CHAIRMEN: Senator Doyle

Representative Baram


SENATORS: Coleman, Fonfara, Kissel,


REPRESENTATIVES: Altobello, Arconti, Carter, D'Amelio, Esposito, Kiner, Nafis, Nicastro, Orange, Rovero, Rutigliano

SENATOR DOYLE: Good afternoon. I'd like to convene the General Law Committee public hearing for February 7, 2013 at 1 p.m.

And before we get started I'll just give you a few ground rules. Our general procedure is the first hour is reserved for legislative -- legislators, other executive branch agency head and municipal officials.

Starting the second hour we start with the public and if the lists from the officials were to go along -- go beyond an hour then we will start alternating. And we will keep each speaker -- the goal is each person's testimony is limited to three minutes and we will notify you. There will be a bell if you go over three minutes. And we'd ask you to please summarize if you hear the bell.

And of course if, depending on your testimony, it may not be limited to three minutes because if legislators ask you questions you'll have the opportunity to expand further on the issues presented. But in terms of convenience for all the people testifying, we want to keep it short to three minutes so people can -- don't have to spend all day here and just out of respect to everyone.

So again, at this point we're going to start with the members of the officials. The first person signed up Senator Joan Hartley. Is Senator Hartley here? She's not here?

Then is Representative Ernie Hewett here? Representative Hewett, please come forward. After Representative Hewett we have Representative Brian Sear, Representative Betsy Ritter, but we first start with --

A VOICE: Joan is here.

SENATOR DOYLE: Do you differ, Mr. -- Representative Hewett?

REP. HEWETT: (Inaudible.)

SENATOR DOYLE: Senator Hartley, you're up. You're first on the list, Senator Hartley.

SENATOR HARTLEY: Good afternoon (inaudible) and members of the General Law Committee. Thank you very much for this opportunity to appear before you this afternoon.

I sit before you in support of S.B. 316, AN ACT CONCERNING CELLULAR TELEPHONE LABELING. And for the record my name is John Hartley. I am the Senator from the 15th District, Waterbury, Naugatuck, Middlebury.

We have had this conversation before, and so I am ever grateful for your indulgence to once again be able to bring this before the General Law Committee. The facts haven't changed. In fact, they have continued to be more instructive.

We know that there are 5 billion cellphones. We know that in the next ten years there will be more cellphones than there will be people on this planet. And in fact, having just come off of campaigns we know that many households are now using a cellphone as their sole telecommunication mechanism, as opposed to what we've had in the past with land lines.

We also know, and it's undeniable that the increased use of cellphones among youngsters and adolescents has tripled. Since 2004 there has been a 66 percent increase in the use of cellphones among young adults, children and adolescents. And I speak about youngsters under the age of 22 to 24 because that's when we know biologically that the brain has completed development and the skull is completely developed.

And so because children have thinner skulls that they are not totally developed, and also they have less density and smaller capacity, that they absorb radiation twice as fast as an adult brain. Children's skulls, being thinner -- and this is from the Sinai Medical Center -- states that radiation can penetrate deeper into the brain of children and young adults. Their cells are dividing at a much faster rate so the impact of radiation can be much greater.

The National Cancer Institute, which is a division of the National Institute of Health, just in June of '012 stated that in theory children have the potential to be at a greater risk than adults for developing brain cancer from cellphones.

Their nervous systems are still developing and therefore more vulnerable to factors that may cause cancer. Their heads are smaller than those of adults and therefore have a greater proportionality exposure to the field of radiation frequency emitted by cellphones. Children have the potential of accumulating more years because of obviously the years that they start the usage of cellphones, of greater exposure than adults do.

You know we talked about this in the past. We hearken back to the studies on tobacco, when the tobacco increase was around World War II. Right around the end of the World War the use of tobacco cigarettes quadrupled and it wasn't for 20 years. And closer -- actually to 30 years that had done studies which demonstrated the longevity that, in fact, there was a causal link between tobacco and cancer.

The use of the cellphone is relatively new. Initially it was kind of a novelty in the nineties, but if you look around now it is no longer a novelty. It is an important part of our existence. It's an important part of our communications ability as, quite frankly, as applications have continued to multiply -- and they do every year when you see the new iterations of iPhones and blackberries that are being proffered on the market.

The change, though, and I promised Senator Doyle that there would be a change, as we have these rules about new information on the floor and that is that while the medical community has been divided on this, there they have now taken the steps to say that there may be a causal relationship to carcinogenic and cancer -- and in fact, the GAO, General Accounting Office in Washington has asked the FCC to consider updating its cellphone testing procedures to account for the fact that phones typically are used and kept close to the body.

They actually have identified the fact that FCC testing is done on the mobile phones with the belt clips being used and also at the predetermined distance from the head. Now all of this is on adults. It's not children and so the tests are being done under ideal conditions. And their standards, by the way, are 16 years old, so they're dated.

Now the FCC I believe is revisiting these standards and the GO -- I will quote from the GAO report -- oh boy, I ran the clock.

By testing mobile phones only at the distance from their body the FCC may not be identifying the maximum exposure since some of the users -- and I point out many of them now are children -- hold a mobile phone directly against the body and particularly against the head.

So to cut to the chase, I have the proposal before you again. It is a reasonable proposal which simply asks that the manufacturers' recommended usage standard be made clearly identifiable to the users. You -- and I will ask anyone of you, have you ever gone and read your manual or used your iPhone to go to where the manufacturer tells you what the proper usage of it is? If you do it on the iPhone's it takes you five prompts and if you're reading the manual it's probably in a .005 font where you need more than binoculars to read it. So folks just really, they open the phone, they use it right away, they like all the new apps but they don't read how to use it properly.

And I understand we're all adults. We can choose to buckle our seatbelt. We can choose to wear helmets when we write all-terrain vehicles or whatever, however we're talking about the proliferation of these devices being used by children. And I think that a proper label is really not too much to ask.

You might hear from the industry that, in fact, they are working on this issue, but I should share with you that they have told me this two years in a row and here I sit before you again.

I want to thank you so, so much for your interest in indulgence on this.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you, Senator Hartley.

SENATOR HARTLEY: And also congratulate our new chairman.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you, Senator Hartley.

Any questions for Senator Hartley?


REP. CARTER: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and Senator Hartley, thank you for spending some time to share about the cellphones.

You mentioned that there was some sort of causal link now talked about in the medical community and it's been divided. Where would I find out the information? You said they have said there's a causal relation between cellphones and cancer.

SENATOR HARTLEY: Yeah. The World Health Organization now has said that there may be -- and that further study is important in this. And once again, it's because we have no longevity studies on this and quite frankly, as we know, to definitively make these determinations, it really takes a study that is not done on recollections and surveys, but one that is done on facts and following people and those are going on right now.

There is a kid-mobile study going on and there is a COSMOS study going on. These are soundly based studies, but for them to be totally effective they have to go for a 20-year span. It has to be over time.

REP. CARTER: Now the FCC and FDA, nobody has weighed in yet has as far as seeing a causal link from our side. Has the WHO?

SENATOR HARTLEY: Well, the FCC hasn't reviewed their standards in 16 years. And when they did do them, the usage was much different and they were doing it under all of the proper guidelines, which you will find after you prompt your phone five times, or you get your maximum eyeglasses out to read this tiny font. I can't even imagine how they print it, but they did.

REP. CARTER: I feel your pain. I just bought some of these myself.

SENATOR HARTLEY: Yes (inaudible).

REP. KINER: So listen, thank you very much, Senator, for your time.

SENATOR HARTLEY: Yeah. Thanks for your question. Appreciate it.

REP. CARTER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you, Representative Carter.

Any other questions from the committee members for Senator Hartley? Seeing none, thank you very much, Senator Hartley.

SENATOR HARTLEY: Thank you to the committee. Appreciate it.

SENATOR DOYLE: Next person up is Representative Ernie Hewett. Thank you for being patient and allowing Senator Hartley to go in order.

After Representative Hewett it's Representative Sear, Representative Betsy Ritter, Representative Grogins.

REP. HEWETT: Good afternoon.

SENATOR DOYLE: Good afternoon.

REP. HEWETT: Good afternoon, gentlemen and Linda Orange. Honorable Cochairmen Senator Doyle, Representative Baram and distinguished members of the General Law committee, my name is Representative Ernie Hewett and I represent the 39th District in New London and I'm here before you to testify in favor of House Bill 5048, AN ACT CONCERNING THE SALE OF COPPER TO SCRAP METAL PROCESSORS.

The purpose of this bill is to make it as difficult as possible for criminals to sell stolen copper to scrap metal processors. This bill, if enacted, would require scrap metal processors to obtain proper identification in the form of a driver's license from the sellers of copper.

As you probably know, the last few years has been -- has seen a rise in copper theft in Connecticut. With the rise in the price of copper which currently stands at $3.77 a pound more criminals may be tempted to steal copper from various place including utility companies. As you know, any costs associated with the repairs caused by the stolen copper will sooner or later be passed on to ratepayers.

The united States Department of Energy estimates that simple thefts of a hundred dollars in copper wire can cost the utilities 5,000 or more in repair. We have to remember that not only utility companies are victims of this crime; remember the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor to suffered from devastation in 2012 when thieves stripped trolley cars of copper and brass.

It is therefore imperative that we as legislators can find a way to reduce the copper theft by instituting measures which will discourage the illegal activity in the future.

I was jokingly talking to someone over in the corner just then. It's gotten so bad now you can actually be upstairs taking a shower and your water will go off and somebody is downstairs stealing your copper. I mean, it's funny, but it's serious. They're stealing copper because it costs a lot of money.

And now I found out something recently that they're stealing plastic pallets. I had no idea that that even existed. There's money in plastic now and we should get to the bottom of this now where at least you have to give some kind of driver's license or something, because a thief is not going to give you his driver's license, it's as simple as that.

Thank you. I'll take any questions.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you, Representative Hewett.

Senator Witkos.

SENATOR WITKOS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And thank you, Representative.

Under the current statute they're just required to -- what are they required to do now? Because I know we did something a couple years ago for somebody that's bringing something to a recycling or processing plant.

REP. HEWETT: I'm actually not sure of the current statute. I got this idea from one of my constituents that thought it was imperative that we bring this, you know, try to bring it into law. I'm not sure if the statute is there already. Then they should be doing it already, but at least I'm getting to the bottom of it on this end.

SENATOR WITKOS: Thanks. I thought that, if my memory serves me correctly, that they're supposed to show some sort of identification as to who they are, where they located it.

And you know, maybe we'll look at it, but I think maybe just a stronger enforcement from law enforcement to do periodic checks may be the answer, but thank you for bringing it to the committee's attention.


Any further questions from the committee? Seeing none, Representative Hewett I'll just make a comment.

I introduced a bill on this I think last year and this issue -- and I met -- we met with some industry people a week or so ago. And the -- as presented to us there is an identification requirement. You're bill makes it clear for a driver's license. I guess one thought is what if a person doesn't have a driver's license? You know I mean, that's a potential drawback I guess.

But -- and I'm not -- I'm just telling you what -- they're telling me that some of the bigger outfits, you know, certainly document. They're by the book and they're presenting to me -- and I don't know if it's fact -- that some of the smaller outfits don't really adhere to it.

So it's a question some may be good, some don't. So it's -- that's kind of a dilemma, I think. You know, whatever rules we set out there's problems I think like in anything. Some are a good adherence to the law and some aren't.

REP. HEWETT: Well, that's what I'm hearing, too, is some of the small outfits are not doing it and the bigger ones are abiding by the law.

SENATOR DOYLE: Yeah. So I'm sure the committee will keep this in mind as we continue. It's a challenging issue.

Any further questions from the committee?

Thank you, Representative Hewett.

REP. HEWETT: Thank you, sir.

SENATOR DOYLE: The next speaker is Representative Brian Sear. Is Representative Sear here? Yes, he is. Thank you.

After Representative Sear, Representative Betsy Ritter, Representative Grogins. Thank you.

REP. SEAR: Thank you for this opportunity Senator Doyle, Representative Baram and distinguished members of the General Law Committee. I am Brian Sear. I'm the Representative from the 47th District. I'm here to testify in support of Bill 5614, AN ACT CONCERNING E-BOOKS AND LIBRARIES, which i am sponsoring.

While the current wording of the bill only references cost equity, our goal is to ultimately provide fair access for all libraries of which costs plays a significant role. Libraries of all types -- and they fall into four categories, public, academic, school and a special -- play an essential role in our society, providing information and resources to all of our population. This is not a static role. It is ever evolving.

There's no downside to libraries and no segment of the population that is not served by them; young, old, rich, poor, urban, rural. All of our population use libraries to access entertainment, professional development, research and just plain curiosity.

Libraries serve society best when they provide a full range of information. Currently due to technological and economic considerations, libraries are being discriminated against and access to electronic books, also known as e-books. There's no clear framework for providing this access or agreement on a fair cost and/or licensing structure.

Some publishers don't offer e-books to libraries at all. Some publishers offer only part of their inventory and the pricing structure is all over the map. Some are very expensive. Some are fairly priced. Each publisher is approaching this relationship basically on their own.

So rather than sitting on the sidelines waiting for some sort of market-based framework to evolve, if it ever would, we in Connecticut want to take the lead in creating a framework of fair and comprehensive access to e-books for all of our libraries' patrons. Everyday throughout Connecticut and the country library directors and their staffs are faced with disappointed and frustrated patrons who want to know when and what titles will be available on an electronic format for the books they want to read.

In turn, library boards are similarly frustrated in trying to determine what resources from their budgets to commit to e-books. And I will add that this legislation will add no cost burden to our state or local budgets.

Current wording of this bill addresses price only -- I'm almost there -- I fully support expanded wording developed by attorneys of the American Library Association that address fair access as well as fair price.

Thank you very much.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you, Representative.

Any questions from the committee? Seeing none, thank you, Rep --

Mr. Chairman Baram.

REP. BARAM: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Two quick questions. First, when you're using an e-book, is it possible to prevent the dissemination of that content to some other person other than the one taking it out from the library?

REP. SEAR: We have other people here to testify on this bill and that's a technological question I don't have the answer to.

REP. BARAM: And also in a prior conversation we were talking about the stream of commerce, whether or not Connecticut could regulate something that is promulgated by a publisher countrywide. Do you have any further insight into that issue?

REP. SEAR: Again, there's others that will testify today more particularly to that. I know that the American Library Association's attorneys looked into this and did set up a framework, which is in your testimony under the Connecticut Library Association letterhead, that addresses what they feel comfortable is a framework in terms of --

And basically it's tying if they offer their e-books or their product for sale in Connecticut, that they would agree to a framework of even access and a fair cost structure. So those two are tied together. They feel confident that, you know, there's precedent in other areas of product being supplied.

REP. BARAM: Thank you. Thank you.


Any further questions from the committee?

Senator Kissel.

SENATOR KISSEL: Thank you very much.

Very briefly, I commend you for bringing this forward. I was actually shocked when it was first brought to my attention. I mean, apparently what's going on is these e-book publishers are just saying to libraries, we're not going to self you. Is that basically what's going on?

REP. SEAR: Some are.

SENATOR KISSEL: And for some reason I thought maybe it would be unconstitutional. I mean, can people in the marketplace just sort of pigeonhole particular people that want to purchase and say, okay. All you over here, you're wearing gray suits so you're not going to be sold and you over here with blue suits, we're going to self you.

I mean, isn't there some requirement somewhere? Has anyone looked at this from a constitutional perspective, that they can't just say, we're going to sell to everybody in the marketplace except libraries?

REP. SEAR: I believe that's been looked into. While I'm not approach -- I'm approaching this more from a practical standpoint. From the legal standpoint, I'm told there's lots of precedents in terms of a product.

And you're say, well, libraries are different. They're not like a store or commercial. You know, they're not in business to make a profit, but there are other areas where you can't discriminate. You can't say, I'm just going to offer this to this segment of the population and not to another. It seems pretty clear to me, but it's -- I don't think it's ever been addressed head-on.

But I don't think this -- until the kind of developed to this point I don't think this question ever came up. And obviously part of this is when you have a physical book, you've got a physical book and there's, you know, one product and that moves and you can tell who has it at any given time and others can't use it at the same time.

And I appreciate the reality of publishers and their trying to get a handle on how to, you know, maintain their copyright protection and whatever. We're not trying to get involved in that area. This is a practical thing here.

SENATOR KISSEL: Okay. I just wanted to keep it brief, because again, I'm being educated on this. I think people in the public are being educated on this. Obviously, libraries other than the private libraries associated with the private university system, most libraries people associate with government-funded, and that's like a gasoline retailer saying, I'm going to sell gasoline to everybody except state cars. I can't imagine that and I hope we get to the bottom of this.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

REP. SEAR: Thank you.


Representative Carter.

REP. CARTER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

We talked about some of the legal precedents and looking into this. Where they're looking at governing the books, do they do it similar than, I mean, software? I mean, the only experience that I have is when they govern software on the market you get a licensing agreement allowing for so many uses.

REP. SEAR: Right.

REP. CARTER: Would that be something you would look at here? Maybe it would cost more than the regular book would cost because it's going to have more views? Or how would this be regulated?

REP. SEAR: If you -- and your deference, can I read the proposed legal language that the American Library Association put forth? It's not too long.


REP. SEAR: And I think it might address your question.

Being enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives in general convened, Section 1, any person who offers to license -- and that's an important as opposed to sell, okay.

Any person who offers to license an electronic book to the public in Connecticut shall offer to license such book to libraries in Connecticut on reasonable terms that would permit the libraries to provide their users with access to the electronic book.

These reasonable terms may include, A, a limitation on the number of users to whom a library may simultaneously provide access to the electronic book, B, a limitation on the number of days a library may provide a user with access to the electronic book, C, and the use of technological protection measures that would prevent a user from, number one, maintaining access to the electronic book beyond the excess period set forth in the license, and two, providing other users with access to the electronic book.

So I think the libraries are not trying to say what the terms should be, just that the terms should be consistent from library to library and predictable in terms of what's involved. I don't think they're in the position of trying to control how this plays out.

REP. CARTER: Thank you very much, Representative.

And thank you, Mr. Chair.

REP. SEAR: You're welcome.

SENATOR DOYLE: Sorry about that.

Any questions from the committee? Seeing none, thank you very much, Representative.

REP. SEAR: Thank you.

SENATOR DOYLE: Next speaker is Representative Betsy Ritter. Is Representative Ritter here? I don't see her. Okay.

Representative Grogins. Representative -- yes, she is. Here's Representative Grogins. After Representative Grogins, Representative Srinivasan.

Representative Grogins.

REP. GROGINS: Good afternoon. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak. I have next to me a constituent from Bridgeport, William Giannos and he's an ice cream vendor who brought this particular issue to my attention. So if the committee would permit me, I'm going to just briefly speak and then turn it over to him if that would be okay.


REP. GROGINS: Thank you for holding this public hearing on my bill and giving me the opportunity to testify on this issue.

This issue was raised by Mr. Giannos concerning a glitch in the permitting process for softserve ice cream vendors. This bill would require the creation of a limited softserve ice cream vendor permit for events that are less than seven days in duration. It would also require the issuance of a temporary ice cream vendor permit which would be issued not more than five days after the submission of the application enabling ice cream vendors to hire summer help expeditiously.

And I filed two bills to address these two issues. I'm combining my thoughts on both in this one letter.

This, the issue has come about and Mr. Giannos has reported to me that he provides ice cream at special events that are limited in duration and also the issue arises when he hires temporary summer help to help drive his ice cream trucks.

There's a permit -- he already has a permit with the state -- is it Public Health Department?

WILLIAM GIANNOS: Consumer protection.

REP. GROGINS: Consumer protection, and we have that permit here.

That, actually there's some policy that he's going to bring to your attention. That should cover him for everything but cities and towns require him, if he does, say, an event, a birthday party, to also get a temporary permit was them at the local level even though that permit is not really necessary.

And I understand why they're doing that. The problem is, is that he might get called to do an event, a birthday party the day before the party or a week before and by the time the local authorities get around to issuing a permit it's 30 to 60 days later, so he can't do the event.

Additionally, that's the same situation with the summer help. He -- but that's at the state level. If he has to get -- he has to get an ice cream permit, vendor permit for his summer help and that can take them the whole summer to get back to them and issue the permit, and he -- the summer is over and his help goes back to college and they -- he couldn't hire them.

So this bill really focuses on expediting the permitting process, which we've addressed in our jobs bill last session -- but it didn't cover this particular issue. But I mean, we do have an interest here at the Legislature to expedite permitting processes and this would also create more jobs because Mr. Giannos cannot hire summer help and he can't continue making his own living because of these, the long duration of time that it takes to issue a permit at the state level and at the local level. So my bills address both these issues.

So I appreciate your consideration of this. I think it is a problem and I think it would help many of our local food vendors in Connecticut both hire summer help and also continue to make a living in this very difficult economy.

And I'm going to turn it over to Mr. Giannos because he knows this issue a lot better than I do, but I appreciate your consideration.

SENATOR DOYLE: Okay. Just try to keep it brief because (inaudible) the time.

Thank you.

REP. GROGINS: Sure. Absolutely.

WILLIAM GIANNOS: Mr. Chairman, this summer we were called to Naugatuck High School to give out ice cream to the student body and all of our trucks are licensed by the Department of Consumer Protection. That's where we have to get our trucks inspected.

And when they were leaving the property a local health inspector stopped them and wrote them up for not having a health permit for that particular town. Now these two trucks that were there had local health permits for Bridgeport where they worked during the day and then we went to the special event.

Now I have a copy of the State of Connecticut Public Health Code and in their code, Number 7K says, nothing in this section shall prevent the manufacture or sale of frozen desserts in mobile units operating under licenses issued by the commissioner of consumer protection.

And that I would think that the local department was trying to stop us from operating because we don't have a local permit, but basically we're called to go all over the state. We have a fleet of trucks. We do weddings, special events, graduations and all the trucks are permitted by the State Department of Consumer Protection, but they don't have to get a local permit.

If we were going to go to a local town we'd have to get a vending permit from the police department, which we do, but because we're not vending on a city street, we're going to a private event, I feel that this consumer protection permit should be able to take the jurisdiction over the local health departments.

REP. GROGINS: So we're just trying to find some way where he's not prevented from doing these special events and he can also so hire summer help.

WILLIAM GIANNOS: And very briefly the other issue is the -- when a student goes to get a vending permit in the town they go to the police department. Some towns will give them the permit the next day. Sometimes it will take a week. Some will take 30 days.

And a college student coming home from school that's home for ten weeks can't wait 30 days for permit. Now consumer protection has told me that maybe they should do as the casinos do, where someone goes in for a job; they get a temporary permit until they do a background check. If it doesn't come back right there it's revoked.

REP. GROGINS: We're just trying to find some way to expedite this process.

And I just very briefly -- we're done, but I just want to point out there's a typo in my testimony. I referred to local health departments as issuing these local permits. It's actually the police department, so I just wanted to correct that.

And we very much appreciate your consideration and we're open for questions.


Any questions from the committee?


REP. RUTIGLIANO: Yes, thank you.

What type of permits do you have now?

WILLIAM GIANNOS: We are required to -- if we're going to -- if the trucks are going to vend in the city they have to get a vending permit from the police department.

REP. RUTIGLIANO: So you operate with just a vending permit?

WILLIAM GIANNOS: No. And we also have to get softserve trucks. We had to get inspected by the Department of Consumer Protection, which we have to that first and then go to the police department and we also get a local health permit also.

REP. GROGINS: He's got a State of Connecticut permit from the Department of Consumer Protection.

REP. RUTIGLIANO: I'm just asking questions because, you know, I don't really know about your business. How come you can't operate sort of like a pizza truck?

WILLIAM GIANNOS: Well, that's the other -- when we do special events and the other food trucks are there, no one has a permit. We're the only one who has a permit.

REP. RUTIGLIANO: They probably have a catering permit. If you have a food license you can get a catering permit, which allows you to go into any town. I mean, I have one.

WILLIAM GIANNOS: I don't -- I didn't know that. A catering permit from a local town will let you go to the state?

REP. RUTIGLIANO: In addition to your restaurant permit, you get a catering permit.


REP. RUTIGLIANO: That's why I was wondering if that was an avenue for you.

WILLIAM GIANNOS: I don't know.

REP. RUTIGLIANO: If you have them, what type of license you want, whether or not you could expand on that. Just a question.


REP. GROGINS: But I think that that wouldn't solve the issue of his hiring summer help, because then they have to get --

WILLIAM GIANNOS: Well, that's a separate issue.

REP. RUTIGLIANO: I would -- the vending is definitely a separate issue. I was just thinking why don't you just operate yourself like a pizza truck?

REP. GROGINS: We don't know if that applies, but we'll look into it for sure.

SENATOR DOYLE: Any further comments?

(Inaudible) maybe to represent, you should contact the DCP (inaudible) Gary Burner, maybe try to set up a meeting. If you want to try to talk to them and see if you can come to -- and we can try too, but you know, if you want in the meantime, we're at a hearing today; if you can try to connect with Gary Burner and DCP, see what their thoughts are, if they're willing to work with you and then, you know, we can get involved. But maybe that's a good first step if you want to pursue that.

REP. GROGINS: He's actually spoken to the director for --

SENATOR DOYLE: Oh, he has. Okay.

REP. GROGINS: He's actually -- before he contacted me he spoke to the director a few times. What we will do, though, so you know in deciding what you're going to do --


REP. GROGINS: -- we will find out as soon as possible if the catering permit addresses at least one of the issues. So --

SENATOR DOYLE: Yeah. So your solution, you may want a whole new permit created, is what you're thinking? Or --

WILLIAM GIANNOS: Or that this, at least for the softserve ice cream trucks, this Department of Consumer Protection would consider us.

REP. GROGINS: He would like to just be able to cover enough for limited events that are limited in duration, like a one-day birthday party or a fair that's a couple of days, that he doesn't have to get that extra permit, that he just gets covered by this permit that he already has. If they do --

WILLIAM GIANNOS: Which they feel that this is covering me. That's what consumer protect --


REP. GROGINS: Apparently the Department of Consumer protection says that he should be covered.

SENATOR DOYLE: Okay. So we, we'll check with him. So you're saying right now you get the DCP statewide; you also have to get one from the police, the local police department for the one-time event and the health department, too?

WILLIAM GIANNOS: The local one for vending in the streets in the local towns, but if we want to do a party outside the town, we do -- or at a private property, we do all kinds of events, this, this State permit should cover --

SENATOR DOYLE: Yeah. For the short time event is what you're saying? What, you know --


SENATOR DOYLE: Okay. All right.

WILLIAM GIANNOS: Because we're not vending in there now. They're on private properties in other towns.

SENATOR DOYLE: Right. Okay. All right. Well, thank you very much.

REP. GROGINS: Thank you.

WILLIAM GIANNOS: Thank you. Thank you.

REP. GROGINS: Appreciate it.

SENATOR DOYLE: Next speaker, is Representative Ritter here? No, she isn't.

Representative Srinivasan. Sorry, Prasad. I think I mispronounced your name.

After that, Representative Cook, State Librarian Kendall Wiggin and Representative Whit Betts.

REP. SRINIVASAN: Senator Doyle, Representative Baram and the distinguished members of the General Law Committee, I'm here on behalf of House Bill 5484, supporting it, AN ACT PROHIBITING GENERIC SUBSTITUTIONS FOR TAMPER-RESISTANT DRUG FORMULATIONS.

Tamper-resistant drug formulations are relatively new. We've had them for the past two years. What the tamper-resistant drug accomplishes is that the drug can be used for that sole purpose, that medication can be used for the sole purpose alone and cannot be used as a deterrent, cannot be abused in any other form. And that of course, as we all realize, for certain classes of medications, if not all, is extremely important.

If these medications, which are tamper resistant now become generic, which they will, the basic medication can always become generic and if this tamper resistance is not followed through what could happen, as you can imagine, the same medication can now have abuse potential, can be used for all other reasons that we can imagine not meant for when it is written by the prescribing physician.

So what we're trying to do in this bill is make sure that the physician who writes the prescription will say whether it is necessary in that particular situation that the generic cannot be used because it does not have a tamper-resistant formulation. If the generic is available in the tamper-resistant, obviously that can be used. So the purpose is to make sure that medications that are tamper resistant remain tamper resistant so that it is both in the best interests of our public health as well as public safety.

Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity and I'm looking forward to any questions.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you, Representative.

Any questions?

Senator Kissel.

SENATOR KISSEL: Thank you very much. Great to see you.


SENATOR KISSEL: I received a letter from advocacy groups advocating for your position on this. And the folks that sent it to me, I have a lot -- a great reputation in my mind. But I'm just wondering, this seems to be something that has sort of a federal sort of layer to it, too. What's actual -- what is really going on out there?

Are the people that are producing the generics just trying to cheap out on the container? Or you know, I don't understand why tamper-resistant bottles would be such a big issue.

REP. SRINIVASAN: Okay. Thank you very much, Senator Kissel.

Answering your question in two parts, A, at the federal level there is work being done on this particular issue. So we still haven't heard anything from them yet, but we in our State want to be one step ahead; be leaders in this and try to get it passed in our State regardless of what happens to the federal policy, which I know we have been in touch with the federal FDA as well and we are in direct communication with them. But at this point in time they have not taken a position yet and I'm sure they will knowing very well this is extremely important.

Going to the second part of your question, what we're talking about here is not a container which contains a medication, but the medication itself. The medication itself is tamper-resistant. So let us say for example if in this tablet, if a tablet is crushed it can be used in some other form, but this tablet cannot be crossed because if it is crushed nothing will happen to the tablet at all.

If you inject water or any fluid into this tablet it will become gel and so it cannot be used for any other purpose, an abuse deterrent, that's what it is. So the tamper-resistant is in the medication itself as opposed to the bottle and that's where the whole chemistry of the medication has been altered so that the abuse potential is significantly reduced, if none whatsoever.


I'm really -- you know, sometimes I wonder whether I should ask the question; we've got a ton of people here and I understand the chairman wants to keep the business rolling, but I was -- had a simple lay-version of tamper resistant meant the container, not the medicine itself.


SENATOR KISSEL: Now I understand the complexity of the issue.  I appreciate your answer.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

REP. SRINIVASAN: Thank you so much.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you. I'm understanding it more also.

Senator Witkos.


Just a couple questions if I may? Isn't the -- it's not a matter of how the medicine is ingested necessarily into the body, it's the actual self medication which would be the abuse. Is that not correct?

REP. SRINIVASAN: Senator Witkos, if you can just repeat that question? Maybe I didn't understand it clearly.

Thank you.

SENATOR WITKOS: You had said that if the medication comes in a pill form --


SENATOR WITKOS: -- and if somebody happens to crush the pill, then from my understanding of what you said, it makes it -- it renders it useless.


SENATOR WITKOS: But yet, couldn't somebody just ingest the smaller portions of the pill so you're medicating yourself to whatever the pill it is, so it's not tamper-resistant?

REP. SRINIVASAN: Thank you for asking that.

The difference there is if the pill is tampered with and just ingested, yes, you're absolutely right. The efficacy would be significantly reduced. We don't know how much the efficacy would have altered, but the efficacy would change.

But in the abuse potential of the drug it is not in this ingested form that we are seeing these medications. It is in other forms where it will be totally ineffective.

SENATOR WITKOS: I came across -- I was intrigued by this bill when we looked over at screening. And I, like Senator Kissel, thought it had to do with the packaging, not necessarily the pill, so something new.

So through a little research I found an article in the New York Times which spoke about specifically OxyContin and that seems to be one of the big drug dependencies of abusers. And at the time that manufacturer said that back in 1995 when the patent was given out, that the time release formulation would be a way to decrease abuse by those that take OxyContin, but obviously from my background in law enforcement and probably yours in the medical profession, you found that that isn't necessarily the case. That it's not because if you have a time-release formula, that that is curbing any type of dependency upon the drug.

So how do we know that this -- or how can we be assured that this isn't a marketing tool or tool to prevent generic drugs from coming on the market that are cheaper that have the same effect for people to use that may need it for true medical purposes?

REP. SRINIVASAN: The generic medications used for the true medical purposes, there should be no difference between the two at all in terms of its efficacy, assuming that the generic is reputable and, you know, it's not just filled with fillers; occasionally we do come across that as well.

But giving them the benefit of the doubt and that a generic is a true generic, I don't think there will be a difference in terms of the efficacy of the medication at all. It's the other use which has got such a high potential, the abuse factor that is the concern here, which we feel that in the tamper-resistant form I'm sure that it will be tried.

They will attempt to abuse it as well; find that it is totally useless, totally ineffective. They will have already tried it in the -- they probably will have already tried it in the version as it exists and hoping that generics would be different. And they would find that it is in effect ineffective once again.

So could it be a marketing plan as you very appropriately brought out? In my professional judgment I would say, no.

SENATOR WITKOS: I know that for this body we've had testimony -- I think we passed into law medication that dealt specifically with epilepsy, that you could not substitute a generic for a brand-name because of the uniqueness it has to fight epilepsy.

How would this interact with a similar vein that prescribers would go right towards the brand-name versus the generic? How do you -- I guess I'm asking from your professional standpoint, too -- how do you determine that this medication is the medication of choice from a brand, versus this medication as generic, vice versa?

REP. SRINIVASAN: Are you referring, Senator, to this particular situation or in general?

SENATOR WITKOS: This particular situation.

REP. SRINIVASAN: Okay. In this particular situation it would depend on your relationship with that patient in terms of how you feel about that particular person. That's a judgment call that every physician, he or she will have to make knowing that this is the patient that I'm dealing with. This is what's going to happen in this particular situation and I am better off in giving them the tamper-resistant as opposed to the generic version. So that's a judgment call that every physician will be having to make.

SENATOR WITKOS: And if we have a mechanism where we have bills where you would be required to report that into a database, I'll call it a prescription database for lack of better words, so to prevent doctor shopping.

And if you as attending physician thought that the non-tamperproof medication was the most appropriate for this individual, will -- if that individual goes to another physician or someplace else to get the tamperproof because it didn't get them what they wanted, will they see -- would most physicians, I guess agree or concur with the initial prescription that we should be a non-tamperproof, or they may just go and supply the generic?

I'm trying to understand your profession where generally you differ to maybe one and not allow for the doctor shopping.

REP. SRINIVASAN: That definitely raises that possibility of doctor shopping, because a physician would not know that that prescription has not been filled. Because I write a prescription, it goes to the pharm -- I mean, I'm hoping it goes to the pharmacy and the prescription is being filled, but if that -- if the compliance is not there and that prescription is not filled at all, so the pharmacy has no record of getting a prescription from me because the patient will say, this is in a tamper-resistant. I don't want to go there. Let me go to Dr. B, let me go to Dr. C, and see if I can get it in the non tamper-resistant version. That can definitely happen. That can definitely. And we have no way at this point in time of tracking that.

SENATOR WITKOS: Would it be possible to put into the database? Because it would go in there if you phoned in a prescription rather than writing it on a script pad. Correct?

REP. SRINIVASAN: Right. Right. And now more and more of us -- more and more of us are going towards that particular form of prescribing -- in prescriptions is what we do, which will create that database it those pharmacies.


Thank you, Mr. Chair.


Any other --

Representative Carter.

REP. CARTER: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

And thank you for your testimony.

The question was interesting about if you phone in a prescription. Can you phone in a narcotic prescription? Or does that have to be done in writing or electronic?

REP. SRINIVASAN: No. It has to -- no, a phone-in narcotic can be done -- can be done, but it has to be in very limited quantities and there's got to be a reason why you've got to phone that in.

Let's say for example over the weekend, you know, you don't have access at that particular time and the pharmacist knows you. You obviously know the patient and that's why you're calling in that prescription.

So small, small amounts can definitely be phoned in, especially in after-office hours and over the weekend. But in the general format, yes, you -- it has to be a written prescription. And even when it is phoned in, the pharmacist expects you come Monday morning or come the next morning that you will be sending it, A, in electronic form or in some other written form.

So it is a partial phone-in with a follow up with a written prescription.

REP. CARTER: Right. If -- now I know you're specialty -- I think you said to me once was allergy?


REP. CARTER: In that field, how often do you -- in prescribing a narcotic over a weekend?

Because my question is this, we have access to the prescription drug monitoring program which I believe we were referring to. Can a physician check that from home or would they -- would you normally do that from home before you gave out a prescription for a narcotic?

REP. SRINIVASAN: Good question. I have not done a prescription in my speciality. I really don't need to do that. So I don't definitely don't do it at all in general, and definitely not over the weekend.

So you know, to answer the question, do I check it myself? The answer is no, but is it possible to check? I'm sure it's possible it is. It's possible to check. Unfortunately I happen to be not very tech savvy, so that makes it difficult on my part to do that. But I turn around because I don't prescribe that anyway to begin with.

REP. CARTER: Representative, thank you very much for your time.


REP. CARTER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Representative Altobello.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good afternoon.

REP. SRINIVASAN: Good afternoon.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Who gets to determine whether or not a drug is tamper -- has a tamper-resistant formulation?

If I were a manufacturer I would stamp all of my drugs going forward with this law as a tamper-resistant drug formulation. And who would say no? Who would say yes? Who would?

REP. SRINIVASAN: Your question, if I hear that -- if I understand that correctly is, who is the authority that then endorses that this is right? Good question. I don't have an answer for that, but I will definitely get back to the committee on that.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Well, in order to discourage competition from generics I would, if I were a manufacturer, just stamp all my --

REP. SRINIVASAN: Correct. Yeah. Yeah. Great question. I thank you for asking me that. I don't have an answer, but will definitely get back to the committee on that.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Something to think about maybe.



Any further questions from the committee? Seeing none, thank you very much.

REP. SRINIVASAN: Thank you. Thank you.

SENATOR DOYLE: Is Representative Ritter here? Representative Michelle Cook is here.

State librarian Kendall Wiggin.

REP. COOK: I don't know about this, Srinivasan. You're the expert on that one.

Good afternoon, Senator Doyle, Representative Baram and members of the General Law Committee. I am State Representative Michelle Cook covering the 65th District which Torrington. I come before you today to speak in support of House Bill 5484, AN ACT PROHIBITING GENERIC SUBSTITUTIONS FOR TAMPER-RESISTANT DRUG FORMULATIONS.

And I'm pleased to go after Dr. Srinivasan, so you guys took care of all of those in-depth questions.

One in every three individuals will experience chronic pain in their lifetime. One of the most popular drugs over the past few years is OxyContin. This is an extended release oxycodone. This drug has become widely popular with those abusing drugs and prescription drugs a hold a street value ranging sometimes higher than $20 a pill.

What you may not know is OxyContin along with other narcotic-type prescriptions are designed with a tamper-resistant formula. This is that intended to deter the abuse of medication and makes it more difficult to be crushed, dissolved, chewed or cut. This drug along with another drug called Embeda has been approved for marketing in a generic form. This will in fact eliminate the tamper-resistant type formulation and make the abuse of these two medications easier to use on the black market and become even more popular on our streets.

Fifteen other states have introduced legislation that would require pharmacists to obtain written consent of the prescriber in order to substitute a non-tamper-resistant formula of a product for a formulation that incorporates tamper-resistant technology. Currently the only tamper-resistant formulations are brand-name products, not generics.

The FDA has not come out and taken a position on this topic as of yet, and we in Connecticut would like to lead the charge on this and keep our residents and streets safer. So I'm asking you to please support House Bill 5484 and continue to fight the abuse on prescription drugs and at the same time save lives.

Thank you very much.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you, Representative.

Any questions from the committee?

Representative Altobello.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good afternoon.

REP. COOK: Good afternoon.

REP. ALTOBELLO: What would prevent a -- what prevents a generic manufacturer from stamping theirs as tamper-resistant technology? And who's going to be the referee on this?

REP. COOK: Representative Altobello, I clearly can tell you I'm not a specialist in that, so I'm not exactly sure.

My understanding in doing research on this is that the tamper-resistant formulated drugs are narcotics and the manufacturer of those medications have worked in the correlation of making sure that they're tamper-resistant to do something exactly like what we're trying to do to make it non, you know, to make sure that we cannot crush, too, and then in turn abuse it.

And I was just speaking to somebody in the audience -- and it's similar to like a Sudafed, if you will. Over the last few years we've now to show ID and you have to be of a certain age to be able to buy Sudafed. And what they've done is figured out a way to crush that, melt it and use it other ways.

And so the reason for making sure that things stay tamper resistant is to eliminate, if at all possible, that type of abuse. But for the other conversation, I'm not sure of those answers and I can do the research and I can get those for you.

REP. ALTOBELLO: I believe Dr. Srinivasan said we'd be the first in the nation, and I think you echo those remarks. So I guess we have to think about that a little.

Thank you.

REP. COOK: Thank you.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Any further questions from the committee? Seeing none, thank you very much.

REP. COOK: Thank you.

SENATOR DOYLE: The next speaker, Representative Ritter is not here.

Representative -- State Librarian Kendall Wiggin.

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: Senator Doyle, Representative Baram, distinguished members of the General Law Committee, my name is Kendall Wiggin and I am the Connecticut State Librarian and I'm here to speak in support of H.B. 5614.

I'd also like to thank Representative Sear for bringing this forward. And he did a fine job outlining it, so I won't read my testimony. But I would like to point out a couple of things that were brought up.

In response to a question about the use of these, most electronic books are -- have what's called digital rights management which allows the software to determine how many people are going to use it and how long they're going to use it, and is what prevents you from sharing that with other people.

One of the reasons we're here, or this issue is here is because e-books are not sold or traded like a book. A book is covered by copyright law which is long-standing in this country. The first-sale principle allows libraries, once they've purchased the book, to loan it to whoever they want. It allows our residents to donate used books to libraries so they can then sell them or use them in their collections.

E-books are not copyrighted. Even though if you open a e-book you'll see a copyright statement in them because all it is, is a scan of the paper book. It's actually licensed and it's just like when you use software on your computer or your tablet you usually have to agree to a terms and conditions, which you haven't read. Most of us don't read those. We just say, click, and I'm using it. But those terms and conditions can be very, very restrictive and that's one of the things libraries are facing with some publishers.

It was mentioned about some publishers are not selling to libraries. And I'm not an attorney, Senator Kissel, but I think the issue is because they won't sell to any library in the country they can get away with it. And this is very disheartening for libraries who have always been able to buy a book and loan a book and because we can't do this. And some publishers, while they will sell to libraries, will only sell their backlist.

They won't sell current books because they're trying to figure out the market as is we, but I don't know of any library that's ever put a publisher out of business because they loaned books from my library. Although 20 million books were loaned by libraries in this state last year, I don't think any publisher went out of business because we did that with hardcover.

Another concern of mine representing the statewide issues is in our state we have a great tradition of allowing our residents to borrow from other libraries based on having a library card in another town. This has really saved taxpayers a lot of money. It's made our library collections available to all.

E-books under current licensing do not allow that, so we have patrons who may live in Enfield and they want to go down to Newington and borrow that e-book and they're told, no, you can't, even though you can borrow the hardcover.

SENATOR DOYLE: You can summarize if you'd like.

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: The other thing that was brought up is, is there any precedent for doing this? And again, I'm not an attorney, but I was pointed to statute 30-64(a) which deals with the sales within a wholesaler's geographic territory in which the State does not allow a wholesaler to pick and choose which permittee that they sell to or don't sell to. So I -- and I think there are other statutes and regulations where we have imposed on businesses that they can't pick and choose who they want to sell to.

And as also was mentioned, we're dealing with taxpayer dollars. These are public funds and we're trying to be good stewards of those funds. And when you're being, you know, I'll call it price gouging -- in many cases libraries are -- when they are allowed to buy some of these books, they're being charged four and five times what the general public is being asked to pay for.

We had one publisher who came up with a great scheme of saying you can have it for 26 -- you can borrow it for 26 times and then you have to buy it again. Well, I mean these are things that are putting tremendous pressure on libraries that have limited dollars and want to do right.

We also understand that we need to do -- have licensing that's fair to the publish as well. And I think was mentioned of having a playing field that's, you know, even around the state would really make libraries work a little -- would make their work a little easier for them and I think you'll hear from others here today; the impact on their specific towns.

Thank you.


Senator Witkos.


I was intrigued by the bill when I first saw it, but I was wondering if you could explain it a little bit. I'm going to ask you a couple of questions and explain it to me through the process.

When I think of an e-book I go on my iPad and go to Amazon, download it and I have it. How does it work now if you said you already had some publishers that said you can buy a copy and you're allowed to, I guess, loan it out 26 times and need to buy again?

How does that process work where, does it come into the database of the library? Somebody comes in and gets a flash drive? Could you explain that for me, please?

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: In most cases libraries have to have a platform through which the loan from. So there's one particular company that provides that service. So libraries buy it through that company. That company provides it through their service and then libraries, you can just go to that website and download it.

There are some libraries that are actually loaning loaded Kindles and others, though, we're not sure that's even legal, but they're doing that. But you'll notice on your iPad that if you don't read your book for a while, it may not be there. You have to go and download it again. These things are taken off your machines just, you know, without you even knowing it. It's an interesting world.

SENATOR WITKOS: And through the library generally, you know, I remember the old days; you'd get the stamp and if you don't have -- it's two weeks or seven days or however long. Is there a timeframe where somebody can borrow the book?

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: Yes. Most of these services have this digital rights management; will then embed in it a loan period. So it may be after 14 days it goes away from your machine, or you're just not allowed to open it anymore because of all the things they're able to do with all that software.

SENATOR WITKOS: That beats the old days of being -- getting phone calls and we'll have you bring that library book back.

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: Actually libraries like this idea. Publishers don't get this, but we don't like people to keep our books forever.


KENDALL F. WIGGIN: We want them back.

SENATOR WITKOS: Are there any other states that you know that have this type of technology or have adopted any type of legislation that either permits it or that they do now?

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: Many libraries around the country are dealing with the e-books and have different platforms. We'd be the first state to try to look at the issue that we're facing in trying to have open trade.

SENATOR WITKOS: And my last question is, are you having a -- what kind of response are you getting from the publishers? Is it the big publishers that are saying, no? Maybe some of the smaller ones are saying yes, so we're getting mixed messages from that industry, or is across the board, the big guys are kind of leading the charge as a no, and you're having difficulty getting publishers to participate?

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: My understanding is -- the case that you just laid out, that it's mostly the five or six largest publishers that are saying no. Some of the small presses, some of the university presses are saying yes and some of the smaller publishers saying, you know, it's okay to do business with a library and they may actually gain more sales that way.

So again, it's not uniform and it's one of the frustrations we have, but the best sellers, the things that people really want, those are the ones we can't get.


Thank you, Mr. Chair.


Let me just do a quick follow-up. I usually don't jump in. But to follow up on Senator Kissel, so I understand, Senator -- I mean, Senator Witkos has his iPad. He downloads the book; he pays two bucks or whatever and that's his for, like, 14 days. He didn't know it, but it expires.

So your plan, right now if this would works in the library Senator Witkos goes in, like, downloads it on his computer and then I guess from -- financially from the publishers, he -- he's paid $2 himself. And your -- are you pay $2 and getting 26 uses of it? Or is it a higher fee?

I'm trying -- financially they may have that motivation, too.

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: I mean, right now for some of those models the book may retail for, let's say, for fourteen ninety-five, you may be paying 50 or 60 dollars for that.

SENATOR DOYLE: But I'm saying the -- how much do you -- I don't really know.

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: Most e-books interestingly are often more expensive than the hardcover these days.

SENATOR DOYLE: Oh, really? They're that much?

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: I just downloaded one, you know, and it was, you know, fourteen ninety-five for the e-book. There are some cheap ones out there, but they're usually things that you may not be interested in reading. But so you're buying, you're basically leasing or licensing it. You don't own it. You don't have the right to say, I want to let Senator Doyle read this.

Now that there are some places like Barnes & Noble that have a little lend-me feature, but there are very few publishers that will let you just keep passing that around to all your friends and neighbors, and libraries are under that same restriction.

SENATOR DOYLE: But isn't -- when you -- if you lend to 26 people, isn't that actually allowing it more than the one they did to Senator Witkos? Or am I --

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: it's a better deal, but let me tell you when --

SENATOR DOYLE: So you're -- you and Senator Witkos are saying -- the libraries and Senator Witkos are paying the same price of 15 bucks or something and you get it 26 times, he gets it one. It's that the reason that they don't like it, you think? Or --

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: I think so, but when you think about we've been buying hardcovers for years --

SENATOR DOYLE: Yeah, the same. Yeah, it's a similar situation.

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: -- and loaning them a hundred times, I mean that's just the way first sale principle works in our country.


KENDALL F. WIGGIN: But now because they can do it through licensing and technology they're able to put these in position.

SENATOR DOYLE: And your position is it's the same thing as a hardcover. Thank you.

Senator Kissel.

SENATOR KISSEL: Thank you very much.

I'm really partial to your arguments regarding this. It's probably because I never went to kindergarten. I went to library school where I was. It's up to the public whether that was a good thing or a bad thing.

I see that we have to address this really soon because if this is allowed to persist you guys are going to be out of business. And the founding fathers thought that libraries and public education were of paramount importance.

I'm actually listening to the old-fashioned cassette technology to the biography of John Adams where he says, these things are so important. So this -- these are our founding principles and we give you lots of tax dollars because it's a great place. You know, kids don't know where to go to play in the middle of winter. Go to the library, it's a great place.

My concern is that -- all right. Let's take a step back. If they're hiding behind the notion that they won't sell to libraries, are they not selling to private libraries? In other words, do they have the gall that when Yale University calls them up and says, we want these e-books, are they not selling to Yale University Library? Or are they just sort of picking out the taxpayer funded public libraries and saying, we're not going to sell to all you folks?

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: I don't know the answer to that, but we can find out.

I will say there are different things going on. Academic libraries are able to acquire e-books right now through a variety of services, but again they don't own them. And what some of our academic libraries are finding out, while they have access to some e-books now, if another college in the state who traditionally might have called them and said, could we borrow that book? We have a student that needs it, they can do it.

Because they don't own the book. They licensed it for Yale, nobody else. They've licensed it for CSU, nobody else. And this is a problem and I think our tradition of being able to borrow books around the state, share resources is going out the door.

And you're absolutely right, Senator. I mean over time we may not be able to have anything in a library that we can loan. And while there are people in Connecticut who can well afford an e-book there are an enormous number of people and students who cannot afford these books. I mean, they're not 99-cent downloads and if they need to read that book and there's some publishers now who are only publishing e-book form. There are no hard copies and none of us know what's going to happen to these e-books 20 years from now.

So there are a lot of concerns. I don't know if this bill is perfect, but I'd love to be able to work with this committee on trying to look at how we might do something to preserve what we've had traditionally in our state.

SENATOR KISSEL: Well, I really appreciate your testimony. I see there's a lot of librarians here. I'm totally sympathetic to your position. I'd like to see Connecticut be a leader here. It's sort of a liberty and independence kind of thing. It's good for the public.

And again, in the marketplace they may have some fears that if they let go of this they can't get the horse back in the barn, but ultimately I think the balance for what's good for the greater good of the public is the free flow of information for a reasonable price and so we've got to find a way to get you from here to there.

And it's interesting that they're willing to sell to the universities, but they've decided, well, but we're going to stop them a couple different steps down the road. So they're treating different libraries differently and probably their lawyers got together -- no aspersions and said, we can only go so far with this group and we can only go so far with that group.

I hope this State goes forward with this and if we have to have Attorney General Jepsen defend us down the road regarding interstate commerce or whatever, I think that's a fight worth having.

So thank you for coming to testify.

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: Thank you, Senator.

Thank you, all.


Representative Carter.

REP. CARTER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And thank you very much for your testimony and being here.

One thing I just want to make sure, is it that they will not loan e-books to you or that you are not able to purchase e-books?

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: They will not allow you to license the e-book. They won't -- they're not sold. They're just licensed and they will not let a library acquire -- let me use the word "acquire" -- they will not allow them to acquire that e-book, period.

REP. CARTER: Okay. And if you were able to work out a license with them, and let's say, for instance you had a per-user fee, literally you'd say, it's not a 99-cent download. But let's say if it was and that person on your license was able to download it for 99 cents per user. Would that be something that would even be negotiable to you, having a per-user fee?

Because obviously what we have here is we have an organization that has their knowledge and their product and they want to sell it, but obviously they don't want it to get out there, like you said, the horse out of the barn, which I can totally appreciate that. But in a library situation where you're loaning all these books out, you're talking the world versus a university.

So is there a way that you've thought that you'd be able to purchase that and give them their return on their investment for their product?

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: I haven't really thought that through to that extent, but I also think that what worked in the analog world we don't want to lose that either because a book is a book. I don't care that it's an e-book or a hardcopy book.

We were able to loan that multiple times and we may have had to buy a new one because it fell apart, and the e-books don't fall apart, so maybe there's some negotiating there. But I think we want to be careful that we don't lock ourselves into some pricing structure that may come back to bite us, too. I understand the publisher's need and we have paid for more DVDs in libraries at times so that performance rights and these kind of things.

I think there's some precedent there to figure out what is fair, but right now theirs is just a wide-open we don't know. You know, one library is told this, another is told that and they're told no.

REP. CARTER: I completely understand your concern. It's just I want to make sure we're looking at this from both sides. I don't think there's a conspiracy not to let libraries have them.

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: We want to be fair to publishers, certainly.

REP. CARTER: I think it's just really a valid way to try and to make sure that they have return on their investment and hopefully we'll find a common ground we can do this.

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: I appreciate your concern, Representative.

REP. CARTER: Thank you.


Any further questions?

Representative Altobello.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good afternoon.

The bill that we have in front of us is somewhat slim, so we've got a lot of blanks to fill in. Obviously if a library bought an e-book and they had a thousand patrons that wanted it, they could go to this website somewhere and just get it for free. Right?


REP. ALTOBELLO: Or in a large city, like New York, a million people could buy it, although it wouldn't cost anything.

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: I think the model we're trying to stay with is still the traditional one book, one loan, one user. So while there may be a thousand people that want it, they're going to have to wait a long time, unless there are multiple copies.

REP. ALTOBELLO: So you would be satisfied, or at least at this point, to treat it as if it were a real --

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: Uh-huh, to model this work for a hundred years.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Okay. The bill doesn't say that.


REP. ALTOBELLO: All right. The other point I had was, have you thought about having your libraries being click-throughs, so that they would go to the Friends of the Hartford Library, click here and buy their e-books through you guys and take a percentage of it?

I'm a member of the Friends of the Library Association and I get e-mails from them all the time. And if those e-mails included, hey, listen, these are the new e-books we're having, I mean, could be a revenue source.

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: I'll let some of my colleagues answer, but I do know on some libraries' catalog online site there is a click through to have an option to go and buy the book if you want to buy either as an e-book or a hardcover. There are some companies that do that service and sometimes they get a little extra for their friend.

So -- I mean, that's another aspect of it, but the ability to just go and barrow the book, no matter what its format, is a tradition I don't think we want to lose sight of.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Understood. Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.



Any further questions?

Representative Baram.

REP. BARAM: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I just want to makes sure I understand the technicalities. If you did have an e-book in a library and I went in to take it out and I got it, it would disappear after a certain number of days, if the rule was you can only keep it for a week. Because I'm not coming back to return it as I would a regular book, it just disappears from whatever electronic device I have. Is that correct?

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: That's my understanding.

REP. BARAM: Okay. Now what if I don't have an electronic device? What if I'm a student in an area where I can't afford it? Would the library have certain a number of electronic devices, iPads, so that I could actually take that out when I took the e-book out and then return the, you know, mechanism to you.

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: I'll differ to my colleagues that are here, but I -- my understanding is there are libraries that are actually loaning a variety of tablets and other reading devices. And then oftentimes these e-books you can actually read them on your computer or some other device you might have at home.

REP. BARAM: And lastly, does the technology exist, again so that if I did take out the e-book and I went home I couldn't, let's say, load it on my computer and send it out to 20 of my friends who want the same book, just don't want to buy it or go to the library?

KENDALL F. WIGGIN: The technology does exist.

REP. BARAM: Thank you very much.



Any further questions? Seeing none, thank you very much.

All right. It's after the first hour so we'll that have one member of the public and then we'll back have Representative Betts.

Christine Bradley, please, then Representative Betts.

CHRISTINE BRADLEY: Members of the committee, I am Christine Bradley. I'm director of the Norwalk Public Library system and I'm happy also to talk about this issue of e-books. And I appreciate the hearing because it gives us a chance to alert all of you to the situation in which we find ourselves.

I want to follow up on what Mr. Wiggin was saying and let you know that in a public library, such as Norwalk where I work, the way we purchase and loan e-books is exactly the way we purchase and loan print books. And this is why the situation becomes so frustrating for us when, for instance, to put it very bluntly we can't buy the Steve Jobs biography as an e-book because Simon & Schuster won't sell it to us, end of story. There are other variations with the big six publishers in their terms and conditions, but this is why we want to alert our General Assembly to this really discriminatory practice that's going on.

Now I feel the unwillingness of publishers to sell e-books to libraries is really due to their own fear and misunderstanding about these new technologies. I resent this because as a librarian we have had to adjust to new technologies almost constantly. And we do this on behalf of our patrons. We don't see library patrons as second-class citizens and we want them to have accessible to them what all residents of our state have.

So I fear the beginning of a new divide, not the digital divide that libraries and the Legislature has worked so hard to ameliorate, but a readers divide. These publishers are preventing people from participating in the great recycling center that is the public library.

If you download your e-books from the public library using your library card you can read only certain titles and backlists of certain authors, but if you can afford to pay for your books then you can read whatever you want.

Norwalk Public Library's book budget is $250,000 a year. Our patrons expect us to buy books on the bestseller list. It's their tax dollar at work, but publishers have decided that library customers are not equal to individual customers when it comes to e-books.

I'll just finish up by saying this has never happened before. In fact, libraries are used to getting a considerable discount on print books because we buy so many copies and we are such good customers for these publishers and have been for many years. So I say that we are not a threat to their business, but they are becoming a threat to the reading public here in Connecticut.

And so I appreciate your committee listening to this issue on behalf of our citizens.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you. Senator Witkos.


Just one question. If -- in your testimony you stated that you often received discounts from the publishers because you're such great customers; you buy more than one, generally, and probably a lot because there's so many different libraries putting in orders to get the same thing.


SENATOR WITKOS: What would your position be if there was language in the bill that only allowed for X number of copies to be sold to a library, for example, the Steve Jobs book that came out, if you would limit it to only four subscription copies, or whatever the number happens to be, what would your position be on that?

CHRISTINE BRADLEY: Senator, what we do is, again using the Jobs biography, for a popular book just as we do for print books we buy an additional e-copy. So as I said, we treat these books in the library exactly the way we treat print books.

So the publishers are not in danger. We -- someone checks out the title for two weeks. It disappears from their device so they don't have to physically return it, but then if it's a waitlist book like the biography, the next person in line is alerted that they can check it out for two weeks.

So what we have done in Norwalk is for popular books just like for popular print books we purchase additional customer -- additional copies. I mean, we buy books. We're not looking for a handout. We're just looking (inaudible).

SENATOR WITKOS: I understand. That's my question. If there was a limit on the number of e-books that you're allowed to buy copies of, so if it's -- you can't purchase more than three copies of that on an e-book, so you'll have to go through your two-week waitlist period, versus buying ten copies of e-books. So obviously it would reach a larger audience.

How would you feel if there was a limitation in the bill that maximized the amount of numbers of e-books that you could -- a library could purchase?

CHRISTINE BRADLEY: Well Senator, I don't understand how that would benefit the publishers because if they charge us, say, $30 an e-book and we buy ten, we buy ten for $30 each. It doesn't make any -- it shouldn't make any difference. They sell one copy for one price and they sell ten copies for the same price.

SENATOR WITKOS: Well I understand that, but also if there was those people that wanted to read it today, they go out and buy their own if they're able to.

CHRISTINE BRADLEY: Right, if they're able to.

SENATOR WITKOS: So -- and we haven't had any testimony from the publishers yet. I'm just anticipating that there's a dollar value assigned to it.

So to reach a happy medium somewhere up there had to be some negotiations in there, what would be the stance of the libraries to say, okay. We would agree to -- we would only purchase five copies of it or ten copies. I don't know. Pick the number, but I just wanted to kind of get a response back from you. If there was a number what would your response be?

CHRISTINE BRADLEY: Yeah. Senator, I feel that the library community is very anxious to work with the publishers because we understand their need to make a living. And I said we're not looking for a handout. We're purchasing their materials just the way the consumers purchase them.

And so I think you'll find that the library community here in Connecticut as well as nationally is very anxious to come to an agreement with publishers. So --

SENATOR DOYLE: Senator Kissel.

SENATOR KISSEL: Thank you very much.

I really appreciate your testimony coming here and speaking to us. I look at this totally different. I view libraries as the easiest consumer for them. We can monitor you. We give you taxpayer dollars. You're not lawbreakers.

I mean, if they're worried about one e-book turning into something off of some island off the Atlantic coast being disseminated to everybody in the world, they have to worry about that. I think what you're willing to do and what people -- when I first asked about this with my own public library is, they can easily with the technology right now sell you one and you can only give it out once and they expire after two weeks.


SENATOR KISSEL: So I don't see any -- I appreciate were Senator Witkos is going, but I don't see any reason to limit it, just like why would they limit how many hardcover books?


SENATOR KISSEL: What I'd like you guys to do is this -- because I am so hundred percent onboard -- and by the way, when they do hardcover books they have to get bindings. They have to get printing. They have to get paper. I mean, this is nothing for them and I don't even know how they're treating the authors, but they certainly have no huge costs as far as the materials.

So they have all of the that they're reaping the profit of and if a hardcover both is the same price as the e-book, wow, is there a profit margin on the e-book and if we could strangle the libraries we can jack that margin of even more. I don't like it.

So when we were going to cut the budget to libraries I got inundated by e-mails and phone calls from my constituents because you guys are in a perfect spot. So put in a little book -- a little card or anybody who comes to your libraries throughout Connecticut, alert them to this. Stop e-book discrimination. Contact your state representative and Senator.

And I bet you this building will really catch on, that this is a huge issue. Because you guys are being abused and I think this is intolerable in a free society. No way. No how. It's got to stop here and what better place than New England and Connecticut? We're going to stop them.

Thank you.


SENATOR DOYLE: Representative Carter.

REP. CARTER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just a couple questions.

Are your e-books available online, like for a member outside?

CHRISTINE BRADLEY: Yeah -- no. This is how it works, each library has a website and so there's a link to our platform we call it on the website.

So let's say for instance you wanted to borrow an e-book from your library. You go on to their website and you click into it and you choose your book and you take your library card number and you make the transaction with your library card, but you have to go to your library's website which then actually goes to an e-book platform, but that's how you would do it.

So you could do it -- the other thing I like, you can do it remotely. You know, your key is your library card and that's what gives you the access to whatever your library has purchased.

REP. CARTER: And about how much is a library membership down in Norwalk?

CHRISTINE BRADLEY: Library cards are free.


CHRISTINE BRADLEY: Yeah, to citizens, residents of Norwalk, yeah.

REP. CARTER: By the way, I'm part of the Friends of the Library, so I give money, so I always assumed there was a charge. Boy, was I wrong. Those guys had me going.

(Inaudible) thank you very much for your time.


Any further questions?

Chris, can you -- one more question. Yeah, representative Rovero first. Yeah.

REP. ROVERO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I had a question and I guess I'm getting confused. Is it that the libraries do not have access to e-books or the libraries do not want to pay the price that e-books want to charge you? I'm confused. What's the problem?

CHRISTINE BRADLEY: I hear you. It's -- the problem is that we cannot purchase certain books at all. Pricing varies from publish to publisher and some of the pricing is quite high, but that's a separate issue. Okay.

The problem that we have is that they flat out will not sell certain titles that are on the best seller list and what they'll do in some cases is a popular author -- let's say, James Patterson, he writes lots of mysteries; they'll only sell us titles he's written from 2010 and back. They won't sell as any of the new stuff, which again is on the best seller list.

So -- but it varies from publisher to publisher. We have six major publishers in our country and each one of them has a different way they deal with libraries. And only one of those absolutely will not sell any e-books to libraries, period.

REP. ROVERO: And I have a problem. I can't understand why any business would sell it to me at, say $10 --


REP. ROVERO: -- and not want to sell it to you at $10. I can't understand that. I have a problem with that.

CHRISTINE BRADLEY: Representative --

REP. ROVERO: I have a problem with you saying, look, I want to pay one $10 and give it out to a hundred people because those people have to make money, but I do have -- I agree with the gentleman at the other end that said that if this -- discrimination. But on the other hand we can't expect it for nothing, you know, we're going to have to pay for it like we pay for hard copies and so forth, but thank you very much.

CHRISTINE BRADLEY: Right. Absolutely.


Chris, I have a question. Just to clarify going back to the reason why they might not want to --


SENATOR DOYLE: -- I want to clarify it's not necessarily -- again, Senator Witkos gets it for his own for two weeks. You pay for the same price.


SENATOR DOYLE: But how does it work? Somebody mentioned -- the state librarian said you can lend it to 26 people rather than just one to one. That's if you have a bigger number that's a distinction that actually may be a motivation to shut you guys out, even though it's the same thing as with hardcover books.


SENATOR DOYLE: They may be looking at it differently. Like, what is your library's? Do have, like, is it 26? Or is it -- how does it work like that?

CHRISTINE BRADLEY: Yeah, good question. Now -- and again, I'll just be practical the way I do it in my own library. We purchase one copy and then we loan it out for as long as we can, just the way we do with the print book.

The state librarian was referring to one of the publishers who wanted to set a limit of -- and then force you to buy a second copy. What -- the market really rules that in my library. If we have a long list of people waiting we buy a second copy, just as we do for print books. And so with the Representative's concern, I honestly think the publishers are really thrown by this technology and they're afraid.

I think they're afraid of what will happen and that's why I think an opportunity to sit down with them and say, look, this is how libraries are doing it and they're the same customers you've had for so long. But I think maybe because of what happened in the music industry -- I -- honestly, I don't know. I don't know publishers, but I think that they are just not able to deal with this technology.

SENATOR DOYLE: So right now then the question is you think it's a parallel to a hardcover book. It may be unlimited --


SENATOR DOYLE: -- but your point is they may be more fearful of piracy, somehow. It goes to me and I'm a computer wizard and I can make a copy and send it to my friends. That may be their fear, but at some point maybe we'll get testimony or if the bill moves on I'm certain they will appear.

CHRISTINE BRADLEY: Yeah. And that would be good to hear from them because I'm sure they have a point of view. But as I said, there's six of them and each one does it differently. So --

SENATOR DOYLE: But do some limit it to the -- do some limit the usage of the e-book, like, per copy?


SENATOR DOYLE: Okay. So some have limitations.

CHRISTINE BRADLEY: The 26 copies. Others have -- I don't want to mention certain names.

SENATOR DOYLE: Yeah, don't.

CHRISTINE BRADLEY: Because it's not appropriate, but some of them just jack up the price and that's it. And so that doesn't bother me as much as it does other people and because we pay the price, but it's the not selling to us at all, not --

SENATOR DOYLE: Yeah. And the librarian position is that e-book is the same as the hardcover book.


SENATOR DOYLE: So you should be able to -- you paid one price before. Why not now?


SENATOR DOYLE: Okay. Thank you.

Any further questions? Thank you very much.

Okay. The next speaker is Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS: Good afternoon, Senator Doyle Representative Baram and Senator Witkos and Representative Carter and members of the committee. My name is Representative Whit Betts. I'm from the 78th District and I'm here to testify in support of two bills, House Bill 5909, AN ACT CONCERNING POLITICAL "ROBO" CALLS, and then 5346, AN ACT INCLUDING POLITICAL "ROBO" CALLS FROM THE DO-NOT-CALL LIST.

Just let me summarize by simply saying if you vote for this you will become very popular. As you, I'm sure have experienced, many, many people are really getting inundated with robocalls it they are very, very upset. In the last election cycle Republicans, Democrats, independents, I mean, people where just outraged at how many repeat phonecalls they got by robocalls.

And I recently just did a survey on my website and 96 percent of the people said that they would be thrilled if we ended up putting political robocalls on the do-not-call list. And here are some of their comments. They said, frankly I'm disappointed we need to manage this issue with legislation. The absurdity of robocalls should be enough justification for its own demise. However everybody seems to pursue it even if absurd to gain an advantage. The approach is overly invasive, insensitive and annoying and must be stopped. Show me a little dignity and have a live person call me so I can argue.

There are other one that you would know; nuisance calls are irritating at best, but literally every single person who responded to this would really, really appreciate it if we did not use robocalls. We have a lot of different means to be able to communicate to people and to market ourselves.

I think this is a very reasonable commonsense approach and I do know that we can do this under state laws. There's two state laws here governing robocalls. It's the second one that I'm bringing to your attention that I would ask you to consider altering.

And the second law prohibits -- it's under Connecticut General State Stature 52-570(c). The second law devices -- prohibits devices that transmit recorded telephone messages that offer to sell goods or services. The law does not apply to candidates or their solicitors, i.e. those who receive funds on behalf of their committees, political or candidate committees.

And in closing, let me just simply say I don't have an answer to this because I certainly agree with the person who asked you the question, and that is, you all write the laws. What makes you so special to be exempt from this? And I think they're right.

So I would ask that you would respectfully consider doing this and give people some relief from the number of phone calls they get, robo phonecalls that they get.

And I'd be happy to answer any questions.

SENATOR DOYLE: Perfect timing.

Senator Witkos.

SENATOR WITKOS: Thank you. Nice to see you, Whit.

A question for you. I know that there's companies out there, that if you listen to your answering machine you'll think that you're -- you got a robocall, but they offer service where there's an automatic dialing feature.

If somebody answers the phone you'll get a live person on the phone that will actually have a conversation advocating for an issue or for a candidate and if they get an answering machine then they kick it over and it's a automatic voicemail message that leaves a voicemail on the voicemail machine.

What is your opinion or -- about that specific entity? And do you think that would be encompassed within the legislation you're trying to prevent?

REP. BETTS: That's a great question. I guess my opinion would be what everybody has said to me. They just simply don't want phone calls, whether you have to respond to somebody and say, you know, punch in number one, number two. They just simply don't want to be bothered. If they want to get information about candidates they have the ability to get it in many different ways.

So if that were a part of it, that would be wonderful and I would leave that up to the committee to decide. I think the main message is people do not want to have their dinners and their evenings and their weekends interrupted with political robocalls.


Thank you, Mr. Chair.


Any further questions from the committee?

Representative Carter.

REP. CARTER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Representative Betts, thank you for being here. Will there be a suitable exception for municipalities who want to do, you know, (inaudible) reverse 911? More frequently municipalities are doing it for anything from garbage pickup after a storm. That would not be included in this, as I understand.

REP. BETTS: That's correct.

REP. CARTER: Okay. Thank you.


Any further questions from the committee? Seeing none, thank you very much. Thanks for your patience.

REP. BETTS: Yeah. Thank you.

SENATOR DOYLE: Okay. Now we're on to the public and the next speaker is Sheila Matthews, then Gerry Keegan, Cathy Barber, Michelle Robert, Abner Borgos Rodriguez.

Sheila, thank you.

SHEILA MATTHEWS: Hi. Thank you for listening to me. I am Sheila Matthews. I'm a cofounder of, a national nonprofit parent organization with over 25,000 members. Our mission is full informed consent and the right to refuse psychiatric drugs and services. Able Child is funded by parents and does not take special interest money.

There have been 33 studies in eight countries, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Canada, Sweden, Israel, Italy and Germany, which found a connection between psychiatric drugs, violence and suicide which include 26 studies on psychiatric drugs causing suicide risks and attempts; six studies of psychiatric drugs causing violence, hostility and aggression, four studies of psychiatric drugs causing mania and psychosis. There have been 29,936 violent adverse reactions that have been reported to the USFDA, adverse events reporting system, the MedWatch program between 2004 and 2011.

Able Child testified before the FDA to help obtain the black box suicide warning on SSRI drugs. We're here today to oppose as written Bill 5347. Able Child opposes this bill because it will do nothing to reduce overdoses. Able Child recommends stronger informed consent laws for the end user prior to the drug being given to the consumer.

Able Child approves this Bill 5484 as written. strongly recommends that you require the end-user or the drug user to sign insurance waivers in writing so that they can understand that they are voiding their life insurance when they commit suicides on these psychiatric drugs.

Able child opposes proposed Bill Number 5906. Able Child strongly recommends stronger informed consent laws relating to the addictive nature of the psychiatric drugs. We cite the Berkeley study which clearly indicates that Ritalin is a gateway drug to addiction.

Parents and consumers have the right to this information prior to starting their child or themselves on psychiatric drugs or schedule II narcotics. Our organization stands ready to help the State. We believe that these drug bills are red herrings. They do nothing to prevent overdose.

So thank you for hearing my testimony and we are willing to get involved in any way to help.


Any questions?

Representative Nafis.

REP. NAFIS: Thank you for your testimony.

5906 is a bill that we put in as a step to try to reach out and at least get more information to providers when they are prescribing. Do you see value in it, at least in that particular way?

That was -- I know it's not the end-all be-all, but it was a step to try to provide more informed information to providers so they didn't perhaps overprescribe to in certain instances.

SHEILA MATTHEWS: Well, what I did what you're doing is you're bypassing the consumer. You know, the consumer needs the information, not the provider. And the consumer is the one that's not getting the information regarding the addictive nature of these drugs.

So you could give it to the provider as much as you want, but the fact of the matter is that the consumer is not getting the information prior to starting these drugs.

REP. NAFIS: Okay. So if we were to do something to require that the consumer be provided with more information, you're suggesting that would be the first step. But do you see value in this as well, if the consumer had the information, let's say for example?

SHEILA MATTHEWS: I do see value in that. However I think that also there's another missing factor in legislating drug safety which is the MedWatch program.

You know, you -- I heard the two gentlemen testifying prior to this and you were asking, well, who -- who's in charge of this decision making regarding tamperproof drugs? And really the FDA MedWatch program is the only authority that has the ability to regulate drug companies.

The drug companies own everything and the only protection that consumers have against the drug companies is the adverse drug reaction reporting system that legislators should be relying heavy on regarding making decisions regarding drug laws.

REP. NAFIS: Thank you.


Any further questions from committee members? Seeing none, thank you very much for coming.

The next speaker is Gerry Keegan, then Kathy Barber, Michelle Robert, Abner Burgos Rodriguez and Jay Johnston.


GERRY KEEGAN: Cochairs, members of the committee, Gerry Keegan with CTI, the wireless association, in opposition to Senate Bill 316.

The FCC after consultation with the FDA, EPA and other federal agencies has adopted standards governing radio frequency energy from cellphones. The FCC asserted that its standards represent, quote, the best scientific thought and are sufficient to protect the public health, unquote. No device may be sold in the United States without having gone through the FCC authorization process.

As part of its RF standards the FCC issued a maximum RF exposure limit based on a specific absorption rate of 1.6 watts per kilogram. In doing so, the FCC specifically rejected additional restrictions that would, quote, would place significant and unnecessary economic and technical burdens for which adequate justification has not been presented, unquote.

The FCC states that any cellphone -- that's any cellphone that's sold in the United States that meets its limits is safe for consumer use. Leading national and international health and safety organizations have concluded that there are no known adverse health effects from cellphones. In fact, the FDA concludes that, quote, the scientific evidence does not show a danger to any users of cellphones from RF exposure including children and teenagers, unquote.

Additionally the FCC states in its consumer fact sheet on the issue that, quote, some health and safety interest groups have interpreted certain reports to suggest that wireless device use may be linked to cancer and other illnesses posing potentially greater risk for children than adults. While these assertions have gained increased public attention, currently no scientific evidence establishes a causal link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses, unquote.

Moreover, in its June 2011 fact sheet on the issue the World Health Organization advises that, quote, a large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use, unquote.

Any labeling mandate on cellphones will act as a consumer product warning. When the Maine Legislature considered and rejected a similar proposed labeling bill their then director of the state's CDC summarized it best when she said, quote, to warn against something there should be a defined risk. Our reading of the research including numerous studies and analyses does not indicate there is a defined cancer risk to warn against, unquote.

Moreover, Dr. Mills found that issuing warnings based on undefined risk would result in a, quote, over-warned and turned off public as well as a lack of credibility in warnings themselves.

In conclusion, the FCC recently announced that although the current standards are appropriate to protect the public, it has drafted and presented to the commission for consideration a notice of inquiry to review its RF standards formally. Accordingly we respectfully request that the committee not move forward with this bill.

Thank you.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you very much.

Any questions from the committee?

Sure, Representative Carter.

REP. CARTER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I was looking through this. Have any others states passed legislation like we're looking at right now?

GERRY KEEGAN: No other state has passed legislation like this or anything similar to this. The City of San Francisco did adopt an ordinance in 2011 that would require a sticker on the product -- near the product where it was being sold; would require a one-page disclosure to be provided to the consumer and a poster in every cellphone retail store.

CTI sued the City of San Francisco in September of 2012. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found in CTI's favor; found that the FCC has determined that cellphones are safe and found that what the City was requiring cellphone retailers to do was misleading, and permanently enjoined the City from enforcing the ordinance.

REP. CARTER: Okay. And the final question here, in the last paragraph of your testimonies you read you said the current -- the FCC announced that the current standards are appropriate and protect the public, yet at the same time they drafted something for the consideration of the commission that they're going to do a notice of inquiry to review their standards.

Why the review?

GERRY KEEGAN: I think Chairman Genachowski, FCC Chairman Genachowski's spokesperson said it best when she said that their action, when they announced that notice of inquiry, is a routine review of our standards. She said, we are confident that as set the emissions/guidelines for devices pose no risk to consumers.

REP. CARTER: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you. Any further --

Senator Coleman from Hartford arrives.

SENATOR COLEMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman -- from Wethersfield.

Mr. Keegan, I got to admit part of your testimony -- and this is not to be judgmental. This is just sharing with you some thoughts that went through my mind as I listened to your testimony. I thought of the tobacco industry and for the many years that they -- and I honestly mean not to be judgmental. This is just a thought that occurred.

Your responses to Representative Carter's questions have sort of allayed any concern I had, but I guess I'd like to hear you I guess reiterate, because I recall for many years the tobacco industry proclaimed that there was no link between the use of tobacco products and adverse health effects. And I guess maybe they finally came around to being ready to the acknowledge that that wasn't necessarily the case.

So to make a long story short, just react to that. It could be -- it would suffice -- your response to Representative Carter would probably suffice to the concern I had. He asked his question before I asked mine.

GERRY KEEGAN: Sure, Senator.

We in the wireless industry look to what the health and safety agencies that regulate the industry say on this issue. So without fail, whether it's the FCC, the FDA, the National Institute on Cancer have all said that the weight of scientific evidence does not show a danger to any users of cellphones. The weight of the scientific evidence does not show that cellphones pose a health risk.

So that's who we look to and that's who we ask you to look to, the expert agencies that have reviewed the medical literature on this issue.

SENATOR COLEMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you, Mr. Keegan.

SENATOR DOYLE: Representative Carter for the second time.

REP. CARTER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I apologize for not doing both at once, but it just kind of hit me that a lot of the testimony we heard earlier was directed about children. And obviously that would be probably my greatest concern, because I have two adolescents at home with cellphones.

I notice you're, you know, they're talking about absorption rates and all this. Can you tell me exactly what has been done with respect to a study on children?

GERRY KEEGAN: Sure. First looking to what the FDA says, that there is no risk to children and teenagers, but also there was a study that was done in 2011. It's called CEFAL, C-e-f-a-l. It was independent research performed in Europe that looked at children who had brain cancer, I believe it was between the ages of 7 and 19, and also took case controls of children who weren't diagnosed.

And at the end of that study when it was published they showed that there was no association between cellphone usage and brain cancer.

REP. CARTER: And to the best of your knowledge, is that the age group that they've been studying? Because earlier they talked about Mount Sinai and she mentioned that there were comments that younger children -- so obviously we have kids now starting much younger with cellphones may be at a greater risk. Do you know any studies looking down at lower age, like eight, nine ten years old?

GERRY KEEGAN: I don't know if any studies. The CEFAL study was 7 to 19 years old.

REP. CARTER: I stand corrected -- though if you said 17 to 19. I apologize.

GERRY KEEGAN: Oh, sorry, 7 to 19.

REP. CARTER: Fair enough. Thank you for your answer.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Any further questions?

Chairman Baram.

REP. BARAM: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

When we use the terminology "cellphone," phones have changed so much in the last few years. We have iPhones, Droids and the like. Is there any distinction between, you know, the simple cellphone and something more complicated in terms of indications of any hazardous effects? Does it make a difference what kind of applications or how powerful these phones are?

GERRY KEEGAN: I think all of the scientific research has looked at the cellphone as it has developed over time. So with the introduction of, you know, what is commonly termed "smartphones," those studies, and the research has also looked at developments in that area.

So with regard to power, actually as the cellphones have been developed up to now they're more efficiently used, so they require less power than what previous cellphones may have required.

REP. BARAM: Thank you.

Any further questions? Seeing none, thank you very much.

GERRY KEEGAN: Thank you.

SENATOR DOYLE: The next speaker is Cathy Barber, Michelle Robert, Abner Burgos Rodriguez, Jay Johnston, William Giannos and Steve Parker.


CATHY BARBER: (Inaudible.) I chair the Connecticut Chapter of the New England Convenience Store Association, representing gasoline locations throughout Connecticut. We are here in opposition to H.B. 5313 and 5344.

I'm here alone because other members are at work. They're ordering and selling gasoline before tomorrow's storm. Due to panic buying we are already experiencing runouts and we have long, long terminal lines already.

We oppose bills mandating generator installation at all gas stations in Connecticut. Requiring generators at the consumer point of sale drastically oversimplifies the supply system. The proposed generator solution is the equivalent of putting nail polish on your fingernails after breaking an arm while having a massive heart attack. It won't work. It doesn't fix the problem, but it looks really nice.

A gas station with a generator does not guarantee fuel availability. Prior to the retailer many facets of the supply system are disrupted in emergencies. During Storm Sandy supply vessels were prevented from entering the Sound. Some terminals had no power, pumps were underwater, computer systems damaged.

Downed power lines and trees prevented staff accessing work. Industry members did an outstanding job getting fuel to operating stations. We even flew drivers in from the Midwest to add service and relieve others at hours limits.

Including the transfer switch and wiring a standby generator can cost 60 to 70 thousand dollars for a 200-kilowatt unit, depending on the type of fuel it runs on. This standby unit needs regular attention to ensure readiness if and when power goes out. For many station owners this cost is staggering and frankly some simply cannot afford it and could close.

In an era when many gas stations are closing down due to low margins, stiff competition from wholesale and dominant grocery gas chains and burdensome regulations we can ill afford to lose more privately operated stations. Not only is there a significant capital investment associated with setting up systems like this, most importantly it won't accomplish the goal. Even with on-site generated power empty tanks don't provide gasoline.

When power is lost it is not the station's fault. We're being asked to do the job of a public utility when they fail. As a private sector business gas station owners should decide for themselves if they can afford these costly systems. We oppose H.B. 5313 and 5344 and ask you to vote against them.

Thank you.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you very much.

Any questions?

Representative Carter.

REP. CARTER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you very much for being here and giving testimony and when all your friends are working. I suppose I should buy you a round later on.

With respect to your organization, the stores you represent, would you have any ballpark figure on how many of those folks actually have generators now?

CATHY BARBER: No, I don't, but I can tell you that in the company that I work for we are -- we currently have some new stations under construction and they are projected to do enormous volume and they will, in fact, include generators, but it's part of --

REP. CARTER: Why do those stations include generators?

CATHY BARBER: Because it's not as big a leap to have the job done while the station is under construction. So if it's a $4 million installation to build this new station, I'm talking about enormous travel centers, then it is not a big adjustment. We're already doing the wiring. We have people on site.

To add to the generator is something that -- and these are in key locations. We're not talking about backyard neighborhoods. We're talking about interstate facilities or near interstate ramps.

REP. CARTER: So I guess what I'm getting at, is there -- is it looked at? Do you have a competitive advantage if you have some of these -- stations have generation capability when power is out? Is that --

CATHY BARBER: Absolutely. That's the a business managed decision. Will he have it? And will he need it?

Might I add, we have the opportunity now if we have transfers switches. We are on a list with various generator companies who bring portable generators. We have to be prepared. We have to have a licensed electrician on site. We have a generator company that will call us. They have 20 generators. We're probably on a list of about a hundred companies.

We have the opportunity today to say yes or no. We don't know whether we're going to lose power or not.

REP. CARTER: Sure. I understand.

CATHY BARBER: So by the way, if we say yes, we have to pay whether we lose power or not for a particular facility. It's a very difficult thing to predict mother nature.

REP. CARTER: Thank you very much for your testimony.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Any further -- Representative Rovero.

REP. ROVERO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I have to tell you I was in the service station business for 20 years.

CATHY BARBER: Congratulations.

REP. ROVERO: Yeah. It's the toughest business I've ever -- I had five businesses at once and I guarantee you that was the toughest.


REP. ROVERO: The least profit margin and so forth, if anybody is familiar with it.

I was out of petroleum -- 99 percent of the time it was because I had no gasoline in my tank. Nobody could deliver it to my station. It was not because I didn't have power. If somebody would have told me when I was in business in the service station that I had to put in the generator I would say, thank you, but no thank you. I have to go out of business.

Everybody thinks that gasoline is $3.75 a gallon, $4 a gallon; how much profit there is. I'm going to tell you a little secret, folks. You find out what it cost you for insurance for the tanks, the whole nine yards, you're going to find out there's not much profit. And when you start telling service stations that you have to spend anywheres from 25 to 75 thousand dollars on something that's not very profitable -- because if you thought it was profitable you'd put it in on your own, you wouldn't need a law.

So let me tell you, this is a law that you could do more harm than good on, and that's just from personal experience I've had over the years. I was in that business for 20 years, believe it or not, and it's not an easy business and there's not a lot of profit margin.

CATHY BARBER: If I could capitalize on that? Under other regulations our prices and our margins are capped during emergencies. So we as private businesspeople don't even have the opportunity to recapture the added expense that we're being asked to solve a problem that may occur for 48 hours.

And in that 48 hours we're being asked to serve as a public utility, basically generate power on our own for the exclusive use of the convenience of the public. We will have some service station operators today who will testify that when they were out of gas the consumer simply got in their car, drove to another station that did have power, that did have gasoline.

When I was asked to provide the State with a list of my open and operating stations, as soon as that name went out 15 minutes later the station was out of gas. They could have a generator operating for the next 48 hours for the convenience of the employee to keep him warm and to perhaps keep the milk cool, but we didn't have gasoline. We had drivers in line for over 12 hours.

We developed a system where drivers would reach their extent of -- limit of service while they were sitting in the truck in line in New Haven. We drove relief drivers in to hop in the tractor so that we wouldn't lose our place in line; we were waiting so long. This is a problem much bigger than this committee or the Legislature I believe can solve. It really is mother nature. She's tough to negotiate with.


Any further questions?

Senator Kissel.

SENATOR KISSEL: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Well, you know, this committee and this Legislature tries to tackle all the problems of the world. And so that's never going to stop, mother nature or not.

I guess I'm lucky because I had asked this committee to raise a bill and I thank the chairs and ranking members very much for raising number three, which deals with this issue.

And you didn't attack that one, so I don't know whether --

CATHY BARBER: (Inaudible) 21.

SENATOR KISSEL: I'm hoping you just didn't oversee it, number three. But that is to create a situation where the State would partner with gasoline retailers and perhaps food stores and maybe some other retailers to try to create an incentive system so that the costs would not be solely borne by the retailer. It wouldn't be a mandate.

And I think that the most difficult row to hoe in this proposal number 3, which I have put forward at the behest of many of my constituents, and one of which James Legana who deserve an awful lot of credit for thinking this through, it wouldn't be required, but let's say you have, you know, some great retailers that say, you know what? We're in a high-traffic area and if we only had, you know, if the State would pick up a part of this we might be willing to make the investment.

So do you at least -- would you -- and I'm willing to hear no, but would you really say that a public/private partnership where all the costs are at least not borne by the private sector and that there would be choice, not every one size fit all and everybody has to do it, but if we were able to perhaps find a pool of funds that we offered this as something where we could come together, would that be something that your industry would at least sit down at the table and discuss without a commitment?

CATHY BARBER: I think our industry would be very interested, particularly in working through all of the logistics. Number one, we have to have people who can get to work. We can't entrust convenience store managers to be in charge of generators. All right? We can't necessarily assure you that the power -- that the fuel that supplies the generator is going to be available.

I mean, the reason I'm testifying against these two bills is because there's so many hidden assumptions. I -- my own home requires propane to run its generator, but if the propane delivery man doesn't make it and I run out, that's it. We're going to be taxed even further to get propane to our stations that are supplied -- whose generators are supplied with propane or diesel fuel.

SENATOR KISSEL: Well, I just --

CATHY BARBER: So yes, would we be open to looking at various options that would not place small service stations and convenience stores in a situation where they're mandated to install generators, that they may never need? Absolutely, we would look at that.

SENATOR KISSEL: And I really appreciate that because I'm generally opposed to mandates across the board.

And when we talk about what's critical, for example, a year and a half ago the October nor'easter hammered my part of Connecticut. In Enfield, a town of 44 plus thousand people there was one gas station for a number of days. So we're not talking about people just pulling up and trying to get gasoline for their cars, but then we have people that made the expense of buying generators for their homes; couldn't get gasoline to keep their generators going and the drive, it wasn't across town to get to a gas station. It was over a half-hour away to find another viable gas station.

So in certain parts of our state there's critical junctures. Maybe we can partner, but at least I wanted to get the dialogue going and I'm really happy that you're willing to at least engage in those initial discussions.

So thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Any further questions from the committee?

Representative Giuliano.

REP. GIULIANO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you for your testimony today. I found it very interesting. I just had one quick question. What is the average electrical use of a gas station? My question is, is like, it's not like a home-sized generator that you need to power these pumps.

CATHY BARBER: We've been looking at 200 kilowatts, which is 650 amps for our big stations.

REP. GIULIANO: Right. So -- and what's a typical home one? About 6500?

CATHY BARBER: I couldn't answer that. That's my husband's problem.

REP. GIULIANO: Okay. All right. Thank you. I just want to be clear, you can't run to Home Depot and get one off the shelf to power an entire gas station.

CATHY BARBER: No. No. Think about it. If you're supplying -- if you're requiring that we supply gasoline dispensers with power, we also have to run the register, keep the building for the employees, provide bathroom services, light the store; we're accommodating the public.

So there's a -- we just can't go out and put a wire on one dispenser and have people waiting hours and hours and hours. The other thing is we're going to run out of gas anyway. The logistics of saying that this is -- the question of saying, this is going to solve the availability problem is too simplistic.

That who's going to -- there's no one there to help us now. We're trying to load all the stations. We started yesterday to get -- to notify our retailers, our customers, our dealers and handle all our company operations to make sure all of our stations went into this morning with full tanks. And we're already having -- I see my notices coming through on my Blackberry all morning. Station number 1, too, 3, 4: 700 gallons of regular left. When is the truck coming? Well, it's in line for six hours and then has an hour drive to get to the station. And I guarantee you as soon as that truck unloads an hour and a half later we'll be out of gas again.

And eventually if the storm is as predicted tomorrow for safety reasons we'll take the trucks off the road, or the Governor will order us, because they will close down the highways again. So we -- there's a part there that we just -- really I think are living now in an era where public patience has just gone away. It is an emergency and we need public patience and where are they going to go in this whether anyway?

REP. GIULIANO: Well, thank you. Thank you for your testimony.

CATHY BARBER: Certainly.


Any further questions? Thank you very much.

Next Speaker, Michelle Roberts -- she's here. Then Abner Burgos Rodriguez, Jay Johnston, William Giannos, Steve Parker, and Vince Juliano.


MICHELLE ROBERT: My name is Michelle Robert from Consumers Petroleum, located in Trumbull, Connecticut. I'm here to testify in opposition to H.B. 5344 and H.B. 5313. Consumers is a family-owned company that was founded in 1936 by the Real family.

I've been employed by Consumers for 25 years and I reside in Milford. I currently manage the service and the maintenance facilities for our wholesale and retail gasoline operations for in excess of 60 sites in Connecticut and New York.

During the Tropical Storm Sandy we had 50 percent of our company op stores out of power and 25 percent of our independent dealers were also out of power. After day two that was cut in half and after five days only a few without power.

I researched generators at that time. Unfortunately I found I needed a generator that would run a store -- that store that was out of power for the longest, for over a week; needed a 3-phase 40 amp generator, not easy to find, too expensive to rent and install.

I'm not an expert on margins or how many cents per gallon it would need to cover the costs of purchasing and installing the generator, so I can't talk about that. Most newer stations that offer more than just gasoline, we have different electrical needs. These stations wouldn't just run an a generator you can buy (inaudible) in Home Depot.

From the research I did, depending on the type of service I needed, a 6 amp 3-phase generator with a transfer switch to transfer the power automatically would be a cost of in excess of $50,000 and for a 40 amp 3-phase service, over $3,000. We would also need to include pouring a concrete pad. We would need to consider local regulations and permitting. We need to dig a trench to the building to connect it to propane or natural gas.

Questions that arise, do you want it to be manually connected or do you want to hire an electrician? Should it automatically switch over? We need to setup an installation and routine maintenance and testing would need to be managed, scheduled and paid for. And with this ongoing maintenance cost it would be an additional burden to my company.

I also considered a mobile unit that can power every and any store, which is probably impossible. But then each site would need a transfer switch already installed, then also the questions of permitting; at least $45,000 for the generator and then an electrician to come in out, put it in, disconnect it, plus a truck to move it even if were able to find an electrician during the emergency or a storm.

Other things to consider is in our markets all patrons needed to do in our area was to drive a few miles to find another gas station that was open. Supply was short during that time and power was out to terminals making it nearly impossible to obtain the fuel. Also in the days following Sandy diesel was hard to come by; that would have powered the smaller generators. Even if a generator was in place, most likely the phone or the Internet connection would have been down making it impossible to process the credit cards, which accounts for over 80 percent of sales.

Even know managing all these sites without power was difficult, I believe that mandating generators would be economic -- would not be economically possible. Many long lines were the result of panic and lack of communication.

At the end of the day mandating that the generators installed at every gas station in Connecticut would not solve the problem that this legislation seeks to address; supply shortages, distribution problems resulting from terminal closures would still exist regardless of the requirement to have a generator.

If we can't get fuel from the terminal then it does the public no good to require family-owned business to make significant investments and it ultimately results in the same outcome, no gas for the public to purchase.

On behalf of Consumers Petroleum we ask that the General Law Committee -- to oppose H.B. 5344 and 5313.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you very much.

Any questions from the committee? Seeing none, thank you very much -- oh, sorry. Sorry.

Representative Baram.

REP. BARAM: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The people who have testified have made some interesting points that I had not considered before. I'm wondering, is there any kind of an association website or state website that lists the gas stations that do have generators?

Because in my hometown during one of the storms I got a call from a constituent whose wife was on dialysis and it just so happened that that day was her time to go for treatment and his car unfortunately was on empty. And so he stood in a line for three or four hours and ended up not being able to get gas and he was, as you can imagine, very worried about his wife.

And I'm wondering in an instance like that where there are legitimate reasons to be out in bad weather, whether it's a medical necessity or whatever, is there some site that you can go to determine what stations are open and have generators?

MICHELLE ROBERT: I don't know the answer to that one. I know that we would participate in something that if there was something that we could go on and say we were open, and if we had fuel and, you know, what sites we have and where there are, we'd be able to participate in that. I bet you there's probably something.

REP. BARAM: Thank you.


Any further questions from the committee? Seeing none, thank you very much.


SENATOR DOYLE: The Next speaker is Abner Burgos Rodriguez. Yes, he's here. And Jay Johnston, William Giannos, Steve Parker, Vince Juliano and John Sartori.

ABNER BURGOS RODRIGUEZ: Chairman Dolye, Chairman Baram, Representative Carter and Senator Witkos and members of the General Law Committee, good afternoon. My name is Abner Burgos Rodriguez. I work for a family-owned gasoline distributor located in Bridgeport, Connecticut. I'm here today in opposition to H.B. 5313, House Bill 5344 and Senate Bill 20321 -- or 321.

As a company that owns and operates gasoline stations we do everything within reason to keep our facilities open so that we can serve our customers. Let's face it, when we are closed no one can buy gas and we can't make any money. That being said, there's every reason to do all we can to stay open.

Now you might think to yourself, why would I be here opposed to a bill requiring us to have generators that would allow us to stay open when the power goes out when everybody told you that we want stay open? Well, as much as it may sound like a great idea, if all 1400 gasoline stations in Connecticut had generators, everyone could have generators but they wouldn't be able to use them under the circumstances that we're trying to prepare for.

Over the last couple of years when the power went out and gasoline stations closed, it was not only because they were -- there was not electricity at the gas station, but that people could not get fuel which -- excuse me, it was much more complicated.

When a storm approaches like the ones we've had over the last few years, barges containing products that would be typically directed to Connecticut are sent elsewhere. This results in a supply shortage and even runouts. With no fuel at the terminal it is unlikely that we will have gas at our stations, rendering the generators useless.

In addition to fuel supply and distribution problems, even if we had fuel, most people use credit cards and debit cards to pay for their gas. So even if our stations had power to run from generators, phone lines would be down making it impossible to process most transactions. Again, we have power, but no way to accept payment from most customers.

This is not as simple as mandating that private family-owned Connecticut businesses invest between 30 and 60 thousand dollars per location, having a gas station open with no gas to sell that would solve this problem. Requiring generators at gas stations will only give the public a false sense of security without being able to deliver on the expectation that fuel will be available when they want it. That is why I urge you to oppose House Bill 5313, 5344 and Senate Bill 321.

Thank you.

SENATOR DOYLE: Thank you very much.

Any questions from the committee? Seeing none, thank you.

The next speaker is Jay Johnston, then William Giannos, Steve Parker, Vince Juliano John Sartori and Rafie Podolsky.

JAY JOHNSTON: Good afternoon, Senator Doyle and Representative Baram, committee members. I'm Farmington Library Director Jay Johnston and I'm here to tell you we're deep trouble. I'm also here to thank you for your decision to take on this important and leading position for the people of Connecticut, that being proposed Bill 5614.

I'm also so proud to be here today and see this process and see you sitting through the testimony. It's very inspiring for me to know that our state is so well represented and to hear the people speaking and to see you listening.

I'm not here to disparage those publishers who will not sell to us or those publishers who sell only to us at a premium price. I'm here to alert you and send the word forward that public libraries in Connecticut cannot sustain in the 21st century without the partnership we have enjoyed with publishers over the past 100 years.

If this is an access, okay? And this is reading. Okay? Reading starts here. If you look at the demographics of books, there's a split between people under 40 and people over 40. People over 40, of course, read books. People under 40 are continually adopting electronic media.

So if you look at our demographics and then look at our production, our real books are going down and our electronic books are going up. So it will be a precipitous fall if we do not remain engaged in the electronic book business for the citizens.

In that relationship we have engendered a love of reading providing a platform for young people, pre-k, adolescents, young adults, adults and the elderly all to enjoy reading and also to facilitate reading with materials. We need materials to read.

A history lesson I thought would be interesting. Andrew Carnegie, a young man who came to this country with very little on his back but a shirt and a tattered coat, at that point in American history libraries required membership that cost money which Carnegie did not have. We found ways to learn what he needed to without libraries because of his genius, but at the end of his life when he was divesting his wealth he knew that if he had the access to libraries he needed as a young man his journey would have been a great deal less arduous and his successes even greater.

It is because of this that Carnegie built libraries across America making America better for hundreds of millions of people he would never ever know. And I think that's something we forget, that the American public library system was really -- the genesis of it was Andrew Carnegie, because before Carnegie every town did not have one. And in state of Connecticut where the law of 1894 allowed municipalities to provide public library service, Carnegie came in right around that time. And really, most of the towns in Connecticut have Carnegie libraries.

In closing, I'd ask each of you to pick up the shield of justice and hold it high and say that Connecticut cannot tolerate American publishers turning their backs on the institutions which have made them successful. We need e-books from all publishers with all the authors. We need a partnership that would allow libraries to give access to elderly people who want to read and can read e-books, because e-books allow the flexibility of increasing the font size so that one page can become 8 views when even I can read with these old tired eyes.

The legality of this is a moral one and shrieks for justice. I am just so proud that you have all the courage to go forward with this important legislation. Connecticut here sits at the cusp of this problem. And I am very excited that you all have taken on Representative Sear's suggestions.


Any questions from the committee? I'll just point out I'm in your graphic. I'm over 40 and I read the hardcover newspaper and the hardcover books and I will not be seeking an e-book. So I play right into your premise.

JAY JOHNSTON: I'm 70, I need them.

SENATOR DOYLE: Yeah. Thank you.

Next speaker is William Giannos, Steve Parker, Vince Juliano, John Sartori, Rafie Podolsky Lorna Bolduc.

Is William Giannos -- I may have mispronounced it.

A VOICE: (Inaudible.)

SENATOR DOYLE: Oh, he did? Oh, he came up? Okay (inaudible). Thank you.

Steve Parker.

STEVE PARKER: First, I'd like to thank Senator Doyle and Representative Baram as well as the members of the committee for the opportunity to speak today. My name is Steve Parker from Newington and I'd like to speak in favor of Bill Number 5906, making it mandatory use of the prescription drug database by doctors and practitioners prior to prescriptions of controlled substances.

My late wife Kelly Parker, she passed away on January 27th, five years ago. She was the most amazing woman. If she walked into this room today she'd light up the room. She was amazing. She touched so many lives and she loved so many people and they loved her back. That's what she was all about.

I asked her to marry me right after I met her. I said, this is the woman for me. I could feel it. She looked at me and she said, no, you need to get to know me. We took four years of going out at that point in time. Mind you, I was already around 35, 40 years old. Four years was a long stretch, but I did get to know her and she wanted to introduce me to her demons. She had a wonderful cover.

Not one person in this room would miss her if she walked into this room, but she introduced me to her demons of addiction. She introduced me to her demons of a broken home when she was seven years old, a mother who told her that she was too fat, a father that wasn't always there and she still loved them unconditionally.

She moved here from California looking for a new life, because when she lived in California she became part of the Hollywood scene. Her boyfriend crashed and burned as a Hollywood movie star. She was part of that. She went with him. She came here to get away.

After we started going out I started noticing a lot of the prescription medications around. She had been battling depression. We talked a little bit about it, but not much. She didn't want to share the demons with me that much because she didn't want me to get hurt.

As years went on she became more and more addicted to those medications, so I started to lose her. And then she started to have some physical problems that were tied into overuse of the drugs and her body breaking down. She finally had a complete abdominal colectomy. They removed her colon because of all the drug usage and everything else.

When I lost her -- almost lost her the first time in July of 2007 I couldn't wake her up. They said you better take her in. At which point I was introduced to (inaudible) at the Hartford Hospital and I watched them rip my wife's blouse open, and they said, you might want to leave.

I said, no, I think I'll stay. And they saved her.

Twenty-four hours later she woke up, looked at me and growled. She said, why did you try to save the? The love of my life, my wife looked at me and said that.

They put her in the institution. I went to see her up there. They made her nice and clean again. She felt great again. She smiled the same smile I saw the first time I met her. And she said, I will say and do whatever I have to say and do to get the drugs.

We went a short time thereafter; met with her psychiatrist. I'll even hold his name right now because I'm not after him. And he looked at Kelly and he said, so Kelly, what are you taking for medications right now? She named them all off. She knew them off the top of her head. I guess he didn't.

He looked at me half smile, half smirk, a little bit of a, huh, she's got enough drugs in her to take a bull down. January 27th of 2007 they took her away from me.

So I'm saying that we need some sort of check system because she still had -- excuse me, I'm sorry. She still had other doctors that were prescribing. The psychiatrist didn't know how much she had and a therapist that was oblivious to a lot of this and no communication. She stockpiled drugs. To this day I still find them hidden in my house. She had that opportunity.

Please see what you can do about some control of the drugs in the state of Connecticut. Make it so doctors have to be accountable on a day-to-day basis to know what they're prescribing and who they're prescribing them to and their history.

Thank you.

SENATOR DOYLE: Representative Nafis.

REP. NAFIS: Thank you, Steve, for coming up. I know -- we certainly know you well and we knew Kelly and we know the history there. And that is, you know, what this bill is about really.

We are fortunate in Connecticut because this database has been developed over the years, but unfortunately there's nothing that says that it has to be used. And I know we're not alone. We've talked to other colleagues that really feel it's time to make that step that says, we need to look at this database before prescribing.

These doctors need to know, and because the information is there it could save a life if they are able to understand what's going on and it sounds to me like it would have helped Kelly, too, in many different ways.

So thank you for coming. I mean, I think you would feel that way. Am I correct?

STEVE PARKER: Oh, yeah. I mean I couldn't save her when so many people "woulda, shoulda, coulda," when somebody decides to take an overdose and decides to leave us, but maybe, just maybe through Kelly we can save some other lives and that will make it all worthwhile.

Thank you.

SENATOR DOYLE: Any other questions? Steve, I have a quick question.

Well first of all, Steve, thanks for showing encourage to come today and really provide us a context for the bill, a real-world context and basically baring your soul and your personal tragedy.

But to get to the real merits do you think -- how did she effectively stockpile? Because she shopped, doctor shopped do you think? Or how do you think she got -- you stated she, Kelly, you know, she stockpiled and had a lot of (inaudible). Does that mean she went to multiple doctors? What would you think, if you know?

STEVE PARKER: Well, she -- I think what happened, just briefly, was she had a history of depression. I, in my wonderful wisdom thought I'd get her horseback riding lessons some 15 or so years ago and she got thrown -- a horse, broke her back. So then she was given pain medication and that also increased the need for more depression medication.

And what really happened was she was able to have all these different prescriptions available through multiple doctors, so she would have a pain doctor -- she had horrendous mental cycles every month and because of that she had to have Percocet or whatever because of that. Well, didn't that doctor know about the Percocet and her depression and then the psychiatrist who wasn't sure of what she was taking? And she saw all of them on a regular basis and it seemed like none of them knew what they were doing.

At one point when she was in the hospital and I was talking to one of her therapists she told me that that hospital didn't talk to her other therapist who didn't talk to her psychiatrist. I said, once a month you don't pull out a file and say this is Kelly Parker. What are we doing to help her?

Oh, he doesn't return my e-mail. She never takes my call. There's no accountability between the doctors. There's no common language. There's no advocate for the patient and that's the most angry part.

And I know when I went through the depression myself after I lost her and the tonnage of pills that these doctors wanted to give me, I mean, I went into the ozone. She used to talk about the voices all the time. I'd leave the house and she's say, I hear the voices and, you know, without having been there, it didn't mean much to me.

Well, honey, you'll be okay. I've got to go. When I had communication and I heard the voices, they're real voices, very godlike voices that are telling you it's okay to feel this way. It's okay to hurt yourself and it's okay to hurt other people because of the medication.

Kelly would never ever want to take her own life at all. She loved me. She loved our dogs and she loved her family. She loved everyone. When she got into her car that last morning and realized that I caught her the first time; I wouldn't catch her the second time she was crying. She said, I'm going to a meeting. I'll be back.

I looked at her and I said, you've got the drugs.

And she was crying saying, no, I don't.

I went in the house. She had found her stockpile of drugs. We chased her all the way up to Massachusetts, couldn't catch her. She took her own life up there where nobody could catch her, so it kind of hits close to home.

But I will tell you, these drugs can change people. And if the doctors don't look into that database and realize, whoa, he's giving her this, whoa -- and you also need to know your pharmacist, probably the best advocate you can have for you. They'll tell you what's right for you and what's wrong.

SENATOR DOYLE: Any further questions?

Representative Baram.

REP. BARAM: I too want to thank you for sharing your personal story with us. One aspect of it that strikes me as well, in addition to the whole database and checking it, in your story you said that the doctors knew what medication she was taking and still apparently neglected to control it.

And even if we have doctors checking the database, I wonder how responsible they will be if they see, you know, excessive medications being prescribed to take charge and decide, you know, what's appropriate and what's not. That part of it still bothers me, whether doctors will step up to the plate to control medications that are prescribed by multiple specialists and doctors.

And it seems today everybody passes the buck and nobody really wants to make decisions. Even when somebody goes into the hospital, they could have 20 medications and they just keep prescribing them and nobody is really analyzing what they do.

So I think there's two steps to the problem, one is being educated to know what all the medications are and secondly, perhaps some responsibility to control these and make sure they're compatible.


Any further questions from the committee?

STEVE PARKER: Could I just comment?

SENATOR DOYLE: Yes, absolutely.

STEVE PARKER: About what he had said?


STEVE PARKER: My wife was a lovely, wonderful, great actress. She could walk into a doctor's office, a psychiatrist's office or a therapist and suck it up, and I'm okay.

The other thing I will tell you, she could trick them into getting more drugs, but the other thing is the more drugs they give you, you forget you just took those drugs. And then I thought I was supposed to still take these drugs. When I would try to help her and monitor the drugs she would get violent, not physically, but where are my pills? Somebody I didn't even recognize, but that's why I go back to she said, I will say and do whatever I have to say and do to get the drugs.

So if the doctors don't understand that there's an accountability, whether it's attached to a Social Security number and all pharmaceutical bases or something else. They have to know at this moment when they stop this drug that if she's got three refills on another bottle they can't be refilled, because she did that. She would do that.

She wanted to numb out. She had a lot of pain, a lot of depression. Mental and physical pain I want to numb out. She handed her life over to God. Did she want to leave? No. But she just had enough. Mentally and physically she was worn out.

She's watching over us today. That's why I'm here.


Any further -- thank you very much, Steve for coming down.

STEVE PARKER: Thank you.


STEVE PARKER: Sandy, thanks for being such a champion for a long time.


The next speaker is Vince Juliano then John Sartori, Rafie Podolsky, Lorna Boldoc, Scott Soucey, Mike Fox.

Vince Juliano.

VINCE JULIANO: Good afternoon. I'm Vince Juliano. I'm the Assistant Director of Russell Library in Middletown, Connecticut, and I'm here to speak in favor of H.B. 5614. You all have my testimony. I'm going to just hit a few key points so we don't go over the same ground over and over again.

I am concerned about the pricing and the unavailability of e-books and I make no bones about it. And I'll get to a couple of examples, but first I just want to mention that that magic 26 number that came up, okay? The 26 refers to the number of uses that a publisher would allow an e-book to be used at a library. It does not mean we lend it out to 26 people at the same time. It means we lend it out to one person at a time and we would be able to do that 26 times. So I just want to be sure that that's clear.

Now the way we use e-books is we use a contractor, a distributor and that distributor lends the books, allows -- I should say, allows the patron to download the e-book to their device, again, just one item at a time.

This is a new -- this is an exciting service. There are a lot of bumps along the way. My library participated in a moratorium against a publisher who jacked up the prices on their books, okay? From $35 to $105. They did that brazenly and we had no choice. Several libraries decided to not buy items from that particular publisher. However the publisher has reacted a little bit and very selectively reduced some of the prices.

Now let me get to prices. Douglas County Libraries throughout the West and Colorado, a few months ago they started an e-book pricing comparison sheet, okay. There's a handful of facts that I want you to be aware of. In January they looked at the top 20 books that are sold by Okay? Seventeen of the top 20 books are available as e-books, so not everything was available to anyone as an e-book, only 17 of the 20.

Okay. Of those 17 titles, 8 were not even being sold to libraries. So that's almost half of the top 20 books, that Amazon sales were not even available to libraries. Of the remaining nine titles the selling price to libraries is higher than the price that either of the two major book distributors sell to the general public.

So if you add up the cost of those nine titles, consumers -- I'm going to finish -- the consumers who purchase them from distributor one would pay 125, almost 126 dollars. Distributor number 2 would charge $128 for those same books. However if a library bought those same books, the cost would be over $519. Okay? We're talking about four times as much for the same titles that I could buy. Okay? As an individual. But I buy them as a library, suddenly the price drops -- I mean, increases from $125 to almost $520.

Now this is not an isolated case. Douglas County Libraries do this in a variety of ways almost every month now for the past few months. A few months ago they looked at the New York Times bestseller list and they looked at the top 25 USA Today bestsellers. The results were pretty much the same.

So in short, libraries are being discriminated against in terms of price and libraries are being limited severely in their ability to carry out the mission of bringing reading materials and information the public.

I want to thank you, by the way, for listening to us. I know it's a long day.

Oh, one more thing. Senator Doyle, you can read hardcover books and e-books. I do. Okay? So let me assure you that --

SENATOR DOYLE: Someday I may have to.

VINCE JULIANO: -- they both work fine.

SENATOR DOYLE: Someday I may have to.

Thank you.

Any questions from the committee?

Representative Rovero.

REP. ROVERO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

One quick question. You said you lent out a book, an e-book, 26 times. That's the maximum times you could lend it out.

VINCE JULIANO: Now this is with one particular publisher.

REP. ROVERO: Okay. Did you have to pay every time you lend it out? Or do you pay one fee and then you could lend it out 26 times?

VINCE JULIANO: You pay one fee. Just as other speakers have told you, this is precisely what we do with other books.

REP. ROVERO: No, forget about other books. E-books, in other words, they charge you a fee for using it and every single time you lent it out, will you have a problem with paying the same fee that I had to pay if I didn't go to your library?

VINCE JULIANO: Yeah, but I'm not reading it 26 times. I'm lending it out --

REP. ROVERO: I know that, but the publisher is only getting paid once.

VINCE JULIANO: Right now. Right now he's only getting paid once for this book. That's the whole idea of a public library, is to make available to the general public materials. Not everyone can afford to go out and spend $26 or $25 for every book they want to read.

One of the things we can do in a public library is provide a wide variety of reading materials so that people can find things they want to read, take them home and read them. Many of the books that go out of the library are, believe it or not, are not read cover to cover.

People take them home, the read a few pages, they bring them back to the library and say, this isn't my taste. Now that's -- that happens frequently and that can happen with those 26, as we call them, circulations or downloads. It doesn't mean all those books are read cover to cover.

REP. ROVERO: Okay. I was just trying to get in my mind why a company would not let -- allow you to put out more than 26 times, but now I'm getting the idea. In other words, they're only getting paid once, where if they give it to every one of us they're going to get paid this amount of times. Okay. You answered my question. Thank you very much.

VINCE JULIANO: Yeah. Well, they have to sell it to you first. And one of the things we do in libraries is we found that people who use libraries to read books also buy books. So it's been -- we've had a good relationship with publishers until now.


Any further questions from the committee? Seeing none, thank you very much.

VINCE JULIANO: Okay. Thank you.

SENATOR DOYLE: Next speaker is Jim -- sorry, John Sartori, Rafie Podolsky, Lorna Bolduc, Scott Soucey, Mike Fox, Chris Herb.

John Sartori.

JOHN SARTORI: Good afternoon, Representative Baram, Senator Doyle. I'm with Sims Metal Management in North Haven, Connecticut, a scrap metal recycling company. You have my testimony. I just wanted to speak off the testimony to explain the transaction for scrap metal at our facilities.

When material comes in across the scale we take pictures of the vehicle, we ID the person with a government issued ID, we put the information on a ticket, the load goes out to the yards and the information is then put onto the inspection tickets with the registration of the plate, the vehicle ID and a description of the material.

And so we're already doing everything that's required in the laws for House Bill 5048 and 6208 and we just want to be involved in what happens in the future with theft laws.

I'm not used to doing this stuff, so I'm a little, but -- so I'd take any questions if you guys have questions. But we'd like to be involved in what we do with theft laws in the future because they affect our business dramatically.


Any questions from the committee?

Representative Altobello.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Thank you.

Good afternoon, sir.

JOHN SARTORI: How you doing?


I read your testimony and I saw the steps that you take down at your facilities to ensure compliance with the law. Now is every single step in your testimony required by current law?

JOHN SARTORI: Yes, it is.

REP. ALTOBELLO: So there's nothing extra that you do. And just --

JOHN SARTORI: Well, one of the things that we do, we're a public company. We document every request that's made from a police station or from a homeowner or an individual manufacture and we put that information out to our scales at our locations and then we -- so if the material shows up we actually document it. We document when we call the police and we report somebody and we keep track of that.

So we can document, you know, we want to get the information out so if this stuff shows up two days later we have information available for our scale people so they can identify the material, call the local police department and then get the people arrested, if that's the case. So we've done a terrific job of that in New Haven and North Haven.

And you know, we kind of feel like the police had a point, but we do a good job and you know, we're very diligent. And unfortunately we don't have a level playing field because we are the big company and everybody is looking at us and we get all because. Unfortunately there's a lot of smaller businesses out there that we aren't sure are doing the same thing.

REP. ALTOBELLO: You're not sure or you're being kind?

JOHN SARTORI: I'm being kind.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Thank you. Thank you, sir.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

SENATOR DOYLE: Any further questions from the committee.

Let me just ask you. So you do appreciate the dilemma of the committee, though? Because, you know, you testified that you adhere and we're aware of other people that probably don't.

So legislators have put in bills, including myself over the past few years out of frustration, but -- so this, this year's bill that identifies the specific -- it says, motor, you know, motor vehicle operator's license. That's -- does it -- what -- I'm -- I should know the answer to it, but it doesn't say that now. It says, proper ID.

JOHN SARTORI: Yeah. And we're doing it. We're doing government issued ID.

SENATOR DOYLE: You're doing it?

JOHN SARTORI: Yes. We're not accepting anything else. We want a photo ID of the person that's actually signing the receipt for the cash that we're making that person be the person that signs. So we're ID'g him right when he's being paid as well as when they enter the facility. If someone comes in the facility without a government issued ID we will not buy the scrap. It doesn't matter if it's on the theft laws or not. We will refuse to buy it.

SENATOR DOYLE: I think you're going above and beyond our current law.

JOHN SARTORI: Oh, we definitely are.

SENATOR DOYLE: Yeah. But I mean again, the frustration of the committee and other legislators -- Representative Hewett was here earlier, you know, and he recognized some of the bigger companies do adhere and he's aware of -- two of the smaller people don't. That's the real frustration from the perspective of legislators and maybe an enforcement issue as we talked, but --

JOHN SARTORI: Yeah. I mean, we've been working on this since 2008 when the laws -- and we helped draft a lot of the language that's in the laws and that's been the biggest issue. We've invited the state police chiefs. We've had numerous meetings at our facilities. We're trying to figure out how we can get enforcement, equal enforcement and create a level playing field. So you know, you don't want to be pushing theft further out or out-of-state. You want to have the same laws in effect throughout the state so that everybody is required to do the same thing.

But with the laws passed they have to be enforced or, you know, unfortunately they're -- the material is leaving our facility when we can't hold the person long enough and then they're taking that stolen material and they're selling it to a smaller -- to someone else.


Any further questions? Seeing none, thank you very much for waiting.

The next speaker, Rafie Podolsky, then Lorna Bolduc, Scott Soucey, Mike Fox, Chris Herb and Lesley Bennett.


RAPHAEL PODOLSKY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Rafael Podolsky. I'm a lawyer with the Legal Assistance Resource Center and part of the legal aid program. And in the context of this hearing I'm here representing low-income consumers.

The bill I want to speak on is Senate Bill Number 752, which is the one that deals with self storage facilities.  You have not at this point heard from the industry itself which is interested (inaudible) the next speaker is from the industry, so I'll explain the bill very briefly so that you can have some context from my comments.

You had a bill similar to this last year. The actual proposed bill is pretty general. It says it's to modernize self storage facility land laws including notification and advertising requirements. And my understanding from last year's bill, which is House Bill 5088, is that the bill is about notification and advertising requirements. That's the underlying proposal.

And my understanding, again from last year, is what the industry is looking for is to substitute various forms of electronic notice. In the case of notice to the property owner and the self storage facility, that their goods are going to be sold off, to use something other electronic rather than certified mail. And the case of advertising the sale, to be able to use something electronic rather than publication in a newspaper. That's my understanding of what's behind the proposal.

We are not necessarily against more efficient and more effective systems. There are two basic principles that we believe should be followed in deciding what to do. One is in regard to notice to the owner of the property, to use something that maximizes the likelihood that that notice will actually be received, because that's the whole point of the notice. And in regard to maximizing -- in regard to advertising the sale, the real goal is to maximize the retail -- the resale price. So those are the things that you should be looking for in evaluating alternatives.

In regard to giving notice, the general way of doing it as an alternative, electronically is e-mail. And the problem with e-mail is, it's notoriously unreliable. Messages bounce back or don't bounce back. They're intercepted by spam systems. People change their accounts. They change their providers. There's no clear way -- people don't check their accounts. Sometimes they don't have computers.

And so from our perspective, using e-mail alone is not a good solution unless there's confirmation both that it's received and that it's been opened. And last year we actually worked something out and this committee sent a bill forward, or at least actually went through the House that did address those issues by saying that e-mail could be used for notice as long as it was both received and opened. And I think the industry is still in support of that position and that part would be fine from our end of it, but it's important you have both receipt and the opening and some evidence of that.

I'll close quickly.

In regard to publication, to the notice of an auction the question there becomes, are there ways that you can effectively maximize the number -- maximize the number of bidders, maximize the number of bids, maximize the resale price?

It's clear that using electronics in addition to newspaper advertising is fine. The question really is, should you be using -- can you use electronic notice or advertising in place of what's now the standard, the legal standard which is newspaper publication? And that's a harder question and I think that's something that has to be looked at and evaluated to see how adequate these alternatives are.

My request to you is that, if you'd be willing to include me in any discussion, I think that's what happened last year and it was productive and I'm more than happy to be part of that again, this year.


Any questions?

Thank you -- again, Representative Carter.

REP. CARTER: Yeah. I'll go quick, Mr. Chairman.

Thanks very much for being here and supplying your testimony.

You know, one of the things I noticed about the electronic e-mail, the receipt required -- basically I get things all the time. And there are times it will pop-up; it will say, do I want to return receipt? Normally, I say no.

So my question to you would be, would it be okay if we had something in statute where we said, if you have -- if you had made it clear in your contract that you were going to use e-mail as your main way of communicating, would that suffice as notice?


REP. CARTER: No, it won't?

RAPHAEL PODOLSKY: No, absolutely not. The -- first of all, they really can't use notice -- I mean, they can only use notice by e-mail if you give them an e-mail address.

REP. CARTER: That's my point. In the contract you would give them an e-mail address and you would say --

RAPHAEL PODOLSKY: Right. But the problem is that people don't necessarily have the same e-mail address when the time comes five months later when they've defaulted on their payments at the self storage facility.

It doesn't follow that because -- I mean, a lot of these things are small print in contracts anyway. It doesn't follow they actually check their e-mails regularly and time is of the essence if they're going to resell your property.

But we have a clientele that may have e-mail addresses that they only use at the public library. So they have the ability to get their e-mail, but to get their e-mail they go to the public libraries.

You and I may sit at our computers every evening -- some of us, like me are constantly going to our cellphone and constantly checking our e-mails. But there are loads and loads of people who aren't in a position to do that or who don't do that. So that the confirmation aspect becomes important because that says that somebody opened this. I mean, you don't know if they read it, but at least they opened it.

And the industry testified last year that there are mechanisms that will work for doing this. The reason I said it got -- that got worked out last year was the industry was basically okay with that. And I think that that makes e-mail about as usable as you can make it as a way for a form of notice and this is a critical form of notice.

This is under, you know, the underlying aspect of this has constitutional overtones and you want to make sure that you really maximize the ability for people to get the notice. I mean, you can -- there are obviously risks in mail of all sorts also because people move and they don't give forwarding addresses, so there's always some risks. No matter what form of notice you use it may not be a hundred percent.

But at least in our experience -- and I think -- I would think for all of us in our personal experience there are a lot of, you know, people send us e-mails. We don't always get them. We don't always see them on time. There are a lot of practical problems.

And for this purpose, which could be a substantial amount of property that's going to be sold off, I mean, it depends how much (inaudible) this you know, storage place is and how much you've packed in, there could be a lot of -- there may be very little at stake in terms of dollars. There may be a lot at stake. And you want to make sure that people have maximized the opportunity.

REP. CARTER: Thank you very much.

RAPHAEL PODOLSKY: But I think that's workable. I mean, I do think that we've sort of figured out there's a workable way to do that.

REP. CARTER: Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

SENATOR DOYLE: Representative Carter, I'm sorry if I appeared to forestall questions. I certainly don't mean to do that.

Representative Altobello.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good afternoon, sir.

RAPHAEL PODOLSKY: Good afternoon.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Going back to last year, your testimony refers to House Bill 5088.

raf: I think that's right.

REP. ALTOBELLO: House Bill 5088, and you said that that would be -- that was worked out last year and that was satisfactory to all parties?

RAPHAEL PODOLSKY: I think the final version of it was satisfactory, so it was only part of what they were asking for. It really dealt with the notice, if my memory is correct, it dealt with the notice to the property owner; did not deal with the advertising or the sale by the time it got done.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Okay. And that was amended later by House A?

RAPHAEL PODOLSKY: I don't have this in front of me. I think the House amended it. I think the house passed it. The Senate, I think never took it up.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Yes -- or I think House A was a strike-all and it looks like it passed 136 to 2. But giving that as a reference to last year's bill, would have been -- would be okay?

RAPHAEL PODOLSKY: I think so. I should -- actually before I lock myself into that --

REP. ALTOBELLO: I understand.

RAPHAEL PODOLSKY: In preparation for this hearing I meant to check the exact wording of that bill. I realize I did not. I should have.

I think it's okay. I would want to just do a doublecheck on that.

REP. ALTOBELLO: Checking that for you right now, sir.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

SENATOR DOYLE: And Representative Altobello, I think we're right. We all, kind of, last year came to an agreement and it didn't get through the Senate for some reason.

But -- and I forgot what it says last year, too, but Rafie, what about -- and I fully appreciate the notice requirements. And the question is the newspaper advertising -- despite their opposition to the newspaper industry because they're running out of money or revenue, do you think that's getting obsolete?

I mean, I wonder -- because it's been proffered to me that it's -- now there's a TV show that there's a website for allegedly for the industry that if you're really interested in these in theory you know to go there. And the question is, I guess, do people really go to newspapers to read? What do you think? Or to learn of the --

RAPHAEL PODOLSKY: Well, if I had my way for this kind of a transaction I would actually say that the advertising in the newspaper needs to be in the classified ads and not in the legal pads. And the reason I say that is if you -- I would try and think about what is -- what's the market I want to be in if I want to maximize price? And it seems to me what you'd like is sort of a tag sale kind of environment as best you can. The problem is of course in this industry the (inaudible) the storage is not opened. I mean, the system is you open the door, you can look inside.

And actually for the first time in my life I went to one of these auctions about I guess it's now about a month ago, because I was really curious. And they are typically advertised electronically and in addition to the newspaper. And I don't know what percentage of the bidders there were from the newspaper, what from the electronic notice is. My guess is it was probably mostly from the electronic notice.

So that was interesting to me to see what -- apparently there are auctioneers who have their own, you know, e-mail distribution lists and so some people, you know, it's like they follow the auctioneer. I don't know if there's one central list that's sort of a maximum list that includes everything. I don't think that's true. So I think there may be sales that do not go through that kind of a system.

I don't know -- last year there was the proposal that said if there were bidders that made it per se -- would make it per se adequate. Three seems like an awfully low number to me to validate a sale and as being commercially reasonable. But I'm really circling around to saying, I'm not sure that I know the answer to your question, but I think that these notices tend to be in the wrong part of the newspaper if the goal is not merely to satisfy a formal legal requirement, but rather to try and maximize the number of people who show up. And so it's something to think about.

This is not the only kind of legal notice requirement that goes into the legal notice section. And I'm -- and there are a number of other things where if I'm not sure legal notice is the best way to do -- even if you're going to do newspaper advertising, that that's the best place to put it.


And I think we both need to look at the compromise language. I kind of forgot what it was, too, but I think without committing you, we'll -- we can look at that and see.

All right. Any further questions from the committee? Thank you very much.


SENATOR DOYLE: The next speaker is Lorna Bolduc. Yeah, Lorna is here. Scott Soucey, Mike Fox, Chris Herb, Lesley Bennett, Mike Barker, Maureen Dinnan.


LORNA BOLDUC: I'm glad Rafie went before me performing because he (inaudible) on almost every point.

I am Lorna Bolduc, the Executive Director for the Connecticut Self Storage Association. I am testifying on behalf of the self storage industry in Connecticut in support of Bill 5752, AN ACT CONCERNING SELF STORAGE FACILITY LIENS.

The association represents facility owners managers and suppliers. There are approximately 315 facilities in Connecticut. We are pursuing changes to the current self storage lien law, changes that would make the lien process more effective and more cost-effective for both the consumer and the business owner.

Our delinquent tenants are those who are already struggling financially. Most are in some type of transition due do life situations such as job foreclose -- foreclosure, job loss, death of a family member, divorce, et cetera. And in most situations these people are under very stressful situations. Any costs incurred during the lien process become part of their bill, a bill they already cannot already afford to pay.

There are two sections of the law that need modernizing. The first is notification delinquent tenants. The current law providers that facilities sent notification of impending auction by certified return receipt mail. This communication is expensive and facility owners report that about 50 percent of the notices are returned as undeliverable or unclaimed. This type of notice is not forwarded, so if the tenant is no longer at the address or refuses to sign for the letter, the notice is then unsuccessfully -- unsuccessful.

The post office has a certificate of mailing category that is less expensive, does not require a signature and forwards the letter to the tenant if the tenant has relocated, as many of our delinquent tenants have. This method of mailing is more effective and still provides proof of mailing and compliance with the law.

The most effective form of communication today is electronic. When asked by the facility owner how they prefer to be communicated with, most tenants say e-mail.

An industry truism, if you go to one of their conferences is, the best auction is no auction at all, because it's really most effective for the facility owners to communicate directly with the tenant and then to work with them as opposed to going into auction.

So we recommend changing the current lien law to allow electronic notification and if that fails to get a response from the tenant, that the facility send a letter via the post office certificate of mailing option. We would also recommend that the manner in which the facility is going to communicate with the tenant be outlined in the rental agreement where the tenant can select their preferred method of communication.

The second part of the lien law that has become ineffective is the advertising piece. This part of the lien law is designed to attract bidders through the lien sale or to the auction. The goal is to have at least five, preferably more bidders at a sale which would help drive up the final sale price of the unit. Currently facilities are required to advertise in a local newspaper.

As we're all aware, newspapers have been folding and are not as prevalent as they once were. What has also happened is newspaper subscriptions have declined dramatically and people are now turning to the Internet for the news. Ads placed newspaper are not being read, so they are ineffective in attracting bidders to the sale. And I agree with Rafie as far as people being able to find those ads in the legal section is very difficult.

What we found is people are finding notice of self storage auctions through Google searches. The advent of Google has helped us increase the number of bidders at auctions. There are several places where facilities advertise on their own website, on the website of the auctioneer if they need a professional auctioneer, and then online databases such as storage treasurers. The advertising costs are free in some instances and very reasonable in others. The ads are visible and easy to find and available every day.

Newspaper ads are published in advance of the sale by ten days and those ads only publish twice. So if you don't happen to be looking at the newspaper on the day that you -- on the day that you're looking for auctions you're not going to see it.

So I did a Google search this morning and eight unique sites advertising Connecticut lien sales were listed on the first page of the search. This does not include the paid Google ads. I found 27 Connecticut auctions on February on just one site alone. When I searched the Hartford Courant there were two postings. I would also like to report that finding the auctions using Google was easy. Figuring out how to get to the auction lists in the Courant was challenging.

In addition to being ineffective, newspaper advertising is expensive and is a burden to both the consumer and business owner as the costs become part of the tenant's bill. The current lien law has a provision for posting notices in the local area, should a newspaper general circulation not be available. This type of advertising in the absence of a newspaper is very antiquated and not at all effective. Some of my owners have said in their community it's actually illegal to go out and post notices on telephone poles and things like that.

So we recommend changing the current lien law to allow for Internet advertising as an option. This will give the facilities the choice to do what works best for them in their location and will provide a reasonable solution to advertising in areas where there is no newspaper and not make them post notices where they're not supposed to be posting them.

Mike Barker, a facility owner will be testifying a little bit later. I've submitted written testimony as well that goes into more detail. So I'm asking, please support Bill 752.

And thank you for your time today.


Any questions? I'll just ask you, how much -- if you don't mind -- how much is, like, a typical ad for the Courant, like a legal ad currently about? Ballpark or --

LORNA BOLDUC: Yeah. I haven't actually placed an ad, but Mike Parker would have a better idea about that.

SENATOR DOYLE: Okay. We'll ask -- he probably know. Okay.

Any further questions from any of the committee? Seeing none, thank you very much.

LORNA BOLDUC: Thank you.

SENATOR DOYLE: Next speaker is Scott Soucey, Mike Fox, Chris Herb, Lesley Bennett, Mike Barker, Maureen Dinnan, Carl DeMilia, Kate --

A VOICE: Byroade.

SENATOR DOYLE: Byroade. Thank you.

A VOICE: (Inaudible.)

SENATOR DOYLE: Okay. Thank you.

Mike Fox is here. Thank you.

MICHAEL J. FOX: Good afternoon, Senator, Representatives, members of the committee. The hour is late. You have my written testimony. I'll try and summarize for you.

For the members of the committee that don't know me, my name is Michael Fox. I'm the Executive Director of the Gasoline and Automotive Service Dealers of America. We represent over 450 of Connecticut's small-business service station owners.

And I also served on the Connecticut Emergency Management Task Force Committee for planning for the State of Connecticut, and the issue of generators in gas stations was thoroughly discussed and vetted through that committee. And in fact I believe it was some of the comments that I've given here to you today, why that committee did not in fact come out with a recommendation that all generators should be in all gas stations.

We'll take last year as an example. We all know about the storm of last year and the problems that it created, not only for the state's utility companies, but for local service stations. That issue there was purely a delivery problem. There were many stations without power, but in fact we had no gasoline at either terminal anywhere in the state of Connecticut.

And barges were actually diverted, because as many of you in the committee might be aware, may not be aware, most of the storms originate in Florida and come up, unless there's snow storms, which were -- and please don't take the lack of people being here today as they're not interested in this bill, because after the weekend your phones and your e-mails are going to blow up with this issue, but obviously have the biggest storm of the season and everybody is out there trying to prepare and be ready for that.

Electricity is only one issue when we look at why we don't have gasoline during periods of storms. Mainly it's deliveries, the Governor mandating trucks be off the road or the lack of product itself at the terminals. When we look at the number of storms in the state of Connecticut, that's another issue that we have to really look at. We're chasing a few number of storms that actually create these big problems.

So when you look at a state like Florida that has many, many more storms, upwards of 40 to 50 per year that create these problems, even Florida did not end up mandating generators in every single gas station. They only mandated those generators on emergency evacuation routes. And in fact those stations still ran out of product because of the big run on those stations.

Senator Kissel's bill is interesting. We oppose it as written. The concept of someone paying for this other than service stations certainly is interesting. I testified last year we believe that CL&P should be creating a fund. They're an electric generating company. We are, as you heard early, generating power for them in place of their lack of doing their job. So if you're going to look in that direction I believe that CL&P should pay entirely through a fund for the generators, then we would still be burdened with the maintenance, the operation, the upkeep and the additional property taxes. That would kind of be a compromise that I think would be reasonable for all of us.

I'll answer any other questions that you have. I'm sure you may have quite a few.


Any questions?

Senator Kissel.

SENATOR KISSEL: Mike, it's great to see you. I can't believe that about 18 years ago you weren't even at the association. I think you were just --

MICHAEL J. FOX: Just a dealer.

SENATOR KISSEL: Just a dealer coming up here all the time. I was cochair and we were talking gas then and we're talking gas now.

MICHAEL J. FOX: Yes, sir.

SENATOR DOYLE: I mean, I apologize that you're opposed to the bill as written; tried to write it as broadly as possible, but as I had indicated to the previous speaker that testified on behalf of the convenience stores that sell gasoline, are you at least amenable to a discussion as to a public-private partnership so that there's, A, not a mandate and, B, maybe some kind of subsidization from the government side for a gasoline retailer that would like to try to perhaps have a generator because they feel that they're in a high-traffic area or they just feel that it would be good for their business?

MICHAEL J. FOX: Yes, and we believe that that conversation has to take place because, A, you cannot go to Home Depot and buy a generator that you need for a gas station, B, don't make the problem bigger than it already is by say, mandating a diesel generator and then last year diesel fuel wasn't available.

We need to look at high-efficiency -- and I hate to say this because it sounds like I'm picking and industry -- but natural gas so that the availability of powering the generator is available all the time. That in itself is probably going to limit the locations that you can put it in because natural gas isn't available everywhere.

But there are many other issues. We have looked at this for over ten years. Just as good business owners, being unable to service your customer is not a good thing, but it's not simply a generator.

SENATOR KISSEL: Well, if you could it would be helpful to me, because I'm not saying the bill has legs, but it certainly has garnered a lot of public attention.

I think, A, just because people have an interest given the last couple of years of heavy storms that have hit us I know in my neck of the woods the Halloween nor'easter, the October nor'easter really, you know, just hammered north central Connecticut and other parts of -- I mean tons of Connecticut.

But also, I mean, just serendipitously that this bill just happens to have a public hearing before who knows what's going to whack us tomorrow as far as a blizzard. I mean, I always think it's sort of inversely -- it's the ones that sneak up on you usually are the worst. The ones that get much attention, they're not. But this could be similar to '78 where I definitely remember the whole state shutting down for a couple of days.

MICHAEL J. FOX: I was there.

SENATOR KISSEL: So the chairs don't know it yet, but I'm hoping maybe we can get this out of finance were it will have to try to find some funds. I don't know. That will be a big push. I'm going to have to talk to them. I don't know if they'll be willing to even see it get out of this committee, but the fact that you and the other industry folks are at least willing to engage in a dialogue, I think that's a good first step.

Clearly -- and I think you came to a lot of our surprises at how expensive this is. I had no idea; a 60, 70 thousand dollar investment. I was thinking substantially less than that, but if there are critical junctures where we need to make sure that people have access to gasoline, all the other issues aside when Chairman Baram said, you know, someone needs to go and get dialysis and the world doesn't stop because we're in an emergency situation. That person's life is on the line.

There might need to be some areas where we need to shore up our infrastructure so that there's at least some places in the state where you -- there's a better chance than not that even if there's a power outage you're still going to be able to get gasoline.

MICHAEL J. FOX: Absolutely agree. And if you look to my testimony and the information that I provided you last year in this committee (inaudible) we actually -- I actually went out and got you some estimates. So the average for an average service station, not a, what we call and interstate service station, is somewhere between 28 and 38 thousands dollars total just for the purchase of the generator and some of the installation costs.

The maintenance fees and keeping it operating and running so that it works when that goes down and you really want to do them on automatic switches. You don't want a manager or cashier having to go out and flip buttons and switches when it deals with electricity. That's the reality of what it will cost to do that.

SENATOR KISSEL: And I appreciate that. That's like a half of what the other individual --

And I thought also it was interesting. As much as -- there's been plenty of testimony that the maintenance and you don't want certain employees doing this, and yet at same time of the same time for some of the new builds there seems to be a push in this direction. And if they're building from the ground up they, they're willing to factor this in if there's enough traffic in the market where they're building the (inaudible).

MICHAEL J. FOX: I think the issue there, Senator, is simply because when you're doing a new build the ground and everything is already torn up. So the cost of the installation can go down as much as 20 to 25 percent.

In the cost factors that I've given you, we've given you both the equipment and the installation costs, but those cost factors when folded into, say, a rebuild, I could see legislation -- and some of my members will probably chop my head off -- but if you spend in excess of $250,000 on improvements in a service station then a generator might have to be mandated because you're probably tearing it up anyway.

So I think that's the factor, what you look at when you're building new to industry. You're going in for a permit anyway. You're already at zoning. We do have zoning issues when you're dealing with service stations that are budding up against neighborhoods. They're not going to want those generators running 24 hours a day. They're noisy.

And you know, I do this for transportation companies. And I was in business in '78 and I was in business when Governor Rowland shut the roads down and my service station never was out of gasoline. The issue was the terminal and the State work together.

I think there are things this committee can start to look at that are being -- that could be very constructive. Someone has to tell me why the Governor and our state emergency management panel, we see the storm coming and it's 12 to 14 inches of snow possibly, and so far they're saying that's what's coming. Why haven't we put into effect an early state of urgency or something else, call it something else so we can have extra drivers on the road extra hours carrying extra fuel and filling up our stations before the storm comes?

In fact, the issue that we had last year was there are two different requirements, one is a state requirement and then one is a federal government requirement. We got the state requirement in 15 minutes. The federal government never came.

To me, commonsense is once the Governor mandates a state of emergency all of these things should be automatic, not we have to, okay. Now we have a state of emergency. Now we have to go ask for these specific things and find people when cellphones and cell towers and everything are down. That's the problem.

A very interesting idea I heard. Again, I sat here while I waited with my testimony thinking about a state-run website where the consumer can go to, figure out which stations are open and have product. The problem is we have to make that very easily, not just accessible by the Internet for the local station owner, but maybe by telephone because of the Internet may be down. But that's something that is going to change by the hour.

I mean, last year we had stations that got delivery of fuel at ten o'clock in the morning and by 1:30 we're out because of the volume. They were -- I had stations selling 24,000 gallons of fuel in a day that normally sold 3,000 a day. That's the type of volume and business that happens to us when these storms hit.

SENATOR KISSEL: Again, over the years that I've been lucky enough to serve on this committee you have been a wealth of knowledge.

MICHAEL J. FOX: Thank you, Senator.

SENATOR KISSEL: I mean it's really evident why you do your homework. You're willing to sometimes argue a little bit against your membership if you know this is the real deal, but you're still one of the best advocates I've seen here in the building on behalf of the members that you represent.

And I would never be presumptuous to think that any bill might get out, might not get out. The chairs run the committee with the advice of the ranking members. We'll all take votes, but this is the kind of dialogue we have and I was hoping to have, because even if these proposals aren't the be-all and end-all we need to think in terms of we've been through this a couple of times.

I don't know climate change. I have no idea. I have my speculation regarding that, but there's going to be another power outage. There's going to be another blizzard and we should be able to learn from past experiences and at least do a little better as we cycle board without putting huge burdens on you. So thank you very much.

And I really think the chairs for your indulgence.


Representative Rovero.

REP. ROVERO: Just to put a little humor in this long day, Mr. Fox this is a -- this technology is showing you how it's hurting every business. They're over here by the e-mails.

My momma -- my mother, rather, used to tell me how in the olden days when she -- the power went out, they take the front of the pump off. There was a belt running the pump. They'd hook it onto her brother's bicycle and he'd pump and pump gas in the car. So you know, anybody can talk about technology, but I think we're going backwards.

MICHAEL J. FOX: I worked and did that, sir.

REP. ROVERO: Thank you very much.


Representative Baram.

REP. BARAM: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

You had said something that just confused me and I wanted to get a clarification. You said that if a state emergency had been declared in advance you could get more trucks on the road to deliver gas.

Why can't that be done without the declaration of an emergency?

MICHAEL J. FOX: Chris Herb is going to follow up to testify later. He works with the distributor industry and the majors and I think Chris can better speak to that.

But my understanding is we need to get a waiver of hours and a waiver of weight so we can carry extra fuel and the drivers could operate more hours than they're required under the law. Because there's no way -- as I said to you earlier I had stations who sell 3,000 gallons of fuel a day normally, selling 24,000. So on one day they're doing eight hours of business. Somehow, someway those trucks have to get a eight days of product to the station owner.

Now I know this committee probably doesn't care about that, but we do. With gasoline costing 30 to 40 thousand dollars per load, and we're on electronic transfer of funds, you can't get the credit cards processed fast enough. So I've sold all that gasoline, but yet the credit cards haven't worked their way through the systems for whatever reason for those funds to show up in my account.

You're now talking about 120 to 150 thousand dollars worth of cash flow. So these are some of the other issues that need to be addressed. Again, 24,000 gallons of fuel sounds like you should be making a fortune. You've probably made a whopping $2,400 on that $150,000 investment.

And that sum of the issue that, just with the technology and 87 percent of our sales are credit cards it normally takes two to three days to get it through. So we have to go through the distributors and the majors and say, hey during periods of storms you need to extend our credit terms, you know, a day or two so that the credit cards catch up. Normally they do that anyway because they have those credit cards. They can see them and they know they're in process, but these are the issues besides the fact of not having product at the terminal.

REP. BARAM: But possibly doing something with the rules affecting the state of emergency might be of assistance?

MICHAEL J. FOX: Yes. I think Chris can talk to you better about that about the difficulties he faced last year and how quickly got the state authorization, but then on top of that you needed the federal authorization, and their feet dragged. We need to figure out a better way to do that especially when we're talking about a storm of, you know, significant magnus -- magnitude.

Now many people will say, but suppose the storm doesn't come? Well, then the drivers aren't going to be out there working the extra hours delivering that product, so it's not an issue. I mean, I think to be overprepared in this particular instance is better than being underprepared, because there's not really a cost factor unless all that product gets delivered.

REP. BARAM: One last quick thing. If you have any information about what other states may do in terms of developing a revenue pool for assisting gas stations with generators, you mentioned the utility companies might be able to do something, I'd be interested in seeing any of that information.

MICHAEL J. FOX: I know that what Florida did was take a certain percentage of the sales tax in their State and dedicated it to a fund. I think like many on this committee and many consumers I'm so PO'd at our power companies by paying some of the highest electric rates in the country.

And when I go back -- because I've been around too long -- when I go back and see how many storms I used to deal with when I was in my twenties, and that was a long time ago, and how severe those storms were, and I was never out of product. And I sold to 2 a half million gallons of fuel a year, and now I deal with one or two of storms a year.

Last year I brought to this committee pictures of an entire street where the power lines run, not by tree limbs -- directly through the middle of trees -- they've learned nothing. Go back to that street that I gave you the pictures of last year, they trimmed the branches. They still run through the middle of the trees. This is a CL&P issue. You're going to be out of power for a certain amount of time, but it shouldn't take 12 to 14 days. It shouldn't and they know it and they know what they need to do about it.

And I think you scared them last year with some tough legislation and it's worked because we had a small storm and the response time seemed to be pretty good in most areas. They need to improve in this, and this committee needs to stay on top of the penalties for the utility companies. They are required for the power grid, not your local business owner.

REP. BARAM: Thank you very much.


Any further questions? Seeing none, I'll just make an admission that I really didn't appreciate the costs of the generators. You heard so much talk about it. I didn't realize the significant of the investment for the individual gas stations. That was very helpful today.

Thank you very much.

MICHAEL J. FOX: Thank you, Senator.

SENATOR DOYLE: The next speaker, Chris Herb. Speak of Mr. Herb, he's up.

Then we have Lesley Bennett, Mike Barker, Maureen Dinnan, Carl DeMilia, Kate Byroad.

A VOICE: Byroad.

SENATOR DOYLE: Byroad, sorry. Okay.

CHRIS HERB: Good afternoon. My name is Chris Herb. I'm the Vice President of the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association. We represent 576 petroleum marketers in Connecticut employing 13,000 people. Our members own, operate and distribute a thousand gallons -- a thousand -- fuel to a thousand gas stations in Connecticut. I've submitted written comments; I'll depart from them.

I always like coming to testify before this committee because even though I'm much younger than Mike Fox, we typically are opponents for the last 13 years that I've been with my association. And it was really nice coming here today, and I'm especially sure that Representative Esposito and Representative Nafis could appreciate that those fights were pretty harsh at times. But today I came in agreement and then he came up here and he departed from his comments and now I have to disagree with him again.

You know, no disrespect to Senator Kissel, but all of the testimony the committee heard today had to do with that having powered gasoline stations is not the issue about getting fuel to the public. It is about not being able to get fuel to gas stations. Vessels that supply our ports and terminals are sent back out to sea, sent to other states when storms are approaching.

When the most recent storms hit in October and the hurricanes of last year, we had terminals that were inoperable for days at a time. So having a bunch of gas stations lit up like Christmas trees throughout the state of Connecticut with no gasoline does not solve the problem that these bills intent to deal with. And those bills, I should mention, are 5313, 5344 and S.B. 321.

So I would disagree. I would say that giving generators away doesn't solve the problem. Requiring that utilities -- and by the way, it is a utility failure -- doesn't solve the problem. If there is no product available, no matter what bills we pass to require generators to keep these gas stations open it doesn't solve the problem.

So the testimony I wanted to bring here today is what can we do to solve the problem? Do you understand the logistics problems that you've heard from some testimony today? The costs associated with these things? There's a whole other list of zoning problems. These are gas stations that have been there decades; the setback rules. There, you know, people who -- gas stations that have considered putting them in have found problems from municipalities. So there's a list of reasons why gas stations will have problems getting generators, but even if they have them we still don't address the problem getting fuel to people.

There are three tools that the State of Connecticut has in its power today that could help facilitate getting fuel as soon as possible when the power gets back up. Those are hours of service waivers that Mike talked about. Our association applied one for today and was just granted one by the Department of Motor Vehicles, so we have as many trucks on the road as possible topping off stations who are already running out because of the panic in this.

The second one would be vehicle weight waivers. Connecticut unfortunately has a very low threshold for the amount of fuel that can be carried at about 80,000 pounds when our surrounding states carry about upwards of 120,000 pounds.

And the third one would be fuel specification waivers. In the past, this past -- these past storms, it was the first time in my experience in almost a decade and a half in this industry that the State actually stepped up and gave a vehicle weight waiver. What that accomplishes is it allows these trucks to carry more fuel and have -- and make more stops before they have to go back and get into a 12-hour line to resupply. That's if the terminal is even open.

It allows us -- the hours of service waiver allows us to send trucks to Albany, New York; Providence and beyond to get fuel. So when our terminals are down those are the tools that allow us to keep fuel moving. And by the way, filling up tanks, not being able to have that fuel, everyone else in the region is rushing to get it also.

And finally, the fuel specification waivers. Fuel specification waivers can be used when there's no diesel fuel (inaudible) for an example. You can use home heating oil as a replacement for diesel fuel to keep generators wet, to keep other facilities that utilize diesel to keep generators running.

So what we've said -- and we've recently sat down with the Governor's fuel task force to inform them that there needs to be a trigger that says, in an emergency or in somebody's view when fuel is not available at our terminals and ports, that there can be a trigger pull that -- and gets all of these, all three of these going.

As Mike said before, if the storm passes and this isn't a direct hit, well, you know what? Our members aren't going to put drivers on the road and pay them overtime when there's no fuel emergency. So there is no a public threat. We really need to take a look at those three things to solve this purple instead of saying that we're going to force cost upon you or we're going to give grants or low-interest loans.

Let's do what make sense. Let's keep fuel moving and going to where it exists, instead of saying let's light up a bunch of gas stations that don't have any fuel. I think that that's a commonsense approach to this.

Thank you for letting me go over my time.


Any questions from the committee? Seeing none, thank you very much.

The next speaker, Lesley Bennett, Mike Barker, Maureen Dinnan, Carl DeMilia, Kate Byroad.

LESLEY BENNETTT: Good afternoon. I'd like to thank the members of the committee for this opportunity to talk to you about House Bill 5484 and House Bill 5906.

My name is Lesley Bennett. I'm a Stamford resident and volunteer member of the National Patient Advocate Foundation. NPAF is a nonprofit organization. Since 1996 it's been the patient's voice in state and federal discussions about improving access to and the quality of care for patients with cancer and chronic illness.

NPAF supports House Bill 5484. We feel this act is an important step in the effort to reduce prescription medication drug abuse by ensuring that pharmacies and insurance companies cannot routinely substitute a generic drug for a physician-prescribed tamper-resistant medication without the consent of the physician.

Most of these drugs with the new -- or with the new tamper-resistant technology are opiates or pain medications. There's only a handful of them and when they're used properly they provide chronically ill patients with relief from modern to severe pain.

While providing generic versions of the opiates and pain medications may seem -- that do not incorporate the tamper-resistant technology may seem to be less expensive, it may actually be more costly to the public. Prescription drug abuse is one of the fastest growing problems in our nation. Recent data from the 20009t national survey on drug use (inaudible) showed that drug users as young as age 12 report that their addiction started with the nonmedical use of prescription medications such as oxycodone.

In online forums it's easy for teenagers to learn how to crush mom and dad's prescription opiate and then inhale or inject this medication for an intense high. They get a much higher high using these drugs that are crushed than they would from just ingesting the pill. The new tamper-resistant opiates incorporate technology that makes it much harder to crush these medications for inhalation and when the tamper-resistant medication is mixed with water it turns into a gel making it virtually impossible to inject.

When a physician makes a decision that a tamper-resistant medication is the best choice for a patient and the patient's family, a pharmacy or insurance company should not be allowed to routinely substitute a generic medication without tamper-resistant technology. This is just too costly for the public.

This law is not a mandate that requires doctors to only prescribe tamper-resistant drugs. It simply provides the physician with an option if he has a patient who's at high-risk for medication abuse or has a family member who's at high risk for medication abuse. This gives them the option of prescribing a very potent drug, but in a form that is less likely to be abused.

NPAF opposes House Bill 5906. While we feel it is important for physicians to check state prescription monitoring programs before prescribing controlled substances to a new patient, this bill appears to require that it be done every time a new prescription -- and even for the same drug is issued to a patient or the same patient. It's just like if there was a bump in their dosage. They would still have to go back through and check.

We feel that this takes a great deal of time for physicians and that it puts an undue burden on them and will lead to backlogs, delaying patients getting their medications. Any delay in a patient obtaining a needed medication could result in increased medical costs for the patient and the public due to hospitalizations and rescue therapies, many patients, such as my daughter Kelly who require control substances throughout their lives.

Kelly is a patient who is not at high risk for drug abuse. She's a patient with a debilitating neurologic disorder that has left her bedridden and dependent on her family and her nurses for care. Benzodiazepine is a class IV controlled substance -- are the only medication that can help her control her disorder. Her medication is closely monitored by her physicians, her pharmacy and her nurses. The last time there was a delay in obtaining her medication due to a physician backlog she was in the hospital for two weeks.

Thank you.


Representative Nafis.

REP. NAFIS: Thank you for your testimony.

On the second bill, 5906, if we were to change that to exempt chronic conditions, would you --

LESLEY BENNETTT: Exempt chronic conditions, there's a couple other things. I think we've been working with some of the physician groups. They just find it -- it's going to take way too much time for them to do this.

If a patient like my daughter, for instance, they can -- physicians are getting better at identifying patients who may be at high risk for drug use. And in my daughter's case and with chronically ill patients like her there isn't -- some of them will, but a lot of them won't.

So in that case like just yesterday, we had to go through three changes in her prescription because she was having breakthrough seizures. She has just gotten out of the hospital. Now technically the way the law is written some people are figuring that it would mean that they would have to check the formula or, you know, check the thing every single time. So that's what they're talking about.

Yeah, we would agree with that if there was some changes made and it was -- if it -- more acceptable to the physicians.

REP. NAFIS: I'm glad that you brought that up. I know that has been a concern that we had heard about. And the intent of this law is actually to get at what you're supporting in the other bill.


REP. NAFIS: So in fact if we can --

LESLEY BENNETTT: That's why it's such, you know, it's such a --

REP. NAFIS: Yeah. We really -- I mean, there's no question that people are doctor shopping for --

LESLEY BENNETTT: Oh, there are. There are a lot of them out there.

REP. NAFIS: And so this is to try to get a that so that we can hopefully prevent some of that going on.

LESLEY BENNETTT: That's why the first bill, the --


LESLEY BENNETTT: -- the physicians and the drug manufacturers. I mean, these drugs are very specific. They're almost -- there's only a handful of them right now. They are regulated by the FDA and somebody earlier was asking, you know, how the labeling went about. It's FDA regulated. For somebody to just throw that on a label would be an FDA violation and incur huge fines. So it's tightly regulated and there's only, I think, five or six of them right now. There may be more. I'm not entirely up on it.

But it's like the cancer drugs; we're dealing with a very small market and it's only for specific patients. That's what we're dealing with.

The State of New Jersey went through -- and I'm not sure whether they passed similar legislation or are very close to passing it. They've been looking at this and what they're doing, they're preparing for the fact that generic companies will come out with these drug -- these tamper-resistant drugs as well. So what they've done is they've gone ahead and charged their state pharmacy board, for instance, with concocting a formulary so that in the future if there are comparable generics to the, you know, the brand-name drug, they will be able to substitute without getting physician approval. But if it's not listed on the state formulary then they require that the pharmacist or insurance company get approval from the physician directly.

Any other questions?

SENATOR DOYLE: Representative Carter.

REP. CARTER: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

And thank you for your testimony. You mentioned something interesting with the New Jersey law. What you're saying is if there were a generic that had a tamper-resistant formula.


REP. CARTER: So a generic was tamper-resistant.


REP. CARTER: Then the State has the ability to put that on?

LESLEY BENNETTT: In order for them to be tamper resistant they have to go through the same FDA regulations that the major pharmaceutical did. So yes, it would have to meet the same requirements.

In New Jersey they also require that their pharmacy prove that the two drugs are equivalent. It's similar to a lot of the cancer drugs that are out now, the highly -- the genetically, you know, modified drugs. If there's going to be a generic it has to be exactly the same or the equivalent. There has to be data to prove that.

REP. CARTER: Now I'm also told that the FDA has not really weighed in on tamper resistance yet.


REP. CARTER: Which is part of the reason we we're doing this.

LESLEY BENNETTT: This is part of the problem. Oxycodone, I think Purdue Pharma stopped producing their tablet form, the release form in March, 2012. They went strictly with the tamper resistant.

And then what happened there, their patent on a drug expired I think in December or November of 2011. So all of the sudden there's generics out there producing the same time release that Purdue Pharma used to that they got in trouble for. It's on the market. It can be crushed and everything else.

So we're -- it's a real problem right now as to figuring out where to go. We're just hoping that this is an option for physicians and patients where they can, you know, reduce -- a lot of times it's not the actual user of the drugs. A lot of times we're finding it's like their children or someone else in the family.

And Steve was testifying and that's why you'll find people out there that go steal it. And if they can crush it easily they can make it into something they can just inhale. They get a very good high, or they can make it to an injectable and that's what we're trying to avoid.

It's just that I think in the first 11 months after Purdue Pharma introduced their tamper-resistant drug there was something like a 79 percent drop in the number of ODs due to oxycodone. So it was a big drop. It's not actually official. It was just done, you know, kind of on the cuff. It was over a (inaudible) period. That's what they're looking into and that's what New Jersey had discovered when they were going through and finding it.

Canada too has also been looking into this the same that we're doing it and they're coming to the same conclusion. It's a step in the right direction and it's for very specific use patients that are considered high-risk.

REP. CARTER: Now the other question on the other bill -- but my question to you is this, do you know how frequently somebody who is under the, I would say, the care of a pain management physician, or whatever this is, go through your analysis? Is it every visit? Or is it every --

LESLEY BENNETTT: I don't not. It depends on the patient. Like with my daughter, she's so tightly controlled. We do it infrequently. It just depends on how much the usage is.

In my daughter's case, for instance, we have the physicians, the pharmacy and everybody; they're tightly regulating it. Other patients, it just depends. Like if they're using --

REP. CARTER: Well, my question is I understand the doctor's reluctance to do this every time they give a prescription. It can't be done and I understand the time constraints, but is there something else we can attach it to that is a routine thing among care? Your analysis is something that came to my mind because it's done with ever one of those patients. But --

LESLEY BENNETTT: I think probably the best thing to do might be to sit down and talk to some of the physician groups to find out what they're comfortable with.


LESLEY BENNETTT: It's just a time-consuming for them.

REP. CARTER: Thank you. Thank you for your testimony.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Any further questions from the committee? Seeing none, Thank you.

Next speaker is Mike Barker, Maureen Dinnan, Carl DeMilia, Kate Byroade.

Michael is here.

MICHAEL BARKER: Thank you. My name is Michael Barker. I own a facility in Meriden called Meriden Self Storage and I'm here to speak in favor of Senate Bill Number 752, regarding the two major items, the certified mail and the advertising.

The mail issue -- certified mail is not an effective way to contact the customer. If the customer has moved or does not accept delivery of a certified letter the letter is simply returned to the company marked unclaimed. I brought a few show-and-tells with me.

We have one letter we sent to the customer at the addresses he had given us. It came -- we use on our envelopes return address labels as return service requests. So the post office sent it back to us with his new addresses because he had left one.

We then sent him a certified letter and we mailed it to him on May 18th. And on May 19th they tried to deliver it, on June 6th and June 11th, and then they sent it back saying unclaimed.

The post office does have a means of first-class letter, that for a small fee they have a certificate of mailing that you fill it in with the name and the address, put the postage on it and the post office will stamp it showing that they accepted the letter from you. Is the individuals has moved and left a forwarding address with the postal service they will send it along to them.

Normally we get back two out of three certified letters that we send to customers, and by using the returned service request it gives us an opportunity to keep current information on our customers' whereabouts. Our leases just state that it is the customer's obligation to keep us informed of their contact information.

Electronic mail, we ask them on their application to give us a home address, home phone, work phone, cellphone and e-mail addresses. Quite often they don't even have a landline. They're on the verge of moving, but normally the last means of contact that we have are cellphones and e-mail info.

We always send a customer a welcome letter within about a week of moving in, not so much to say thank you for finding us, but as a means to confirm that the address that they gave us is a legitimate address because sometimes that's not the case.

Regarding advertising, the newspapers are expensive. The ads run under legal notices. Of course, the more units an individual is here involved with the auction the longer the ad gets, the more column inches it is, but an ad can run easily 150 to 300 dollars or more and we are required presently to run the ad twice.

If a storage facility is running an auction by themselves without a professional auctioneer, and running a local newspaper ad, usually only a few local people might see the advertisement. We use a professional auction service similar to what you see on the TV show and he publishes an e-mail list and a mail list. And when he pulls in he's like the pied piper. He'll bring 20, 30 followers with him to an auction. So there is a large number of bidders appearing.

We make every effort to work with our customers when they reach the point, the stage of being in an auction situation. We'll never get more money for the unit then we will from the customer. And if that means working out a settlement of X percentage, we're always better off doing that at the auction if we get 10 to 20 percent of the fees and rent built up, we're usually doing pretty well. So we try whatever we can to work with the customer.

And you know, by using the electronic advertising through the auctioneer or our own website we find we get a lot more people than we would otherwise.

Thank you for letting me speak.


Any questions? Any questions from the committee?

Representative Esposito.

REP. ESPOSITO: Thank you, sir.

I heard you say that you send them a welcoming letter. When they're applying for the storage unit, what type of information do they have to furnish you with, you know?

MICHAEL BARKER: We take a picture of their driver's license which may or may not have current or correct address information. And we, you know, we ask them to give us their current home address, home phone number, emergency contact information, work phone numbers, et cetera, et cetera.

I mean, we'll get in -- I mean, it's nice to have customers that are businesses or people that want to store their snow blowers in the summer and their summer toys in the winter, but you know, we've got a good percentage of customers that are in situations where they're, for one reason or another, they're forced to move quickly from where they are.

And we'll get people that will call for information saying, how soon do you need the unit?

And they'll say, what time do you close today? I've got to be out of where I am today. And we try and, you know, we never know. We ask people. We give them a list of things that they cannot store, flammables, fluids, things like that. But you know, we don't know what they're storing and why they're starting it. And for whatever reasons some people disappear.

REP. ESPOSITO: The reason I was asking is that there some companies, not necessarily storage companies, but they require, like, a utility bill or something that shows there's some people who are living at that address. Have you ever --

MICHAEL BARKER: A lot of people are living in an apartment or a room where the utilities are included with their rent and even a TV bill.

REP. ESPOSITO: It was just a kind of a suggestion to you. It might be another way to keep current on the people's addresses.

Thank you.

MICHAEL BARKER: We put a sign on the door that without proper ID we won't rent you a unit. We've had people with phony IDs running credit card scams off of major retailers getting stolen, you know, credit card fraud having things delivered to a storage facility.

So I mean, just because you have a pic that -- what looks like a driver's license from whatever state doesn't mean it's identification, but you know, we try.


Any further questions from the committee? Seeing none, thank you very much.

MICHAEL BARKER: Thank you very much.

SENATOR DOYLE: The next speaker is Maureen Dinnan. Maureen is not here.

Is Carl DeMilia? Then Kate Byroade. Carl is here.

CARL DeMILIA: I probably should say good evening at this point, but good delayed afternoon. I'm Carl DeMilia. I'm current President of the Connecticut Library Association and my day job is I'm library director of the New Milford Public Library.

As you've taken testimony from my colleagues this afternoon, you've had the opportunity to ask some very insightful questions, which I hope have brought and shed light on the issue of e-books and libraries in the State of Connecticut. So I won't burden you with any further testimony. I've supplied written testimony.

I just want to thank you for taking the testimony from my colleagues today and asking questions. I also want to thank Representative Sear for helping us in supporting this measure as it goes forward. And the Connecticut Library Association looks forward to working with you as this moves forward.

SENATOR DOYLE: Great. Any questions from the committee?

Thank you very much.

CARL DeMILIA: Good. Thank you very much.

SENATOR DOYLE: The last person signed up is Kate Byroade, the person -- I mispronounced her name a couple of times.

KATE BYROADE: That's okay. Everybody does it.

Hello. I'm another member of the library mafia. My name is Kate Byroade. I'm a resident of West Hartford and the Director of the Cragin Memorial Library in Colchester.

You guys asked great questions and you can -- I can understand why it's confusing to you, because it's confusing to us in our everyday job. I would like to contribute some additional clarity around the proposed e-books legislation.

I don't know exactly what the legislative solution is, but the entire book material budget I work with in Colchester is $48,500. That's to serve a population of just over 16,000 people. I have about $2,500 allocated this year to purchase e-books.

I have some major problems with the publishers. Four out of six major publishers -- four out of six will not sell me e-books. They won't do it. It's pretty mean.

One of the remaining publishers will sell to me, but only on the condition that I can only let it be borrowed 26 times. And when I say sell, I mean I pay a fee. I don't actually own the material. And then I have to decide whether or not to renew the license.

When that first happened we thought it was terrible. Now we're seeing it as kind of almost a deal-able model because at least we know that the books are getting used and that the amount that we're paying is not unreasonable.

And then the final of the six major publishers will only sell me a best-selling book at usually three times it's hardcover price. So 80 to a hundred dollars, which is pretty ridiculous again. Because with my $2500 budget 80 bucks a pop does not go very far, especially since they're one of only two publishers I can buy materials from at all.

E-books have been around for over a decade. I want to reiterate my colleague, Christine Bradley's feeling that the publishers are acting from a place of fear and are not dealing with us in a fair, constructive, rational manner. E-books have been around for a decade. If they were going to get hacked and pirated it would have happened by now. The iPhone 5 was hacked in eight hours.

Textbooks, e-textbooks are something that college students, who are hackers, would like. They're not hacking them? Why? Because the market is fair. When iTunes came out pirated music went down because it was a fair business model. I think the publishers, when they're selling to the public directly, it's a fair business model, but they're not being fair with libraries. I think that the sales model for e-books pioneered by Amazon made e-books tremendously popular. They sold them to the public at a fair rate. They're not doing that with libraries.

And thank you very much for your consideration. We will have to have a lot of discussion around it. Take care.


Any further questions? Any further questions from the committee? Thank you very much.

That's the last person signed up. Are there any other members of the library mafia who would like to testify?

No, but seriously, are there any other members of the public that would like to testify?

Seeing none, I declare this public hearing terminated. Thank you.