THE CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

(The House of Representatives was called to order at 12: 00 o'clock p. m. , Representative Aresimowicz of the 30th District in the Chair).

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

(Gavel) The House is called to order. Will House Chaplain, Rabbi Alan Lefkowitz, of Windsor, lead us in prayer.

RABBI LEFKOWITZ:

Good afternoon. Dear God, creator of us all, we are reminded every day that listening, even more than speaking is a spiritual discipline, a spiritual technology. Let us move consciously toward listening, which needs practice. Our gift of listening and focusing is a commitment of another's voice, another's commitment. Let us be reminded to listen to others without distraction, without needing to fix it, without interrupting, without the filter.

May we develop the ability to listen to ourselves and that small voice within, as we are filled with chatter, constant chatter. May we develop the ability to filter out of the chatter from the voice that is yours, oh God. Listening needs safe spaces, because really listening implies vulnerability. It is not necessarily about changing one's mind; as listening will transform the way we move through the world with each other as our partners. And we say, Amen.

(All) Amen.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you, Rabbi. I know she's already here, but leading us in the Pledge today will be Representative Cummings of the 74th District.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

(All) I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Is there any business on the Clerk's desk?

CLERK:

Yes, Mr. Speaker. Favorable reports, House Bills to be tabled for the Calendar and printing.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The Chair recognizes the esteemed Majority Leader, Representative Ritter of the 1st District. You have the floor, sir.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I move that we waive the reading of the House favorable reports and the Bills be tabled for the Calendar and printing.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

So ordered. (Gavel)

CLERK:

Next is favorable of the House Committee on Government Administration on Elections, Senate Bills No. 897, AN ACT CONCERNING ELIGIBIBILITY FOR ELECTORS TO VOTE BY ABSENTEE BALLOT, to be tabled for the Calendar and printing.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

So ordered. (Gavel)

CLERK:

The only other business, Mr. Speaker, is the daily Calendar.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Will the Clerk please call House Calendar 254.

CLERK:

House of Representatives Calendar, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. House Calendar No. 254, House Joint Resolution No. 106. RESOLUTION CONFIRMING A NOMINATION OF MOTKUE A. BOWLES OF WEST HARTFORD TO BE A MEMBER OF THE JUDICIAL REVIEW COUNCIL. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Executive and Legislative Nominations.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Vargas, you have the floor, sir.

REP. VARGAS (6TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption on the resolution. Representative Vargas.

REP. VARGAS (6TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm here to move Mr. Motkue A. Bowles' nomination to be a member of the Judicial Review Council. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Corporate and Organizational Studies from the University of Connecticut. And his professional experience includes being currently a store manager at Sleepy's Mattress Firm, a licensed representative of Primerica Financial Services, and a former insurance agent at AAA Allied Group.

Other information includes being an alternate member of the Judicial Review Council, a Chairman of the Board of Accessors, and President of the Kiwanis Club, former President of the Kiwanis Club of West Hartford, and former Treasurer of the New England District of Kiwanis. I urge a favorable vote.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you. Representative Wood.

REP. WOOD (141ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And to follow up with the good Chairman of the Executive Nominations Committee, I too stand in support of Motkue Bowels for the Judicial Review Council. He certainly brought interest, great enthusiasm. He will be serving as a non-attorney. And we need non-attorney's view to sort of bring another dimension to the debate.

So, we stand in support and urge the Chamber to do as well. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

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

(All) Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

All those opposed nay. The ayes have it. (Gavel) The resolution is adopted. Will the Clerk please call House Calendar 255.

CLERK:

House Calendar 255, House Joint Resolution No. 107, RESOLUTION CONFIRMING THE NOMINATION OF MICHAEL J. JANUSKO OF ROCKY HILL TO BE A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE CONNECTICUT LOTTERY CORPORATION. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Executive and Legislative nominations.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Vargas.

REP. VARGAS (6TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report, excuse me, favorable resolution and adoption of the resolution. Representative Vargas.

REP. VARGAS (6TH):

I'd like to say that Mr. Janusko has a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from Central Connecticut State University. He is currently a part-time Comptroller at Armani Restoration, Incorporated. Formerly oversaw financial operations for the Connecticut Teachers' Retirement Board at the Office of OPM, and is a former Assistant Unit Head and Chief Financial Examiner at the Department of Consumer Protection Gaming Division. He's also a former Accountant/Manager at the Office of the State Comptroller, and Supervising Accounts Examiner at the State of Connecticut Special Division of Revenue. Other information includes Uniformed Certified Public Accountant, currently an Alternate Member of the Judicial Review Council.

I urge a favorable vote and I ask that it please be held as a roll call vote. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is on a roll call vote. Let me try your minds. All those in favor of a roll call, please signify by saying aye.

(All) Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH): All those opposed -- well, no. When the vote is taken, it will be taken by roll. Will you care to remark further on the nomination before us? Representative Wood.

REP. WOOD (141ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I, too, stand in support of Michael Janusko for the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Lottery System. He brings great experience, a perspective willing to do the job, and I think we're lucky to have him serve. Thank you very much, and I urge support.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, madam. Will staff and guests please come to the well of the House? Members take your seats. The machine will be open.

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

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

CLERK:

House Joint Resolution 107.

Total Number of Voting 144

Necessary for Passage 73

Those Voting Yea 144

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent and Not Voting 5

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The resolution passes. (Gavel)

Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 152.

CLERK:

On page 17, Calendar No. 152, Substitute House Bill No. 7025, AN ACT AUTHORIZING DOMESTIC INSURERS TO DIVID. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Insurance and Real Estate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, I move the acceptance of the joint favorable report and passage of the Bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill. Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

I rise today to support strongly a Bill that basically does a very simple thing. It gives Connecticut's insurance companies, an industry that employs over 60,000 of our constituents and neighbors, not too far from where we stand today, it gives them a very important tool to better manage their business. And that would be to allow them to divide an existing writing company into two or more writing companies. It does so while also placing strict consumer protections, an oversight on the company's ability to divide. And so, again, Madam Speaker, this Bill simply gives our domestic insurance companies an important management tool, a tool that several other states, I will add, have passed recently, while ensuring strong consumer protections are in place for our constituents and their policyholders.

And with that, Madam Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment, LCO 5997.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Excuse me, Representative Scanlon, would you move the Bill first, acceptance.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Yes, I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

And, as I said, Madam Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment LCO 5997. I would ask the Clerk please call the amendment and that I be granted leave of the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO No. 5997, which will be designated as House Amendment Schedule A.

CLERK:

House A, Substitute House Bill No. 7025, LCO No. 5997, offered by Representative Scanlon and Representative Sampson.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, the amendment before us today, which I offer along with my friend and our Ranking Member, Representative Sampson, makes very small changes to the Bill. Four of the amendments are technical in nature, they are designed to clarify the content of the plan of division and the obligations of the writing companies resulting from a division and the amendment also provides re-insurers with further notice and transparency and I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is on adoption. Will you remark further on the amendment that is before us? Representative Rob Sampson of the 80th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Good afternoon.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

I intend to have a good conversation with the Chairman of the Insurance Committee on the underlying Bill. But in the meantime, I would just urge my colleagues to support the amendment before us. I'm a co-sponsor of the amendment and it does improve the Bill.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Would you care to remark further on the amendment before us, the amendment before us? If not, let my try your minds. All of those in favor of the amendment House A, please signify by saying aye.

(All) Aye.

All those opposed, nay. The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted. Would you care to remark further on the Bill as amended? Representative Scanlon, Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I wasn't sure whether the good Chairman was going to speak or not. I just have a few questions about the Bill that I'd like to ask through you to Chairman Scanlon. The first one is --

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

If you would be so kind to essentially summarize what this Bill attends to accomplish? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, through you. What this Bill does is a very simple thing. It basically gives our insurance companies, which are the life-blood of our state. We are known as the insurance capital of the world. This is a very important industry to our state. It basically gives them a tool that they can use to better manage their business. And like I said, at the outset, it does that while placing strict consumer protections that protect the policy holders that they have and all of our constituents, but again all this boils down to is a very simple tool that allows them to better manage their business.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

I thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the gentleman for that answer. I'm wondering if he can tell me what types of products are affected within this legislation.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Madam Speaker, what this Bill basically does is it allows the insurance companies to divide, writing companies. Writing companies are entities within a holding company of an insurance company and within those writing companies, there are various different kinds of lines of business, such as auto, home, life, Workers' Compensation, all of those different kinds of insurance and lines of insurance are within the writing companies and, therefore, would be impacted by this Bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And again, I thank the gentleman. Can I ask if annuity products are covered by this legislation?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes, they are.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you for that answer. I'm just curious to know if this legislation is actually required to facilitate this process? Can this happen under current law, or do we need to pass this legislation to put this into effect and to allow this division to occur?

Through you to the Chairman, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. No, as the current law currently stands, the companies are not allowed to do this. And I will also add that several other states, I believe three at this point in time, have passed similar legislation allowing insurers in their states to do the practice of division and we are simply trying to adopt the times and follow the lead of several other states that have done this practice, and allowed this practice rather, in the country right now.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thanks again for that answer. So, you mentioned writing companies and essentially that this Bill would provide a mechanism for them to divide into smaller, essentially subsidiaries of themselves. I'm just curious if you could elaborate on what exactly is that division? Are we doing it by lines of insurance or can an insurance company under this process, that would become law in this Bill, essentially just take a small section of their business? Like say they sell auto insurance in Connecticut, but they want to sell off their business in a major city like Hartford. Could they do that under this Bill?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The goal, again, is to give the insurers a management tool and Representative Sampson is correct that what this would allow them to do is that, let's say that A, B, C Writing Company, within a holding company had four different lines of business, whether an auto, a home, a life, and a Workers' Comp, if one of those lines of business was no longer in their best financial interest to continue with, under this proposal they would be allowed to divide the writing company; therefore, to separate what they no longer are interested in continuing with and therefore, move along in the best interest of their company and frankly in the best interest of their customers to keep their business healthy and going in the direction that they choose to have it go in, which they are not allowed to do under the current law in the State of Connecticut.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thanks for that answer, also. So, I'm looking at the language of the Bill before us. And it looks to me like Section 2 is devoted to the actual process by which the division would take place. And I would like to ask the Chairman if he could just summarize to me what this process is, in layman's terms?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Basically, the process, again as I've said several times, is intended to make sure that the consumer is protected. So, if a company does decide that they do want to divide one of their writing companies, they have a series of measures that are in place thanks to this Bill, where they essentially have to declare that they would like to do that to the insurance department. They have to get permission from the department to do that. The commissioner may take the opportunity to ask for a public hearing, it may deny their request, but there are provisions in place for the company to have to go and do this. And one of the things that the insurance commissioner could also do is to require the company to notify all of the policyholders, but again, there are strict measures in place to ensure that when a company does seek to divide, there is an ability for consumers to be protected.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the Chairman for that information. It's a little bit beyond what I was asking for. I really wanted to concentrate on what is in Section 2, and maybe I can just ask the question in a different way.

My reading essentially this section covers the process by which the division would occur, not necessarily what protections are in place, which I think are covered elsewhere in the Bill. My reading of this says that essentially the insurer that tends to divide, must devise a plan and put that plan in writing and then present it to the insurance department, which essentially preapproves the division. And I'm just curious about that process and whether I'm correct that they're essentially preapproving it before it happens or they approve it once it does happen?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

The plan is presented -- thank you, Madam Speaker. The plan is presented to the insurance department and then they have to go through the process before it is approved.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Just a follow up question that is touched on in Section 2, just to clarify whether or not such a division, once it happens can be reversed; I'm curious to know if that is possible?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, in Section 2, line 3 it looks like, a dividing insurer may not abandon its plan of division, once the division becomes effective. So, the answer is no.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the gentleman very much for pointing out that language in the Bill. So, Section 3, just moving on, this looks like it covers the requirements for the division and I'm hoping that the Chairman can just lay what exactly is required of an insurer before they are allowed to proceed with the division?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Basically, what Section 3 is trying to address is again the consumer protections that are available for consumers, basically to make sure that they are being protected in this regard. There are several provisions in Section 3 that do so. And I feel that it adequately addresses the needs of the consumers, while still allowing our companies to have this tool at their disposal. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you. Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. No, I appreciate that. Again, we've talked about the consumer protections a number of times, and I'm not doubting any of that. I know most of that is covered in Section 4. And I'll say that my understanding of Section 3 really lays out the rules by which you could participate in such a division. And I notice that one of the things it requires are a percentage of the governors or interest holders in that insurance company to approve beforehand, they have to produce certain documents that are provided to the insurance commissioner and so forth.

I just wanted to make it clear for the record that there is a definitive and very transparent process about how this happens. It just doesn't happen because of a request. Section 4 seems to cover the approval and since we've talked about it a couple of times, I would just like to note for the record that it does state that a division is not effective until after the commissioner approves it. And after a reasonable notice and public hearing. Though the insurance commissioner can waive those if she does ask for that to happen. That's also where we find the consumer protection pieces in this Bill which are very, very important to me before letting it go forward. It says that, you know, the interest of any policyholder or interest holder must absolutely be protected or the insurance commissioner is not allowed to go forward and allow the division to take place.

I do have a question about lines 219 through 224, which essentially says that the plan of division, parts of it must be kept confidential. And I'm curious to know why that is and hopefully the Chairman can answer that for me.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, if you could as the proponent of the question to repeat his question?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson, would you remind repeating your question, sir?

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

It would be my pleasure, Madam Speaker. In lines 219 through 224, there is a statement that says that the plan of division materials shall be confidential and shall not be available for public inspection. And I'm curious to know why that is?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I think the answer to that question is that we basically are talking about confidential information that these companies are trying to make in terms of business decisions. So, it remains confidential at that stage in the process. However, as we've been discussing for the last few minutes, there are very important consumer protections that are in place in the Bill, so that while it may remain confidential in one stage of the process, there is a lot of opportunity for the consumer to learn about what's happening with this and for the insurance department to take appropriate consumer protection action, should they feel like this is not in the best into of the consumer.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate that answer. You know, I read it kind of that the language is intended partly to protect the confidential information of policyholders that might be involved in the book of business that is being divided and potentially sold off. And also, that there may be, as the good Chairman said, proprietary information the insurance company uses to determine their rates, premiums, methods of operating and doing business. So, I think that's a reasonable provision that's within the language.

The very next few lines have to do with the cost of such a division. Another question, through you, Madam Speaker, who pays for the process of this division? Is the cost borne by the taxpayers of the state or is borne by the insurance company or companies involved in this process?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It is paid for by the insurers seeking to divide. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the Chairman for that answer. That's a very good answer. I appreciate the fact that this is not a cost that is going to be borne by the taxpayers of the state and that insurers looking to engage in this new process will be footing the Bill for it. I'm not going to go into the Bill too much more. There's a couple of sections that have to do with who receives notice of such things. To me it's important to make sure that the policyholders are ultimately notified about this process taking place, and that is certainly contained in here. There is a section that has to do with something called the financing statement. And I'm hoping that the Chairman can answer for me exactly what is a financing statement?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I would ask the gentleman to repeat his question and also potentially point to the part of the Bill that he is suggesting that it's in?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson, would you oblige, sir?

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

I would be happy to, Madam Speaker. It's lines 316 through 320. And I'll just ask if the good gentleman could confirm that a financing statement is really just something from the insurance department that indicates that the insurer that is dividing and/or the ultimate insurer that is going to be the result of the division is financially sound and able to protect the policyholders?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct, through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The reason why I ask the question is because I wanted to set it up just to ask the next question, which is, to confirm that there is in fact no lapse of time between when one financially sound insurance company is insuring a policyholder to the time after the division takes place, so that they are continually protected throughout that period?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The gentleman is correct, that is the case. There would be complete coverage regardless of what happened with the division.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Forgive me, I'm just going through the Bill. As I stated from the outset, you know, this is a relatively technical Bill and I see this as a pro-business measure and something that could be categorized as a reduction in unnecessary regulations on the insurance industry in the state. As the Chairman mentioned, the insurance industry is very important to our state's economy and it's something we want to, you know, improve always to make sure that we remain the insurance capital of the world.

I just wanted to make sure that we had some of these items on the record and that there is no question that we have really accounted for protecting the consumers in our state, the policyholders, and making sure that insurance companies are certainly held to high standards, that the insurance commissioner is given an appropriate amount of authority, but not too broad of an authority, to regulate the insurance industry. And I'm very, very pleased about the Bill.

I'm very proud to take part in legislation like this, which may reverse the trend in Connecticut and our reputation for somehow being anti-business. I believe this is a great Bill. It eases regulation rather than completely abandoning it. And it does not compromise consumer protections. And for that reason, I encourage my colleagues to support this Bill wholeheartedly. And I thank the Chairman for taking the time to answer the questions, and thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

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

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

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

CLERK:

Substitute House Bill No. 7025, as amended by House A.

Total Number of Voting 147

Necessary for Passage 74

Those Voting Yea 147

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent and Not Voting 2

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The Bill passes as amended. (Gavel) Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 256.

CLERK:

On page two, House Calendar 256, House Joint Resolution No. 108. RESOLUTION CONFIRMING THE NOMINATION OF RUSSELL L. LONDON, ESQUIRE OF WETHERSFIELD TO BE A MEMBER OF THE JUDICIAL REVIEW COUNCIL. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Executive and Legislative Nominations.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Vargas.

REP. VARGAS (6TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the Committee's joint favorable report and adoption of the resolution. Representative Vargas.

REP. VARGAS (6TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Mr. London is from the town of Wethersfield, he holds a Juris Doctorate from the Washington and Lee School of Law, a Bachelor's with Honors from Bates College. His professional experience includes currently being a co-managing attorney at London & London since 1992. He was admitted to the Connecticut Bar, U. S. District Court, District of Columbia, District of Columbia Bar and the U. S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Connecticut Bar Association, the New Britain Bar Association, the Commercial Law League of America, the Connecticut Creditors Bar, Rights Bar, and the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys. I urge a favorable vote on his nomination.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Would you care to remark further? Representative Wood.

REP. WOOD (141ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And is also support Russell London for the Judicial Review Council. He brings a requisite intelligence, experience, common sense, and I believe he would serve very well in this capacity. Thank you. And I urge acceptance. I urge a yes vote. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Madam. Will you care to remark further on the resolution before us? Will you care to remark further on the resolution before us? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor, please signify by saying aye. All those opposed nay. The ayes have it. (Gavel) The resolution is adopted.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 257.

CLERK:

Calendar No. 257, House Joint Resolution No. 109. RESOLUTION CONFIRMING THE NOMINATION OF DAVID A LUCAS, JR. OF OLD SAYBROOK TO BE A MEMBER OF THE ADVISORY BOARD OF THE WORKERS'COMPENSATION COMMISSION. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Executive and Legislative Nominations.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Vargas.

REP. VARGAS (6TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution. Representative Vargas.

REP. VARGAS (6TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Mr. Lucas is from Old Saybrook and his professional includes currently being the Principal Officer and Secretary/Treasurer of Teamsters Local 671. Currently President of Teamsters Joint Council 10 in New England, and formerly Vice President/Trustee of the Teamsters Joint Council 10 in New England, and the former business agent for Teamsters Local 671 and a former United Parcel Service employee from '74 through '91.

Currently he is co-chairman of the New England Area Parcel Grievance Committee and of the UPS Teamsters National Air Operations Arbitrations Committee. He also co-chairs Teamsters Local 671's Health Services Fund. I urge a favorable vote. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is acceptance of Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution. And when the resolution is voted on, it will be done so by roll call. Representative Wood.

REP. WOOD (141ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I also stand in support of David Lucas for the Advisory Board of the Workers' Compensation Commission representing employees, he has brought experience in labor and labor law, understands the issues, and I believe would serve us well. Thank you, I urge support.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

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

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

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

CLERK:

House Joint Resolution No. 109.

Total Number of Voting 146

Necessary for Passage 74

Those Voting Yea 146

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent and Not Voting 3

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The resolution before us passes. (Gavel) Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 258.

CLERK:

Calendar No. 258, House Joint Resolution No. 110. RESOLUTION CONFIRMING THE NOMINATION OF PETER W. NATHAN OF WESTPORT TO BE A MEMBER OF THE JUDICIAL REVIEW COUNCIL. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Executive and Legislative Nominations.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Vargas.

REP. VARGAS (6TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution. Representative Vargas.

REP. VARGAS (6TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Mr. Nathan is from Westport. His professional experiences include currently being President of PWN Exhibicon International, LLC. Formerly a Senior Manager at

Javits Convention Center. Among his other duties, he served as an Officer in the U. S. Marine Corps, Recipient of Cannes Love Award, and Pinnacle Award by the International Association for Exhibition and Events. Recipient of the Hall of Leaders Award by the Convention Industry Council. Founding member and former Director of the Board of Society of Independent Show Organizers and also Major American Tradeshow Organizers. He has been instrumental in staging U. S. Exhibitions in the former Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and Libya. And on a personal note, he was a delightful gentleman to interview there with his wife and he charmed the entire committee.

So, I urge a favorable vote on his nomination. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Wood.

REP. WOOD (141ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I too, concur with the Chair, the good Chair of the Executive Nominations Committee. He was absolutely, he captivated us all. He was very charming and brings a different experience to be the non-lawyer on this Judicial Review. He managed the 1974 World's Fair in Spokane, Washington. He was also in the Marines. A long-time public servant, and just a wonderful human being and will serve this very well. So, I urge support. Thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Madam. Will you care to remark further on the resolution before us? Will you care to remark further on the resolution before us? If not, let me try your minds. All of those in favor, please signify by saying aye. All those opposed, nay. The ayes have it. The resolution is adopted. (Gavel) Are there any announcements or introductions? Announcements or introductions? Representative Wood, of the 141st, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. WOOD (141ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I would like to rise on an introduction.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed.

REP. WOOD (141ST):

It is my pleasure to introduce a constituent and a friend, Amanda Sloan, she is a sophomore at Dartmouth College, an Economics Major, and she is shadowing me for the day to see what it's like to be a legislator and maybe I'll talk her into it. [Laughter] Anyway, it's a great pleasure, and she's got a very quick mind and it's been a joy to celebrate this with her. So, thank you very much, and I urge the Assembly to give her a standing welcome. [Applause]

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you and welcome to our great Chamber. Are there any further announcements or introductions? Announcements or introductions? If not, we will return to the call of the Calendar. Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 259.

CLERK:

Calendar No. 259, federal report of Joint Standing Committee on Executive and Legislative Nominations, House Joint Resolution No. 111, RESOLUTION CONFIRMING THE NOMINATION OF RICHARD SMITH OF MILFORD TO BE A MEMBER OF THE JUDICIAL REVIEW COUNCIL.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Vargas.

REP. VARGAS (6TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution. Representative Vargas.

REP. VARGAS (6TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Mr. Smith is from Milford. He holds a Bachelor's Degree with distinction from Yale University. His professional experience includes currently being director or IT Regulatory and Legal Support at AT&T. Formerly a Technical and Director of Program Management and Prioritization at AT&T SBC, and also formerly an Associate Director of New Business Application of Development at Massachusetts Mutual Life, and formerly an IT manager at Pepsi Cola. Other information includes he was a Certified E-Discovery Specialist with an issued patent for system and method to manage electronic data related to legal matters. I urge a favorable vote.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Wood.

REP. WOOD (141ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I, too, stand in support of Richard Smith's nomination for executive nominations. He has the requisite intelligence. He's got the experience and he will serve us well. I urge support. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Madam. Will you care to remark further? Representative Rose, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. ROSE (118TH):

Thank you, Madam Chairman. I just rise to stand in support of the nomination of Richard Smith. Not only does he have the qualifications. Richard and I have been very good friends for the last 25 years. He is an honest, caring, intelligent, wonderful man, and he will do a phenomenal job. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Madam. Will you care to remark further? Representative Ferraro, of the 117th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair. I'm here. I inadvertently pushed a button. I have nothing of value to say. [Laughter]

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Well, thank you for letting us know that, Representative Ferraro. Will you care to remark further on the nomination before us? Will you care to remark further on the nomination? If not, let me try your minds. All of those in favor, please signify by saying aye. All those opposed nay. The ayes have it. (Gavel) The resolution is adopted.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 141.

CLERK:

Calendar 141, favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Insurance and Real Estate. House Bill No. 6432, ANN ACT CONCERNING DISCLOSURES BY REAL ESTATE BROKERS AND REAL ESTATE SALESPERSONS IN COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS AND NOTICES OF COMMISSION RIGHTS.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Madam Speaker, I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill. Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, good afternoon again. This Bill addresses the disclosure terms of representative in commercial real estate transactions and it also changes some of the requirements of filing deadlines for commercial real estate transactions from brokers and I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the Bill before us? Will you care to remark further on the Bill before us? Representative Davis of the 57th, you have the floor.

REP. DAVIS (57TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And just a few brief questions, if I may, through you, to the proponent of the Bill, thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed.

REP. DAVIS (57TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Would this Bill in particular with the notice of commission rights, is that a broker-to-broker notification, something that is disclosed at the time of negotiation or is it something that's disclosed at the time of purchase and sale agreement signatures? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. This Bill changes it to the time of the signing of the lease. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Davis.

REP. DAVIS (57TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As far as the disclosures made by the real estate brokers or the sales people in these commercial transactions, what specifically does this Bill change from what's currently necessary for disclosures of these commercial entities? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Basically, this just changes when the broker would have to determine when the relationship between, in a transaction would begin. Right now, as it currently stands is when they first talk to somebody and we found, from talking to our friends in the real estate business that basically that's sort of a false thing because they're often talking to administrative assistants or secretaries and never really talking to the actual person who is going to be the ultimate decision maker. This Bill basically just conforms to the fact that when they begin talking to the decision maker is when we should start the clock, as opposed to when they first make the first call. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Davis.

REP. DAVIS (57TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And as someone licensed for real estate and who does do some commercial work, but not a significant amount, I would say that this Bill does most likely have a positive effect on how that relationship between brokerages will take place and I support it here today. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the Bill before us? Will you care to remark? Representative Sampson, there you are. You have the floor, sir.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I want to thank my colleagues for the conversation that they just had on the floor. They pretty much went over the affect that this Bill has. Essentially, I would just describe it as a mechanism to remove a complication that is very hard to get around if you are a practitioner of commercial real estate. In that, very often when you are asked to show property in the commercial real estate world, sometimes you're not dealing with the decision maker when you're a real estate agent, you're dealing with, you know, an assistant or some person that a corporation has sent out on their behalf to investigate certain properties.

And because the current law says that you must have a signed document from that decision maker that you are representing them, it's difficult to do that without, you know, putting yourself in an awkward position where you are violating the law or that you truly have the person that you need to sign the document. So, this would essentially accommodate that situation for commercial transactions only to say that we're going to move the time that that document is required up to just before a transaction actually takes place.

I think it's a positive move in the real estate world. Again, another Bill that helps reduce regulation in the business world in Connecticut, something that I am proud to support and I think that my colleagues would do well to help this Bill advance out of this Chamber and hopefully be adopted by the Senator. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

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

CLERK:

The House of Representatives is voting by roll. Members to the Chamber. The House of Representatives is voting by roll, members to the Chamber. Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Please check the board to determine if your vote has been properly cast. And if so, the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. And will the Clerk please announce the tally.

CLERK:

House Bill 6432.

Total Number of Voting 145

Necessary for Passage 73

Those Voting Yea 145

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent and Not Voting 4

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The Bill passes. (Gavel) Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 184.

CLERK:

Calendar 184, favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Education. House Bill No. 7159, AN ACT CONCERNING CONNECTICUT'S SEAL OF BILITERACY.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move acceptance to the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill. Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am happy to bring before the Chamber this Bill today that passed the Education Committee unanimously both this year and last year as part of a larger Bill. Under the measure before us, we would establish criteria through the State Board of Ed for awarding a Connecticut State Seal of Biliteracy, which would go on a high school graduate's diploma, to recognize proficiency in English and at least one other world language. With that foreign language being defined as a foreign spoken language or American sign language, or some other world language.

Once such a seal would be awarded, the Bill would require boards to include a designation on the recipient student's transcripts, indicating that they had received this seal. So, that if they are applying for college, the college would be aware that this child had achieved biliteracy.

This is a great step that has been taken in some other states. I really think it would be a great step forward for Connecticut. This House Chamber took that step last year and, of course, things sometimes don't make it through the upper Chamber. I'm hoping that we can get the Bill through both Chambers this year. So, I hope all of my friends in the Chamber will join me in supporting passage of the measure before us. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further? Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Good afternoon.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

My seat did change. Thank you. This Bill should pass. I believe that in this country and in Connecticut, we really haven't dealt the due importance to competency in more than one language that we should. This Bill is simply an optional way for our schools to recognize that competency when a student has attained it in either a language other than English or American sign language, which we often forget about because learning another language and learning another culture and learning to think in another language is really a mind opener like none other.

So, I think that this is something that will help our schools understand the importance of biliteracy and bilingualism and will encourage our students to strive for that and it doesn't have a fiscal note and I think it's an all-around good thing to do. And I would encourage all of my colleagues to support it. I also thank the Commissioner for bringing this idea. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Madam. Will you care to remark further on the Bill before us? Will you care to remark further on the Bill before us? If not, staff and guests -- Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Forgive me, I was just very deeply engrossed in reading the language of the Bill. And I do certainly intend to plan on supporting it. I would just make a note that I'm not certain that this is the best way to go about making such a policy. Since we are essentially giving the State Board of Education the authority to establish the criteria in which a local Board of Education can create this seal. I would much rather see my local Board of Education have the authority to do so. I think it's a laudable endeavor and for that reason I'm going to support it.

I would just caution us from in the future always going to a state level solution, when a local solution is more proper. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

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

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill No. 7159.

Total Number of Voting 145

Necessary for Passage 73

Those Voting Yea 145

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent and Not Voting 4

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The Bill passes. (Gavel) Are there any announcements or introductions? Announcements or introductions? Representative Kupchick, my dear friend, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. KUPCHICK (132ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. It is my distinct pleasure to be joined by my colleagues in the Senate and the House to welcome members of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. With me today I have Nancy von Euler from Southport, who is actually a constituent of mine, and a friend. I have Ann Dagle from East Lyme, Kenyada Thompson, a student at UConn, West Hartford, and I have Sharon Pelkey, Area Director, Connecticut American Foundation of Suicide. Obviously, they do amazing work for everyone in this room. And I can't imagine there is a single town that has not been impacted by the suicide issues and obviously losing people.

Today they will be hosting an ice cream social at 3 o'clock so you can learn about the work they're doing and we hope that you will come and join them and I hope you'll give them a big warm welcome from the House. Thank you, Madam Speaker. [Applause]

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Representative Kupchick, and welcome to all of those who are here and your work certainly doesn't go unnoticed. Are there any other announcements or introductions? Representative Cheeseman.

REP. CHEESEMAN (37TH):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. And I want to echo what Representative Kupchick did and to extend a special welcome to my constituent, who is making her way over here, Ann Dagle. Ann has done amazing work for suicide prevention. She and her husband took an amazingly tragic event, the death of their son, Brian, and have turned it into Brian's Healing Hearts Foundation. And for the past five years, have been taking the news of the importance of suicide prevention, ways to spot people at risk, and the ways to prevent possibly the greatest tragedy that could befall a parent from happening to others and she shares this unsparingly. We are privileged to have her in our community. I am privileged to have her as a friend, and we are privileged to have her with us today. So, I want to welcome her and thank you all so much. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Representative Cheeseman. Are there any further announcements or introductions? Representative Staneski, you have the floor.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, nice to see you up there today. I just have one introduction and I would love for the Chamber to join me in wishing a little bit of a belated happy birthday to my intern, Christian Santa Maria. He thought he was going to get away with this and I saw him sneaking over there to Representative Butler's desk and brought him over. So, I hope the Chamber will welcome me in wishing him happy birthday.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Happy birthday to you, sir. [Applause]

Representative McCarty.

REP. MCCARTY (38TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And since I have Ann Dagle right next to me here today, for a second time, I'd like to just recognize the tremendous efforts that Ann Dagle has made, not only in East Lyme, but she also comes into Waterford and is working with our Youth Service Bureaus and has contributed much of her time and energy to help advocate our constituents and our community members on the seriousness of mental health issues today. And I just think the world of her. She has courage and fortitude and she is going to make a big difference for us. Thank you. [Applause]

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Madam. Are there any further announcements or introductions? Announcements or introductions? If not, we shall return to the call of the Calendar. And will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 187.

CLERK:

On page 22, House Calendar 187. House Bill No. 7156, AN ACT CONCERNING ACCESS TO STUDENT RECORDS FOR CERTAIN UNACCOMPANIED YOUTHS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Education.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move acceptance to the Joint Standing Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill. Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The measure before us addresses a little bit of a loophole in current state law. Children who are defined as “homeless” under the McKinney-Vento Act, a Federal Act that was championed by Connecticut's own Stewart McKinney, cannot currently get hold of their own records if they're unaccompanied by a parent, and that's often the case for homeless children. So, what the measure us says, quite simply, is those students lacking parental custody, but who are homeless, will be able to get full access to their educational records, including their medical records from the school. So, it addresses what is essentially a small gap in our statutory scheme and helps these children who so very much deserve our help. It passed the Education Committee unanimously and I hope the same will be true here today. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I wonder if I could just ask a couple of questions to the good Chair of the Education Committee.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. First off, I wondered if -- how exactly does the Bill, which refers to a federal statute, identify, what does “unaccompanied youth” mean? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Because I don't have the federal statute books before me, but the state definition of “unaccompanied youth” is linked to the federal definition in U. S. Code 11434a, which is the McKinney-Vento Act. So, I believe that in short, an unaccompanied youth in Connecticut would be defined precisely in the same manner as defined in that federal statute.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

And that would be there is a difference between unaccompanied and emancipated; is that correct?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes, that's my understanding.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Okay. So, in other words, emancipated is a status granted by the courts and unaccompanied is just a classification, a term that is used, but not a status as granted by the courts; is that correct?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I think my good Ranking Member has offered a fair description of the distinction.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you. And one other question, my good colleague the Chair of the Education Committee mentioned that the intent of the Bill was to close a loophole. I just wondered if he could elaborate a little bit further on whether there is a problem in Connecticut that this is addressing? Are there a number of unaccompanied youth who have expressed a desire to get access to their records or are they not being allowed to do certain things or receive certain services because they can't have access to their records? Just what is the further issue that this addresses?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I appreciate the good question from my Ranking Member. In fact, there is a challenge that is at the genesis of this Bill. There are children in Connecticut today who are homeless and unaccompanied, who have been unable to get any access to their educational records. This was brought to the attention of the Committee by Advocates for Children, including the Center for Children's Advocacy and some other groups that are out there, you know, working for the best interest of children who may lack the support of a parent or guardian. And it came as somewhat of a surprise as to the students involved and to those who were helping them, that under our current statutory framework, these students couldn't get access to their own records, even though they didn't have a parent or guardian who could get access either. So, that's not the situation that pertains to say an emancipated youth, referred by my good Ranking Member, who has garnered for him or herself the legal rights that had previously inhered to their parents. That same situation isn't true for an unaccompanied homeless child, so this Bill allows such students, who do exist in Connecticut and were referenced in testimony, to be able to get those records.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And just a follow up on that. Are the rights that are granted by the federal statute and that would be granted by this Bill, granted and do regardless of the legal status in terms of residency of the children involved? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm not sure I completely heard or understood the question. So, if my good Ranking Member could reframe, I'll give it my best shot.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Lavielle, would you please repeat your question for Representative Fleischmann.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I completely understand why the Representative couldn't hear me. I'm having trouble hearing him as well. My question was, are the rights that are currently granted in the federal statute and those that would be granted by this Bill, are they granted regardless of a young person's residency status, whether it is legal or undocumented?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. So, I'm not sure what the federal statute has to say about a child's residency status. I believe the McKinney-Vento Act essentially makes clear that a child who hasn't had a permanent abode for a certain amount of time is homeless. But I really don't know that the federal statute even speaks to questions of residency.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you. I thank the good Representative for his answers. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Madam. Will you care to remark? Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Good afternoon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. CANDELORA (86TH):

If I may, just a couple of questions.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed.

REP. CANDELORA (86TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, from the previous debate I think I sort of have an understanding of what we're attempting to do. And I think one of my first questions is how this Bill relates to our current law under Connecticut General Statutes 10-94g, where I thought we addressed this issue when an individual using the federal definition, the individual, a child is an unaccompanied and homeless youth, that the Commissioner of Education has the ability to appoint a surrogate parent who shall represent such child in the education decision-making process. And I'm wondering, through public hearing testimony or discussions, is that statute not working? Why we are actually sort of circumventing it and allowing the students to just get these records on their own?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, through you. So, that statute is currently on the books. What became clear in public testimony is that there are children who are homeless, who may not yet have had any surrogate appointed on their behalf. They're attending public schools and they are not able to access their records because absent a surrogate parent, they themselves have no such right.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I guess I can understand and I appreciate that. I'm just trying to -- one of my concerns with this underlying Bill is that we are allowing children to act on their own, depending on their socioeconomic status. And getting access to records, I think, under these circumstances is a small piece. But when we start looking at this on a larger scale, you know, I'm just concerned that we are going in the wrong direction. Because under current law, it's my guess there is a public policy that we want these unaccompanied children to have some sort of adult supervision, whether it be that they become a guardian of the state or whether they go into the foster care program, adoption, or they are reunited with their parents in some way and that this Bill could sort of frustrate that because children now could be able to access on their own.

Was there any discussion about this or an attempt to sort of, you know, dovetail this policy of having the Commissioner appoint these surrogates for them versus just allowing the children to act on their own? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, I thank my good colleague for his question. That specific issue was not raised. But what did come up in the course of public hearings was a sense of the scope of this problem, which may actually address the underlying question. So, as of 2015, there were over 3,000 youth under 24, identified as homeless or unstably housed in Connecticut. More than 40 percent of these indicated they had no permanent place to live for over one years. This lack of stability is challenging for them in many respects. Especially maintaining a continuous education. So, if you look at the size of this problem, you can understand how even a child who may be proactively pursuing getting a surrogate through the process that my good colleague pointed to in Chapter 10, may be pursuing getting a temporary home or a foster home through other supports available by the State of Connecticut.

Nevertheless, that child could spend months, even years in a situation where they have no surrogate parent, they have no permanent residence, and absent passage of this Bill, they have no access to their records.

So, we are not -- we are not making things -- we're not making it easier for kids to become homeless. We're making it easier for those poor children, who are homeless, to be able to have a continuous school experience.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And then I guess to touch off of that, because we do reference the federal definition and I did take a look at it. There is one component that deals with the definition of a homeless child, a homeless child or youth. There is a second part of this, which I think the Bill is seeking to capture, and that is that not only does the individual have the lack of residency, but that they also need to be unaccompanied, which as it's described I think under federal law, that they need to not be in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. So, it would not be just that they're homeless, but they would also not -- they would be lacking a parent or guardian as well?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes, that is my reading of the statute as well.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And was there a discussion about how a school system would know that difference? Certainly, we have homeless youth that do have parents. Does the school somehow, I guess through guidance, have a record of children that are homeless and actually do not have -- who are not in physical custody of a parent?

Through you?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The testimony that was presented to our Committee and the documentation presented, indicated that indeed schools ask students to, at the very beginning of the year, register who their parent or guardian might be and then they seek to verify and that the children who are homeless, but are homeless with family, with parents, tend to go ahead and list their parents or guardians, and it's the children who lack parents or guardians and who are also homeless, who are registered as such by schools because there is no parent or guardian listed and none who the school district is able to track down either.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I think one final question is in terms of registration, when a child is registered in school, I guess I recall registering my child in kindergarten. And then once they are enrolled, they continue to just sort of advance along every year. I'm not sure I had to go back and re-register them, per se. So, is that correct because the reason I'm asking this question of the operation, is that when I registered my child in kindergarten, for the next 12 years of their education, I'm not necessarily going back into that school and registering them. The schools have captured them in their system and they advance along through the system without having to re-register each year?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm not sure. While there are at least 12,000 children who appear to match the definition in this Bill, you know, I haven't had the experience any more than my colleague has of sort of seeing how the school registration process happens. It's my sense that most school districts each year try and capture a child's home address, parents and guardians for the purposes of their school registry and school outreach and contact. In my district that's an annual effort, but other districts may vary. So, I'm not sure if there is a statewide standardized approach.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Candelora.

REP. CANDELORA (86TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I appreciate the answers to my question. Madam Speaker, I'm standing in opposition to this Bill today. I understand the intent of it and I could appreciate it, but I do have grave concerns of where we're going potentially with the issue of homelessness in our youth. I think it's very important. I think it goes without saying that for a child to be successful in the education system, they need to have parental involvement. I have spoken to many different superintendents who have talked to me about the achievement gap. We've talked about how do we get these kids to perform better in schools. And time and again I hear from our administrators that we need parents involved. What some of the superintendents that I have spoken to have done is they've gone into, especially into our cities and worked with the parents, sort of on a community level, not just on an educational level, to try to bring them into the school systems because some parents find those school systems intimidating and don't even necessarily show up at times when they may need to.

And I think what this Bill may inadvertently be doing is sort of disconnecting the parent involvement in the classroom. Children now, if they are unaccompanied and are homeless, are now going to have access to records without any attempt to try to put them into a system that provides them some type of parental structure and guidance. And I think as what was referenced under our current statute of 1084g, where we have, under these circumstances, where we have a child that may be homeless, the Commissioner needs to appoint a surrogate parent to work with the school system and with the child to make those educational decisions. We have had other Bills in public health as well, trying to address this issue. And again, I'm sympathetic with the issue. I think it's certainly a growing problem. On the one hand, the State of Connecticut is doing such a great job of tackling homelessness and we hear time and again how that number is going down. But then, on the other hand, we're seeing Bills like this that seem to suggest otherwise.

And so, I think this takes us in the wrong direction and so therefore, I do stand in opposition. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Representative Candelora. Will you care to remark further on the Bill before us? Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, a few questions, if I may.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, I'm not sure, from the definition here, what “unaccompanied youth” means. It says in the Bill that an unaccompanied youth as described in 42 U. S. C. 11434a. It doesn't say “as defined,” it says, “as described. ” So, I'm looking at 42 U. S. C. 11434a and it says, “the term unaccompanied youth includes a homeless child or youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. ” So, it includes it, but it doesn't define it. So, my question is how is somebody who has been given a request for these documents from somebody who claims to be an unaccompanied youth, supposed to know whether or not this person is indeed an unaccompanied youth when there really isn't a definition of what unaccompanied youth is?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank my colleague for his good question. So, I don't agree with the premise of the question that was posed. This measure does say, “An unaccompanied youth as described in 42 U. S. C. 11434a, as amended from time to time, shall be entitled to the following. ” In that phrase, as described by the federal statute is synonymous with, as defined by the federal statute. So, this measure reads, and I am underscoring for the record that the definition of unaccompanied youth in this measure is exactly as written in U. S. Federal Law.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. However, I take that answer. But unfortunately, there is no definition of “unaccompanied youth” in the federal statute. It says the term, “Unaccompanied youth includes a homeless child or youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. ” It does not -- there is no definition in the federal statute. It just states that that term includes, means there are other things that are included in that statute as well, in that definition as well.

So, there is no definition in the federal statute. So, again, how does somebody know if they are -- how is somebody who is given this request, how are they supposed to know if this is a person under this statute, under this Bill, who is entitled to these documents?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you for taking the time to notice, sir. Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, through you. I believe in addition to federal statute, there are common law definitions that have emerged. And those encompass children who are homeless and who do not have a parent or guardian who is accompanying them. So, in other words, they are homeless by themselves. They have no parent, no grandparent, no aunt, no uncle, to whom they can give documents for signature, who are essentially adult custodians. I believe in common law, as in the federal statute, that is clear.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Well, I disagree with the good Representatives interpretation, but I will assume for the moment that it is correct. So, my answer again, my question again, assuming that that definition is accurate, how does somebody who is given one of these requests know if the person in front of them meets this definition? Are they required to investigate to determine whether or not this person has a parent or guardian, has an aunt, uncle, grandparent; how do they know whether or not to hand over these documents? Or is it the case that the unaccompanied youth needs to go to court and get an order to get these documents released?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I don't believe that a child would have to enter the court system in order to demonstrate their status. I think that the -- my colleague's intuition that a school district would investigate to see is there a parent or guardian who is available, is the right one. I think most schools; most Boards of Education take their responsibility seriously. And I am not familiar with instances where there has been dispute as to whether a child is an unaccompanied youth or not; rather, and the testimony before the Committee, we heard about hundreds of children who are homeless, who are unaccompanied, and who currently have no access to their records.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Now, we have -- if the good Representative knows, through you, Mr. Speaker, we have a system in state law for a minor to become emancipated where the child says that I no longer want to have a parent or guardian that I am in their custody, that I want to be in my own custody. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I heard his statement, but I think I might have missed the question mark in it.

Through you.

(Gavel)

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann is having difficulty hearing the questions posed to him by Representative Dubitsky. Could we ask the members to take their conversations outside and can we keep the noise in the Chamber to a level where people can at least hear the questions being asked of them by other folks in the Chamber.

Representative Dubitsky, could you repeat your question?

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, is it true that we have a system in state law to allow a minor to become emancipated? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And through you, do we also have a system where minors who are found to have no parent or guardian are encouraged or even mandated to get into the system, under which the state appoints or provides a parent or guardian or somebody to take custody of the child?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

REP. RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

I'm sorry, if you could ask my colleague to repeat the question. It was a complicated question and I missed a piece of it.

REP. RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky, could you repeat the question in a manner that is less complicated?

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will try to make this less complicated. Is there a process in place, under Connecticut state law, under which the state takes custody or provides a custodian for unaccompanied minors? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank my colleague not only for the clarity of his question, but for his very slow pacing, which I'm sure was helpful to some. So, the answer to the question is, yes, there is such a process.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So, my question to the good representative is does this Bill, allowing unaccompanied minors to essentially take over one of the responsibilities of a parent or guardian, does it not encourage an unaccompanied minor to circumvent the emancipation procedure and does it not in itself discourage that minor from being involved in the system where the state will become its guardian.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I thank my colleague for his thoughtful question. I do not believe that this Bill would create any such incentive. No child wants to be homeless. No child wants to be unaccompanied by parents or guardians. It's a terrifying situation. And for the children who are addressed by this Bill, they're doing their best to get through the situation and attend school, and they're facing an added impediment, which is they are not even able to get their educational records. They can't see their report cards in the way the kid sitting next to them at the next desk can.

So, this is -- I can't think much of anything that would incent a child to live on the street or in a car without a home address and without any adult presence in their lives. And this Bill certainly would not -- this Bill addresses the sad situation of hundreds of kids who have been stuck with that difficult hand in life and who are trying to get by.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The good Representative made an interesting statement that the unaccompanied minor wants to be able to get his records just like the student sitting next to him. But through you, Mr. Speaker, unless the student sitting next to him is also an unaccompanied minor, that student cannot get his or her own medical records or educational records. Those records must be obtained by a parent or guardian; is that true?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Sort of. I mean, the way it works is that those educational records are supposed to go to the parents and a lot of school systems, their records, say the child's performance record academically and in their special classes like PE and music and so forth are folded and put into an envelope that's addressed to the parent and handed to the child and the child gets to bring them home to the parent. The parent then opens them and shares them with the child. In other districts, they are mailed out.

In most typical families, whatever the mechanism that is used for the school system to get the educational record to the parents or guardians, the parents or guardians, once they have reviewed them, tend to sit down with their children and discuss them and then discuss them further in a parent/teacher conference. So, my colleague's initial point is well taken. No child directly is typically handed their educational record. But in a normal Connecticut family situation, where a child is living at home, they do indeed get to see their records sitting down with their parents.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I appreciate that answer, but that answer is really only geared towards school records. This Bill covers what in my view is considerably more than that. It includes medical or similar records. So, my question is to the proponent, what is a similar record and where is the limit? What is the extent of the records that such person can obtain?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. So, this measure came before us because children in this situation often have to move from one school system to another. And to successfully transfer from one district to another, they have to provide records from their last district to their next district. And most districts require, for example, that a student have a series of immunizations in order to attend school. If that record of immunizations is resident in one school system, the child would be able to get those records and give them to the next school system, that is the spirit of the measure before us.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Now, this includes documents that are maintained by a local or regional Board of Education. Is there a reason why the State Board of Education is specifically excluded from this?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The State Board of Education does not hold many student records. There is an exception, of course, which is records for children attending the technical high school system. So, it's an interesting point. To my knowledge, the advocates who brought this before us have faced this problem in dealing with local and regional Boards of Education and haven't encountered it with the State Board of Education.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And again, this is one of the sort of my pet peeves is that we, in the legislature, draft very specific Bills sometimes that are not really of general applicability. We carve out little exceptions based on the problems that our constituents have as opposed to looking at overall how a Bill will apply across the state.

And I'd also like to associate myself with the comments of Representative Candelora. Essentially, we have or should have a policy, and I believe we do have a policy in state law, that encourages and even requires that the state take certain actions when a youth, who is homeless and has no parents or guardians, is basically wandering the streets, the State of Connecticut, our current laws, encourage and even mandate that the state take action in that instance and bring that unaccompanied youth into the system. Make sure that any needs they have, any services that they need are addressed. Make sure that there is somebody who is of legal age and responsible that can make decisions that we all know that children are not capable of making. We also have a system of emancipation, where a child who believes they have that capacity to make those decisions on their own and has a problem with their current parent and guardian, can become emancipated, can go to the courts and say, “I need to be able to make these decisions on my own.

And what this Bill does, Mr. Speaker, is it circumvents both of those policies, and it basically says that we're going to make it easier for a child who has no home and has no parent or guardian, we're going to make it easier for them to stay homeless and stay guardian-less by giving them access to these documents, we're making it that much easier for them to do these things without a parent or guardian.

It's one step towards de facto emancipation and one step away from bringing them into the system. And for that reason, Mr. Speaker, I will be opposing this Bill. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Ziobron of the 34th District, Ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and good afternoon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Good afternoon.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

I've been listening to the debate rather intently because we all in this Chamber have stories or reasons why we're here. There is something that's happened to us when we were younger or older that motivates us and inspires us for public service. And this topic, like no other, is my story. Because I'm probably the only legislator in this room who actually was and is an emancipated minor. And I'm very familiar with that process, and it's a serious process. So, I have a few questions for the proponent of this Bill.

My first question, through you, Mr. Speaker, is in all the testimony of the young people who are asking for this change or the advocates asking for this change, can the proponent talk to me about the emancipation process, why those youths have not chosen to go through that process and are they, in fact, being counseled not to go through this process that is so important to their wellbeing?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

I thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank my good colleague for her question. So, the measure before us is about unaccompanied youth. At a certain point, they could choose to follow the emancipation process. But as my colleague probably knows better than I, it's a pretty drawn out legal process. And if you take the case of say a 12-year-old who finds him or herself living alone on the streets, they may still hold that hope that they're going to be reunified with the missing parent or guardian. So, emancipation is a process for a child who either wants to be separated from their original parent or guardian or who knows for certain that there is no adult who is going to play that role.

There are hundreds of children in Connecticut who are homeless, who do not have a parent or guardian and who may not be seeking to become emancipated minors at this moment for their own reasons, which I think we would need to respect.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I appreciate the Representative's answer to part of my question, but he really didn't get to the underlying part. And the reason why I'm asking this question is because there are no details in this Bill. It doesn't say how long they have to be unaccompanied. It doesn't talk about age limits. So, that's why I'm asking the question. When you had your advocates and in your public hearing process, was there an age range that was being discussed? You mentioned, the proponent just mentioned the age of 12, well could a 9-year-old go through this process, 17? I'm just trying to understand because being an emancipated minor has a lot of benefits that I'm fearful that these young students are not availing themselves to. Most importantly is financial aid. Because if you a child of a divorced parent and you're going through this process, the only way you can get that child support is, in fact, meant for you, not for the parent is, in fact, if you go through this process.

So, what was the conversation, the hearing around age and length of time for this definition of unaccompanied homeless youth?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, through you. So, the Education Committee did not have an extended conversation on this because the laws regarding emancipation were written by others and already clear. So, if I may quote, “Emancipation is a legal process that gives a teenager who is 16 or older legal independence from his or her parents or guardians. ” So, no child under the age of 16 would be able to avail themselves of that route.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I think that's a very valid point to talk about because it certainly does create a different playing field, which is why I spent the time just now looking up McKinney-Vento 2001. First question is, is my colleague aware of a 5-page document on the SDE website that goes through the McKinney-Vento 2001 law and practice?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. If my good colleague represents that such a document is at the SDE website, I take it on good faith that that's the case.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOGAS (79TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And on page 2 of that document, something I found very surprising as it's related to this conversation here in the Chamber today, which is each local agency, local education agency or LEA, must appoint a homeless liaison, was my good friend and the Chair of the Education Committee aware that we have existing law that mandates an appointment of a homeless liaison?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I was aware that many districts do have liaisons for homeless children. Those liaisons are not however able to go ahead and receive educational records of the sort detailed in this measure.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you. Underneath that bullet point, it describes what a liaison, a homeless liaison must do. And it talks about a number of issues. The first is helping that youth choose and enroll, which means documents, enroll in a school after considering the youth's wishes. They must inform the youth of their rights to transportation and assisting and accessing transportation. They have to provide the unaccompanied youth with the notice of their right to appeal a school or school district's decision of enrollment and it goes on and on.

And so, it seems to me, like we already have a process in place for a homeless liaison to help these struggling youth, who I have to tell you, I, very much heart goes out to. There's comments being made in this room today about parents not being there. Well, I submit to you, the worst thing that could happen is for a parent to be there but not care. And that's what's happening to these youth in many cases. Their parents are alive, but they don't care about their wellbeing and in their best interest, which is why the McKinney-Vento law mandates to have these homeless liaisons.

So, what is that this homeless liaison is doing, if they're not mandating enrollment and school record keeping on behalf of these very vulnerable youth in the State of Connecticut?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. As I understand it, the homeless liaison helps makes sure that these children get enrolled in school. And so, many of these children are enrolled in school. The challenge is for them to stay there and for them to stay on track and to stay on track, it's kind of key for them to be able to see their educational records, which is the defect in out statute that the Bill would address.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I would agree with you about the records for someone who's a little older. But what is a 9-year-old or 12-year-old going to debate and discuss regarding their records without the assistance of a treasured adult or guardian? Are we saying that that child is then capable of making decisions based on a record? Or shouldn't we be mandating in fact that there is some guidance and strengthening the existing mandates for this homeless youth adviser. It seems to me that that would be a much better process than just simply saying, “Here's your record, kid, now go figure it out.

So, how are we going to actually help them make the decisions that they need to make and that they're desperate for that kind of love and TLC that they are not currently getting at home?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. So, if we take the status quo today, we have children who are guided by those liaisons to enroll in school. They are doing their best to not only pay attention in school, but do their homework and come back to school ready for the next school day, despite all of their challenges outside the school building.

Advocates for those children have demonstrated to the Committee that despite the fact that these children are homeless through no fault of their own, despite the fact that they have no parental presence in their life through no fault of their own, they are not able to see their school records because that's how our current statutes read. So, speaking as the father of girls who are right in the age range that Representative Ziobron mentioned, I can tell you they very much want to see their report cards. They want to see how they're doing, and I think any child does, and that's what this Bill would allow.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm not necessarily opposed to access. I want to make sure that what we're proposing isn't an empty promise. And that's my concern and especially as someone who is an emancipated minor. When I think about the troubled waters that these young folks are charting for themselves, if it was just as simple as a report card then that would be one thing. But as my colleagues have pointed out, it's not just about report cards, it's medical records and other things.

I'm still not sure how I'm going to vote on this Bill, but I think we have to be very careful, very careful as a deliberative body, when we're proposing legislation that has good intentions, but no actual result on those intentions, that's very dangerous. And this is a population of people that we need to be very deliberative about. So, I'm going to continue to listen. And I really hope that in the future, when we're talking about this population, we do so in the mindset that we already have existing rules in place. And we need to put more teeth in those rules before we keep adding to the statute books. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative O'Dea of the 25th, sir, you have the floor.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Just a few questions, through you, to the proponent of the Bill, if I may.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

I want to focus my questions on the medical records that the youth can have access to. Through you, Mr. Speaker, it's my understanding that if a youth is being treated for a mental health problem, it's the practice and frankly the rules of the profession not to disclose certain mental health records to those minors; isn't that true?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

REP. RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. As I read the measure before us, it would allow us to request their educational records encompassing school medical records, if they exist.

Through you.

REP. RYAN (139TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

And so, yes, that's my understanding as well. And if you look at line 10 of the proposed Bill, it allows for all educational, medical or similar records. I'm deeply concerned about a minor having access to mental health records that may cause further damage if they were to see. For example, say a middle school student, who's age 12 with some gender identity problems is given their mental health records from a social worker, and suppose that middle school child with gender identity issues reads those mental health records, would the proponent agree that would be a bad thing? That that could send that child into a deeper emotional problematic state?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I actually would have a different reaction to the hypothetical posed by my good colleague. Most children suffering from gender dysphoria are extremely aware of their situation, probably more aware than the mental health professionals who interview them. So, I don't agree that that particular situation would be a special challenge for the child any more than their actual dysphoria already is.

But I do get the spirit of my good colleague's question. There are various diagnoses that typically you would not expect a child to be reviewing themselves. So, that's why have various other mechanisms in place to try and provide supports to these children. But if a child is 12, as in the hypothetical given to me, and he is trying to switch from one school to another between their 6th and 7th grade year, they have to present all their records from the prior school to the next school and they cannot do that under current law.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you very much for that response. And I appreciate it, because I didn't know. So, a school can't mail records directly to another school, kind of like doctor records can be sent directly to another doctor?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

REP. RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Schools can forward records from one to another, but as another Bill that the Education Committee reported out this year, demonstrates the process does not always happen easily or well. So, what is most common, let's just say if one of our colleagues was moving from one residence in their district to another residence in their district that involved enrolling their children in a different school, typically the adults would get all of the records, educational and medical and get them from one school to the other, if they weren't already easily moved.

The children, covered by McKinney-Vento, they're often disserved by the bureaucracies that are moving very slowly about transferring records and they have no ability to get the records themselves.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you very much for that response. Believe me, I've been fighting for my limited time here against many bureaucracies. What I'm most concerned about with this particular Bill is doing more damage to a minor than help, particularly with the medical records. I guess a request would be to eliminate the word “medical” on line 10, and through the speaker, would that be considered a friendly amendment?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The Chamber will stand at ease. The Chamber will come back to order. Representative Fleischmann, you can respond to the request.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I very much appreciate the spirit in which my colleague asked the question. I wouldn't at this time consider such an amendment to be friendly for this simple reason. If we were to excise the word “medical” from line 10 of this Bill, then a challenge that some kids have had, homeless children without parents or guardians in getting records so that they could enroll in a new school, that problem would remain because most -- under both the state and federal schema, you cannot enroll in a school unless you can demonstrate that you've had certain immunizations, you've had certain medical checkups, et cetera. So, while I understand the desire of my good colleague to shield children from certain records, the simple amendment he has proposed would also block them from getting the access to school, that's part of the impetus for the Bill.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you very much Mr. Speaker, and thank you for that response, and I understand why that wouldn't work. What if we limited it to mental health records being excluded, with the exception of mental health records?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. So, I don't know the details of what districts require for a child to enroll. My standard on this is pretty simple. As long as the child has access to the records required for them to enroll in a new school or reenroll in an existing school system, I want the child to have access if they're unaccompanied and homeless.

If the record is not necessary for that purpose and potentially damaging to the child, then I'm open to the idea of blocking access, but I would first need to consult with folks with more expertise than I regarding which records are required for enrollment.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the proponent for that response. That's exactly where I'm going because here's the scenario that I foresee possibly happening. A homeless minor gets access to a mental health record and then that minor ends up committing suicide. What liability would the school district have in disclosing a mental health record that causes that minor to do some further harm or injury to himself or herself?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I'm not sure -- it's my sense that sovereign immunity might apply to such a situation, but I'd like to step back from that hypothetical to a broader issue. The population that we're talking about are young people without a permanent residence and without a parent or guardian. They are at much higher risk of death by suicide or death by misuse of illicit substances than any of the children in their cohort.

One of the few institutions that helps protect them and immunize them against those dangers is school. School is a warm place for them to go where there are caring teachers and paraprofessionals who are looking after their best interest and trying to help them advance, where they feel that they are cared for and loved. And this Bill is before us because some children are having trouble getting access to school because they cannot access their records. So, I would posit for my good colleague and members of this Chamber that the greater danger, that the advocates who push this measure are trying to address, is the danger posed by not helping these children stay in school.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the proponent. I do appreciate those remarks, and I am focusing on simply the mental health records for a youth. But I understand the comment and I appreciate it.

So, if I may just reiterate a question that I'm not sure was responded to about how long does a youth have to be unaccompanied to come under the purview of this section?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I don't know offhand. I'd be happy to look further into the McKinney-Vento Act, but I don't know offhand. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And just looking at 42 U. S. C. 1143a, I would simply say that homeless children and youth is not defined, as was pointed out earlier from some of my colleagues, and what I'm getting at is -- well, let me ask this, if I may, Mr. Speaker. Does the proponent know how long a 1094G process takes for the Commissioner of Education generally to appoint a surrogate parent, on average?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I do not.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. What I'm getting at is, being able to go through the 1094G process of having a surrogate appointed, may be quicker than having the youth have to prove that they are unaccompanied for say weeks or months. So, what I would like to know is how long that process typically takes, but I understand the proponent of the Bill does not know the answer. Look, I appreciate the proponent's responses to the questions, I understand the goal, but I have concerns over a youth having access to their own mental health records, which hopefully has become clear in my questioning. And I'd rather not do more harm than good with this Bill.

So, I ask my colleagues that we vote against this Bill at this point in time and try and make it better going forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Ackert of the 8th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And since most of my colleagues have asked many of the questions that I had because of the good dialogue that they had with the good Chairman, I'll just make a comment.

The main comment that I'm going to make is that this is not as clear as it needs to be. I think one of the things that we look at is clarity, when we're trying to accomplish a piece of legislation. And I have read through the Bill itself. The Bill itself is very short and sweet. But the background that I've been reading, the McKinney-Vento, also the federal law. The federal law is not clear. Vento is very clear, though, extremely clear as to the Homeless Act. And it describes very specifically what our state agency needs to do, and it has done, from what I've heard from the dialogue from one of our good representatives that has come up with a plan.

So, the concern I have is not the clarity, it doesn't seem like there is an age requirement, so any age, but it is clear as to what our state department is supposed to be doing. If it needs to do it quicker to help the students, then I believe that is the role of the State Department of Education. If there is some lag that is happening because of the transfer of that student from one educational service to another service, then that needs to happen in a more responsive timeframe.

So, I stand at this point in opposition until we can get a little clearer understanding of this. I do understand the fact that we want to have the youth to have the opportunity for an education system that they desire to move into, but without some -- a little bit more background of how this will move forward and how we're going to help these students because one of the things that comes through is that there shall be a liaison to help them with their decisions and I think that's true, especially if a younger child is engaged. If this person is older and can make those decisions because they are of a little bit older age, then that would be fine. But I think that when we are dealing with youth and education decisions, I think guidance would be helpful and I think the liaison, that is described in the state department's requirements, should be not circumvented. So, thank you for the opportunity, Ms. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the Bill before us? Representative Fishbein, you have the floor, sir.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair. If I may ask some questions.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you. Am I to understand that the main concern here is a student being able to register for school? Through you, Madam Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The concerns raised to the Committee that we heard loud and clear were about a student being able to enroll in school on their own, choose which school options are in their best interest, and if a school district questions their status as homeless, challenge that denial of their homeless status.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the Chair for his answer. So, one of the scenarios being that a student appears at a school beginning of August, I want to register. The school asks him, “Where are your parents?” He says, “I don't have any. ” My understanding is that currently schools, school administration is a mandated reporter. Upon that information coming to their attention, they would call DCF, who would open up a neglect petition; is that true?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Tu, Madam Speaker. It is true that pretty much every school employee is a mandated reporter that relates to child abuse and neglect. If a child is 10 years old and says, “I'm homeless and I have no parent or guardian,” that does sound like a case for neglect. So, I think my colleague is right that they would have to make some sort of report. So, the issue that the Bill seeks to address is that even as such a report is made and the child begins to get attention from DCF, for a child to be able to enroll in a school, they have to typically port their prior educational records, medical records from the last school they were enrolled.

And lacking a parent or guardian, they can't currently do that under our statutory scheme. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, just taking this scenario forward. DCF has now been called and a neglect petition has been opened and I believe, under the present statutes, DCF would have the ability to put that child into 96-hour-hold and to appoint a guardian through that process. So, within a few days, a guardian would be appointed.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I think I'm less familiar with DCF processes than my good colleague, but it's my understanding that if there is an appointment of a guardian that is a temporary guardian.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, whether it be temporary guardian or permanent guardian, and I to understand that at that point, that child is no longer unaccompanied as recognized by the statute?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm not sure. It would seem that if a child has been granted a temporary guardian, that that person might have the rights that inhere to a guardian, but because it's a process that's not a permanent process, but sort of a stop-gap to try and reach out to a child who has been neglected, I am not sure that that child actually would have an adult who would be able to get the records that are referenced in this measure before us.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, let me ask the question again. Am to understand that at that point, the individual is not an unaccompanied youth as recognized by the statute?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. As I said, I'm not sure how that child who has started a DCF process aligns with federal unaccompanied youth definition.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, it is certainly possible, through you, Madam Speaker, that the first intent as defined by the proponent is mute or nil and is nonexistent, based upon the DCF statutory process that's already in place?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I acknowledge that that's a possibility. It seems clear that if though theoretically that sounds like, gee, there's no problem here, we received testimony from a number of groups saying that there are hundreds, literally hundreds of children who do fit the definition of unaccompanied youth and who are enrolled in school. So, the hypothetical that's been presented, while it makes sense to me, appears not to align with the actual life circumstances of these hundreds of children in Connecticut schools today.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, moving on to the next scenario, which would be the continued education of the individual, if I recall correctly? Through you, Madam Speaker, I just want to clarify that.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If the question was, is one of the issues meant to be addressed by the Bill, the continuation of education for a child to may be transitioning from one school to another, the answer is yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, it appears that in that scenario as well, through you, Madam Speaker, we end up at the same place. We have a child who is registered, let's say in the Hartford school system and has gone through that school system for half a year, and now they want to go to school in Killingworth. They go to the school, it's the beginning of August, let's say. They go to the school office, “I want to register for school. ” They say, “Where are your parents?” “I don't have any parents,” or they're not in the situation. When we already have mandated reporters, we end up at the same place.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If all systems functioned as one would hope that they should then, yes, this scenario would end up like the previous one that my good colleague outlined. I would point out that there are members on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers of this General Assembly, who have drawn attention to inadequacies in the processes of the Department of Children and Families, who pointed to delays in the processes of that sprawling department.

And the evidence is out there in the form of hundreds of children who are enrolled at school today, in Connecticut, homeless and unaccompanied.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. You know, just by way of comment, I think I'm done with questions. You know, I came up here as a new representative. We have a very serious budget situation going on and I really don't know why we're debating this for an hour and a half now. I see this solving no problems at all and urge my colleagues to vote no. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

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

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Please check the board to determine if your vote has been properly cast. If so, the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally, please. And will the Clerk please announce the tally.

CLERK:

House Bill No. 7156.

Total Number of Voting 146

Necessary for Passage 74

Those Voting Yea 122

Those Voting Nay 24

Absent and Not Voting 3

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Mr. Clerk. The Bill passes. (Gavel) Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 80.

CLERK:

On page 7, Calendar No. 80. House Bill No. 5928, AN ACT ESTABLISHING A MANUFACTURER PERMIT FOR FARM BREWERIES. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on General Law.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative D'Agostino.

REP. D'AGOSTINO (91ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill. Representative D'Agostino.

REP. D'AGOSTINO (91ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This Bill establishes a farm brewery manufacturer permit, which among other things, allows for the manufacturers storage and wholesale distribution and sale of beer manufactured at any place or premises located on a farm in Connecticut. It also allows, actually requires the permittee to use a certain percentage of Connecticut-grown ingredients and if they do that, they can refer to the beer that they sell as a Connecticut craft beer. The Clerk does have an amendment, Madam Speaker, it's LCO No. 5934. I would ask the amendment be called and I be granted leave of the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO No. 5934, which will be designated as House Amendment A.

CLERK:

House Amendment A, LCO No. 5934, offered by Representative Baram, Senator Leone, Senator Witkos, and Representative Albis.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize. Without objection, Representative D'Agostino.

REP. D'AGOSTINO (91ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The amendment makes some tweaks to the Bill. It increases the amount of gallons that the farm manufacturer permittee can manufacture to 75,000 gallons a year. It also increases the amount of beer that the permittee can sell at a farmer's market from 5 to 7 liters, and it makes other changes that allow the farm Bill permittee to also apply for a permit to sell at farmer's markets. So, I move adoption of the amendment, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question before the Chamber is on adoption of House Amendment A. Will you care to remark on House Amendment A? Representative Smith, of the 108th.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Madam Speaker, thank you. My good colleague explained the amendment quite well. I urge my colleagues to support it. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on House Amendment Schedule A? If not, let me try your minds. All of those in favor, please signify by saying aye. All those opposed, nay. The ayes have it. The amendment is adopted. (Gavel)

Will you care to remark further on the Bill as amended? Representative D'Agostino.

REP. D'AGOSTINO (91ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. That's pretty much it for the Bill. I just want to note that this would not have happened without the support of Representative Albis. It was his great thirst for this Bill that moved it forward, and I hope that we have quenched it with the passing. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Smith.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I was hoping this Bill would be held until the day when the beer community actually comes up here and gives some samples up in the old judiciary room, but it was not to be. So, we'll have to take it on today. I urge my colleagues to support it. As you know, Connecticut has a long, long history with agriculture, and this is a Bill that actually supports our agriculture here in the State of Connecticut by encouraging them to use the hops and the wheat and all the good stuff that goes into the homegrown beer. So, this is a good beer. I urge my colleagues to support it. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

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

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Please check the board to determine if your vote has been properly cast. If so, the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. And will the Clerk please announce the tally.

CLERK:

House Bill No. 5928, as Amended by House A.

Total Number of Voting 146

Necessary for Passage 74

Those Voting Yea 146

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent and Not Voting 3

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The Bill as amended passes. (Gavel) Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 50.

CLERK:

On page 3, Calendar No. 50, House Bill No. 5884. AN ACT PROHIBITING THE USE OF COAL TAR SEALANTS ON STATE AND LOCAL HIGHWAYS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Environment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Demicco, you have the floor, sir.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The question is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill. Representative Demicco, you have the floor.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, this Bill prohibits the use or application of sealants made from coal tar on any state or local highway. As we all know, these sealants are meant to protect and beautify the underlying pavement. But the problem comes in because under normal road weathering conditions, substances known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are emitted and these polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are harmful to people, to fish, to wildlife, and several of them have been identified as being carcinogenic.

Fortunately, there is an alternative to these sealants, asphalt-based products, asphalt-based sealants are a widely used alternative and a safer alternative to the coal tar sealants. Several states and large municipalities have begun to use the asphalt-based products. We received, in the Environment Committee, we received requests from towns asking us for direction and guidance on this issue, and I believe that this Bill does provide that direction and guidance. This ban on these sealants is supported by the Department of Public Health, by DEEP, and I would urge my colleagues to support it as well. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Harding, you have the floor, sir.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, good to see you up there.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

It's always good to see you.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. A few questions to the proponent, through you, Madam Speaker, if I may.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you. Madam Speaker, the question I have is if there are any current communities now in our state, that the proponent is aware of, that currently use these coal tar sealants?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Demicco. Sorry about the pronunciation of your name earlier.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Madam Speaker, I've been called worse, so thank you, I appreciate it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Me too. [Laughter]

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

So, Madam Speaker, through you. I am not aware of any communities in Connecticut that are currently using the coal tar sealants.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Harding.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you to the proponent for his answer. Through you, Madam Speaker, another question, if I may. This does not limit, to your knowledge in this particular Bill, any private use of the coal tar sealants. So, for example, if an individual wanted to use this on their driveway or if a business wanted to use, a private business wanted to use this in a parking lot, this particular Bill would not ban them from doing so?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes, I thank the Representative for the question to clarify. The Bill is very explicit and it indicates that this ban is limited to state or local highways.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Harding.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Thank you to the proponent for his answer and for his work on this particular Bill. I'll just make a quick statement, Madam Speaker, if I may. I do believe this Bill is a good Bill and should pass. We received a substantial amount of testimony in the Environment Committee regarding some of the chemicals that are used in coal tar sealant and some of the negative impacts it can have on the health of both human beings and wildlife as well as some issues we may be impacting with the chemicals in the environment.

And from all the research that I've done and the individuals that I have spoken with, there doesn't seem to be any municipalities that currently use these coal tar sealants on their roads. Also, DOT, from everything that I've heard, does not use this as well. So, it seems to make a lot of sense for us to pass this Bill. And I urge my colleagues to support it. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the Bill before us? Representative Boyd, you have the floor, sir.

REP. BOYD (50TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the Ranking Member in the Environment Committee Chair for bringing this Bill forward. This Bill came out of an origin from one of the towns in my district, Pomfret, who opted to use coal tar as something for one of their larger housing communities. Little was known at the time; the town had not heard anything negative. There was very little state guidance at the time, opted to use it and after they had applied it, it had had a significant information had come forward, there was a lot of citizen outcry and research was done. The Selectman of the town basically came to us and asked the state to take a stronger hand. A small-rural community has very little resources to determine if something is safe or not. And if it's legal in our state, how would they know differently. We're very careful at this point not to limit private use. The DOT has said before it does not use it and indicated that it would not affect their operations at all. DPH came out with some guidelines to municipalities suggesting that they not use it after the Pomfret incident. And we feel that this is a good step forward. Two states currently banned it. There is a Bill that passed the main House last week that is heading along this path in other states. So, I appreciate the Chamber's indulgence and urge my colleagues to support it. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the Bill before us? Representative Dauphinais, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. DAUPHINAIS (44TH):

Thank you, Ms. Speaker. I just wanted to say that I am somewhat family with this as I am familiar with the town that Representative Boyd lives in. However, I would always caution people when we make a state mandate. As I understand, this has not been banned by the EPA. And it is my preference that towns would make this decision on a local level and so that would be my comment. So, I would oppose this Bill. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Madam. Will you care to remark further on the Bill before us? My good friend, Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Here we go again, another Bill for the State of Connecticut. Has not, not one town, except for one, has used this. And they will no longer use it. The Department of Public Works doesn't use it. Nobody has used this in the state, and yet we're going to put up a Bill that says you can't use it. Why? Because we're not smart enough not to use it on our own? So, we need a law to waste our time on a law that is not coming forward and is not even good for anybody, and we don't even know for sure.

So, why should we waste our time even voting on this? This is a bad Bill and it's not really going to do anything because we're already following rules and laws that we know that this product is not good for us. We don't need another law. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Will you care to remark further? Representative Fishbein, you have the floor, sir.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If I may, I have a few questions for the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The first question being that the enforcement it appears of the proposed Bill is permissive and not mandated, using the word “may” am I to understand that it is permissive and not mandatory?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you for the question, Representative. Yes, the language off the Bill says that the Commissioner of Transportation, in conjunction with the Commissioner of DEEP, may enforce the provisions of this section; so, you are correct. It is permissive in that case.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Then may I ask by way of policy, it appears that we would have the legislature take a policy decision that it's bad for this to be used upon our highways, but we're not going to enforce it?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Again, as we learn through the discussion, this is not extensively used on public areas throughout the State of Connecticut. So, it's anticipated that there will not be much need for enforcement of this ban.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, then who is the enforcer, if one was to enforce, since the enforcement itself is permissive?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, through you, Madam Speaker. According to the Bill, the enforcement entities are the Commissioner of Transportation and the Commissioner of DEEP.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Am I to understand that a local police department or a constable is not an enforcing authority here because of the permissive language, it's inclusive, but not exclusive?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes, that would be my understanding. Madam Speaker, through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

So, am I to understand that anyone is the enforcing agency any individual and/or entity?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Unless I misunderstand the question, Madam Speaker, the enforcement agencies, enforcement entities are the ones that were delineated in the Bill.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Can the good proponent of the Bill indicate the language in the proposed Bill that makes those individuals exclusive to the enforcement?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I believe it's in lines 3 through 5 of this very brief Bill.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I just noticed that it doesn't say anything about exclusive enforcer and going a step further, what is the penalty, through you, Madam Speaker, for engaging in this activity that may be enforced?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes, the Bill does not speak to that question.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, I'm to understand that what we are to vote on today is a public policy ban that is discretionary as far as enforcement and there is no penalty?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. As the Bill indicates, it is discretionary for the Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy Environmental Protection to enforce this, yes, Madam Speaker, through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm learning more and more about what we do in this room. So, thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further on the Bill before us? Representative Winkler of the 56th.

REP. WINKLER (56TH):

Yes, Madam Chairwoman. The previous speaker is correct. This Bill is instructional. This Bill is public policy; 70 years ago, if you wanted to induce cancerous tumors on laboratory animals, you would paint them with coal tar. So, all we're saying in this Bill is, we're not going to use a carcinogenic substance on our roads.

Also, we're hoping that people will take the lead that we are providing because as a woman at the hearing had a basketball, which was covered with coal tar, simply playing on the street can provide a natural delivery system from the road to the skin of a child. So, I'm hoping everyone will support this Bill. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you care to remark further? Representative Srinivasan, you have the floor, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker, good to see you there.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Good afternoon, sir. It's always good to see you as well.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. In listening to this conversation so far, and I was clear initially, but I just now want to make sure that I'm clear as we move forward. Line 1, through you, Madam Speaker, “no person shall use,” is what line 1 says. And I just want to make sure that line 4 talks about may enforce. So, I'm a little bit confused that the enforcement is a “may,” whereas “shall not use?” So, if the good proponent of the Bill could explain the difference between the “shall” in line one and the “may” in line 4?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you for the question. In line 1, the Bill indicates that “no person shall use or apply any sealant that is made from coal tar to any state or local highway. ” And lines 4 and 5 indicate that the two entities listed may enforce the provisions of the section.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I get that. I see the “shall. ” I see the “may. ” But I'm a little bit confused about why the “may” there as opposed to “shall” in both places?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes, as indicated earlier, this particular product or these products are so sparingly used that it is not anticipated that either agency will have to institute enforcement on a very large basis.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I get that. You know, it became loud and clear in listening to the conversation today, that it is used very rarely. I got that. Very few states in the union use it. I got that too. I believe somebody said there are only two states in the union that use it. But my concern about this Bill, moving forward, is the discrepancy between “shall” on line 1 and “may” on line 4. As I read it, Madam Speaker, and maybe the good Chair can enlighten me and this Chamber that DECD could decide, could decide, I'm not saying it will, in their good judgment, they will not, when it is used rarely as it was used. It was used in one town and that's why the whole subject matter came up; otherwise, we would have no reason at all. But it is possible, through you, Madam Speaker, that for Town A, DECD may opt to do nothing and for Town B, doing the same thing, not today, but tomorrow. Remember we are passing legislation here. It's impact, unless we come back again and redo this, could be, you know, it's forever unless we change it. So, in Town B, because of the word “may,” DECD could choose to go after that town municipality. Is that scenario a possibility, where DECD could decide not to do anything for Town A, and unfortunately go after Town or Municipality B?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes, I am satisfied that both entities that are identified, the DOT, as well as DEEP will use their good discretion in the enforcement of the provisions of this Bill and I believe that the word “may” that the good representative is referring to would allow either of these entities to work with the municipality, for example, in order to remediate the effects of the usage of this substance.

So, rather than require them to do it, my understanding is that this language would allow them to work with the municipality for remediation purposes.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I get the intent. And I will be supporting the Bill because it is a good Bill. But I think we need to be careful in our language and not leave it open-ended for somebody else to interpret what our intent was. The whole point of writing this Bill A and passing it through the legislation is so that departments, agencies, know very clearly what is the intent of the Assembly, what is the intent of this Bill. And the intent is loud and clear and I concur that these coal tar should not be used. I have no problems with that at all. I'm well aware of its negative impact and I'm well aware that it could carcinogens. So, I have no problems at all in saying that this coal tar, rare as it may be, one town as it is in our state, should not be used.

But I wish line 4 said the same thing and “shall” rather than the word “may,” so there is nothing left for interpretation that's open and making it very clear. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

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

CLERK:

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill 5884

Total Number of Voting 144

Necessary for Passage 73

Those Voting Yea 135

Those Voting Nay 9

Absent and Not Voting 5

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The Bill passes. (Gavel) Will the Clerk please call Calendar -- Representative Ferraro, you have the floor, sir.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I rise for the sake of an announcement. As a proud graduate of the 1974 Southern Connecticut State College then, now Southern Connecticut State University.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Ferraro, can you hang on one second, because we have some people that wanted to clarify the voting before we announced the vote. Representative Morris.

REP. MORRIS (140TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to rise to note that --

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

If you were here.

REP. MORRIS (140TH):

If I were here, my vote would have been cast in the affirmative on the last vote.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir.

REP. MORRIS (140TH):

Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Ferraro, I apologize for interrupting you. Please proceed, sir.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

No problem, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, again I rise for the purpose of an announcement and as a proud graduate of the Southern Connecticut State College, class of 1974, I'd like to announce that they are holding the Political Science Reception in the Capitol North Lobby from 3 o'clock to 5 o'clock, and would appreciate very much if my colleagues would visit with the Department of Southern Connecticut State Political Science. Thank you very much.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Will the Clerk please call Calendar 203.

CLERK:

On page 24, Calendar No. 203, Substitute House Bill No. 7129, AN ACT CONCERNING AN ACCIDENT REPORT FOR A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT IN WHICH A PERSON WAS KILLED. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong, you have the floor, sir.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. TONG (147TH):

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance in Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill. Representative Tong, you have the floor, sir.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We've seen this Bill before and in fact have voted it out of this Chamber. It did not make it out of both chambers last year. So, we're bringing it back to this Chamber, for this Chamber's consideration. It grows out of a terrible tragedy that happened a few years ago, where Joe and Sandy Degrande lost their daughter Tina to a traffic accident on Route 9. She was traveling one way and coming the other way was a truck that we believe was traveling at an excessive rate of speed. It hurdled over the median, crashed into her car, and she died.

From that day, the Degrande's have tried to understand what happened on Route 9 that day. And unfortunately, the police investigators who investigated the accident were unable to come up with a conclusion and the trail ended there. There was no further work.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

(Gavel) Ladies and gentleman, it's getting a little loud in here. Could we please bring our conversations out into the hall? Representative Tong, you have the floor, sir.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. From the day the Degrande's lost their daughter, they've been trying to understand what happened on Route 9 that day. And they really haven't been able to understand the nature of the accident and why it occurred because the police investigators that conducted the investigation were unable to reach a conclusion as to what happened.

And so, the Degrande's have been coming back to us from Berlin, from your district, Mr. Speaker, seeking some measure of justice and closure for their daughter and for their family. And what this Bill simply does is it requires an investigating officer, state or municipal, to come to a conclusion as the cause of an accident when somebody has died, and if they can't reach a conclusion, then the matter may be referred to the State's Attorney in the Judicial District where the accident occurred, who may refer the case to the Division of the State Police.

And that, we hope, will provide a mechanism and a process for families like the Degrande's to really understand what happens to their loved ones in accidents where somebody dies and again, to reach some measure of closure and, if possible, justice. I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, for your leadership on this Bill and your persistence, but in particular, I want to thank the Degrande family and Joe Degrande, who we've sat with several times. He honors his daughter and his family with his advocacy and his persistence and his commitment and I urge this Chamber to approve this measure. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Will you remark further? Representative Rebimbas of the 70th, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I also rise in support of the legislation before us and I certainly want to echo the same sentiments that the Chairman of Judiciary Committee indicated in thanking you for bringing this to our attention and also extending our deepest condolences to the family who had to have this type of experience, but at the very least, is putting a positive process in place to allow families who do experience a death in an accident to have more options in trying to determine a cause, if one could be determined. And I think that this clearly sets out a process to make that happen.

And just for clarification, through you, Mr. Speaker, if the Chairman can confirm, that it is my understanding that any investigation that has not reached a conclusion that may be submitted to DESPP, really is just expected to be a minimal impact. So, if the good Chairman could just confirm that.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, that is correct.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the Chairman for his response in that regard. And again, this is one of those tragic situations that people have to experience that hopefully does lead to good legislation in the sense of putting a process in place at least to afford the ability to reach a conclusion for some closures in an unfortunate incident.

So, I do rise in support of the legislation before us.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Madam. Will you remark further? Representative Fishbein of the 90th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If I may, I just had some questions for the proponent, just trying to figure out what we're doing here, sir.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong, please prepare yourself.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Understanding that the locals have completed their investigation and the five days has passed, State's Attorney has received the inconclusive report. What is it expected for DESPP to do at that point? To start the investigation over again, which is what I glean from the language, perhaps, or is it something else? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The language is permissive. It does not specify a process for DESPP. I must confess, I don't have deep intimacy with what the decision tree would be for DESPP, but I think DESPP has the option of commencing the investigation from scratch, from evaluating the investigation as it comes to them. It's my understanding that there are regional municipally sponsored investigation teams, so they could go to, if there is a police department with such a team where the incident occurred. So, I think there are a number of options. We leave that to the state police and to DESPP to determine what is the best course of action?

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Am I to understand that the initial review that possibly DEEP would be subject to that five-day period as well?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Mr. Speaker, I'd ask for a clarification on that. Do you mean DESPP or DEEP?

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

No, DEEP, through you, sorry.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. If Representative Fishbein has a line that he is referring to, that he may have a question about, I'd just ask for that reference?

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Fishbein, can you please clarify.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So, I notice that it refers to police officer agency or individual and if I may, my scenario is I had a client not too long ago who died on the Connecticut river as a result of a jet ski accident, and DEEP was the gating agency. So, am I to understand that we would hold DEEP to that five-day period as well?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I must confess, I don't know whether a jet ski qualifies as a motor vehicle accident. I'd the Representative to clarify whether that would be the case in his understanding?

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

I must admit that I was not part of drafting this language and I'm not on Judiciary. I would concede that a jet ski has a motor; that is all I know.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, assuming that a jet ski is a motor vehicle, which I guess neither of us is qualified to assume at the moment, but if that were the case, then, yes, the operation, the statute would apply to that jet ski.

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I note that there is no fiscal note with regard to this; am I correct?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

That is correct. Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):
Representative Fishbein
.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Am I to understand that because in my particular scenario, DEEP closed their investigation and there were, you know, there is alcohol, there is speeding, there are all these things. Would we be preventing -- I understand the intent is closure here, the inconclusive designation from the reporting agency?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. If the question is whether we are preventing DEEP from being unable to reach a conclusion, the answer would be no. If DEEP is unable to reach a conclusion, the statute directs that they try to do so. If they are unable to do so, then the investigating officer, in your hypothetical, a DEEP official would refer the case to the State's Attorney for the Judicial District in which the accident occurred, and then it would be from there it may be permissibly referred to the state police and DESPP for further investigation.

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just by way of comment, it just appears that we have the state police possibly taking over the workings of the municipal police, who I have good faith are doing a good job with regard to these very tragic accidents. And I just don't know if this is necessary, given where it ends up, so. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

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

CLERK:

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill 7129.

Total Number of Voting 145

Necessary for Passage 73

Those Voting Yea 145

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent and Not Voting 4

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The Bill passes. (Gavel)

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 218.

CLERK:

On page 26, Calendar No. 218, Substitute House Bill No. 7131. AN ACT EXPEDITING CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION ORDERS FOR INCARCERATED OR INSTITUTIONALIZED OBLIGORS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Stafstrom.

REP. STAFSTROM (129TH):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker, good to see you up there.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good afternoon.

REP. STAFSTROM (129TH):

Madam Speaker, I move acceptance to the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill. Representative Stafstrom, you have the floor.

REP. STAFSTROM (129TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the purpose of this Bill is to create an accelerated process to modify a child support order, by suspending payments of incarcerated obligor who has no means of meeting the obligation. The Bill also implements procedure to expeditiously reinstate the original order, once the obligor is released from incarceration. The current modification process requires a full judicial hearing when an obligor is incarcerated and a second hearing to reinstate or adjust the child support order when the obligor is released from incarceration.

Judicial hearings require a significant amount of resources, including the cost associated with service of process, preparation of documents, a judicial authority, a Clerk, a courtroom monitor, a support enforcement officer, or Assistant Attorney General, and the Department of Corrections to make secured transport of the individual.

So, this Bill will result in a net cost savings for the judicial branch that comes to us from them, it received unanimous support of the Judiciary Committee and I would urge my colleagues to support it here.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further on the Bill? Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and it's good to see you there.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you very much.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Madam Speaker, I rise in support of the legislation before us as it is, did come out of Judiciary unanimously and as the good Vice Chairman indicated, there is a cost savings because now it's an expedited process and we don't have to have a full-blown hearing in order to modify child support for those that are incarcerated. But just a few clarifying questions, Madam Speaker.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, through you, to the good Vice Chairman. The expedited process for modification of child support and the modification typically when someone goes into prison would be to modify it to decrease. Is that equal expedited process when the individual then gets released, where then the process to modify the child support order would then increase based on the ability to pay in assets and all of the information gathered by those individuals; is that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Stafstrom.

REP. STAFSTROM (129TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct. Under the Bill, as proposed, once an individual is incarcerated from prison, I'm sorry, is released from prison, 90 days after their release, the previous child support order would be reinstated back to its original amount, unless an objection is filed to that, in which case a hearing would then be held on the objection.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, Madam Speaker, just to confirm. The obligee, so the individual who has custodial custody of the child, whether that's the other parent or a guardian, they continuously have input on both the modifications even though it's an expedited process, is that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Stafstrom.

REP. STAFSTROM (129TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. That is correct. The way the process would work is an affidavit would be filed when the obligor is incarcerated. The obligee would have the opportunity to object to the modification at incarceration at which point an evidentiary hearing would be held. And again, at the time of release from prison, and the reinstatement of the previous child support order, the obligee would receive notice and could petition the court for a hearing at that stage as well.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, as I indicated previously, I am in support of the legislation before us. I think a lot of hard work went into it. Certainly, again, this expedited process is one that we're going to see cost savings on for the judicial branch in that regard. And also, a lot of savings of time of individuals having to be hauled into court for something that could be done in an expedited way. So, I do rise in support of the legislation before us.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill 7131.

Total Number of Voting 144

Necessary for Passage 73

Those Voting Yea 143

Those Voting Nay 1

Absent and Not Voting 5

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The Bill passes. (Gavel) Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 251.

CLERK:

On page 30, Calendar 251. Substitute House Bill No. 7237, AN ACT CONCERNING AN ADVISORY BOARD FOR PERSONS WHO ARE DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Human Services.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill. Representative Abercrombie, you have the floor.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, in 2016, October, DORS who had interpreter division under them, dismantled the division. What this Bill does is puts together an advisory board that will look at the issues that have been risen since that board has been dissolved. It also gives them the opportunity to have a complaint, a place for them to say complaints about interpreters. I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will you remark further on the Bill? Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. We're in full support of this Bill. And through you, Madam Speaker, just a few comments to the good Chairwoman of Human Services.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

You have the floor.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, in essence, this board goes from 21 members down to 15; is that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, by doing that our intention is that it's going to be a much more functional board and those members are going to be appointed by the Governor's office; is that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct. Out of the 24, 21 original members, there were five that were nonvoting. Of the new 15, they are all voting members.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And to all of my colleagues here, this is a great fix to a group of people who do a good job here for the State of Connecticut. So, I do urge adoption of this Bill and move it forward. So, thank you very much, Madam Chair, and Madam Speaker. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill 7237.

Total Number of Voting 144

Necessary for Passage 73

Those Voting Yea 144

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent and Not Voting 5

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The Bill passes. (Gavel) Will the Clerk please Calendar No. 235.

CLERK:

On page 28, Calendar No. 235. Substitute House Bill No. 7007. AN ACT CONCERNING AN INNOVATION INCENTIVE PROGRAM FOR NONPROFIT PROVIDERS OF HUMAN SERVICES. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Human Services.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I move for the acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill. Representative Abercrombie, you have the floor.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment LCO 6034. I ask that the Clerk please call the amendment and I be granted leave of the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO 6034, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule A.

CLERK:

House Amendment A, LCO No. 6034. Offered by Representative Abercrombie and Senator Moore.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, what this does is removes the “shall” and makes it a “may. ” I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REP. CASE (63RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. A few questions to the good Chairwoman of Human Services, through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. CASE (63RD):

In this amendment that was brought out, is it true, well it is true, but how does the amendment actually affect the underlining Bill as far as moving it forward?

Through you, Madam Chair, Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

It gives the administration flexibility when they are looking at the amount of money that they will be giving back to the nonprofits.

Through you, Madam Chair, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. In going from “shall” to “may,” in your conversations with OPM, have you had a conversation where we have a verbal agreement that when there are the funds available that it will be reverted back to the nonprofit? Tu, Madam Chair, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is the intent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The one question that we have on this Bill, but given this Bill and talking about the amendment, through you, Madam Speaker. We do not have a dollar figure of the recent dollars that have been given back to the nonprofits; is that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker, this is the first time we've ever tried this type of program, that's why we're doing it as a pilot program.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker, but the nonprofits, if they do not use the full 100% of the grant, they do return monies to the State of Connecticut; is that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

And what I was trying to get at, through you, Madam Speaker, is have we found out the dollar figure in the past years that have been returned or have not been used by nonprofits?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I do not have that dollar amount.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you to the good Chairwoman, and I will be supporting the underlying Bill. There were some questions on this amendment because it, you know, it allows the Governor's office or OPM to, if they want to or if they don't want to, so here we go with the “shall” and the “may. ” I appreciate all your hard work on it and working with OPM on this and I urge my colleagues to ask some questions, if they have them, and we'll move forward to the underlying Bill. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker. A few questions I'd like to pose through you to the good Chair of Human Services, if I may.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

On this Bill, there was a public hearing on it and I was just reading through the testimony and it seemed to be overwhelmingly in support or speaking support of by the nonprofits. Yet I saw in the testimony by OPM that they were opposed to this concept.

Through you, Madam Speaker, could you explain why they would oppose allowing nonprofits to retain some of the savings if they were able to realize savings through efficiencies?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative, would your question be more direct towards the Bill or right now we're still on the amendment?

REP. BETTS (78TH):

No, it's still on the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Okay. Please proceed. Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

So, OPM opposed it because any money that is returned from the nonprofits goes right into the general fund.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Thank you, thank you or that answer. So, in offering this change, this amendment, as opposed to requiring it, my understanding is we are now going to allow this to be permissive; am I correct that that that's what the goal intent of this amendment is?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Thank you. So, right now does OPM not currently have the ability without this Bill, do they not have the ability currently to be able to determine how much money, if they so chose, could be returned to the nonprofits?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. There isn't any program in place at this point that the nonprofits are able to do that.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Yeah, thank you for that clarification. But under this Bill, my understanding is if it were to move forward, that OPM would have the ability to give one percent back, ten percent back, thirty percent back, of the savings, it would be at the discretion of OPM; is that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct. But what I would like to just add to that, if I may, to the good Representative. The reality is this, right, we could pass this Bill with a shall from the House, we could pass it in the Senate. But if the Governor's not going to sign it, this doesn't help the nonprofits that are out there. That's why this was a compromise that was made with the Governor's office to change it from a “shall” to a “may.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Okay. I thank you and I thank the Representative for her answers. I will speak to the underlying Bill after we do the amendment. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Ackert, on the Bill or amendment, I mean.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

On the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, and good to see you up there. Through you to the proponent of the amendment, so kind of commenting on your last comment that if we don't pass it with a “shall,” that the Governor may not be on board with the legislation as it is. Would the “may” though, correct me if I'm wrong, would the “may,” the secretary could decide not to go forward with this legislation; am I correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker, yes, that is correct. But we do have an assurance from the administration that the Governor will be signing the Bill.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ackert.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you. So, the Bill gets signed, great, and then the secretary decides not to move forward with the legislation because we've allowed them with the “may” to make that decision, the secretary on this legislation as it would be worded with the amendment; is that correct?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, that is correct. But that was not the conversation that I had with OPM. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ackert.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you to the good Chair. I always worked well with her in the Human Services. I just think that if we're going to put through an incentive program like we do that, you know, that we want to support, we have the secretary that is not in favor of it and we've given him the ability, him or her, depends on what it would be, the ability to say, “Nope, I don't want to move forward. ” And the legislature worked on this for good intentions; so, I will be opposing on the amendment. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, I try your minds. All of those in favor, please signify by saying aye. All opposed. The Chair is in doubt. We will order a roll call vote.

Staff and guests, please come to the well of the House. The board will be open.

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

House A.

Total Number of Voting 144

Necessary for Passage 73

Those Voting Yea 75

Those Voting Nay 69

Absent and Not Voting 5

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The amendment is adopted. (Gavel) Will you remark further on the Bill as amended? Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you. Thank you, Madam Speaker. I just have a couple of questions for the proponent, please.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie, please be prepared. Representative Ziobron, please go ahead.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, I'm specifically interested in the fiscal note of this Bill. Can you please explain what the fiscal note or the impact to the taxpayer could be on this proposal?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker, there isn't any fiscal note because of the fact that we don't know how many of the programs will have extra funds through the contracts that they have with the state.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, the fiscal note actually says it's undetermined, but it could be significant in the fact that it's going to affect some very large agencies that, I'm looking at it now it says DSS and some others. So, if the good Representative could please explain how this is going to minimize the exposure of the state taxpayer's investments, I'd appreciate that?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It's an excellent question coming from the good Representative. So, originally this was for all nonprofits. And because we didn't know what the outcomes would be, we decided to do a pilot. So, it's only for programs that have a million dollar or less contracts with the state, which my understanding, there is under 50 right now. And then we don't know how many of these contracts, the nonprofits are going to be able to return any money, right, because nobody knows if they're going to come up with some more efficient ways of doing business.

So, let me give you an example, okay, and why this Bill is so important. So, my Arc of Meriden, had taken an individual from out-of-state and brought him back in. The state was paying a lot of money for this individual to be out-of-state. Brought him back to the state and they have him in a home individually. This person needed 4: 1 care. Through the work that they had done, they were able to achieve where they went to 3: 1 for this individual, right. They returned $ 150,000 to the state. The following year, DDS decreased their grant by that $ 150,000, okay. So, there is no way of knowing how many program will be able to have efficiencies where they're going to return any money. But the idea is that we want nonprofits to become more efficient, right. But we also know that we don't pay them enough money. So, if we give them an incentive to try and achieve efficiencies, and then let them keep some of those profits, it gives them the ability to be able to work on other programs.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I appreciate that answer. So, I'm thinking about a nonprofit, Connecticut Voices with Children, that actually receives state taxpayer funds, it's been removed in this budget, but previously they were the evaluators of a Husky's children's program. Their contract was for $ 150,000. If they were to review that program and spend less than the $ 150,000, could they then take the savings and apply it to other work besides what they were actually contracted for?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I don't believe they fit the definition of a service delivery, which is what the nonprofits that in this Bill would be -- would have the ability to send back funds.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, the key phrase then, if I'm to understand the example, is that it has to be a service delivery nonprofit and how many service delivery nonprofits do we have? Is it a very small number, I think you mentioned before, 50 contracts. Is that why it's so limited?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes. So, my understanding is we don't have an actual count-through OFA of how many of these nonprofits would qualify under this Bill. My understanding is, for example, through DDS there is probably about six, through DSS, there might be twelve to fifteen of them. So, through each agency there are very few that qualify for the million-dollar contracts or less. And that's why we thought it was important to do this as a pilot because we're not exactly sure, you know, what the outcome will be. It's an incentive for these nonprofits to try and have more efficiencies in their contracts.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. My last question, through you, I was reading the testimony specifically from OPM, that one of my colleagues referenced earlier, and it talked about caring forward dollars into different fiscal years. Because it's a pilot program, are you confident that we're going to be able to avoid that conflict or that work will be done through OPM to limit the exposure of having carryforwards in the way that they expressed concerns about?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The underlying Bill has some good intentions to it. I support the underlying Bill. In taking little steps that we talked about in Committee, and this is service agencies that serve 150 or less, and a million dollars of grant money or funding or less.

My question, through you, Madam Speaker, to the Chair in reading the Bill, through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. CASE (63RD):

It says in the Bill, and I'm not sure if this is the Governor's or OPM's way to figure it out, but it says, certain geographic areas. Have those geographic areas been specified or is that up to OMP?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker, could the good Representative tell me what line that he is referencing so that I can read it correctly? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Certainly. Through you, Madam Speaker, it's line 7.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

So, I think if I understand what the good Representative is asking is that the geographical areas go along with the million dollars of the contracts. Is that -- I apologize, is that what you're asking or are you asking, do we know what geographical areas?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker, I was curious if you know the geographic areas?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No, I do not.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And no more questions, but just a few comments about the Bill. I think the reason we put this forward and brought it out with the good Chairwoman was the nonprofits who receive a million dollars, it is budgeted money, it's money that's put out there. The extra money that comes back that they don't spend just falls into the general fund. We're trying to look at an incentive by the nonprofits, so that if they do a good job with budgeting and they do a good job with their final dollars and let's say they have a hundred thousand dollars left, it's still up to the Governor's office and OPM on the percentage that they will get cut back. But we are hoping that by them getting cut back, let's say $ 10,000, they can take that money and put it into the program for other uses, not exactly what the grant was written for, but put it to better the nonprofit agency and the programs.

So, I do support the Bill. I think it will help. The dollars coming back, we cannot find the number, the dollar number that actually comes back every year, but I thank the good Chairwoman for helping us and working with us for starting with a small number, not only a small dollar number, but a small number of people served, so that we can see where we will go with this and we can make efficiencies through the state and actually in the long run save some money and actually save some nonprofit agencies. So, thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I just had a few questions for the good proponent of the Bill, if I may.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you. Am I to understand that the funds that are retained, looking at the plain language of the Bill, that we mandate that at least half of those, it could be 100 percent, are used to expand services?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

So --

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, just conceptually just bringing this down to, you know, small numbers, if the award so to speak is $ 200, but the agency only needs to use $ 100, we would be authorizing them instead of escheating essentially the additional $ 100 back to the state, they would be able to spend that at their whim the full $ 200?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

I apologize. Can I repeat back what I think I heard you say to the good Representative.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Absolutely.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Was your question that if someone has a contract for say $ 100, right, and they return $ 50 of that to the state; is your question that now they retain the full $ 50?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. No, my scenario was that they are given $ 200. They only need or are going to expend $ 100, so 50 percent of that; therefore, making an overage of $ 100. Under this language, do they retain that and are they mandated to expand programs up to that additional $ 100?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. So, the intent is that OPM would determine how much they can retain. So, say of the $ 200, $ 100 was going to go back. Say OPM gives them $ 50 of that $ 100, right, let's do the math here, and the other $ 50 goes back to the state, if the $ 50 that they retain is to become -- to be able to use for more efficiencies within their programs.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, I didn't see the efficiencies. I think I saw the expansion of programs.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

So, the efficiencies is not the word that's in there, but if you're -- if a program is given $ 200, right, you have a contract with the state to provide these services. The services are supposed to cost $ 200, within your program, you are efficient and you send back $ 100, that's where the efficiencies are because you're not using the full $ 200.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, understanding that, the additional $ 50 that you get back through the discretionary decision of OPM, would not go for the original program, it would go for an expansion of a non-existing program conceptually?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

I don't believe that's the intent. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Then I must ask the intent of the language that mandates that 50 percent of savings retained by the providers be used to expand such services.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

To expand on those current services, yes. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, then we end up with a program that through efficiencies costs $ 100, is now expending $ 150. My question is, what happens with the following year's budget?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

So, because it's a contract, they will negotiate with the state on the services and whatever the contract is determined to be, is what the contract will be.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, am I to understand that the expansion of services, which is usually a good thing, giving services perhaps to additional people or more services to the same people, that potentially the scenario is that rug will be pulled out from under them the following year?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

I apologize. I know it's not loud in here, but the Representative is very soft spoken. I apologize. Could he repeat the last part of his question?

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

So --

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

(Gavel) The representatives are having trouble hearing. If we could please keep it down a little bit. Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, I'll just go back with the whole scenario. So, now, a program that through efficiencies would cost $ 100, we have now expended $ 150 because of the mandated language, at least $ 150, possibly $ 200, to expand services to individuals that are in need and/or to expand the services to individuals that are already getting those things. Am I to understand that with the subsequent negotiations that expansion is in peril or it's locked in?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I don't believe that's the way the intent is of the language. I'm not sure how the Representative is interpreting that. But that is not the intent.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have no further questions. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Wood.

REP. WOOD (141ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I do stand in support of this legislation. We have seen this a couple of years and a number of people testified and I was just reviewing the testimony again. And so many of the heads of our local community providers that provide such excellent service on the grassroots level, they are busting their tails to try and create efficiencies. And this gives them a further incentive. It's, I think, well, I stand in strong support. Enough said. And I hope you all will join me in that. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Have all the members voted? I would ask the members after these votes stay close to your seat. We only have a couple of Bills left and we will be going home. Have all the members voted? If all the members have voted, please check the board to ensure your vote has been properly cast. If all the members have voted, the machine will be locked. The Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk will announce the tally.

CLERK:

House Bill 7007, as Amended by House A.

Total Number of Voting 144

Necessary for Passage 73

Those Voting Yea 142

Those Voting Nay 2

Absent and Not Voting 5

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The Bill is passed. (Gavel) Will the Clerk please call Calendar 253.

CLERK:

On page 31, House Calendar 253. Substitute House Bill No. 5583. AN ACT EXPANDING INVESTMENT ELIGIBILITY UNDER THE ANGEL INVESTOR TAX CREDIT PROGRAM. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The fine Representative from the Stamford area, Representative Simmons, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. SIMMONS (144TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill. Representative Simmons, you have the floor, ma'am.

REP. SIMMONS (144TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Bill we have before us expands criteria for eligibility into the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program. And the purpose of this Bill is two-fold. First, it's to support start-ups and small businesses by providing them with access to capital that they need to grow and create jobs in Connecticut. The second purpose is to support more investors by giving them a wider range of options of businesses to invest in and encourage them to invest their money in local Connecticut companies.

We're very passionate about this Bill because it will help support small business growth and job creation in our state. We know that the majority of new jobs are created by businesses that are less than seven years old and businesses that are Angel funded, grow their employment by 40 percent more and are 23 percent more likely to succeed than non- Angel-funded businesses.

I want to thank our leadership, my Vice Chair, Ranking Member, Dave Yaccarino, our Senate Co-Chairs as well as all of the Commerce Committee members for your support for this Bill. It passed unanimously out of the Commerce Committee. There is no fiscal note. And I urge my colleagues to support this Bill.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Madam. If folks can keep it down to a quiet roar, there are individuals in the back who are having a hard time hearing. My very good friend from the 87th District, Representative Yaccarino, you have the floor, sir.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, it's good to see you up there.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

It's very good to see you out there, sir.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

I have a couple of questions for the good Chairwoman, Caroline Simmons on this Bill. First, through you, Mr. Speaker. Who currently qualifies for these Angel taxing credits today, through CI?

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Which companies would investors --

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Simmons.

REP. SIMMONS (144TH):

Thank you for the question, Representative. Through you, Mr. Speaker. So, currently to qualify for this program, the business has to be based in Connecticut, 75 percent of its employees have to live in Connecticut. They have to have less than 25 employees and be under a million in revenue. Before this Bill today, only businesses in five specific fields qualified to be eligible. But what we're doing here in this business is allowing any business to be eligible for a certain amount.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Yaccarino.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you for that answer. It also, is currently to 100 percent, we're going up to 25 percent for the new investors or 75 cap, do you foresee as keeping this at 25 percent for the new potential investors, which still have to be qualified through CI?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Simmons.

REP. SIMMONS (144TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Yes.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Yaccarino.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

Thank you for that answer. I see this as a potential jobs growth Bill. There are many people that don't qualify now because they're not in the technology field. They could be inventing something totally different than a basic bioscience, biotech, which we both support bioscience and biotech strongly. But this could potentially open it up to new companies, new job growth, and at the end of the day they have to qualify through CI. So, I urge support of this Bill and I'd like to thank the good Chairwoman and the Committee for this Bill. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative MacLachlan of the 35th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. MACLACHLAN (35TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A few comments on the Bill. I just want to first thank Chairwoman Simmons for work on this project, Ranking Member Yaccarino, and the number of legislators who are working hard to make Connecticut a business-friendly state. We talk about ways to make Connecticut open for business. Well, what businesses need, apart from customers in many cases is start-up financing. This Bill, I think, is going to do a lot in the way of getting resources to -- and diverting resources to great ideas.

I notice that this Bill applies to credit investors. I appreciate the way that this Bill is linking up folks who really know their way around an investment to folks who are going to take that cash and inject it into the economy. And I just want to encourage my colleagues to support this excellent small business and entrepreneurial Bill. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Representative McLachlan. Representative Morin of the 28th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. MORIN (28TH):

Good evening, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Good evening, Representative.

REP. MORIN (28TH):

First of all, I appreciate the opportunity to speak and I speak in strong support of this Bill. I want to than the Chair of the Commerce Committee as well as the Ranking Member and other members of the Committee for bringing this forth. I will be gladly supporting it and I do have a couple of questions for the proponent of this Bill, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Simmons.

REP. SIMMONS (144TH):

So, through you, Mr. Speaker, Representative Simmons, can you tell me how well you utilize the Angel Investor -- is the -- if I could speak English, the Angel Investor Tax Credit?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

It's after 5, Representative we fully understand. Representative Simmons. [Laughter]

REP. SIMMONS (144TH):

Thank you for the question, Representative. So, since the program was started in 2010, 103 companies have participated and over 392 investors have made investments.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Morin.

REP. MORIN (28TH):

[Laughter] Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. In order to establish legislative intent, are there any businesses or types of businesses that meet Connecticut's criteria that shouldn't be allowed to be in this Angel Investment Credit?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):
Representative Simmons
.

REP. SIMMONS (144TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. No, as long as they qualify and meet Connecticut innovation standards of that small business criteria they would be eligible.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Moore.

REP. MORIN (28TH):

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the Chair for her answers and again, I just urge my colleagues to support this great Bill. Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

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

CLERK:

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Have all members voted? Ladies and gentlemen, after this we have one more Bill, and then we will be adjourning for tonight. So, if you could please stay in your seats, then we can move through this quickly. Have all members voted? If all the members have voted, please check the board to ensure your vote has been properly cast. If all the members have voted, the machine will be locked, and the Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk will announce the tally.

CLERK:

House Bill 5583.

Total Number of Voting 144

Necessary for Passage 73

Those Voting Yea 144

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent and Not Voting 5

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The Bill passes. (Gavel) Will the Clerk please call Calendar 129.

CLERK:

On page 13, Calendar 129. Substitute House Bill 7114. AN ACT CONCERNING THE SALE OF ENTERTAINMENT EVENT TICKETS ON THE SECONDARY MARKET. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on General Law.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The fine Representative from Bloomfield, Representative Baram, you have the floor, sir.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and good evening. I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The question is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the Bill. Representative Baram, you have the floor, sir.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Thank you, Mr