freedom of expression for gender. And I would say that if you have a middle aged man, like myself, who is married with children, and is actually leading a double life and is interested in, you know, expressing themselves but they do it on their own time. And they do it somewhere else, in another county, maybe their wife knows about it. If something happens and that person's discriminated upon because of their behavior, they haven't seeked any medical attention, they have no proof, except maybe what their wife has said, and that would be a protection.

So I almost see this as something that is not going to protect somebody under the law the way this amendment is written. And I know the bill seeks to express -- excuse me -- to protect the freedom of expression of someone's gender. But if I don't have proof then I'll say well, you're not going to protect me.

And -- and I know that sounds like a twisted way to look at it but when I look at the amendment, I think there's -- there's a certain flaw and it points out exactly why this issue is so difficult to legislate.

That's it, Mr. Speaker, thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment? If not, I will try your minds. All those in favor of the amendment, please signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESMOWICZ:

Those opposed, nay.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Nay.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESMOWICZ:

The ayes have it. The amendment's adopted.

Will you remark further on the bill is amended?

Representative Rowe of the 123rd, sir, you have the floor.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

And I don't remember where we were when we left off but now that -- that we have adopted that amendment and come up with some sort of standard, deficient though it is. Maybe just a few more questions to the proponent.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESMOWICZ:

Representative Fox, please prepare yourself.

Representative Rowe, please proceed.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you.

Does -- do the protections of the bill apply to

individuals in schools, students in schools and by that I mean whether it's elementary or -- or high school?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe -- I mean Representative Fox, I apologize, sir.

REP. FOX (146th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Now it's Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

It is. Thank you.

And through you, is there a concern that even with these new guidelines that students of a school -- and we can certainly think of probably many different hypothetical's and I won't go through them

all -- but, in general, the difficulty of a boy in school, say a high school boy who is seeking to use this use this broadly written bill as an opportunity to do something he wouldn't be able to do regular -- ordinarily and that would be access the restroom or the locker room of the girls.

And I guess my question is, isn't it true that's a real concern under this bill?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The testimony that we received in support from -- from the Child Advocate, as well as the Connecticut Education Association and others, I believe they did and through their testimony, I do believe they took that into account and while it is rare, there are individuals, young people, who do fall into a category where they are questioning their gender identity or expression, or they that feel they are assigned a different gender identity. They feel they are different than the gender identity that was assigned to them.

They -- those -- those who are in the schools those who testified did support this bill because they felt it  would help them in -- in helping them address the situation as they arise. It's something that is rare. It does happen, but it happens now.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you. I appreciate that answer.

And, again, to get back to what Representative Cafero and -- and Representative Klarides said. You know the difficulty that I think we're having is that the bill is so broad. It's going to invite those who we don't intend to offer for these protections to the protections.

So, I guess I would -- I would reiterate the issue that when you're talking about schooling -- and it seems to me it's still under the bill there would be plenty opportunity for boys, perhaps, you know, you can envision a soccer team. Boys are on a soccer team and boys being boys will seize an opportunity to avail themselves of the women's -- of the girls locker room. And I won't go into it further, but I think that's a real issue because this bill isn't narrowly tailored. It's going to sweep them in and give them that opportunity.

Maybe I could ask another question on and this

might be my final question, but is there any religious

exemption contained in the bill?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. There is a section that does deal with those who are asserting their religious convictions.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Can you tell me where that is?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. It's towards the end

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you.

REP. FOX (146th):

It's -- and let's see. Here is it, section 37, yes, I believe. Page 32, if you're -- if you're working off of the file copy, lines 1014, 1015. I'm just that's where I see religious corporations, entities.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

I see and --

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Through you, that's new language?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

It's new language with respect to this -- to this bill. I mean the language, as I understand, it is consistent with the -- with Gay Rights Legislation that was passed, I believe, in 1991.

I think that served as the model for this.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Okay.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you.

And I'm certainly appreciative of that. We do have that religious exemption or protection language there.

And, you know, I think a lot of the -- a lot of the objections to the bill are the -- the poor standards and the poor guidelines that will -- that will hamper us in protecting those that we're seeking to protect.

But the other difficulty, I think, is the problem of, you know, restrooms, bathrooms, and opening up what are now, men's rooms and women's rooms to maybe not all comers but to those that would avail themselves of the vagueness of the bill to do bad things.

And I'm not talking about those with gender identity. I'm talking about those that will use the provisions of the bill, whether it's a peeping tom or whether it's a pedophile or whether it's someone who is going to claim that they're something they're not in order to -- to do things that are otherwise criminal.

So, happily, I have an amendment and if I could ask the Clerk to call LCO Number 6516, and I'd be given leave to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESMOWICZ:

Will the Clerk please call LCO Number 6516, which would be designated as House Amendment Schedule "B. "

THE CLERK:

LCO Number 6516 House "B" offered by Representatives Rowe, Klarides and Cafero.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESMOWICZ:

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment.

Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection to summarization?

Hearing none, Representative Rowe, you have the floor to continue with summarization, sir.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And to summarize, this -- this amendment would conform the gender identity or expression and offer the same protected status as we afford people based upon sex.

In 1994, when this legislature created a protected class for one's sex, in other words, you can't discriminate against one based upon their sex, the Legislature carved out just a couple of exemptions, common sense exemptions. And those exemptions, according to current law are -- are really two: the rental of sleeping accommodations provided by associations on a temporary or permanent basis for the exclusive use of persons of the same sex; or separate bathrooms or locker rooms based on sex.

So the -- when we protected sex as a class, the Legislature exempted those common sense things out and now it was sufficiently narrowly tailored and has worked, I believe. This amendment merely seeks to add those exemptions to gender expression or identity, and I would move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir.

Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the --

A VOICE:

(Inaudible. )

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Rowe.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

May I have one minute please? Ten seconds?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The House will stand at ease.

REP. ROWE (123rd):

Forgive me. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

And just to -- just to, again, reiterate that all this -- all this amendment does is it takes existing language and the two exemptions that were carved out 15 years ago when we did sex as a discriminated class. It takes those two exemptions and it -- it now says that those exemptions also apply to gender identity or expression.

So I think it takes -- it perhaps won't remove all the objections to the bill, but it will remove, I think, a fare share of them. So I'm hopeful that we can pass this common sense amendment, and I would ask please, Mr. Speaker, that when the vote be taken, it be taken by roll.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The question before the Chamber is on a roll call vote.

All those in favor of a roll call vote, please signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The records at 20 percent has been met and when the vote is taken it will be taken by roll.

Will you remark further on House Amendment Schedule "B. " Will you remark?

Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (146th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would just urge opposition to this amendment. I know there was some reference to peeping toms and -- and criminal activity. The underlying bill would prevent that and that there's nothing in the underlying bill that would make that legal so I would say the amendment is unnecessary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Will you remark further on the amendment?

Representative D'Amelio of the 71st, you have the floor, sir.

REP. D'AMELIO (71st):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Chamber, I urge you to really to look at this amendment in a different way.

You know we all come from a different walk here and life, and it's no secret that I own and operate a restaurant in Waterbury. I have a story to tell about this very issue.

You know, first of all, I'd like to thank Representative Cafero for setting the tone of this debate. And for Representative Schofield for her remarks to really bring out the issues that these individuals face.

I've -- I had a restaurant that had an individual, I'll call him Jason, that was born not too far from my restaurant and he was a -- he was a frequent customer. And he came in with his parents quite often. And as Jason was growing up, he knew that he had a problem. And his problem was, I guess, he was confused. He didn't know his identity. And we accepted Jason, me and my staff, we grew to love him just like every other customer that we know.

But as Jason grew older and he started coming into the restaurant alone, one day I heard a scream come from the hallway of my establishment. My staff immediately came in to the kitchen and notified me that there was a problem. When I went to -- to figure out what was going on, there was Jason visibly shaken. Jason entered the ladies bathroom and in the bathroom was Ms. Brown, who at the time, God rest her soul was 80 years old. She was visibly shaken, visibly shaken. I didn't know what to do. I know Jason. He's been in our restaurant so many times. We accept him. There's no problem but when it came to Ms. Brown and others, there was a serious problem. And me, as a restaurant owner, I had to make a determination on what to do.

So I thought it was only fair because I knew Jason, is to ask him, "When you need to use the facility, please let me or the staff know so that we can make sure if you're uncomfortable with using the men's rooms, we'll make sure that we clear the way for you. "

I share this story with you because I really think it's incumbent upon this Chamber to realize that there are issues out there when it comes to this very issue we're debating here. It's not just black and white.

We would like to say that, you know, people have a problem and they should be accepted as they are. I don't think I discriminated against anyone. I -- I earn my living by providing meals for people and it doesn't matter to me who those people are. And we accommodate everyone but these issues arise and you don't know what to do.

Now bigger establishments might have a unisex bathroom where you know men and women can use but when you're looking at little mom and pops, restaurants or stores where there's clearly a men's room and -- and a ladies room these are serious issues, and the public doesn't accept them at all times.

So I ask you to -- if this amendment is adopted, I think this bill could be really manageable and even in the public view. But even if we pass this bill, we're still going to have these issues that are out there and there's going to be many people, like myself, that own businesses that are not going to be sure what to do and this -- when this arises.

It's easy to say, well, he has the right to use any bathroom he wants. When you have a restaurant full of people saying, hey, wait a minute. What about my rights? I don't want to be subjected to that. He's a man. In my eyes, he's still a man even though he wants to use the ladies bathroom.

And then you look at Jason, you say, well, he's a confused individual. I've known him since he was a kid, and I understand that, you know, he's a human being and that you want to respect his rights.

So let -- let's just think about that for a minute before we just go and reject these amendments that are being brought out because these are life instances, like I said, ladies and gentlemen, and they're not cut and dry. We need to really think about it. Your constituents are the same as my constituents.

Mrs. Brown was a lovely lady. She loved everyone but she found it offensive and -- and it -- it rocked her to her very core where she was in tears. She was visibly shaken, and I'll never forget that because of this experience that she had to go through. She didn't go out to dine that day to be subjected to that. And Jason didn't mean any harm by it but, as a restaurant owner, or any owner, you stand there and say what do I do? How do I solve this issue?

And by allowing this amendment to stand, I think it gives everybody the latitude to say, okay, wait a minute, you know, let's be fair here, let's not discriminate, let's come up -- let's come up with a reasonable approach and that's what this would do for someone like myself. I thought I came up with a reasonable approach because Jason's been in several times after that. And if he has to use the facilities, we accommodate him, but if you pass this then there's no accommodating. It's just going to be a bunch of people that are going to be angry. And if you have people that live in your community, in your area, that frequent your place and if they alienate other people then I'm going to lose other people because of the fair -- fact that I can't accommodate everyone.

So please when you -- when you think of this amendment just think of that story. It's not discrimination. I don't want to discriminate against anyone but it's just common sense like that word been used here so often.

I thank you, Mr. Speaker.

(Deputy Speaker Ryan in the Chair. )

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN:

Thank you, sir.

Will you remark further?

Representative Shaban

REP. SHABAN (135th):

Thank you, Mr