THE CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 2009

The House of Representatives was called to order at 10: 52 o'clock p. m. , Speaker Christopher G. Donovan in the Chair.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

-- in prayer.

DEPUTY CHAPLAIN MARANTZ:

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Together we pray. Holy One of blessing, as we gather today to attend to the legislative matters of our State may You bless us and keep us as we advance the cause of democracy. May Your face shine upon us with grace as we strive to make laws that are both just and compassionate. And may You lift Your countenance upon us as we serve as Your partners in pursuit of peace and the preservation of freedom and dignity for all. Amen. Have a good summer.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you. Will Representative Ezequiel Santiago of the 130th please come to the dais and lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

REP. SANTIAGO (130th):

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:

Is there any business on the Clerk's desk?

THE CLERK:

Mr. Speaker, we have a report from the Office of Policy of Management on carbon dioxide emissions, pursuant to section 16A-32A of the Connecticut General Statutes.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Refer to the Committee on Environment.

Representative Olson.

REP. OLSON (46th):

Good morning, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Good morning, Representative.

REP. OLSON (46th):

Only two days left. I don't know how many hours that is. Someone has a count. Mr. Speaker, I move for a suspension of our rules for immediate consideration of House Calendar number 708. Thank you.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The motion is for immediate suspension of our rules -- suspension of rules for immediate consideration of Calendar 708. Any objections? Any objections?

Hearing none, the rules are suspended for immediate consideration of House Calendar 708. Will the Clerk please call House Calendar 708.

THE CLERK:

The State of Connecticut House of Representatives Calendar for Tuesday, June 2, 2009. On page one, calendar 708 House joint Resolution number 123. RESOLUTION CONFIRMING THE NOMINATION OF KEVIN P. JOHNSTON OF POMFRET TO BE AN AUDITOR OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS, favorable report of the Committee on Executive and Legislative Nominations. Representative Janowski.

REP. JANOWSKI (56th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The question before the chamber is acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution. Will you remark, madam.

REP. JANOWSKI (56th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and good morning to you. Mr. Johnston is from Pomfret. He holds a Bachelor's degree in political science and business administration from Saint Michael's College in Vermont. And he is currently serving as State Auditor where he has been serving since 1992.

Prior to that time he was Assistant Vice President of Fleet Bank from 1991 to 1992. And he has over 16 years of public service serving in both the House of Representatives and the State Senate. He served as Chair of the Insurance Committee as well as the Program Review and Investigations Committee. He also served as Vice Chair of the Committee on Finance, Revenue, and Bonding. And he served as Assistant Majority Leader in the House and Deputy Majority Leader in the Senate.

He is also involved in the community having served on the Putnam Board of Selectman from 1973 to 1979. And he is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Woodstock Academy where he has been serving since 2003. Kevin Johnston has been serving as auditor for over 15 years. He works very cooperatively and in a nonpartisan manner with fellow State Auditor, Bob Jaekle. And together they have tackled many controversial issues effectively. Kevin Johnston has done an excellent job and I urge a favorable vote on the resolution. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Madam. Remark further on the resolution? Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):
Thank you, Mr
. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of Kevin Johnston for the nomination that is before us to be our State Auditor for an additional couple of years. I've known Kevin for several years in his capacity in support of the Woodstock Academy he's done an excellent job in all of his various endeavors. He's always strived to do the very best. He's articulate, hard-working. I can't think of a finer person for this position. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative. Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I also support the nomination of Kevin Johnston for the appointment. And would point out that his opposite number is known as Robert Jaekle -- not Jaekle. It's an easy mistake to make. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative O'Neill.

Remark further on the resolution? Remark further on the resolution? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor of the resolution please signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

All those opposed nay.

The ayes have it. The resolution is adopted. Will the Clerk please call Calendar 667.

THE CLERK:

On page 21, Calendar 667 substitute for Senate Bill number 80, AN ACT CONCERNING ELECTRONIC UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION PAYMENTS favorable report of the Committee on Finance, Revenue, and Bonding.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Kevin Ryan.

REP. KEVIN RYAN (139th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I move acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Question is acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate. Will you remark, sir?

REP. RYAN (139th):

Yes, Mr. Speaker. What this bill does is some employees such as non-profits and municipalities are given options of paying unemployment taxes or reimbursing the unemployment compensation fund with payments in lieu of taxes to cover the amount of benefits paid to its non-profits -- non-profits or municipalities former employees. Currently the law requires that employees with at least 250 employees pay -- make the payments electronically with this bill which is lowering the number to 100. The Senate did make a small technical change with LCO 6750. Would the Clerk please call and I guess he could read it. Really, read it. Thank you.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Will the Clerk please call and read LCO 6750.

THE CLERK:

LCO number 6750, Senate Amendment Schedule A. In line 4 after 4, insert an open bracket. In line 4 after each -- insert each.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I said, the changes are technical and I think the reading of it demonstrates that. I move for adoption.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The question is adoption of Senate A. Remark on the amendment. Would you remark on the amendment? Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As Representative Ryan has mentioned this is just a technical amendment -- technical change in it. I do not have a problem with it. The only thing I would just like to ask, Mr. Speaker, through you, is just changing the word each from lower cursive to higher -- no, no, forget that, Mr. Speaker. That's fine. I support the amendment.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And Representative Noujaim is quicker than I am because I'm sort of -- I just don't understand the effect of the amendment on the underlying bill. And I apologize if I didn't hear you say that. Through you, Mr. Speaker, if I may ask Representative Ryan to explain the effect of the amendment on the underlying bill. I realize it says insert an open bracket and insert after each. And I know it seems innocuous but it might have significant change. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I believe the effect of the amendment is it eliminates the wording commencing with the first calendar quarter of 2009.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

And through you, Mr. Speaker, though I understand -- okay, I understand now what it means. What is the effect though of -- of doing -- does that delay the implementation of this method or --

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I believe --

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

I'm sorry, sir. Thank you. I believe that it would just -- I think we're already through the first calendar quarter of 2009. I think that just takes that into consideration and realizes by the time this bill is implemented we'd be into the second quarter and that's when the bill would take effect.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Excellent read of our calendar. Through you, Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his answer.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

Mr. Speaker, I had the same question that Representative Cafero had because -- but looking as a screener, the effect of this and then balancing it off with the OLR analysis. So, I would thank the gentleman for his answer. I apologize.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Remark further on the amendment? Remark further on Senate A? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor of the amendment please signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Opposed nay.

The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted.

Remark further on the bill as amended. Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Clerk has LCO 8857. Would he please call the amendment and I be allowed to summarize.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 8857, which will be designated House A.

THE CLERK:

LCO number 8857 House A offered by Representatives Ryan and Reynolds.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The Representative seeks leave of the chamber to summarize. Objection to summarization?

Hearing none, Representative Ryan, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Mr. -- ah, yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. Previously we passed a bill in this chamber dealing with credit checks. This is basically a correction to that bill because the Governor is concerned that she would not be able to look at credit checks for government appointees. So basically we're adding on line 29 the words, is a position of public trust, to that previous bill so that she would continue to be able to use credit checks to assess her appointments. I move for adoption, sir.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The question before the chamber is adoption of House Amendment Schedule A. Will you remark? Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and good morning to you, sir.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Good morning, sir.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you. Through you, Mr. Speaker, I would like to pose a question or two to the proponent of the amendment, Representative Ryan.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Please proceed.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Representative Ryan, through the Speaker, would you be kind enough to explain to the chamber the people or the positions that will be required to have a credit check through this amendment. I understand this will be people of public -- public work people who work for the State of Connecticut -- work for the State of Connecticut. Would you be kind enough to detail to us some of the positions and responsibilities they do have? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I believe it would be anybody the Governor would appoint. I think commissioners, deputy commissioners, various chairs of various commissions and boards; I think is the Governor's current policy. And this would allow her to continue that policy.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And through you, Mr. Speaker, just for legislative intent and to make sure that everyone understands this. These will be positions that are appointed by the Governor to serve at the pleasure of the sitting government. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, that is my understanding.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I would like to extend gratitude to Representative Ryan. I do intend to support this amendment.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative. Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Thank you. Through you, Mr. Speaker, and this is just a question and certainly not a point of order but if the good gentleman could explain how this amendment relates to the underlying bill. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, we have -- the underlying bill deals with electronic payments and this bill deals with making -- using credit checks to make determinations in how these things work. Basically -- basically I believe in my understanding is it refers to the same sections of the statutes in both these -- in these areas. And I believe that's how it is related. That's my understanding.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Cafero.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I thank the gentleman for his answer and on this day before the end of session I appreciate the fact that the good Chairman is very open with regard to his interpretation of germaneness. So we'll proceed. Thank you.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And very briefly earlier there was a little colloquy between the Ranking Member of the chair -- of the Labor Committee but in the summary of the amendment the Chair of the Labor Committee had, I think, focused on the phrase, position of public trust. And I was just wondering if there was any definition in our statutes of that that goes beyond those persons appointed by the Governor because I don't see that phrase in the amendment.

But I do see this phrase, “position of public trust”. So, through you, Mr. Speaker, I was hoping to find out if perhaps there is in our statutes somewhere a definition of position of public trust that is involved in this.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Mr. -- through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

I'm sorry. I do not have a definitive reference but it was my understanding that the individuals that asked us to take care of this situation were comfortable that this wording would remedy the situation that was concerning the Governor's Office and her appointments.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It's just that -- and I'm glad that that's the position of the Governor's Office or -- which I assume is the source of this language because to me the phrase “position of public trust” could be more sweeping but the notion is that it is really meant to be limited only to those individuals who are appointed by the Governor to various positions and not other people who might be appointed to other positions.

So hopefully if there's any question in terms of the interpretation of that this deals with that by way of a legislative colloquy. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative O'Neill.

Representative Aman.

REP. AMAN (14th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Picking up on that statement in a “position of public trust”, the statement has been made that it's from the Governor's Office, but would that also include anyone working in say the Judiciary Department or the Legislative section of the State Government? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):
Through you, Mr
. Speaker. There's a lot of activity over here. Could you just repeat your question please?

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Aman.

REP. AMAN (14th):

Yes. I understand the purpose of public trust for the Governor's Office but as the bill is written I am wondering if that would also cover people working for other parts of the State Government and say the Judiciary Department or the Legislative Branch. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. While I've already given the intent of the bill, I'm certain that that is -- that that's a possibility that those individuals might also be -- might also be pertinent to those individuals as well.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Aman.

REP. AMAN (14th):

Continuing on that, would anybody working for a municipality or a quasi state agency who, I would say is in a position of public trust also be allowed to have a credit check run on them by the potential employer? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, again I've given the intent that the reason that that particular point is in here that would be open to interpretation to be decided at a later point, I believe.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Aman.

REP. AMAN (14th):
I thank the proponent
. I think this is going to be something that I would not be surprised to see challenged or misinterpreted because again I'm looking at someone in a human resources department wanting to hire somebody, says I kind of remember something about not being allowed to run a credit check, looks at this bill and says, oh, that person does -- is responsible for the public, does have a public trust, so therefore I'm allowed to do it. And then the challenge will be going, oh, you didn't loop us into the debate.

It only covers people within the Governor's Office. I wish that this had been corrected and made a little clearer prior to becoming a formal amendment. I thank the Speaker and will be looking forward to the vote.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate a chance to ask just one question. In the issue of the position of public trust, through you to Representative -- the good Chairman of Labor.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Ryan.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

If you look at the legislative issue of the position of public trust we have so many people that work for us that are in a broad expanse. Whether it is someone that might do some IT, someone who might act as a chief of staff, but we also have the issue of when we have -- we hire clergy to do our prayer before us, is that something that could also -- I'm trying to find the most -- the hiring that would be in the legislature that would be nowhere else. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):
Through you, Mr
. Speaker. I had trouble hearing the good gentle lady but I believe --

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Chamber please come to order. Members are having trouble hearing the debate. Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

But I don't believe the -- she gave an example of the minister. I don't know if that would be an example of somebody we have to have -- issues of this bill. I don't think we need to do a credit check to have somebody come in and offer a prayer. So I think in that example that wouldn't apply.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Sawyer.

REP. SAWYER (55th):

I thank the gentleman because as we look for legislative intent I think those things need to be ruled out. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and good morning.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Good morning, sir.

REP. MINER (66th):

Mr. Speaker I -- I'd like to just ask a couple of questions through you, if I might.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. MINER (66th):

As the amendment is drafted could one interpret this to include a credit check on elected officials? Through you.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:
Representative Ryan
. Representative Kevin Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, no.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:
Representative Miner
.

REP. MINER (66th):
Thank you, Mr
. Speaker. If the gentleman could just show me in the -- I mean, it would seem to me as an employer, a community could actually through its town manager or chief elected official require a credit check of someone that might have been elected as a treasurer who might be in a position of public trust. Through you.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, this does not deal with elected officials.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the gentleman for his answer.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Miller.

REP. MILLER (122nd):

Good morning, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Good morning, sir.
REP
. MILLER (122nd):

Just one question with regard to verification of home address or previous addresses, can a credit report ask for strictly former addresses of the employee? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure what Representative Miller's referring to.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Miller, could you try it again?

REP. MILLER (122nd):

If the gentleman seeking employment's name was Murphy and there were a number of Murphy's listed at a certain city, could that employer call the credit bureau to verify an address only? Through you, Mr. Speaker.
SPEAKER DONOVAN
:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, that is -- that's probably in the original bill. This particular amendment was only dealing with adding that particular aspect. I'm not exactly sure how a credit check is done. Hopefully it's done carefully so that they have the right person.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Miller.

REP. MILLER (122nd):

Thank you. I just was concerned that people with common names sometimes -- I know I had gotten mixed up with an individual in this assembly. A very sweet lady. And I've been accused of saying things in Committee and I wasn't the guy. But I thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Remark further on the amendment? Remark further on House A? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor of the amendment please signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

All those opposed nay.

The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted.

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

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 votes were properly cast. If all the members have voted the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. Will the Clerk announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

Senate Bill number 80 as amended by Senate A of House A

Total number voting 135

Necessary for passage 68

Those voting yea 127

Those voting nay 8

Those absent and not voting 16

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The bill as amended is passed.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar 650.
THE CLERK
:

On page 20, Calendar 650, substitute for Senate Bill number 972, AN ACT CONCERNING CONNECTICUT INNOVATIONS INCORPORATED.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (73rd):

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

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Question on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate. Will you proceed, sir?

REP. BERGER (73rd):

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The bill before us on Connecticut Innovations product is going to clear up audit points made by the auditor of public accounts. This bill will require CI to report gross revenue only for companies that make the information public in their normal course of business.

For other companies, CI must report each company's gross revenue separately while concealing its name and identity, which it exempts from the Freedom of Information Act. The bill also will require reporting to the committees of cognizance. And I move for adoption of the bill.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Questions on passage of the bill. Remark sir.

REP. BERGER (73rd):
Yes
. And in the reporting component which will require reporting to Finance, Revenue, and Bonding in the Commerce Committee of this information. The Clerk is in possession of amendment LCO number 7614. I ask that he call and be allowed to summarize. Thank you.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 7614 which is designated Senate A.
THE CLERK
:

LCO number 7614, Senate A offered by Senator LeBeau.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative seeks leave of the chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection?

Hearing none, Representative Berger, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. BERGER (73rd):

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And in the new era of bipartisanship in the chamber, we are that of the Ranking Members of both the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding and Commerce Committee to the ability to be able to obtain this information in confidentiality between the ranking members, leadership of the committee, and membership of both committees. I move its passage.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The question before the chamber is adoption of Senate A. Remark further on the amendment?

Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If I may, a question or two to the proponent of the amendment.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If I understand then the purpose of the amendment that's before us then it's to broaden the access to the information that is being reported so it's not only submitted to the chairpersons of the two committees but also the ranking members. Is that not correct? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (73rd):

That is affirmative.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):
Thank you, Mr
. Speaker. In lines 5 through 7, the Senate in its infinite wisdom saw to adding or looking to add that this data that would be disclosed to the chairs and the ranking members may also be disclosed to members of said committees with the proviso that they are to keep such data confidential. Do we know what the -- what they were looking to do here? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (73rd):
Yes
. Through you, Mr. Speaker. The purpose there is obviously to expand the reporting to ranking members and to committee members but also to again, protect the confidentiality of certainly identity -- identity and trade secrets and to keep them within the committee. They are not -- that information is not to be disclosed either through outside of ranking members, leadership, and the committee itself. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In lines 19 through 26 of the bill which will be amended, do I understand correctly then gross revenue is reported one of two ways. If it's a public company it's information that will be publicly accessible and everyone will have access to that. But if it's not a public company will make reference to it under some type of scheme where the company would be perhaps identified as company A, company B? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (73rd):
Through you, Mr
. Speaker, that is correct.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And the same proviso, the same degree of confidentiality would then be what we're looking to do here in the Senate Amendment A that we would provide to the members of the committee. Is that not correct? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (72nd):

That is affirmative.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. When we talk about the confidential data is there anything other than revenue that we are looking to collect that would be considered confidential? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (72nd):

Yes. Through you, Mr. Speaker. We could probably assume then that trade -- trade secrets or trade patents or policy would be subject under the provisions of this amendment. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So will the ranking members and chairs have that access to trade secrets before us that we're going to be deemed to try to provide -- make confidential? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (72nd):

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That information is included in the confidentiality between ranking members and committee members and it -- and it will be disseminated accordingly if the amendment is passed. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So when we look at lines 42 and 43 in the proposed amendment, when we discuss the detailed data -- so the detailed data does not only refer to revenue. It refers to other information that presently is being collected by Connecticut Innovations. Is that not correct? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (72nd):

That is affirmative. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And in today's world is any of this information presently shared with the chairs or ranking members by Connecticut Innovations? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (72nd):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, not to this point but would this amendment pass with the bill, we will have -- that sharing will take place.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):
Thank you, Mr
. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I will listen to the debate. I was very comfortable with this amendment as it referred to the ranking members and the chairs. I'm concerned about spreading the confidentiality to the membership as a whole. Was there anything in the auditor's report that we're looking to correct in terms of making sure that committee membership have access to this information? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (72nd):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, the auditor's points were that -- that this reporting of stature on their annual report amongst other things would have to include the gross revenues of each portfolio company. But also the auditor's report was very specific that confidentiality of those -- of financial information was to be protected.

But for the committee's to be able to do their work, through you, Mr. Speaker, and to analyze the important data in making decision and policy for CI, which is -- which the Commerce Committee has cognizance over, it was -- it was deemed that this information while confidentiality would be maintained, was important data in the collection of this information for the committee, its ranking members, and leadership to be able to make valid policy through their general assembly. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So, looking again at the amendment and the bill that would be amended by this, the same caveats would protect that other data, would it not, if -- if we had a situation where we had a company which did not have public revenue information.

It was a privately held company. We would continue to refer to that company as perhaps company A, company B. So Connecticut Innovations would protect the integrity, not only as it relates to the revenue figures but also those other categories of confidential information that, you know, we categorize as trade secrets. Is that not correct? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (72nd):

That is affirmative. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will be supporting this amendment. I urge my colleagues to support this amendment. I think we will have to look to see how it's implemented over the next year or two but I think we satisfy a couple things with this amendment and then once we pass the amendment, the amended bill, which I would also urge that we accept.

I think we accomplish addressing the auditor's issue but we also address getting some more business information that hopefully we can use to further the growth of businesses in the State of Connecticut. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:
Thank you, Representative
.

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I do certainly support the intent of this legislation and I just -- in listening to the discussion I just had a couple of brief questions, if I may, to the proponent of the amendment.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the necessity in us keeping this information confidential. And I just wanted to make sure it be clear that when the information is disseminated to the chairs and ranking members of the committees of cognizance, this information at the discretion of the chairs and ranking members would be shared to the committee.

And my question is how would that information be shared? Does the committees -- does the committees have the ability to hold a sort of executive session or a private meeting? Because typically our committee meetings are open to the public but this statute would enable us, I'm assuming, for the committees to meet in private, without staff, to go over these reports. The reports might be disseminated by CI. They would be present at the meeting; would collect that data backup. Am I correct? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (72nd):

Yes. Through you, Mr. Speaker. If the committees -- the ranking members and leadership of the committees were to receive that information, we can disseminate that information a couple of different ways. For legislative intent I believe that as far as the Commerce Committee would be concerned, that information number one could be shared in our screening process in Commerce, where both the ranking members and leadership take part in.

But also -- also more importantly we can do this under a separate Republican or Democratic caucus situation outside of the public venue with CTN. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And one final question, through you, the bill doesn't expressly exempt this report from the Freedom of Information Act but I would assume that because in the bill we're designating it as being confidential information that automatically would pull it into being exempt from any type of FOI request? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (72nd):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, that is affirmative.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the good Representative's answers to my questions.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Remark further on the amendment. Remark further on Senate A. If not, let me try your minds.

Representative Spallone.

REP. SPALLONE (36th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And good morning. I have a question for the proponent of the amendment.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. SPALLONE (36th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, to the Chairman of the Commerce Committee, I've been reviewing the amendment and note the confidential nature of the data that would be kept by the leadership of the committee. And I wanted to ask for the legislative record whether this data that would be kept confidential is trade secrets?

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (72nd):

Yes. Through you, Mr. Speaker, there could in the configuration of the data -- there could be trade information of individual companies which would fall under the confidentiality locator within the amendment.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Spallone.

REP. SPALLONE (36th):
Thank you, Mr
. Speaker and I thank the Chairman for his answer. Mr. Speaker, I wanted to ask that question because I wanted to make sure we weren't broadening the already existing exemption for trade secrets that exists in our Freedom of Information Act. And based on the Chairman's answer, I believe that is the case. This is not an expansion and therefore I can support the amendment. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative. Remark further on Senate A? Remark further on Senate A? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor of Senate A 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? Remark further on the bill as amended? If not, staff and guests come to the well of the House. Members take their seats. The machine will be opened.

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 votes were properly cast. If all the members have voted, the machine will be locked. The Clerk will take a tally. Will the Clerk please announce the tally.
THE CLERK
:

Senate Bill 972 as amended by Senate A in concurrence with the Senate.

Total number voting 141

Necessary for passage 71

Those voting yea 141

Those voting nay 0

Those absent and not voting 10

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The bill as amended is passed.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar 694.

THE CLERK:

On page 26, Calendar 694, substitute for Senate Bill number 650, AN ACT CONCERNING THE CREATION OF A TRUST FOR THE CARE OF AN ANIMAL favorable report of the Committee on Judiciary.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Michael Lawlor.

REP. LAWLOR (99th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good morning.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Good morning, sir.

REP. LAWLOR (99th):
Mr
. Speaker, I move acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Question is on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate. Will you proceed?

REP. LAWLOR (99th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This bill has been kicking around the legislature for the past few years. I think fortunately we've worked out all of the technical issues related to the bill. I don't think there was ever a serious policy concern but in essence, what the bill does is allows pet owners to create a trust -- an enforceable trust to set aside resources for the care of a pet in the event of the death of the -- the owner of the pet or in the event the pet is otherwise on its own, so to speak.

Mr. Speaker, in the Senate an amendment was adopted which is strike-all amendment and rewrites the essence of the bill in the file copy to conform with what I think everyone's expectations was -- or were for the bill itself. So the Clerk has LCO number 8382 previously designated as Senate A. I'd ask that the Clerk call and I be allowed to summarize.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 8382 which is designated Senate A.

THE CLERK:

LCO number 8382, Senate A offered by Senator McDonald.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

The Representative seeks leave of the chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Representative Lawlor, you may proceed.

REP. LAWLOR (99th):
Thank you, Mr
. Speaker. The amendment makes some significant changes to the file copy. I think the most significant change is who -- what court has jurisdiction for dealing with trusts created pursuant to this act. Under the file copy it was exclusively in the probate court. However there were concerns raised about that so the amendment changes that jurisdiction to the superior court with one important caveat and that is that in the event there is already a matter pending in the probate court related to the person who created the trust, the owner typically, then the probate court would then have jurisdiction to deal with the trust.

In all other respects these trusts would be governed in the same ways that other types of trusts are governed and enforced in our State's court system. I think at the end of the day this is a very simple addition to our State's statutes and we'll certainly benefit not only the pet owners who are concerned for the care of their pets after their death but also dealing with situations which come up from time to time, some of the shelters that care for animals where the owners have deceased have had some problems dealing with money that has otherwise been set aside for the pets. Sometimes it's been misused by the people who are in custody of that money but there's no mechanism such as this to enforce the provisions of the -- as stated by the person who created the -- the account for the benefit of the pet.

Bottom line, Mr. Speaker, this makes these trusts enforceable. We think it's going to work. Quite a few other states have adopted a similar procedure. And finally I want to say how important it was to hear from some member of the legislature, both the Senate and the House who have long fought for this including Representative Morin, Representative Hetherington, and Senator Boucher. They've been really battling for this for quite some time and with the passage of this amendment in the Senate and hopefully today in the House, Connecticut will join the number of states which provide this peace of mind to pet owners in our State. I urge adoption.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:
The question is on adoption of Senate A
. Will you remark? Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank very much Representative Lawlor and Senator McDonald for the work they did on this and for bringing this forward. This trust has been scrutinized by many eyes including the Attorney General and the Bar Association to make sure -- the Connecticut Bar Association -- to make sure that we get this right. And Representative Lawlor and Senator McDonald are most thorough in their -- in their scrutiny of this as well.

So I'm -- I'm delighted that this has come forward. It, as Representative Lawlor explained will enable people who want to care for their pets after they have passed away or even during their life if they become disabled to create this trust. Those of you who remember the unfortunate situation in New York, it got a lot of adverse publicity with Mrs. Helmsley. That will not happen here because the courts are given appropriate authority over the amount of the corpus of the trust. So 39 states -- I believe it's 39 states at last count have a pet trust.

There is a pet trust generic form in the uniform trust -- model trust forum. And so I think Connecticut will be in very good company going along with this. I thank Representative Russ Morin also who worked very hard on this. And together we are very pleased to see this now before the House. I urge -- I urge its adoption it's been very -- subject to very extensive thought. And I urge its adoption at this time. And I can assure you we're not barking up the wrong tree. So, thank you.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Representative Morin.

REP. MORIN (28th):

Good morning, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Good morning, sir.

REP. MORIN (28th):

I'd like to speak on the amendment.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. MORIN (28th):
Before I begin I certainly would like to thank -- follow along with Representative Hetherington and thank Representative Lawlor and Senator McDonald for their willingness to work through this process
. I have to say not being an attorney, looking at the language initially I thought this was something that would have been very simple to take care of and get done. I have a full appreciation for what they do on the Judicial Committee because I've seen many different times the language change and ultimately with those changes what we have is a piece of legislation that will allow us to go with over 30 other states to help people that really care about their pets. And this bill came to me from some constituents in Wethersfield.

I decided to go forth with it when I had folks that represent people that have pets that wanted to make sure that they could be protected later on and then it kind of caught on with other pet owners and pet lovers that thought it was a terrific idea.

So, along with Representative Hetherington and Senator Boucher, I appreciate their hard work. I think if nothing else this is going to allow people that really do care about their animals and their care for them. Shall they -- the pets survive them, they'll feel good about this. And it's -- it's a nice piece of legislation. I know maybe it's not the most important to some people but to folks that really care about their pets and what happens to them it's a very important piece of legislation. I urge adoption. And thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative.

Representative Chapin.

REP. CHAPIN (67th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in support of the amendment but I do have a question or two for the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. CHAPIN (67th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Could I have a brief explanation as to the definition of a trust protector? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Lawlor.

REP. LAWLOR (99th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If the Representative could just give me a line number.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Chapin.

REP. CHAPIN (67th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, line 7.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Lawlor.

REP. LAWLOR (99th):
Under the terms of the bill -- I see that term actually comes up several times in here
. That would be the person who's in charge of actually caring for the animal. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Chapin.

REP. CHAPIN (67th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And that would be different than a trustee? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Lawlor.

REP. LAWLOR (99th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Chapin.

REP. CHAPIN (67th):

So -- thank you, Mr. Speaker. And again, through you, so it -- would a trust protector play the role of conservator perhaps? What we would generally think of as a conservator in a normal probate matter? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Lawlor.

REP. LAWLOR (99th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, analogous. Yes. Not exactly the same, obviously, but similar capacity.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Chapin.

REP. CHAPIN (67th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and I thank the Chairman for his answers.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Representative Perillo.

REP. PERILLO (113th):

Mr. Speaker, good morning.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Good morning, sir.

REP. PERILLO (113th):

I rise very briefly in support of the amendment before us. As Representative Morin said, you know, this may not be the most profound bill but it is so important to so many families in the State of Connecticut. I think of my own family. If my wife were given the option between me and the dog, I'm not sure how I'd do. But this means a lot to a lot of people and I congratulate all those who were involved and thank them. And I will be supporting the amendment today. Thank you, sir.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative. Representative Alberts.

REP. ALBERTS (50th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I too rise to thank the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and also the Ranking Member, Representative O'Neill for their work on behalf of this. A constituent of mine in Hampton had brought this issue to my attention. I'm pleased that we're going to address this today. I urge adoption. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative. Remark further on the amendment? Remark further on Senate A? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor of Senate A please signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

All those opposed nay.

The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted. Remark further on the bill as amended?

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69th):

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I just wanted to say that this is a bill whose time seems to have finally come. It has been a lot of work by a lot of people over a number of years and does seem to be something that's carefully balanced and a reasonably well drawn piece of legislation. And I urge adoption. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER DONOVAN:

Thank you, Representative. Will you care to remark further on the bill as adopted? Care to remark further on the bill as amended? If not, staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Members take their seats. The machine will be opened.

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 Kirkley-Bey in the Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Please check the board to see that your vote has been properly cast. The machine will be locked and the Clerk will prepare the tally. Will the Clerk please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

Senate Bill 650 as amended by Senate A in concurrence with the Senate.

Total number voting 142

Necessary for passage 72

Those voting yea 142

Those voting nay 0

Those absent and not voting 9

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The bill as amended passes.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar 707.

THE CLERK:

On page 28, Calendar 707, Senate Bill number 1081, AN ACT CONCERNING THE FUNCTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES favorable report of the Committee on Finance, Revenue, and Bonding.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Guerrera, you have the floor, sir.

REP. GUERRERA (29th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Good morning.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Good morning, dear.

REP. GUERRERA (29th):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The motion before us in on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate. Will you remark further, sir?

REP. GUERRERA (29th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the Clerk is in possession of four amendments. May the Clerk please call LCO number 8395 designated Senate A and I please be allowed to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 8395 designated Senate Amendment A.

THE CLERK:

LCO number 8395, Senate A offered by Senator DeFronzo and Representative Guerrera.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:
The Representative has asked leave to summarize
. Is there any objection? Is there any objection?

Hearing none, please proceed, Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This amendment is a strike-all amendment. It represents the sessions work on both sides of the aisle in regards to change in impact in the Department of Motor Vehicles. Many of these -- many of the bills affect the sections of approximately 67 sections of this bill but I will just highlight a few of them.

Section 13 allows an organ donor designee to be listed as a nondriver identification card as it currently is with the driver's license. Section 16 extends the time period for driver's to have -- for a free admissions test from 30 to 60 days if they should fail the test. Section 32 clarifies the exemptions under the graduated driver's license law with the regards to hours during which a 16 or 17 year old are allowed to drive for drivers who are assigned to the Safe Driving Rides Program.

Section 43 establishes a weight tolerance exemption. And Section 51 permits the Commissioner of DMV to allow that driving schools implement the driving test for teenagers at the end of the course in reference to the beginning of the course. So there'll be two tests. Madam Speaker, there was a problem that we did not know when we did the Teenage Driving Bill that the test was eliminated at the end and therefore we -- we put the test back into place. Madam Speaker, I move for adoption of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The question before us is on adoption of House Amendment A. Will you remark further? Representative Scribner? Will you remark? Will you remark further on Senate Amendment A? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor please indicate by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Those opposed nay.

The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted. Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the Clerk is in possession of LCO number 8326 designated Senate Amendment Schedule B. And may the Clerk please call the amendment and I be allowed to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 8326 designated Senate Amendment B.

THE CLERK:

LCO number 8326, Senate B offered by Senators Witkos, Kissel and DeFronzo.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The Representative has asked leave to summarize. Is there any objection to summarization of Senate Amendment B? Hearing none, please proceed, sir.

REP. GUERRERA (29th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This amendment just adds language required in the DMV to ensure that law enforcement officers have access to driving records that indicate when an operator's restricted to operating a motor vehicle when an ignition interlock devise is in place. And I move adoption of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The question before us is on adoption of Senate Amendment B. Will you remark? Will you remark further on Senate Amendment B? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor please indicate by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Those opposed nay.

The ayes have it. Senate Amendment B is adopted. Representative Guerrera, you have the floor, sir.

REP. GUERRERA (29th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the Clerk is in possession of LCO number 8593 designated Senate Amendment Schedule C. And may the Clerk please call the amendment and I be allowed to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Will the Clerk please call Senate Amendment 8593 designated Senate Amendment C.

THE CLERK:

LCO number 8593, Senate C offered by Senator DeFronzo.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The Representative has asked leave to summarize. Is there any objection?

Hearing none, please proceed, sir.

REP. GUERRERA (29th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This amendment just revised section 61 of Senate A to have to apply to motor homes rather than recreational vehicles. And I move adoption of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The question before us is on adoption of Senate Amendment C. Will you remark? Will you remark further on Senate Amendment C? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor please indicate by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Those opposed nay.

The ayes have it. Senate Amendment C is adopted. Representative Guerrera, you have the floor.

REP. GUERRERA (29th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The Clerk is in possession of LCO number 8851 designated Senate Amendment Schedule D. May the Clerk please call the amendment and I be allowed to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 8851 designated Senate Amendment D.

THE CLERK:

LCO number 8851, Senate D offered by Senator DeFronzo.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Did you move adoption, sir?

REP. GUERRERA (29th):

I move adoption. I'd like to summarize before I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Would you please?

REP. GUERRERA (29th):
Thank you
. Madam Speaker, what this does is it temporally -- this amendment will temporally notify the requirements for issuing the renewal of a commercial driver's -- driver's instructing permit. Currently the DMV being the only renewing commercial permit once within a two year period. This amendment will allow DMV until June 30, 2009 to reissue, renew permits more than once up to six months each time. And I move adoption of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The adoption before us is on adoption of Senate Amendment D. Will you remark? Will you remark on Senate Amendment D? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor please indicate by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Those opposed nay.

The ayes have it. Senate Amendment D is adopted. Will you remark on the bill as amended? Will you remark on the bill as amended?

Representative Scribner, you have the floor, sir.

REP. SCRIBNER (107th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Good afternoon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. SCRIBNER (107th):

I rise in support of Senate Bill 1081 as amended. And through you, Madam Speaker, a question to the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Guerrera, prepare yourself for questioning. Representative Scribner, please proceed.

REP. SCRIBNER (107th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, to the Chairman of the Transportation Committee, since you summarized the five of the 67 sections of the bill, does that mean I get to summarize the other 62?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, I will allow you to do that.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Scribner.

REP. SCRIBNER (107th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I don't think that's necessary. I just want to rise in strong support of the bill that's before us. And in as much as this very comprehensive bill, virtually all of the items that are in here were originally individual proposals brought forward by many legislators in the building and had public hearings and have been fully vetted through the screening process.

We've come to good agreement amongst the leaders of the Transportation Committee and certainly with the support and guidance of the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles and their very capable staff. I believe that all of the items that are in here will further enhance the laws of the Department of Motor Vehicle and strongly support the bill as amended in the Senate. And I urge all of my colleagues to support it.

I particularly want to give thanks to the Chairman -- the House Chairman of the Transportation Committee for working so carefully and closely with me to craft this very lengthy, detailed, and complicated bill. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

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

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 KIRKLEY-BEY:

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Please check the board to see that your vote has been properly cast. The machine will be locked and the Clerk will prepare the tally. Will the Clerk please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

Senate Bill 1081 as amended by Senate Amendment Schedules A, B, C, and D in concurrence with the Senate

Total number voting 141

Necessary for passage 71

Those voting yea 141

Those voting nay 0

Those absent and not voting 10

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The bill as amended passes.

Are there any announcements or points of personal privilege? Are there any announcements or points of personal privilege?

Representative Barry, you have the floor, sir.

REP. BARRY (12th):
Thank you very much, Madam Speaker
. It's my pleasure to introduce to the chamber the fifth grade class from St. James School in Manchester. They're here today up in two parts of the balcony up there. They're all waving and among those students is someone who's famous around here who's graced the halls here for many years.

His name is Hunter Stone, the son of former Representative Chris Stone. And hey, Hunter, can you please wave? Hey. Give them a wave Hunter. There he is. And also with them are their teachers Mrs. DiBenedetto, Mrs. Wotina, and then Eileen Dusignori, and Christine Dusignori. And I'd ask the chamber to give them our usual warm welcome. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

I'd just like to say welcome to the hall of the House youngsters and I hope you enjoy your day with us. And I hope we perform well. Will the Clerk please call Calendar number 668.

THE CLERK:

On page 22, Calendar 668, substitute for Senate Bill number 152, AN ACT PROHIBITING OPEN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTAINERS IN MOTOR VEHICLES favorable report by the Committee on Finance.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds, you have the floor, sir.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The motion before us is on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate. Will you remark further, sir?

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As required under federal law this bill restricts access to open alcoholic containers in the passenger area of motor vehicles. Madam Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment from the Senate LCO 7119, which becomes the bill. I ask that the amendment be called and I be granted leave of the chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 7119 designated Senate Amendment A.

THE CLERK:

LCO 7119 Senate A offered by Senator DeFronzo, Representative Guerrera, Representative Scribner, Representative Reynolds, et al.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The Representative has asked leave to summarize. Is there any objection? Is there any objection? Hearing none, please proceed, sir.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm pleased to offer this compromised amendment. And before I summarize I want to thank Chairman Guerrera and Chairman Dargan, Ranking Member Scribner, Leader Klarides, Representative Frey, and on behalf of the Black and Latino Caucus I want to thank Representatives Green, Clemons, and Hewett for helping to negotiate this compromised amendment that's before us.

As required under federal law this amendment prohibits open alcoholic beverage containers in the passenger area of motor vehicles in certain circumstances. It's time for once and for all that we sever the connection between alcohol consumption and driving. The lack of an open container law has been a major void in Connecticut's arsenal of drunk driving laws for many years. Connecticut is the only northeastern state and one of only seven states around the country without such a law. Madam Speaker, I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The question before us is on adoption of Senate Amendment A. Will you remark? Will you remark?

Representative Scribner, you have the floor, sir. Take your time, sir.

REP. SCRIBNER (107th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And thank you for your patience. I rise in support of this amendment. As the proponent pointed out it's really been a collaborative effort and I think that it's a subject matter that's very familiar to many of us as we have debated the issue and implemented a variety of measures in recent years to address what has been a very significant issue for the State. And I think through the leadership of Tom Reynolds and many of the others that were involved in this effort we've really been able to come together and bring forward this measure which will strongly enhance others that are already in place.

So, I urge all of my colleagues to give careful consideration to this piece of legislation. I think that we have demonstrated that we have fully vetted a lot of the facts, a lot of the known and proven known measures in addressing this issue that really deserve your support. And so I again thank all those that were involved and urge support of the entire chamber. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, Representative.

Representative Candelora, you have the floor, sir.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If I may, a couple of questions to the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds, prepare yourself.

Representative Candelora, please frame your question.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. In your introduction there was a reference made that this amendment is being brought out in order to comply with federal law. Is it my understanding that Connecticut is somehow disadvantaged without having this law? And if they are can you just explain how so. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, that is an excellent question. For as long as Connecticut has been out of compliance with federal law, a certain percentage of our federal highway dollars are diverted to a purpose not of our choosing. And so to the tune of about $ 30 million has been diverted to other purposes within the transportation department. We do not lose federal dollars but we lose control over what -- several million dollars per year is spent on. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And by passing this amendment would we then come into compliance with federal law so as to receive -- be free to spend the $ 30 million as we see fit? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. We will not know until the U. S. Department of Transportation reviews our law whether or not it is compliant. My personal opinion is that it will be deemed out of compliance and so the diversion of funds would continue. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And if I may, does the good Representative know why this bill would not bring us into compliance? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. For a state open container law to be in compliance it must meet about a half dozen major criteria. This amendment, although an excellent compromise and a major step forward for Connecticut, violates about half of those criteria. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Specifically I guess are there -- are there a couple of major criterias that this amendment does not come into compliance with? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes. There are four in particular that I will mention. The federal guidelines require that the open container ban and subsequent infractions be applicable to not only the operator but all passengers. The compromised amendment before us is only applicable to the operator and not the passengers. So the ban would apply to all individuals in the vehicle, but only the operator is subject to the infraction. So that is a narrowing of the amendment that doesn't meet federal criteria.

Secondly, our amendment narrows the roads upon which this law would apply. It limits it to State highways, State right-of-ways, and local roads but excludes a number of other areas. We have a tailgating exception in this bill and we also exempt all parking on local roads. So those exemptions violate the federal criteria. Lastly the federal law requires primary enforcement. Our compromised amendment only provides for secondary enforcement. In other words, you must be pulled over for some other purpose before you can be subject to the enforcement of the open container law. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I guess I'll reserve some of my questions when -- assuming the amendment is adopted. And just as a general concern I guess is I'm not sure -- I appreciate the public policy that we're trying to implement. My understanding is in committees one of the reasons why we were seeking to adopt this legislation was for us to be able to come into compliance with the federal law. And so, knowing now that that is not the goal that's being achieved here today I'll be interested to hear the public policy discussions in what we are achieving with the underlying bill as amended. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, sir.

Representative Hamzy, you have the floor, sir.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise to pose a couple questions to the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, through you to Representative Reynolds, there are a few exceptions to the -- to the proposed ban that start on line 32. One of which is an exception for any passenger in the living quarters of a recreational vehicle. How is that defined, through you, Madam Speaker?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Existing statute defines that as anywhere in the vehicle other than the seat in which the operator of the vehicle is located. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamzy.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

And through you, Madam Speaker, so because that area of an RV is excluded or is exempted from the provisions of this amendment, if there is alcohol anywhere in the RV with the exception of the driver's seat, the provisions of this exemption would apply? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. That is correct. The federal guidelines do allow for a number of exemptions, one of which is recreational vehicles. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamzy.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Would it -- would a full-size minivan also come under the definitions of an RV? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):
Through you, Madam Speaker, no
.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamzy.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, in subsection 3 of that same section it reads, there's an exemption for any passenger in a privately owned motor vehicle operated by a person in the course of such person's usual employment. Through you, Madam Speaker. If -- for legislative intent would the proponent please care to explain what that exemption is created for.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Federal law does allow for exemptions for drivers for hire and so our bill also includes several exemptions to accommodate drivers for hire. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamzy.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And just for clarification is this exemption designed to apply to someone who owns their own motor vehicle and is in the process or has a business if you will, of transporting other passengers for hire? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The amendment before us allows a number of different circumstances under which a driver for hire exemption would be provided for. It could be a livery service. It could be a taxi. It could be a professional chauffeur in a private vehicle or it could be some other arrangement of hiring a driver. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamzy.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, the exemption would apply to more than just someone who uses their own vehicle for these purposes. It would also apply to the types of services that you spoke about, livery service, taxi service, a chauffeur, where -- where the person operating the motor vehicle is not necessarily the owner but it may be owned by a private company. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamzy.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Just going on to lines 43 and 44, there is also an exemption created for an occupant of a motor vehicle parked on a highway, under the control of a political subdivision of the State. Through you, Madam Speaker, does this only include town or city roads as opposed to State roads? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamzy.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, Madam Speaker, this exemption would only apply if the vehicle is parked as opposed to being operated? And the reason why I ask that is because under our DWI laws there has been a broad interpretation of -- of operating. Through you, Madam Speaker, for legislative intent how would this exemption apply with regard to the interpretation of operating under the DWI laws? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The amendment before us would not affect in any way existing DUI laws. We need to remember that an open container enforcement does not require any passenger or driver to be intoxicated. So the DUI laws are not applicable. The questioner is correct that the open container application is much narrower than that which DUI enforcement would provide for. The open container law could only be enforced on State highways, State right-of-ways, such as the shoulder, and local roads while the vehicle is in operation. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamzy.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If a vehicle is parked on a city or town street and the keys are in the ignition, for purposes -- and this is what I was trying to get at -- for purposes of DWI, I believe there have been court cases that have determined that just having the keys in the ignition and the person in the driver's seat would make that person subject to DWI laws because they would be operating their motor vehicle. My question for purposes of legislative intent is if a vehicle is parked on a city street, the keys are in the ignition, would the exemption provided in this subsection apply? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):
In the scenario described, this amendment would not apply
. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamzy.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

So, just for further clarification, under the example I just gave if a car is parked on a city street, the keys are in the ignition, that person would be subject to the provisions of this open container law. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Any vehicles parked, whether the keys are in or out and whether the vehicle is on or off, as long as it is parked it is not subject to the open container law.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamzy.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate that clarification. And Madam Speaker, I thank Representative Reynolds for his answers.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:
Thank you
.

Representative Klarides, you have the floor, ma'am.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, through you, I have a few questions to the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Please proceed.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):
Thank you
. In lines 50 through 54 of the bill contemplates the ways in which someone can be stopped under this proposal. Through you, Madam Speaker, could the proponent just explain how if someone -- if a police officer saw someone with an open container in a car what would -- what tools would he or she have available to them to stop that car? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Existing DUI law already prohibits operators of motor vehicles from consuming or possessing an alcoholic beverage whether or not they're intoxicated. So, if an officer were to view the operator of the vehicle holding such a beverage container, they could stop them under current law that is unrelated to this amendment. However, if an officer viewed an open container held by another individual other that the operator, that could not be the initial and primary reason for which the vehicle was stopped. Secondary enforcement only is provided for in this amendment. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Klarides.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I know that a lot of us; Representative Reynolds, myself, and a lot of people in this chamber put a lot of time into making this bill as good as it can be while understanding the concerns of many people in this building. I guess my only real question about it would be if the point is to stop some -- to stop people from drinking in a motor vehicle, how do we actually do that if we can't actually stop the car if we see -- if a police officer sees somebody drinking in the car and there's nothing else going on that allows the police officer to stop the car? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):
Thank you, Madam Speaker
. That is a legitimate concern and that is one reason our amendment is not likely to be satisfactory to the federal government. However I think the amendment is a major step forward in that it is still the enactment of an open container ban regardless of the degree to which it can be enforced or the limitations on that enforcement. It is an open container ban and does provide one additional tool to officers to reduce drunk driving. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Klarides.

REP. KLARIDES (114th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and I thank the gentleman for his answers. As I mentioned previously there's been a lot of work and a lot of effort put into this -- into this amendment which is becoming the bill, hopefully. There have been many concerns in this building for many years on this topic; all valid, all legitimate. And this year we really decided that we wanted everybody together, anybody that had any concerns about this. Because we wanted to do the right thing for the people in the State of Connecticut but not have unintended consequences which is what some of the other iterations of this concept took into account.

Although I do wish that that part of the bill we just discusses was stronger, as we all know in this building we do things incrementally sometimes. And the fact that the State of Connecticut does not have an open container bill is really something that has troubled many people in this chamber and in this building for many years. It's about the safety of the people of this State, the safety of the people on the road, and the safety of the people that don't have the open container in the car. I think is a great job by many people. I would like to thank Representative Reynolds for the work he did, the Ranking Members, and everybody else involved on this bill.

As I said, nothing's perfect but we work on it year after year. This is something that we can put in our statutes to say we want to protect the people on the roads of the State of Connecticut. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, madam.

Representative Hovey, you have the floor.

REP. HOVEY (112th):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Please proceed.

REP. HOVEY (112th):

Thank you, Madam. Through you, Madam Speaker, several years ago we passed a bill that allowed people who are in restaurants to take their wine with them if they had not consumed a whole bottle. Is it correct to understand that that law still will prevail but those individuals will now have to take that bottle and put it in their glove box or in their trunk and assure that it's sealed well so that they don't have a mess on their hands? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, yes. This amendment does not affect that existing statute.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hovey.

REP. HOVEY (112th):

Thank you, sir. And through you, Madam Speaker, I just want to look at this compliance piece a little bit more in-depth. Am I correct in understanding that at the present time because Connecticut is not in compliance with the federal law we have approximately $ 30 million that comes into this State that is specifically designated versus being -- coming into the general funds or -- and that this piece of legislation will not do anything to put us in compliance with the federal law? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I cannot speak for the U. S. Department of Transportation and I can't predict what their determination will be. However, my own conclusion is that we violate quite clearly several principles of the federal standard and therefore it is my own judgment that the amendment before us if it becomes law will be determined to be out of compliance with federal law. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hovey.

REP. HOVEY (112th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I thank the gentleman for his candid answer. In my mind when we do legislation, and I recognize as Representative Klarides spoke, that we often do things in incremental steps. But I would think that one of the major components that we would be looking toward would be garnering as many federal dollars as absolutely possible. And so just on that same vent is -- is the one problem that you would see, sir, with this bill the fact that there is not -- I'm not sure what the term is -- but that a police officer cannot stop a vehicle when they see there is an open -- oh, probable cause. Thank you, Representative.

That a police officer cannot stop a vehicle if they see someone having an open container; someone would have to have a broken tail light or be driving irregularly or go through a stop sign or do some other moving vehicle infraction and then they could be cited. Am I correct, through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. That is correct. The federal standard requires primary enforcement. The amendment before us does not and therefore that is probably the most explicit example of noncompliance. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hovey.

REP. HOVEY (112th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And just one final question just for legislative intent. Could the good gentleman just give kind of a brief synopsis of why it was felt that probable cause should not be included in this legislation? In my mind, it's almost one of those things that I call a nanny, nanny boo boo that someone could drive -- actually drive by with an open container but their car is in perfect condition and the driver is doing a perfect job and so the police officer would just have to watch that kind of with their hands tied and that's concerning to me.

So I would just like to know, through you, Madam Speaker, a little bit of the conversation about why that was not included. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. RENOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. There are several different reasons why one may support such a carve-out. The most consistent justification offered was to avoid the possibility of racial profiling in the enforcement of an open container law in Connecticut. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hovey.

REP. HOVEY (112th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I thank the good gentleman for his answers. When I first moved to Connecticut I was amazed that it was not against the law to have an open container in a moving vehicle and so I think this is a step in the right direction. But in my mind we as a legislative body should always be looking at bringing our State into compliance with the federal regulations so that we are able to garner as many dollars as possible. And this idea of probable cause -- I can't imagine anything that would serve as more indicative of a possible problem in a motor vehicle than someone having an open container of alcohol.

So I'm hoping that this legislation will be the start to moving towards something that would become in compliance and would also look at probable cause. And give our police enforcement authorities the ability to really do the job that we need them to do to protect the citizens of the State of Connecticut. And I thank everyone for their service and the job and the hours that they put in on this bill. But I hope that when we come to this issue in the future we'll be a little bit tougher. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you.

Representative Nicastro, you have the floor, sir.

REP. NICASTRO (79th):
Good afternoon, Madam Speaker
.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. NICASTRO (79th):

Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of this bill as amended. You know over the past few years we've tried to have legislation of this sort passed and it's always fallen short. I can think a few short months ago, this past March, the Transportation Committee voted, you know, to move this bill on. And we knew that hopefully it could get through Judiciary and Public Safety. But we also knew that possibly there was going to be amendments coming forth. And there was arguments, both sides of the coin on this, and understandably so. But when we talk about safety, we're talking about safety of everybody, not only the driver of the vehicle but the passengers and the people that are coming the other way or the pedestrians off the side of the road.

Too many times we've seen in the past, in law enforcement where a driver might be drinking and as he was pulled over or she was pulled over they would hand that open container to a passenger. And hand it to a passenger in the back seat or the front seat on the side. And those are the things we were trying to overcome. The bill has been -- I'll use the term watered down, to a certain degree because there was conditions that people had concerns with. But we have to get something on the books.

I applaud all the chair people of all the committees that looked at this and the ranking members because we all came together for a common goal on this. It's safety. Safety of the drivers, the passengers, and the other people like I said. The bill's not perfect but from what we had, which was nothing -- which was truly nothing. We've taken a giant step forward and again, I urge my colleagues to support this. Thank you, Madam.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you. I like your bowtie, sir.

Representative Sayers, you have the floor.

REP. SAYERS (60th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, a question to the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Please proceed, madam.

REP. SAYERS (60th);

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If I were going out with a bunch of friends and opted to be the designated driver and had nothing to drink. And on the trip home one of the passengers had an open bottle of beer in their coat pocket and we were pulled over for whatever reasons. Is it my understanding of this bill is I would be the one that the -- would be -- even though I had nothing to drink, I did not personally have an open container -- that this would be against -- an infraction against me?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Sayers.

REP. SAYERS (60th):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Then why would anyone want to serve as a designated driver?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, the advocates of that provision in the amendment felt strongly that that was a way to narrow the bill in such a way to respond to a number of concerns that were raised last session. The arguments they made is that the driver is the one who is responsible for the behaviors and activities in the automobile. And they thought it appropriate to limit the infraction to the operator only. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Sayers.

REP. SAYERS (60th):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I guess that gives me great concern because we have encouraged when people go out in groups and there's going to be drinking that they have a designated driver and that person would take responsibility not to have anything to drink and be the safe driver to make sure that everybody gets home safely. And now we find out in addition to being the one who does not drink, they also have to be the policeman and make sure that any of their passengers in that vehicle do not have any alcohol on them.

And -- so I -- this is one of the reasons why I have the problem. And then I find out from listening to what the proponent has said that in addition to that, because of this one part of the bill we'll not be eligible for federal funds. Even though it is not a good idea to have open containers in the car, for this particular reason I will be voting against this bill. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, madam.

Representative Miner, you have the floor.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If I might, a few questions through you, to the proponent of the amendment please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds is prepared. Please frame your question.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, on lines 39 -- I guess it's 38 through 42 there is a process by which a passenger can establish a relationship -- monetary relationship with a driver -- an operator. Through you, in here it seems to indicate that a receipt has to be issued. Is that a receipt from a company or just a personal name. Through you, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLD (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, the amendment does not specify one way or another. That along with several other provisions in the bill represent the exemption for drivers for hire. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And so I guess going along with Representative Sayers question, in this case if an individual was the designated driver and was leaving a restaurant establishment or was leaving maybe a sports event where they knew there had been the consumption of alcohol. Through you, if -- if the driver issued a receipt to a passenger would that driver then be covered under this law as its drafted? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The federal law allows for an exemption for driver's for hire. This amendment provides several examples and scenarios under which that may occur and one of them is the one outlined by the questioner that would simply require a formal documentation of a transaction for the hiring of that driver. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And so in the case of the designated driver scenario if Representative Sayers was the designated driver and three of us were to be accompanying her somewhere, would each of us have to have made some compensation to the driver and gotten a receipt for it or would it only take one person who was an occupant? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The amendment only requires a receipt for payment made to the operator. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. On line 38 it says a passenger. So is it a passenger meaning only one passenger and in the case of Representative Sayers scenario again, designated driver, the person who received the receipt, if they were the first one out of the car are the other two then subject to the same penalty? I guess would the driver be subject to the penalty if the one who got the receipt left the car and then the other two were still in it? Through you, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If the driver was hired to be the driver and there was documentation of that financial transaction, the open container as presented could not be enforced with that vehicle and its passengers. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. What I'm trying to be sure of here is that more often than not it's not an occasion where there's a driver and a passenger. And what I'm not sure I understood from the gentleman was whether or not the issuance of one receipt to one party in the automobile was sufficient. I think I understood him to say that it was if they all were still in the car.

But if the person who got the receipt, made the compensation, took the receipt, got dropped off at his or her house, and the other two were still in there and the vehicle went on about its merry way, would that issuance of the first receipt, driver showing that he got compensation be sufficient to cover the other two as the trip continued? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I would interpret that to say yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

And through you, under Connecticut law, if an individual receives compensation for hire, is there an obligation under Connecticut law currently that that individual be registered somehow with the State of Connecticut? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

They must be a licensed driver but not licensed or registered as a professional driver.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, an individual such as Representative Sayers could receive compensation and not have to worry about whether or not she had jeopardized her operator's license by receiving such compensation. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And with regard to the compensation received assuming Representative Sayers and I went out often, at what point does it become something more than kind of a relationship of once in awhile. Is there a commercial license that kicks in after two or three trips to a ballgame? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Madam Speaker, the amendment is silent on that issue.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):
Thank you, Madam Speaker
. So as the gentleman knows that under current law the acceptance of compensation and the provision of a receipt for that under this would not at some point obligate an individual to acquire a different license. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That's correct. This amendment would not in any way affect existing statutes with regard to the licensing of drivers. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And Madam Speaker, in the latter part which has been spoken about previously, under section E, the purpose for which a vehicle can be stopped. My concern is that despite how we try to make life perfect it is far from perfect, not only in this State but in this country. And I know there's been a lot of effort put into protecting people's personal rights. Issues such as profiling, issues -- whether it's for age or race, issues such as improper search and seizure.

It's my understanding under current law, Madam Speaker, that if -- if an individual had an illegal substance in their pocket and a motor vehicle was pulled over. The individual with that substance would be the one charged with a penalty and not the driver. Through you, Madam Speaker, would this piece of legislation handle that situation the same way? Would the individual that had the open container be the subject of arrest? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The amendment affects in no way existing laws relative to controlled substances or illegal drugs. The amendment does make very clear that only the driver shall be subject to an infraction if a police officer chooses to enforce it. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So in the case of a broken taillight and then the officer pulls the vehicle over, does this legislation require the officer to cite an individual for an open container if the officer finds that there are open containers in the vehicle? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, no.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I thank the gentleman for answer -- answers. Madam Speaker, I understand people's concern about alcohol and driving. It's an issue that has affected the lives of many, not only in this State but in this country. But that's not what this bill deals with. This bill deals with passengers in a motor vehicle and the law trying to affect an individual in that vehicle with respect to the consumption of alcohol.

I won't speak for others in this chamber, so I'll just speak for myself. On Sunday evenings I play ice hockey with a number of friends of mine and it is not unusual for us at the end of a hockey game to have a beer and maybe take that open container home with us. Not the driver, but the three passengers in that vehicle. And I can tell you not once have I ever felt the urge to reach over and grab the steering wheel, hit the brake, do something that would force an accident. And the driver's always, always very conscious of what he is doing.

But what this bill's going to set about, Madam Speaker, is -- I'm afraid a trap. Five miles over the speed limit on a Sunday night, a turn signal that's out, a marker light that's out. Any number of reasons, somebody is going to get pulled over and somebody's going to get an infraction. And in some cases it's not even going to be the person that caused the problem in the beginning because as Representative Sayers says even if the person driving the vehicle is doing the right thing, you'd almost have to search everybody that got in the car. So if you had a bunch of young people out driving on a Saturday night and at 21 years old someone was driving too fast -- no excuse -- speeding, maybe cruised through a stop sign, should've stopped all the way.

But a police officer's going to pull them over and who's going to get the ticket? It's going to be -- the ticket is going to go to the driver. I've never been in favor of an open container law. I'm not going to lie about it. I've fought against it for the last two years and I'm not going to change today. But the bottom line is this isn't going to get us a federal exemption. But what this is going to do is going to cause a fair amount of assumption that we've done something good.

And I'm not so sure that even though it's a half step it's good. Because I think it actually sets up a crossfire which I'm the federal government doesn't want to set up and that's what's in this, Madam Speaker. So while I appreciate people's interest in trying to do the right thing to keep people who've consumed alcohol off the road, this does not deal with drivers. This deals with passengers. And I thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, sir.

Representative Williams. Your light is on. No. Thank -- alright.

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the second time. Thank you, Madam Speaker. If I may, just a couple of questions to the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

I believe Representative Reynolds is prepared. Please frame your question, sir.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. In the discussions -- I'm not sure -- I don't believe this question's been asked. But in lines 25 through 27, as part of the exemption of passenger area we have a carve-out of an area not normally occupied by the operator of or passengers of such a motor vehicle. And I think of the situation where, like in my case, I'm typically the only person that's driving in my vehicle and I might not have anybody occupying the back seat. Is that what this language is intended to include? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS:

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The good Representative highlights an exception that is entirely compliant with federal law. And that is to provide for places in the vehicle in which open containers could be stored during the duration. The specific provision you just cited is intended to accommodate pick-up trucks and SUVs that do not have trunks. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So that if I'm say a married couple who has a car that has the hatchback. Don't have children. Don't use the backseats, certainly the hatchback would be under the definition -- on lines 25, the area behind the last upright seat.

So in lines 26 through 27 while it may not be the couple's personal intent ever to normally occupy their backseat that would not necessarily create an exemption for them as individuals. The exemption is specifically meaning to only apply to, as the good Representative mentioned, the back behind trucks. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If it is a section of a car that has seats it would meet the definition of a passenger area and the open container law would apply. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And one last question. In lines 42 through 44, I understand that we do have this exemption for occupants who may be parked on a highway which would include essentially any road. And I'm trying to understand how that plays into lines 50 through 54, in which our exemption for pulling over a motor vehicle as a secondary offence, would apply only when that motor vehicle is moving. But if there are occupants in a vehicle that is parked in a highway this exemption would not apply, thus giving the officer the ability to -- to question the individuals. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Law enforcement has the discretion to issue an infraction for an open container violation only if the vehicle is operating on a State highway, is parked on the shoulder of a State highway, or is moving and in operation on a local road. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So then if an individual is pulled over on 95 and they're occupying the car. It's not moving. They are drinking in their vehicle. Would they be found in violation under this amendment? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:
Representative Reynolds
.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. In that scenario law enforcement would have the discretion to initiate an infraction for violation of the open container law. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And that's I guess just what I'm confused on. If I could get clarification, because as I read it in lines 7 through 13, the definition of highway includes our streets, our roads, and any -- anything under the public control. So I would -- as my reading of this highway would include, you know, I-95 or include our town streets and roads. And so that under exemption -- or number 5, the section shall not apply to any occupant of a motor vehicle parked on a highway. The way I read that then if the car -- vehicle is parked on 95 they would be exempt from this bill as amended -- or from this amendment? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):
Through you, Madam Speaker, no
. The open container ban would apply to vehicles moving on a State highway, vehicles parked on the shoulder of a State highway, and vehicles moving on a local road. But it would not apply to vehicles parked on a local road. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And so I guess where I'm incorrect in my interpretation is the requirement in lines 43 through 44 where the highway, while we broadly define that exemption number 5 would only come into play if such highway is under the control of the political -- of a political subdivision of the State. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I believe what's causing confusion is that the existing definition of highway elsewhere in State statute includes every road in the State of Connecticut whether it be local or State. However, this particular amendment would not apply to vehicles in all of those possible scenarios in the existing definition of highway. The bill -- the amendment makes a reference to the definition of highway and then excludes from that definition the applicability of this amendment to vehicles parked on local roads. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And if I could, where does that exclusion occur? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm not sure I understand the question. If he means where in the bill it is lines 42 through 44 is where the exclusion of vehicles parked on a local road. That is where that provision is located. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I guess this is where my confusion comes in because in lines 43 through 44 we don't necessarily expressly exclude local roads. What we're stating here is that any vehicle parked on a highway and the occupant is inside that vehicle that would trigger the exemption as I read this. And when I refer back to the definition of highway under the statute or excuse me, under the amendment, it does include section 14-1 which includes all of our roadways and then we merely include places under the control of the State of subdivision open to public use for parking. So I don't see where we are actually excluding or including only local roads in lines 43 through 44. And if I could maybe get a further explanation, I would appreciate it. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. In line 43 of the amendment it says under the control of a political subdivision of the State. The plain language translation of that is local road or non-State road and therefore that is the explicit exemption of vehicles parked on local roads. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:
Representative Candelora
.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So essentially the definition of a political subdivision mean municipality. Does that term in the way it's used or do we intend for it to apply to any other areas or is it just municipalities? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. That is verbiage used throughout our State statutes to make reference to cities, towns, bureaus, and other similar municipal entities. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I know there are many roads obviously that are State roads that run through our towns where the State certainly maintains the jurisdiction of plowing and repairing, filling in potholes and what have you. Would those roads be excluded under item 5? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, no.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And why would that be? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Because -- through you, Madam Speaker, because it is not a highway under the control of a political subdivision of the State. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I think I misunderstood the answer then. So, just so we're on the same page. So if a municipality -- well, essentially any State roads that are going through a town or a city would not fall under this definition because the State is obviously maintaining it, plowing it still and it's generally known as a State road. Because they're located within the boundaries of those towns doesn't confer control on it and so that this exemption would only apply to local roads. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and I thank the good Representative for his answers. I appreciate his good grasp of this subject given the way this bill is written and I have some misgivings with this amendment. I think generally of course we're probably all in this chamber supportive of reducing drunk driving or irresponsible driving. But what I'm troubled about this amendment is how we've gone about doing it. And I think in trying to create carve-outs and address everybody's concerns, the exceptions are sort of swallowing up the rule here and while our underlying public policy is still good, I think this amendment as written is completely detached and lost focus of this policy.

Because, my understanding is how this bill is going to work is an individual who's in a vehicle with passengers, that's been pointed out, could be subject to an infraction because of something that an individual may have concealed on their person in a vehicle. And when they in fact had no knowledge that alcohol was present, they may be hit with an infraction.

I'm not sure what public policy we're fulfilling by carving out that type of legislation. And I appreciate the exemption that we discussed; exemption number 5, where I think essentially if individuals customarily are used to sitting in their vehicles on their local roads, maybe with their neighbor, having a beer with them after cutting the lawn or just hanging out.

Certainly we don't want to subject them to any type of infractions. But as this definition reads if individuals are sitting on a road that happens to be State owned and controlled, they're going to be subject to this bill. But if they're sitting on a local road they're okay. And I have to say that we have roads such as I-95 and I-91 that clearly are designated State roads. I think everybody would know that and understand it.

But in my town, I know of many roads customarily that we understand to be local but they certainly are not. They have the nice country setting and the winding roads and surprisingly I found out that those are State roads as well. So, my neighbor who might live on say Pawtucket Road in North Branford, could not sit in their vehicle and drink a beer. They would be subject to an infraction. But I myself that lives on Sea Hill Road in North Branford, I could sit in my vehicle and drink a beer and I'm free from being subject to an infraction just because of the way that we've created this carve-out. And I'm also a bit sympathetic to our local police officers.

I know I wasn't in this chamber when we passed the cell phone ban but I had many officers come to me and they still come to me and say you know, I appreciate what you did but it's really an unenforceable bill the way it's written and it creates problems. And as I read this bill I think it's going to create those same problems for law enforcement not just in determining whether or not they can enforce under this provision but I'm concerned that individuals may try to seek defenses even when a police officer has lawfully pulled over a vehicle for one thing.

And arguably I think the passengers and the drivers may say no, you primarily pulled me over under this bill therefore you didn't have the justification. So I think that we're potentially making law enforcement's job much more difficult. What they're going to need to know in order to enforce this is where the vehicle is parked, what roadways it's being driven on, had money exchanged hands between the passengers, and I guess who owns what vehicle and is somebody in the car who owns the vehicle. And if some of those things apply and don't apply and the planets align then the driver may or may not be subject to an infraction. And so again, I think the overall goal of banning open containers is a -- is a good goal. But I don't think we're achieving it under this amendment.

I think all we're doing is we're frustrating law enforcement and we're certainly going to frustrate all of our constituents back home. I can imagine an individual, one of our constituents is going to get pulled over and that individual because maybe their passenger put the bottle of wine behind the seat is going to get subject to an infraction. And we're going to have a constituent that will say, oh no, I didn't -- I got pulled over but I was okay because I was driving my friend's car and he was smart enough to know to give me five bucks to drive me.

I'm sure that a constituent is going to come back to one of us and say what are you doing with this. And I'm concerned that the result is going to be an attempt for us to try to craft legislation to fix the problem. Because I think everybody here would probably agree, the way this is written right now isn't fair and equitable to our constituents. It's not providing them with fair and appropriate to what's a regulated activity, what may be a criminal activity and what is not.

One of my -- the fundamental principles that I've always understood in criminal law is the whole notion of intent, of being fair to the public, have we provided sufficient notice to the public prior to a law going into effect. And I think it's certainly going to be very difficult for us to ever achieve this goal of giving our constituents appropriate notice of when and when they will not be in violation of this open container bill as written. I understand the concerns that individuals have with this particular bill. And I'm not sure we'd ever be able to address those concerns.

So I think it may be better that we have a debate on whether or not to bring this type of legislation out at all because certainly we're not achieving the public policy goal of being able to direct our federal funds in an -- in a manner that we so choose. So I think I'm not sure we'll ever be able to achieve that goal based on many concerns that people have in this chamber. So I think we are reduced at looking at the public policy of open containers and what that does achieve. And I just don't think this bill achieves anywhere near close to being one of addressing drunk driving or discouraging drunk driving.

I just think we're hoisting a whole bunch of technical requirements on our constituent base, on our police departments, and telling them, you know, you guys figure out how to deal with it, all to satisfy all of our concerns in this chamber. And I just cannot support an amendment that's drafted as such while I do appreciate all of the competing concerns. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you.

Representative Hetherington, you have the floor.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I plan to support this bill. I appreciate all the work that's gone into crafting it. I appreciate the fact that delicate balances were involved here to satisfy the concerns of everyone who had an interest in it. And I think that probably what we have is a good result although not altogether the best possible result. But we shouldn't let the good become -- pardon me, we shouldn't let the perfect become the enemy of the good. I would like to direct though a question or two to the proponent if I may, to Representative Reynolds.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

Representative Hetherington, please frame your question.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you. The question was brought up earlier of the designated driver. Now my -- my understanding is that an operator, a driver could have a carload of stone cold drunks in the car and as long as they didn't have an open container the operator would not be at risk. Is that -- is that right through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):
Through you, Madam Speaker, yes
.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hetherington.
REP
. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you. Now this is somewhat an unusual piece of legislation in that the prohibition is on the passenger but the penalty is on the driver. And I understand that's because the driver's considered in control of the vehicle and passengers in the vehicle. And I think that's a reasonable conclusion. But I would ask this of Representative Reynolds, do you expect that lack of knowledge that there was no reasonable way the operator could have been aware of the open container in the car. Would that be a defense to the infraction? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That's a good point and that's why we made reference earlier to the fact that enforcement of this law would be discretionary. Open container laws as they work in other states are not frequently enforced. They're primarily enforced solely in the instance in which there is significant partying and alcohol consumption in the car. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you. And through you, Madam Speaker, would you agree that this - these provisions may have more force than would first appear in this regard and in this way if a police officer were to observe an open bottle of liquor being passed around freely from one passenger to another. That might be probable cause to stop the vehicle to see because it might suggest that in fact the operator as one of the inhabitants of the car was enjoying that as well. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, existing statute already prohibits the driver from consuming or being in possession of an alcoholic beverage. If the officer simply observed the open container being passed among passengers because this amendment provides for secondary enforcement only, that situation as you've described it would not be adequate for the enforcement of this amendment and the issuance of an infraction. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you. And through you, Madam Speaker, I know that the good Representative has been asked this before and I'm not quite sure where we finally came out on it. Is it certain that this law if it becomes law would not be sufficient to satisfy the federal requirements with respect to providing us federal dollars, through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. It is impossible for me to predict what the conclusion of the U. S. Department of Transportation will be relative to compliance. That would occur following the signing of the law by the Governor. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you. Through you, Madam Speaker, do we anticipate that an application would be made to qualify this law as sufficient under the federal requirements? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. No application is required. There is already an existing procedure by which states must submit a whole series of -- they must demonstrate compliance with a whole series of federal laws in order to receive their federal highway dollars. And the establishment of an open container law is one of many of items on the checklist reviewed by the U. S. DOT on an annual basis. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Through you, Madam Speaker. So, this matter will be automatically reviewed again once a year. Is that right? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

So, in fact this might qualify. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hetherington.

REP. HETHERINGTON (125th):

Thank you. And I thank the Representative for his answers. I believe as I said earlier this not the best possible bill but I think it probably is the best we are going to see. I can -- I can see the careful crafting, the careful balancing of views that went into this. I tend to be very suspicious when there's an open container possibly being passed around in the vehicle. And I don't think it's unreasonable and I suggest to you it's not unreasonable to hold the operator responsible for what goes on in the vehicle. I think that that is not unique to this law.

The driver is generally considered in control of the occupants of the vehicle to the extent they relate to the welfare of the vehicle. And I -- I believe this is consistent with that. So I don't have any difficulty holding the driver responsible.

I think it's just common sense too if you were driving and that someone was consuming alcohol in the car that you would want to put a stop to that. You can just imagine the scene with, you know, the whole inside of the car smelling of alcohol while someone has an open container. And I would rather err on the side of being over-restrictive on that than take the chance that -- and I think it's a reasonable chance that in fact the driver may become involved in that himself.

The driver's the person who has control of the vehicle. He or she has the opportunity to stop the car and say sorry, you get rid of that container or we don't go anywhere. And I think that's a reasonable expectation. I therefore, again repeating the -- the old advice that let's not have the perfect become the enemy of the good. I would urge that this amendment be adopted. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, Representative.

Representative Frey, you have the floor, sir.

REP. FREY (111th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Nice to see you up on the dais today.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Nice to see you too.

REP. FREY (111th):

You know, the public hearing with before the Transportation Committee had some interesting information presented to them. Starting with Representative Reynolds, himself. It was stated that Connecticut is now one of only 15 states in which greater than one third of traffic fatalities are alcohol related, placing the State among the so-called fatal 15. In 2007, 37 percent of traffic fatalities were alcohol related in Connecticut. Only six states had a higher percentage. Again in 2007, somebody else mentioned that there were 101 people how dies in alcohol related crashes in Connecticut.

For every victim of physical injury or death, they leave multiple family members behind them. A study found a 5. 1 percent decrease in fatal crash rates among all drivers attributable to open container laws. A second study found that an open container law has a significant deterrent among -- effect against drinking and driving. The point of this is an attempt to further curb drunk driving. Period. We bring to the chamber our own individual life experiences.

My first exposure to someone who died as a result of drunk driving, I was in high school and I was an altar boy in my freshman. And a high school senior was killed in a car accident. And it haunts me to this day reminiscing about the memorial service they did for him over the PA announcement in the school. And the songs that they played and I can still remember that. And I was an altar boy at his funeral. And there were hundreds and hundreds of people who couldn't even fit in the chamber -- this reminds me of a church sometimes -- into the church. And the emotion of seeing my fellow high school students wrapped up in the loss of their good friend.

About 12 years ago on my street we had -- we lost two passengers in a vehicle. They were both home from college. One was the son of our police chief. The driver was drunk. The lawn was littered with beer bottles -- beer cans. And it seems like every so often -- too often enough -- too often, we have a very tragic fatality in my town, more often than not when it involves drunk driving and a death, it's a young person. So what we're doing here with this bill is trying to change behavior.

You know when you get in your car you now have to wear a seatbelt. And it took some of us who drove before that law was in effect a while to make that change. In fact I remember as a kid, you know there were no seatbelts in the back seat and now there are three. And I look at my nieces, they jump in the car, they put their seatbelts right on. Now the driver can't use a cell phone with their hand while you're driving a car. Why? Because evidence shows that there will be less accidents. Likewise we're proposing this amendment which we're hoping will be the bill to curb drunk driving and deaths.

Now when I drive I've had passengers in my car who like to crack open a beer before they get to a beach or to a concert and I just say not in my car. You know, there's plenty of time when you get to your destination or before you leave but while you're in their vehicle that's just, I feel, not the appropriate place to have an open container. Period.

I don't think this amendment goes far enough but I recognize the fact that this is all about consensus and compromise. This is the best that we can do. And I'm happy to see this move forward this year, finally. I want to thank Representative Reynolds, and former Senator Nicholson I know championed this for many years. And I would urge passage of this -- or adoption of this amendment. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you. Thank you very much, sir.

Representative Hewett, you have the floor, sir.

REP. HEWETT (39th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So nice to see you up there on the dais. I can actually get in and out of my chair now.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

I'm so glad I could help you.

REP. HEWETT (39th):

Without her going the whole way forward. Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of this amendment. I remember -- this bill now has been going on for like two or three years and I remember last year that we discussed this bill for at least three to four hours and we found out that this bill would restrict tailgating at a football game. And I've never seen a General Assembly shut down so quick to call a recess to try to get this out of this bill. And guess what, we got it out. It is out of here and there's some strong compromise that had to go on.

First of all I want to say that I don't support drinking and driving myself. Just because we had questions about this bill doesn't mean that we support drinking and driving in a car. People would automatically think that. Through you, Madam Speaker, to the proponent of the amendment, just one question that I need to clear up and does this bill give an officer the authority if say for instance that an officer stops you because there's a number of reasons why an officer can stop you on the highway. If he wants to stop you -- if he wants to pull you over, he will pull you over. It could be for a missing screw on your license plate, breath -- what you call it -- the little air freshener hanging from your sun visors. A lot of people don't know that's against the law.

So there's a reason why -- no seatbelts. If a police officer pulls you over and for that reason and looks into your backseat and sees a case of Budweiser cans that may be you're taking them to the -- to get the deposit back from them and maybe buy another case of beer. You never can tell. Does he have the right to now find out whether those cans are cold, hot, because if they're hot he's probably not drinking it because there could be a little bit of alcohol left in that -- that can and would that be subject to the provisions of this bill? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, no, the definition from the federal government for an open alcoholic beverage container would not apply to a box of empties or to be returned to the store. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hewett.

REP. HEWETT (39th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As I said before, I am in strong support of this bill that took a lot of compromise. There's things that we put in the bill that we like. Does it go far enough? Maybe not, but it is a start. And I would encourage my colleagues to support this amendment. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, sir.

Representative LeGeyt, you have the floor, sir.

REP. LeGEYT (17th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And greeting to you this afternoon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Same to you, sir.

REP. LeGEYT (17th):

I rise today to beg the indulgence of the House and also of the Representative who's proposing this amendment but I -- I have one question that I'm not clear about.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds is prepared, sir. Please frame your question.

REP. LeGEYT (17th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. My question has to do with the fifth subsection of subsection C which is on lines 42 through 44, having to do with any occupant of a motor vehicle parked on the highway. And the question is regarding how the law enforcement community can manage to observe or discern with any certification that there are open containers in a vehicle but for approaching that vehicle when it's parked on a highway and therefore suffering this exception to be brought into play and perhaps this question was already asked and if that's the case then I beg your indulgence on the response. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If the vehicle is parked on a local regardless of the number of open containers or the activity of that car, this amendment would not apply. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative LeGeyt.

REP. LeGEYT (17th):

So in that case how is a -- how is a police person supposed to find out that there are open containers but for noticing it when the vehicle is parked? Is it just that they might have the occasion to notice an open container up above the window as it goes by? How would they otherwise do their job with regard to this bill? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As mentioned earlier the amendment requires -- provides for secondary enforcement only. So the officer would need to pull over the vehicle on the highway or the local road as a result of probable cause for some other potential offense and then and only then could they possibly view a situation that they would deem violates the open container law. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative LeGeyt.

REP. LeGEYT (17th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And in that case the evidence would only -- the evidence would only be circumstantial because there would be no way to tell for sure whether that container was open when the car was moving even though it's opened when the car is parked. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As in all situations in which an officer pulls over a vehicle he simply has to determine whether there is probable cause of a certain activity taking place while the vehicle was in operation. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:
Representative LeGeyt
.

REP. LeGEYT (17th):

I thank the Representative for his answers and appreciate the indulgence, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the second time. If I could just a couple of questions on that road issue, through you, please?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

Representative Miner, please frame your question.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, as I was reading this the first time I didn't pick up the differentiation between local and State and through you, would these State roads be divided highways such as interstate highways?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Interstate highways are included in the statutory definition of highway and would be subject to this amendment. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and would secondary State roads also be in that same definition? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Madam Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So what I think I just heard the gentleman say is that many of the main streets in communities all throughout the State of Connecticut would not be subject to the exclusion under section subset 5. That in fact, Route 68, Route 63, Route 5 in Wallingford, many of the streets that many of residents consider to be our town roads are in fact exempt from this exemption. Meaning that you would be subject, I believe as I understood the gentleman -- the driver of the vehicle would be subject to arrest in those cases.

So, through you, if the occasion was that a vehicle was parked along the side of one of those State roads and there was no one in the operator's seat, no one behind the wheel, yet two people sitting there having a beer. Through you, under this legislation who would receive the infraction?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, I can't determine who the officer would conclude is the operator but whomever the officer determined to be the operator of the vehicle, he may or may not decide to issue an infraction in that case. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And Madam Speaker, to the issue of the secondary stop I just wanted to I guess in my mind be clear here. It's my understanding that there would have to be a primary cause. Someone -- a police officer or a trooper would have to witness the operator either with something else, a broken taillight, marker light out, as Representative Hewett said, a bolt hanging from the license plate. So through you, those would be primary reasons perhaps under our current law to pull a vehicle over as the law currently exists. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, yes. And in testimony we received reports from law enforcement that in states with open container laws it is almost always secondary enforcement in which an open container law is enforced. It is often not primary enforcement. They have typically pulled them over for speeding or some other potential offense before the open containers are recognized. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And in the case that the vehicle was pulled over and the officer witnessed an open container in the back seat. Through you, is that probable cause to issue an infraction to the driver?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, if open containers are present while the motor vehicle is on a State road or moving on a local road the officer could indeed decide to issue an infraction to the operator. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, on line 15, I know that the good Representative answered the question to Representative Hewett relative to returning empty beer bottles. On a Saturday night if I'm driving back too with a number of my friends to a local package store with a six-pack of beer, as I read line 15 if any of those contain any amount of alcohol beverage, through you, am I not subject to this law if I was pulled over for a lawful reason and found to have containers with any amount of alcohol beverage as it says in this amendment?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As mentioned earlier I can't predict the judgment a police officer would make in a certain situation but a -- a box or bag of returnables in my view would not meet the definition of open alcoholic beverage container. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And if I could just I guess back to the probable cause understanding again that the vehicle was stopped for a lawful reason, understanding that there were open containers containing alcohol --

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Just a moment, Representative Miner. There's a debate going on between these two gentlemen. The noise level was starting to rise. Please respect the chamber. Representative Miner, please proceed.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So if I could again, through you. Understanding that the vehicle was pulled over for a lawful purpose, broken taillight, the officer witnessed open containers in the back of the vehicle, driver hadn't been drinking, again under the amendment as it's drafted it would be my understanding that the driver then would be subject to an infraction.

Under those circumstances, would any of those be probable cause? Again, the open container in the automobile, may be one or more occupants other than the driver, for any other type of a search within that motor vehicle? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, the observance of an open container I do not believe would be adequate cause for a search but the amendment does not address that specifically. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, if I might, this legislation wouldn't preclude a further search of the vehicle? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, I don't know.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, every now and again when I do go into a local liquor store I notice that there are very small containers of alcohol. And every now and again you find a soda can on the side of the road. I don't think littering is anything that we condone. Certainly not anything that I condone.

But through you, if a vehicle were pulled over with a broken taillight and an officer found younger individuals, maybe younger adults in an automobile and witnessed three soda cans in the automobile, would there be probable cause for that individual to check to see if those soda cans had any content of alcohol in them. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, the presence of -- observing soda cans present would not, in my opinion, meet the definition of open alcoholic beverage container.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And so in the instance that I cite, if there was alcohol in my soda can am I subject of would the driver would be subject to an infraction under this amendment? If there was -- if one of my passengers had alcohol added to soda can do they come under this for the infraction or do they not? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. An infraction for an open container could only be issued if the officer determined that an open alcoholic beverage container was present using the definition provided in the amendment. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And so, through you, if there was no alcohol container in the car yet this soda can contained 25 percent alcohol plus whatever the balance was in soda, the driver would not be subject to the same infraction that the driver would be subject to if there was a can of beer in the car open? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The amendment makes reference to an existing definition of alcoholic beverage that's already in statute and that would guide the officer's decision with regard to that judgment. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, what I'm -- what I'm trying to find out here is what the -- what the on the street -- Madam Speaker, what I'm trying to find out is what the on the street definition or the -- the real life reality of what this amendment will do to our constituents. And what I'm concerned about is that under some determinations I suspect given certain individuals at certain times of the day someone might determine that an open container is merely going back for recycling.

But in another hour of the day with two or three people coming back from a hockey game, somebody might decide, wait a minute, they might have been drinking. There's a trace of alcohol in there. And on line 15, if I might -- 14 and 15 of this amendment it talks can or other receptacle. So as I read this, I don't understand how a police officer could make any other determination that this soda can with alcohol in it is subject to a infraction just as an open container of beer would be. So am I misreading that, through you, Madam Speaker?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, existing statute is quite clear about what meets the definition of an alcoholic beverage and the amendment is clear. We use the federal language for defining an open alcoholic beverage container and it would be at the discretion of the officer to determine that those two definitions were met and that therefore could decide whether or not to -- to determine whether or not an open container violation occurred. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I don't have the federal definition. If I might, through you, under section 3 is that the federal definition of open beverage container? Through you, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, that's very helpful. And just one last thing, I want to be clear on the continuing search because I know that it's not an uncommon thing, in fact, I think many people have been concerned in the past about one thing leading to another. There is no circumstances, I understand the gentleman, through which a primary stop and a secondary infraction being issued upon which a police officer could build a case that a search of occupants in the care relative to this amendment could lead to a subsequent arrest. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, the mere presence of open containers would not in my mind justify any additional search but the amendment doesn't address that and I'm not an appropriate authority to comment on that. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Miner.

REP. MINER (66th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the gentleman for his answer. And based on what I think I heard, there certainly would be a question as to whether or not an arrest could happen. I think the question of whether there could be a conviction on an arrest or an improper search at that point is another matter. But I did think I heard the gentleman say that it is possible and I thank him for that answer.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you.

Representative Hamm, you have the floor, ma'am.

REP. HAMM (34th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have a question or two for the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds seems to be prepared. Please frame your question.

REP. HAMM (34th):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Representative Reynolds, I'm really wanting to support this amendment but I'm quite troubled with the debate that's led us to the conversation about the designated driver. So could I direct your attention to lines 45 to 49. Would it be an accurate interpretation of the language to say that a designated driver who is sober and not drinking but driving with the passenger area having several intoxicated individuals, would be the person who would be stopped and given an infraction for violation of this law? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, it is not illegal and this amendment would not make it illegal to be as a designated driver and it would be legal before and after this amendment to drive intoxicated persons home. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamm.

REP. HAMM (34th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, would the same be true for that designated driver if one of the individuals in the passenger area had an open bottle of liquor? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, if that vehicle was moving on a State highway or local road or parked on a State highway and the officer determined that there was an open alcoholic beverage container , it is possible the operator could be subject to the infraction. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamm.

REP. HAMM (34th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, could I probe a bit more to get the understanding of why and what the thinking was for holding designated driver's responsible for the activities of what occurs in the passenger area? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Please proceed. Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Two points; one the major concern with last year's bill was that the infraction was subject to all individuals in the car. In order to accommodate that concern the amendment was narrowed to make solely the driver subject to the infraction because the driver is responsible for the activities that go on in that car.

Law enforcement has testified that the real reason for an open container law is to discourage alcohol parties in moving automobiles and that this is an important addition to our arsenal of drunk driving laws to discourage that type of partying in the car. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamm.

REP. HAMM (34th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, so if I'm understanding the intent of this legislation, a political decision was made that we are not going to fine or other way arrest the people in the passenger area, which are likely the people drinking, and we're going to hold the sober driver responsible. Is that a fair characterization, through you, Madam Speaker?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, whether or not the operator is sober or intoxicated is irrelevant to the imposition possibly of the open container infraction. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamm.

REP. HAMM (34th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, can we agree however, that the impact of this public policy is to discourage sober individuals from driving intoxicated individuals home? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. It's a good question. The experience in the 43 states that have such a law has been quite the opposite. It has proven to be a significant deterrent to drinking in automobiles and it has encouraged in a significant way drivers taking responsibility for what goes on in their motor vehicles. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamm.

REP. HAMM (34th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I thank the proponent for his thoughtful comments.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Mikutel, you have the floor, sir.

REP. MIKUTEL (45th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise to support the amendment and commend Representative Reynolds for his hard work on this bill. It was said that this is not the best bill but it's the best bill that we're going to get and I agree with that because there are some concerns I have with the bill. But overall it's worthy of support. As it is in Connecticut now a person can have one hand on the wheel and driving down the road and the other hand on an open container of whiskey and that makes no sense.

Motor vehicles should not be rolling bars in the State of Connecticut. The further we distance alcohol beverages from the driver the safer our roads will be. This is a common sense bill. We've been talking about it for a number of years. When you add the fact that we're losing millions of dollars of federal highway money because we have not adopted such a law in the past it only makes it more sensible for us to pass this -- this bill. That's all I have to say.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, sir.

Representative Tercyak, you have the floor, sir.

REP. TERCYAK (26th):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Through you, some questions to the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds. Representative Tercyak, please frame your question.

REP. TERCYAK (26th):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Through you, it was mentioned that this bill still wouldn't meet federal standards and that the price we pay for that is not to lose a dime of federal money but that the feds direct that money instead of us choosing where to spend it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative -- oh, I'm sorry.

REP. TERCYAK (26th):

Do I understand that correctly? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, yes, federal law requires states to have an open container law and if it is not federally compliant we do not lose money, we simply lose control over approximately $ 3 to $ 4 million per year in what those federal highway dollars get spent on. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Tercyak.

REP. TERCYAK (26th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Does the proponent know where that money ends up getting spent?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds. Representative Reynolds, did you hear the question?

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Yes, ma'am. Just one minute. Madam Speaker, the penalty for noncompliance is that the funds would be diverted to drunk driving mitigation or hazard elimination. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Tercyak.

REP. TERCYAK (26th):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Through you, to the proponent of the bill, does the State spend any of our own non-federal money on drunk driving or prevention or hazardous -- hazard remediation?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, it's my understanding there's both State and federal money spent on those purposes. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Tercyak.

REP. TERCYAK (26th):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Because then it would seem to me that in terms of federal money, if we manage to get this money unencumbered we'll just be spending State money in the same area. That's our -- our commitment there is apparently larger than the amount of money the feds direct when we don't comply with the bill.

And another question, if the police pull someone over suspecting something; a broken taillight turns out not to be broken, a potential seatbelt violation where it turns out the person was wearing the seatbelt. Since the original suspected offense is not an offense is it still possible for the stone cold sober driver to be arrested under this bill if somebody else in the car, maybe even somebody sober is sipping on a beer?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, two points. One, the sobriety or lack of sobriety of drivers and passengers is irrelevant to whether or not this law were to be enforced. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Tercyak.

REP. TERCYAK (26th):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, because I think that actually the sobriety should be the most relevant thing here. I think that this bill -- this amendment and I'm clear I'm speaking on the amendment. There will be plenty of chances to spend at least this much time speaking on the bill later. But that this seems to me to actually criminalize alcohol and it's consumption. Through you, Madam Speaker, to the proponent of the bill, is there a problem with the breathalyzers that the State of Connecticut presently uses to determine whether somebody is too intoxicated to drive or not?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, I see no reference to breathalyzers in this amendment before us. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Tercyak.

REP. TERCYAK (26th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. My question about breathalyzers wasn't so much if it was in the bill but if the bill was in part a response to breathalyzers no longer being believed to work. That we have to go through such a stretch to criminalize some kinds of driving behavior, through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, the bill has nothing to do with driving behaviors, through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Tercyak.

REP. TERCYAK (26th):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I'm not sure that I interpret the bill as all the same way as not having to do with driving behaviors. In terms of federal law, which we now know we would spend -- we spend more money than the feds direct to the areas that this direct this money. The State's commitment is greater than just the amount of money that is impacted by this bill.

In terms of federal law some of us think we've had a rough quite a few year for federal laws and hope that we're entering a better time, possibly even where the feds won't be quite so harsh in punishing the states for not making their dreams come true. With the breathalyzer we can tell if someone is drunk or is not drunk, has had any alcohol at all or not. And when that person's driving that's the person we're concerned about. One trouble, maybe my biggest problem with this bill is it criminalizes predicted future behaviors.

Somebody has predicted that if I'm driving and I'm on my way to Boston where the good baseball team is, or on my way to New York where there are other teams and I have three friends in my car. I fail to see how they're splitting a six-pack at good New Britain package store prices. And by the way, I use the package store on top of the hill on Broad Street when I'm buying for my guests. I fail to see how them having a couple beers at good New Britain package store prices, threatens my sobriety then or in the future. And I -- we have -- this will be our first time to have a bill about drunken driving where you don't even have to be drunk or attempting to be drinking. It's just wrong.

What behaviors will we predict next? Will we outlaw some certain expressions of anger as being so severe that we now have to worry about assault laws even though there was no assault that took place. Shall we call it assault just because? You know some people who yell that loudly and that meanly later assault somebody. Following the precedent of this bill we would. Somebody made a movie about the government and their confidence at predicting behaviors. Stop the murderer before they murder. That was a popular cry in that movie. It sounds to me remarkably like this bill. We don't object to people driving sober. And yet we have a bill here whose stated purpose is to punish sober drivers. Period. Nobody else will be punished by this.

The only way to be guilty in this bill is to be driving sober. I personally am of the opinion that we're in favor of people driving sober and that it's a bad thing to discourage people from enjoying the benefits of driving sober. I think that's really wrong. For that reason I would urge all my colleagues who dare to vote against this amendment and I will look forward to speaking once or twice against the bill. Madam Speaker, thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, Representative Tercyak.

Representative Johnston, you have the floor, sir.

REP. JOHNSTON (51st):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If I can, Madam Speaker, through you a question to the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds appears to be ready. Please frame your question.

REP. JOHNSTON (51st):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. There appears to be a series of exceptions to the open container law and one of those would be in a passenger motor vehicle if one of the passengers is the owner or lease of the vehicle and it appears that he's hired the driver of the vehicle. So, in a real world scenario if there were four of us going to a baseball game at Fenway Park and it was my vehicle and I hired my next door neighbor to drive that car for whatever price we agreed upon and I had a receipt in that vehicle with me would myself and the other two passengers be allowed to have a can of beer on our way to Fenway Park in that moving vehicle?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, the federal law allows for exemptions for driver's for hire. And if the scenario described met the criteria for driver's for hire, then this amendment would not be applicable. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Johnston.

REP. JOHNSTON (51st):

And I thank the gentleman for his answer and it leads me to the question what would be that criteria because I don't -- I'm not sure I have that specific language if the scenario I applied was there and I gave that person a fee of $ 75, let's say for that two hour drive. Does that qualify or does this person have to be a legally licensed chauffeur or some other special type of license. If he could kind of explain a little further of what that criteria may be that might be helpful for me to understand.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, as mentioned earlier and as allowed by federal law there are various exemptions for driver's for hire that includes buses, taxi cabs, limousines, livery vehicles, privately owned motor vehicle driven by a person in the course of his or her usual employment who's transporting the passengers at his or her employer's direction or a driver for hire for which there is a documentation of the financial transaction. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Johnston.

REP. JOHNSTON (51st):

As I listen to that description -- I guess if it was in a private passenger motor vehicle I guess the determination would have to be the definition of “in the usual course of employment”. And maybe if my next door neighbor in the usual course of enjoying games at Fenway Park maybe on a half dozen occasion a year, used this employment to drive his good friends or his next door neighbors, I'm guessing that that exemption would apply? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If the officer determined that the scenario met the definition of driver for hire this amendment would not apply.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Johnston.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker.

REP. JOHNSTON (51st):

I thank the Representative for his answer and a similar line of questioning please, if in fact I as the owner of that passenger motor vehicle decided I wanted to -- to drive the same three friends and neighbors to an event to Fenway Park which would probably be the subject of choice but it certainly could be three people driving to the Bushnell to see the Nutcracker, which I may pass up on, but as the driver of that vehicle, through you, Madam Speaker, if I was hired by my next door neighbor in the usual course of trying to get some extra money so I don't have to pay for my ticket to Fenway Park, maybe multiple times a year, I as the owner of that passenger vehicle get some outside employment and for a certain price, maybe my ticket and a bag of peanuts at the ballgame. Because I'm the designated driver I'll pass up the beer at that ballgame. Would this be allowed through this exceptions in this bill? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, again the bill makes and the federal law provides for an exemption for driver's for hire. The one specifically referred to by the good Representative would simply require a receipt for payment made to the operator. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Johnston.

REP. JOHNSTON (51st):

I thank the gentleman who brought out the amendment very much for the answer. I -- I'll continue to listen to some of the discussion. I have great reservations about creating sort of a separate class of a violation for a person that may indeed be perfectly sober and for a situation where I think that person may indeed be contributing to making our highways and our roads safer, for that person to actually put what I think might be the right thing and what we have talked about in this nation and other nations for many, many years; have a designated driver.

By in certain cases agreeing to be that designate driver, someone else's actions in that vehicle of consuming some amount of alcoholic beverage could put that person who in my mind is doing a good deed and doing the right thing, could put that person in jeopardy. And I'm not certain that that's an area that we ought to move forward with but I thank the gentleman for his answers very much. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Johnston -- Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I know we're concluding the speakers. I request that when the vote be taken it be taken by roll. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

All those in favor of a roll call vote please indicate by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The 20 percent has not been met. When the vote is taken it'll be taken by voice.

Representative Godfrey, you have the floor, sir.

REP. GODGFREY (110th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm sad to observe that it is true. No good deed goes unpunished. First let me associate myself with the remarks of the gentleman from New Britain, Representative Tercyak except for one. We can take MetroNorth to Yankee Stadium. We don't have to drive. Thank you. Thank you all a lot. I've been here for 21 years.

I've seen good bills and bad bills; good drafts and bad drafts. This is a bad draft. There's a germ of a good idea in here some place but the language, not the idea -- the language, doesn't meet the expectations of the intent, certainly not to the -- not what I'm hearing is the intention of some of the proponents. This could be fixed, rather readily too.

I'm disturbed when I hear we're punishing the good Samaritan. We're punishing the designated driver. I'm particularly upset -- there's certainly no exception for family. What's the 17 year old daughter that comes to pick up daddy at the bar and drive him home and he opens a can of beer and they get stopped. And she gets the ticket. She's supposed to tell her father what to do? So much for the sanctity of the family, Madam Speaker. I'm rather disturbed by that. A spouse, no exception. Grandson, grandparent, whatever. It's -- again there's a germ of a good idea here but a very bad draft trying to express it.

This may be a good, you know, press release, but it is not a good public act. I think we should -- it would be -- it would be my personal preference to draw this up correctly. I understand the limitations of time that -- that won't permit that. But just this idea -- just this idea of deputizing every sober driver -- driver to do the police's work, to do society's work disturbs me. The fact that family members who are trying to help each other out get punished for it very much disturbs me. And sadly though I do like the underlying idea, there's no way -- no way I could support the language in this particular amendment unless it gets radically rewritten. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, sir. Representative Fritz, you have the floor, ma'am.

REP. FRITZ (90th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And Representative Reynolds, you know how very strongly I feel about this and I have always been a supporter of the open container bill. But if I'm hearing correctly what this does it actually eliminates the designated driver. Through you, Madam Speaker. Is that true, Representative Reynolds?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, no.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Fritz.

REP. FRITZ (90th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, then if somebody is the designated driver and they're driving to a football game or a baseball game and the friends are in the back having a couple of beers and for some unknown reason, whatever it might be -- a light that doesn't work, somebody doesn't have their seatbelt on. And they're stopped, and the friends are in back drinking but the driver who has been designated hasn't had a drop. This driver gets arrested. Is that not true?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, not necessarily. A violation is merely an infraction. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Fritz.

REP. FRITZ (90th):

But the driver through no fault of his own, who is designated to protect his friends actually and to keep them safe is now going to get a ticket. I'm sorry Representative Reynolds, I guess I have to associate myself with the remarks of Representative Godfrey. I know the bill is well-intentioned. I know how hard people have worked on it. I think this is our third year looking at it but I have to say this does not do it. And like, God bless him and remember him, Representative Belden always said, you can't make a bad bill better.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Will you remark? Will you remark further? If not --

Representative Tallarita for what reason do you rise?

REP. TALLARITA (58th):

To ask a question of the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Yes, you may. Please proceed. Representative Reynolds. Representative Reynolds. Representative Reynolds, Representative Tallarita has a question to ask of you. Please proceed, Representative Tallarita.

REP. TALLARITA (58th):

Representative Reynolds, under this amendment if I'm driving my vehicle and I'm picking up some friends and they get in my vehicle and say we're driving and someone in the back seat pulls out a flask and starts drinking and I'm not really aware of what's going on because I'm paying attention to my driving. And I get pulled over for some reason. The cop must have seen what was going on in the back seat and -- or saw a taillight out or something. I am -- under this amendment I would be responsible for that and I could receive an infraction. Is that correct?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, theoretically, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Tallarita.

REP. TALLARITA (58th):
Do I have any recourse through the courts to try to plead that down
. Would that not be -- also go as points possibly against my insurance? And can I take this into the courts' hands or is that just an infraction that I must pay and endure?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, it's an infraction so there'd be no points off the license. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Tallarita.

REP. TALLARITA (58th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, if -- is there a -- you had said that if we were to do a hire -- a driver for hire, is there a certain dollar amount that you must pay a driver for hire in order to have that apply so that if you're taking someone to a baseball game or to an event is there an actual dollar amount you must pay the driver so that they are considered a paid chauffeur or driver? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds. Would you like her to repeat the question?

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Yes, ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Tallarita, would you please repeat the question?

REP. TALLARITA (58th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, yes. Is there a dollar amount that you must pay someone that will be driving you in order for them to be considered a paid driver or chauffeur under this amendment? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As mentioned earlier the federal law allows for drivers for hire as an exemption and this amendment includes an exemption for limousines, chauffeurs, taxis, professional drivers, and other drivers for which there is documentation of the financial transaction. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Tallarita.

REP. TALLARITA (58th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, what would be considered documentation? Could you write out a receipt in order to have the person be considered a driver for hire? Is that -- would that be allowed under this amendment? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):
Thank you, Madam Speaker, the amendment makes reference to a receipt for payment made to the operator, through you
.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Tallarita.

REP. TALLARITA (58th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. One more question to the proponent of the amendment. Under this amendment would you be -- would a -- if you were to give the driver a check made out to them would that be considered a receipt? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, the amendment is silent on that issue.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Tallarita.

REP. TALLARITA (58th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm just trying to frame my next question. Under this amendment if you were to get into -- I know sometimes I've gotten into a cab and there's been too many of us so somebody has to sit in the front seat. If you were to hire someone to drive you to, say an event, and there were more of you than could fit in the backseat of the vehicle, would the person in the -- that was sitting opposite the -- in the -- opposite the driver in the front seat, would that person be allowed to be -- have an open container in the car if you had -- if you had documentation proving that the driver was being paid to drive you to the event? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, if the scenario met the definition of a driver for hire, then any passenger that is anyone other than the operator could possess an open container. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Tallarita.

REP. TALLARITA (58th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. That concludes my questions. Thank you very much for the opportunity.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you.

Representative Geragosian, you have the floor, sir.

REP. GERAGOSIAN (25th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Just a quick question to the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds, prepare yourself for questioning. Please frame your question, Representative Geragosian.

REP. GERAGOSIAN (25th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, following up on Representative Tallarita's questions regarding insurance and points on one's license for an infraction. I believe that speeding up to a certain speed is an infraction yet it contributes to points on a -- on a license. Why wouldn't this? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. We were advised by OLR that this infraction would not be points off the license. Through you. Representative Geragosian.

REP. GERAGOSIAN (25th):

Is there somewhere in statute, through you, that you know that lists the types of infractions that are subject to the imposition of points on a license? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am not aware of that citation. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Geragosian.

REP. GERAGOSIAN (25th):

And just one more question. It might have been asked before. The triggering amount for the alcoholic beverage in a container is any amount. Does that mean what it says, any trace or is there a minimum standard for that? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. That's the definition provided by the federal government. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Geragosian.

REP. GERAGOSIAN (25th):

But, through you, does that mean any -- a drop? Does it mean a half ounce? Does that mean an ounce? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The federal definition makes reference to any amount of alcoholic beverage and it would be left to the discretion of the officer to make a judgment as to whether or not that meets the definition of open alcoholic beverage container. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Geragosian.

REP. GERAGOSIAN (25th):

And through you, Madam Speaker, in the field how would that officer make that determination? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Reynolds.

REP. REYNOLDS (42nd):

Through you, Madam Speaker, using his good judgment and professional training. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Geragosian.

REP. GERAGOSIAN (25th):

I thank the gentleman for his answers.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Will you remark? Will you remark further on the amendment that is before us? Representative Merrill, for what reason do you rise?

REP. MERRILL (54th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move we pass this item temporarily.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Motion to PT the bill. Is there any objections? Is there any objections? Hearing none, the bill is PT'd. The House will stand at ease.

(Chamber at ease. )

Deputy Speaker Godfrey in the Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

We'll continue with the call of the Calendar. Mr. Clerk, would you kindly call Calendar number 591?

THE CLERK:

On page 17, Calendar 591, substitute for Senate Bill number 499, AN ACT CONCERNING A PET LEMON LAW AND THE RELEASE OF RABIES VACCINATION RECORDS TO ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS favorable report of the Committee on Judiciary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The distinguished Vice Chairman of the Environment Committee, Representative Hurlburt.

REP. HURLBURT (53rd):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Question's on acceptance and passage. Explain the bill please, sir.

REP. HURLBURT (53rd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the bill before us was amended by the Senate. As many of us heard from our constituents, the Senate Amendment struck the word 'commercial' and included the word 'kennel'. This overstepped the intention of the bill and the Clerk has on his desk LCO -- amendment LCO 6389. I ask that he call and urge my colleagues to reject Senate A.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The Clerk is in possession of LCO number 6389, previously designated Senate Amendment Schedule A. Will the Clerk kindly call the amendment.

THE CLERK:

LCO number 6389, Senate A offered by Senator Meyer and Representative Roy.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The gentleman has moved to reject Senate Amendment Schedule A, so the motion is to reject Senate A. And as soon as we have the board catch up we'll be all set. Questions on rejection of Senate Amendment Schedule A? Will you remark on the motion to reject? Representative Camillo on the motion to reject Senate A? No. Anyone on the motion to reject Senate A? Representative Hovey.

REP. HOVEY (112th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just would like to inquire of the proponent for rejection as to the specificity around purpose of rejection. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Hurlburt, do you care to respond?

REP. HURLBURT (53rd):
Thank you, Mr
. Speaker. And that's a wonderful question. On line 5 of Senate A, the Senate in all of their wisdom inserted 'or kennel'. This language would open up the provisions of the bill to what we would consider backyard breeders. It was not intended to be that way. The purpose of the bill was to be directed at pet shops. And so strike it or rejecting Senate A would allow this bill to be -- to its intended purpose of pet shops only and not backyard breeders.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Hovey.

REP. HOVEY (112th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And through you, another question to the proponent of the rejection. In discussing pet shops, kennels, and the differences in those, sir, if one were to have an animal adoption facility what umbrella does that facility come under? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Hurlburt.

REP. HURLBURT (53rd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would believe that would fall under a kennel which was one of the unintended consequences of this action in the Senate. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Hovey.

REP. HOVEY (112th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, then I guess I understand that there are concerns by the small breeders who have -- who may breed one litter a year or maybe two litters a year from their kind of personal stock, so to speak. They're not big kennels. I understand that they have concerns. But sir, I have a concern because I have an individual who imports stray animals from different countries, from other parts of the United States and I -- in my community need to have a vehicle where that individual is going to have some constraints put on the way they practice their business. And -- and also some constraints and protections for those animals that they're moving from many and varied areas.

And so my concern, through you, Mr. Speaker, is that by not adopting this as it is, that that individual is not going to be caught up in what I was hoping to be some supervision. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Hurlburt.

REP. HURLBURT (53rd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we have shortly before us a House Amendment A which -- which I think this question would be better addressed to. Hence we'll be rejecting Senate A so that we could take up a House A that fixes some of the problems that -- that the current bill has before us.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Hovey.

REP. HOVEY (112th):
Thank you, Mr
. Speaker. And I thank the gentleman for that clarification and I will wait to see. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you.

Representative Noujaim, on the rejection of Senate A.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A point of order, if I may? Through you, I would like to request Representative Hurlburt to give us a description of the difference between Senate A and the underlying bill if he has not done that yet. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

What the -- the gentleman is asking us to reject Senate A and has already intimated that they'll be a House A that will also obviate the underlying bill.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It's just a matter of knowing what is the difference between -- if I am in order to ask the difference between the underlying bill and Senate A? What does Senate A takes out of the underlying bill? If I may, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

You certainly may. Just recall that there'll be a House A that will strike both of those things.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Will you remark further on the rejection of Senate Amendment Schedule A? Let me try your minds. All those in favor of rejection -- rejecting Senate Amendment Schedule A signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Opposed nay.

Senate Amendment Schedule A is rejected.

Just wait for the board to catch up with us.

Representative Camillo.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

Good morning, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Good afternoon.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

I stand corrected. Good afternoon. Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment, LCO number 8728. I would ask that the Clerk please call the amendment and that I be granted leave of the chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Clerk is in possession of LCO number 8728 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule A. Will the Clerk please call.

THE CLERK:

LCO number 8728 House A offered by Representative Camillo, Cafero, et al.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The gentleman has asked leave of the chamber to summarize. Is there objection?

Hearing none, please proceed, Representative Camillo.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This bill does three things. It helps promote healthy animals. It discourages improper, unethical breeding. And it will assure that -- for a pet owner that they will know exactly where their pets, their best friends come from. That in a fact has not come from a pet puppy mill from out of state. I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The question is on adoption. Will you remark on House Amendment Schedule A? Representative Camillo.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

This bill here, as I said, basically will assure people that the pets that they have purchased from a pet store owner is in fact coming from a reputable breeder from out of state. They will have to have -- could be accompanied by a certificate of origin that will have to be on the premise about ten feet away from the animal. At the time of purchase a copy of the origin -- certificate of origin will be presented to the -- the legal pet owner. And also a copy will have to be filed with the Department of Agriculture so there is a trace back to the origins of where the pet came from. Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank the gentleman from Old Greenwich.

On continuing on House Amendment Schedule A, Representative Hurlburt.

REP. HURLBURT (151st):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the amendment but I have a couple of questions for the proponent that I'd like to ask if we could so indulge

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. HURLBURT (151st):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Representative Camillo, is it true that an animal need not be returned in order to collect the reimbursement for veterinarian bills?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Camillo.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Hurlburt.

REP. HURLBURT (53rd):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And another question to the proponent, if a person would like to sell a puppy to a pet shop that person must be licensed, correct?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Camillo.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, that is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Hurlburt.

REP. HURLBURT (53rd):

Thank you. One of the -- one of the things that I want to distinguish here is that if I have a litter and I try to sell a puppy from my litter to a friend, family member through the newspaper I don't need to be licensed. But I also cannot sell to a pet shop. Is that also correct?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Camillo.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, that is also correct. Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Hurlburt.

REP. HURLBURT (53rd):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, I rise in strong support of the amendment before us and I ask that my colleagues join me in the bipartisan support we have for this amendment and adopting it. Thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Hovey.

REP. HOVEY (112th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, a question to the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Please proceed, madam.

REP. HOVEY (112th):

Thank you, sir. For legislative intent, through you, sir, I'm inquiring to find out how the term pet shop licensee fits into the scheme of someone who rescues or provides animals for adoption. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Camillo.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, it doesn't speak to that. This just basically is to make sure that if somebody is selling a dog or a cat from a breeder that it has to be licensed and they have to have a trace back to the -- its origins.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Hovey.

REP. HOVEY (112th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So through you, Mr. Speaker, if an individual is importing dogs from another country, setting up a van on a corner and selling those dogs for upwards of $ 400 that individual is not under the supervision of this legislation at all? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Camillo.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is actually for -- this only speaks to if they're going to sell to a pet shop licensee. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Hovey.

REP. HOVEY (112th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative O'Connor.

REP. O'CONNOR (35th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, a question to -- through you to the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Please frame your question, sir.

REP. O'CONNOR (35th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You know, just for the record I just want to make sure that this does not affect -- I know you mentioned the pet store breeders but this -- I have a lot of hobby breeders within my district. Are they exempt from this law? Through you, Madam -- Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Camillo.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

Yes, Mr. Speaker. Yes. As long as they're not selling to pet shop licensees. Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative O'Connor.
REP
. O'CONNOR (35th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And also as far as if a hobby breeder were to sell a dog and it was found to have a defect, would they be held responsible or liable for that pet? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Camillo.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

Mr. Speaker, no, that pertains to someone whose -- sells to a pet shop licensee.

Rep. O'CONNOR (35th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir.

Representative Sayers.

REP. SAYERS (60th):
Thank you, Mr
. Speaker. Through you, a question to the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed, ma'am.

REP. SAYERS (60th):

Thank you, sir. If I were to purchase a puppy from out of the country from a breeder, would this amendment have any impact on that?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Camillo.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I believe this just deals with the United States.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Sayers.

REP. SAYERS (60th):

So I wouldn't have to find out if that particular breeder sells to pet shops or not.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Camillo.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, no, this requires that they have a certificate of origin be filed with the Department of Agriculture. So I don't know if that's going to really reach over into a foreign country.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Sayers.

REP. SAYERS (60th):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. And I did purchase a puppy that did come from out of the country. And I did have to have a certificate of health. It had to be micro-chipped and some of that was because of the country where the puppy was acquired from. These were requirements before it could leave the country but I didn't have to report any of this to the Department of Agriculture. So I just want to be clear that this would not change that.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Camillo.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, no, it does not.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Sayers.

REP. SAYERS (60th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, ma'am.

Representative Floren.

REP. FLOREN (149th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am totally in support of this but I had one question for the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Please proceed, ma'am.

REP. FLOREN (149th):

Thank you. Through you, does the inoculation schedule also have to be posted and is there a defined schedule for any such dogs?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Camillo.

REP. CAMILLO (151st):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, yes, prior to the sale of a pet through a licensed veterinarian there would have to be every 15 days or so an examination and it would have to be -- a record would have to be kept of that.

REP. FLOREN (149th):

And it would have to be kept. Thank you so much. And thank you for your hard work on this.

REP. CAMILLO (151st);

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Remark further on House Amendment Schedule A? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

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 opened.

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 Kirkley-Bey in the Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Please check the board to see your vote has been properly cast. The machine will be locked and the Clerk will prepare the tally. Will the Clerk please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

Senate bill 499 as amended by House Amendment Schedule A

Total number voting 145

Necessary for passage 73

Those voting Yea 144

Those voting Nay 1

Those absent and not voting 6

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Walker, for what reason were you waving at me darling?

REP. WALKER (93rd):

Because I wanted to say hi, Representative Kirkley -- Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I would like to vote in the affirmative please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The transcript will show note -- so note.

Representative Sharkey, for what reason do you rise my dear?

REP. SHARKEY (88th):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker. I rise for the same reason that Representative Walker rise.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The transcript will show note.

REP. SHARKEY (88th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

How did you want to vote, sir?

REP. SHARKEY (88th):

In the affirmative.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you. The transcript will so note.

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

Representative Bye, you have the floor, sir -- ma'am.

REP. BYE (112th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Good afternoon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Good afternoon, dear.

REP. BYE (19th):

Madam Speaker, with me in the back of the chamber is a West Hartford native named Mike Storm, a graduate of Conard High School who's doing an internship here at the capital this summer with Capital Strategies. And soon he'll be off to work for Senator Dodd doing an internship in Washington. He's a junior at G. W. University, heading into his senior year and I'd like the chamber to give him a warm welcome. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you. We thank you for joining us and wish you must success in your future. Thank you, Representative Bye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Will the Clerk -- will --

Representative Orange, you have the floor, ma'am.

REP. ORANGE (48th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, for a point of personal privilege, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Please proceed, ma'am.

REP. ORANGE (48th):

Ladies and gentlemen of the chamber we're all very lucky here to have such a wonderful staff working for us. And I would just like to say on behalf of Representative Flexer and Graziani, and Schofield, I would like to wish our legislative assistant Matthew Misunas who does an awesome job for us a very happy birthday. Happy birthday Matt.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Schofield, you have the floor, ma'am.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for a point of personal privilege, please
.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Please proceed.

REP. SCHOFIELD (16th):

I just want to make note since we did pass a recycling bill here in this chamber. I just want to make sure that everyone realizes that the blue buckets that we have here, although everyone thinks they only are for white paper believe it or not we can put colored paper and magazines in those blue buckets as well. So please feel free to recycle all of your paper. And we do have cans -- a receptacle for cans in the back here, too. So please remember, cans and juice bottles go up in this box back here so we can all be good recyclers. Thanks.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you.

The House will stand at ease.

(Chamber at ease. )

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Butler, you have the floor, sir.

REP. BUTLER (72nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. How are you doing today?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

I'm fine, sir. How are you?

REP. BUTLER (72nd):

Great to see you there today. I rise for a point of personal privilege.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Please proceed.

REP. BUTLER (72nd):

Today we're very fortunate to have a very special young student with us today from the city of Waterbury, a student named Hannah Butler, no relation. And she's standing in the well of the House. She just stood up and she is joined by her mother, Bernice Cogens. Could you also stand up? Hannah is a fourth grader and has just mastered algebra. Yes. I did say algebra. She is nine years old and has made headlines in reading proficiency.

I'm sure there's some high school students who would like to consult with her for her expert knowledge but also she was recently the subject of an article in the Republican American that actually spoke of her proficiency of reading at the age of three as well. So for all those who are talking about their early reading programs, it goes to show if you're proficient at the age of three you can master algebra by the age of nine. Can we give her a round of applause one more time?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Miss Butler, I'm very jealous.

We'll return -- will the Clerk please call Calendar number 696.

THE CLERK:

On page 26, Calendar 696, substitute for Senate Bill number 920, AN ACT CLARIFYING PENSION OBLIGATIONS OF CONTRACTORS AND SUBCONTRACTORS favorable report of the Committee on Insurance and Real Estate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan, you have the floor, sir.

REP. RYAN (139th):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The motion before us is on acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Will you remark further?

REP. RYAN (139th):

Yes. Thank you, Madam Speaker. Basically we have a bill here that's going to take care of a problem that we had that was brought to the Labor Committee where a contractor had maintained their obligations to their subcontractors making the appropriate payments and having received the certified payrolls from the subcontractors assuring them that the proper wages had been paid and that the subcontractor had paid the appropriate funds into the general -- what is it called -- into the general wage fund which takes care of benefits such as retirement, disability, healthcare, and other benefits.

It was discovered after the subcontractor -- the contractor had made its final payment to the subcontractor and had received these certified payrolls that the actual payments had not been made to the pension obligations. So the Department of Labor during its investigations came back to the contractor since the subcontractor was no longer available and asked the contractor to pay into the pension funds the monies that were supposed to be there.

Obviously we didn't think this was very fair. It didn't seem right that the contractor should pay twice. So this is why this bill is in front of us today. We do have an amendment to make some clarifications in the bill that was passed in the Senate. And the Clerk has LCO 8497. May he call and I be allowed to summarize?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 8497 designated Senate Amendment A.

THE CLERK:

LCO number 8497, Senate A offered by Senator Prague.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The Representative has asked leave to summarize. Is there any objection? Seeing none, please proceed, sir.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This -- basically this bill -- we've had a long series of meetings and there's some clarifications that were required which is I believe done in this amendment. Basically it says that the -- after the contractor has received the certified payrolls the contractor can rely on the certification only if the subcontractor has made some kind of payment bond on the project or has had some -- kind of received some kind of verification that the respective funds have been allocated to the pension and benefit fund administrator of whatever relevant funds for the benefits that the workers of the subcontractor should be receiving. In this way the contractor can be assured that the payments are being made so that when they finally sign off with that subcontractor they know that the workers have been properly taken care of.

If for some reason it's found out that they weren't properly taken care of the bill will permit any contractor to go to court to receive up to the actual damages -- well actually this Senate Amendment doesn't allow for that. We have another amendment that's going to take care of it. But we're hoping that we will get to a point where the contractor can sue the subcontractor for any damages up to the amount of the damages that may be involved in the nonpayment of these proper obligations. I move for adoption, Madam.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The question before us is on adoption of Senate Amendment A. Will you remark?

Representative Noujaim, you have the floor, sir.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and good afternoon to you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Good afternoon, dear.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Madam Speaker, through you, I would like to pose some questions to the proponent of the amendment, Representative Ryan.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan, prepare yourself.

Representative Noujaim, please proceed.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. To Representative Ryan, in line 158 of the amendment under consideration it says the general contractor may in good faith rely on the certification of the subcontractor. I'd like to ask you or paint a synopsis to you and tell me if this is appropriate or not, through you, Madam Speaker.

It may not be totally an exact thing to a -- to a payroll per say but we have especially in our situation in the city of Waterbury where the Department of Transportation engaged contractors and subcontractors to check the work and verify that the quality of the work was done appropriately to blueprints and to specifications. But it turned out that the subcontractor had not done the job right and so far as catch basins not going anywhere, cracking pipes. And the job was done very, very poorly. So here in this case I tried to correlate it to the same thing where a contractor is relying on a subcontractor and the construction project it was all messed up and it was done incorrectly.

And by relying on the subcontractor, that contractor ended up -- ended up not doing the job correctly and therefore the State of Connecticut and the citizens of the State of Connecticut suffered the consequences. So is this applicable, through you, Madam Speaker?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, that's -- I believe the good Representative from Waterbury's talking about a performance contract -- performance issues. This bill does not deal with that. It deals with payment issues.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate the answer very much. But payments is also a performance. Somebody is being tasked to do a job whether it is payment in a contract or doing a construction job, it's a performance factor. So if that subcontractor does not perform well in making the payments, where would the liability be? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Again, Madam Speaker, this bill does not deal with that issue.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. For now I'm okay but allow me to continue. On the same paragraph, line 162, a payment bond on the Public Works project. So we have a contractor who requires the subcontractor to put a bond to guarantee that the performance -- I go back and say the word performance -- is going to be done correctly. Let us say in here that the subcontractor had gone out of business; had declared bankruptcy, and the bond does not guarantee anything. So what would happen in a case like this to the contractor and after the contractor to the -- where the buck stops, the State of Connecticut? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, I think that line points out what I'm speaking about. This is a payment bond as opposed to a performance bond which is the examples that the Representative was giving us beforehand. So in this case, if the subcontractor -- the contractor's making payments to the subcontractor having received certified payrolls. That should -- if he's a good subcontractor he's making the proper payments and that's being verified by the certified payrolls.

So hopefully the scenario that is occurring, that the subcontractor goes bankrupt is occurring after he's made all those appropriate payments and taken care of the payments that deal with his employees. That's the purpose of the bill, to make sure that that happens. That if he does get into trouble at least these payments are made. The person's keeping appropriate records and taking care of his -- the obligations that he has to his employees. And hopefully by having all these balances and checks it might even prevent the person from going bankrupt unless he's -- somebody has taken off with the funds or something of that nature.

But at least in this particular example he has to have a payment bond. It would have to cover his payment obligations to his employees or he would have to have verification that the payments had been made to the appropriate obligees, the pension fund, the healthcare funds, whatever was relevant, so that -- to ensure that the -- those obligations were met for the employees as I mentioned.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And Madam Speaker, we know in business that if a contractor is pondering to declare bankruptcy, that subcontractor is not going to go and pay all of his or her bills before they declare bankruptcy. So even though -- even though there is a bond in here and the bond is in place, the bond obviously is not going to cover all of the expenses that are going to be incurred. And if that subcontractor is out of business, I still say, and I would ask to -- I would like to ask to, through you, the good Representative again, if none of those payments are made what would happen and the subcontractor is out of business? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, there's a payment bond in place. The payment bond would have to be equivalent to the amount that would be obligated and should take care of all of the obligations that the individual is required to make.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate the answer. And through you, what would the payment bond -- if I am going to go to put a payment bond, let's say on $ 100,000, what would the amount of the bond be? How much would somebody have to pay on the dollar to assure that a bond is secured? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, I don't know if I'm supposed to stop and give a break for the barber shop quartet that's about to perform or if I should answer the question. I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to do at this point.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Answer the question and then we'll take a brief pause.

Representative Noujaim, can you wait for the picture?

REP. NOUJAIM (74th);

Do I have a choice, Madam Speaker?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Could you just wait a second so we can let the picture and I can get out of the way?

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

I have until midnight tomorrow, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Oh, everyone's not here, so Representative Ryan, you get a chance to answer.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm happy. Am I supposed to sing this answer or can I just respond?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

You can just respond.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I believe that the individual -- you're giving an example of $ 100,000. I believe it is, though I'm not sure, I think you can go to different bondsmen and get different rates but I think you're obligated to make a certain amount of a payment. I believe it's somewhat like an insurance policy and then the bond holder can go after the individual if for some reason he defaults on the bond.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, let's take care of the situation first, Madam Speaker, will you please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The House will stand at ease at a moment while our bowtie guys get their picture taken. You all look very handsome and rather dapper.

(Chamber at ease. )

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim, were you in the process of asking a question?

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):
no, I was going to have the Lebanese caucus get together for a -- for a picture too, Madam Speaker
. But we'll continue. I have no idea where we were but I'll go ahead and somehow continue through the process.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So for legislative intent, Madam Speaker, are we saying in here if a bond is taken regardless of the percentage of the bond, does this mean the State of Connecticut would be -- would be made whole if the subcontractor defaults on doing what he or she is supposed to do? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Now that the Hetherington wannabes have left, it's going to be a little easier to answer the question. I believe the State of Connecticut has a contract with the contractor and if this is a -- basically a relationship between the contractor and the subcontractors, the State of Connecticut's paying the contractor and the it's going to be pretty much -- the State will have its obligation fulfilled unless for some reason the contractor himself has a problem. But this particular bill is dealing with the contractor and the subcontractor. The State of Connecticut doesn't really play a role in this particular scenario.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate the answer. And I would like to continue by asking on line 168 and 169 we are asking now a second tier contractor to do the same type of performance. So we have now the State of Connecticut and then we have the contractor. We have the subcontractor and we have the second tier contractor. My question here are we assured that we are putting the appropriate controls in place that second tier subcontractor does not go bankrupt or does not do the job right that we still can recuperate all of the -- all the needs and the desires of the State of Connecticut and the wants of the State of Connecticut in a project? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):
Through you, Madam Speaker, well this bill actually put in place more safeguards than are currently in place
. That's the purpose of the bill. Again, it's dealing with payment issues and not dealing with performance issues.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, Madam Speaker, what is the time lag for legal action from the contractor against the subcontractor in a case like this? How long would it take or how long would the contractor be allowed to go essentially after the subcontractor to recover all the damages? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):
I think I understand the question
. Through you, Madam Speaker, I believe each scenario would probably be different. I think at some point in time when the general contractor has deemed that the subcontractor has fulfilled its requirements under their contract, he can make the final payment. And at that point in time if he has had a bond, if has gotten some kind of verification that the appropriate payments have been made, the final certified payroll had been submitted to the contractor and he feels that everything's been fulfilled that would the end of that relationship between those two individuals. I am not sure of exactly what that length of period would be for all those things to occur.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. From a statuary situation, I am looking at my notes from the public hearing that we had on this bill back in, I believe, in February of this year or March of this year. It seems to me that someone testified that this bill will shorten the amount of time from three years to 30 days, which means the contractor would have had three years to be able to bring an act -- a lawsuit against the subcontractor and this bill it renders it to be as little as 30 days. And then after 30 days, then subcontractor is free and clear. I would like to ask that question for clarification and legislative intent. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, I do see that there are some areas where there are time periods mentioned but that is in existing language and we didn't make any changes as far as I can tell to any of those time periods.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I will come back to this in a few minutes because it seems to me that my notes say that this bill will change it from three years to 30 days. While the Representative is answering other questions I would like to come back and ask this question again because I wrote it down in my notes. I just want to make sure that I receive the appropriate answer. The second question that I would like to ask if I may, Madam Speaker, is line 178 to line 184, it says that any contractor who is not receiving the appropriate services from the subcontractor will have the ability to bring in a -- an action in superior court.

And it says in here -- in the bill on line 183 and 184, may bring a civil action in the superior court to recover the actual damages sustained by a reason of making such payment together with cost and reasonable attorney's fees. By the word cost, does this mean we also agree that cost is the time, the effort, the energy, the losses that the contractor will be undertaking as part of this bill and damages financially? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, this particular section of the bill is a section that's going to be changed by a coming House Amendment which I had mentioned earlier. So some of that's going to be changed. To kind of clarify it a little bit and to -- and to kind of rectify some of the concerns we had at this particular language that hopefully -- I had hoped we were going to do that before we began a major discussion of the bill but just keep in that in mind.

But if there's particular questions dealing with costs, I'm going to consider that to be financial costs unless a judge looking at this might make some other assessment but I think that for our purposes here because this deals with payment and attorney's fees, that these are financial matters that are dealing with in the way of costs here.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And Madam Speaker, my colleague, Representative Ryan, a little earlier spoke about healthcare and 401K and pensions fund. How do we -- how are we assured if the subcontractor defaults, how are assured that all of those benefits that are due to the employees are going to be paid if the subcontractor has defaulted or for that matter, the second tier subcontractor? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, that was the reason for the placing of a bond to make sure those -- there was a place where that money could be -- come from. Or the second scenario is the fact that they -- the contractor of the first tier subcontractor would receive some kind of verification from the pension and benefit fund administrator that those payments -- appropriate payments had been made.

So it's -- it's kind of a belt and suspenders type of approach. Either a bond or making sure that there's some kind of receipt indicating that payments had been made. So one of two possible ways that you could be sure the payments had been made to the employees would be taken care of.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, Madam Speaker, if this bill is enacted into law would this bill have a negative impact on the pension fund or an individual or a worker to be able to go after the contractor or subcontractor if that contractor or subcontractor defaults on the pension obligations? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, I think this is the purpose of this bill is to ensure that that does not happen. I mean, that's the whole purpose of the bill. If this bill is enacted there shouldn't be any default because those obligations would be made and at the very least this contractor would make -- would be the final one for the obligations who could go after the subcontractor and collector to get the money back from them.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So am I to perceive that the bond that Representative Ryan has been speaking about is like the safety blanket for the contractor? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):
Yes
.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And one final question I have is I just -- I spoke about the bill shortening from three years to 30 days the current statute -- statutory limits on filing claims against a construction bond. I would like to go back to that point because I'm seeing it in my notes all over that -- that it will shorten it from three years to 30 days and I'm very, very concerned about that. I would like a clear explanation, through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):
Through you, Madam Speaker, I
'm sorry but I really can't explain why something was in his notes. I see nothing in the bill that indicates anything of that nature. I mean, nothing in the bill that indicates anything of that nature.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, Madam Speaker, I appreciate Representative Ryan's answer. Is there a possibility for the good Representative to show me in the bill where it says that the statutory requirements are three years and not 30 days? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Because I can't find it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan, did you hear the question?

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, yes but I don't believe this bill has that in it. I don't know if this is the bill he took the notes on or if was another bill. I am only seeing that there is -- the only time period I am seeing mentioned in the bill is -- I've lost it -- is on line 86, the agent in power to let contract -- shall contact the Labor Commission at least ten but not more than 20 days prior to the date of such contracts to be advertised for bid. And again, as I mentioned that's current language where we have not made any changes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Noujaim.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. For now I am okay. I will try to look through it and then when the time comes to discuss the bill I will be able to go back and ask the questions again. Thank you, Madam Speaker. Thank you, Representative Ryan.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you.

Representative Aman, you have the floor, sir.

REP. AMAN (14th):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. The general concept of this bill was discussed at length in the Labor Committee. And I agree with the overall intention of it. I do have, however, some questions on how it is actually going to work and a few other things for legislative intent. I'd like to ask some question of the proponent of the bill, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan, prepare yourself. Representative Aman, please frame your question.

REP. AMAN (14th):

Yes, this particular sections that we're talking about in guaranteeing payment for fringe benefits only is concerned with Public Works Departments of the State of municipalities, through you, Madam Speaker?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, this particular bill is dealing with public construction projects, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Aman.

REP. AMAN (14th):

Okay. And also, just to give the parameters of it, for new construction this bill only covers contracts that are in excess of $ 400,000 and for remodeling for contracts of at least $ 100,000, through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):
through you, Madam Speaker, I believe that is the area that would -- it would definitely cover the projects in that -- in that range
. I'm not sure if it only covers the projects in that range or if it would cover contracts that are at a lesser amount as well. I'd have to just check to clarify that for sure. But in either they'd be covered.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Aman.

REP. AMAN (14th):

I will gladly give the proponent while we're asking the other questions to have someone verify it. The whole bill and the sections that we're talking about is really on a general contractor relying in good faith is that they're trying to do what is right. And for the people in the chamber the problem that this bill is trying to address is a State of Connecticut project, the State writes a check the general contractor. The general contractor writes a check to the subcontractor. The subcontractor and -- is supposed to write a check to the employees.

The problem comes down to the problem when a subcontractor is running low on money, pays the employees but does not make the payments -- proper payments to the pension or benefit funds that the employee is entitled to. So one of the things the bill talks about very clearly is that if the subcontractor -- or the general contractor puts out a payment bond or requires the sub to have a payment bond there's no real problems if the sub does not make the payments. Along it goes, the bonding company makes the payments and there may be a bit of a time delay but all of the money is there.

The bill, however does talk that the contractor can have an affirmative defense and action brought by the Labor Commissioner. And I would like the proponent of the bill to explain what the affirmative defense is and what the advantage to the contractor that type of defense would be. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. AMAN (14th):

Madam Speaker, I would redirect that to Representative Lawlor, if they would prefer.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Lawlor. Just a moment, sir. Representative Ryan, Representative Aman has said if you prefer he would redirect the question to Representative Lawlor. What is your preference, sir?

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, Representative Lawlor is about as able to answer the question about as well as I am from what I'm hearing, though you may have a little more -- he seems to think -- he knows what the issue is in dealing with affirmative cases in criminal law. This actually is dealing with an issue where somebody's making an affirmative case to -- because the explanation of the question took a while to get there, I think he's talking about cases in which case the person hasn't made the payments.

So I think therefore it is the obligation of the subcontractor to show that the payments had been made and it would be up to the -- so that the contractor doesn't have to make the payments. And I think we need maybe a little bit more of a clarification on the question to what he's actually asking about in this particular case.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Aman, can you be a little more definitive?

REP. AMAN (14th):

Definitely. In lines 169 and also in lines 159, one -- they both refer to the fact that the general contractor may in good faith rely on certification by the subcontractor as an affirmative defense in action brought by the Labor Commissioner. And my question was, what is an affirmative defense that they would be able to give to the Labor Commissioner, and what would be the advantage of that over any other type of defense that they may offer? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

I believe Representative Lawlor's going to make an attempt to answer that probably a little more proficiently than I am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Lawlor.

REP. LAWLOR (99th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Good afternoon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. LAWLOR (99th):

Madam Speaker, I'm not familiar with the bill. I'm not one of the sponsors. My review of it consists of my consideration of it for today's debate so anything I say should not be considered if anyone's reviewing this down the road as part of the legislative intent. I'm answering a technical question about the definition of an affirmative defense. That concept is a criminal law concept. In the criminal law it means that if you're charged with a crime there are certain enumerated affirmative defenses, self defense being one of them.

So you -- if you raise an affirmative defense you're essentially saying yes, I did what I'm accused of having done, however I have a defense. And my defense is, for example, self defense. So generally speaking an affirmative defense refers to a defense that someone might raise to explain conduct which would otherwise be unlawful. I think in the civil law these are typically referred to as special defenses and so I don't know whether the concept of affirmative defense appears elsewhere in the civil law.

It may very well be something that is referred to outside the criminal law. I just don't know the answer to that question but that's what it means in the criminal law and I think the term would normally be a special defense in a civil suit. And I think that's about as helpful as I can be, Madam Speaker. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Aman.

REP. AMAN (14th):

I thank the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee for his answer. My reading of it would be about the same but I'm a non-attorney and I was just wondering again for the general contractor what the advantages and disadvantages of it would be. One of the things that would this affirmative defense is if they received a verification from the benefit fund Administrator of the funds that the amount of payment had been received. I'm a little confused if the payments had been received why there should be even a complaint to the Labor Commissioner.

But presuming that for some reason something happened and it went, for the general contractor who is making the payments and getting verification from the pension and benefit fund administrator my question to the proponent for legislative intent is how often would a contractor have to contact and receive information from the pension and benefit fund administrator that funds had been received? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, I'm going to guess that there is times and you know required dates and deadlines when these payments are supposed to be received. And when the receipt is sent from the administrator to the subcontractor a copy of that receipt can also be sent to the contractor to ensure them that the payment has been made. As I said there's -- you know it's one of two things you can do, either have the payment bond or do it in this manner. So I think it would be easy enough just to send a copy of the receipt that the subcontractor has received to the contractor to assure him that the payment has been made.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Aman.

REP. AMAN (14th):

Looking at that, if -- on an ongoing basis if the general contractor say on a quarterly basis got a letter from the pension administrator that all payments have been received, would that be sufficient to show that the general contractor was acting in good faith and relying on these payments? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, that could be if that's as often as the payments are made. That would suffice. Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Aman.

REP. AMAN (14th):

On that same idea if their payments are being made from the general to the subcontractor on a monthly basis and after a particular month the payment has been made to the subcontractor. The following week after the payment has been made, the general contacts the administrator and the administrator says, nope, I haven't received any money this month like I'm supposed to, is that a defense on the general contractor or would the general contractor be libel for that month's payment? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):
Through you, Madam Speaker, that was kind of a long question
. I think the point would be that if it was demonstrated at that point in time that the payments weren't made, they didn't -- the subcontractor can't prove that he made the payments that would work against him and I think at that point in time the contractor could take some kind of action to ensure that the money is acquired and paid to this administrator.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Aman.

REP. AMAN (14th):

I think there's the timing problem in there because I believe what I just heard would almost require the contractor to receive proof of payment on the fringe benefits prior to issuing the check because if not they would be liable if the subcontractor did not make the payments. And I don't think that is really what we were intending to do with this particular bill in protecting people. But I'll go on to another question on that.

If the Labor -- if an employee has not received his fringe benefits credit the way they were supposed to receive and the subcontractor that was supposed to make the payments has gone out of business, the general contractor has operated in bad -- or in good faith, as ruled by the Labor Department, who or where does the money come from to fund the fringe benefit account or does the employee in this case lose out on that type of money? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, the -- ultimately I think the contractor has to make the payment. That's why he might prefer the method of having a bond payment -- a payment bond issued on the job so that he would be assured that the money wouldn't finally come out of his own pocket rather than just always verifying that payment is being made. I mean we give them the two options. It depends upon the contractor, his relationship with his subcontractors.

It might also depend upon how long the subcontractors have been in business and what kind of assets it has that contractors comfortable with the fact that the subcontractor would be able to back up any of these payments. And -- but essentially probably the best option would be the payment bond to be assured that the money would never come out of the contractors pocket but would come under a bond -- out of a bond company's pockets.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Aman.

REP. AMAN (14th):

As I discussed within the Labor Committee, the problem with the payment bonds is not on very large projects where there's a lot of money involved. But this particular bill goes down for Public Works projects in the $ 100,000 range of total work. That gets divided up among several subcontractors. The chances of anybody getting a payment bond -- or not a -- for guaranteeing fringe benefits at that level of funding is virtually nonexistent.

The insurance companies aren't going to want to issue it. The subcontractors aren't going to want to go for the application and pay for it. And the general contractor probably is going to look at it and say it's not worth the effort and take the risk of having to fund the fringe benefits and just build it into his bid which of course is paid by the taxpayers of the State of Connecticut because all the same general contractors are going to probably follow the same format and just include it into their bid as one of their fixed costs. Whether they bury it in overhead or one of the other expenses, it is just going to be served.

While I think this bill goes partway to addressing what is a real problem, could become a major problem as the economy starts to -- or continues to deteriorate and subcontractors and general contractors all become -- find themselves in greater and greater financial difficulty. Even companies that have been around for years and have been operating well when they start losing money, start doing things that they really regret later on.

The number of IRS audits right now for unpaid social security taxes and unpaid withholding taxes which are definitely punished much harder for a company than what we're talking in this bill, unfortunately is still -- is going on and probably increasing as companies get into financial difficulties. So I will be supporting the bill but I do not think it completely addresses the problems and to be honest I'm not sure if we can absolutely cover the problems that we're facing in an economy where jobs are being lost and companies are losing money. I thank the Speaker, and I thank very much the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, sir. Will you remark? Will you remark further on the amendment that is before us? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor please indicate by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Those opposed nay.

The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted. Will you remark further on the bill as amended?

Representative Candelora, you have the floor.

Representative Ryan, you have the floor.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The Clerk has an amendment, LCO 8763. May he call and I be allowed to summarize?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 8763 designated House Amendment A.

THE CLERK:

LCO number 8763 House A offered by Representative Ryan and Senator Prague.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Ryan, you have the floor, sir.

REP. RYAN (139th):
Thank you, Madam Speaker
. This amendment simply limits the amount of contract and suer's subcontracted to the damages that are actually sustained through the Labor Department lower tier -- I'm sorry, through the Labor Department requiring the general contractor to pay for the subcontractor who failed to pay. This amendment also takes section 4 which seemed to be causing a lot of confusion and basically eliminates that issue. So I move for adoption, ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The question before us is on adoption of House Amendment A. Will you remark? Representative Noujaim, you have the floor, sir.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and good afternoon to you once again. Madam Speaker, I agree with Representative Ryan that this amendment -- thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):
Are we okay now? Can you hear me?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Yes, I can.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

I don't have Verizon but can you hear me now?

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

I can hear you.

REP. NOUJAIM (74th):

Okay. Thank you. Madam Speaker, I agree with Representative Ryan that this amendment does simplify the bill. It does take away some of the controversial issues that I was speaking about before. The only thing that I would like, again -- once again, to take exception is to the fact that unfortunately for me I did not know about this amendment until I came through. And I wish that the Chairman or the Chairman upstairs from the Senate has let the Ranking Member know that this amendment is coming it would have saved some time and probably agonies earlier in the afternoon. So I do support the amendment. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, sir. Will you remark? Will you remark further on House Amendment A? Will you remark? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor please indicate by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Those opposed nay.

The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted.

Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Candelora, you have the floor, sir.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the Clerk is in possession of LCO number 9175 and I ask that it be called and I be allowed to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The chamber will stand at ease for a moment.

(Chamber at ease. )

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLE-BEY):

Representative Candelora, we didn't have -- we didn't have the amendment for a while. So will the Clerk please call LCO 9175 designated House Amendment B.

THE CLERK:

LCO number 9175 House B offered by Representatives Cafero, Hamzy and Klarides.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The Representative has asked leave to summarize. Would you please remark first, sir?

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, this amendment seeks to adjust the tip credit -- what's known as a tip credit in Connecticut in response to the minimum wage increase that we had done last session. And I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The question before us is on adoption of House Amendment B. Will you remark? Will you remark further on House Amendment B? Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If I'd like -- I just would like to remark on the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

You'll have to summarize. Please do. Is there any objection? Hearing none, please proceed.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, what this provision does is it seeks to adjust the tip credit that was put out of skew as a result of us increasing the minimum wage. What happened was when we increased the minimum wage to $ 8. 25 the credit that employers receive to their waitress staff and to their bartenders did not increase in the same proportion to that $ 8. 25 increase.

So this amendment would be effective July 1, 2010 and what it would do it would raise the credit that an employer would be allowed to take. Currently for a wait staff that credit is $ 2. 48 and for a bartender -- excuse me -- yes -- and for the bartender it is 88 cents. It would increase those numbers ultimately additional 25 cents in order to make up for that adjustment to the minimum wage.

Madam Speaker, I think that this issue is critical for us to address in this legislative session because when we increased the minimum wage I believe it was the intention for us to take this -- up this issue and to hold our restaurants harmless. Because many of the bartenders and waitresses on average are already receiving $ 20 to $ 30 an hour in their pay when they're -- when you include the tips.

And because we failed to make that adjustment, employers are now bearing the cost of 17 cents per employee for waitressing and 22 cents per employee for bartending. And I think that it's a cost. It doesn't sound like a lot of money but it certainly adds up in this economy when we've seen restaurants particularly take a hard hit because of the decrease in disposable income. This amendment will go a long way in helping our restaurant and food businesses stay viable and get through these troubling times. And Madam Speaker, when the vote is taken I ask that it be taken by roll.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

All those in favor of a roll call vote please indicate by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

In the opinion of the Chair the 20 -- in the opinion of het Chair the 20 percent has been met. When the roll is taken it will be taken roll call. When the vote is taken it will be taken by roll call. Will you remark further? Representative Ryan.

REP. RYAN (139th):

Through you, Madam Speaker, while I appreciate and agree with most of the issues that Representative Candelora spoke about dealing with this bill, I don't think -- we don't consider this a friendly amendment because of the underlying bill and the subject it takes up basically being on pension obligations. And I think some of the issues -- I guess some people have some disagreements over what was agreed to as far as the minimum wage went last year and the implantation of the tip credit. And until that kind of gets taken care of or everybody's on the same play I think this amendment would not be something we'd want to vote for at this time. So I'd ask my colleagues to vote against the amendment. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Cafero, you have the floor, sir.

REP. CAFERO (142nd):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise in support of the amendment before us. Ladies and gentlemen of the chamber we are -- purport to be very concerned about business in this economy and one of our small businesses of course is that of the restaurant owner and the restaurants and dining facilities throughout our State. I want to remind you what we have done this year with regard to those very facilities.

Out of this chamber at least we've passed paid sick days which most particularly negatively effects the restaurant industry. Just -- excuse me -- yesterday we passed a bill with regard to listing the caloric intake of every meal that's put forth by restaurants that have over 15 franchises within the State. This is a bill that we have historically done. We've kept the tip credit in pace with the rise in the minimum wage. It is something that is expected every time the minimum wage raises. It is in keeping with that and I would urge adoption. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, Representative.

Representative D'Amelio, you have the floor, sir.

REP. D'AMELIO (71st):

Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of the amendment that's before us. Ladies and gentlemen, just to make you aware of the fact that this bill -- this amendment really passed the Senate unanimously during this session. We are not taking any money away from anyone. What a tip credit is is this minimum wage is set to go up to $ 8. 25 next year and a waitress or wait staffs wage is supposed to -- is supposed to go from $ 5. 52 an hour to $ 5. 69. We're not taking anything away from wait staffs or bartenders all we're asking is that they use their tip as a credit toward building up between the wage and the minimum wage. So it's a win-win for everyone.

As it's mentioned over and over again in this session, we are in tough economic times. This will go a long way in helping restaurant owners throughout the State to help retain employees. It's much needed relief. Many of us in this chamber have expressed an interest in last session to help the restaurant owners and here's the opportunity for all of us to do so. So I encourage everyone to vote in favor of this amendment. It's not hurting anyone at all. It's just helping an industry that's out there that's struggling today. And I encourage everyone to vote in favor. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, Representative.

Representative Harkins, you have the floor.

REP. HARKINS (120th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I just have a question to the proponent of the amendment, through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora, prepare yourself. Representative Harkins, please frame your question.

REP. HARKINS (120th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Representative Candelora, one of the concerns I hear from restaurant owners is that the rising costs that they are experiencing not only with operating their restaurants but the utility costs, insurance and taxes but oddly enough also the increased costs in food. And it was pretty dramatic over the last year and I think a lot of it was related to maybe the price of gas and fuels for transporting the fuel -- the food to distributors.

But one of these that kept hitting home was the restaurant owners were concerned about how they were going to handle the costs. Whether they could pass it on with an increase in their menu onto the consumer or would that mean a dramatic loss in business particularly in a declining economy when less people may be going out to certain restaurants depending upon the location of the restaurant and the clientele it serves. But the one thing universal is that all the restaurants are actually experiencing increased costs but pretty much in that item of food. So if a restaurant was looking for any type of relief or some way to give their employees and added benefit, this amendment that you're proposing, would it actually help the restaurant owner? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes, it certainly would help the restaurant owner because what we would be doing today is allowing the credit, this accounting adjustment to be made so that that money could be retained by the employer and used to make up costs -- rising costs such as the increase in food costs, increase in electric costs. And also give them some cushion because they certainly have seen anywhere of declines from 50 percent to 20 percent in business. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Harkins.

REP. HARKINS (120th):

Thank you, Representative Candelora. As far as the restaurants this is going to affect, through you, Madam Speaker, would this affect fast food restaurants, family-owned restaurants, restaurant bars? What kind of restaurant establishments would this amendment impact if it was actually adopted today? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. It would affect any business, any food service business that is actually using the tip credit. I am familiar with some businesses that choose to pay their employees minimum wage and may pool their tips for distribution. And if they exercise control over those tips they may not be entitled to take the tip credit. But it certainly would include any businesses that have wait staff or bar staff that are performing those typical functions whether it be in a chain restaurant, whether it be in a family-run business, or any type of food service in small business industry. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Harkins.

REP. HARKINS (120th):

Thank you, Representative Candelora. Through you, Madam Speaker, can you once again explain how this tip credit would work? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I believe the intent of the tip credit and why it went into law is because it's recognizing the gratuities that bartenders and waitresses and waiters receive in their employment. So rather than requiring than employer to pay a minimum wage plus they're receiving a lot of tips which in some estimations are -- bring them to over $ 30 an hour in pay, the legislature allowed for this credit to be put into place so that an employer in the restaurant business would be allowed to pay less than a minimum wage, recognizing that these individuals are receiving a good portion of their benefit salaries through these tips that the employer is not allowed to exercise any control over. So any tip that's left at a table the waitress or the bartender could use that for themselves directly. The employer is not entitled to those funds.

And so, as a result in order to help the industry because it is, Madam Speaker, one of the most competitive industries. I've always heard a statistic that for every ten restaurants that opens only one remains beyond five years. It is such a competitive industry that this was a way to afford this restaurant industry to be able to stay profitable and competitive. And so we institute this credit which represents the differential between what the employer is required to pay and the credit represents the estimated tips that an individual gets above and beyond that amount which certainly greatly exceeds the $ 8. 25 minimum wage. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Harkins.

REP. HARKINS (120th):

Madam Speaker, I thank Representative Candelora for his full and lengthy explanation and I also give him credit for his advocacy for small business, particularly that of the restaurant business. It sounds like a good idea. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of the amendment and I urge my colleagues to do the same. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you.

Representative Hamzy.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise to pose a couple questions to the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamzy.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you to Representative Candelora, do you -- and I'm not sure if he knows the answer to this question but in years past when the minimum wage has been increased has there also been a corresponding change in the tip credit? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. While I had not been in the legislature long enough to personally witness it, in reading the current legislation and in having discussions anecdotally, it is my understanding that we have always increased the tax -- or excuse me, the tip credit in correlation to the increase in minimum wage. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Representative Hamzy.

REP. HAMZY (78th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I do appreciate the Representative's answer. Madam Speaker, just picking up on what Representative Harkins had said earlier, this is a small way that we can help out small businesses in our State in the form of restaurants, mom and pop delis, et cetera. I believe with all that we've -- with all the legislation that we've passed in this session, this attempt to give -- give some relief to these types of businesses -- people work very hard in our State. It think it's warranted and I would hope that the members of this chamber would support it. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Thank you, Representative Hamzy.

Representative Merrill.

REP. MERRILL (54th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise for a point of order.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

Please proceed.

REP. MERRILL (54th):

I would question whether the amendment is germane to the underlying bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER KIRKLEY-BEY:

The chamber will stand at ease.

(Chamber at ease. )

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