JOURNAL OF THE SENATE

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Senate was called to order at 12: 04 p. m. , the President in the Chair.

The prayer was offered by Acting Chaplain, Noele R. Kidney of Ellington, Connecticut.

The following is the prayer:

In these difficult times, may our leaders find in their hearts the guidance and wisdom to do what is best for the people of Connecticut.

PLEDGE

Senator Frantz of the 36th led the Senate in the Pledge of Allegiance.

BUSINESS FROM THE HOUSE

FAVORABLE REPORTS OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEES

HOUSE BILLS

The following favorable reports of the Joint Standing Committees were received from the House, read the second time and tabled for the calendar.

COMMERCE. H. B. No. 7225 (RAISED) (File No. 358) AN ACT CONCERNING MINOR AND TECHNICAL CHANGES TO COMMERCE-RELATED STATUTES.

EDUCATION. Substitute for H. B. No. 7276 (RAISED) (File Nos. 512 and 818) AN ACT CONCERNING EDUCATION MANDATE RELIEF. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

FINANCE, REVENUE AND BONDING. Substitute for H. B. No. 7013 (RAISED) (File Nos. 125 and 813) AN ACT ESTABLISHING STANDARDS TO ALLOW THE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER TO DESIGNATE CERTAIN DOMESTIC INSURANCE COMPANIES AS DOMESTIC SURPLUS LINES INSURERS. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

FINANCE, REVENUE AND BONDING. Substitute for H. B. No. 7226 (RAISED) (File No. 431) AN ACT CONCERNING AWARDS FROM THE CONNECTICUT ARTS ENDOWMENT FUND.

FINANCE, REVENUE AND BONDING. Substitute for H. B. No. 7263 (RAISED) (File Nos. 765 and 817) AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS AND TECHNICAL CHANGES TO THE TAX AND RELATED STATUTES, AND CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM THE PROPERTY TAX. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

GENERAL LAW. Substitute for H. B. No. 5925 (COMM) (File Nos. 67 and 809) AN ACT CONCERNING THE INSPECTION OF SHIPMENTS OF ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR AND PENALTIES FOR INTENTIONAL VIOLATIONS OF THE ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR MINIMUM BOTTLE LAW (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

HOUSING. Substitute for H. B. No. 6880 (COMM) (File Nos. 179 and 811) AN ACT CONCERNING THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING LAND USE APPEALS PROCEDURE. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

INSURANCE AND REAL ESTATE. Substitute for H. B. No. 7183 (RAISED) (File Nos. 293 and 815) AN ACT CONCERNING CAPTIVE INSURANCE COMPANIES, SHORT-TERM CARE INSURANCE, PERSONAL AND COMMERCIAL RISK INSURANCE, PREFERRED PROVIDER NETWORKS, AND MAKING MINOR AND TECHNICAL CHANGES TO CERTAIN INSURANCE-RELATED STATUTES. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

JUDICIARY. Substitute for H. B. No. 6999 (RAISED) (File Nos. 72, 715 and 812) AN ACT CONCERNING THE PROVISION OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE USE OF THERAPY DOGS TO COMFORT AND SUPPORT TESTIFYING WITNESSES IN CERTAIN CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

JUDICIARY. Substitute for H. B. No. 7256 (RAISED) (File Nos. 638 and 816) AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO CERTAIN CRIMINAL JUSTICE STATUTES AND THE REPORTING OF THE DEATH OF ANY PERSON IN STATE CUSTODY. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

JUDICIARY. Substitute for H. B. No. 7308 (RAISED) (File Nos. 666 and 819) AN ACT CONCERNING CAMERA AND RECORDING DEVICES AND EQUIPMENT USED BY POLICE. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT. H. B. No. 6221 (COMM) (File Nos. 544 and 810) AN ACT CONCERNING RECOVERY OF PAYMENTS FROM COLLATERAL SOURCES BY A MUNICIPALITY WITH A SELF-INSURED HEALTH PLAN. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

TRANSPORTATION. Substitute for H. B. No. 7138 (RAISED) (File Nos. 430 and 814) AN ACT CONCERNING LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT OF MAJOR TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS AND PLANNING. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

MATTERS RETURNED FROM COMMITTEE

FAVORABLE REPORTS OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE

The following favorable reports were received from the Joint Standing Committee indicated, the bills were read the second time and tabled for the calendar.

NO NEW FILES

JUDICIARY. Substitute for S. B. No. 895 (RAISED) (File No. 162) AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES' STANDARDS AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

JUDICIARY. Substitute for H. B. No. 6356 (COMM) (File Nos. 45 and 756) AN ACT CONCERNING PUBLIC NOTICE OF TREE REMOVAL ON MUNICIPAL PROPERTY. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

JUDICIARY. Substitute for H. B. No. 7069 (RAISED) (File Nos. 262 and 779) AN ACT CONCERNING CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS OF COMMISSION SALES STABLES. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

BUSINESS ON THE CALENDAR

FAVORABLE REPORT OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE

BILL PLACED ON CONSENT CALENDAR NO. 1

The following bill was taken from the table, read the third time, the report of the Committee accepted and the bill placed on Consent Calendar no. 1.

INSURANCE AND REAL ESTATE. S. B. No. 546 (COMM) (File No. 145) AN ACT CONCERNING PARTICIPATING PROVIDER DIRECTORIES AND PROVIDERS ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS ON AN OUTPATIENT SERVICES BASIS.

Senator Larson of the 3rd explained the bill and moved passage.

Remarking was Senator Kennedy of the 12th.

On the motion of Senator Larson of the 3rd, the bill was placed on Consent Calendar No. 1.

BUSINESS ON THE CALENDAR

FAVORABLE REPORT OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE

BILL PASSED TEMPORARILY

The following favorable report was taken from the table, read the third time, the report of the Committee accepted and the bill passed temporarily.

ENERGY AND TECHNOLOGY. Substitute for S. B. No. 4 (COMM) (File No. 467) AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITY COOPERATIVES.

Senator Winfield of the 10th explained the bill and moved passage.

On the motion of Senator Duff of the 25th, the bill was passed temporarily.

BUSINESS ON THE CALENDAR

FAVORABLE REPORT OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE

SENATE AMENDMENT PREVIOUSLY DESIGNATED

BILL PREVIOUSLY MARKED PASSED TEMPORARILY

SENATE AMENDMENT ADOPTED

BILL PASSED

The following favorable report was taken from the table, read the third time, the report of the Committee accepted and the bill passed.

GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION AND ELECTIONS. S. B. No. 986 (RAISED) (File No. 536) AN ACT CONCERNING THE LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS' RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MINOR AND TECHNICAL REVISIONS TO STATUTES CONCERNING GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION.

Senator Flexer of the 29th explained the bill and moved passage.

Senator Somers of the 18th offered Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 7938) which had been previously designated.

On a voice vote, Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 7938) was adopted.

The following is the Amendment:

After the last section, add the following and renumber sections and internal references accordingly:

"Sec. 501. (NEW) (Effective from passage) Prior to the locating of any state police gun range in any municipality, the municipality proposed to host such gun range may, by binding referendum, prevent the construction of such gun range in such municipality. "

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Sec. 501

from passage

New section

The chair ordered the vote be taken by roll call.

The following is the result of the vote at 12: 28 p. m. :

Total Number Voting 36

Necessary for Adoption 19

Those voting Yea 36

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 0

On the roll call vote, the bill as amended by Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 7938) passed.

The following is the roll call vote:

 

Y

 

1

JOHN W. FONFARA

 

Y

 

19

CATHERINE A. OSTEN

 

Y

 

2

DOUGLAS MCCRORY

 

Y

 

20

PAUL M. FORMICA

 

Y

 

3

TIM LARSON

 

Y

 

21

KEVIN KELLY

 

Y

 

4

STEVE CASSANO

 

Y

 

22

MARILYN MOORE

 

Y

 

5

BETH BYE

 

Y

 

23

EDWIN A. GOMES

 

Y

 

6

TERRY B. GERRATANA

 

Y

 

24

MICHAEL A. MCLACHLAN

 

Y

 

7

JOHN A. KISSEL

 

Y

 

25

BOB DUFF

 

Y

 

8

KEVIN D. WITKOS

 

Y

 

26

TONI BOUCHER

 

Y

 

9

PAUL DOYLE

 

Y

 

27

CARLO LEONE

 

Y

 

10

GARY WINFIELD

 

Y

 

28

TONY HWANG

 

Y

 

11

MARTIN M. LOONEY

 

Y

 

29

MAE M. FLEXER

 

Y

 

12

TED KENNEDY

 

Y

 

30

CRAIG MINER

 

Y

 

13

LEN SUZIO

 

Y

 

31

HENRI MARTIN

 

Y

 

14

GAYLE SLOSSBERG

 

Y

 

32

ERIC BERTHEL

 

Y

 

15

JOAN V. HARTLEY

 

Y

 

33

ART LINARES

 

Y

 

16

JOE MARKLEY

 

Y

 

34

LEONARD FASANO

 

Y

 

17

GEORGE LOGAN

 

Y

 

35

ANTHONY GUGLIELMO

 

Y

 

18

HEATHER SOMERS

 

Y

 

36

L. SCOTT FRANTZ

BUSINESS ON THE CALENDAR

MATTER RETURNED FROM COMMITTEE

FAVORABLE REPORT OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE

BILL PLACED ON CONSENT CALENDAR NO. 1

The following bill was taken from the table, read the third time, the report of the Committee accepted and the bill placed on Consent Calendar No. 1.

JUDICIARY. Substitute for S. B. No. 1033 (RAISED) (File No. 572) AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL FORECLOSURE ACTIONS ON TAX LIENS AND LIENS ON BLIGHTED REAL ESTATE.

Senator Cassano of the 4th explained the bill, offered Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 6914) and moved adoption.

Remarking was Senator Logan of the 17th.

On a voice vote, Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 6914) was adopted.

The following is the Amendment:

Change the effective date of section 1 to "Effective January 1, 2018"

On the motion of Senator Cassano of the 4th, the bill as amended by Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 6914) was placed on Consent Calendar No. 1.

BUSINESS ON THE CALENDAR

FAVORABLE REPORT OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE

SENATE AMENDMENT ADOPTED

SENATE AMENDMENT DESIGNATED

BILL PASSED TEMPORARILY

The following favorable report was taken from the table, read the third time, the report of the Committee accepted and the bill passed temporarily.

FINANCE, REVENUE AND BONDING. S. B. No. 623 (COMM) (File No. 737) AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE 7/7 PROGRAM TO ENCOURAGE THE REDEVELOPMENT OF BROWNFIELDS AND UNDERUTILIZED PROPERTY.

Senator Frantz of the 36th explained the bill, offered Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 7668) and moved adoption.

On a voice vote, Senate Amendment Schedule "A" (LCO 7668) was adopted.

The following is the Amendment:

In line 56, strike "a licensed"

In line 57, strike "environmental professional" and insert "an eligible owner" in lieu thereof

Senator Hartley of the 15th offered Senate Amendment Schedule “B” (LCO 8089) and moved adoption.

Senator Hartley of the 15th withdrew Senate Amendment Schedule “B” (LCO 8089).

Senator Hartley of the 15th offered Senate Amendment Schedule “C” (LCO 8121) and moved adoption.

Remarking was Senator Fasano of the 34th.

On the motion of Senator Duff of the 25th, the bill as amended by Senate Amendment Schedule "A" (LCO 7668) and Senate Amendment Schedule "C" (LCO 8121) designated was passed temporarily.

BUSINESS ON THE CALENDAR

FAVORABLE REPORT OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE

BILL PREVIOUSLY MARKED PASSED TEMPORARILY

BILL PASSED

The following favorable report was taken from the table, read the third time, the report of the Committee accepted and the bill placed on the Consent Calendar.

ENERGY AND TECHNOLOGY. Substitute for S. B. No. 4 (COMM) (File No. 467) AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITY COOPERATIVES.

Senator Winfield of the 10th explained the bill and moved passage.

Senator Osten of the 19th offered Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 8137) and moved adoption.

Remarking were Senators Somers of the 18th, Formica of the 20th and Fonfara of the 1st.

On a voice vote, Senate Amendment Schedule "A" (LCO 8137) was adopted.

The following is the Amendment:

Strike everything after the enacting clause and substitute the following in lieu thereof:

"Section 1. Section 7-233c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(a) Any two or more municipal electric utilities may, by concurrent resolutions, duly adopted by the governing bodies of each of such municipal electric utilities, create and become members of a municipal electric energy cooperative under the name and style of "the . . . . municipal electric energy cooperative", with some identifying phrase inserted. The managing body of the municipal electric energy cooperative shall be a cooperative utility board which shall be charged with carrying out the corporate purposes and powers of the municipal electric energy cooperative. The number of representatives to be appointed at any time for full terms of office [by the governing bodies of such municipal electric utilities] shall be such uniform numbers as may be mutually agreed upon in said resolutions which number shall be not less than two nor more than six for each member, provided one such representative shall be appointed by the legislative body of each municipality in which a member municipal electric utility operates, pursuant to this subsection. After the taking effect of the said resolutions of all such municipal electric utilities and after the filing of certified copies thereof pursuant to subsection (a) of section 7-233d, the agreed number of representatives shall be appointed to the cooperative utility board by the governing body of each municipal electric utility [. The] and the legislative body of the municipality in which each municipal electric utility operates, pursuant to this subsection. For representatives appointed by the governing body of each municipal electric utility, the qualification of such representatives, terms of office for the original representatives and their successors and compensation, if any, by the member pursuant to this section or by the municipal electric energy cooperative pursuant to section 7-233p, as amended by this act, shall be prescribed by each such governing body; provided, each representative shall be an official or employee of such municipal electric utility. For each representative appointed by the legislative body of each municipality in which a member municipal electric utility operates, the qualification of such representative, terms of office for the original representative and his or her successors and compensation, if any, by the legislative body or by the municipal electric energy cooperative pursuant to section 7-233p, as amended by this act, shall be prescribed by each such legislative body and any such compensation shall be approved by such legislative body, provided each such legislative body shall appoint a representative who is a residential or commercial ratepayer of the municipal electric utility that operates in the municipality of such legislative body and who does not hold other official positions in and is not employed by (1) the governing body of such member municipal electric utility, (2) the municipality in which the member municipal electric utility operates, (3) the governing body of any other member municipal electric utility, (4) the municipality in which any other member municipal electric utility operates, or (5) the municipal electric energy cooperative. In addition to paying such compensation as may be prescribed pursuant to this section or section 7-233p, as amended by this act, a member municipal electric utility or a legislative body, upon approval by such legislative body, may reimburse its representatives for expenses for travel, both within and without the state, incurred by them in connection with services as a designated representative on such board. Before such municipal electric energy cooperative can be validly and legally formed each of the municipalities represented by a municipal electric utility joining together to form the municipal electric energy cooperative must, by proper proceedings duly adopted, consent and agree to such formation of the municipal electric energy cooperative.

(b) After the creation of a municipal electric energy cooperative under subsection (a) of this section, any other municipal electric utility may become a member of the municipal electric energy cooperative if (1) the municipal electric utility files with the municipal electric energy cooperative (A) a resolution, duly adopted by its governing body, requesting membership in such cooperative, and (B) a certified copy of the proper proceedings, duly adopted by the municipality represented by the municipal electric utility, consenting and agreeing to such membership, and (2) after the municipal electric energy cooperative receives such filing, the governing bodies of at least two-thirds of the municipal electric utilities comprising the membership of the municipal electric energy cooperative at the time of such filing duly adopt a resolution approving membership of such municipal electric utility in the municipal electric energy cooperative. After the filing of certified copies of all such resolutions with the Secretary of the State pursuant to subsection (b) of section 7-233d, the governing body of the municipal electric utility being added to the municipal electric energy cooperative and the municipality in which such municipal electric utility operates shall appoint representatives to the cooperative utility board of the municipal electric energy cooperative. The number of such appointed representatives shall be the same as the number mutually agreed upon by the other members of the municipal electric energy cooperative pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. The provisions of said subsection (a) concerning the qualification, compensation and terms of office of, and reimbursement of travel expenses for, representatives [of the existing members of the municipal cooperative] appointed by the existing member municipal electric utilities and the legislative bodies of the municipalities in which such member municipal electric utilities operate shall apply to representatives of such municipal electric utility.

(c) A municipal electric utility that is a member of a municipal electric energy cooperative may withdraw from the municipal electric energy cooperative if: (1) Such withdrawing municipal electric utility continues to fully perform all of its obligations under any contract it has with the municipal electric energy cooperative or provides sufficient funds in trust for the benefit of the municipal electric energy cooperative to satisfy such obligations, (2) the withdrawing municipal electric utility files with the municipal electric energy cooperative a resolution, duly adopted by its governing body, approving the withdrawal, and such resolution is filed with the Secretary of the State in the same manner as provided in subsection (c) of section 7-233d, and (3) the municipality [represented by the withdrawing municipal electric utility] in which the withdrawing municipal electric utility operates does not disapprove of such withdrawal, by vote of the municipality's legislative body, within thirty days after the adoption of such a resolution.

(d) (1) Upon appointment of its representatives by the [members of the municipal cooperative] member municipal electric utilities and legislative bodies of the municipalities in which such member municipal electric utilities operate, the cooperative utility board shall organize, select its chairman and vice-chairman from among said board and proceed to consider those matters which have been recommended to it by the several members of the municipal electric energy cooperative.

(2) The cooperative utility board may hold such meetings and public hearings as it deems desirable and the powers of the municipal electric energy cooperative shall be vested in the representatives thereof in office from time to time. The cooperative utility board shall hold any such meetings and public hearings in the state. The municipal electric energy cooperative shall post on its Internet web site and provide to participants notice of and the agenda for each meeting and public hearing, and any changes made thereto, not later than five days before such meeting or public hearing. Each participant shall post on its Internet web site and provide to the municipality in which it operates such notice, agenda and changes not later than four days before such meeting or public hearing. Each such municipality shall post on its Internet web site such notice, agenda and changes not later than three days before such meeting or public hearing.

(3) A majority of the entire authorized number of representatives of the municipal electric energy cooperative shall constitute a quorum at any meeting thereof. Action may be taken, motions voted and resolutions adopted by the municipal electric energy cooperative at any meeting of the cooperative utility board by vote of a majority of the representatives present, unless in any case the bylaws of a municipal electric energy cooperative or an amendment to such bylaws shall require a larger number for adoption or any representative of the cooperative utility board requests that the vote be based on megawatt-hour purchases. If such a request is made, [(1)] (A) each representative shall have a number of votes equal to the total number of megawatt-hours purchased from the municipal electric energy cooperative during the preceding completed calendar year by the [representative's] member municipal electric utility [from the municipal cooperative during the preceding completed calendar year] which appointed such representative or which operates in the municipality whose legislative body appointed such representative, provided, if the municipal electric energy cooperative includes a new member municipal electric utility which purchased part or all of its power and energy from a supplier or suppliers other than the municipal electric energy cooperative during such year, each representative [of] appointed by such new member municipal electric utility or the legislative body of the municipality in which such new member municipal electric utility operates shall have a number of votes equal to the total megawatt-hours purchased by such new member from such other suppliers during such year plus the total number of megawatt-hours purchased from the municipal electric energy cooperative during such year, and [(2)] (B) any action, motion or resolution taken, voted or adopted by the municipal electric energy cooperative at such meeting shall be by a favorable vote of sixty-seven per cent or more of the total of such votes of the representatives who are present at the meeting and who vote, provided at least a majority of the members of the municipal electric energy cooperative approves such action, motion or resolution. Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection or of subsection (g) of this section to the contrary, a unanimous vote of all of the representatives of the municipal electric energy cooperative shall be required before said municipal electric energy cooperative can exercise the power of condemnation or eminent domain provided in this chapter.

(4) The municipal electric energy cooperative shall post on its Internet web site and provide to participants the minutes of such meeting or public hearing, including any actions taken, motions voted and resolutions adopted, not later than five days after such meeting or public hearing described in subdivision (2) of this subsection. Each participant shall post on its Internet web site and provide to the municipality in which it operates such minutes not later than six days after such meeting or public hearing. Each municipality shall post such minutes on its Internet web site not later than seven days after such meeting or public hearing.

(5) The cooperative utility board may appoint and employ a chief executive officer, a treasurer, a secretary, a general counsel and such officers, advisors, consultants and other agents and employees as it may deem necessary, and the cooperative utility board shall determine their qualifications, terms of office, duties and compensation.

(e) Organizational expenses incurred by a municipal electric energy cooperative shall be paid ratably by each member in the same proportion as the population or area of operation serviced by each such member bears to the total population or area of operation serviced by all members or by such other method as determined to be fair and equitable by the cooperative utility board. Such payments shall be made by each member whether or not that member utilizes the electric power or energy made available or furnished to such member.

(f) Each representative of a municipal electric energy cooperative shall hold office for the term for which he was appointed and until his successor has been appointed and has qualified. A representative of a municipal electric energy cooperative may be removed only by the cooperative utility board for inefficiency or neglect of duty or misconduct in office and after he shall have been given a copy of the charges against him and, not sooner than ten days thereafter, had opportunity in person or by counsel to be heard thereon by such governing body. A member municipal electric utility may remove one or more of [its] the representatives that it appointed with or without cause at any time. The legislative body of a municipality may remove the representative that it appointed with or without cause at any time.

(g) A municipal electric energy cooperative may adopt, on a prospective basis, methods of voting for all or specifically designated matters. Any such methods shall be specified in the bylaws of a municipal electric energy cooperative or in an amendment to such bylaws unanimously adopted by the members of the municipal electric energy cooperative. A municipal electric energy cooperative may distinguish the voting rights of its members based on whether a member is a full requirements customer or a partial requirements customer of the municipal electric energy cooperative or based on the term of the contractual obligations for power and transmission supply each member incurs with respect to the municipal electric energy cooperative, provided any such distinctions shall treat similarly situated members in a comparable and nondiscriminatory manner. For purposes of this subsection, "full requirements customer" means a wholesale purchaser of electric power or transmission services whose electric energy supplier is the sole source of long-term firm power, and "partial requirements customer" means a wholesale purchaser of electric power or transmission services that directly owns or operates generating or transmission assets that are insufficient to carry all of such purchaser's electric load and whose electric energy supplier is a supplemental source of long-term firm power.

(h) A municipal electric energy cooperative shall cause a forensic examination conducted by a certified forensic auditor which shall include a review of the revenue and expenditures of a municipal electric energy cooperative for the preceding five years. The auditor shall submit (1) a report that includes an opinion regarding the financial statements and a management letter, and (2) a report that includes an opinion on conformance of the operating procedures of the municipal electric energy cooperative with the provisions of chapter 101a and the bylaws of the municipal electric energy cooperative, and any recommendations for any corrective actions needed to ensure such conformance. The municipal electric energy cooperative shall post on its Internet web site and provide to participants such reports not later than seven days after such reports are received by the municipal electric energy cooperative. Each participant shall post on its Internet web site and provide to the municipality in which it operates such reports not later than five days after such reports are received from the municipal electric energy cooperative. Each such municipality shall post on its Internet web site such reports not later than five days after such reports are received from the participant.

(i) A municipal electric energy cooperative shall annually provide the following, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy: (1) A list of the current members and officers of the cooperative utility board described in subsection (d) of this section; (2) a copy of the most recent annual report of the municipal electric energy cooperative; (3) a copy of the most recent audited financial statements, management letter and reports of the municipal electric energy cooperative that are required under subsection (h) of this section; (4) a copy of any conflicts of interest policy of the municipal electric energy cooperative; (5) a copy of the municipal electric energy cooperative's most recently filed Internal Revenue Service form 990, including all parts and schedules that are required to be made available for public inspection under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as amended from time to time; (6) a copy of the bylaws of the municipal electric energy cooperative; and (7) as to any employee of the municipal electric energy cooperative, a report listing the position of each employee and the amount of the salary, wages and fringe benefit expenses paid to each such employee.

(j) If a municipal electric energy cooperative holds a strategic retreat or similar activity, it shall hold such retreat or activity in the state. The cooperative utility board shall approve, at a meeting, such retreat or activity, including the location, the purpose, planned attendees, any entertainment and any gifts of value. Such retreat or activity shall include meetings to conduct business and the municipal electric energy cooperative shall provide to the cooperative utility board, not later than five days after such retreat or activity, an agenda, a list of attendees and the meeting minutes. Such retreat or activity shall not include any entertainment or gifts of value other than that approved by the cooperative utility board.

Sec. 2. Section 7-233p of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

If the members of a municipal electric energy cooperative and the legislative bodies of the municipalities are not paying compensation to [their] the representatives they each appointed pursuant to subsection (a) of section 7-233c, as amended by this act, such municipal electric energy cooperative may reimburse its representatives for necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of their duties and pay such reasonable, uniformly applicable compensation to such representatives for their service on the board of such municipal electric energy cooperative as provided in this section. The concurrent resolutions creating a municipal electric energy cooperative may provide that the representatives of the municipal electric energy cooperative may receive annual compensation for their services within limitations to be stated in such concurrent resolutions and in that event, each representative may receive from the municipal electric energy cooperative such compensation for his services as the municipal electric energy cooperative may determine within the limitations stated in such concurrent resolutions. Said provisions or limitations stated in any such resolutions may be amended by subsequent concurrent resolutions, but no reduction of any such limitation shall be effective as to any representative of the municipal electric energy cooperative then in office except upon the written consent of such representative.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate to act as an independent advocate for consumer interests in all matters which may affect municipal electric energy cooperative consumers, including, but not limited to, electric rates. Costs related to the Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate, including, but not limited to, hourly fees and necessary expenses, shall be paid for by all municipal electric energy cooperatives. The annual amount of such costs shall not exceed seventy thousand dollars for the first year and fifty thousand dollars for each year thereafter, unless there is a demonstration of substantial need made by the Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate and approved by the cooperative utility boards of all municipal electric energy cooperatives.

(b) The Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate may appear and participate in municipal electric energy cooperative matters or any other federal or state regulatory or judicial proceeding in which consumers of any municipal electric energy cooperative may be involved. The Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate, in carrying out his or her duties, shall: (1) Have access to the records of a municipal electric energy cooperative, (2) have the right to make a reasonable number of copies of a municipal electric energy cooperative's records, (3) be entitled to call upon the assistance of a municipal electric energy cooperative's technical and legal experts, and (4) have the benefit of all other information of a municipal electric energy cooperative, except for employment records and other internal documents that are not relevant to the duties of the Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate.

(c) (1) The Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate shall be a member of the bar of this state and shall have private legal experience in public utility law and policy, but shall not be a member of a municipal electric energy cooperative's cooperative utility board or a person who has or may have conflicts of interest, as defined by the Rules of Professional Conduct, in representing the municipal electric energy cooperative's consumers as a class. (2) Prior to November 1, 2017, and prior to November first in each odd-numbered year thereafter, the Consumer Counsel, appointed pursuant to section 16-2a of the general statutes, shall select the Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate to serve for a two-year term commencing on the following first day of January. The Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate may be terminated by the Consumer Counsel prior to the completion of a two-year term only for misconduct, material neglect of duty or incompetence. (3) The Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate shall be independent of any municipal electric energy cooperative's cooperative utility board and may not be removed by a municipal electric energy cooperative's cooperative utility board for any reason. A municipal electric energy cooperative's cooperative utility board shall not direct or oversee the activities of the Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate. A municipal electric energy cooperative's cooperative utility board shall cooperate with reasonable requests of the Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate to enable the Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate to effectively perform his or her duties and functions.

(d) (1) The Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate shall prepare reports of his or her activities regarding each municipal electric energy cooperative and submit such reports regarding a municipal electric energy cooperative at the end of each calendar quarter to such municipal electric energy cooperative, the chief elected official of each municipality in which a participant of such municipal electric energy cooperative operates and to the Consumer Counsel. Each municipal electric energy cooperative and the Consumer Counsel shall post such quarterly reports on their respective Internet web sites. (2) The Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate shall hold an annual public forum on the second Wednesday of October each year at a location where a municipal electric energy cooperative holds hearings for the purpose of describing the recent activities of the Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate and receiving feedback from consumers. A municipal electric energy cooperative shall publicize the public forum through an announcement at the preceding scheduled meeting of such municipal electric energy cooperative, on its Internet web site and in a notice on or attached to its consumer bills. The Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate may hold additional public forums as he or she deems necessary.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any interested person, including, but not limited to, any individual consumer or group of consumers, from participating in any municipal electric energy cooperative meeting or hearing on their own behalf or through counsel.

(f) Any municipal electric energy cooperative shall promptly adopt any changes to its rules, regulations or other governing documents necessary to carry out the requirements of this section. "

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2017

7-233c

Sec. 2

October 1, 2017

7-233p

Sec. 3

from passage

New section

The chair ordered the vote be taken by roll call on the bill as amended.

The following is the result of the vote at 3: 05 p. m. :

Total Number Voting 36

Necessary for Adoption 19

Those voting Yea 36

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 0

On the roll call vote, the bill as amended by Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 8137) passed.

The following is the roll call vote:

 

Y

 

1

JOHN W. FONFARA

 

Y

 

19

CATHERINE A. OSTEN

 

Y

 

2

DOUGLAS MCCRORY

 

Y

 

20

PAUL M. FORMICA

 

Y

 

3

TIM LARSON

 

Y

 

21

KEVIN KELLY

 

Y

 

4

STEVE CASSANO

 

Y

 

22

MARILYN MOORE

 

Y

 

5

BETH BYE

 

Y

 

23

EDWIN A. GOMES

 

Y

 

6

TERRY B. GERRATANA

 

Y

 

24

MICHAEL A. MCLACHLAN

 

Y

 

7

JOHN A. KISSEL

 

Y

 

25

BOB DUFF

 

Y

 

8

KEVIN D. WITKOS

 

Y

 

26

TONI BOUCHER

 

Y

 

9

PAUL DOYLE

 

Y

 

27

CARLO LEONE

 

Y

 

10

GARY WINFIELD

 

Y

 

28

TONY HWANG

 

Y

 

11

MARTIN M. LOONEY

 

Y

 

29

MAE M. FLEXER

 

Y

 

12

TED KENNEDY

 

Y

 

30

CRAIG MINER

 

Y

 

13

LEN SUZIO

 

Y

 

31

HENRI MARTIN

 

Y

 

14

GAYLE SLOSSBERG

 

Y

 

32

ERIC BERTHEL

 

Y

 

15

JOAN V. HARTLEY

 

Y

 

33

ART LINARES

 

Y

 

16

JOE MARKLEY

 

Y

 

34

LEONARD FASANO

 

Y

 

17

GEORGE LOGAN

 

Y

 

35

ANTHONY GUGLIELMO

 

Y

 

18

HEATHER SOMERS

 

Y

 

36

L. SCOTT FRANTZ

BUSINESS ON THE CALENDAR

FAVORABLE REPORT OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE

SENATE AMENDMENT PREVIOUSLY ADOPTED

SENATE AMENDMENT PREVIOUSLY DESIGNATED

BILL PREVIOUSLY MARKED PASSED TEMPORARILY

SENATE AMENDMENT ADOPTED

BILL PASSED

The following favorable report was taken from the table, read the third time, the report of the Committee accepted and the bill passed.

FINANCE, REVENUE AND BONDING. S. B. No. 623 (COMM) (File No. 737) AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE 7/7 PROGRAM TO ENCOURAGE THE REDEVELOPMENT OF BROWNFIELDS AND UNDERUTILIZED PROPERTY. (As amended by Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 7668))

Remarking was Senator Fasano of the 34th.

On a voice vote, the amendment previously designated Senate Amendment Schedule "C" (LCO 8121) was adopted.

The following is the Amendment:

After line 147, insert the following:

"(i) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (e) to (h), inclusive, of this section, a 7/7 participant may receive the benefits provided under said subsections only when the most recent submission by both the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and the director of the Office of Fiscal Analysis pursuant to subsection (b) of section 2-36b of the general statutes projects a surplus for the current biennium. "

In line 148, strike "(i)" and insert "(j)" in lieu thereof

The chair ordered the vote be taken by roll call on the bill as amended.

The following is the result of the vote at 3: 13 p. m. :

Total Number Voting 36

Necessary for Adoption 19

Those voting Yea 36

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 0

On the roll call vote, the bill as amended by Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 7668) and “C” (LCO 8121) passed.

The following is the roll call vote:

 

Y

 

1

JOHN W. FONFARA

 

Y

 

19

CATHERINE A. OSTEN

 

Y

 

2

DOUGLAS MCCRORY

 

Y

 

20

PAUL M. FORMICA

 

Y

 

3

TIM LARSON

 

Y

 

21

KEVIN KELLY

 

Y

 

4

STEVE CASSANO

 

Y

 

22

MARILYN MOORE

 

Y

 

5

BETH BYE

 

Y

 

23

EDWIN A. GOMES

 

Y

 

6

TERRY B. GERRATANA

 

Y

 

24

MICHAEL A. MCLACHLAN

 

Y

 

7

JOHN A. KISSEL

 

Y

 

25

BOB DUFF

 

Y

 

8

KEVIN D. WITKOS

 

Y

 

26

TONI BOUCHER

 

Y

 

9

PAUL DOYLE

 

Y

 

27

CARLO LEONE

 

Y

 

10

GARY WINFIELD

 

Y

 

28

TONY HWANG

 

Y

 

11

MARTIN M. LOONEY

 

Y

 

29

MAE M. FLEXER

 

Y

 

12

TED KENNEDY

 

Y

 

30

CRAIG MINER

 

Y

 

13

LEN SUZIO

 

Y

 

31

HENRI MARTIN

 

Y

 

14

GAYLE SLOSSBERG

 

Y

 

32

ERIC BERTHEL

 

Y

 

15

JOAN V. HARTLEY

 

Y

 

33

ART LINARES

 

Y

 

16

JOE MARKLEY

 

Y

 

34

LEONARD FASANO

 

Y

 

17

GEORGE LOGAN

 

Y

 

35

ANTHONY GUGLIELMO

 

Y

 

18

HEATHER SOMERS

 

Y

 

36

L. SCOTT FRANTZ

CONSENT CALENDAR NO. 1

ADOPTED

The chair ordered the vote on business placed on Consent Calendar No. 1 be taken by roll call.

The following is the result of the vote at 3: 16 p. m. :

Total Number Voting 36

Necessary for Adoption 19

Those voting Yea 36

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 0

On the roll call vote, Consent Calendar No. 1 was adopted.

The following is the roll call vote:

 

Y

 

1

JOHN W. FONFARA

 

Y

 

19

CATHERINE A. OSTEN

 

Y

 

2

DOUGLAS MCCRORY

 

Y

 

20

PAUL M. FORMICA

 

Y

 

3

TIM LARSON

 

Y

 

21

KEVIN KELLY

 

Y

 

4

STEVE CASSANO

 

Y

 

22

MARILYN MOORE

 

Y

 

5

BETH BYE

 

Y

 

23

EDWIN A. GOMES

 

Y

 

6

TERRY B. GERRATANA

 

Y

 

24

MICHAEL A. MCLACHLAN

 

Y

 

7

JOHN A. KISSEL

 

Y

 

25

BOB DUFF

 

Y

 

8

KEVIN D. WITKOS

 

Y

 

26

TONI BOUCHER

 

Y

 

9

PAUL DOYLE

 

Y

 

27

CARLO LEONE

 

Y

 

10

GARY WINFIELD

 

Y

 

28

TONY HWANG

 

Y

 

11

MARTIN M. LOONEY

 

Y

 

29

MAE M. FLEXER

 

Y

 

12

TED KENNEDY

 

Y

 

30

CRAIG MINER

 

Y

 

13

LEN SUZIO

 

Y

 

31

HENRI MARTIN

 

Y

 

14

GAYLE SLOSSBERG

 

Y

 

32

ERIC BERTHEL

 

Y

 

15

JOAN V. HARTLEY

 

Y

 

33

ART LINARES

 

Y

 

16

JOE MARKLEY

 

Y

 

34

LEONARD FASANO

 

Y

 

17

GEORGE LOGAN

 

Y

 

35

ANTHONY GUGLIELMO

 

Y

 

18

HEATHER SOMERS

 

Y

 

36

L. SCOTT FRANTZ

BUSINESS ON THE CALENDAR

FAVORABLE REPORT OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE

BILL PASSED

The following favorable report was taken from the table, read the third time, the report of the Committee accepted and the bill passed.

GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION AND ELECTIONS. S. B. No. 985 (RAISED) (File No. 618) AN ACT CONCERNING CONFLICTS OF INTEREST DUE TO AN EMPLOYER OTHER THAN THE STATE UNDER THE STATE CODE OF ETHICS.

Senator Flexer of the 29th explained the bill and moved passage.

Remarking were Senators McLachlan of the 24th, Miner of the 30th and Bye of the 5th.

The chair ordered the vote be taken by roll call.

The following is the result of the vote at 3: 35 p. m. :

Total Number Voting 35

Necessary for Adoption 18

Those voting Yea 35

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 1

On the roll call vote, the bill passed.

The following is the roll call vote:

 

Y

 

1

JOHN W. FONFARA

 

Y

 

19

CATHERINE A. OSTEN

 

Y

 

2

DOUGLAS MCCRORY

 

Y

 

20

PAUL M. FORMICA

 

Y

 

3

TIM LARSON

A

   

21

KEVIN KELLY

 

Y

 

4

STEVE CASSANO

 

Y

 

22

MARILYN MOORE

 

Y

 

5

BETH BYE

 

Y

 

23

EDWIN A. GOMES

 

Y

 

6

TERRY B. GERRATANA

 

Y

 

24

MICHAEL A. MCLACHLAN

 

Y

 

7

JOHN A. KISSEL

 

Y

 

25

BOB DUFF

 

Y

 

8

KEVIN D. WITKOS

 

Y

 

26

TONI BOUCHER

 

Y

 

9

PAUL DOYLE

 

Y

 

27

CARLO LEONE

 

Y

 

10

GARY WINFIELD

 

Y

 

28

TONY HWANG

 

Y

 

11

MARTIN M. LOONEY

 

Y

 

29

MAE M. FLEXER

 

Y

 

12

TED KENNEDY

 

Y

 

30

CRAIG MINER

 

Y

 

13

LEN SUZIO

 

Y

 

31

HENRI MARTIN

 

Y

 

14

GAYLE SLOSSBERG

 

Y

 

32

ERIC BERTHEL

 

Y

 

15

JOAN V. HARTLEY

 

Y

 

33

ART LINARES

 

Y

 

16

JOE MARKLEY

 

Y

 

34

LEONARD FASANO

 

Y

 

17

GEORGE LOGAN

 

Y

 

35

ANTHONY GUGLIELMO

 

Y

 

18

HEATHER SOMERS

 

Y

 

36

L. SCOTT FRANTZ

ENERGY AND TECHNOLOGY. S. B. No. 413 (COMM) (File No. 470) AN ACT MAKING MUNICIPAL UTILITY COMPANIES' BOOKS AND FINANCIALS SUBJECT TO DISCLOSURE UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT AND CONCERNING MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC UTILITIES AND RATE DESIGN STUDIES.

Senator Formica of the 20th explained the bill and moved passage.

Senator Fasano of the 34th offered Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 8061) and moved adoption.

Senator Fasano of the 34th withdrew Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 8061).

Senator Fasano of the 34th offered Senate Amendment Schedule “B” (LCO 8175) and moved adoption.

On a voice vote, Senate Amendment Schedule "B" (LCO 8175) was adopted.

The following is the Amendment:

After the last section, add the following and renumber sections and internal references accordingly:

"Sec. 501. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2017) When a municipal electric energy cooperative provides services to or acts as an agent for a municipal electric utility, such municipal electric energy cooperative shall (1) maintain detailed and accurate accounting of the actual expenses incurred that is consistent with the uniform system of accounts prescribed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 18 CFR 101, as amended from time to time, (2) determine municipal electric energy cooperative employee labor expenses using detailed employee time records and actual employee compensation if expenses include such employee labor, (3) not charge more than the actual expenses incurred to provide a service or act as an agent, (4) allocate expenses in an equitable manner among member and nonmember municipal electric utilities, (5) not charge more than once for any service or action as an agent, (6) upon request by a participant, provide copies of (A) information supporting charges for services or action as an agent rendered, including complete copies of all budgets and underlying budget details, (B) general ledger entries showing actual expenses incurred and the accounts and subaccounts to which such expenses were charged, and (C) detailed information on the expenses that were capitalized and the expenses that were deferred and amortized, (7) provide documents detailing which expenses were allocated to the services provided, the basis for the allocation of such expenses to such service and the basis for determining each participant's share of such expenses, (8) after the completion of such municipal electric energy cooperative's annual audit, adjust municipal electric utility invoices to true up the charges imposed for any services or action as an agent for the difference between the estimated expenses and the actual expenses of such services or action, (9) if the expenses charged to a participant include expenses for working capital, debt service coverage or required reserves, unless otherwise agreed to by such participant, refund charges to such participant that exceed the levels required, and (10) if requested by a participant to determine if the charges imposed are equitably allocated and are equal to the actual expenses incurred to provide any service or action as an agent, provide audited financial records. "

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Sec. 501

October 1, 2017

New section

Senator Fasano of the 34th offered Senate Amendment Schedule “C” (LCO 8178) and moved adoption.

On a voice vote, Senate Amendment Schedule "C" (LCO 8178) was adopted.

The following is the Amendment:

Change the effective date of section 2 to "Effective from passage"

In line 45, strike "or electric vehicle time of day rate"

In line 47, strike "or electric vehicle time"

In line 48, strike "of day rate"

Remarking was Senator Bye of the 5th.

The chair ordered the vote be taken by roll call on the bill as amended.

The following is the result of the vote at 3: 46 p. m. :

Total Number Voting 34

Necessary for Adoption 18

Those voting Yea 34

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 2

On the roll call vote, the bill as amended by Senate Amendments Schedules “B” (LCO 8175) and “C” (LCO 8178) was passed.

The following is the roll call vote:

 

Y

 

1

JOHN W. FONFARA

 

Y

 

19

CATHERINE A. OSTEN

A

   

2

DOUGLAS MCCRORY

 

Y

 

20

PAUL M. FORMICA

 

Y

 

3

TIM LARSON

A

   

21

KEVIN KELLY

 

Y

 

4

STEVE CASSANO

 

Y

 

22

MARILYN MOORE

 

Y

 

5

BETH BYE

 

Y

 

23

EDWIN A. GOMES

 

Y

 

6

TERRY B. GERRATANA

 

Y

 

24

MICHAEL A. MCLACHLAN

 

Y

 

7

JOHN A. KISSEL

 

Y

 

25

BOB DUFF

 

Y

 

8

KEVIN D. WITKOS

 

Y

 

26

TONI BOUCHER

 

Y

 

9

PAUL DOYLE

 

Y

 

27

CARLO LEONE

 

Y

 

10

GARY WINFIELD

 

Y

 

28

TONY HWANG

 

Y

 

11

MARTIN M. LOONEY

 

Y

 

29

MAE M. FLEXER

 

Y

 

12

TED KENNEDY

 

Y

 

30

CRAIG MINER

 

Y

 

13

LEN SUZIO

 

Y

 

31

HENRI MARTIN

 

Y

 

14

GAYLE SLOSSBERG

 

Y

 

32

ERIC BERTHEL

 

Y

 

15

JOAN V. HARTLEY

 

Y

 

33

ART LINARES

 

Y

 

16

JOE MARKLEY

 

Y

 

34

LEONARD FASANO

 

Y

 

17

GEORGE LOGAN

 

Y

 

35

ANTHONY GUGLIELMO

 

Y

 

18

HEATHER SOMERS

 

Y

 

36

L. SCOTT FRANTZ

FINANCE, REVENUE AND BONDING. Substitute for S. B. No. 734 (COMM) (File No. 744) AN ACT ESTABLISHING A TAX DEDUCTION FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO A CITIZENS IN NEED ACCOUNT.

Senator Frantz of the 36th explained the bill and moved passage.

Senator Suzio of the 13th offered Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 8108) and moved adoption.

Remarking were Senators Fasano of the 34th, Witkos of the 8th, Cassano of the 4th, Gerratana of the 6th, Miner of the 30th, Fonfara of the 1st and Boucher of the 26th.

The chair ordered the vote be taken by roll call on Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 8108).

The following is the result of the vote at 5: 03 p. m. :

Total Number Voting 35

Necessary for Adoption 18

Those voting Yea 17

Those voting Nay 18

Those absent and not voting 1

On the roll call vote, Senate Amendment Schedule “A” (LCO 8108) failed.

The following is the roll call vote:

   

N

1

JOHN W. FONFARA

   

N

19

CATHERINE A. OSTEN

   

N

2

DOUGLAS MCCRORY

 

Y

 

20

PAUL M. FORMICA

   

N

3

TIM LARSON

A

   

21

KEVIN KELLY

   

N

4

STEVE CASSANO

   

N

22

MARILYN MOORE

   

N

5

BETH BYE

   

N

23

EDWIN A. GOMES

   

N

6

TERRY B. GERRATANA

 

Y

 

24

MICHAEL A. MCLACHLAN

 

Y

 

7

JOHN A. KISSEL

   

N

25

BOB DUFF

 

Y

 

8

KEVIN D. WITKOS

 

Y

 

26

TONI BOUCHER

   

N

9

PAUL DOYLE

   

N

27

CARLO LEONE

   

N

10

GARY WINFIELD

 

Y

 

28

TONY HWANG

   

N

11

MARTIN M. LOONEY

   

N

29

MAE M. FLEXER

   

N

12

TED KENNEDY

 

Y

 

30

CRAIG MINER

 

Y

 

13

LEN SUZIO

 

Y

 

31

HENRI MARTIN

   

N

14

GAYLE SLOSSBERG

 

Y

 

32

ERIC BERTHEL

   

N

15

JOAN V. HARTLEY

 

Y

 

33

ART LINARES

 

Y

 

16

JOE MARKLEY

 

Y

 

34

LEONARD FASANO

 

Y

 

17

GEORGE LOGAN

 

Y

 

35

ANTHONY GUGLIELMO

 

Y

 

18

HEATHER SOMERS

 

Y

 

36

L. SCOTT FRANTZ

The following is the Amendment:

Strike section 1 in its entirety and insert the following in lieu thereof:

"Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2017, and applicable to taxable years commencing on or after January 1, 2017) (a) (1) There is established an account to be known as the "citizens in need account" which shall be a separate, nonlapsing account within the General Fund. The account shall contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the account.

(2) Moneys in the account shall be expended by the Comptroller, in consultation with the Commissioner of Social Services, to assist residents who reside in Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford, Waterbury, Norwalk, Danbury, New Britain, Hamden, Bristol or Meriden and who receive benefits from social services programs administered by the Department of Social Services. Such moneys shall not be used for administrative purposes.

(b) Any taxpayer may make a charitable contribution to the citizens in need account and such taxpayer shall be allowed a deduction from any adjusted gross income, as defined in section 12-701 of the general statutes, that is subject to the tax imposed under chapter 229 of the general statutes, at the rate of two hundred per cent of the amount of such contribution.

(c) The Commissioner of Social Services may adopt regulations, in consultation with the Comptroller and in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to establish (1) standards or criteria for determining what social services programs and which residents are eligible to receive moneys from the account and how disbursements from the account will be made, (2) methods to determine the amounts of and a schedule for making such disbursements, and (3) any other regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this section. "

Senator Fonfara of the 1st offered Senate Amendment Schedule “B” (LCO 7542) and moved adoption.

Remarking were Senators Frantz of the 34th and Suzio of the 13th.

The chair ordered the vote be taken by roll call on Senate Amendment Schedule “B” (LCO 7542).

(Vote)

On a voice vote, Senate Amendment Schedule “B” (LCO 7542) was adopted.

The following is the Amendment:

Strike everything after the enacting clause and substitute the following in lieu thereof:

"Section 1. (Effective from passage) (a) The joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to finance, revenue and bonding shall study, in consultation with the Commissioner of Revenue Services, all existing deductions against the state personal income tax. Such study shall include, but need not be limited to, analyses of how such deductions affect taxpayer behavior, which deductions are established at the most effective rate and which deductions are utilized by the largest proportional percentage of taxpayers.

(b) Not later than December 31, 2018, said committee shall submit a report on its findings, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the Governor and the General Assembly. "

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

New section

Remarking were Senators Frantz of the 36th and Suzio of the 13th.

Senator Suzio of the 13th offered Senate Amendment Schedule “C” (LCO 8181).

Senator Suzio of the 13th withdrew Senate Amendment Schedule “C” (LCO 8181).

The chair ordered the vote be taken by roll call on the bill as amended.

The following is the result of the vote at 5: 19 p. m. :

Total Number Voting 35

Necessary for Adoption 18

Those voting Yea 31

Those voting Nay 4

Those absent and not voting 1

On the roll call vote, the bill as amended by Senate Amendment Schedule “B” (LCO 7542) passed.

The following is the roll call vote:

 

Y

 

1

JOHN W. FONFARA

 

Y

 

19

CATHERINE A. OSTEN

 

Y

 

2

DOUGLAS MCCRORY

 

Y

 

20

PAUL M. FORMICA

 

Y

 

3

TIM LARSON

A

   

21

KEVIN KELLY

 

Y

 

4

STEVE CASSANO

   

N

22

MARILYN MOORE

   

N

5

BETH BYE

 

Y

 

23

EDWIN A. GOMES

 

Y

 

6

TERRY B. GERRATANA

 

Y

 

24

MICHAEL A. MCLACHLAN

 

Y

 

7

JOHN A. KISSEL

 

Y

 

25

BOB DUFF

 

Y

 

8

KEVIN D. WITKOS

 

Y

 

26

TONI BOUCHER

 

Y

 

9

PAUL DOYLE

 

Y

 

27

CARLO LEONE

 

Y

 

10

GARY WINFIELD

 

Y

 

28

TONY HWANG

 

Y

 

11

MARTIN M. LOONEY

   

N

29

MAE M. FLEXER

 

Y

 

12

TED KENNEDY

 

Y

 

30

CRAIG MINER

 

Y

 

13

LEN SUZIO

 

Y

 

31

HENRI MARTIN

   

N

14

GAYLE SLOSSBERG

 

Y

 

32

ERIC BERTHEL

 

Y

 

15

JOAN V. HARTLEY

 

Y

 

33

ART LINARES

 

Y

 

16

JOE MARKLEY

 

Y

 

34

LEONARD FASANO

 

Y

 

17

GEORGE LOGAN

 

Y

 

35

ANTHONY GUGLIELMO

 

Y

 

18

HEATHER SOMERS

 

Y

 

36

L. SCOTT FRANTZ

BUSINESS ON THE CALENDAR

FAVORABLE REPORT OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE

BILL PLACED ON CONSENT CALENDAR NO. 2

The following bill was taken from the table, read the third time, the report of the Committee accepted and the bill placed on Consent Calendar No. 2.

PUBLIC HEALTH. Substitute for S. B. No. 941 (RAISED) (File No. 616) AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH'S RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING REVISIONS TO LOCAL EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES PLANS.

Senator Gerratana of the 6th explained the bill and moved passage.

Remarking was Senator Somers of the 18th.

On the motion of Senator Gerratana of the 6th, the bill was placed on Consent Calendar No. 2.

BUSINESS ON THE CALENDAR

FAVORABLE REPORT OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE

BILL PASSED

The following favorable report was taken from the table, read the third time, the report of the Committee accepted and the bill passed.

ENERGY AND TECHNOLOGY. Substitute for H. B. No. 7106 (RAISED) (File Nos. 455 and 770) AN ACT CONCERNING AUDIT REPORTS FILED WITH THE PUBLIC UTILITIES REGULATORY AUTHORITY. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

Senator Formica of the 20th explained the bill and moved passage.

The chair ordered the vote be taken by roll call.

The following is the result of the vote at 5: 27 p. m. :

Total Number Voting 34

Necessary for Adoption 18

Those voting Yea 33

Those voting Nay 1

Those absent and not voting 2

On the roll call vote the bill passed, in concurrence with the House.

The following is the roll call vote:

 

Y

 

1

JOHN W. FONFARA

 

Y

 

19

CATHERINE A. OSTEN

A

   

2

DOUGLAS MCCRORY

 

Y

 

20

PAUL M. FORMICA

 

Y

 

3

TIM LARSON

A

   

21

KEVIN KELLY

 

Y

 

4

STEVE CASSANO

 

Y

 

22

MARILYN MOORE

 

Y

 

5

BETH BYE

 

Y

 

23

EDWIN A. GOMES

 

Y

 

6

TERRY B. GERRATANA

 

Y

 

24

MICHAEL A. MCLACHLAN

 

Y

 

7

JOHN A. KISSEL

 

Y

 

25

BOB DUFF

 

Y

 

8

KEVIN D. WITKOS

 

Y

 

26

TONI BOUCHER

 

Y

 

9

PAUL DOYLE

 

Y

 

27

CARLO LEONE

 

Y

 

10

GARY WINFIELD

 

Y

 

28

TONY HWANG

 

Y

 

11

MARTIN M. LOONEY

   

N

29

MAE M. FLEXER

 

Y

 

12

TED KENNEDY

 

Y

 

30

CRAIG MINER

 

Y

 

13

LEN SUZIO

 

Y

 

31

HENRI MARTIN

 

Y

 

14

GAYLE SLOSSBERG

 

Y

 

32

ERIC BERTHEL

 

Y

 

15

JOAN V. HARTLEY

 

Y

 

33

ART LINARES

 

Y

 

16

JOE MARKLEY

 

Y

 

34

LEONARD FASANO

 

Y

 

17

GEORGE LOGAN

 

Y

 

35

ANTHONY GUGLIELMO

 

Y

 

18

HEATHER SOMERS

 

Y

 

36

L. SCOTT FRANTZ

JUDICIARY. H. B. No. 7250 (RAISED) (File No. 637) AN ACT CONCERNING DESECRATION OF AN ABANDONED CEMETERY.

Senator Doyle of the 9th explained the bill and moved passage.

Remarking were Senators Kissel of the 7th, Miner of the 30th and Leone of the 27th.

The chair ordered the vote be taken by roll call.

The following is the result of the vote at 5: 37 p. m. :

Total Number Voting 35

Necessary for Adoption 18

Those voting Yea 32

Those voting Nay 3

Those absent and not voting 1

On the roll call vote the bill passed, in concurrence with the House.

The following is the roll call vote:

 

Y

 

1

JOHN W. FONFARA

 

Y

 

19

CATHERINE A. OSTEN

 

Y

 

2

DOUGLAS MCCRORY

 

Y

 

20

PAUL M. FORMICA

 

Y

 

3

TIM LARSON

A

   

21

KEVIN KELLY

 

Y

 

4

STEVE CASSANO

 

Y

 

22

MARILYN MOORE

 

Y

 

5

BETH BYE

 

Y

 

23

EDWIN A. GOMES

 

Y

 

6

TERRY B. GERRATANA

 

Y

 

24

MICHAEL A. MCLACHLAN

 

Y

 

7

JOHN A. KISSEL

 

Y

 

25

BOB DUFF

 

Y

 

8

KEVIN D. WITKOS

 

Y

 

26

TONI BOUCHER

 

Y

 

9

PAUL DOYLE

   

N

27

CARLO LEONE

 

Y

 

10

GARY WINFIELD

 

Y

 

28

TONY HWANG

 

Y

 

11

MARTIN M. LOONEY

   

N

29

MAE M. FLEXER

 

Y

 

12

TED KENNEDY

   

N

30

CRAIG MINER

 

Y

 

13

LEN SUZIO

 

Y

 

31

HENRI MARTIN

 

Y

 

14

GAYLE SLOSSBERG

 

Y

 

32

ERIC BERTHEL

 

Y

 

15

JOAN V. HARTLEY

 

Y

 

33

ART LINARES

 

Y

 

16

JOE MARKLEY

 

Y

 

34

LEONARD FASANO

 

Y

 

17

GEORGE LOGAN

 

Y

 

35

ANTHONY GUGLIELMO

 

Y

 

18

HEATHER SOMERS

 

Y

 

36

L. SCOTT FRANTZ

BUSINESS ON THE CALENDAR

FAVORABLE REPORTS OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEES

BILLS PLACED ON CONSENT CALENDAR NO. 2

On the motion of Senator Duff of the 25th, the following bills which were starred for action were placed on Consent Calendar No. 2 in accordance with Senate Rule 31.

PUBLIC HEALTH. H. B. No. 6979 (RAISED) (File Nos. 5 and 683) AN ACT CONCERNING THE ACCREDITATION OF DENTAL ASSISTANT PROGRAMS. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A"). In concurrence with the House.

JUDICIARY. Substitute for H. B. No. 7196 (RAISED) (File No. 657) AN ACT CONCERNING NONADVERSARIAL DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE. In concurrence with the House.

GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION AND ELECTIONS. H. B. No. 7173 (RAISED) (File No. 394) AN ACT CONCERNING THE APPOINTMENT OF ASSISTANT REGISTRARS OF VITAL STATISTICS. In concurrence with the House.

JUDICIARY. Substitute for H. B. No. 7245 (RAISED) (File Nos. 636 and 790) AN ACT CONCERNING THE REVISOR'S TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS TO THE GENERAL STATUTES. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A"). In concurrence with the House.

CONSENT CALENDAR NO. 2

ADOPTED

The chair ordered the vote on business placed on Consent Calendar No. 2 be taken by roll call.

The following is the result of the vote at 5: 40 p. m. :

Total Number Voting 35

Necessary for Adoption 18

Those voting Yea 35

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 1

On the roll call vote, Consent Calendar No. 2 was adopted.

The following is the roll call vote:

 

Y

 

1

JOHN W. FONFARA

 

Y

 

19

CATHERINE A. OSTEN

 

Y

 

2

DOUGLAS MCCRORY

 

Y

 

20

PAUL M. FORMICA

 

Y

 

3

TIM LARSON

A

   

21

KEVIN KELLY

 

Y

 

4

STEVE CASSANO

 

Y

 

22

MARILYN MOORE

 

Y

 

5

BETH BYE

 

Y

 

23

EDWIN A. GOMES

 

Y

 

6

TERRY B. GERRATANA

 

Y

 

24

MICHAEL A. MCLACHLAN

 

Y

 

7

JOHN A. KISSEL

 

Y

 

25

BOB DUFF

 

Y

 

8

KEVIN D. WITKOS

 

Y

 

26

TONI BOUCHER

 

Y

 

9

PAUL DOYLE

 

Y

 

27

CARLO LEONE

 

Y

 

10

GARY WINFIELD

 

Y

 

28

TONY HWANG

 

Y

 

11

MARTIN M. LOONEY

 

Y

 

29

MAE M. FLEXER

 

Y

 

12

TED KENNEDY

 

Y

 

30

CRAIG MINER

 

Y

 

13

LEN SUZIO

 

Y

 

31

HENRI MARTIN

 

Y

 

14

GAYLE SLOSSBERG

 

Y

 

32

ERIC BERTHEL

 

Y

 

15

JOAN V. HARTLEY

 

Y

 

33

ART LINARES

 

Y

 

16

JOE MARKLEY

 

Y

 

34

LEONARD FASANO

 

Y

 

17

GEORGE LOGAN

 

Y

 

35

ANTHONY GUGLIELMO

 

Y

 

18

HEATHER SOMERS

 

Y

 

36

L. SCOTT FRANTZ

ADJOURNMENT

On motion of Senator Duff of the 25th, the Senate at 5: 41 p. m. adjourned subject to the call of the chair.

BILLS SIGNED BY HIS EXCELLENCY,

THE GOVERNOR

The following bills were signed by His Excellency, the Governor, on the date indicated:

May 31, 2017

Substitute for S. B. No. 1032 (RAISED) (File No. 652) AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CONNECTICUT SENTENCING COMMISSION CONCERNING A TECHNICAL REORGANIZATION OF STATUTES INVOLVING THE ILLEGAL SALE OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES.

Public Act No. 17

S. B. No. 982 (RAISED) (File No. 650) AN ACT CONFIRMING AND ADOPTING VOLUMES 1 TO 13, INCLUSIVE, OF THE GENERAL STATUTES, REVISED TO 2017.

Public Act No. 16

Substitute for S. B. No. 946 (RAISED) (File No. 313) AN ACT CONCERNING THE LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS' RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TECHNICAL AND OTHER CHANGES TO THE INSURANCE AND RELATED STATUTES.

Public Act No. 15

S. B. No. 910 (RAISED) (File No. 527) AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.

Public Act No. 14

Substitute for S. B. No. 908 (RAISED) (File No. 305) AN ACT CONCERNING THE LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS' RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TECHNICAL REVISIONS TO THE STATUTES RELATING TO EDUCATION AND EARLY CHILDHOOD.

Public Act No. 13

Substitute for S. B. No. 888 (RAISED) (File No. 648) AN ACT CONCERNING LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE CAUSED BY A DOG ASSIGNED TO A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER.

Public Act No. 12

Substitute for S. B. No. 846 (RAISED) (File No. 207) AN ACT CONCERNING SECURITY OFFICER LICENSES.

Public Act No. 11

S. B. No. 842 (RAISED) (File No. 410) AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH'S RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS TAKEN AGAINST A LICENSED HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL.

Public Act No. 10

Substitute for S. B. No. 839 (RAISED) (File No. 274) AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES' RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING REVISIONS TO ITS STATUTES AND REFERENCES TO INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY.

Public Act No. 9

Substitute for H. B. No. 6520 (COMM) (File No. 173) AN ACT RAISING THE ASSET LIMITATION FOR COMMUNITY BANKS AND COMMUNITY CREDIT UNIONS.

Public Act No. 8

2017 STATE OF THE JUDICIARY ADDRESS

CHIEF JUSTICE CHASE T. ROGERS

MAY 31, 2017

Madam President, Mister Speaker, distinguished members of the House and Senate, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to provide this report to you regarding the State of the Judiciary.

It has been several years since I last had the honor of updating you on the Judicial Branch's current status. When I became Chief Justice a decade ago, we concentrated our efforts on providing meaningful access to justice – that is, improving the ability and ease of people to utilize the court system. For example, we enhanced the services that we provide to our limited English proficient individuals, and we established volunteer attorney programs to assist self-represented parties in navigating the court process.

While we continue to refine our efforts to improve access to justice, we have also focused the last five years on finding new ways to best conduct the business of the courts. Simply put, we must continue concentrating our resources on finding ways to not only provide meaningful access to justice but also to resolving cases in a manner that is cost-effective, timely and best serves the interest of justice. In this regard, I want to outline some of the bold changes we have made that will impact our court system for years to come. I should also note that the changes I will address are occurring despite the budgetary crisis that our state continues to face.

Let me assure you that we are keenly aware that the Judicial Branch needs to contribute its fair share to resolving our current fiscal situation. Having said that, however, I would be remiss in neglecting to mention some of the unavoidable downsizing that has occurred as a direct result of last year's cuts to the Branch when, despite being only 3 percent of the state's budget, the Branch ultimately sustained 9 percent of the overall statewide budget cuts.

As a result, we undertook the very painful task of terminating 300 valued employees, eliminating the 24-hour lockups in Hartford and New Haven, and closing both the Danbury Juvenile and Windham Judicial District courthouses. We also had to cut $28 million from programs that provided important treatment and supervision services to adult and juvenile offenders.

Additionally, the combination of terminations, attrition and a hiring freeze now puts us at 600 fewer staff than the 4,300 employees who were working one year ago. Needless to say, these numbers have created a substantial strain on our day-to-day operations.

To give you a sense of the scale of our operations, our trial level courts disposed of over 654,000 cases during FY16. As you know, our judges and staff deal directly on a daily basis with people who are facing some of life's biggest crises involving crime, addiction, financial issues, health problems, divorce and death. In spite of the large cuts we have sustained, we continue to manage this difficult caseload and provide essential services to the people who need our courts.

I must tell you, however, that if our strict hiring freeze remains in place, it will be necessary to close and consolidate a number of courthouses because we simply won't have enough employees to staff our facilities. This in turn will have a direct negative impact on the communities these courts serve. We will also need to continue reviewing everything we do in order to prioritize the services that we can provide to the public if the current financial trend continues. Against this financial backdrop, it is therefore very fortunate that five years ago we looked at the way we handle civil and family cases and subsequently added a restructuring component to our strategic plan.

Part of our review involved re-evaluating the use of the adversarial model, which has been a part of our institution for hundreds of years and will continue to be an appropriate model for certain cases. However, we need to provide litigants and the bar with different options for resolving disputes, and we also need to change some of our pretrial processes for cases that go to trial in order to remain relevant in the 21st century.

The Branch has concentrated on providing these other methods of resolving disputes because we realize that there may be less expensive and more effective ways to assist parties in reaching agreements.

This is especially important as we continue to see an influx of self-represented parties. Now, in approximately 80 percent of family cases, 25 percent of civil cases and 90 percent of housing cases, at least one of the parties is self-represented. Because of these numbers, it is imperative that we look beyond the traditional adversarial model to resolve cases that lend themselves to mediation and collaboration.

As you will see, in all types of cases – family, juvenile, criminal and civil – we are making changes to help achieve our mission of resolving matters in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Family Court

Family court has been an area of great interest to the Legislature, and we have devoted much time and energy to improving the services that we provide. One of our primary goals has been to change the focus within family court to the extent possible away from an adversarial model.

There can be no doubt that families benefit when parents work together to reach agreements as to what is best for their children. As such, we are making available to parties, free of charge, additional services conducted by court staff with expertise in family and custody matters. For example, our Family Services Unit has developed and implemented a statewide alternative dispute resolution program for matters with early indications of conflict regarding parenting. The focus of this Intensive Case Management Program is to provide parents with a structured process aimed at developing vital skills to move toward more lasting parenting agreements. This includes learning enhanced communication strategies, building better co-parenting relationships and resolving parenting concerns together. Additionally, our Family Services staff provides early intervention and coordinates needed services for cases involving custody and access.

One example of this is the statewide Case Management initiative within the Family Civil Court. This new process provides for the early identification of parenting issues and facilitates dispute resolution for families with pending motions. Family Services gathers important information on an expedited basis with the goal of addressing concerns that could potentially develop into significant ongoing conflict.

We are seeing very positive results. For FY16, the average number of months to resolution of a divorce matter decreased by 25 percent. Regarding supervised visitation, of the over 30,000 filings in the Family Division from October 2015 to October 2016, only 2 percent had an order of supervised visitation.

Regarding guardians ad litem, the number of GALs appointed by judges decreased by 44 percent, and of those cases with a GAL, 83 percent was by agreement of the parties.

With your help, another area where we have made tremendous progress is streamlining the process by which individuals may obtain a divorce. Because of legislation you passed in 2015, divorce may now be expedited in two ways: first, by filing a motion to waive the 90-day waiting period after filing for divorce; and second, using the non-adversarial dissolution process that has been in place since October 2015. From October 2015 to October 2016, 17 percent of divorcing couples chose one of these expedited options, and we expect the number to grow.

Yet, there is more that can be done, and we are recommending legislation to expand who would be eligible for non-adversarial dissolution of marriage. This proposal also would amend state law to allow parties to submit a written agreement to the court for approval without the need for a court appearance. Clearly, this would save litigants time and money and allow them to move on with their lives. We hope that you will approve this legislation.

In addition, we recently posted on our website a resource to better assist people in deciding which divorce option might be best for them. Through the aptly named Divorce Navigator, parties are asked to answer a series of questions and based on their answers are then directed to the divorce process that may work best for them. We have also enhanced the information that is available on the website regarding divorce, custody and visitation.

These are just some of the major changes we have made in family court. As we move forward, we will continue to seek new and creative ways to assist people in need of these services.

Juvenile Matters

Turning to juvenile matters, I know this has also been an area of great interest to all three branches of government. We have been working over the past several years to continue to better understand the needs of juveniles in our care and to reform the juvenile justice system so that it is developmentally appropriate.

One of the biggest changes was the integration of 16- and 17-year-olds into the juvenile justice system. I am pleased to report that the overall transition was – and continues to be – smooth. In fact, the average daily detention population decreased by close to 21 percent and the number of Department of Children and Families' commitments decreased by 23 percent from what it was in 2009. These decreases occurred even with the increased referrals to juvenile court due to the inclusion of 16- and 17-year-olds.

As you know, we provide many services to children involved in the juvenile justice system. As just one example of trying to address the root problems that brought the child into the system in the first place, we have implemented a trauma-informed model in juvenile detention to teach them about the biological effects of trauma, what triggers a trauma reaction, and skills to regulate emotions and responses.

Also, as a result of a memorandum of agreement between the Judicial Branch and the State Department of Education, juvenile probation officers, with parental consent, can now electronically access a student's educational history. Access to the information allows for better identification of learning needs, coordination with the family and school, and the targeting of intervention to address any educational deficiencies or school behavior problems. The Judicial Branch anticipates that these types of programs will help reduce the recidivism rate of older and younger adolescents.

We, and by we, I mean all three branches, should feel good about the progress we have made in juvenile court and of the fact that Connecticut has emerged as a national leader in the area of juvenile justice reform. Nevertheless, we all know that there is more work to be done on behalf of this vulnerable population, and we are constantly reviewing our data and outcomes, the complement of programs we provide, and the quality of providers who interact with children and their families.

Criminal Matters

I now want to shift to criminal matters. As many of you know, our state for the past 20 years has developed, through legislation, a series of alternative to incarceration programs to address individual problems that often reflect larger community issues.

Today, that is no more evident than through the experience of our criminal court judges as they see on a daily basis the wreckage created by Connecticut's opiate crisis. Compounding this epidemic is that it bleeds throughout our court system, into family matters and child abuse and neglect cases. State court systems throughout the United States are being inundated with cases involving opiate addiction, and Connecticut is by no means immune to this crisis.

As one of the many measures to address this problem, we are piloting a very successful diversionary program that is addressing the opiate epidemic our communities face.

The pretrial Treatment Pathway Program provides rapid identification, diversion and access to behavioral health treatment before an opiate-dependent defendant is fully booked into jail. These individuals might otherwise not have been released via bond or through another diversion mechanism, as they often have a lengthier criminal history and more complex clinical needs. So a key element of the program is that eligible higher-risk detainees are stabilized with treatment as quickly as possible.

Obviously, no one entity can alone manage this type of program. The Branch, through its judges and Court Support Services Division, is collaborating with the Department of Correction, a community provider, prosecutors and public defenders.

Between April 2015 and December 2016, 176 individuals in Bridgeport were screened and subsequently accepted into the program. Significantly, 77 percent of them were admitted into a program within 24 hours and the majority of them had their cases disposed of within a year, receiving a sentence that carried no time behind bars. We are hopeful that this innovative program will continue producing positive outcomes.

I just want to add that I am extremely proud of Connecticut's role as the leader in embracing and implementing alternative sanctions many years ago. We were the first state to do so and this innovative approach would not have worked without the strong support of all three branches of government. I am grateful for your work in this area.

Civil Matters

Turning to civil litigation, as you know, the efficient and expeditious processing of civil cases is vitally important, as a slow and inefficient civil court system not only impacts litigants but the overall economic health of the state. As part of our review of how we do business, we have recognized that one size does not fit all.

We have, therefore, developed separate “pathways” for distinguishing simple cases that require primarily staff oversight from those that require more judicial intervention. Moreover, for those cases that require more judicial involvement, we have created a statewide system, whereby a case is assigned to a single judge who can handle the case from initiation through disposition, thus avoiding the delays and the cost of re-educating a new judge about the issues. The judge is involved with the attorneys and parties from the outset of the case to assist in developing a schedule and plan that will result in a timely and cost-effective resolution of the matter.

In other words, we are institutionalizing a new and better way to manage cases as soon as they are filed. We are confident that this program will reduce the cost of litigation, provide predictability of procedures and scheduling, increase the possibility for an earlier settlement, and greatly enhance the overall efficiency and consistency of the civil litigation process.

We have also been working to provide parties in civil matters with different options to resolve their disputes in a non-adversarial environment. One such initiative has been to enhance our already successful alternative dispute resolution program to include the opening of mediation centers in Hartford and Waterbury, where parties can get off the path of litigation and attempt to get their cases resolved by a judge with excellent mediation skills. In addition, these centers have the latest technology, so that adjusters, experts and parties may be conferenced into a mediation by video, and documents can be exchanged remotely.

This is a significant step forward in terms of enhancing alternative dispute resolution options, as we will have judges dedicated specifically to a mediation docket in facilities specifically designed for that purpose. This initiative makes particular sense when you consider that 90 percent of all civil cases settle before a trial.

Looking toward the future, we will also rely on technology to provide online dispute resolution services for collection cases. The program, to be piloted in two judicial districts, will be voluntary and will allow parties to submit evidence electronically and then meet with a mediator in person, by telephone or via videoconference. The goal is to assist the parties in resolving the dispute without requiring them to appear in court.

Finally, we continue to look at ways to improve the process of resolving complex commercial disputes that impact those doing business in the state. We are considering changes to rules and processes that will make it clear that our court system should be viewed as an asset, not an impediment, to doing business in Connecticut.

Appellate System

I would like to close by turning from what is happening in the trial courts and provide you with an update regarding our appellate system, which encompasses both the Supreme and Appellate Courts.

First, our numbers demonstrate that we are moving our large caseloads efficiently. In FY16, the Supreme Court issued 128 written opinions, and for this year, we are on track to hear 122 cases despite being down a justice for most of this court year. The Appellate Court issued 523 written decisions in FY16, and has already issued over 400 written opinions in the current fiscal year.

As you can imagine, you simply cannot resolve over 120 complex cases per year on an appellate level unless there is respect, collegiality and a commitment to excellence among the very intelligent, very skilled and very strong-willed individuals who serve on the Supreme Court. I am pleased to unequivocally tell you that we maintain respect for each other even when we passionately disagree on occasion, which is bound to happen when you deal with some of the complicated legal issues that we face on a daily basis.

Conclusion

In closing, my message is that even with severely cut resources, the judiciary remains steadfast in its goal to best serve the people and to incorporate systemic changes when it is beneficial to do so. This is primarily due to the efforts and talent of our judges and staff who understand that when it is your divorce, your child, your home, your health or your livelihood, how you were treated, whether you had the opportunity to be heard and ultimately the outcome of your case, matters greatly.

In fulfilling their obligations, our judges recognize and take very seriously their responsibility to make decisions based on the rule of law, even when those decisions may be unpopular or controversial. Our judges need to know that their decisions, when based on the rule of law as opposed to popular opinion, will be respected as fundamental to preserving our democratic society. We truly appreciate your speaking out on and having a clear understanding of this concept when judges are up for reappointment.

We also recognize that it is vitally important that our staff reflect the community we serve, and in that regard, we have worked hard to increase diversity among our employees, from 10 percent in the 1980s to over 30 percent today. As important, along with the gains we have made to increase diversity within the Branch, we have developed a robust, ongoing cultural competency training program for judges and staff.

The purpose of the training is to increase communication, understanding and respect among diverse groups and to address critical issues of inclusion facing our society. Being culturally competent is essential in the court system because it directly impacts the interaction among judges, staff and members of the public, and makes it far less likely that erroneous conclusions will be drawn based on implicit bias. This is critically important in our courthouses, which represent a microcosm of our society.

Finally, on a personal note, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have served as Chief Justice of the State of Connecticut for the past 10 years and for the opportunity to continue to serve. There are simply not enough words to describe how much of an honor this has been.