THE CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

(The House of Representatives was called to order at 11: 30 o'clock a. m. , Representative Aresimowicz of the 30th District in the Chair. )

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representatives will convene immediately. Members to the Chamber.

Will the House please come to order? Will members, staff, and guests please rise, direct your attention to the Dias where Imam Refai Arefin will lead us in prayer.

DEPUTY CHAPLAIN IMAM REFAI AREFIN:

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Let us pray. Our Lord and Sustainer, we thank you for the joy and happiness we enjoy in both the times of plenty and times of want. It is by you that we enjoy our faculties and senses, our minds and hearts, and our friends and family. A smile is not the twitch of a muscle but rather an act of charity. Happiness is not the accident of nature but rather the culmination of your divine will. We pause now in your presence to acknowledge our gratitude for what each of us holds dear in our deepest realms. Please send your spirit of peace upon those areas of the world where violence and conflict endure and disarm with books and smiles. May all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory. Amen.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you. Would our resident firefighter after the other day, Representative Linehan of the 103rd District come to the Dias, which she's here, and lead us in prayer -- the pledge?

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (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, good morning. There is a favorable reports House Bills to be tabled for the Calendar and printing.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The fine Majority Leader and the leading scorer of the House Democrat's basketball team, Representative Ritter, you have the floor, sir.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

I'm not so sure that's true, Mr. Speaker, but I do 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:

List of Bills, number 52, dated April 12, 2017.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Back to you again, Representative Ritter.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Mr. Speaker, I move that we waive the reading of the list of bills and the bills be referred to the committees indicated.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

So ordered. (Gavel). Are there any announcements or introductions? Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

The last piece of business is the daily Calendar.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you, sir. We will need that today so thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Are there any announcements or introductions? Are there any announcements or introductions? Will the Clerk please call House Calendar 108?

CLERK:

State of Connecticut House of Representatives Calendar Wednesday, April 12, 2017. On page 8, House Calendar 108, House Bill number 5452, AN ACT CONCERNING THE PRACTICAL TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE OF STUDENT EMBALMERS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Public Health.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The chair of the Public Health Committee, Representative Steinberg of the 136th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Good morning, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Good morning, sir.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The question is on accepting the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Steinberg, you have the floor, sir.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. This bill addresses a problem that we are aware of with student embalmers who are seeking to obtain their license. This would extend the period in which they have the opportunity to fulfil the requirement for embalming 50 cadavers from one year to two year -- two years. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

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

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Good morning, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Good morning.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It's a great bill. It ought to pass. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Borer of the 115th. You have the floor madam. Representative Betts of the 78th.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Good morning.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Good morning, sir.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

That's all I wanted to say, thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Ferguson of the 138th, you have the floor.

REP. FERGUSON (138TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I rise in strong support of this bill. It creates a much more realistic and appropriate licensure requirement and meets the needs of this everchanging professional field, and I'm very happy to stand in proud support of this and I urge the entire -- entire House to support this. Thank you very much.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you. Will you remark further? Representative Baker of the 124th, you have the floor sir.

REP. BAKER (124TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is a good bill. They've been having some struggling with some problems in this industry. I think that we need to support this because the funeral professional industries continue -- it's a small industry here in Connecticut and you have a small group of people that are already licensed and I think if we try to retract that it will kind of hinder, and also as we begin to move this industry forward, we can continue to grow this so I urge my colleagues to support this effort to keep the funeral industry growing. Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Will you remark further? Will you remark further on the bill that's before us? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of 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 members voted? Will the members please check the board to determine if their vote is properly cast. If all members have voted, the machine will be locked -- [laughing] -- and the Clerk will take a tally. Will the Clerk please announce the tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 5452

Total number Voting 143

Necessary for Passage 72

Those voting Yea 143

Those voting Nay 0

Absent not Voting 6

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The Bill passes. (Gavel). Are there any announcements or introductions? Representative Zupkus of the 89th. Ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. ZUPKUS (89TH):

Thank you. I rise for the point of an introduction.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed, ma'am.

REP. ZUPKUS (89TH):

Thank you. I would like to introduce everyone to my friend, Mary Vlamis. She is from Prospect and she attends UConn. She is studying economics and she is here today just to see how this place works so please help me welcome Mary to the Chamber. [Applause].

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you. I hope you have an enjoyable day. Representative Zawistowski of 61st. Ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. ZAWISTOWSKI (61ST):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman -- Mr. Speaker -- getting -- making that transition from Committee to House here. Anyway, I rise for the purpose of an introduction.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed, ma'am.

REP. ZAWISTOWSKI (61ST):

Yes, I'd like to welcome to the House today a very large group from Suffield who are here for the Autism -- Autism Awareness Day today. They're up here. They're a group from Suffield. Just wave please. They are here for Autism awareness but also for a new project called Project Keep Me Safe, which will provide identification for autistic children and other individuals who need to be tracked on occasion. Anyway, I would hope that you would please give me a warm welcome for these Suffield people. Thank you. [Whistling]. [Applause].

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Welcome. I hope you too have an enjoyable day here. I was upstairs earlier and I see we have quite a crowd, so thank you for being here. Representative Urban of the 43rd. Ma'am, you have the floor and could we ask the Chamber to quiet down as it's making it very difficult to hear these introductions. Thank you.

REP. URBAN (43RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and this is for the purpose of two introductions. If that's all right with you and the Chamber, Mr. Speaker?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

What would happen if I said no? Yeah, the first one. [Laughing]. Please proceed, ma'am.

REP. URBAN (43RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Standing next to me is our Connecticut Kids Governor and her name is Jessica Brocksom. She's a 5th grader at John F. Kennedy School in Milford and her winning platform, Mr. Speaker, was on Helping Animals -- Those Without a Voice, and I have a citation here that we have prepared for her and I'm just going to read -- "in recognition of your dedication to the protection and care of animals, you're a voice for abuse and neglected animals and your efforts lead the way for others. Your passion for our furry friends may only be surpassed by your kindness to them. We commend your leadership and wish you every success in the future" -- our Kid Governor, which I feel like I can actually think about passing the torch to another person who cares as deeply as I do about animals and children, Jessica. [Applause]. And, Mr. Speaker, we are really happy to have her here today while we have some of our animal therapy team here in the well of the House. We have Ruth Wong with Kelly from Tails of Joy. We have Kate Nicoll with Miranda from Soul Friends, Jan Weigand with Jure from Soul Friends, Dayton Stimson from Georgia with Allen's Angels, Terrie Carpenter with Brody with Cold Noses, Warm Hearts, and Sandy Lok with Andy from Tails of Joy and they are here today to give comfort to the House of Representatives in a very, very difficult session so if you're feeling your blood pressure going up, Mr. Speaker, or if anyone here in the Chambers is feeling a little tense, they will be down in the North lobby or you can wander down here and get a nice warm, sweet little calming influence from our incredible therapy animals who work with us at no cost to the state, Mr. Speaker, on trauma for kids -- like what happened in Newtown -- and are going to be instrumental in therapy animals in court for children who are victims of sexual abuse, so please give them a huge round of applause for the Kid Governor, Jessica, and our therapy animals. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. [Applause].

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you, Representative. Thank you, guests, for the fine work that they do. Are there any other announcements or points of introduction? Representative Ackert of the 8th District, sir.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for an introduction.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you and one of these, a long-time friend of mine, is here today with Brody so Terrie Carpenter has been active with animal therapy since 1995, so I'm so proud that she was able to make it up here with Brody, so Terrie thank you, appreciate it, and if we can give her a welcoming round of applause for Terrie and Brody. Thank you and all the other fine animals that are here and all the people that do such great work so thank you, Mr. Speaker. [Applause].

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Kokoruda of the 101st District. Ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. KOKORUDA (101ST):

Thank you -- thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'd like to have a point of introduction please.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed, ma'am.

REP. KOKORUDA (101ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker and fellow members of the House, I'd like to introduce today a wonderful -- some wonderful people from my town of Madison. We have our Special Education Director, Dr. Liz Battaglia. We have one of her wonderful students, Gina Catalano, and another student, Luke Cafaro, and we are so -- I know I said that wrong --

LUKE CAFARO:

Cafaro.

REP. KOKORUDA (101ST):

Cafaro -- I knew I was gonna do that. Anyway, today they were given an award in Autism Awareness Day. Dr. Battaglia and her students redid and updated a website that deals with transition with really helping our children and young adults under the spectrum and it -- it incorporates issues with secondary education, college, jobs, life skills. I'm so proud of them and I would ask the General Assembly to please stand and welcome them and congratulate them on their award. Thank you. [Applause].

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative, and congratulations, glad you're able to be here today. Are there any other announcements or introductions? Any other announcements or introductions? Hearing none. Will the Clerk please call Calendar number 157?

CLERK:

On page 15, Calendar number 157, substitute House Bill number 7073, AN ACT CONCERNING REMEDIES AND LAWSUITS AGAINST PROPERTY OWNERS BY SUBCONTRACTORS AND THE RELEASE OF RETAINAGE WITHHELD IN PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on General Law.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Baram of the 15th District. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Baram, you can continue to have the floor.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is a probusiness bill that allows subcontractors and suppliers to be paid in a timely manner. The bill is about payment of retainage in private commercial contracts. It allows subcontractors and suppliers to have a direct right of action against an owner of a private enterprise. If the amount of retainage is not paid within a 30 days, the subcontractor or supplier can ask that it be paid in escrow and held until a court decides what should happen with the proceeds. If a court decides that the money was unreasonably withheld by the owner, then it can assess reasonable attorney's fees and interest in that litigation. If it was withheld reasonably, then there is no attorney's fees or interest that the owner would be subject to. Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment, LCO 6016. I'd ask the Clerk to please call the amendment and that I'd be granted leave to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO 6016, which will be designated House amendment schedule "A"?

CLERK:

House amendment schedule "A", LCO number 6016, offered by Representative Baram, Senator Leone, Senator Witkos.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. While the law already provides various defenses to the owner so that nonpayment is justified, this amendment reiterates those defenses to make sure there's no ambiguity whatsoever. Those defenses include in brief that there has been no substantial completion, that payment was already made and consistent with the contract, that all claims cannot proceed the total price of the contract, and that no provisions of the contract have been violated. I move adoption of the amendment and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. The question before the Chamber is adoption of House amendment schedule "A". Will you remark on the amendment? Will you remark on the amendment? Representative Smith of 108th, sir.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good morning. Just a few questions on the amendment.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Thank you. Just on the amendment that deals with the language after line 64 that talks about the owner saying listen I paid the money to the contractor already, it's not due. What happens in that scenario? Would the escrow still be required by the owner or can the owner just say listen I already paid it and I'm not going to put it in escrow?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Baram.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The bill and amendment require that the owner place the amount claimed in escrow so that it can be protected and then it would be up to the court to determine whether or not it was owed. If for some reason the owner declined to put it in escrow, that would be brought before the judge and a judge would decide what kind of action to take.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Smith.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and I thank the Chairman for his response. The -- the bill and the amendment that's before us is really a good bill. There's so often times where the subcontractors have done work, the work is done, they did a great job and everything is great except for one thing -- they haven't been paid so this bill and this amendment to the bill makes sure that our subs and our contractors out there who have done a great job actually do get paid and if they do not get paid, there's an escrow set up so there's interest on top of that, they can recover their legal fees in the event that they have to bring a claim. I urge my colleagues to support this. This is a good, good bill. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

MEMBERS:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Oppose, nay. The Aye's have it. The amendment is adopted. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House, will the 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 RYAN (139TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill 7073 as amended by House "A"

Total number Voting 147

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 122

Those voting Nay 25

Absent not Voting 2

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The bill as amended has passed. (Gavel). Are there any announcements or introductions? Representative Hennessy of the 127th. Sir, you have the floor. Representative Perone of the 137th.

REP. PERONE (137TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. First of all, I'm just gonna move this chair out of the way. It gives me great privilege to introduce a couple of folks from my district, along my colleagues who you well know, but I do introduce the folks from my district to introduce a good friend of mine in Norwalk, Jack Spahr, who is -- how old are you Jack?

JACK SPAHR:

Sixteen.

REP. PERONE (137TH):

Sixteen and he's studying government. He believes that democracy is a deeply important area to -- to explore and he's here learning about the -- the Chamber as much as possible. He's also joined by his father, Jeff Spahr, who is a local leader in Norwalk. He's done outstanding work on Autism awareness, as well as ADHD awareness and these are two issues that so many of us work with and -- and address in our -- in our working lives up here and I would like to turn it over to my colleagues, Terrie Wood and Gail Lavielle, to say a few words because this is -- this is really -- this is where the partisan stuff goes out the window. We all really feel and really believe that this is, you know, we have to work together to address these issues. Thank you.

REP. WOOD (141ST):

Thank you, Chris. Thank you Representative Perone and welcome Jack, welcome Jeff. It's a thrill to join you here and welcome you to the people's House.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you and it's -- it is a real pleasure to welcome both Jack and Jeff Spahr because I've honestly on the Education Committee Jeff Spahr has been the most incredible resource for us in understanding all the intricacies of special education legislation and all the possibilities, so I'm so glad they're here today. I'm glad that the Chamber can make their acquaintance and join us in welcoming them and our colleague, Fred Wilms, from Norwalk is also arriving just in the nick of time.

REP. WILMS (142ND):

I just want to thank Jeff Spahr and his son for being here. They've been such powerful advocates for Autism and for those affected by it and so when I heard that they were here, I rushed -- I dropped what I was doing just to get here in time, so thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representatives. Welcome and enjoy the day. Are there any other announcements or point of introductions? Any other announcements or introductions? Hearing none. Will the Clerk please call Calendar number 126?

CLERK:

On page 11, Calendar number 126, House Bill number 7110, AN ACT CONCERNING THE LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONER'S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TECHNICAL AND MINOR REVISIONS TO STATUTES CONCERNING MILITARY AND VETERAN'S AFFAIRS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Veteran's Affairs.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Hennessy of the 127th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this bill is what the title says. It's a technical bill asked by LCO, so I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I said, this is a technical bill. Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment 6145. I would ask the Clerk to please call the amendment and that I'd be granted leave of the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO 6145, which will be designated House amendment schedule "A".

CLERK:

House amendment schedule "A". LCO number 6145 offered by Representative Berger, Representative Hennessy.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this is an optional municipal property tax exemption for Gold Star parents and spouses. I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will any of the members care to -- to speak to the amendment to -- Representative Ferraro of the 117th.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Good morning or afternoon, Mr. Speaker. I rise for a couple of questions regarding the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Representative, this amendment just to be clear is designed to be permissive and not a mandate to the municipality. Is that correct?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, that's correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and through you, and so to that regard then the only way that a resident of a particular community can be harmed or have more burden would be if the legislative body of that municipality were to vote to -- to take advantage of the policy in which case by doing so would result in an increased mill rate as a result of that policy. Is that correct?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, that's correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Okay and based on that, Mr. Speaker, I will be supporting the amendment as the amendment is not a mandate on the municipality. It's merely a permissive policy that a municipality can choose to take advantage of or not take advantage of. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Berger of the 73rd. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. BERGER (73RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and good afternoon. I stand in support of the amendment, which will now become part of the bill and I thank the leadership and ranking members of the committee and committee members. It's a very, very important issue to myself personally to protect Gold Star families and the loss that they endure from a loved one that may be KIA in a military combat situation. The importance of this and the protection of those Gold Star families in remembering their loss is critical in what we do in this legislation. I am very thankful to the Chairman for bringing this amendment forward, which will now become part of the bill. He has been introduced to Mr. Joseph Noland several times. We've been to the committee in support of veteran's bills and Gold Star family bills. One of which we as the state of Connecticut did several years ago, The Gold Star Family Remembrance Plate through the department of motor vehicles. We were the first state in the nation of 50 states to enact that plate and Mr. Joseph Noland was very, very much a part of that. Now, all 50 states, Mr. Speaker, have a Gold Star family remembrance plate led by the leadership of this General Assembly. Mr. Noland lost his son, Sergeant Joseph Noland, in Fallujah in 2004 to a roadside bomb. Sergeant Noland would be in his 40s now if he were still alive and with us. The importance of this bill, again, is to remember those families, remember their losses, and remember the ultimate sacrifice that those in the military have given to this great nation and this state. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

MEMBERS:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Opposed, nay. The aye's have it. The amendment is adopted. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Ferraro of the 117th.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and through you, Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the bill. The bill is just a language change to clear up some technicalities. It's a good bill. It ought to pass. Thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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 the members take their 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 RYAN (139TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill 7110 as amended by House "A"

Total number Voting 148

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 148

Those voting Nay 0

Absent not Voting 1

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The bill as amended has passed. (Gavel). Are there any announcements or introductions? Any announcements or introductions? Representative Sredzinksi of the 112th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and good afternoon. I am joined today by an elected town council member in the town of Monroe and his family, who is generous enough to win of the tours that we often auction off as State Representatives and Mr. Ken Kellog is here with his family, joined by his wife, Mary, his son, Sam, and his daughter, Abbey. They have taken a tour of the building and I just wanted to say welcome to our building and thank you for your service to the town of Monroe, and I hope that my colleagues can give us their normal welcome. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. [Applause].

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you. I hope you have an enjoyable day. The Clerk will please call Calendar number 98.

CLERK:

On page 7, Calendar number 98, House Bill 6506, AN ACT WAIVING CERTAIN VETERAN'S RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE STEP-UP PROGRAM. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Veteran's Affairs.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Hennessy of the 127th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Question before the Chamber on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Hennessy, please continue.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this is a common-sense bill that seeks to combine two programs that essentially do the same thing. I ask that the House please support it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? Representative Ferraro of the 117th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in support of the bill. I would like to just ask a couple questions of the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. This program simply combines two existing programs into one with no additional fiscal note. Is that correct?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, that's correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

And, finally, the bill simply just waives residential requirements for veterans so that they can participate in the Step program. Is this true?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Ferraro. Excuse me. Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, that's correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Now, Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and I rise in support of the bill and recommend my colleagues will support the bill as well. Thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Yes -- [clearing throat] -- excuse me. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I -- I heard the summarization offered by the Chair of the Veteran's Committee and I understand that it's a simple bill and as he indicated, a common-sense bill because it combines two programs but I didn't quite get what the two programs were and so if I could ask a few questions to figure that out, so through you, Mr. Speaker, what are the two existing programs that are being combined?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, so in 2011 due to the economic meltdown in 2008, the state created the Step-Up program, which is an anachronism for the Connecticut Subsidized Training and Employment program and that was so successful that a year later we created a veteran's segment to that. Two different funding streams but basically doing the same thing and what this bill would do is would be to combine them.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Now, does the original program, the S-T-E-P program, was that for veterans or was that for a larger group of people?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. It was silent as to the aspect of veterans. It dealt -- the concern was municipalities with a certain unemployment level.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, so and then the second program, the one that was originally specific to veterans -- what -- what was the target group for that? Who was the beneficiaries of that program intended to be at its inception?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, so it -- it's basically the same in that it's subsidizing businesses to hire out-of-work veterans. The -- the -- the original one was targeted towards small businesses; whereas, the veterans -- any business, a large business could also enjoy this and there was no location requirement for the veterans.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and if I could ask, what was the impetus for combining these two programs?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. This -- this opens the program so that veterans throughout the state of Connecticut and not just distressed municipalities can enjoy this program.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and is it anticipated -- it was mentioned that there was no, I believe, extra cost or fiscal note associated with this. If I could ask, is that because the underlying programs -- [clearing throat] -- excuse me -- had no fiscal costs associated with them?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The funding for this -- for these two programs is through bonding.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and is -- if the funding for these programs was through bonding, do we have any idea as to whether there will be any savings in terms of the bond monies required because the programs are being combined now? Is there any cost savings because of the combination?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. That would be a question the Department of Labor would be more keyed into. This just seems to make it more of a seamless endeavor.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and I thank the good Chairman of the Veteran's Committee for his answers to my questions. Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment to this bill. It's LCO 6165. If the Clerk could please call and I'd be allowed to summarize?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO 6165, which will be designated House Amendment Sschedule "A".

CLERK:

House Amendment "A" LCO number 6165 offered by Representative O'Neill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection? Hearing none. Representative O'Neill, you can proceed with the summarization.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. What this amendment does is accomplish a purpose of a bill that was earlier this session introduced by Senator Osten in which I co-sponsored and what it does is that it modifies the definition of veteran in Connecticut to enable a person who is a member -- was a member of any reserve component of the Armed Forces or Connecticut National Guard during a period of war and was honorably discharged from or released under honorable conditions from the Reserve or the National Guard, as the case may be, to be considered a veteran for the various purposes that we use that term in our statutes. It has a wide range of potential applications and -- but that's the essence of what the proposed amendment does, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Did you move adoption, sir?

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

No I did not, Mr. Speaker and I thank you very much for the reminder. I would move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Mr. Speaker, I think I still have the floor.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were done. Excuse me, sir. Please continue.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you. I -- first of all, I wish to apologize to the Chair of the Veteran's Committee and the Ranking Member. This amendment was something that was crafted very quickly this morning when I saw that the potential vehicle for the amendment was on the go list. It, as I said, was originally -- the contents of this amendment was originally a bill that was presented to the Veteran's Committee and I believe, at least the bill number was reported out in file copy, although the original contents of the bill have been replaced by other materials. The reason for this amendment is that I've been approached by folks in my district, some of whom are veterans, that is to say they served in the United States Armed Forces, they did a period of basic training and then several months of active duty but not enough time to qualify under our current definition. Some of them served for as many as six years in the Reserves, did the training exercises and that sort of thing, wore the uniform and in fact did end up receiving an honorable discharge, a form -- I can't remember the number of it now -- DD214, which is usually the thing that you present, for example, to the tax assessor and for which you then get qualified for property tax exemption. It's the document that says you are a veteran and you served this country in uniform and -- and are entitled to certain benefits and recognition on account of that so when this has occurred in the past, the problem has been that our Connecticut specific definition doesn't allow folks who didn't do more active duty time to qualify for that status and the purpose of this is to open up that definition of veteran to folks who in fact believed for much of their lives that they were veterans and perhaps in other states would be considered veterans but when they come to Connecticut, discover that they do not qualify because our definition excludes them from the status of being a veteran of the U. S. Armed Forces. I'm hoping that the Chairman will have an opportunity to go over the amendment and may in fact consider it to be a friendly amendment so that it might pass without further or much more discussion, but as I said, this is something that has been brought to my attention. It's by people in my district who feel that because our rather specific definition excludes them from that status of veteran that they -- they are being in effect unfairly excluded that they understood that they were veterans, the U. S. Armed Forces treated them as veterans by giving them the DD214, and that they should be enabled to enjoy that status here in the state of Connecticut so Mr. Speaker, I would urge adoption and I would hope that the Chair of the Veteran's Committee would be able to give me a favorable response on the question of whether or not it will be considered friendly.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Hennessy, sir.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this bill was voted out of Committee unanimously with bipartisan support. Unfortunately, I cannot support this amendment. I consider it an unfriendly amendment and when the vote is taken, I ask that it be taken by roll call.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. There's been a request to have the roll call taken. All in favor of taking the vote by a roll call signified by saying aye.

MEMBERS:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

It seems that the 20 percent has been met so when the vote is taken, it will be taken by roll. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Will the members please take their 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, the machine will be locked. The Clerk will announce the tally.

CLERK:

House Amendment "A" LCO number 6165

Total number Voting 149

Necessary for Adoption 75

Those voting Yea 74

Those voting Nay 75

Absent not Voting 0

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The amendment is rejected. (Gavel).

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Majority Leader Ritter. You have the floor, sir.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Mr. Speaker, I move that we pass this bill temporarily. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

This bill is passed temporarily. (Gavel).

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Are there any announcements or introductions? Any announcements or introductions? Representative DiMassa of the 116th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. DIMASSA (116TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I just want to acknowledge for purposes of introductions we have former West Haven Representative Russ Reynolds here and we have Christian Sanchez who is a student, a senior, at West Haven High School. I want to thank them for coming and if the House would give them a warm welcome it would be much appreciated. [Applause].

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative and welcome sirs. Representative D'Amelio of the 71st. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. D'AMELIO (71ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise for a point of introduction please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. D'AMELIO (71ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and Mr. Speaker, today we have along with Representative Cummings we have John Kane who is a senior at Sacred Heart High School in the city of Waterbury. He's here to observe the legislative process. John is going to be attending UConn in the fall and he used to come up here when he was a little toddler with his father who was very active in -- with the Waterbury firefighters in the city of Waterbury, so he used to come up here and lobby, so I want everybody to give him a warm welcome. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. [Applause].

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Hampton of the 16th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. HAMPTON (16TH):

Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker. I rise for purposes of an introduction.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. HAMPTON (16TH):

I'm delighted to welcome Carline Egan and her father, Bill Egan, from Simsbury. Caroline will be shadowing me today here in the Chamber. She's eager to learn all about state government and how it works, so I'm thrilled to welcome one of Simsbury's best and brightest, and I hope the Chamber will join me in welcoming her and her father to the Connecticut General Assembly. Thank you. [Applause].

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you and welcome. I hope you have a good day while you're visiting up here. Are there any other announcements or introductions? Any other announcements or introductions? Hearing none. Will the Clerk please call Calendar number 128 -- 128?

CLERK:

Calendar number 128. Substitute House Bill number 7112, AN ACT CONCERNING CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY CENTERS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Children.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Urban. You have the floor, ma'am.

REP. URBAN (43RD):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Urban, you may proceed.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this bill defines child advocacy centers in statute. It outlines many of the activities and services these centers may engage in to assist multidisciplinary teams for child maltreatment victims and their families. Connecticut originally was on the cutting edge when we defined multidisciplinary teams to bring all the professionals involved to one table to support victims of child maltreatment. This bill will now codify that for us in the state of Connecticut. It adds forensic interviewers and victim advocates to the members of the multidisciplinary team and it outlines support the statewide coalition, which in Connecticut is the Children's Alliance, may provide to centers multidisciplinary teams and the Governor's taskforce on Justice for Abused Children. The children's advocacy centers act as the hub as the investigation, which helps to ensure that the joint investigations are successful. I would say the use of this model, Mr. Speaker, saves $ 1000 dollars per case over the traditional model and we have about, in one study, a 94 percent success rate. With that, Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has in its possession an amendment LCO 6143. I ask that he call it and I be allowed to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO 6143, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule "A".

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule "A" LCO number 6143 offered by Representative Urban and Representative Zupkus.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. URBAN (43RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In essence, Mr. Speaker, this clarifies language. For example, we clarified the language to be sure that the centers were working toward their accreditation as associate or developing centers are also included and for example, we added language to make the separation of duties of the child advocacy centers and the multidisciplinary teams and the various professionals who sit on those teams more clear. It removes the call for an annual evaluation and that would be, Mr. Speaker, because as written the section would have required duplication of existing evaluations being conducted by the governor's taskforce on Justice for Abused Children. With that, Mr. Speaker, I urge adoption of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Question before the Chamber is on adoption of House Amendment Schedule "A". Will you remark on the amendment? Representative Zupkus of the 89th, Ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. ZUPKUS (89TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just wanted to encourage my colleagues to support this amendment. We really worked bipartisan together and came up with something that's really great. Actually, we had a meeting yesterday that everyone was at the table and agreed upon so that doesn't happen a lot here and it did and it's wonderful, so I do encourage you all to support it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment? Representative Ackert of the 8th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and just a quick question for clarification on the amendment.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Yeah, in line in the amendment -- line 12 -- you do have a section that is being struck and I'm just curious if it might -- because it doesn't apply -- and it's the trafficking of children?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Urban.

REP. URBAN (43RD):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The question -- what was -- if you would repeat the question -- is it -- thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Ackert.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Yes, I would be happy to. Yeah, the reasoning for striking the trafficking of children under this -- on this amendment.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Urban.

REP. URBAN (43RD):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. That was one of the clarifying issues in the underlying bill.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Ackert.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thought possibly that it was. I was just trying to get more information on it and thank you to the good lady for her answers. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

MEMBERS:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Opposed. The aye's have it. The amendment is adopted. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the house. Will the members please take their 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 RYAN (139TH):

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Will the voters -- members please check the board to determine if their vote's properly cast. If all members have voted, the machine will be locked. The Clerk will take a tally. If the Clerk will please announce the tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 7112 as amended by House "A"

Total number Voting 149

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 149

Those voting Nay 0

Absent not Voting 0

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The bill as amended is passed. (Gavel). Are there any announcements or introductions? Are there any announcements or introductions? Representative Yaccarino of the 87th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Point of personal privilege.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

For the point of an introduction, sir, yes.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

With me here today, I have Jack Pribe, a freshman of North Haven High. He is here visiting. Most public schools are on vacation this week. His mom, Tricia, works in the building. I'd like to give him a warm welcome and he's seeing the inner workings, how we work together so well. I'd like to give Jack a warm welcome. [Applause].

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Welcome, sir, and I hope you have an enjoyable day here at the Capitol. Representative Soto of the Whaling City, District number 39. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. SOTO (39TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise for the purpose of an announcement.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. SOTO (39TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I'd just like to take a quick moment to congratulate everyone who participated in yesterday's 30th Annual John H. Blair Basketball Tournament. We raised a lot of money for that student athlete scholarship fund, and I would also like to recognize the four teams that made it to the final four -- the House Dems legislatures, the Army National Guard, the Black Hat Lobbyist, and the nonpartisans and the White Hats actually won a first game in a while, so thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. [Applause]. I think that's all right as long as the House Dems win. Okay, are there any announcements or introductions? Any other announcements or introductions? Hearing none. Will the Clerk please call -- I'm sorry -- please call Calendar number 137.

CLERK:

On page 12, Calendar number 137, substitute House Bill number 5730, AN ACT CONCERNING CERTAIN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE MACHINES.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti from the Hat City. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this bill would allow alcoholic liquor permittees who are authorized to serve alcohol for on premise consumption to use a self-serve automated machine to serve beer and wine. You know, as we all know, the craft beer movement is booming here in Connecticut with many new and successful breweries opening over the last few years. Self-pouring technology helps to support this growing industry of craft beer in our state by giving patrons exposure to many of the craft products produced by our home-grown industries -- breweries. There are built-in checks and safety measures to make sure it is enjoyed in a safe manner. A patron must present a government ID to an employee of the permittee to verify that they are 21 years of age or older. The patron will then be given a unique RFID device in the form of a card or a bracelet, which will be used to turn on the machine. The patron pays by the ounce and each card is limited to one drink and the card will shut off when those numbers are reached, and the RFID device in this system are set to automatically close down at the end of each night so the device cannot be used by an unauthorized person at a future date in time. This technology helps give local breweries and vendors more exposure, which is great for our small businesses and with that being said, Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment LCO 6166. I would ask the Clerk to please call the amendment and I'd be granted leave of the chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO 6166, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule "A".

CLERK:

House Amendment "A" LCO number 6166 offered by Representative Arconti, Representative Baram, and Representative Smith.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Thank you. This amendment is technical in nature and it would allow DCP to amend the regulations of Connecticut state agencies to conform the regulations to this -- this bill should it become law.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Do you move adoption, sir?

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Question before the Chamber is adoption of House Amendment Schedule "A". Will you remark on the amendment? Will you remark further on the amendment Representative Arconti?

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

No.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Smith of the 108th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just a question or two to the proponent of the amendment.

Through you, if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Thank you. Just the quick question I have is Department of Consumer Protection I understand will now be monitoring these types of machines. I'm wondering how they know what establishment has these machines as opposed those who do not.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, it is with legislative intent with this amendment to -- that DCP will amend the regulations to put a simple question on liquor permit applications and renewal applications, a simple check box on whether an establishment has one of these machines or not.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Smith.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, so I -- I understand from my good colleague from Danbury, the great city of Danbury, that DCP will be able to monitor these by just simply those who are applying for this type of machine would have to check it off on the application and therefore, they would know which establishments have it and which do not and I understand -- I was looking at the amendment and it appears that this is current law already that govern the sale and service of alcohol for bars and restaurants. Am I correct in that?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Yes -- yes, that is correct.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Smith.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and I thank my colleague from Danbury for proposing this amendment and the underlying bill. I urge my colleagues to support it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further on the amendment? Representative Fishbein of the 90th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I too have some questions for the proponent, if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Is it required -- understanding that the permit or ID can only be used at that establishment, is there a time limit on the use of that authorization.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The time limit would be, you know, 32 ounces or when the patron decides to return the card to the server to pay for the -- for the beer or wine, and there is a time limit in regard that at the end of the night the card -- the technology in the card -- the device will shut off automatically to not be used at a future date in time.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, so I didn't notice in the proposed language any restriction on that time. Am I correct? I mean I understand the technology. I'm -- I'm not aware of this technology, so am I to understand like an electronic library book that this would automatically expire through the system?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Yes, Mr. Speaker. That understanding is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, Mr. Speaker, am I to understand that a purchaser of these cards is only allowed to purchase one card at a time because I also do not glean that from the language?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Yes, Mr. Speaker. That is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I notice in the description of the bill that it's intended that the permittee put the names of the purchaser on the card. Is there a reason why that isn't required in the bill?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, was the question why is that required in the bill?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. No, it's not required in the bill that once the card is issued to the purchaser that an identifying name be put on there and my question is why not?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. That could be a way an establishment tracks the proper use of the card. We felt it didn't need to be put into language.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, so we hear a lot about underage drinking and trying to permit this. If I may through you, Mr. Speaker, ask the proponent what is to prevent a person over the age of 21 from purchasing one of these cards and without identifying on that card who it belongs to giving that to someone who is a minor who now has carte blanche to acquire alcohol?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative, it's been pointed out that you're asking questions not really relative to the amendment. Do you have questions on the particular amendment? Can we come back to that?

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

No, not with regard to the amendment. I'll reserve until we get to the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

And, we'll come back to you then. Okay? Thank you.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Any other further questions on the amendment? Any further questions on the amendment? If not, I will try your minds. All those in favor of the amendment signify by saying aye.

MEMBERS:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Opposed, nay. The aye's have it. The amendment is adopted. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Fishbein of the 90th, sir.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, so just continuing on through you, Mr. Speaker. What is the preventive fail-safe here that would prevent a purchaser from -- without the identifying language as to who owns that card -- giving that card to someone under age who now has carte blanche to acquire alcoholic product.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and I thank the Representative for his question cuz it's not, you know, something that escaped me while I was, you know, working on this legislation throughout the session. You know, that would be against, you know, law right now. You can't serve a minor and it's sort of the same scenario if you walk into a restaurant or bar and you know, you buy a pitcher of beer and you bring it back to a table, you cannot serve someone under the age of 21. It is up to the establishment to, you know, police that and under this new system and technology, the establishment would have to, you know, make sure they're conforming to state law and regulations by not allowing these cards to be given to anyone under the age of 21.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am having difficulty in hearing the good proponent of the bill but I -- what I glean is that current law prevents that but I must ask whether or not the current law is successful in preventing and/or curtailing minors from drinking alcohol?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I mean that's a good question. I think it's a bigger issue and I believe the safeguards that we have now in place in statute are good enough for this piece of legislation.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, Mr. Speaker, I ask the proponent isn't it true that currently the bartender who has face-to-face contact with the purchaser of the alcoholic product is charged with determining the sobriety of the individual, as well as affirming the age and therefore, affirming legal acquisition of the alcohol?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

I apologize. Would the good Representative repeat that? I had trouble putting it all together.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

I just ask the Chamber to take your conversations outside. It is becoming a little difficult for the folks that are continuing to have a discussion to be able to be heard either by the person asking the questions or the person who is answering the questions, so if we could have the Chamber come down to a low roar and people who are having conversations take them outside so that this can continue to occur. Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, so the good proponent would perhaps agree with me that under current law a bartender is charged with determining the sobriety of the person acquiring alcohol, as well as their age and whether or not they are legally authorized to acquire alcohol?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Yes, Mr. Speaker. That is correct. In regulations, we have the bartender -- you cannot be served more than one drink at a time, which is why there is ounce limits on these cards to where once those limits are hit, if you would like more ounces on the card, you would have to go back to a bartender or server to renew the card and at that point, they could determine your sobriety level and they have the ability to cut you off as they would now.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, but now we are taking the bartender, that gatekeeper out of the situation as far as who uses the card because we aren't putting a name on there by way of example.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The card is coded so they will be able to know who purchased the card. If that answers my colleagues question?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That isn't the question. It's the user of the card. We are taking the bartender out of the situation as to the point of purchase of the acquisition of the alcohol. That's the relevant point and my question that I reiterate is -- is isn't true that we're taking the gatekeeper out of that situation?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, no, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, so if we are not identifying on the card who owns the card and the card is not used at the point of purchase of the card, how are we preventing through a gatekeeper such as the bartender a minor from using the card?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, again, minors are not allowed to be served alcohol under 21 years of age and the bartender will observe the machines -- the on-tap machines -- to ensure that 21 minors are not being served or using the card.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just I ask the good proponent to point out the portion of the bill that mandates that the bartender is supposed to monitor the usage at the machines.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I cannot point out those mandates.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, so it's certainly conceivable that the bartender could be in a totally different room than where these machines are?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I would say it's a scenario but they would certainly be in site of the machines.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Carney of the 23th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. CARNEY (23RD):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Through you, just a couple of questions for the proponent of the bill?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. CARNEY (23RD):

Thank you very much. I'm just curious in reading about the bill and can you just give me just a little explanation of really what are the benefits of having these self-serving alcoholic beverage machines versus having an actual bartender or person serving the alcohol?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The concept was brought to me by the Director of City Center of Danbury. A few local businesses in City Center wanted to incorporate this technology. All our neighboring states allow for this, so do more than 30 other states and I've had a few other business people reach out after the bill was -- had a public hearing that they are very interested in bringing this technology into their restaurants, and it's more a way to -- it's sort of a novelty and promotional aspect where you can -- you have the ability to try, you know, multiple flavors in a small -- in small amounts at one time before making the purchase, which is why it's tied into supporting our craft beer industry.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Carney.

REP. CARNEY (23RD):

Okay and I -- I know you mentioned the craft beer industry a lot during your comments. I'm just curious -- I mean do you foresee restaurants being able to do this as well? I've seen on television tables actually having dispensers at them where people can just put a glass up and get beer.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. It is limited in the bar area but you know, restaurants would be able to incorporate this technology.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Carney.

REP. CARNEY (23RD):

Okay, thank you, Mr. Speaker. I don't have any further questions. I'm gonna be opposing this bill today. I do have concerns related to folks being able to pour their own alcoholic beverages, especially since, you know, we do have a lot of instances of driving under the influence and I think -- I think an employee, a bartender, really is that person that can step in if somebody has had too much to drink and it really concerns me that -- that someone can go into a bar and do that, and also, the aspect of I know we're concerned about further automation taking away jobs and bartenders and wait staff they're really good jobs, especially for folks who need a second income, so that -- that also concerns me as well is the potential job losses as a result of this concept and potentially the concept moving beyond this to include liquor or -- or harder substances other than beer and wine. I know that's not in this bill but I can foresee it happening, so for those reasons, I'm gonna be opposing this bill today. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Okay, thank you, Representative Carney. Representative Godfrey of the 110th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. GODFREY (110TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the bill as amended. My district includes the entertainment district in Danbury all of downtown along main street and some of the side streets and it's -- it's a big part of what drives interest in downtown, what drives the economy of the city of Danbury and because it creates the buzz. It makes it attractive of people of any age to -- to want to move in there and as -- as old as I may be, I'm not a Luddite and I'm not opposed to new technology because we've never done it that way before. I would prefer to embrace it and when I looked over the -- some of the testimony for the public hearing the claim was made that 43 other states already do this, which tells me that -- that it's not a problem for law enforcement or -- or -- or anyone else for that matter in making sure that underage drinkers don't have access and where inebriated drinkers don't have access, and indeed, the law isn't changing on the serving of underage people. It's not changing on the -- the -- the potentially inebriated person -- customer. It's still the same and if a permittee or the bartender or whoever's in charge of the premises allows a crime to be committed by serving an underage drinker no matter how is still liable both under the criminal code and in tort. They can be both stopped by the state through liquor control, closed down, forced out of business. None of that changes. That's still there the same way it is today and similarly, any customer or any person who is injured by someone who has been served too much alcoholic beverage can sue the provider of the alcoholic beverage in civil -- in a civil case in -- in tort for -- for negligence. None of that changes. No responsible owner is going to allow any of his employees for whom he or she is responsible for breaking the law. The law that exists now. They don't do it now. They're not gonna do it with this new technology, so I'm confident that law enforcement is up to the task. I'm confident that prosecutors are up to the task and I'm confident that -- that owners are also up to the task of making sure there's no changes in the law. Meanwhile, this is a new service. It's being provided. It's been provided in 43 other states seemingly without a problem. We have no evidence that that is true, so I would encourage my colleagues to vote for this bill as amended. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Betts of the 78th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you to the proponent, if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

When you have this self-dispensing technology for beer or wine, is there going to be somebody there all the time to check whether somebody is of legal age or how -- how would that be determined?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and with -- with talking -- I just would like to make a point too -- in talking with the various business owners who operate this in other states, they have hired employees to -- to monitor the machines, to educate patrons how to use them but the point of sale is when, you know, the safety precautions are in place. You have to be ID'd by an employee of the permittee to gain access to these machines.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Thank you very much, so if I understand the good gentleman's answer, there will be -- it will be monitored the entire time in which the liquor is available and if somebody comes back a second time, is that individual gonna be carded each and every single time and then the second part of that is who or what is the criteria for determining if somebody has drunk too much or may potentially be perceived as having drunk too much?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, it is in regulations now that a person must be carded every time that they order a drink at a bar now and those -- those statutes or regulations, as Representative Godfrey said, are not changing and it'd be the same determination that a bartender or a server would use now when serving a patron through a normal way of providing them with a glass of beer or a glass of wine.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Thank you and I thank the good gentleman for his answers. I originally had intended to vote for this bill and I still understand the rationale and the reasons for it but in listening to this debate, my comfort level in terms of safeguard to this, particularly for people who may be inebriated, is really giving me some pause and for that reason, I'm gonna be opposing it at this point. I really am concerned about the drinking and the driving and I really don't -- I really don't want to encourage or tempt people to drink more than what they should be doing and for those reasons, I will be opposing it. I thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further. Representative Baram. Representative Baram, you have the floor, sir.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. First, I would like to congratulate Representative David Arconti for proposing this novel idea, which is used in so many other states, and I believe that this will definitely promote economic development for our restaurants and bars and the general economy in entertainment districts. A couple of misconceptions I would like to address. First of all, this will not result in any job losses. In fact, the supervision that's required in a restaurant or a bar will be the same as it currently exists because it's their responsibility legally to make sure that somebody is not underage and that somebody is not inebriated when they ask for a drink. Secondly, these cards are not transferrable. They are only used in the restaurant that issues them so that there is no danger in somebody taking a card and walking outside and giving it to somebody to use in a different restaurant because of the coding that takes place and part of the regulations of this bill are that the DCP is going to address these and make sure there's enforcement so that the law is fully complied with. These machines have to be under the bill under the supervision of the bartender and the servers and it's really no different than somebody sitting at a table, having a drink where the server reports to the bartender that the person has had too much or is not acting appropriately. It's the same thing for the machine. There is no difference. It's under strict supervision. In terms of the coding and identification, while these cards may not have the name of the person and we don't know that for sure because the restaurants may decide on their own or DCP may decide as part of their regulations to require the name to be in the card, everything is coded and when you purchase the card, you have to show your identification just as you would if you went to a liquor store and the salesperson wasn't sure of your age. They could card you and ask for identification. There's no difference here. Because the card expires when the restaurant closes, again, there is no danger that this card can be transferred to somebody else and again, let's remember that all of these institutions whether it's a restaurant, a bar, or a package store are under strict inspection by the Department of Consumer Protection. The have agents that go out that periodically monitor these establishments and the same thing would happen here. I think the proof of the pudding is the fact that so many other states allow this and it's worked very, very well. It's not like we're creating history of precedent in the state of Connecticut. We're following other states that have already implemented this. I know it's a new novel idea for many of us and again, I credit Representative Arconti for helping to educate us to understand what other states have done and how beneficial this is in promoting economic development, so I would urge my colleagues to vigorously support this bill and hopefully create a new economic situation for our bars, our restaurants to create this novelty to encourage more people to frequent them. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further? Representative France.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

Thank you, Madam Chair. I have a few questions for the proponent of the bill.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

You may proceed, sir.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

Thank you, Madam Chair. Looking specifically at the bill -- original bill lines 12 through 15 and noting that the automated machine is authorized to dispose a certain amount, not more than 32 ounces of beer and 10 ounces of wine before the payment card is reactivated and then looking at the amendment in line 10 is that serving of not more than one drink.

Through you, Madam Chair, what is the size of one drink?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, is the question the size of one drink?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative France.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct. What is the size of one drink?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, I can't -- the size of one drink is can't be given any more than -- cannot be served any more than one glass.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative France.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

Thank you for the answer and I guess the question is so if I have a stein that is 32 ounces, I can consume or pour the 32 ounces of beer in one drink and that is considered one drink?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. No.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative France.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

I'm sorry, Madam Speaker. I couldn't hear. Was that a no?

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Yes. Through you --

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Yes, Representative France. That was a no.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm having a hard time hearing the short answer. If it is not allowed the 32 ounces, then I ask my question again. What is the definition of one drink if I cannot come in with a mug of 32 ounces and pour the entire quantity of 32 ounces, which is authorized in the proposed bill?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

It is my understanding that it is 12 ounces. Through you, Mr. Speaker -- Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative France.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

Thank you for that answer, so 12 ounces, if we'll assume for argument the 12 ounces is the definition of one drink, although that's not defined anywhere in statute that I'm aware of. I then go on to the final phrase where I'm looking at lines 12 through 14 and it states that the automated machine is allowed only to dispense the second subsequent servings only after the first serving has been substantially disposed of or consumed by such person. Through you, Madam Speaker, how can an automated machine know that the first drink has been consumed?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The cards can be -- the cards are programmed to shut off after that ounce limit has been hit.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative France.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

I thank you for that answer and I understand that 32 ounces of beer or 10 ounces of wine so if the first drink is 12 ounces of beer, there's another 20 ounces of beer that then would be consumed on that card so I renew my question of how does the automated machine know that the first 12 ounces has been consumed before the second subsequent 12 ounce portions of beer may be consumed?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That's -- 32 is the total amount that the card can handle. The cards can be programmed if serving individual to shut off after the one drink ounce threshold has been hit, so the card will shut off after that -- after the threshold has been hit and the machines will no longer be able to be used.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative France.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

Thank you. I appreciate the answer. It still doesn't get to the root of the point. If the card can be authorized for up to 32 ounces and the, for sake of argument, our drink size is 12 ounces, the patron comes up and serves himself 12 ounces of beer and then comes back to receive the additional 20 ounces of beer. How does the automated machine as is defined in the bill know that the first 12 ounces has either been substantially disposed of or consumed by such person before the remaining 20 ounces is authorized under the limit of the card?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If an individual is being served alcohol, they can only be served one drink at a time so if the individual is purchasing the card for themselves the card will be programmed to shut off after that threshold has been hit. I apologize to my -- the good Representative. That's the best way I know how to answer his questions. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative France.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

I thank you and I'm not gonna belabor the point but just a comment in followup is that in my example and assuming the 12 ounces is the acceptable size of a drink. My point is the automated machine has no way to know whether that first 12 ounces has been consumed or not unless there is a requirement for a man or a person to stand there and observe, which is the point that others have made here of the role of a bartender in doing this, so my point of this is that the regulation that we're putting in place does not seem to be workable nor enforceable on the patron or to be able to be regulated appropriately and so for that matter -- for that reason, I will be opposing this as amended and I in principle do not disagree with the dispensing of automated -- the automated machines. I just disagree with the point of how this amendment and the bill was proposed as unworkable. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further? Representative D'Amelio.

REP. D'AMELIO (71ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and good afternoon to ya.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Good afternoon to you, sir.

REP. D'AMELIO (71ST):

Madam Speaker, I rise in support of this bill as amended that is before us. The technology that these machines have today are really a plus for the craft brewing industry. As a restaurant owner, you know, I'm not accustomed to pouring like an ounce of beer so that you can taste it. That's what this technology in these vending machines would do. They would allow you to go in and sample different craft beers that you might be offering to see if you like it or not. I don't see -- they're not gonna be left in a corner unsupervised. You're gonna have to be of legal age to drink. The card is gonna measure exactly how many ounces you're gonna be able to purchase at any given time, and it'll be up to you to figure out which beer you want to try. I don't see really any negative -- negative things that go with this. It's technology that's out there. It's used in many different states and it's primarily for that craft beer industry so that when we go into a bar and there's five or six offerings from our local brewery that you want to try but you're not sure if you like it or not instead of, you know, shelling out $ 7 or $ 8 dollars for a glass of beer you might not enjoy, you can go to this vending machines and take an ounce and pay for an ounce of that beer and if you like it, then you can go purchase a full glass, so I think it's an upside. It's a probusiness for the state of Connecticut, especially for that industry, so I urge support on this bill. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further. Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have one question for the proponent of the bill please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative, I'm glad you got the memo today about the polka dots. [Laughing].

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Yes, ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Arconti, prepare yourself please. You may proceed, Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you. I was reading -- and I don't know if the amendment took care of this -- but I was reading some public testimony from the Department of Consumer Protections that there was a conflict with our regulation to the Liquor Control Act, and I was just wondering if the good proponent of the bill could address that for me please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Arconti.

REP. ARCONTI (109TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and yes, I worked with DCP on this amendment. That is exactly what this amendment was for and they are now okay with everything.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you and I thank you for that point and I love your polka dots too, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, madam. Will you remark further? Will you remark further? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the house. Members take their seats and the machine will be opened.

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 RYAN (139TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill 5730 as amended by House "A"

Total number Voting 148

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 129

Those voting Nay 19

Absent not Voting 1

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The bill as amended has passed. (Gavel). Will the Clerk please call Calendar number 322?

CLERK:

On page 38, Calendar number 322, substitute House Bill number 7229, AN ACT CONCERNING THE CREATION OF CONNECTICUT BROWNFIELD LAND BANKS, REVISION TO THE BROWNFIELD REMEDIATION AND REVITALIZATION PROGRAM, AND AUTHORIZING BONDS OF THE STATE FOR BROWNFIELD REMEDIATION AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Reyes of the 75th District. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee favorable report and passage of the bill 7229.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

Representative Reyes, you have the floor.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This bill establishes a process for organizing and operating locally approved state-certified nonprofit land banks. The state of Connecticut has done, in my estimation, a very good job of working with the Brownfields and in the -- in the bill what it does, it expands the ability to go beyond municipalities and architectural -- and agriculture so what this is going to do, it's going to help us -- it's going to help us actually remediate Brownfields a little bit quicker and it's gonna help the large municipalities and small towns equally, especially when you don't have the resources and the tools or the manpower to actually get these projects done. The important thing about this it's a certification process for a qualified nonstock corporation to acquire, manage, clean up, remediate the actual Brownfield sites and to get them shovel ready so that we can put them back on the markets and to help the municipalities grow their grand lists. Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill?

Representative Yaccarino of the 87th.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, Mr. Speaker, a couple of questions to the good Vice-Chair of Commerce?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Committee -- okay. Yes, please proceed, sir.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

A question to this Vice-Chair of the Commerce Committee. Currently, how does a piece of land or Brownfield become eligible to become part of this process as far as a land bank? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Yaccarino.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

I'll repeat it, so under the process now or going forward, how would a piece of Brownfield or land be eligible under the DECD or the municipalities as far as being classified as a Brownfield property?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Reyes.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The land -- the properties in question already exists on the roles of the municipalities and towns and again, this is an expansion to the programs that are already in place and it is not in any way, shape, or form going to affect the towns or municipalities in a financial way.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Yaccarino.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

Thank you for that answer. Through you, Mr. Speaker. Representative Reyes' remarks -- it does not affect municipalities? Is it a municipal option? Does it have to go to the planning and zoning or land use process?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Reyes.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The processes in place will not change based on this piece of legislation, which I think is a very good piece of legislation for land banks so that process remains the same.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Yaccarino.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and thank you for that answer. Through you, Mr. Speaker, what is the role of DECD and the Commissioner of Economic Community Development? Through you, Mr. Speaker. When it comes to the land banks and eligibility.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Reyes.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, the DECD and DEP are strictly overseers and their role wouldn't change. Again, this is just an addition to this piece of legislation.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Yaccarino.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and thank you for that answer to the Vice-Chair. How, after it goes through the process of the municipality and they approve the site, does DECD come in and offer a grant or does the municipality have to apply for the grant? I know I might have asked you that question but I couldn't hear before so if North Haven applied for this grant and we qualify, would it be 50 percent of the cost shared by DECD? I don't know how the money works and I'm trying to clarify for the rest of the members how does the actual money work?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Reyes.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, Mr. Speaker, the process in place is exactly the same. The only difference right now is that the municipality would have the land bank to be able to fall back on and to be able to work off, so that process, through you Mr. Speaker, remains exactly the same.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Yaccarino.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and thank you for that answer. I'd like to thank the good Vice-Chair for his answers. Last year this bill, if I remember correctly, passed both House and Senate. It was vetoed by the governor because there was a $ 10-million-dollar fiscal note in the budget and I think that was stripped out in the substitute language. At the end of the day, it's always up to the municipality. It's the citizens of the town. I think it's a good economic development. It also cleans up Brownfields, so I urge support and I thank the good Vice-Chair for his answers and through you, Mr. Speaker, thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Berger of the 73rd District. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. BERGER (73RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and good afternoon and I rise in strong support of the legislation that's before the Chamber here today and just wanted to stand up for a moment and congratulate a few people and certainly, the Commerce Committee and its leadership through the House Chairman, Chairman Simmons and ranking members of the committee, Vice-Chair Reyes in bringing out the bill, and thank you, sir. You did a very wonderful job in bringing it out and explaining it to the Chamber. There might be more questions coming but certainly, you have done a great job in the committee both on sides of the isle. The working group, Mr. Speaker, has been hard at work over the last several years and certainly, the last eight years in total through the leadership of Attorney Gary O'Connor, Attorney Ann Catino, the Commerce Committee, the Governor's Office, DECD, and DEEP and as you can recall, Mr. Speaker, several years ago this Chamber embarked on a Brownfields plan that would remediate properties, bring them onto the tax roles for all municipalities in the state of Connecticut and create a funding source and the funding source is certainly unique and the Governor's office should be applauded for his work and his funding of Brownfields, particularly over the last five years through bonding. The municipal grant program has been an instrumental program in remediating properties in all our municipalities throughout the state of Connecticut and the governor has been instrumental in funding that through bonding and later on through the course of -- through the course of this session, the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee will put forward a bonding bill, which will authorize further bonding of municipal projects through the Brownfield remediation programs of which there are four that have worked tremendously throughout the years. The establishment of the Land Grant Program, Mr. Speaker, is critical in establishing the not-for-profits that will partner with municipalities to enable properties to be remediated, brought back onto the tax rolls, create jobs, and create tax-base for all of our municipalities both local and at the state level as a state government. The establishment of the Land Bank Program is critical to making the next step move for Brownfield remediation and development in this state, so I'm happy to stand up again in support of this and congratulate the committee for their hard work, congratulate the working groups, and congratulate the Governor's office and my colleagues on the other side of the isle for their commitment to Brownfield remediation and development. Mr. Speaker, this is the best jobs bill that both Chambers will ever do. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Gentile of the 104th District.

REP. GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in strong support of this legislation. This is just another tool in our toolbox to allow our -- our developers to develop land that many of us have in our districts, so I am fully supportive of this legislation. I can't tell you how much good it's done. I do applaud the governor for his foresight and understanding the importance of Brownfields legislation and I hope that every one of my colleagues will support this as well. It's a great economic development tool. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Cummings of the 74th. Ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, ma'am.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

Thank you. Representative, our municipalities currently are eligible for federal funding in order to remediate these Brownfields, will this land bank also be eligible for those federal funds?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Reyes.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The -- from the -- from the pieces of paper that I see, I believe that is the case, sir.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Cummings.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have an additional question. Through you, Mr. Speaker to the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

Thank you. How is this land bank going to be sustainable as we are remediating different properties going forward? What is the procedure going to be to ensure that we are not running out of funds?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Reyes.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, so the -- the way it works right now -- through you Mr. Speaker -- the land bank fund right now has a limit of funds right now that are in place and that is now scheduled to be moved so there is a limit on this.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Cummings.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Are any of the municipalities who benefit from this land bank going to have to put any additional funds back into the land bank after they have their properties remediated and returned to the cities?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Reyes.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To the good Representative on the other side of the isle, absolutely not. There will be no -- there is no remuneration that has to be recompensated.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Cummings.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am all set.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Candelaria of the 95th District.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A question through you to the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just have one quick question. How many nonprofits can be created? Is there a set number? Is there a limit to how many can be created?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Reyes.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. There is -- there is none -- there is none.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Candelaria.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. What will be the process for an assisting nonprofit to apply to be certified by DECD?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Reyes.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The process that are in place right now are exactly the same. It's just expanding. It's only an expansion to give you one more tool in the toolbox for the cities and towns to be able to work with land banking process.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Candelaria.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

Thank you for those answers and one last question through you Mr. Speaker. What process would they utilize to acquire the Brownfield before remediation?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Reyes.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If I could just have one moment, sir? Thank you. Through you, Mr. Speaker. The process again would be going through the municipalities or town and it will just give you one more tool in the toolbox to be able to partner with the municipalities in town so the question is that these processes are already in place and it's just a matter of applying them to the actual land banks right now.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Candelaria.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the gentleman for those answers. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative O'Dea of the 125th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, very much. I just wanted to rise in support of the bill, but I wanted to remind my colleague from the other side who said that this is going to be the best jobs bill we will ever pass. I will not mention his name on the floor -- Mr. Berger -- but I hope this is not the best jobs bill we ever pass in this Chamber going forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further on the bill before us? Will you remark further on the bill before us? Representative Lemar of the 96th District.

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, Mr. Speaker. I was hoping the proponent would have an answer for a quick question to help provide some clarification. Do you know if only municipally held land can be held by a land bank?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Reyes.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Representative -- could the Representative please repeat that question please?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lemar, could you repeat the question? I think Representative Reyes had trouble hearing you.

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

Yes, this has to do with what property a land bank can hold and whether it's only municipally owned land that can be held by a land bank?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Reyes.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. For the good Representative, the -- the idea of this bill is completely for the city -- excuse me -- for the municipalities and the towns to partner and to be able to give them this one tool in the toolbox to get this partnership completed, so it's just another tool in the toolbox to help remediate land and get them back on the tax rolls.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative Reyes. Representative Lemar.

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you. That'll be all.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further on the bill before us? Will you remark further on the bill before us? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Will the members take their 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 RYAN (139TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill 7229

Total number voting 148

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 147

Those voting Nay 1

Absent not Voting 1

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The bill passes. (Gavel). Will the Clerk please call Calendar number 231?

CLERK:

On page 25, Calendar 231, House Bill number 6260, AN ACT CONCERNING TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR STATE AND LOCAL POLICE REGARDING JUVENILES WITH AN INTELLECTUAL OR DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Public Safety and Security.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Linehan, after many times hearing you discuss this issue, I thought it appropriate that I come to the Dias while you're doing it. Madam, you have the floor.

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That's an absolute honor to have you do so and I thank you so very much and it's an absolute honor to bring this out today of all days, which is Autism day here at the Capitol. Mr. Speaker, I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you, madam. The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Linehan, you have the floor, madam.

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This strike all amendment is necessary because in an effort to strengthen the bill to train police officers on more disabilities. In effect, it simply codified practices that we already have in post training for individuals with disabilities. This current amendment narrows the scope to the underlying bill, which addresses the void in current post curriculum to train officers to communicate with nonverbal children who wander, especially those on the Autism spectrum.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, madam, and what amendment would you like called please?

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Oh, my apologies, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to call LCO 6164.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Would the Clerk please call LCO Amendment 6164, which will be designated as House "A".

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

CLERK:

House Amendment "A" LCO number 6164 offered by Representative Linehan, Representative Verrengia, and Representative Sredzinksi.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to continue with summarization. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection to summarization? Hearing none. Please proceed, madam.

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just move that this strike all amendment is necessary for the reasons that I have previously spoke and misspoke -- my apologies for that -- and additionally, I'd like to say that this amendment specifically states that the curriculum is available at no cost to the division from institutions of higher education, healthcare professionals, and advocacy organizations for those on the Autism spectrum. I move adoption.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you, madam. Will you remark further? Representative Sredzinksi of the 112th, you have the floor.

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I want to take a moment to thank the Representative for bringing out the amendment. This is something that was worked on at the Public Safety Committee and if I could, Mr. Speaker, a few questions about the amendment through you?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Linehan, please prepare yourself. Please proceed, sir.

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In the language that we are looking to amend with the strike all, the instructions for the training is to basically include techniques for handling incidents such as wandering that involve juveniles with Autism spectrum disorder or nonverbal learning disorder. If you could, through you Mr. Speaker to the proponent, could describe what the difference is and why the special need to address the wandering and Autism spectrum disorder or the nonverbal requirement?

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Linehan.

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and through you, I will answer. This is an excellent question and thank you for that. Basically, what happens is if someone has -- is on the Autism spectrum or has a nonverbal disability, a lot of times they have something known as sensory processing disorder and what happens is, is these children who have a tendency to wander, a typical police response would include lights and sirens. Those are things that can actually send someone who is on the spectrum or has, as you know, Angelman's syndrome, which is also a syndrome that is -- that children often wander. If we come at them with the lights and sirens and calling their names, they simply don't respond or they retreat further. It is known that children on the Autism spectrum disorder -- with Autism spectrum disorder that they tend to wander towards water. That is something that is very important here in this training as well because a lot of times when police officers go to look for a missing person, it is not known to immediately look for bodies of water when someone is on the spectrum, so this training will actually alert police officers on how to search for them when they're wandering. Additionally, however, it's also for better communication. When you have someone, who is nonverbal, a lot of times you need to use things like white boards have been great communication tools for nonverbal children and young adults, so this is in an effort to train police offers so that they can better communicate with those on the spectrum and with other nonverbal learning disorders. Thank you.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Sredzinksi, you have the floor, sir.

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank the proponent for the clarification and the description and thank you for giving a shout out to the Angelman disorder, which is near and dear to my heart. A couple more questions. One, in the amendment, it talks about the healthcare professionals and institutes of higher education that would provide the training to POST. Can the proponent just describe if there are any institutions that she is aware of or if this is something that we're going to have to reach out to?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Linehan.

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, thank you for that fantastic question, Representative. Yes, we have been working consistently with members from Yale from the Yale Child Resource Center. We also have some individuals from Autism Speaks are interested and I also have some police officers who have children who are on the spectrum who would like to be involved. We also have a woman from CCMC who runs their Autism center who is interested, so there are a lot of interested parties who are willing to put together this curriculum and it should be noted that there is currently curriculum out there that does this very thing and we're going to strengthen it with these individuals and provide that to POST at no cost.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Sredzinksi.

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Do we know if this is going to be training for state police or just municipal police?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Linehan.

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, yes. This will be for both state police and local police.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Sredzinksi.

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Is this training designed to be for new hires only through the academy or is this also through training for continuing education for current police officers?

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Linehan.

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is for both new hires and continuing education.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Sredzinksi.

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have spoken to the contacts at POST. I talked to Chief Flaherty. He said that this is something that the POST does at a very low level right now. This legislation would help to increase that awareness and he said to me he is sure that this would be something that they could do at no additional cost, at no additional time that would be introduced into the curriculum, and I think this is a good bill and I encourage my colleagues to support it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Will you remark further? Representative O'Dea of the 125th. You have the floor, sir.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Just a question briefly to the proponent or the Ranking Member who commented on his conversations with POST. If I may, Mr. Speaker?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Just a quick question. The 27 hours -- first of all, I am in support of this bill -- my only question is I'm a little perplexed on how it can be done 27 more hours at POST at no extra cost without eliminating some other programs or training and I'm not sure what Chief Flaherty -- when the Ranking Member said it would be no additional cost and no additional time, what are they going to eliminate from the training of POST?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. I'll look to the chair or the Representative that was bringing out the bill before the Ranking Member. Representative Linehan, do you care to answer the question?

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Yes, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, through you to the good Representative. Basically, what this would be it would be another training program in their arsenal, so there are a certain number of training programs that are required under an umbrella and I want to say Social Services but I'm not sure if that is the terminology that they use, but this will be included in that so it is not -- it is necessary that it is included in their arsenal of training that will go towards their hours for continuing education but it is not necessary that they have to take that so basically, what this does is it offers another training program available for municipalities to send their officers to in order to keep up with their training.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the proponent for their response, so as I understand it, this would not be with regard to the initial POST training but rather a continuing education component for the departments to elect to do?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Is that accurate, Representative Linehan?

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, it is.

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

All right. Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and to the proponent for her responses and I urge my colleagues to support. Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Representative Zupkus of the 89th. You have the floor, madam.

REP. ZUPKUS (89TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would just like to rise to make a comment. I had a little to do with the underlining bill and people with IDD and on the Autistic spectrum they are very dear to my heart, so we were able to come together on this amendment and make it for really nonverbal people and also that all people with IDD are covered, so I just want to thank the proponent of this and I also encourage all my proponent -- all my colleagues to support it. Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, madam. Representative Fishbein, the 90th. You have the floor, sir.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To you, Mr. Speaker, just to frame where we are, we're still dealing with the amendment is that correct?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

That is correct.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Okay cuz it just -- it feel -- I feel like we've gone and I'll comment on the bill when we get there but just dealing with the amendment if I may to the proponent address a few questions?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you and first of all, I'm in total support but moving forward from there, the amendment seems to make the training permissive in that it adds the language provided the curriculum for such techniques is available at no cost, and I've heard representations that there are not costs and I ask why that permissive language is included in the amendment?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Linehan.

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and through you to the good Representative, so the language was purposefully written that way because we already have people who are ready to put forth -- put together this training. We specified the stakeholders that would help put this together. Like I said previously, that there are training programs already in use. One is one of which I have done in Cheshire that has proven beneficial already so we're gonna be building off of that, so the reason that this was put in is specifically so that there would be no fiscal use and it -- or rather no fiscal note and it would be easier for passage and I would just like to remind the good Representative that the amendment does actually become the bill. Thank you.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, madam. Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, so am I to understand that if in the future, a representation is made by POST, let's say, that there is a cost associated, this permissive language would allow them to stop training along these lines?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Linehan.

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, that is not the intent and I -- given the amount of people who are big proponents of this bill, I can't imagine that that would happen but that is not the intent. Thank you and through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You know, I'm just seeing this amendment today just mere moments ago. Perhaps, I would have contacted the good Representative prior to today and asked for that permissive language to be removed. I think if we're taking this policy that this is appropriate I don't think that we should give a way out, which we don't with any other portion of this training curriculum. I think this is very important and I -- I just don't know why that language is in there so you know for that reason I would probably not be in favor of the amendment but as I said, I am in favor of the underlying, so thank you, Mr. Chairman -- Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

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

MEMBERS:

Aye.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Those opposed, nay. The aye's have it. The amendment's adopted. (Gavel). Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Members 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? Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? If all the members have voted, please check the board to ensure that your vote's 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 6260 as amended by House "A"

Total number Voting 147

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 146

Those voting Nay 1

Absent not Voting 2

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The bill is passed as amended. (Gavel). Are there any announcements or introductions? Representative Buckbee of the 67th. You have the floor, sir.

REP. BUCKBEE (67TH: )

The cord doesn't quite reach. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise for the purpose of introduction.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. BUCKBEE (67TH: )

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm here to introduce a visitor who stopped by who is the Judge of Probate for New Milford, New Fairfield, Brookfield, Bridgewater, and Sherman, I believe. A respected member of the community and a good friend of mine, Judge Marti Pro -- Marti Probate -- [laughing] -- Marti Landgrebe. I ask the House to accord Judge Landgrebe our usual warm welcome for stopping by. [Applause].

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Judge, I was gonna comment that if you actually changed your last name to probate that'd be quite dedication but thank you very much for all of your service. Any other announcements or introductions? Representative Lavielle of 143rd, you have the floor, madam.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just have a quick announcement if I may? I've been asked to mention that the Connecticut Art Education Association is having the closing reception for its Art Slam Exhibit today from 3 to 5 p. m. It's in the LOB upper concourse and the exhibit will be taken down this afternoon at the end of the reception at 5, so it has artwork from young artists from grades K-12 across the state and everyone is invited. Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Representative. I thought we were only doing announcements on the final four in basketball today but we'll -- we'll accept that announcement. Any other announcements or introductions? Any other announcements or introductions? I'm seeing none. Will the Clerk please call House Calendar number 78?

CLERK:

House Calendar number 78. House Bill number 5591, AN ACT CONCERNING PAY EQUITY IN THE WORKFORCE. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Labor and Public Employees.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter, you have the floor, madam.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Question before the chamber is on acceptance of Joint Committee's favorable report and the passage of the bill. Representative Porter, you continue to have the floor, madam.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment and I just need to find the number -- LCO 6157.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO number 6157 that which will be designated House "A".

CLERK:

House Amendment "A", LCO number 6157 offered by Representative Porter, Representative Slap, Senator Gomes.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

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

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Mr. Speaker, the underlying bill received unanimous report out of the Labor and Public Employee's Committee and this amendment before us includes some provisions from HB 5210 and is a strike all and will become the bill. I move adoption.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, madam. Will you remark further?

REP. PORTER (94TH):

No.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Bocchino of the 150th. You have the floor, sir.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Oh, my wait -- I'm sorry --

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Go ahead.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

I'm sorry.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you. I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker. As many in this chamber are aware in 2016, female full-time workers made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men and a gender wage gap of 20 cents, and black women earned just 70 cents for every dollar earned by men and that figure drops to 62 cents for Latinas. A report published by the National Partnership for Women and Families has linked pay inequality and the economy and I quote "on average Connecticut women who are employed full-time lose a combined total of more than $ 5. 5 billion dollars every year due to the wage gap. These women, their families, businesses, and the economy all suffer as a result. Lost money means families have less money to save for the future or to spend on basic goods and services, spending that helps drive the economy. " With this in mind, the bill protects employees from losing seniority based on time spent on family medical leave and codifies a new "comparable" standard under which an employer must align work duties to earnings among employees. CHRO, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, under current law are responsible for investigating discrimination complaints and with this technical change will clarify their authority to investigate complaints of discrimination when wages are involved. In the complaint process, a CHRO, an employee's previous wage and salary shall not be considered a defense of a claim. Mr. Speaker, I urge adoption.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, madam. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Representative Bocchino of the 150th. You have the floor, sir.

REP. BOCCHINO (150TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good to see you today. Happy Wednesday. I am going to allow the bill -- the amendment to be voted upon and I ask to vote -- to speak on the underlying bill afterwards. Thank you, sir.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

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

MEMBERS:

Aye.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Those opposed, nay. The aye's have it. The amendment's adopted. (Gavel). Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

I have nothing else to say. I would be happy to take questions from the Chamber or comments or vote.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Bocchino, we're now on the bill as amended. You have the floor, sir.

REP. BOCCHINO (150TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We all believe in equal pay for equal work I think it's safe to say in this Chamber. Pay equity laws are a step in the right direction guaranteeing a free flow of communication and information about compensation and providing employees both male and female the opportunity to evaluate themselves is whether they're being paid what they think they should be is a worthwhile venture, but I do have a couple of questions at this time for the Chairman of the Labor Committee through you, Mr. Speaker, if that's okay?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The esteemed Chairwoman of the Labor Committee, Representative Porter, please prepare yourself, madam. Representative Bocchino, please proceed.

REP. BOCCHINO (150TH):

Thank you. Representative Porter, these are to the legislative intent. Federal prohibition on gender discrimination has been around since the 1960s and parallel state law has been around for decades as well. Just two years ago the General Assembly voted in favor of Public Act 15-196, so I'd like to as the Chair -- the good Chair of the Labor Committee to help me understand what issues or issue that this bill is going to address? What's the -- what's the actual intent?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter, you have the floor, madam.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. The actual intent is to close the gender wage gap. In some of the testimony that we had and I will refer back to the Commission of the Department of Labor, you know, we actually talked about the gap had been narrowed over the last few years but we still are seeing a wage gap. In fact, in the last 35 years, we have only been able to close the gap by less than half, so I would say that we still have a ways to go and in this bill, we are making an effort to get there before 2059 or 2061.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Bocchino.

REP. BOCCHINO (150TH):

Thank you to the good Chairwoman. The other question I'd like to ask is with whom to the employees who feel that they've been discriminated upon -- who would they be filing their complaints with?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. They could file their complaint with CHRO.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Bocchino.

REP. BOCCHINO (150TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and what's the enforcement measure that would be taking place and who would be -- who would also be enforcing this measure?

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

They currently handle discrimination cases -- this would be something coming under their purview that would be new, so I don't have the answer to that question but I can also tell you that the Department of Labor would be involved.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Bocchino.

REP. BOCCHINO (150TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If -- if the good woman can say to me -- Chair could say if a company is found in violation, let's say, would they be -- would they be fined initially -- immediately? Would there be a penalty that would be put down upon them or do they have the opportunity to address the said issue and correct it?

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, if I could just have a moment?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Chair will stand at ease.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Chair we will come back to order. Representative Porter, you have the floor.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Representative Bocchino, it would be handled through CHRO's administrative process so if there's a penalty, that would be determined by them.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Bocchino.

REP. BOCCHINO (150TH):

Thank you so much for clarifying that answer. The -- I just have one final question and I'll leave it to the Chamber. Is the penalty of a financial nature and if so of a financial nature, is there a list of fines monetary value that would coincide with that?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. That would be something that CHRO would have to determine. Every case would be different.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Bocchino.

REP. BOCCHINO (150TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm just unclear. Is it of a financial nature though that the -- that this would be?

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. It can be but that would have to be determined by CHRO.

REP. BOCCHINO (150TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just to wrap up. You know, again, pay equity is something that we all strive for in this day and age and we did a lot of good work in the Labor Committee. We asked a lot of questions to come to the final bill that's before us today so that we could make sure that it was something that most all of us were comfortable with. The thing that we need to be very clear about and understand in government is we need to be careful not to impose too many heavy burdens on employers at this time or create an environment where employees are afraid of making sound business decisions as the risk of expensive litigation. We have too many businesses leaving the state of Connecticut and we have too many small businesses that are struggling to survive, so we need to keep that frame of mind when we move forward with other legislation, especially throughout this session and in the Labor Committee, but I thank the good Chairwoman for her work on this and that's all I have to say. Thank you, sir.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further? Representative Slap.

REP. SLAP (19TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair. I want to thank Representative Porter for her leadership on this issue and Senator Gomes and members of the Labor Committee. This is something that's been a passion of mine and I've spoken about personally why that is. I think there's something going on in this country right now. We know that there are 40 states considering some type of pay equity legislation and you know, it runs the gamut varying degrees but we know it's an issue that a lot of states are looking to tackle and I think there's no question that it's a real issue. In Connecticut every year, women and their families on average lose more than $ 10,000 dollars and the pay -- the gender wage gap exists across every level of education from -- so if you look at that over the course of a career, it could cost as little as $ 700,000 dollars and as much as $ 2 million dollars over the course of a career and you know, the U. S. Congress -- a joint economic study they did -- it was just released -- showed that women on average with a graduate degree earn $ 5000 dollars less than men with just an undergraduate degree so when we look even across education levels, there really is no dispute that there is an issue, so I think the question is, you know, what are we gonna do about it? There are some who -- who argue that isn't this just because of choices that females make in leaving the workplace and we know that one that that's not true. That about a third of the gender wage gap is unaccounted for, which what that means is there is bias -- right -- and discrimination. Even if we said that this is all because women leave the workplace to have children, I think it's unfair that then women would be penalized for the rest of their careers because of that choice and I think that's something that we should all be able to agree on. That's bad for families. It's bad for the economy and we know when we are able to take steps to close the gender wage gap, we help families -- again, more than $ 10,000 dollars on average every year. That's a mortgage payment in many cases. We also know that we can reduce the poverty rate and we can decrease dependence on government assistance programs, so we know that closing the gender wage gap it's good for families, it's good for the economy. I believe it's also good for job growth.

If we look at our neighbor to the north -- in Massachusetts -- they just passed a landmark pay legislation -- pay equity legislation bill. It passed unanimously. The Republican Governor signed the bill and of the business community not only was supportive but helped really to lead the way. I spoke with somebody from the Boston Chamber of Commerce just yesterday and they said that closing the gender wage gap they think is important for attracting businesses, attracting millennials who really value equality and want to know that they're gonna be treated fairly no matter what their gender is, so I think there's a lot of good models out there. Again, I want to highlight, you know, the great work that Representative Porter has done on this issue. She's been a great leader on this and has been open to my passion and suggestions as a freshman legislator so I want to extend a real thanks to her. I think this is a -- a good first step. I think there's more work to do and I hope to partner with my friends and colleagues on the other side of the isle and the business community to continue this conversation after this bill passes so we can continue to work together to close the gender wage gap in the future. Thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further? Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117):

Thank you, Madam Chair. I'd like, through you, a few questions to the proponent of the bill please?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

You may proceed, sir.

REP. FERRARO (117):

Good afternoon.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Good afternoon. Good to see you.

REP. FERRARO (117):

Thank you, same here. First off, before my questions, I'd just like to state that I don't think there's any male in the room that doesn't understand that when it comes to doing the job and getting the work done that our female counterparts do it better than we do -- [laughter] -- so I want to get that out of the way right away -- [laughter]. I'm a small business owner so I have a couple of questions pertaining to the bill. One of them is that we did pass some legislation two years ago and that legislation states that there -- it's prohibited not to -- it's prohibited to pay a woman less money to do a job that her male counterpart does, so my question is what in this bill is changing or -- or is going to do something that the first bill didn't do? I'm trying to figure out and get my head around why this bill is needed in addition to the bill we already have.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Ms. Speaker. Actually, we have a part that we have put in that speaks to comparable and we removed that in place of the word similar and what that actual does is expand on DOL's authority to look at different types of work -- work descriptions and how they relate to equal pay and then the other thing that we did in the bill, Representative Ferraro, was we -- we looked at pregnancy when it comes to some of the bonified factors that an employer can use and in that instance, we put into the bill that that cannot be used when it comes to looking at seniority. Like, if I'm a female and I'm working for you and I take three months off because I've had a baby. You can't subtract that out of my seniority when being compared to a male counterpart.

Through you, Madam Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117):

Thank you, Madam Chair and through you, I certainly agree with the good Representative that if a woman needs time off to tend to a birth of a new child that when she comes back to the workplace she shouldn't be penalized for her seniority but the title of the bill is a gender equality bill and I'm just trying, you know, as a business owner and do I have to expect that at some point I could be questioned as to with regards to -- there was a word I guess in there that kind of got me. It was -- one was -- it was one word change or something like that earlier and I just wondered in my workplace, you know, we have a secretary who does her job and you know, we pay her in what we could afford to pay her and I'm just wondering is there going to be some sort of penalization to small business owners if somebody determines somehow that maybe the secretary in my workplace isn't paid at a similar rate that a male secretary would be paid at the karate school across town? I'm just wondering if there's that kind of a penalty.

Through you, Madam Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, no that would not apply. This is only -- this language applies to you as an employer and who you have working for you in your workplace.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and through you and I thank the good Representative for her answer, so in -- in that case then as long as the -- all the employees in my operation male or female are paid equally for the same job then there should be no liability on my part with regards to the law?

Through you, Madam Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Chair. That is correct, Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117):

Okay, and I do have one last question --

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117):

Thank you, Madam Chair. I'm sorry and through you, Madam Chair, I do have one last question for the good Representative. Has there been any studies with regards to the number of complaints through the what was it the CBHO -- what was it again? The CHRO -- has there been any studies with regards to the number of complaints by women who are not being treated fairly in the workplace in the state of Connecticut? Do we have any numbers on that?

Through you, Madam Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. FERRARO (117):

Speaker -- excuse me.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. No, Representative Ferraro, not as far as I know.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and so at this point, it's -- it's hard to say how severe the problem is with regards to filed complaints. We definitely know that the evidence shows that there is a gender gap with regards to wage but we don't really know what the filed complaints show and if there are some mitigating circumstances as to whether or not some of the women who are maybe being paid less than their male counterpart have made a choice because maybe they're work schedule or something like that doesn't allow it, so I'm just wondering if this a prolific think that we've seen an uptick in complaints that need to be addressed or is it just the ongoing gender gap that we have seen in the workplace in Connecticut?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Chair, and I can't think of the name -- I'm sorry. Madam Speaker, through you. There has been a study. I do remember the number being 65 percent when it comes to women with the wage gap based on gender bias.

Through you, Madam Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and to the good Representative, is there some way to look at the current law on the books and to strengthen the enforcement of the law and maybe increase the awareness in the workplace so that women know they have a recourse to bring their complaints forward and to be proactive in bringing them -- themselves or making their employer complaint with the current law?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. That is the intent of this bill, Representative Ferraro, to actually aid in strengthening the law that's on the books since 1963 and as I stated earlier, you know, it's been 35 years and we haven't gotten half way to closing the gap so there -- this is an attempt to do that.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and I thank the good Representative for her comments and I'll close with just this. It's a shame that in 2017 that women have to fight for something that should already be theirs and I don't know many people that would intentionally deprive someone who is valuable to their company the ability to earn the income that they deserve, so I do hope that the current law can be strengthened to the point and enforced to the point where we can eliminate the gender gap in the future and we don't need to have these conversations once we accomplish that so I look forward to that day. I'm sure my wife is glad that I'm making this speech today because I know how hard she works and I've heard her complaints and so I wish good luck with the bill and I will be supporting the bill. Thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further? Representative Carpino.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm glad we're finally talking about equity in the workforce, although I'm not sure that this bill is going to change attitudes and unfortunately, it is attitudes that need to be changed before we are going to solve this problem. I too have a little girl but I also have a little boy and they're both going to be raised exactly the same way. Neither of them are going to accept any less in the workforce not because of this bill but because they're going to be taught not to accept anything less than they deserve. To that end, ma'am, I would like to ask the proponent just a few questions so that we can clarify?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

You may proceed, madam.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you. If an individual is working a differential or a 12-hour shift that is often difficult to fill, is that going to be considered comparable under these conditions?

Through you, ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It would depend on who you're comparing that to. If there are other employees, then yes.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Carpino.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you and I'm gonna indulge her patience a bit just so that the employers who are gonna have to refer to this intent understand, so let's use perhaps the nursing industry where's there's often differentials. If there's 12-hour shift on a Saturday night that is difficult to fill, could an employer pay that shift more than their day shift regardless of who the individual is that is filling that shift?

Through you, ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you and turning over to line 16-17, I just want to make sure I understand and again, I support the bill but I want to make sure that we understand what we're doing here. In the end event, there are two young women both who have been working for four years for the same employer and the first young woman works for four years and is fortunate enough not to have any health issues and doesn't need to take FMLA for any reason and the second young woman happens to have some unfortunate health issues in her family and needs to take FLMA twice during that four year period and needed to use her 16 weeks twice so in theory at the four year mark, one has been in the workplace for four years and has four years of on-the-job experience and the other one, while employed for four years has only actually been on the job for 3-1/2 years. Is an employer allowed to promote one because they have more on-the-job experience?

Through you, ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If I'm understanding the question correctly, I don't see how it relates to the bill so could you expound on that please?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Carpino.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you and my intent was not to confuse it is truly to make sure that we understand what we are talking about. If both women have been employed for four years but one has needed to take FMLA twice during that four-year period of time, she has a lot less on-the-job experience. If a promotion then opens up, how will the employer be forced to treat them after we pass this bill?

Through you, ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker and thank you for that clarity, Representative Carpino. Under this bill, they would be treated as equals.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Carpino.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you, ma'am and I appreciate your patience with my question. We need to understand here. I will support this bill today because we do need to make strides and as someone who has faced discrimination in this building and in this profession, herself, I understand that we need to move forward. I'm just not sure that this is really gonna change the attitudes that are gonna make a difference. Thank you, ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, madam. Will you remark further? Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, who I think dresses very well for today.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, madam.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

You know, as a woman and a mother of two talented daughters, I am concerned about gender pay discrimination, but I do have a few questions for clarity about the bill to the proponent if I may please?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

You may proceed, madam.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you. I've -- I've heard several comments from our colleagues and I guess my question here first is to go back to the original question asked by the Ranking Member -- can you please tell me the underlying intent of this bill? Thank you.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It is to strengthen the bill that is on the law from 1963 in an effort to close the gender wage gap.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, so I guess I'm a little confused. I -- I like that comment but what I'm reading I need some clarification on because what I read that this bill does is two things. This bill says -- as a mother, four pregnancies, going out four different times, I appreciate this part of the bill -- that if you are out on pregnancy leave you cannot lose your seniority. That's the first thing that I'm reading in this bill that I need to make sure that that is my understanding and the second is that we are taking the process for complaints out of DOL and putting them into CHRO. If I could, through you, Madam Speaker, ask for clarification on my understanding?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes, Representative Staneski, that is true on the first part of your question where you're asking about the pregnancy part. That if I'm out on leave that cannot impact my seniority. On the latter question, CHRO is -- this is something new to the process. They do deal with discrimination but we're including discrimination based on gender now.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you for that, Madam Speaker, and I appreciate the Chairwoman's answers, so when I listen to other comments made, I believe those comments around comparable work were made on the original bill and not the amendment. Is that true?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm sorry but I didn't hear the last of that. Would you please repeat?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes, so I guess I just want to make sure that I'm understanding. There were comments made in the Chamber earlier that I believe were to the original bill and not the amended bill. Is that true? Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker but I'm sorry but I would not know what comments you were speaking on. Could you expound on that?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, I'd be delighted to, so when we were talking about -- and maybe I should ask the question a little differently -- so if a woman is -- there were comments about pay inequity and I do believe this bill just talks about seniority and talks about where you can go with the complaint and not actually how we're gonna fix pay inequity while I agree that it exists, so I will ask my question a little differently. If I was paid less based on my gender, what are my options with this bill in getting it rectified?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Your option would be to file a complaint with CHRO.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you and I appreciate that answer so could the good woman please address how CHRO would address my complaint?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. They do have a process in place. Unfortunately, I do not have that information on what the process specifically is.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you and through you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate that answer so would the good woman be able to tell me how damages are rewarded and collected?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That would be part of the process, Representative Staneski, and as I stated earlier, I'm not privy to what the process is going through CHRO but they do have a process in place that's administered through their agency.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, so I guess I'm -- I'm asking in totality what in this bill changes the process but what I'm understanding is that we don't know in this Chamber what the process is. Is that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. CHRO would investigate the complaint.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, so would the complaint be on comparable work when I felt like I was discriminated against for not receiving equal -- would it be equal pay for equal work or equal pay for comparable work?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It would be both.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, so keeping in line with that, the penalty process and the enforcement process -- would we assume then that the process and the -- the investigation with this bill as it's written that it would assume that all employees should make the same salary or hourly wage all the time on the same work?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The bill would stipulate that equal pay for equal work regardless of gender.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you and I appreciate that. Would there be any exceptions to that where somebody would not be able to file?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Yes, the employee would have exception when looking at seniority, a merit system, a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production or a differential system based upon a bonified factor other than sex.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, so that begs my question as a teacher I guess my question would be can the good lady help me understand how a beginning teacher is paid at a rate of I want to say $ 39,000 dollars in one of our districts as a start and a teacher in a room right next to them with the same outcomes is paid at a rate of $ 85,000 dollars -- would I, as that $ 39,000-dollar teacher, be able to file a complaint for pay equity?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'd like to know why when I certainly believe that those are comparable jobs.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It goes to the job description and that would be the basis for that and in the bill if you look at line 21 it talks about education training and experience.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I guess my -- my point here is that I'm glad to hear that we're gonna be continuing to work on this and my plea to you, through you, Madam Speaker, is that I'm included in that because I certainly think that we do have some -- some wage gaps that can be addressed and again, like I said, having two daughters it is something that's near and dear to my heart. I'm bringing up my example because I think if we're going to address pay disparity we really need to do it in totality. When I look at teachers and they're put into a classroom and their outcomes -- or they're measured on the same outcome the door is closed. They are -- they are -- they have the same education, maybe they don't have the experience but they have the same education and I'm asking for that whether I'm a woman or a man to be treated equally I think that's something that we should be addressing and we don't do that in that industry and it's unfair to those teachers who are doing good work from the start as well as it is to those teachers who transfer from another district in. I will be supporting this bill because I do -- I love that seniority piece with respect to not losing it after you are -- come back from a pregnancy. I do have questions about how this is actually going to play out with CHRO. I'm hoping that there will be a process that will come forward so that we can understand that and I do hope to be added to that working group. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. You are welcome --

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Yes, Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

I'm sorry. Thank you, Madam Speaker. Representative Staneski, you are more than welcome to the table. I look forward to having your input. I have high regard for you. I know you know your stuff and we can definitely address the issues with teachers. I mean the point of the bill is to address it in totality and we don't mean to leave anyone out so I thank you for making that offer and I do intend to take you up on it.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, madam. Will you remark further? Representative Staneski, did you --

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

I was just gonna say thank you very much. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you. Will you remark further? Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Yes, thank you, Madam Speaker. I have a couple of questions about the bill. The first one is looking at the report from OLR on the bill and the use of the word comparable. In the OLR report, it talks about the use of the word comparable and it says that the bill specifies that the second -- that the -- let's see -- that the second provision applies to jobs performed under comparable rather than similar working conditions and then in quotes or parenthesis it says it is unclear whether this change has any legal effect and so I guess the question that I would have is to the proponent and the Chair of the Labor Committee what is her understanding of what difference -- the difference is between comparable and similar since apparently OLR had trouble identifying a legally significant difference?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, and thank you for the good question. Through my understanding, it is meant to expand DOLs authority to look at different types of work as deserving equal pay.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and if I understood the answer is to look at different kinds of work and perhaps since again this was something that's an important part of the change. It's one of the key changes in the amendment -- the use of the word comparable. If the good Chair could identify perhaps a couple of examples of things that would be comparable that would not be considered similar that is what the expansion picks up?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I can think of one where you have in a hotel you have women that are usually cleaning the hotel rooms but you usual have male janitors that are usually doing the cleaning in the lobbies and such. I would use that as an example of comparable work.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I'll throw out an example and ask if this one would be reached by the word comparable or not. A trucking company has a secretary who is working in the office and being a trucking company, it also has truck drivers that drive the trucks that pick up or deliver the things that the trucking company picks up and delivers. Would a truck driver be considered comparable to a secretary?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm not definitely positively sure but I would say no based on the description that you just gave.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate that answer and I think that it perhaps illustrates that there's going to be apparently some difficulty since the bill does not give us a list or even the genres of the types of things. I get it that two people that are engaged in cleaning different parts of a hotel might be considered comparable whereas they wouldn't be considered similar but there's -- there's gotta be a line somewhere in-between those two groups, between the truck driver/secretary comparison and the janitor/maid comparison that somewhere there's a line that we need to have defined for us. I don't know if CHRO is gonna have an easy time drawing that line and it may lead to a lot of discussions and perhaps litigation about it. I guess I have a story. It's gonna take a minute or two for me to tell the story so I would hope to beg the Chamber's indulgence as well as that of the good Chair of the Labor Committee and this is a personal story. My wife was, before she retired, a tenured professor at a university, Post University in Waterbury, and she had been working there for about four years. She was a member of the union. It was a unionized system, the AAUP, and the union contract specified that the university could not hire a professor with the same academic credentials as another professor and pay them a different salary or required -- I guess what we'd call today pay equity. My wife had a PhD and a couple of master's degrees and she was teaching psychology. The university hired an individual who had a degree called a PsyD and that's a doctor of psychology, which as I understand it takes about half as long to -- in the academic program -- to get that degree is about half as lengthy as for a PhD, and what the university did was it then set the salary for this new hire, a person who had never taught in a university before at $ 20,000 dollars more than what my wife's salary was at that moment and the university union decided to file a grievance under the contract and unfortunately, the net result of that grievance was after it went through arbitration was that the arbitrator ruled in favor of the university saying that the differential was somehow justifiable.

My question to you is -- is the language in this bill going to reach that kind of a situation? Would it cover -- I'll start with a couple of questions. I'll start with the unionized employee. If you have a union contract that is supposed to govern the relationship between the employer and the employee, will this new legislation apply to them -- to those people -- the union employee situation?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No, it would not. This language would not supersede collective bargaining.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and so I assume therefore that any -- many union -- many university professors and other people, school teachers, public employees are covered by union contracts so this would not -- unless the contract specifically allowed for you to reach out beyond and presumably it won't otherwise a contract would be rather hard to enforce, so only nonunion people would be covered by this new language? Through you, Madam Speaker. Is that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No, that is not correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Okay, so would then unionized employees be able to avail themselves of the language of the bill that is before us? To us this language to challenge a salary differential?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

I'm sorry, Madam Speaker. Could you repeat that Representative O'Neill?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill, could you repeat your question please?

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Sure. Would a unionized employee, such as my wife was, be able to take advantage of the new language that is in this bill? If this bill becomes law and the same episode occurred, would she be able to use this language, go to CHRO, rather than deal with the union and the grievance process that's contained in the union contract, the collective bargaining agreement.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I would venture to say that anyone can file a complaint. I don't think you can stop someone from filing a complaint but I also stated that this couldn't supersede collective bargaining because there's a grievance process, which you stated they went through and came to a determination.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I guess I'm confused. If after the grievance process was done, if this language were on the books, would someone in my wife's situation be able to say okay went through the grievance, that didn't work, I am now gonna go to CHRO and seek redress through that process?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, I would say that she does have that right. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Okay, thank you, Madam Speaker, so given the facts that I have put forward where the professor, the newly hired professor is being paid 25 percent more or more actually, 30 percent more than my wife was being paid at the time, would this -- this would be suitable to go to CHRO. Is it your understanding that under this bill the result should be that there should be compensation made because of that hiring decision to hire someone with lesser credential, no experience, but at a higher salary?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Anyone has the right to file. The process that CHRO would implement would be their process. I can't speak to that.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Well, Madam Speaker, I guess I'm trying to understand if the objective here is to achieve pay equity and if a person with equal or lesser credentials is hired and then they are paid more money and the most obvious difference between them is one is male and one is female, does this -- is this bill intended to say that's wrong, you can't do that, you have to raise the salary of, in this case, the female professor?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. All things being equal with the work, the pay should be equal as well.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Okay, so then just to be clear if this circumstance, if this case were to show up in front of the CHRO, it is the intent of this legislation, if CHRO is applying the law correctly, it is the intent of this legislation to say that that case should be resolved in favor of the lower paid female professor?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I couldn't answer that question. That would be CHRO and their internal process.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Okay, I guess I'm, perhaps I'm not phrasing it correctly because if a case as blatant as the one that I have just outlined, if we can't say with certainty that this law will prevent that from happening in the future, I guess I'm -- I'm not sure what it's supposed to do. What good does it do for anyone if we just don't know what the outcome is going to be? If based on the facts and I understand there may be other facts someone would perhaps argue differently but the facts as I presented them, you have two professors one with experience, higher credentials, another person is hired brand new, they're given a higher salary and it would seem to me that if we're trying to achieve pay equity and this law is designed to achieve that that the result should be that the university would be required to pay the female professor the same salary as the newly hired male professor so I guess the question is if that result is not desired out, if that's not the intention of this bill, then I guess I'm puzzled as to why we're doing this bill so again, I would ask the question is that the intention of this bill? To say that at least that, whatever else might be wrong, at least that would be declared improper and inequitable?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It wouldn't be for us to determine. That would be for CHRO to determine. They would go through an investigative process and they would make that determination so I can't stand here and make that determination today, Representative O'Neill.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Okay, I guess if the objective -- it just seems to be me in looking at this piece of legislation, at lease the title of it, the objective of it is to try to eliminate discrimination between men and women, the pay gap. If someone comes along and says okay, we're paying a female professor $ 60,000 dollars a year, we just hired a male professor doing the same job with even lesser credentials, we're gonna pay him $ 80,000 dollars a year and this law doesn't say that's wrong I don't understand what this law is intended to accomplish. If that's -- if there is a possible scenario under which CHRO given those facts, as salient facts, if the CHRO can rule the male professor gets to keep the $ 20,000 dollar extra in pay and the university doesn't have to pay anything extra to the female professor, I'm not sure what this law is supposed to accomplish? Who is it going to help, so let me try one more time. Is under the scenario that I have outlined with this new law would CHRO be able to say -- should they say based on those facts the university is now gonna have to pay the female professor an equal amount of money to the newly hired male professor?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, and I'm gonna try to explain this as best as I can, Representative O'Neill. I think I'm following where you're going with this and what we're doing is putting in place a process where if there is a situation where an employee feels that there has been bias or discrimination in their pay based on gender that there is an option for them to go to CHRO, file a complaint, and go through that process. Now, how that process ends, I can't deem what that is because that's the process within CHRO, so I don't know if I'm -- I guess the question is does that answer your question?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

I'm not -- I have to respond that I don't think that it does. I thought the purpose of this piece of legislation was to reduce -- this is the way it was presented. It is to reduce the wage gap between men and women. Now, there are many explanations that are offered -- women take time off for pregnancy, there is an address of that here about seniority. There is different other factors that may come into play. We talked a little about the job descriptions and the nature of work and that the truck drivers and the secretaries may not be comparable. In fact, it sounds like they probably aren't comparable but the janitors and the maids in a hotel, they would be comparable. There are a variety of factors that one can try to point to to say this is why there is a difference between the wages of men and the wages of women, but if you have a situation in which a female professor is being paid $ 60,000 dollars and a male professor is hired and never taught before and has lesser credentials is now gonna get $ 20,000 dollars a year more and that that's not considered clearly straight up wrong under this statute -- if that's not inequity -- if that's not something this statute is aimed to stop from happening, I'm not sure what the purpose of this statute is. Part of it is that CHRO is gonna look to the legislative history, to the debate we're having here today, to the discussions that were had in the committee when this bill was heard to give them guidance as to what it is they're supposed to do. Now, they may reach a conclusion based on our earlier discussion about truck drivers and secretaries. Okay, the legislature didn't intend for them to be treated as comparable but they did intend for the maids and the janitors to be treated as comparable so we'll have to find some place in-between those two and draw a line. At least, we've given a little bit of guidance to CHRO on that score but we are leaving, it seems to me, CHRO with absolutely no idea as to what it is we're trying to stop from happening as a way to try to reduce the wage gap between men and woman. I mean if they -- if a university can hire a female professor for $ 60,000 and four years later hire a male professor to do the same job and pay him $ 20,000 dollars more as a starting salary and this female professor is still at $ 60,000 and there's nothing wrong with that under this law, I don't know how this is supposed to combat the pay equity problem. What does it accomplish? I guess I'm just utterly puzzled. I mean it sounds like all those people are complaining that this is gonna be a burden on business, that it's gonna interfere with people are wrong because if that university is still allowed to do what it did, I don't know that we've accomplished anything with this statute? Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further? Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Just a couple of questions to the proponent if I may through you, Madam Speaker?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

You may proceed, sir.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

I just wanted to ask the proponent of the bill why section 2 on lines 36 and 37, the 46a-62 is being repealed. What is the policy reason for repealing 46a-62?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, if I could just get a moment?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

The Chamber will stand at ease.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

The Chamber will come back to order. Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The repeal is actually so that CHRO can hear more cases and because there is federal money that comes that DOL doesn't get, so that's the purpose of repealing that so that we can open it up to CHRO to receive more cases and that federal money.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you to the proponent for that response, so there is a fiscal benefits, as I understand it then, because the Department of Labor does not get reimbursed from claims they handle from the federal government; whereas, the CHRO does get reimbursed. Is that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes, that is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and do we know the amount of the fiscal impact based on prior years' experience what that benefit will be?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I do not.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Is there any other policy reason why we want CHRO handling these complaints rather than the Department of Labor?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I think another reason would be that they currently do handle discrimination cases and adding the wage discrimination would be best suited for CHRO including the federal money that we just spoke of.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you for those responses. Through you, Madam Speaker, I just would like to know at some point if we can figure out what the fiscal impact will be because in this time of fiscal constraints if we're talking about a savings or a reimbursement of $ 1 million dollars or $ 500,000 dollars, certainly, that's something we'd like to know so that when the budgetary process comes through -- I've heard through the grapevine that we're in a little bit of a financial constraint here in the building so if there's some way we can reallocate money from the Department of Labor to some other in need entity or agency, I'd look forward to hearing about that going forward, so I'm gonna still listen to the rest of the debate to decide how I'm gonna handle this. I thank the proponent for her responses and for bringing this bill out. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further? Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Good to see you there, madam.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Discrimination, Madam Speaker, in any form obviously is ugly and is unacceptable. I think all of us here in this Chamber would agree on that, but to me, Madam Speaker, as I'm trying to understand what is the goal, what is the purpose here, I just want to make sure, through you, Madam Speaker, to the proponent of the bill a few questions?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

You may proceed, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, Madam Speaker, equal work on the job, through you, Madam Speaker, that's to me a relatively a sentence or words that's a little difficult to necessarily interpret consistently all the time, so through you, Madam Speaker, may the good proponent of the bill explain to us what is equal work on a job?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I would say that equal work would be based on the job description and what the responsibilities of that job is.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. In this equal work, the work is the same, the work is identical whether it's a male or a female, but through you, Madam Speaker, would the years of experience be considered when they look at equal pay and equal work? The work done is the same. There's no difference as far as the work that is being done but obviously, there's a difference in terms of years of experience in doing the same work.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I would say that equal work would include equal experience.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

So through you, Madam Speaker, so I am clear, so if in my office, to take as an example, if I have a nurse who happens to be a female doing a particular set of duties that she's designated to do, through you, Madam Speaker, if I now hire a male nurse doing the same job, same identical job, but that male nurse happens to have four or five years extra experience in doing the job but is new in my practice, through you, Madam Speaker, would that be equal pay or can that male nurse be allowed to be making more income since he has four or five years extra on the job, though not at my practice?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm not sure. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

So, through you, Madam Speaker, I'm not sure what the good Representative is not sure about -- my question or about the answer to my question.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I was referring to not being sure about the answer to your question.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

So, through you, Madam Speaker, if this bill were to move forward without us knowing as to what should be fair compensation to somebody who comes from another location but I happen to hire A, B it happens to be a male doing the same job, would I as an employer am I liable for the fact that the female nurse did not get the same compensation?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I'm sorry I did not hear all of that but I did want to go back to the question that you previously asked me and state that experience is experience so even if the experience was outside of the realm before your hiring, that experience would still be considered when you're looking at seniority. Through you, Madam Speaker, and I'm just gonna ask you to repeat the last question please.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

So through you, Madam Speaker, let's go back to my first question because the second was a follow up to the first so if I understand the first clearly, maybe there's no reason for the second -- for me to ask the second question; so work done somewhere else, four years, three years and then comes to my practice or to my office or to anyone's office and does comparable work as a female employee is doing, we are not required, through you, Madam Speaker, that the salaries of both those employees be the same because the work is the same it's just a number of years of experience but not in that office, not in that business? It is somewhere else.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If the employee for similar job -- I mean they talk about equal pay -- does the equal pay is only in terms of the rate of pay or lead pay, whatever the compensation, comprises of or does it include the entire compensation package as opposed to just pay alone?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It would include the entire package.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker, so if an employee who happens to be a female for personal reasons chooses to be working not a full-time job because she prefers to spend some quality time at home with her children and her male counterpart who works in the office, same job, same everything but puts in more hours because that is what he decides to do. Does the compensation in terms of pay and the total compensation do they have to be the same?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If I'm understanding the questions correctly, the fact that one is working part-time and another full-time, that would be a difference. It wouldn't be -- it wouldn't be comparable.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That employee who happens to be a female in the situation is not part-time. She is working but she decides that she is not ready to work 40-hour week and decides to put in 30-hours a week, which is not uncommon and the male person who works in the office puts in 40-hours or close to that, so it's not part-time job. Through you, Madam Speaker, would then all the benefits and the compensation including the pay, do they have to be the same?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If they're not working the same amount of time, then that would make it different so I don't know -- okay, maybe I shouldn't say part-time work. I think that I would have a question in response to the question. Would the pay be -- so are you saying, through you, Madam Speaker, is the question based on the fact that both of these employees male and female are making the same amount of money, they have the same benefits package but we're allowing the female worker to work less time because she doesn't want to work 40 hours that the male counterpart is working?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Yes, Madam Speaker. I think the good Chair of the Labor Committee put it very well. If the female employee decides for personal reasons to work only 30-hours of week because obviously, she has other commitments that are a priority to her and the male counterpart who works at the same job, same duties, decides to put in the 40 hours, will it be necessary as far as pay and compensation is concerned that both the 30-hour employee and the 40-hour employee be identical if their experience is also the same?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker, maybe the good Chairwoman can expand on that no because I didn't understand what it meant.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The question was would they be eligible for the same benefit package -- and this is for clarity -- if one was working 30 hours and another was working 40 hours. The hours that they're working are not equal, so no, they would not -- it wouldn't be mandated that they receive the same benefit package even though the experience may be the same.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker, so for the example that we are using here this afternoon, I would just say a nurse because obviously that's the world that I live in but it can be anyone; so through you, Madam Speaker, if a nurse who happens to be a female puts in 30-hours a week and a male nurse puts in 40-hours a week, I'm not talking about the total compensation, which obviously will be very different because of the 10 hour difference, but I'm looking at the per hour on the hourly compensation between the two. Can we then say that the male nurse may be paid, could be paid more because he happens to be working 40 hour, per hour, not a total compensation but on an hourly basis?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

So, through you, Madam Speaker, the no in as much as that the compensation has to be the same on an hourly basis?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If I'm understanding the question correctly. No.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker, if at the time of hire when the employee is being hired -- this is real life so we're not talking hypothetical situations here. This happens in our offices day in and day out and I want to make sure that when we leave the message is clear to everyone -- when we have a new hire, there are certain rules and regulations we say before they accept that job. Obviously, it's mutual, the job is not mandatory and we might say the job requires you to work on a Saturday, the job requires you to work at 6 p. m. and 8 p. m. different hours times of the day, so through you, Madam Speaker, the number of hours may be comparable, the work is identical. No difference as far as work is concerned at all. It's a nursing duty just to keep that as an example -- ongoing example for conversation, but one employee happens to be a male is willing to work past 6 p. m. A, the female employee for personal reasons does not want to work past 6 o'clock or 4 o'clock, does the compensation have to be the same?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm not sure.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

So those are some of my concerns. I mean there is no question discrimination is unacceptable. I mean we are all on the same page on that but this bill I think needs a lot more clarification in real life situations. We're not talking about men being paid more or women being paid less necessarily based on just amount of money they take home but the question is what is the time of the day they're working. We talked about -- some concerns were raised about differential pay. A lot of offices, a lot of practices are open in the evenings as you're well aware of, Madam Speaker, for convenience sake to patients. Some of them are open on Saturdays, mine is, once again for convenience to patients, so my concern is moving forward the number of hours is the same, the work is the same, but the male employee gives a little more by working hours, which the female employee is not necessarily willing to work for personal reasons. Then does this equal pay for equal job will that apply or could they file a discrimination with CHRO?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I have to apologize. There was some conversation going on over here and I didn't hear the last portion of that. Could you ask the good gentleman to please repeat that?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan, would you mind repeating that please?

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I definitely will, so we're talking about in a nutshell differential pay, through you, Madam Speaker, for different hours of the day that the employee works. Equal work, same amount of work, same kind of work, but right now that work is being done past the conventional 9 to 5 A, is done over weekends B, which the male employee is willing to do but the female employee for family reasons chooses not to do so?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I would say as long as the hours are equal irregardless to the time of day.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

So through you, Madam Speaker, if a female nurse employee puts in 30 hours of work during let us say from a 9 a. m. to 5 p. m. shift and the male employee nurse puts in 30 hours but is working for the office because the office is open past 5 o'clock, the office is open on Saturday mornings and for emergencies on Sundays as well, through you, Madam Speaker, the number of hours are the same, the same number of hours whether it'd be 30 or 40 well below the over-time timeframe but they're not done in the same time of the day. Through you, Madam Speaker, can the male employee in that situation, be compensated at a higher pay?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If there is a pay differential in order, yes.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Will this pay differential have to be established before he or she accepts her job?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It could be. Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, Madam Speaker, so if the female nurse accepts a job saying that she is willing to stay past 5 p. m. , is willing to come in on Saturdays and Sundays and then finds that it is difficult for her to balance -- work life becomes difficult, very difficult and so she says I'm gonna cut back the hours, not work past 5 o'clock, not come in over the weekends but still puts in the 30 hours of work in a regular time. Does the male employee, can he be given the extra pay or the pay differential because of the timeframe?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If the timeframe warrants pay differential, yes.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I want to thank the good Chair of the Labor Committee for answering her questions for me and as I said earlier on I just wanted to clarify a lot of day-to-day practical situations that happen in the real life in the real world and we are, as we always will, never accept discrimination in any form and every form. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further? Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. A few questions for the proponent, if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

You may proceed, sir.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, Madam Speaker, the bill talks about prohibiting the use of the Family Medical Leave Act to reduce seniority and that the reduction in seniority cannot be used as a factor in calculating pay so my question is what does seniority mean in this bill?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Seniority system would be defined by the employer and it would refer to the amount of time on the job.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Now, when -- when we talk about amount of time on the job, are we talking about years, days, months, weeks or does it not matter?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I would say it's time of service.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Okay, thank you, Madam Speaker. I'll take that to mean that it doesn't matter. That it's any of those whether it's days or weeks or months or years, so under that scenario if it -- if seniority can be any amount of time that an employee is employed, I'm thinking of a scenario where in a restaurant. Restaurants have very high turnover. People are hired, fired, leave all the time so if a restaurantor hires two people one a male and two a female on the same day and tells them that if they stay there for three months they will get a raise because the employer is trying to get them to stay for a while to see if they'll work, so the employer says if you both stay here for three months, you'll get a raise. Now, we could come up with any numbers we want. You know, they start at $ 10 dollars, they go to $ 12 dollars, whatever it is, and they both start working on the first day and after two weeks one of them goes out on family medical leave and is out for 12 weeks. Well at the three-month period does the employer -- is the employer able to give the other one the raise or does the employer have to give them both a raise even though only one of them actually was there working for three months?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I just want to ask a question for clarity. Is the question -- and this is to the good Representative -- If the female is out for the entire 12 weeks, is she still -- does she still qualify for the raise?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Yes, Madam Speaker. That was my question.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. According to the language in this bill, that would be correct.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Okay, thank you, Madam Speaker. I think that reveals an inherent flaw in this bill. If an employer has a -- has the goal of seeing if an employee works out and seeing if an employee is going to stay on the job for three months and has offered to give the employees a raise who are there for three months and one of them is there every day and works hard for three months and the other one is out on leave for a significant portion of that, that puts the employer in the position of having to give both of them a raise or give neither of them a raise and that doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me. I can understand if seniority relates to years on the job but if it relates to short periods of time in industries that have very high turnover, I think that it -- it can be a significant impediment to hiring and most of that will take place in fairly low-paying jobs in communities that really need employers to be able to hire people so I -- I will continue to listen to the debate but I see a very significant inherent flaw in that portion of the bill. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further?

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I --

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Sorry, Madam Speaker. Through you, I stand corrected. If that's a family medical leave action that the good Representative is referring to then they wouldn't qualify for that under 12 weeks.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm curious as to why they would not qualify. It seems in the bill that the employer would not be able to consider the time out on family medical leave when considering seniority for the purposes of a pay increase, so through you, Madam Speaker, how is it that that would not count?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Through FMLA, they would have to qualify for 1000 hours, so that would not apply for the leave.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Could the good Representative explain what the 1000 hours is? I am unfamiliar with it.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. You would not qualify -- an employee would not qualify for FMLA until they've worked 1000 hours, so if you're on the job, the promise was three months out they would receive a raise. That was the scenario that was given. If the person that we're referring to, the female worker goes out, she can't go out if she's worked less than 1000 hours on the job.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, so 1000 hours is approximately half a year's worth of work? I don't do math well but that's off the top of my head. Is that generally what is anticipated by the 1000 hours? About a half-a-year's work?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It would depend on the job. It's different for every job.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the Representative for her responses and I will continue to listen to the debate. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further? Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you -- thank you, Madam Speaker. I too had some questions for the proponent, if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

You may proceed, sir.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you. Just to go back to response to some prior questions about unionized employees and nonunionized employees being able to take advantage of this. Am I to understand that this statute would apply to unionized employees?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Everyone would have the right to file a complaint through CHRO if they felt they had been discriminated against on any basis but pertaining to this bill specifically, a gender bias discrimination on wages.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, so if I am to understand from the questions and answers previous that a perspective claimant would have the option at the time of recognizing their claim of choosing through -- and this is a unionized employee -- choosing to go through the grievance process for remedy or the CHRO process?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If we're speaking of a union worker, it would be through the collective bargaining process, which would be a grievance process, but they would also have the option to file with CHRO if the results -- the decision they get back is not what they're pleased with.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, so my understanding from -- from -- well, let's just take this a step further. The unionized employee has opted to do the grievance process and usually it's the three-tiered process and we end up perhaps an arbitration at the third tier and they've been unsuccessful through all of that and they have now starting fresh with CHRO. Is that my understanding?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes, if that is their decision.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and if they are then unsuccessful through CHRO, they have the ability -- my understanding is to file an appeal to the Superior Court?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If that is the process but I will ask this question for clarity. When you're speaking about the Supreme, are you referring to CHRO?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Yes, unsuccessful CHRO claim and an appeal from that under 4-183, I believe, would go to the Superior Court procedurally.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If that is the process, that is correct.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Okay, so I've identified perhaps five different levels in which a worker would have the ability to challenge the working situation. That'd be three tiered through grievance and then perhaps two tier through the Superior Court. Is that my recognition of that?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, so taking it from the employer's perspective, they go through the grievance process and they're unsuccessful. What remedy does the employer have at that point at the end of the grievance? Can they go to CHRO for relief?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I guess my question would be what relief are they looking for?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Well, they're looking for the same level of relief that the employee had since they have five different levels of redress, the three grievance and then the two through the court process. They're looking for the same balancing neutral ability to utilize the law.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I believe the burden of proof would be on the employee and the employer -- is the employer, through you, Madam Speaker, waging discrimination? I'm -- I'm confused.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Let's do it this way. Is it fair to say that an employee has more rights of redress than the employer under this scenario?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I would say that the employee does because this bill is based on wage discrimination based on gender as an employee so the process is for the employee to go after whatever they believe -- if they believe they have a valid claim.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, so presently, my understanding is that if somebody goes through the grievance process because they've collectively bargained away their rights to go to CHRO, which I recognize and support our unionized workers, that if they filed a complaint with CHRO, that would be dismissed under the legal theory of raised judicata?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. If I could ask the good gentleman for clarification on the question.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Fishbein, would you be so kind as to give clarification?

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Absolutely, so the legal theory of raised judicata is basically that the same parties have utilized the -- a judicative process on the same issue to resolution and that would be a motion to dismiss on a CHRO claim from a grievance. Am I to understand that this is gonna supersede the legal theory of raised judicata?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. What is that based -- I'm hearing that we are superseding raised judicata so what is the belief that it would not?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm not an attorney so I'm not sure what the process is that you're referring to in this question.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

So, am I to understand the question -- the answer to the question is not no -- it is I'm not sure?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Okay, thank you -- thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

I'm good. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further? Representative Skulczyck.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter, please prepare yourself. You may proceed, sir.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you and I commend the proponent for your standing in and taking all these great questions on and you're handling it with class. I'm gonna be very quick about my questions and it's in regards to CHRO. Madam Speaker, through you, I'd like to know if we can anticipate the Department of Labor, to my colleague's point, will be seeing a cut in their request or their needs for funding? I'm assuming there will be positioned eliminated at the Department of Labor who do investigation?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Just for clarity. Is the good gentleman asking that there will be a decrease in the claims so that there will be elimination of a position? I'm not sure if I'm understanding the question.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Skulczyck, could you clarify please?

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes, I'll clarify. You are now saying that the Department of Labor will no longer be investigating these existing claims. That all work will be shifted over to CHRO, so the question through you, Madam Speaker, for the proponent is will we see more increase in CHRO investigators, meaning a higher fiscal note for their budget, and a decrease in the fiscal request for DOL for investigators?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. There is no fiscal note on this bill.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Skulczyck.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Okay. Through you, Madam Speaker. Are you in the intent of this is to have CHRO handle all these complaints with their present staff?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I think it would be hard for me to answer that question based on the fact that we wouldn't know or be able to project at this point how many cases would come to CHRO under this bill.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Skulczyck.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Right and thank you, Madam Speaker and to the proponent offering that explanation. If -- through you, Madam Speaker, if the proponent could also share with us, indulge us, do you know how many cases have been filed with CHRO in regards to harassment, in regards to promotion issues or sexual harassment, termination of pregnancy that they have previously and have been investigating for many years, through you, Madam Speaker, if you have any knowledge from the proponent?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Skulczyck.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you for that, and so I know when I look at the notes that we were able to come up with for the fiscal year of 2015, there was 5441 -- grand total 5441 complaints filed with CHRO and under those complaints we have a variety of issues. They don't define exactly the breakdown, through you, Madam Speaker, to the proponent, but it is harassment, hiring, other, other pregnancy, promotion, reasonable accommodations, refused leave of pregnancy, relations, sexual harassment. It continues to go on. My point to this, through you, Madam Speaker, is this is existing already and so I'm just wondering is this just another duplication of what we're already doing?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. As stated earlier, this would be for them to handle discrimination based on wage gender bias.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Representative Skulczyck.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you for that clarification and I would also just request -- I appreciate the position. My 17-year-old daughter and I had a great conversation about this today on her way into practice before I came here, and she shared with me a couple of thoughts and it kind of resonates now and she does not want to be treated any different because she is a female. She wants to be treated respectfully for her ability and so I can appreciate what you're fighting for because I'll be fighting for my daughter's rights as well, and I just wish we had more of a fiscal identify here so we can make a better judgement. Thank you for that, through you, Madam Speaker, thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further? Representative Borer.

REP. BORER (115TH: )

Thank you, Mrs. Speaker -- Madam Speaker. I originally pressed my microphone to clarify FMLA question but Representative Porter answered it property. You do need 1000 to 1250 hours in order to qualify for FMLA and just as a frame of reference FMLA applies differently to government employees versus private employees, but while I have the microphone, I just want to take the opportunity to thank Representative Porter. There's been a lot of great questions here today and there's been a lot of great answers. She cannot possibly identify and anticipate every question and every scenario that might come forth and just in response to CHRO, which is the Commission on Human Rights, they did testify the other day that there has been an increase in their case load and that's because of their out reeducation throughout the region to educate employees on how to bring discrimination cases forward and they've done a great job on that education. I want to thank Representative Slap and Representative Porter on their great work. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further? Representative McCarthy Vahey.

REP. MCCARTHY VAHEY (133RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of this bill and would like to join my thanks to Representative Porter and Representative Slap and others who have worked on this bill. I just want to make a few remarks and clarify that this bill will make it more -- it will strengthen our laws and allow us to make sure that we are speaking clearly and saying that we here in Connecticut in businesses public and private support pay equity for equal jobs. Gaps in pay are not just between men and women. Gaps in pay are between those who are in our gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual community. We have pay gaps among people who are minorities and we need to make sure that when we look at this issue that we're looking at this in a comprehensive fashion. This bill -- this bill does not -- makes it clear that in the private sector that we want to make sure that we're having equal pay for equal work and we know that the gap in public sector pay is much smaller than in private sector pay, so again, Madam Speaker, I would like to thank those proponents of the bill and support and urge all members to vote in support.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further? Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would just like to say it has been a very interesting debate today with a lot of great questions. I hope that I've been able to answer them to my colleagues -- to their expectation and their satisfaction. As we've heard during the debate, this is a very valid issue, not just in the state of Connecticut. This is a nation -- national issue -- and as a woman, as a mother of a daughter, I believe it is something that really does deserve our undivided attention and because we're looking at a law that's been on the books since 1963 and we still haven't made a halfway dent in this issue, I'm hoping that this bill would be the beginning of a process that we can, not just as Democrats, but as Democrats and Republicans, work in a bipartisan effort to do what we need to do for not just the women in the state of Connecticut -- we're probusiness, we're pro people, and I think that we should be able to be that without having to feel that we're doing a disservice to one or the other, so I'm really hoping that what's been said here today has been taken to heart and that we will really work earnestly to make sure that we're doing what we need to do as legislators to address this issue so that women can take care of their families and that women will be treated equally in the workplace. I don't believe that we should be discriminated against on the basis of sex. If we're doing the same job and we have the same qualifications, I believe that we deserve to be paid fairly and I just wanted to say that, you know, the concerns about unfair pay -- women consider equal pay a top workplace issue, so it is my hope that today that everyone in this Chamber would be able to support this bill. I welcome my good colleagues from across the aisle in helping with this bill to make -- to take it further, to strengthen the 1963 bill even more. I believe that it can be done, that it should be done, and I believe that we can do it together. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GENTILE (104TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further? The distinguished Minority Leader, Representative Klarides.

REP. KLARIDES (114TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, let me first stand here and say that the good Chair of the Labor Committee certainly fielded a lot of questions today and we understand that none of us know every answer to every question but as evidenced by what happened here last week, I think it's even more important than ever to really take seriously the idea that we all need to work together. That doesn't mean we agree on everything but unless we take these issues head on as a group, we're not doing them justice. Is wage equity an important issue? Of course, it is. Is it real? No question. It is so real though that it deserves a real solution. As the only woman leader in this building, I am not only proud to lead the caucus but I am proud to have a different perspective than the other leaders. I have actually, as have I'm sure most women in this Chamber, actually experienced gender inequity, actually experienced gender discrimination, know how it feels in your soul so to imply that anyone, particularly a woman, based on what party we belong to doesn't take this seriously does this whole Chamber a disservice and I know how seriously everyone in this Chamber takes this job. I know that in my soul. We want to protect women from this problem. We want to defend them. We want to promote them. We want it to be fair. That's all anybody is asking for, so I thank the good Chairman for mentioning that she would like to have this be a bipartisan issue and a bipartisan solution. I spoke with the Speaker and the Majority Leader and we had conversations today about how this shouldn't happen again, how by working together we could acknowledge a real problem but unless we have a real solution, every woman in this Chamber, every woman in this state, and every woman in this country will be done a major and grave disservice. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

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? Don't rush, Joseph. We'll wait. If all the members have voted, please check the board to ensure that your vote's 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 5591 as amended by House "A"

Total number Voting 148

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 139

Those voting Nay 9

Absent not Voting 1

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The bill passes as amended. (Gavel). Are there any announcements or introductions? Representative Ackert of the 8th District. You have the floor, sir. Representative Luxenberg of the 12th. You have the floor, madam.

REP. LUXENBERG (12TH):

For purposes of a Journal notation, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed, madam.

REP. LUXENBERG (12TH):

The following Representatives missed votes today. Representative Tercyak, business in district; Representative Stallworth, business outside the Chamber; Representative Santiago -- that's Ezequiel Santiago -- legislative business outside of the Chamber; as well as Representative Guerrero; Representative Sanchez; Representative Reed; and Representative Serra. Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The Journal will so note. Thank you, madam. Representative Betts of the 78th. You have the floor, sir.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. For the purpose of Journal notations, Representative Frey missed votes due to district business and Representative Petit missed votes due to family commitment. Thank you very much.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Journal will so note. Any other announcements or introductions? Announcements or introductions?

Representative Albis of the 99th. You have the floor, sir.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If there's no further business on the Clerk's desk, I would move that we adjourn subject of the call of the chair.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

So ordered, we are adjourned. (Gavel).

(On motion of Representative Albis of the 99th District, the House adjourned at 4: 50 o'clock p. m. , to meet again at the Call of the Chair).

CERTIFICATE

I hereby certify that the foregoing 263 pages is a complete and accurate transcription of a digital sound recording of the House Proceedings on April 12, 2017.

I further certify that the digital sound recording was transcribed by the word processing department employees of Alphatranscription, under my direction.

________________________

Alpha Transcription

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