THE CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The House of Representatives was called to order at 12: 30 o'clock p. m. , Speaker Joe Aresimowicz in the Chair.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

House come to order. Will members, staff and guests please rise and direct your attention to the dais where Representative Reyes will lead us in prayer.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good afternoon, everybody. Let's bow our heads.

Let us pray, Lord, the work before us echoes the needs of your people. We ask you to bless the leaders we have elected. Grant that through their discussions and decisions we may solve our problems effectively and enhance the wellbeing of our state.

Amen.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you, sir. Thank you very much, sir. Would Representative Ohler of the 64th District please come to the dais and lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

REP. OHLER (64TH):

(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:

Is there any business on the Clerk's desk?

THE CLERK:

Yes, good afternoon, Mr. Speaker. Corrected communications from the Governor; Executive and Legislative Nominations.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please refer to the Committee on Executive and Legislative Nominations.

THE CLERK:

Corrected communications from the Governor Judicial Nominations.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please refer to the Committee on Judiciary.

THE CLERK:

Favorable reports house bills to be tabled for the calendar and printing.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

You guys are up. You're up. The esteemed Majority Leader of the First District, you have the floor sir.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move that we wave the reading of the House table reports and the bills be tabled for the calendar in printing.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

So ordered, thank you, sir.

THE CLERK:

Last piece of business is the daily calendar.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, Mr. Clerk, are there any announcements or introductions? Representative Lesser of the 100th District, you have the floor, sir.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Yes, Mr. Speaker, for purposes of announcement.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Mr. Speaker, there are a few institutions in this building but in the Banking Committee, none was more proud and more long-lasting than one assistant clerk, John Marvell, who served in this building for 33 years as Assistant Clerk in the General Assembly, 32 of those years on the Banking Committee.

My understanding is he spent one year on PRI and preferred banking.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Lesser, can you hang on for one second? (GAVEL) Would all members please take their seats? Representative Lesser has risen to talk about a former Clerk of the Banking Committee. Please proceed, Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, John was a fixture of the Banking Committee for decades. He mentored generations of legislators, walked us through the long history of the legislature and many of the controversies and questions that came before the Banking Committee.

His tenure in the General Assembly predated the construction of the Legislative Office Building itself and unfortunately he passed away on May 4th. He served his country in the Coast Guard from 1967 to 1971 and served in the city of Milford for many years in a variety of capacities, including on the Republican Town Committee.

There will be a memorial service and I can provide details to any colleagues who are interested and I'll be happy to yield to any other colleagues who have anything else to add.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Yes, Representative Simanski, you have the floor, sir.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is truly sad, the passing of John Marvell. I first got to know him when I became ranking member on the Banking Committee and was impressed by his just work ethic. He made sure every I was dotted and every T was crossed. A real gentleman.

And then of course I got to know him as a friend and we spent a lot of time talking about our animals, talking about his time in the Coast Guard and his hobby, one of his hobbies which was woodworking. And I have a door stopper that's underneath the door in my office that keeps swinging open and he told me the history of when he first built that door stopper and all the people, all my predecessors who had it before me, so I'll truly miss him, a great gentleman and I thank you for the opportunity to speak about his passing.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir. Representative Staneski of the 119TH, you have the floor, madam.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, sir. Good morning, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Good morning, ma'am.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

I rise to say a few comments about my very good friend, John Marvell. His death came untimely to us but I want this Chamber to know that I've known him for many years and he loved his work up here. He loved it when he knew he was coming back and I happen to have one of the last conversations with him when he called me because he had some things in his garage that I had not picked up yet. And he says to me, “Well, how the hell are you doing?” And I'm quoting him.

And I told him a few health issues that I had, not knowing what he was going through and he said, “Well, you're the right person for me to talk to because I know you're not gonna call me tomorrow and say how the hell am I doing because I'm dying.

And he was good with his -- he made peace with himself, he was good with his life. He loved being on his boat when he could. He loved when he worked for our Parks Department in Milford. He loved doing charity work and he absolutely loved his time up here.

So he is in a better place. He did not suffer long. I look forward to hopefully attending that memorial. I know we might be in session and as I do meet people from his family, I let them know how much he was loved up here and sort of a fixture as he hobbled around in his last few years.

But he was happy, determined and did not want a lot of flowers at his funeral. So I thought that it would be important for us to know that he did enjoy his time up here.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much for that perspective, madam. Representative Lesser, would you like to remark further?

REP. LESSER (100TH):

I would just ask that we observe a moment of silence in memory of John Marvell's passing.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

I'd ask the Chamber to please stand while we observe a moment of silence for our fallen colleague.

[GAVEL]

Are there any other announcements or introductions?

Will the Clerk please call House Calendar 285? I apologize, Mr. Clerk. House Calendar 283.

THE CLERK:

State of Connecticut House of Representatives Calendar, Tuesday May 9th, 2017.

On page 22, House Calendar 283, House Bill number 6329, AN ACT CONCERNING HYDRAULIC FRACTURING WASTE IN CONNECTICUT. Favorable report of a joint standing committee on environment.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Question before the Chamber is on acceptance of joint committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Demicco, you have the floor, sir.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this bill institutes a ban on hydraulic fracturing waste here in the state of Connecticut. This bill supersedes the current statute which calls for a moratorium on the storing, handling, transporting, disposing and use of hydraulic fracturing waste. It removes the authority of the DEEP commissioner to adopt regulations and it institutes a ban on hydraulic fracturing waste here in Connecticut.

This bill passed the Environment Committee on a unanimous vote. It is co-sponsored by two dozen legislators, roughly evenly divided between both caucuses. It has a strong support of many individuals and town leaders throughout the state of Connecticut and it would bring uniformity to the way that we deal with this issue in the state of Connecticut and I urge passage.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you very much, sir. Will you remark. Will you remark. Representative Harding of 107th. You have the floor, sir.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Good morning, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, Mr. Speaker, to the proponent of the bill, if I may, a few questions.

The first is this is a ban on the transportation of or the depositing of fracking waste, correct? This is not necessarily a ban on fracking.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, that is correct.

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Harding.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, Mr. Speaker, my understanding is that there's numerous forms of fracking. For example, there's forms of fracking for telecommunication lines to be put underground. There's fracking for wells. There's fracking for other different industries throughout the entire state of Connecticut.

Does this ban apply to waste from that fracking or is it specific to any particular fracking?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, yes. Thank you for the question. The bill specifies beginning on line 14 that hydraulic fracturing means the process of pumping a fluid into or under the surface of the ground in order to create fractures in rock for exploration, development, production or recovery of gas.

So in view of that, I believe that my good Ranking Member's question has been answered and that this bill just refers to the limited practice of hydraulic fracturing for the purpose of recovering gas.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Harding.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank the good proponent for his answer to that question. I know that there are multiple members of my side of the aisle here in this Chamber who have some concerns in regards to some of the industries that they have in their districts that utilize the process of fracturing. Maybe not for carbon gas but for other processes and so that was a particular concern and I thank the proponent for his answer in that regard.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, just another quick question if I may. My understanding now is that there's a current moratorium. Could the good proponent please explain to the Chamber and to me, through you, Mr. Speaker, what the current moratorium has in place. What's the current law on hydraulic fracturing waste?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, currently, as a result of legislation that was passed back in 2014, there is a moratorium on the storage, disposal, use and transport of hydraulic fracturing waste in Connecticut until such time as the Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection promulgates regulations regarding this issue.

So that moratorium is in effect. I believe the dates -- the moratorium is in effect until July 1st of 2018 and what this legislation does is supersede that legislation and it institutes an outright ban.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Harding.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank the good proponent for his answers. This is a bill that garnered strong support on both sides of the aisle in the Environment Committee. It addresses an issue and makes a permanent ban on something that I think everyone here in this Chamber has some concerns with.

I look forward to hearing from the other colleagues throughout this Chamber on their opinion on this bill and possibly some amendments that may be made and I look forward to the further discussion.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you. To remark further, Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise for a couple of questions for the proponent of the bill.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, sir.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, Mr. Speaker, are there currently any waste products being transported or stored in the state of Connecticut now, as we speak?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, not that I am aware of, no.

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARP (117TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, are there any cases of fracking currently going on in the state of Connecticut?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, again, I am not aware of any that is taking place currently in the state of Connecticut.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Okay, and I heard the last Representative speaking about a moratorium and I was wondering prior to the moratorium, were there storage and transportation of waste products from fracking in the state of Connecticut?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Okay, through you, Mr. Speaker, not to my knowledge, no. Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Okay, so we have no examples of storage or transportation prior to the moratorium. We have no examples of it now so can I, through you, Mr. Speaker, ask the proponent of the bill why was this bill put forward?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes. I appreciate the question. The intent of this bill is to provide uniformity throughout the state of Connecticut. What I mean by that is that several towns have enacted ordinances similar to the ban that we are contemplating here today and this is an attempt to provide uniformity throughout the state of Connecticut with regards to this issue.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the good gentleman for his answers. I just have questions on why we create laws for situations that don't exist. You know, I don't profess to say whether every municipality that has enacted a law regarding the possibility of transporting or storing waste products from fracking is on the right track but why as a state are we getting involved in the type of making law regarding situations that have not happened, have no plans to happen and there's no history. It just seems like we're creating a solution for a problem that doesn't exist.

So that's my commentary, my questions have been answered, I'll listen to the debate before I make my mind up on voting for this bill.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank the good gentleman for his answers.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you, sir. To remark further, Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A few questions through you to the proponent of the bill.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Please proceed, ma'am.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, sir. So the question's been asked and answered about do we have fracking waste in Connecticut and that was answered by the good representative from Farmington, it would be no.

And I would like to ask through you, Mr. Speaker, if someone wanted to deposit waste or transport waste in the state of Connecticut, what would the procedure be under the current statute?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, as was, as we previously discussed, there is currently a moratorium on that practice here in Connecticut. However, there is a provision that for an entity to get a permit from the DEEP Commissioner for the purposes of research on hydraulic -- on a limited amount of hydraulic fracturing waste here in the state of Connecticut. So that permit has to be applied for and has to be issued by the department.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

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

So we have, in essence, a moratorium until the commissioner, the DEEP Commissioner, writes regulations which has to go through this body, has to go through all the chambers and we also have a permitting process for if by chance someone would want to transport or -- transport, not dispose of -- but transport fracking waste in Connecticut.

So just so I understand that, through you, Mr. Speaker, that is correct?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

I believe that to be correct.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, the 2014 legislation which has been in existence for a few years, have we had any problems with that legislation?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, no we have not.

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the good Representative from Farmington for that answer. So we've had no problems with the existing legislation. The legislation sets up parameters for if future use should be involved. The parameters include going through the department. Someone who is extremely knowledgeable, the current commissioner of DEEP is very, very knowledgeable.

Going through all of the legislative bodies that we have to modify the law but now we're going to put a fracking, a ban because why is my question.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST);

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes. Again, we do have a moratorium which is scheduled to sunset in a short period of time and the motivation for this legislation is to assert a public policy initiative that states that the state of Connecticut has decided that in order to protect the health and safety of its residents and its environment that we will permanently ban the use, storage, disposal, transportation of these materials.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I was curious if the fine gentleman had spoken to the department and the commissioner about this bill.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST);

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes. I had some conversations, yes.

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I would be very interested to know what the tenure of those conversations were because I did not see any testimony from the commissioner on this bill.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I don't believe that the department took a position on this one way or the other. They did not submit testimony to the Environment Committee when the bill was proposed.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that answer. So again, I'm just gonna reiterate for my colleagues. We already have a moratorium, it's managed by the department and the commissioner. Any changes to the legislation or regulations would have to come through all of the bodies of the legislature, be approved by the Governor but we're going -- and the commissioner didn't weigh in on this bill but we are going to ban fracking.

And again, I just don't understand why we would do this when we have such budget constraints and our focus should be on other things rather than this legislation.

I don't want fracking waste in Connecticut either, which is why I supported the first bill in 2014. I think I was Ranking Member on energy when we did this. But I just don't see why we need to be spending time debating this bill at this point in time. No reference intended -- no negative reference intended to the good representative from Farmington but I think we have other things that we really need to be talking about.

Now through you, Mr. Speaker, to the proponent, was the bill language considered to extend the moratorium that's currently in place with the current language to the out years.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Mr. Speaker, if the good lady could repeat her question, I didn't quite follow the question. Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hoydick, can you repeat the question, please?

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Absolutely, sir. So the good representative from Farmington had mentioned that the moratorium was about to end. And so my question is, was consideration given when this language was drafted and the bill was screened and it was discussed with the leadership on the Environment Committee, extending the moratorium instead of putting this language as it is, the banning fracking, whatever, into statute.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, thank you. Through you, Mr. Speaker, well actually in view of the fact that the moratorium is about to expire, the discussion centered around basically a public policy decision by the Environment Committee and then hopefully by the entire body here to ban permanently fracking waste here in Connecticut.

So I guess the answer is that we had a different discussion, perhaps, than might have been anticipated. But the discussion centered around what policy do we consider to be the best for the state of Connecticut.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the kind gentleman for that answer. I am appreciative that such thought went into the dialog before the bill is drafted and proposed, so thank you for that.

And I think, personally I think to extend the moratorium is very practical and would be a good solution to many of the situations that we have here instead of an all right ban though none of us want fracking waste in Connecticut. Please understand, I do not support that at all.

My concern, Mr. Speaker and to the good Chair of the Environment Committee is that Connecticut relies very heavily on natural gas for electricity generation and heating and we are trying to expand pipelines so we can have affordable electricity and sending another message about a ban, we had a wind ban before the turbines were built in Colebrook. That lasted for a little while. I just think a ban is the wrong message that we want to be sending to the folks and to the businesses in Connecticut.

So I will continue to listen to the debate and I'm hoping that there may be amendments or other dialog that we can have to extend this conversation and maybe get another kind of approach to dealing with fracking waste.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you. Representative Baram of the 15th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to speak in support of this bill for a couple of reasons. First of all, many towns -- I believe the number is up to 15 already -- have passed resolutions or ordinances banning the transportation of fracked waste through their communities.

The fact that so many towns in our state are adopting these ordinances suggests that at the ground level, there is massive support for trying to prevent this kind of contamination from coming through our state or being dumped in our state.

And I think that we as legislators need to take notice of the fact that our constituents are extremely worried about this prospect and many of my colleagues who have spoken raising questions about this bill have also said in the same breath that they oppose any dumping of waste in this state.

If you read some of the articles, you'll note that where the fracking is taking place, those states themselves have passed laws against dumping and transporting waste and I think that this is a major issue.

To the question of why do it now, I think it's better to be proactive than to deal with this after it occurs. And the moratorium in place is likely to come to an end shortly. And in addition to that, if my recollection is correct, the moratorium gives DEEP the opportunity to create regulations which might allow fracked transportation through the state whereas our communities are saying that they oppose that kind of transportation.

So this is extremely hazardous waste. There are many documentations regarding the hazards to human health as well as to the environment and I would urge my colleagues to support this bill understanding that it's limited to transportation, it's limited to fracking for gas and it will certainly preserve and protect our environment and our citizens' health and welfare.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you, sir. Representative Piscopo of the 76th, you have the floor sir.

REP. PISCOPO (76TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I remember this bill in Environment. This one kind of took me a little bit by surprise. There was, you know how chaotic JF day is in Environment. It was our last meeting and we were going through a number of bills pretty rapidly and we just went through a real controversial bill, it was, you know, there was a lot of movement on it, a lot of discussion on the other side of the aisle on the bill. And we had just made it through that vote and we were -- I was having a discussion with my seat mate at the time in the Environment Committee and this bill came up real quick and it just kind of -- quick vote and it was out of the committee before I even knew what was going on. I did want to speak on it and maybe cast a different vote on it.

But I figured I'd have another whack on it, Mr. Speaker, when it came to the Energy Committee which I also serve on but this bill never saw the Energy Committee so I guess I'm here on the floor addressing it. And I appreciate the proponent and I appreciate the arguments he brought up in bringing this bill out and why it's before us.

I think the most valid argument that I get out of that is that it would stave off a local attempt at local ordinances to ban this stuff. And I do understand that a state initiative to stave off local ordinance is an important reason and so I get that reason.

But other than that, you know, that would be up to our local selectmen, of course, to try and educate themselves on the issue and that kind of thing.

But other than that, a ban on fracking waste as put forward by a previous speaker is not really that important of a bill for us to be taking on. And the reason I say that, Mr. Speaker, is that all fracking waste is treated onsite. It's quite a bit. It's a large quantity of fracking materials that go into the well to free up the gas that's in there and it's all treated onsite. The logistics of moving fracking waste to be treated is just totally cost prohibitive. It just does not make sense to treat fracking waste other than onsite.

The newest fracking we have to Connecticut is hundreds of miles away, it's at least two states away. I could see entertaining this bill if New York was engaged in fracking because it's our neighbor, maybe a neighboring company over the New York border right in Connecticut may want to treat it but New York's not even doing it.

So this bill, other than to stave off a local ordinance attempt, this bill has no reason, in my opinion, to be before us. All fracking waste is treated onsite.

I've been around for a while, I remember the days before fracking. Fracking's quite a revolution in this society. We moved into our house in the early 90's pre-fracking and we had gas heat and those cold winter months, our gas bill would be quite high. It would be kind of tough to pay on a legislator's salary.

So it was just the supply of gas was not there pre-fracking. They were talking about offshore drilling, the gas industry. They were talking about importing. You remember we were fighting the importing of liquefied natural gas. They would have to freeze it to transport it and we were gonna have a floating liquefied natural gas facility in Long Island Sound, something we all really didn't quite like or want to accept. But it was a way to get low cost gas into this country. We were thinking about importing it from all other countries. There was a huge importing natural gas facility built in the Gulf of Mexico for that purpose.

And then fracking came around. All of a sudden we had a great supply of natural gas. Our gas bills went from $ 600 dollars on a cold month to $ 200 dollars to $ 300 a month, cut more than half. And that was just quite a relief for many of our residents.

Think of the single mom in that apartment trying to raise two kids and pay a heating bill. Her gas bill, just got cut in half because of the supply of natural gas. So fracking is a revolutionary thing, it's a good thing that we have. And just as a sidebar, we do not have the shale, we don't have the geological makeup here in this state, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, none of New England has the makeup, we just do not have the gas underneath our shale. Or we don't have the shale that stores that gas. So we can't do it so we must import our natural gas.

And as an aside, the Dakotas are fracked quite a bit and as a sub-product to their fracking operation in their shale is producing a light sweet crude, a huge amount of oil is coming out of the fracking process, thus they have to build that pipeline we're all reading about up in the Dakotas to pipe it to refineries because it's a beautiful white sweet crude oil coming off of the Dakotas.

And that's going to be hitting the market cutting our gas prices even more. That with the Keystone pipeline.

So it's a revolutionary technology, it's treated onsite so it really, I don't understand the agenda of having this in front of us other than there are those that just oppose fracking and they oppose taking fracked gas, I would imagine. But I do not at all wish to question anyone's intentions, especially on this committee. It may be an agenda of some others that do not serve in this legislature that are the impetus behind this bill.

The fracking waste itself is not necessarily hazardous. This state has deemed it hazardous because it was part of that legislation that went through in '14, we would accept it as hazardous waste, the Department of Environmental and Energy Production would promulgate regulations. They're due by June of '18, those regulations, on this same topic. So if we do nothing, the Department will come out with regulations on what we are going to do with fractured waste -- fracturing waste.

So we're preempting that whole process with this bill also, another reason why we probably shouldn't have it before us.

So we did accept it as hazardous waste. The EPA, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, under the former director, our former secretary of DEEP, Gina McCarthy, would not even classify it as hazardous waste. It's classified as a special waste which is one under the haz, it's a few levels under hazardous waste.

It's a special waste because it doesn't have anything that bad in it, if you will. Fracturing waste is, 90 percent of fracturing waste is water; 9. 5 percent of that waste is sand. So you have 99. 5 percent of the fracturing waste as water and sand. Only . 5 percent of fracturing waste is actual chemicals.

And the chemicals are, you know, there are some acids in there, of course, that would -- it's called a pre-fracturing, that would kind of loosen up the soil, it would start the separation of the shale and that is -- we find that in our swimming pools. It's the same acids that we put in our swimming pools to keep our water pure in our swimming pools.

Sodium chloride is part of that half-a-percent waste that's actually in the fracturing waste, that's table salt. There's something called pylo chloromides (phonetic), they're used to minimize the friction on the drills and we see that in our soil conditioner. We also see it in our water treatment facilities that treat our drinking water, uses that same chemical.

Ethanol glycol, it prevents stale deposits. We see that in our cleaners and you know, our de-icing agents in our household uses. Our household cleaners actually have that same in them. Same thing in them, your 409 or whatever you use to clean your homes with.

Boric salts, that's used for fluid viscosity. We see that, a lot of you are wearing it right now with your cosmetics and you probably used it this morning when you did a load of laundry, it's in all our laundry, it's in a lot of our laundry detergents.

There's stuff called greer (phonetic) gum -- gum, that thickens the water, it helps force the gas to a surface. We see that in ice cream. I don't know if there's an ice cream social today but you'll probably be eating that real soon later. It's a thickener. And we see that in our baked goods, too.

Citric acids, that prevents precipitation of the metal oxides. We see that in our food additives and beverages, citric acid. And so it's just normal every day uses of chemicals, dentist equipment, it's in some of the stuff the dentist puts in our mouth.

So it's not that hazardous, it's . 5 percent of the total chemical. Remember, 90 percent is water and 9. 5 percent is sand. So the fracking waste isn't radioactive or anything that caustic.

It may pick up something down in the soil but other than that, what we add is not that, actually not that damaging. But I say that all for naught. It's all moot because it's treated onsite. It just makes no sense to me why we're banning something that will not happen in Connecticut anyway.

And it just makes no sense to me, Mr. Speaker. One of the editorials in my local paper three years ago when we first were debating this issue said, “We might as well put a bill out that says an asteroid will not hit the state of Connecticut”, because that's how kind of absurd this whole thing is in my opinion.

So thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the chance and the opportunity to speak on this.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you, sir. To remark. Representative Dubitsky of the 47th. You have the floor, sir.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we are here talking about banning the disposal of material used in a process that generates a significant portion of the energy in this country. And in creating that waste, a lot of research has been conducted as to how that process should work.

Fracking is a relatively new process. We probably all remember back in the 70's and 80's there was talk about we're quickly running out of oil. That the world is gonna run out of oil in ten years.

And due to the innovation of the people of this country, we were able to develop processes where we can unleash vast amounts of additional energy, greatly reducing the price of energy which in turn reduces the cost of oil products and services in this country.

It reduces the price of transportation, it reduces the price of manufacturing and it reduces the price of many, many products that we use every day.

So one thing we don't wanna do is we don't want to stifle the innovation that has produced so much energy for this world. We allow all kinds of hazardous waste to be processed, stored and disposed of in this state.

With this particular process, we're singling it out and we're saying we don't want anybody to store or dispose of hazardous waste from this particular process. Any other process is fine but we're singling one out.

And as the proponent has said, we're doing so because there seems to be a movement around the state to ban this substance or these substances.

In fact, last night in my very own town, my town passed an ordinance that would ban the disposal of fracking waste in the town. A number of other towns in my district have either already done so or are planning on doing so as well.

And to the proponent's statement that this bill is designed to sort of get in front of that wave, I appreciate that. I have some doubts as to whether or not this bill will actually prevent any town that is currently considering such and ordinance from enacting it but I do believe that regulations and laws regarding the disposal of various substances, especially substances that are not even produced in this state should be handled at a state level and not at a local level.

But the bill as it is proposed is very broad. What it does essentially is it bans the substance virtually entirely. Nobody can bring fracking waste into the state. Nobody can dispose of it. Nobody can transport it. Nobody can process it. Nobody can research on it. Nobody can turn it into non-toxic products and services.

You know, one of the things that we as a legislature and we as a society are trying to encourage is recycling. We've got many bills that we have discussed in the environment committee. No doubt a number of them will come to the floor. We certainly voted on and debated a lot of them in previous sessions, with regard to recycling.

Well, my understanding of fracking waste is that it is essentially a conglomeration of many different chemicals that are used in the process of drilling and some of those chemicals we use in this state. The fracking chemicals are used for lubricants for the drills, they are used as sort of sulfactants (phonetic) to keep things from bubbling. They're used to pressurize the rock and break the rock.

There are a number of different chemicals, many of them, admittedly, are pretty darn nasty things. They're pretty nasty chemicals. So when the drill is pulled back up, very often this soup of nasty chemicals comes back up as well and is essentially contained, it's captured and contained and is transported.

So we've got these essentially tankers full of this soup of various chemicals. Well, what do we do with the stuff? What do we do with a tanker full of liquid that is completely filled with a variety of nasty chemicals?

Well, people who are thinking about it would say, “Let's figure out a way to separate those chemicals out and reuse them. We want to recycle.

People of the country have been encouraging recycling and certainly people in this Chamber have been encouraging recycling.

So how do we recycle these chemicals when they're all mixed together? I don't know. And at the moment, I'm told neither does anybody else. So what we need is innovation. What we need is research. What we need is a bunch of guys in white lab coats getting samples of this stuff and testing it and trying to figure out how to break it up into the basic chemicals, how to recycle these chemicals and how to reuse them. How to turn this tanker full of chemicals into something that is safe to be either reused or disposed of and something that poses no danger to the environment or to people.

This is what we should be encouraging. We should be encouraging this type of research. Under current law, current law allows three companies to get a permit from DEEP to get, to bring a certain amount of fracking waste into the state for the purpose of doing research. For trying to break the stuff down into its basic elements, for trying to figure out a way to make it safe, to do research to try to figure out how to recycle this material.

Unfortunately, this bill eliminates that completely. This bill says that nobody can do any research on fracking waste to try to get it to be safe. And I think that's a little too broad for my taste. I think that one of the things we wanna make sure in this Chamber that we don't do is stifle innovation.

One of the things that we wanna make sure that we don't do is impose unintended consequences on the people of the state. I certainly understand that the chamber, this Chamber wants to get ahead of the movement and that the towns are pushing this movement. But we are a bit more, let's say deliberative than some of the towns and I think in those deliberations we need to think closely about the unintended consequences of the bills that we debate and vote on.

So one of the unintended consequences of this bill is that it would eliminate all avenues of research and innovation. And we want to avoid doing that. So what we should be doing is we should be encouraging people to apply for those permits. As opposed to eliminating them, we want to encourage people to apply for the permits, to do the research on the fracking waste so we don't have a fracking waste problem in this country.

What we need is we need a couple of good research companies to figure out how to eliminate the fracking waste problem in this country and we want those people to be in Connecticut. We don't want somebody in Pennsylvania to figure it out, we want somebody in Connecticut to figure it out. We want the company in Connecticut to build the business. To hire the employees. To develop the research and processing facilities in Connecticut. And unfortunately, this underlying bill would stifle that.

Now, Mr. Speaker, there's an easy way to solve that problem and the Clerk is in possession of an amendment. It's LCO 6687 and I ask that the amendment be called and that I be permitted to summarize.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 6687 which be Designated House Amendment Schedule “A”.

THE CLERK:

LCO number 6687, Designated House Amendment Schedule “A”, an offer by Representative Dubitsky, Case, O'Dea and France.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

The Representatives seek leave of the Chambers to summarize the amendment, is there any objections to summarizations? Is there any objection? Hearing none, Representative Dubitsky, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, what this bill does is it essentially restores the section of the existing statute that allows for innovation. It restores the section of the bill that, the section of the existing statute that allows people and companies to apply for a permit to bring a limited amount of fracking waste into Connecticut -- no more than 300 gallons at a time -- to research and try to turn the material into a useful and safe substance.

So essentially, it just restores that section of the underlying statute and it makes other minor corrections such as eliminating the dates that there is -- there's an internal date that needs to be removed but the substance of the amendment is to restore just the part of the existing statute that allows for that innovation and I ask that it be considered a friendly amendment.

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

The question for this Chamber is on adoption of House -- will you remark further on the amendment, Representative Demicco?

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yeah, Mr. Speaker, yes, my colleague from Eastern Connecticut is correct. This amendment restores that section of the statute that allows for research on a limited amount of fracking waste with the authorization of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to the bill which was originally being removed from the proposed bill.

I appreciate all of his considered remarks and I would consider this a friendly amendment and I would be happy to support it and I would urge my colleagues to support it as well. I do consider it a friendly amendment.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Thank you, sir. Representative Dubitsky, do you move adoption?

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Sorry, Mr. Speaker, I didn't hear what you said.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Would you like to move adoption on the amendment?

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Yes, Mr. Speaker, I urge adoption and urge my colleagues to support the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Thank you, sir. The question before the Chamber is on adoption House Amendment Schedule “A”, will you remark further on the amendment? Will you remark further on the amendment? Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I rise in support of this amendment. In fact, Representative Gentile may remember this back when she was Chairman of the Environment Committee when this first came out, this bill, there was a number of people who testified, one in particular from the valley area who had a business that was involved in trying to test and treat fracking waste.

And he had testified that if we passed this bill without the ability of him to test and try and treat small amounts of fracking wastes, it would drive him out of the state of Connecticut. So the very intelligent and wise Chairwoman of Environment back then carved this piece out to allow for that business to stay in Connecticut.

So I appreciate my representatives, my colleagues bringing this out and I urge all of my colleagues to support this and I appreciate the current chairman of the Environment Committee working bipartisan in getting this done and I thank him greatly for that.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Thank you, sir. Would you remark further on the amendment? Representative Altobello of the 82nd, you have the floor sir.

REP. ALTOBELLO (82ND):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you. I, too, rise in strong support of this amendment as I have a major manufacturer of filters that's in my district. They've been in business for many, many years and supply filters throughout the world. They have a plant not only in Meriden but up by UConn and I think they might be a good marriage to do some research up there.

So once again, I urge support and thank the good representative for bringing this matter before us.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Thank you sir, would you remark further on the amendment? Would you remark further on the amendment? Representative France, you have the floor, sir.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I also rise in strong support of the amendment and in that support I share a story of my grandfather who worked in the chemical industry in Connecticut many years ago and shared a story around World War II where they had a waste product, chemical waste product that they didn't know what to do with and were searching for a solution instead of having to dispose of this into the environment.

And interestingly enough, Canada was building aircraft at the time out of wood and was unable to find a glue strong enough to hold the plane together as well as meet the aerodynamic requirements for a wooden aircraft.

And one of the very bright engineers that worked for my grandfather took this waste product and created a glue that was then used to make these airplanes in Canada. So they found a use for what was previously disposed of through research and through the inventive creativeness of a bright young engineer.

And I see this amendment allowing that opportunity to continue. I think it's a great use where we have a waste product that currently is disposed of, even though it's treated, we could find a use for it in the same way and have a great story to tell of what is a waste product now could be useful in the future for something even as remarkable as putting wooden aircraft in the air to be able to get around radar in World War II.

So I rise in strong support with my colleagues to support the amendment as well. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Thank you, sir. Would you remark further? Will you remark further on the amendment? Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Okay, there we go. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I just wanted to rise to thank Chairman Demicco and Ranking Member Harding of the Environment Committee for cooperating in this amendment and working together on this.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

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

VOICES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

All those opposed nay. The ayes have it, the amendment is adopted.

Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Storms of the 60th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. STORMS (60TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the amended bill. The fracking waste that is produced from the processes is highly toxic. I disagree with some of the speakers before me. This is of particular concern as this waste substance contains high concentrations of chemical pollutants, some radioactive materials that are toxic to humans, animals, ground water supplies and the environment.

I do associate my comments with those who are calling this a proactive piece of legislation. I also associate my remarks with those who are also calling for some uniformity of action. I do represent the town of Windsor which enacted such an ordinance in January of 2017 by unanimous resolution of its Town Council.

I have many, many constituents that are very concerned about fracturing waste in the state of Connecticut and the impact that it might have for various uses. At this point in time given the serious and substantial environmental risks and hazards to the public, I would ask the support of this bill as amended. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Gentleman from Coventry, Representative Ackert.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I do also rise in support of the amended legislation that's before us. I also have one of the towns, just as Representative Storm does that enacted an ordinance and I was one of the original signers of the petition to ban frack waste in our community.

This actually goes a step further because one of the things, even though you have a ban in your community does not mean that frack waste cannot go on, can be stopped on state property, the state would have to do that. So thank for the work of the Environment Committee on their efforts and allowing what I had as a concern and that was the testing and transportation since we do have some very smart people in the state that may be able to resolve some of the issues of frack waste and turn that around from more hazardous waste.

I do have a question through you, Mr. Speaker, to the proponent of the legislation.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

And just on line 134, just for clarity, existing legislation now and it was not bracketed. Now you can still explore for oil or gas in the state. It says you've gotta register but can you actually explore for oil or gas in the state of Connecticut? By the language that I'm reading that's current?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, but as the bill notes, that exploration has to be registered with the Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Commissioner has to adopt regulations and so forth.

So there are limitations, obviously, but the gentleman is correct.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Ackert.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you, the good gentleman for his answer because I was going through the legislation, you know you talked about not be able to do many, many things but you never know what you may find under your soils at some point so thanks for the good gentleman for his answer and I am in support of this legislation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. The gentleman from Westport, Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in strong support of this bill as I was an advocate for the moratorium several years ago.

Why do we need this bill now? Well, if you recall several years ago circumstances were different. Pennsylvania was drilling new wells at a regular basis and surrounding states like New Jersey and Ohio became dumping grounds for this fracking waste which Pennsylvania could not handle on its own.

And if you recall the time, New York State was still mulling whether they would allow fracking in their state. So it was a very pertinent issue back then.

Representative Piscopo did mention a number of ingredients that are typical in fracking waste but it's important to emphasize, as others have, that there are all sorts of heavy metals and other toxins. We should be very concerned about the chlorides and the bromides which foul processing plants making it impossible for it to be processed in this country.

And just to make a general statement is that it'd be wonderful if research could clean this stuff because nobody's been able to at this point. It has fouled water supplies in a number of states and I would suggest what we need is beyond innovation here in the state of Connecticut. We need magic to clean this stuff so that it would actually be safe for any other purpose.

Representative Hoydick mentioned that DEEP has not been able to promulgate regulations and it may be as much because they lack the resources right now. And I would suggest that a ban is easier for DEEP to minister than a moratorium where they don't have to worry about promulgating regulations so I think a ban actually simplifies life and recognizes DEEP's limited resources at this point.

I think the other reason why DEEP hasn't promulgated regulations, maybe because one of the stipulations of the moratorium is that the frackers need to divulge the ingredient list of the things they're using which to my understanding, has yet to happen.

So until the industry cooperates, one would argue that we would never necessarily have DEEP to be able to finish their job of promulgating regulations.

So from my point of view, this is not about messaging, this is about health and safety, particularly of our water supply. If we can't make this stuff clean, we do not want it in our state, we do not wanna process it in our state, we do not want it to be used for a substitute for road salt. We do not want to be processing it in our critical processing plants across the state. This is bad stuff, we should keep it out of the state.

So many of our municipalities are recognizing this, the state should get it over with, issue a ban and be done with it. Remember, right now there's not a lot of drilling going on because natural gas prices are very low. This becomes a problem again when natural gas prices go up and we will once again be threatened by all this fracking waste that has to end up somewhere. It should not end up in the state of Connecticut.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. The gentleman from Glastonbury, Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, just a few questions to the proponent of the bill as it is now amended.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that there are about 15 towns already -- I just wanna make sure that's the number that you have as well -- that already have some ordinance or another in place.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I cannot verify the exact number; I do know that several towns have enacted ordinances and many of them are considering enacting ordinances and that's about as far as I can go with regards to the municipalities.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, does the good Chair know if what we are debating here today, the bill as amended, is that about what most of the other petitions are or are the petitions from other towns, municipalities, even more stringent?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (31ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, my understanding is that most of the ordinances are similar to what we're doing here today.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, if towns -- and I'm not aware of any town but I just wanna make sure that if a town does have an audit that goes even further than what we have, through you, Mr. Speaker, what would then be the town's position in that case? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, what we're enacting here today with the exception of the amendment which just passed with regards to research, what we're enacting here today is a ban on fracking waste here in Connecticut. So I don't know that any town could enact an ordinance that's any more stringent or more strict than that.

Mr. Speaker, through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, if a town feels that this amendment that we just passed which allows for research and obviously research would have to be done somewhere and if that involved that particular town or that municipality, could they say that they would not be in support of that?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, the amendment that we just voted on and passed gives the authority for permits regarding research to the DEEP Commissioner and I will leave it up to DEEP to sort through all of that.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and through you, Mr. Speaker, my final question is that we already had passed a moratorium and I know that was discussed earlier in the discussion. So this bill as amended, what impact would it have on the moratorium?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, my understanding is that this legislation, if it is successful and goes all through the process, would supersede that moratorium and would result in a ban with the exception of the amendment that we just added to the bill.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Mr. Speaker, I stand here in strong support of this bill as amended. We've heard about the risks, the possibilities of what could happen with these various chemicals that our constituents, our residents in our state could be exposed to. And while we do not have this in our state yet, which is a great thing, which is a good thing, what we are ensuring here is to make, we want to better the game in a proactive way so that this waste does not go through our state, whether it be any town, any municipality or any wells at all.

The research component is important because obviously it gives us an opportunity to see what could be done in the future but obviously has to be well controlled and in this research permit, if and when it were to be given, wanna make sure that the town or municipality has a say, has a strong voice in the process and are included in the decision-making process as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Gentleman from Wallingford, Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and good morning. Or actually, it's afternoon.

I, too, had some questions for the proponent if I may.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed, sir.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, sir. First of all, I agree that the fracking waste should not be dumped in our state. My concerns have to do with the transportation aspect of this.

My understanding is that under the current bill, we defer to DEEP to come up with regulations and to submit their regulations to us by July 1st of this year, is that the case?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Actually, through you, Mr. Speaker. Actually, I believe the current statute indicates that the DEEP commissioner is to come up with regulations not before July 1st of this year and not later than July 1st of next year, 2018.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, that's basically, you know, we were holding off on the legislature submitting. If I can ask to the proponent, through you, Mr. Speaker, what the status of that good work that we've saddled DEEP with since 2014, where they are with adopting or drafting or putting together those regulations.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, thank you. Through you, Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what the status is. However, as it was mentioned by a previous speaker, this legislation that we are contemplating today would make life a whole lot easier for DEEP and for the municipalities and for the state of Connecticut as a whole.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, so I'm to understand in 2014 we charged DEEP with doing a job. We don't know the status of them completing the job. The deadline is two months or so and now we're just gonna pull that away from DEEP.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAEKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Well, through you, Mr. Speaker, I don't know that I would characterize it as pulling it away. I would characterize it, as I have previously, as making a policy decision for the benefit of the health and safety of our residents and our environment.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and may I ask to the good proponent, what has changed with regard to policy, philosophy, information from 2014 to the present to make this decision?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, through you, Mr. Speaker. I guess I would answer that by saying that the public, in the intervening three years, has become more aware of this problem, this issue. People are beginning to express their concern for the potential for harm to individuals and to the environment. And they are expressing that through their elective representatives both at the local level and at the state level.

So I would say that that's the change that I have seen in the last three years, is more public awareness and more concern and a desire to do something about it.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Am I to understand, as was stated by one of the other speakers earlier, that only 15 towns had adopted ordinances along these lines in our state? Fifteen of the 169 different municipalities.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yeah, my understanding was that it was at least that many and more were being considered.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So am I to understand, if this bill as amended was to pass and fracking waste that was developed in let's say Pennsylvania, which we heard about earlier, was being transported to Vermont, that it would preclude a trucker from coming through our state.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

I believe that that is correct.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And how does this statute jive with Federal law in that it's my understanding that the Federal law allows the transport on Federal highways of this fracking waste.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, once again, this bill represents Connecticut taking charge of its own destiny and making a public policy decision with regards to fracking waste rather than relying on the Federal government to do that for us.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So I don't know if that answers that question so let's frame that a little bit better.

We're going from Pennsylvania to Vermont, which the good proponent of the bill said would be banned by this statute. And one perhaps would be taking I-95 and then north on I-91, both Federal highways.

How do we, as a body, ban activity on a Federal highway when a Federal law, it's my understanding, allows that activity?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, the gentleman has me at a disadvantage, I do not know the answer to that question but I will be happy to research it and make sure that we resolve that issue.

Through you, Mr. speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You know, I would suggest that that situation gets resolved before we vote on this because, you know, the transportation is of main concern to me.

One more question before my comment, through you, Mr. Speaker, every municipality of our state, if they were cajoled by this argument here today, could adopt their own local ordinance, is that the case?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Mr. Speaker, I'm sorry, if the gentleman could repeat his question, I'd appreciate it.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Perhaps if I have the people who are nattering away behind you, Representative Demicco, to take their conversation outside the Chamber so that Representative Demicco can hear what's going on. Thank you so much.

Representative Fishbein, would you repeat the question, please?

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Yes sir, thank you, Mr. Speaker. So am I to understand that it's conceptually possible that all 169 different municipalities of our state, if they like what we're about to do here today, could adopt their own local ordinance that would meet their needs.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I don't know why they wouldn't be able to.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So just by way of comment, I don't understand why we're doing this. Locally, I sit on my local town council and I'm also the Chairman of its Ordinance Committee which is made up of the entire council. And both I-91 and Route 15 go through Wallingford and nobody has come to me asking for any such ordinance and I think this is just the anti-business bill, the transportation aspect of it.

I once again agree that there shouldn't be dumping of this waste but I think this is an overreach, so thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. The gentleman from Wolcott, Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

You kind of caught me off guard there.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

I understand.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

These things happen. So I just want to state for the record, much like some of my colleagues have already stated that I am certainly not a person who's in favor of putting any kind of toxic or hazardous substance or fracking waste, to be specific, anywhere into our environment and causing a problem.

But I also think that we're moving a little too fast with things we do not completely understand. In 2014, I thought we made a wise decision when we passed a temporary moratorium and put the Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in a position to study and create regulations so that we can have a plan for how to handle this fracking waste going forward.

Today we are essentially undoing the law that we passed in 2014 which was satisfactory to, I think, everyone in the Chamber at the time. So I think it just makes sense that we revisit that type of policy making where we do not close a door forever. We leave the door open so that we can learn about the potential to treat fracking waste in a way that is responsible, that might be beneficial to the environment and to the community and it also might lead to some type of economic or business possibilities in our state.

So with that in mind, Mr. Speaker, I have an amendment. It's LCO 6796. I ask that it be called and if I could have leave of the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Clerk is in possession of LCO number 6796 which be designated as House Amendment Schedule “B”. Mr. Clerk, please call.

THE CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule “B”, LCO number 6796 offered by Representative Sampson and Representative France.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Gentleman has asked leave of the Chamber to summarize. Is there any objection? Hearing none, Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is a very, very simple amendment. It just says that we are going to take the existing statute and use that to replace the bill that's before us with the minor change of extending the date from 2018 to 2019 to allow the Commissioner of DEEP to actually produce the regulations.

Essentially, we are keeping the moratorium that we have in place now for an additional year to get those regulations enacted. I move adoption, Mr. Speaker, and when the --

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on adoption?

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Yep, and when the vote is taken, I would like it to be taken by roll.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The vote will be taken by roll, thank you, sir.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

You remark further, Representative -- the gentlewoman from Stratford, Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

And if we could get rid of that little knot in front of you, so you can hear and we can hear. My apologies to all, but the business of the Chamber shall go forward.

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

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in support of this amendment as I had mentioned in the dialog with the good chair of the Environment Committee, I thought this would be a very prudent thing to do, to extend the moratorium for a year, let the department study this a little bit longer as some may or we may not know in this Chamber, the department has had a loss of staff recently in some very key positions. The comprehensive energy strategy has been delayed. We have not received it and we are anxiously awaiting for that document before we move forward some pending important energy legislation.

So this will give the department another year. It will also keep the moratorium and ban on fracking waste from ever being disposed, which it should not be in Connecticut and I support this and encourage my colleagues to do so as well.

DEPUTY SPEAEKER GODFREY:

Thank you, madam. Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to my colleague from Wolcott who proposed the amendment, I would like to register my opposition to this amendment. I don't see where it gets us. As we've discussed throughout this rather lengthy debate this afternoon, this really is a public policy determination by the legislature.

You know, if we are truly of a mind to ban the transportation and use and so forth of hydraulic fracking waste in Connecticut, then we should do it forthwith which is what the underlying bill proposes to do. With all due respect to my colleague, I don't see that this gets us anywhere, I think it's a step backwards, actually, to extend this moratorium for an extra year and I would consider this to be an unfriendly amendment and I would encourage members of the Chamber on both sides to vote against this amendment.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir, Representative Harding.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and good afternoon. Mr. Speaker, I rise in the amendment currently raised by the good Representative. I believe this may be a practical approach in to address this particular issue. It extends the moratorium, it allows there to be no further collection of fracturing waste here in the state of Connecticut so it protects the public safety of the individuals here in the state of Connecticut which is the utmost importance to, I think, everyone here in the Chamber.

In addition to that, it allows us to collaborate further with DEEP. As the good Representative discussed, DEEP did not submit testimony on this particular bill and it would be critical to have their opinion on how to approach this particular issue and their opinion on what impact it might have not only of the public safety of the individuals here in the state of Connecticut but other industries as well -- the natural gas industry, etcetera.

So it may be a good idea to take a practical approach in simply extending the moratorium and at the same time, collaborating further with DEEP in addressing this particular issue.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this amendment. I agree with Representative Hoydick that DEEP lacks resources and I am afraid with our current budget situation that we'll probably cut their resources even further.

They have had years to promulgate these regulations. So one could argue that they either lack the resources or as I've stated previously, they lack the information from the frackers to promulgate these hazardous waste regulations.

Either way, I have no confidence that a year or two years or three years will make a difference in their getting to this point. Let's institute the ban now, take the pressure off DEEP, agree with our municipalities that are endorsing this across the state and not expect DEEP, which has more important things to do as Representative Hoydick said, such as the comprehensive energy strategy and any other number of enforcement actions, to do that job and not worry about having to promulgate regulations in this case.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Gentleman from Thomaston, Representative Piscopo.

REP. PISCOPO (76TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in favor of the amendment, the underlying law, the underlying statute says that DEEP will promulgate regulations between July of '17, no sooner than July of '18 they will have them done.

So it's not that they've had years to work on them, it's just they're due next year and they maybe, like it was said, they didn't even testify in this bill so we don't know if they're ready or if they're able to or not.

But this amendment simply gives them a year's extension. It makes a lot of sense because I was thinking that in my earlier speaking of the bill, the underlying bill, that all the waste is treated either onsite or very close to site. It would be cost prohibitive not to and the only reason why we would entertain something like this is if the state of New York, our bordering state, which is the only state equipped with that shale that has a lot of abundance of natural gas right underneath it's surface, were to decide to start fracking.

That's the only reason, I think, that Connecticut would become involved in this issue. So this amendment makes a lot of sense to do this. If there's a company right across the border from New York, in Connecticut, that may want to even look at this, DEEP should then voice its opinion on whether they're even able to and if they're able to, what kind of regulations they would have to come under.

So it makes a lot of sense if New York gets a new Governor or a different legislature and there's a lot of people in upper-state New York that really wanna do this. It's an economic boom when fracturing comes to the state, to that region. And that's a region that's pretty well depressed, they can use an economic boom and they've been asking to begin fracking but that's the only reason I could see this happening and it's actually proactive in case New York does decide to make that move.

But other than that, this bill, the underlying bill, it might as well not even be in front of us.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Gentleman from North Windham, Representative Dubitsky. And just a minute if we can get --

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

-- if I can get my line of sight clear. Proceed, Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it's from Chaplin, not North Windham but I --

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

I'm sorry.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

That's okay.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

I had some research done and they said -- so Chaplin?

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Chaplin.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, sir, and I will take note that you've been doing research on me. Mr. Speaker, there seems to be two trains of thought here. One is that we should ban fracking waste all together. The other is we should let DEEP regulate it.

The people who want to ban it all together, it seems that their position is that it's too much trouble to have DEEP regulate it because DEEP's budget's been cut. They don't have the resources to promulgate regulations.

That's fine but I just want that very same thing to be remembered when there's a bill that does something else that happens to be popular that isn't a ban, that currently maybe something's completely legal and suddenly we want to promulgate regulations.

Remember, DEEP is understaffed, under resourced, they don't have the time. So I'm just sort of putting a footnote on this for myself that the next time we have some bill where we're just gonna throw it to DEEP to promulgate some regulations and to regulate something that one side may not want regulated, the other side may want regulated. Remember, DEEP doesn't have the time or money to promulgate more regulations. So let's keep that in mind.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Question is on adoption of House Amendment Schedule “B”, are you ready for the question?

Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, button was pushed inadvertently by my son who I will introduce later. I apologize, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

And I hope that hasn't changed the introduction at all, Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

We'll see what happens, thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Very good, sir. Will you remark further on House Amendment “B”? If not, staff and guests please come to the well of the house, members take your seats, the machine will be open.

THE 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 GODFREY:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? If so, machine will be locked. The Clerk will take a tally. Mr. Clerk, kindly announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Amendment “B”.

Total number voting 146

Necessary for adoption 74

Those voting Yea 50

Those voting Nay 96

Those absent not voting 5

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The amendment fails. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, staff and guests, please come to the well of the house. Members take your seats, the machine will be open.

THE 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 GODFREY:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? If all the members have voted, the machine will be locked. The Clerk will take a tally.

And the Clerk will announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 6329 as amended by House A.

Total number voting 147

Necessary for passage 74

Those voting Yea 141

Those voting Nay 6

Those absent not voting 4

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The bill as amended has passed.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a few guests here. I'm going to call on some people for some introductions starting with Representative O'Dea.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I rise for the introduction if I may.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed, sir.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Standing with me is my son Michael O'Dea. Mikey just turned 13 last week and he came up for a visit. He went to a half day of school and he got permission from the teachers to come up here so I would ask that my colleagues please give him a warm welcome. [APPLAUSE]

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Welcome, sir, and I hope this is much more enjoyable than being in class today. I understand. I've been in that position before.

Representative Walker.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Good afternoon. Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker, good to see you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Good to see you.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Before I get to the budget, I thought maybe I'd say some words before I talk about the budget.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Okay.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Did I get everybody's attention? Okay.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Not in the least.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker, a moment of personal privilege.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

For an introduction, ma'am?

REP. WALKER (93RD):

For an introduction.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Thank you. Mr. Speaker, one of the greatest things that we have in this Capitol are the internship programs that we have here. And the thing that I love the most is actually being challenged and I'm given the opportunity to talk to all these young students and the young minds that are going here.

And unfortunately, as I work on the budget, I missed the opportunity to introduce my intern and I'd like to do that now.

Emily Popov has been an incredible person. She's an intern from Trinity and she has been unbelievably supportive and helpful in our committee. Emily is going to follow in many of our footsteps. Her major is Political Science and she -- I want everybody to hear this -- she is a member of the Phi (sic) Gamma Mu society, Honor Society. Okay, Pi Gamma Mu Society, I messed it up.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

It's all Greek to me.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Yeah. But it's really important that I recognize her because she has said to me over and over again that she really wants to work in Juvenile Justice and she's been talking about it and looking at it. And I asked her today, I said, “So when you go to grad school, after you finish, what are you gonna do?” She says, “I wanna work in a program that works with Juvenile Justice kids and then hopefully run my own because I think we really can do this better.

So I think that I've done a great job. She's understood it, she's been part of it and she's also read all my Cliff notes for judiciary so that I can understand what I was ever saying.

So with that, I ask all my colleagues here to recognize this outstanding young lady because she will be back coming in a few years. [APPLAUSE]

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, Representative Walker and Emily, I hope while you're studying Political Science, maybe you learned a little bit about the art of politics while you were here. Thank you very much.

Representative Hampton.

REP. HAMPTON (16TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed.

REP. HAMPTON (16TH):

I'm delighted today to welcome to the Chamber Kevin Kowalski, who is Simsbury's Deputy Fire Chief and Fire Marshal. Mr. Kowalski was inducted into the state of Connecticut Firefighters Association Hall of Fame this year. He's one of 11, only 11 in the state to be recognized for this honor.

Kevin Kowalski, please join me. He's joining me here in the Chamber, he's a hometown hero, literally grew up in town and is a great asset to our community and representative of how amazing our incredible firefighters, men and women, are to our state and how much we value them. And I wanted to congratulate Kevin Kowalski and ask the Chamber and my colleagues to join me in acknowledging his great achievement and thanking him for his service.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. APPLAUSE]

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Always good to have one of Connecticut's bravest visiting with us. Thank you for sharing your day with us.

Are there any other introductions? Seeing none, Mr. Clerk, let's go to calendar 195.

MR. CLERK:

On page 15, calendar 195, House Bill number 6219, AN ACT CONCERNING COMMUNITY REENTRY BY PERSONS WHO ARE INCARCERATED.

Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Labor and Public Employees.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Gentleman from Hartford, Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, good afternoon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on acceptance and passage. Will you explain the bill, please, sir?

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Yes, Mr. Speaker. Today we have before you a bill, AN ACT CONCERNING COMMUNITY REENTRY BY PERSONS WHO WERE FORMERLY INCARCERATED and this bill is near and dear to me which essentially will become, if voted on favorably, would be a study.

But just to elaborate a little bit on the importance of this study, most of us believe in second chances and when someone convicted of a crime has committed -- or completed their sentence, they get a second chance to become a productive successful member of their community.

In reality, ex-offenders face a host of barriers in readjusting to society and obtaining housing and more importantly, employment.

And if they failed, they too often revert to a lifestyle that leads them back to prison which is recidivism.

So in an effort to address many of the barriers that many formerly incarcerated faced with returning to society, our goal is really to bring together a group -- a broad group of partners -- not only government but businesses, non-profits and community organizations to continue to support reentry efforts in the state of Connecticut and also to identify creative opportunities for employers to participate in providing employment opportunities for those reentering the community.

So, Mr. Speaker, I am extremely excited that this Chamber has considered to carry on the great work that we put forth in this Chamber. It goes all the way on back to several sessions ago -- criminal justice reform -- I mean when you talk about second chance here in the state of Connecticut, we've passed legislation on banning the box, voting rights, and the list goes on when we talk about those formerly incarcerated.

Those formerly incarcerated are not just in the city of Hartford but throughout this entire state. And so because of that, I am really honored and excited that we are able to move this piece of legislation forward and continue to study this area of focus.

So Mr. Speaker, I move acceptance.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Gentleman from Greenwich, Representative Vicino.

REP. VICINO (35TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is a study, we want to review specifically all of the intentions of this bill. I do have a question for the proponent of the bill if he can make himself ready, Mr. Speaker, through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Ask your question, sir.

REP. VICINO (35TH):

Thank you. Is there, to the good Representative, is there a fiscal note attached to this?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, no there is not a fiscal note.

REP. VICINO (35TH):

And through you, Mr. Speaker, this will be addressing all levels of incarcerated individuals within the state of Connecticut.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes.

REP. VICINO (35TH):

Okay, this was voted through consent because it was a study, we found it worthwhile that we review the incarcerated inmates and them returning into the workforce.

These inmates, sometimes as employers coming out of incarceration, they are more appreciative of the opportunity for employment. I think that that is something that the state of Connecticut really needs in its workforce are those individuals who actually are more inclined to appreciate the jobs that they get and to appreciate the hard work and efforts that it is to climb the rungs of the ladder instead of having those particular handouts that we so unfortunately see these days.

This will hopefully help and incentivize some employers in the state of Connecticut to hire some of the inmates. I think it's a worthwhile study. I thank the Representative for all the hard work that he's done and I thank the Representative for reaching out to this side of the aisle, working collectively on it.

I'm hopeful that we will, in this study, be looking at all of the individuals and those inmates and looking at those criminal activities that they've done, making certain that they're not put into situations that would be not beneficial or be dangerous moving forward.

So I thank the good Representative and move for the adoption of the study. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, too. Gentleman from Stafford Springs, Representative Vail.

REP. VAIL (57TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and a few comments and maybe a question for the proponent of the bill.

First a question through you, this bill, the original intention was to incentivize businesses to hire previously incarcerated individuals as they come out of jail. So through a tax break or something or that sort, through you?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And yes is my immediate response. We were originally looking at, and we still will continue, as to look at opportunities for businesses to take advantage of incentives to hire those formerly incarcerated.

And I can say, here in the state of Connecticut, even in the city of Hartford and elsewhere, there are employers that are currently hiring formerly incarcerated and not looking for any incentives.

But I do believe that there's an opportunity for us to support local business but also provide them with incentives. So through you, Mr. Speaker, yes to the fine gentleman's question.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Vail.

REP. VAIL (57TH):

And again, I wanna commend you because too often we're here in this General Assembly trying to punish business. And what this does, and this is a smart approach, it gives people a second chance, yet it offers business an incentive without mandating them to do so and I think that's an approach that I'd like to see more frequently in this building.

And one of the concerns I had when we had the public hearing is would this apply to all crimes? And then someone asked, as it stands right now, and there's certain crimes where I think the victims -- that I'm less apt to give people a second chance for -- is that something that's gonna be considered as part of this study?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and yes. That is going to be a part of a year study to really figure out, number one, how do we take into consideration the offenses made by individuals that may not meet the criteria that will come of the study.

So I look forward to working with the other side of the aisle to really come up with some appropriate, if you would, measures to provide those opportunities to those formerly incarcerated.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Vail.

REP. VAIL (57TH):

And thank you, and like my good colleague from Tolland, I'm not usually a big fan of studies but I think this is one of those cases where we need to dig a little bit deeper and see if we can come out with something that works for everybody. And keep up the good work and thank you. I'm gonna support the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Gentleman from Waterbury, Representative Reyes.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I'd like to also rise in support of this House Bill 6219 and the good Representative McGee from Hartford, we've had many conversations about recidivism and reentry programs and I have vowed to continue working with the Representative and this is very important and near and dear to my heart for a lot of the constituents that I serve suffer from this very same problem that the reentry process is not as clean and as thorough as we like it to be or as we may think it is in the state of Connecticut.

And I have assured Mr. McGee and my colleagues that -- on both sides of the aisle -- that I will work to make the process as streamlined as possible for the state of Connecticut and I thank the Chair for his good work.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Gentleman from Griswold, Representative Skulczyck.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you, Speaker, and through you, Speaker, I do have a couple of questions for the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Speaking through you, I'd like to ask, so the tax incentive -- to the proponent through you, Speaker -- the tax incentive is no longer a part of this or it is?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. This is a study and yes, the concept of providing a tax incentive, excuse me, incentives to local businesses and companies, if you would, still remains on the table but we do need to talk through the optics of it, we need to understand the impact, negative and positive.

And so yes, through you, Mr. Speaker, that is still on the table, it's a study and we are not leaving anything out.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you and through you, Speaker, who's facilitating the study, if the proponent could please offer.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, the Commission on Equity and Opportunity.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Skulczyck.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you, and so that's CHRO through you, Speaker?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, no, it's CEO, it's one of our commissions.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Skulczyck.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

And thank you for clarifying, I just wanted -- I knew that but I just wanted to hear it from you, thank you.

And so having a great experience, Speaker, through you, I've worked in corrections, I've supervised offenders for many years and jobs are difficult. Part of the presentence release package for which we give each inmate through the Department of Corrections, there should be an opportunity -- I think we're having difficulty hearing, Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

If you come down to a dull roar, that would be very helpful to the people who are at the meeting. Representative Skulczyck.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you, Speaker. And so my question is, I understand the importance of this bill and I think it's a good thing. I do worry about some of the cracks and the voids that won't be filled.

So just in reference, this is an outsourced system, not in Department of Corrections or Probation's or Parole's hands, if you can clarify how that works together.

Through you, Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, if you could ask the fine gentleman just to clarify the question so I can answer it appropriately.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Skulczyck, shall we try again?

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you, I will. And through you, Speaker, the study will assume, get all this information together, the study then will determine where the next generation of this process will go.

Will the Department of Corrections, will Parole, will Probation, will they all be a part of this process?

Through you, Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes at some point in the plan in process, there will be all stakeholders at the table. I think gone are those days where we as legislators, we sort of legislate our way through the process but the reason for us not wanting to move forward with just a bill just to say we passed it was to really figure out how do we avoid some of the barriers that we've been faced with as legislators and community stakeholders and come up with a final product, if you would, that'll allow everybody to take advantage of this work.

So yes to your question, all stakeholders will be at the table.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Skulczyck.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you, and final question, CBIA, did they lean, they favor this if you can please comment quickly, through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes, as a matter of fact, CBIA testified in favor of the bill. They also, if I -- and I can say it, be stand corrected, provided me during a roundtable that we had at the legislative office building with information on how we can avoid some of the concerns that the business community had on this very issue.

One of the things that came out of the roundtable was businesses aren't afraid to hire. The real question is they really don't understand the complexities that one who is reentering the community is faced with and so I think having CBIA and other community groups at the table could really help us to come up with a thorough finding as to how we need to move forward.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Skulczyck.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you, that completes my questions, thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. The gentleman from Tolland, Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Oh my God, another study. Give me a break. Number 14,539. This is just like the other ones. Last year we passed 15 studies. Does anybody know how many studies actually took place? Four. Four out of 15. We are wasting our time every time, just about, on a study.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I have some questions for the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed, sir.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Mr. Speaker, through you to the proponent. Do you realize that there was a study done last year and I would like to know, are you going to be on this study panel?

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I'm not gonna be nice. Time to stop.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito, could you please rephrase that so it is not asking Representative McGee what his opinion is, which is prohibited by the rules. Just ask a straight up question. Thank you, sir.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you. Mr. McGee. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

No, Representative, the things through the chair, you don't name him by name. Thank you.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Okay, through you, Mr. Speaker. Through the proponent of the bill. I would like to know if he is going to be on this study committee. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, to the fine gentleman. Yes, I plan to lead the conversation and all of the work alongside many of my colleagues on the labor and public employees committee. Employees' committee, excuse me, in addition to other community stakeholders.

And you know, the reason we are moving in this direction of a study bill is because we found that during the last study bill which focused on sentencing and certificates of employability and other ways in which we engage businesses, we found that there were more barriers in place that we needed to study.

And unfortunately, there are more community and local businesses and practitioners in the field that need to be at the table and so again, instead of just passing another bill just pass another bill, I believe -- and hopefully the rest of you in this Chamber -- believe that it is worth studying another year with no fiscal note to figure out how do we help this population.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you to the proponent and through you, Mr. Speaker, do you think it might be possible to get a simple yes?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito, you just asked for an opinion again. Please -- please --

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

No, I'm not asking, I'm sorry.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

You said, “Do you think”, you asked for an opinion.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

No.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Just ask the question straight out, sir, and this is for everybody. Thank you.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, Mr. Speaker, could the proponent give an easy yes or no to the question. Will he be on the study committee?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

I believe he answered that. Representative McGee, do you wish to answer that a second time?

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Also, there was a study last year, was task force for the Fair Chance Employment. This study was taken, was passed but did not take place and this has to do with almost the exact same thing that he is talking about now.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, through the proponent, what is the probability of this task force actually being --

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito, you're asking for an opinion again. Probability isn't -- please confine your questions to questions of fact, not to probability, not to conjecture, not to opinion. Thank you, sir.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, Mr. Speaker, to the component. Will this task force take place next year? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

You're asking -- again, you're asking his opinion on trying to guess what the future is going to be. Please continue to refrain from asking Representative McGee --

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

I hear you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

-- his opinion. Please ask questions of fact, sir.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

I hear you, Mr. Speaker. And through you one more time. The study is an opinion to find out what we have to do to get unemployed second offenders or -- back into the workforce.

I am asking, does he know what -- what it will take for the employers to hire second offenders.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, could you have the fine gentleman repeat his question, please?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I would like to know what it will take to get employers to hire second offenders.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I believe by taking the study and really engaging all of the stakeholders at the table, we will then come up with, I believe, successful findings and ways in which we can continue to engage the business community that currently provide opportunity to individuals who are formerly incarcerated.

Our goal is to identify measurable ways in which we can encourage more employers to hire formerly incarcerated.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and thank you to the proponent. I have just a few more words I'd like to say.

This is not the first year that people have been released from jail or prisons who are looking for work. This is not the second year nor is it the third year, fourth year or fifth year. This is something like maybe 100 years.

So over 100 years that we've been doing this, do you think maybe we should have some idea by this time as to what it will take for people to be hired that have been incarcerated.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean would you think but I think we should know this answer already. But thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. The gentlewoman from East Lyme, Representative Cheeseman.

REP. CHEESEMAN (37TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank the good proponent of the bill for bringing this forward. As some may have noted from my comments last week, I think one of the most important things we can do as a legislature and indeed as a society is to help those who have committed crimes and served their time to become productive individuals.

So I welcome this legislation. I would also urge the proponent and all those working on the bill to really look at best practices. There are a number of very effective programs throughout the country. I'm just looking at the Council of State Governments Justice Center. Really looking at evidence based programs that are gonna provide the best return on our investment and ensure that these individuals go forward best equipped to become productive tax-paying individuals and have better lives in the future.

So thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the proponent of this bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, Representative. To sum up, the distinguished chair of the Labor Committee, Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I would like to simply state good bill, oughta pass. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The distinguished Majority Leader, Representative Ritter.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I wanna thank my colleague from the city of Hartford, Representative McGee, for bringing this forward and I think as was said earlier, this is really, really important to a lot of people in the state of Connecticut. It's important to those individuals that are incarcerated, it's really important to their families, it's really important to the state's future, the state's economic future.

And so I think this is worth the time we're gonna spend and I think everyone's point -- it should be more than a piece of paper. It should be acted upon. Studied with a purpose, not studied to have paper just hang out somewhere. So I rise in strong support. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Are you ready for the question? It's the passage of House Bill 6219, staff and guests please come to the well of the house, members take your seats, the machine will be open.

THE 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 GODFREY:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? If all the members have voted, the machine will be locked. Clerk to take a tally. And the Clerk will announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 6219

Total Number Voting 148

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 141

Those voting Nay 7

Those absent and not voting 3

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The bill is passed. (Gavel)

Mr. Clerk, if you would kindly call Calendar 76.

THE CLERK:

On page four, calendar number 76, House Bill 5077, AN ACT CONCERNING THE RETURN OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS TO PHARMACIES.

Favorable report a joint standing committee on general law.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The distinguished Chairman of the General Law Committee, Representative Baram.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on acceptance and passage will you explain the bill, please sir.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is a bill that allows voluntary participation by pharmacies in the return of unused prescription drugs.

Currently, we allow individuals to return unused prescription drugs to police stations but many have found it intimidating and many don't have a police station nearby.

So this is a bill that would expand that to pharmacies on a voluntary basis, not mandatory. Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment LCO 6804. I'd ask the Clerk to please call the amendment and that I be granted leave to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The Clerk is not in possession of that amendment. House will stand at ease.

House will come back to order. Now the Clerk is in possession of LCO number 6804 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule “A”. Mr. Clerk.

THE CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO number 6804 offered by Representative Baram, Representative Rutigliano, Representative Smith, Representative D'Agostino.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

And was asked leave of the Chamber to summarize, Representative Baram.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The amendment requires the Department of Consumer Protection to create regulations which would govern the apparatus where people would return these unused prescription drugs.

It requires that they comply with Federal law, that they specify the locations in the pharmacy where they're to be located, that there be monitoring and security systems in place and that they consult with the Department of Health and Pharmacy to determine the best protocol for installation of these facilities.

It also allows for cooperative agreements with the police departments and it limits the number of pharmacies that can participate to 50 annually so that it can be done within existing Department of Consumer Protection resources and there would be no adverse fiscal note.

I'd like to point out to my colleagues that this system has been utilized by many pharmacies around the nation. Walmart -- sorry, I'm sorry, Walgreen's has been one of the leaders in this. They have instituted it in some 35 states and 500 pharmacies and this has been a great opportunity for people to get rid of their drugs in a safe way.

It's been reported by many articles that by allowing these kinds of drop-off facilities in pharmacies that people dispose of their unused prescriptions in an environmentally favorable way and secondly, it avoids medical issues where people keep used drugs in the household and perhaps succumb to their inclination when they're in pain or feeling depressed to use a prescription that has expired or is an addition to an existing prescription. So it's a good health measure as well.

Mr. Speaker, I would move adoption of the amendment and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on adoption of House Amendment Schedule “A”. Gentleman from Trumbull, Representative Rutigliano.

REP. RUTIGLIANO (123RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to urge adoption of the amendment and reserve my comments for the bill. Thank you, sir.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you sir, on House Amendment Schedule “A”, Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Mr. Speaker, I pushed my button in error.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Happens to the best of us, Representative Dubitsky, very good. Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just have some brief comments or brief questions for the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, sir. I noticed in the amendment that we are limiting this to 50 retail locations in the first year and if I may ask why.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Baram, do you care to respond?

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Thank you. Through you, Mr. Speaker, this is to allow the Department of Consumer Protection to undertake the inspections with existing resources. Otherwise there would be a requirement that they have additional personnel.

So this will allow for transition of the program as pharmacies decide to voluntarily participate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If the regulations are uniform, it's really in the inspection after the regulations are created that is of concern? Because we're expanding it one year later to 100. So I'm just questioning the resources.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Baram.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, each pharmacy has a slightly different layout and in order to comply with the regulations as we anticipate, it will have to be in a secure location but accessible to patrons. There will have to be a monitoring system where it's in sight of the pharmacist or other workers in the pharmacy.

So there is an inspection ingredient required and also to make sure that the box itself complies with the specifications of these regulations.

DCP has had tremendous cutbacks in the last couple of years of staff and after a lot of consultation with them, they decided that they could probably handle and inspect about 50 pharmacies per year without having to bring on any new employees.

So the compromise, if you will, was to bring this program, roll it in under the 50 per year.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Is there, and I don't see contemplated in the bill, a plan to advertise the select 50 pharmacies of the many that we have in the state. I'm certainly in support of the program and would like utilization of the program but is there -- because I don't see that anywhere that DCP or someone else is going to be charged with or anticipates advertising.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Baram.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, it's my understanding that DCP is likely to put the locations on their website, number one, and number two, in reading about this program in other states, the pharmacies themselves advertise it because it's considered a very positive marketing aspect so I anticipate between the website and individual marketing, people will know about the locations and where to bring these unused drugs.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you and I thank the good proponent of the bill for his answers to my questions and I do urge my colleagues to support this program. So thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir, Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, Mr. Speaker, a few questions to the bill as it is amended.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed, sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, on the amendment as was just brought about by my good colleague here, Representative Fishbein, the 50 retail locations. The, of course we never know many people are gonna volunteer for this, it's not a mandate, it's a voluntary thing.

But if a lot of pharmacies take us up on this offer and do decide, then somebody would have to decide as to where the cutoff is gonna be as far as the 50 locations and who will that authority be? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Baram.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, it's my understanding that DCP will evaluate these requests to have such a drop-off facility and try and created an even distribution throughout the state so that you don't have three or four pharmacies in any one town doing this.

So that's part of their planning process, to try and come up with a protocol that will allow for some even distribution.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, through you, Mr. Speaker, this unused and the disposal of the unused prescription drugs -- would they all be all in one as we visualize that, in just one container where all of these prescription drugs that have not been used be kind of dumped into?

Through you, Mr. Speaker, like we see that when we go to the police stations. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Baram.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes it's my understanding it will be one drop-off box very similar to what you see in police stations.

Some of the pictures that I've seen in other states, they oftentimes look like a mailbox where you can drop it in but there's no way to retrieve it unless it's unlocked by the pharmacy and again, according to the regulations, there will be security cameras around and it has to be within eyeshot of the pharmacist or the employees working behind the pharmaceutical counter.

So yes, it will be one container and hopefully DCP will come up with some regulations to make these uniform and consistent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I do want to thank the proponent of the bill for bringing out this amendment and through you, Mr. Speaker, I'm in strong support of the amendment because we do definitely need that. We need easy accessibility for us to dispose of these drugs so they do not fall into wrong hands.

We do have resources but the more the resources we have as a state, the better off we are and I urge that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will support this amendment.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Gentlewoman from Fairfield, Representative Kupchick.

REP. KUPCHICK (132ND):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in support of this legislation and I would also like to thank Representative Baram and Representative Rutigliano for their very hard work on this legislation, I think it's going to make a real difference in our communities and it really -- a convenience factor for when you're going to the drug store, you just bring your old medicine right there and I hope that it will have a huge improvement on our getting drugs out of -- old drugs -- out of people's medicine cabinets and make a difference, especially with the opioid addiction issue that we're having in the state.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you. Gentlewoman from Stamford, Representative Simmons. And she's not in the Chamber. Technology's great when it works.

Remark further on House Amendment Schedule “A”. If not, let me try your minds; all those in favor signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Opposed nay, the ayes have it, the amendment is adopted. [GAVEL]

Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Now Representative Rutigliano.

REP. RUTIGLIANO (123RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I just want to take a quick second and thank the good Chairman of the General Law Committee, the Governor's Office and the Department of Consumer Protection and all the stakeholders that were willing to work on this bill.

We do really think it'll help people. Connecticut is only one of three states; Missouri, North Dakota and Connecticut are the only three states in the country that don't have private pharmacies that do drug collection. We do think this will be another tool in the toolbox of the arsenal against opioid addiction and other drug abuse and it also alleviates some environmental concerns.

So I urge all my colleagues to vote yes on the bill. Thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Gentleman from New Fairfield, Representative Smith.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, wanted to chime in here and thank my good colleague and Chairman, Representative Baram and Representative Rutigliano on the hard work they did to bring the bill in its current format to the floor of the House.

This, as we all know, there's a lot of folks out there, and kids especially, getting a hold of pills that are long expired or hanging around in our cabinet boxes and this is an impetus to allow those to be disposed of properly so I urge my colleagues to support it, I think it's certainly a bill in the right direction. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

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

THE 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 GODFREY:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? All the members have voted, the machine will be locked. Clerk will take a tally. And Mr. Clerk, will you kindly announce the tally?

THE CLERK:

House Bill 5077 as amended by House A.

Total Number Voting 148

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 148

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 3

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The bill is amended as passed. [GAVEL]

Mr. Clerk, Calendar 349, please, 359.

THE CLERK:

On page 30, Calendar number 349, substitute House Bill number 7207, AN ACT MAKING REVISIONS TO THE STUDENT DATA PRIVACY ACT OF 2016.

Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Education.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The Distinguished Chairman of the Education Committee, Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Prior to acceptance and passage, will you explain the bill, please, sir?

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Certainly, Mr. Speaker. So I'd like to observe that the measure that's now before us, it's genesis was both bipartisan and bicameral. Like the statute that we're modifying, folks from both chambers and both parties have been working hard to try and make sure that we're protecting student data privacy while also making sure that we're doing it in a manner that works for school districts and administrators.

The bill that we passed just last year was an excellent bill, one of the strongest in the country. But we heard back from boards of education and from superintendents that it had some deadlines and approaches that were hard for them to effectuate.

So in this measure, we extend the date by which local or regional board of ed must begin entering into their written contracts with entities with whom they share data, “We modified the deadline by which a board of education must electronically notify students and their parents or guardians from 48 hours to two business days”, which obviously works better for a school system that is generally shuttered over the weekend.

It requires the State Department of Education to provide guidance regarding both the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, known as FERPA or this -- and this state's student data privacy laws.

It adds student data privacy to the student data privacy taskforce, an attorney who has expertise in Connecticut school law and it extends the reporting deadline for the taskforce out to January 1st, 2018.

So these ideas came to us largely from the taskforce that we empowered last year. The ideas were vetted by the Education Committee in public hearing and in discussions before and after. This measure ended up with a unanimous vote in the Education Committee. I'd like to thank our good Ranking Member, Representative Lavielle of Wilton along with my co-chairs Senator Boucher and Senator Slossberg. All were extremely helpful in having us develop a bill that we could all agree on.

So I hope we'll have the same kind of unanimity today in the Chamber that we did in Committee.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir, and speaking of the distinguished Ranking Member of the Education Committee, Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Mr. Speaker, thank you very much. Good afternoon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Good afternoon, ma'am.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

I thank the good Chair of the Education Committee for his remarks with which I concur completely. This was an important bill last year and it remains an important bill now.

The -- often we have requests from members of the public or stakeholders to delay certain parts of the bill in their implementation because they don't like the bill or they don't think it's important.

That is emphatically not the case here. There are certain sections of the bill that many of us were asked by our superintendents to delay simply because they wanted to get the bill right and to have the time to do it properly.

So the sections that are in here that concern redrafting of contracts with outside vendors have been, the effective date has been delayed. All other aspects of the bill remain with the same effective date.

So there is no change here apart from the minor ones mentioned by the Chair of the Education Committee except this delay of the portions that require contracts with vendors to carry certain provisions. That is all.

Many of the members, I know on our side of the aisle, introduced bills to that effect so many of the members on our side of the aisle did ask for this bill.

So I wholeheartedly concur with the Chairman's remarks and thank him for all of his collaboration and help with this as well as all the members of the Education Committee and I urge everyone to support the bill.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, ma'am. Remark further on the bill. Are you ready for the question? If so, staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Members take your seats, the machine will be open.

THE 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 GODFREY:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? If so, the machine will be locked. Clerk will take a tally. And the Clerk will announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 7207

Total Number Voting 148

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 144

Those voting Nay 4

Those absent and not voting 3

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The bill has passed. [GAVEL]

Mr. Clerk, 378, please?

THE CLERK:

On page 34, House Calendar 378, substitute House Bill number 5442, AN ACT CONCERNING THE LEGAL AGE TO MARRY IN THIS STATE.

Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The Distinguished Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

I move acceptance to the Joint Committee's favorable report and pass to the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on acceptance and passage. Will you explain the bill, please sir?

REP. TONG (147TH):

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. This bill establishes a minimum age to marry in this state. Currently, Connecticut effectively does not have a minimum age to get married. Right now, children under the age of 18 may get married with parental consent and children under the age of 16 may marry with the consent of a Judge of probate.

In this regime, between 2011 and 2015, 28 boys were married under the age of 18 and 159 girls were married. That included one 14-year-old, one 15-year-old, 55 16-year-olds and 102 17-year-olds.

We heard a great deal of compelling testimony, particularly from young people who found themselves coerced into marrying before they were ready or against their will and wishes.

We heard about young women crying at the Town Clerk's office. We heard of divorces and abuse and stories that really motivated us to make this change.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, we make that change largely through an amendment. The Clerk has Amendment LCO number 6729, I ask the Clerk please call the amendment and I be given leave of the chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Clerk is in possession of LCO number 6729 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule “A”. Mr. Clerk?

THE CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO number 6729 offered by Representative Tong, Representative Rebimbas, Senator Doyle, Senator Kissel and Representative Cook.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Gentleman has asked to leave the Chamber. Summarized without objection. Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This amendment is the heart of the bill. It establishes that there will be a minimum age to marry of 16 years. If you wish to be married between the age of 16 and 18 years of age, there are a variety of protections in this amendment that will pertain, including the minor will have to seek permission from the Probate Court and the parent or guardian of the minor will have to file a petition with the Probate Court on behalf of the minor.

In addition, the petitioning parent or guardian must consent to the marriage, the minor must consent to the marriage, the Judge must make the determination that the minor has an understanding of the nature and consequences of the marriage, that the minor has sufficient capacity to make such a decision, that the minor's decision to marry is made voluntarily and free from coercion and that the marriage would not be detrimental to the minor.

This amendment is the product of a great deal of debate and work among the leaders of the Committee and its members. There were a variety of different proposals to try to make this work. We settled on this language after a long and productive debate with the Judiciary Committee.

I want to thank Representative Rebimbas and my Co-Chairman upstairs in the Senate and also Representative Cook for her leadership on this issue and her constituent Audrey Blonden (phonetic) who initially brought this issue to our attention.

So with that, I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on adoption. Distinguished Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the amendment that's before us and I certainly want to echo what the good Chairman had indicated and acknowledge all of the work that went into the amendment before us and certainly all of the Chairs and Representative Cook.

I also want to extend gratitude to the Probate Court who took an interest in this and did provide us with language that does secure all of the standards that must be met in order for a license to be issued.

So through you, Mr. Speaker, just some clarification regarding the amendment before us.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed, ma'am.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you. Through you to the good Chairman, what impact, if any, does this amendment if passed successful would be the underlying bill or would become the bill, have on our laws regarding emancipation?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

And just a moment, sir. [GAVEL] That's better, thank you.

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I don't believe it has any impact on our current emancipation rules and laws in this state.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And through you, Mr. Speaker, is it correct then this amendment would not allow any individual under the age of 16 in any way to petition the Probate Court for a license to marry.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, that is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And through you, Mr. Speaker, is it correct that any individual between the ages -- or the ages of 16 and 17 must have a parent or guardian petition the Probate Court on their behalf or be properly emancipated in order to petition the Probate Court?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, that is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And Mr. Speaker, through you for clarification purposes, does the Probate Court have the discretion to request that the individual that will marry the ultimately, the person who's being petitioned for, to be present during the hearing?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, yes, the amendment does just that.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank the Chairman for those responses and the clarification on this amendment and as previously stated, a lot of work has been done on this and interestingly enough, when this was brought to our attention, we thought there's no problems with our legislation but clearly, Mr. Speaker, after hearing from the advocates and all of the testimony that came before the Judiciary Committee, it was certainly evident that there was a problem out there.

And then it was the challenge of trying to balance the problem that's been brought before us and have something that was crafted in a way that we can support, that it protects our minors but at the same time certainly respects the sanctity of a marriage.

So Mr. Speaker, I think that we have done that to the best of our abilities with the amendment that's before us and I would ask my colleagues to support it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, ma'am. Representative Smith.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to compliment the Chairman and the Ranking Member of the parties that brought this amendment together that's really before us today.

During the committee meeting when it became before us for a vote, I voted against this bill because it had no standards by which the Probate Court could make a determination to allow or disallow a marriage. And this amendment certainly goes a long way to actually establish some standards and give some guidance to those looking to go through this process.

So I compliment the folks that put this together, I now support the amendment and support the bill. Just one question I have, through you, Mr. Speaker, for the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Just I want to make sure that in terms of the petitioning parent, do both parents have to make a petition or is it just one that can actually file the petition?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Yes, it provides the singular, a parent or guardian.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Smith.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Thank you for the clarification, I urge my colleagues to support the bill and the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Will you remark further on House Amendment Schedule “A”. If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor, signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Opposed nay, the ayes have it, the amendment is adopted. (Gavel)

Will you remark on the bill as amended? Representative Cook.

REP. COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to stand and make a few comments regarding this piece of legislation and thank the Judicial Committee, the Chairs, Probate Courts and all of those and the Blonden's especially who brought this to my attention.

We do a lot of things in this caucus and in this Chamber to try and improve quality of life and protect all of those people. And when this proposal was brought in front of us and somebody said that there was no age of which a child could marry in the state of Connecticut, I was scratching my head and trying to figure out how that could possibly be.

And remembering having a conversation with the good Chairman of Judiciary and saying, “Mr. Chairman, we really have a situation”, and he's like, “Really?”

You know, because it's not something that we totally understand. Like we didn't recognize that this was a problem.

And I cannot fathom the thought that a child -- five, six, seven, eight years old -- could be forced to marry in any state, let alone our state. And when we do everything in our power to combat human trafficking and sex trafficking and protect our children and we recognized that this was a flaw in our laws, it is just the right thing that we can do.

So I wanted to stand up and thank the committees, the chairmen and truly encourage each one of my committee -- my caucus members -- across the aisle as well to support this legislation not only because it's the right thing to do but to protect our children.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

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

THE 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 GODFREY:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted. If so, the machine will be locked. Clerk will take a tally. And the Clerk will announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 5442 as amended by House A.

Total Number Voting 147

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 147

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 4

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The bill as amended has passed. [GAVEL]

Mr. Clerk, kindly call Calendar 176.

THE CLERK:

On page 12, House calendar 176, substitute House bill number 7003, AN ACT CONCERNING SURETY BAIL BOND AGENTS.

Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on insurance and real estate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The distinguished Vice Chair of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, Representative de la Cruz, you have the floor, sir.

REP. DE LA CRUZ (41ST):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on acceptance and passage, will you explain the bill, please, sir?

REP. DE LA CRUZ (41ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The reason for this bill would allow the Insurance Department the ability to cancel the bail agent's license if they fail to pay their annual renewal fee before January 31st.

All the renewal fees from the bail bond agents will go into separate surety bill bond agent examination account, which at the end of the calendar year will be transferred into the general fund.

This bill would also allow and require all surety bail bonds agents to participate in a continuing education program. And I support this bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir.

REP. DE LA CRUZ (41ST):

It's my first bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Never volunteer. [LAUGHTER]

REP. DE LA CRUZ (41ST):

Stay with me here. That's okay, Mr. Speaker, I can't --

The Clerk has in possession amendment 6241. May the Clerk please call that amendment to the floor?

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Clerk is indeed in possession of LCO number 6241 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule “A”. Mr. Clerk.

MR. CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO number 6241 offered by Representative Scanlon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Gentleman has asked to leave the Chamber to summarize without objection. Proceed, sir.

REP. DE LA CRUZ (41ST):

Yes, the motion is technical in nature and I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on adoption of House Amendment Schedule “A”. Distinguished ranking member of the insurance company -- oh good, committee -- Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm in full agreement, I took a quick look at the amendment and I believe that it just clarifies the underlying bill and I will have a question or two assuming the amendment is adopted. I encourage my colleagues to support the amendment before us.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir, will you remark further on House Amendment Schedule “A”? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Opposed, nay. The ayes have it, the amendment is adopted. [GAVEL]

Will you remark on the bill as amended? Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and thanks to the Vice Chairman for his description of the bill and what it does. I just want to make one point here, if I can just grab my notes.

I understand that when this bill came before the Insurance Committee initially that the Association of Bail Bondsmen in the state had some reservations about the bill and I understand that we've made some changes since and I just want to make sure that there's an understanding that they are now supporting the legislation that is before us.

So through you, Mr. Speaker, just the question is whether or not we have support for this legislation from the Bail Bonds Association of Connecticut.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative de la Cruz, do you care to respond?

REP. DE LA CRUZ (41ST):

Yes, Mr. Speaker, through you, yes that is my understanding of it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Sampson.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and thanks to the Vice Chairman for that answer, I appreciate it.

Given that, I encourage my colleagues to support the bill before us. It makes essentially a correction in our current law that allows the insurance department to properly charge for license renewals for bail bonds professionals and it makes a couple of other small technical changes and I urge adoption.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

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

THE 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 GODFREY:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? If so, the machine will be locked.

The Clerk will take a tally. And the Clerk will announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 7003 as amended by House A.

Total Number Voting 147

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 147

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 4

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The bill as amended is passed. [GAVEL]

Mr. Clerk, 373, please.

THE CLERK:

On page 34, Calendar 373, House Bill number 7296, AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE FUNDING OF UNFUNDED ACCRUED MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM LIABILITIES BY MUNICIPALITIES.

Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Development.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The distinguished chair of the Planning and Development Committee, Representative Lemar.

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

I just brushed my teeth and I can't do anything with them. The question is on acceptance and passage. Will you explain the bill, please sir?

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, existing law requires each municipality participating in the municipal employees' retirement system to pay the unfunded costs of future pensions for employees brought into the system.

Current law requires municipalities to pay this unfunded liability in annual installments of up to 30 years. The bill before us allows them to authorize bonds to pay all or part of the unfunded liability and establishes procedures they must follow when issuing bonds.

Mr. Speaker, the Clerk is in possession of an amendment, LCO number 6676. I ask the Clerk please call the amendment and I ask leave of the Chambers.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Clerk is indeed in possession of LCO number 6676, will you please designate House Amendment Schedule “A”, Mr. Clerk?

THE CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO number 6676 offered by Representative Lemar, Senator Cassano, Representative Zawistowski and Representative Stafstrom.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Gentleman says leave the Chamber to summarize without objection. Proceed, sir.

REP. LAMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the amendment limits the authority to issue
MERS pension funding bonds to municipalities participating in MERS that have an unfunded accrued liability to the system as of July 1, 2017
.

It also eliminates an incorrect statutory reference, the definitions of three of the bill's other terms and as a requirement that the bonds mature no later than 30 years from the date that they are issued.

I move acceptance. Adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on adoption of House A. The distinguished ranking member of the Planning and Development Committee, Representative Zawistowski. There you are. Turn on her mic.

REP. ZAWISTOWSKI (61ST):

There we go. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As the good Representative from the 96th District mentioned, this amendment takes care of some of the concerns that came up in Planning and Development, neatens it up a little bit and I recommend it be supported. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Anyone? I think that's it. Very good. Will you remark further on House Amendment Schedule “A”? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Opposed nay, the ayes have it, the amendment is adopted. [GAVEL]

Will you remark on the bill as amended? Representative Lemar.

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I think the amendment helped summarize the extent of the issue. The city of Bridgeport brought this issue to us, it helps control their cost on their end while providing greater cost certainty to the MERS account.

It's a good public policy supported by Actuary Analyst OPM, the Planning and Development Committee, so I urge the Committee's passage. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Zawistowski.

REP. ZAWISTOWSKI (61ST):

Mr. Speaker, a couple of questions for the proponent of the bill if I may. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed.

REP. ZAWISTOWSKI (61TH):

Mr. Speaker, how many municipalities could take advantage of this opportunity should this bill pass?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Lemar.

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, through you. This bill limits the authority to just those municipalities that are currently participating in MERS and that have an unfunded accrued liability as of July 1st of this coming year.

In practicality, it generally applies to only one municipality. There may be a few that it could catch all but it wouldn't make sense for them to engage themselves of it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Zawistowski.

REP. ZAWISTOWSKI (61TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you for the Representative. Again, again to the proponent of the bill, does this bill actually change the amount that the municipalities have to pay under MERS regular obligations?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Lemar.

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, this does not change the obligation that any municipality has to the MERS account, it just changes the way in which they will fund the MERS account. They'll upfront through pension obligation bonds, contribute their amounts to MERS and then have to pay back those bond costs at a much lower interest rate, both shirring up the MERS account and also saving the municipality some money.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Zawistowski.

REP. ZAWISTOWSKI (61ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I do support this bill. OPM actually submitted testimony in support of it. They said that this bill provides and overall sound public policy measure and I do ask that my colleagues support it. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Gentleman from Norwalk, Representative Wilms.

REP. WILMS (142ND):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm gonna vote against this bill as I did in Committee. I get what's trying to be accomplished here. There's an unfunded pension liability and basically issuing, I think, the equivalent of pension obligation bonds at a lower interest rate and the municipality believes that they will save money via that mechanism.

However, what this does is it transfers the risk, if you will, of the funding from the town to the taxpayers and the taxpayers are now on the hook for this.

And so typically when municipalities engage in this kind of financial mechanism, respectfully, they've not been operating on a prudent basis and this is really meant as a measure to avoid taking actions like raising taxes or cutting spending or realigning spending. It's sort of like a magical third way to solve a problem.

Fortunately, it tends to kick the can down the road and I fear that this will not be the end of this particular issue.

So based on that, I'm going to vote no.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Gentleman from Bridgeport, Representative Stafstrom.

REP. STAFSTROM (129TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank you, I stand in strong support of the bill and I want to especially thank the Chairman of the Planning and Development Committee as well as the ranking member of the Planning and Development Committee for working with us on this bill through the Committee process here to the floor.

And also to those of our colleagues from our surrounding towns who've worked with us, you know, I understand the concerns of the good Representative from Norwalk and I guess what I would say to him and to my other colleagues who are skeptical about this bill and about the city's finances is I don't think it's any surprise to many of us in this chamber that many of our municipalities, especially some of our larger cities, are dealing with large, unfunded pension obligations much like the state is facing were incurred generations ago.

And it is incumbent upon the current generation of those of us as policy makers and as leaders of our respective municipalities to deal with those obligations as best we can.

The bill before us obviously comes to us from Bridgeport and we believe is a step forward in helping the city of Bridgeport shore up some of its unfunded pension obligations.

Is it the silver bullet? Of course not. But it is a positive step in the right direction for the city. It allows us to refinance some debt that is currently owed, paying that debt and that obligation back to the state of Connecticut so that the state taxpayers are no longer holding the risk. And allows the city to refinance that obligation on the bond market at a significant savings to the city taxpayer, not just in the current year but over the life of the amortization.

We are not kicking the can down the road, we are not extending out the time that the payments would have to be made, just the opposite, we are just taking advantage of the delta of the better interest rate.

And again, I want to thank my colleagues for working on me and -- working with us on this and on behalf of the Bridgeport delegation, thank you for your support.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you sir. The gentleman from Litchfield, Representative Wilson.

REP. WILSON (66TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you sir, to the proponent of the bill.

Just a question. Did you look at whether this action will have any effect on the bond ratings of the state of Connecticut?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Lemar.

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, yes we did, we had analysis through OPM it would not impact the bond rating of the state of Connecticut and in fact, as the gentleperson from Bridgeport alluded to, actually helps shore up the state's MERS system and puts greater balance on the city of Bridgeport to make their required payments. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Wilson.

REP. WILSON (66TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank -- hello. Thank you, Mr. Speaker and through you to the proponent of the bill.

To the proponent, are there any other municipalities that are going to take advantage of this at this time?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Lemar.

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, it seems highly unlikely that any municipalities would avail themselves. This is limited to just those municipalities that are participating in the MERS system and that have an unfunded accrued liability to the system as of July 1st of this year.

There could potentially be a few other communities but the amounts that are owed by those communities are so small it makes absolutely no sense that they would go out to market on these bonds.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, Mr. Speaker, to the proponent, if the cities or towns could not do it up until this point, how are they gonna be able to pay off this bond over a number of years where they couldn't come to grips with it at this time. Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Lemar.

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Look, this is a very unique situation in which the city of Bridgeport was brought into MERS, I believe, in 2013. Who paid the requisite number of dollars to the system to cover their costs. An actual analyst came in later and said that they were short, I believe, about $ 80 million dollars toward the system.

MERS contracted with the city of Bridgeport to pay back those debted dollars at an eight percent interest rate per year. That is a really high bar for any municipality to handle.

What this would allow us to achieve is Bridgeport could pay off the amount of the dollars that are owed to MERS at a much lower interest rate and save millions of dollars while putting less risk on state taxpayers.

Overall, this is a win/win policy for us and that's why what you saw in OPM's reflected testimony and the conversation for the P&D committee.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through to the proponent, if they're gonna pay this off, they still have to pay the pensions that are going forward, that are still there.

How do we know that they're going to be able to pay that? I mean it -- we just did something like this with the state and we moved it down, I think it was 12 or 14 years that the state taxpayers have to pay for it. And it seems like we're doing the exact same thing for one municipality. I mean they could not come to grips with paying this, they had to use this system to pay for it because of the $ 80 million dollars, is that correct?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Lemar.

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Look, I understand the good gentleman's concerns. The reality, the impact of this is that it saves city taxpayers in Bridgeport and the state is off the hook for some obligation and some risk by allowing the city of Bridgeport to undertake this mechanism to pay off their unfunded liability.

This is a win/win in all regards. I know, you know, people talk on people's minds about unfunded liabilities but the reality is right now the MERS system and the state taxpayers are carrying the risk.

We can change this and save the city of Bridgeport money because they're no longer paying eight percent per year, they can instead issue bonds and pay them off at a traditional bond rating. They've got -- the city of Bridgeport has a strong bond rating from Moody's and other issuing agencies. They can save a lot of money and also relieve the state's risk as well.

Thank you. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

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

THE 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 GODFREY:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? If so, the machine will be locked. Clerk will take a tally. And the Clerk will announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 7296 as amended by House A.

Total Number Voting 147

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 104

Those voting Nay 43

Those absent and not voting 4

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The bill as amended is passed. [GAVEL] Mr. Clerk, Calendar 214, please.

THE CLERK:

On page 16, Calendar 214, substitute House Bill 6266, AN ACT CONCERNING BOXING EVENTS AND MIXED MARTIAL ARTS MATCHES.

Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Public Safety and Security.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Gentleman from Bridgeport, Representative Rosario.

REP. ROSARIO (128TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on acceptance and passage, will you explain the bill, please, sir?

REP. ROSARIO (128TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This bill makes MMA similar to boxing insurance regulations. Currently MMA health insurance regulations do not match up with boxing and many promoters are saying that the MMA health insurance policy is to ambiguous for anyone wanting to host a fight.

With this successful track record of individuals utilizing the boxing health insurance regulations, it only makes sense to have MMA use the same regulations.

This bill also exempts MMA from boxing events from the five percent gross receipt sales tax. The reason for this exemption is to attract promoters to our state for events. While the fiscal note reads less than $ 25,000 for more accurate numbers who that five percent of gross receipt sales tax actually produced zero dollars for the state of Connecticut last year.

That number is correct. There were no boxing events last year in the state of Connecticut. The exemption of this tax will be to make Connecticut more competitive to the neighboring states and bring it more in line with other cities.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. The distinguished Ranking Member of the Public Safety Committee, Representative Sredzinski.

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Rise today, this bill passed the Public Safety Committee 23 to two. In essence, this is an economic development bill mostly for our urban centers which, as we know, have wanted to and have asked to host MMA fighting in recent years and because of the regulations that are on the books, have been unable to.

This bill would eliminate a lot of the restrictions on promoters who would seek to have a fighting-type event. Now some people may not appreciate or like the violent sport that is mixed martial arts; however, we do have several fighters, several gyms in our state that support it.

So I would encourage my colleagues to support it for the cities. Like I said, it did pass 23 to two out of committee and I have no further questions for the proponent.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further on this bill? Will you remark further on this bill? If not, staff and guests please come to the well of the house, members take your seats, the machine will be open.

THE 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 GODFREY:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? If all the members have voted, the machine will be locked. Clerk will take a tally. And the Clerk will announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 6266.

Total Number Voting 147

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 127

Those voting Nay 20

Those absent and not voting 4

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The bill has passed. [GAVEL]

Mr. Clerk, Calendar 64, please.

THE CLERK:

On page 53, Calendar number 64, favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary. Substitute house bill number 6975, AN ACT PROHIBITING THE PRACTICE OF “ROLLING COAL”.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The distinguished Chairman of the Environment Committee, Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on acceptance and passage and ladies and gentlemen [GAVEL]. Thank you very much. Representative Demicco, will you explain the bill, please.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. This bill prohibits the practice of rolling coal. More specifically, it prohibits anyone from operating a motor vehicle so as to emit soot, smoke or emissions into the air that would cause a reasonable person to feel harassed, annoyed or alarmed or to block or obscure anyone's view of the roadway or to create a hazard for a driver or a bicyclist or a pedestrian.

This bill passed the Environment Committee and the Judiciary Committee and I think it's a necessary bill and good one and I urge my colleagues to vote in favor.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you sir.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

I move -- oh, sorry.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

It's already properly before us, Representative Demicco, thank you. The distinguished ranking member of Environment, Representative Harding.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, good afternoon, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, just a question to the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you, sir. Through you, this is simply banning the emissions of soot with the intent to harass, is that -- is that true, through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, Mr. Speaker, that is correct. It says specifically on line 23 of the bill that the word intent is quite clear. So the short answer is yes.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Harding.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, Mr. Speaker, just to further clarify on that particular issue, if an individual was not intending to harass another individual through the emissions of soot, would that be in violation of the law if a reasonable person felt harassed by that emission, even though the individual did not intend to harass? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yeah, thank you, Mr. Speaker. The gentleman is correct. Intent is the key element of this bill, Mr. Speaker, through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Harding.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, Mr. Speaker, from my understanding, this bill is different than what was originally passed out of Environment, it was amended in Judiciary.

And from my understanding that the original bill in Environment banned the installation of such a device.

Is it your understanding, through you, Mr. Speaker, that that provision has been eliminated from this new version of the bill?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes. The good ranking member is now three for three. He is correct, that is exactly what happened in the Judiciary version of this bill.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Camillo and I want to know when you're gonna get up to the Yankees win/loss. But okay, good. Representative Harding.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and it's very rare that I'm right three out of three times so I do thank the good proponent for addressing that.

I'll just make a final comment if I may, Mr. Speaker, on this bill. It was passed pretty strongly, nearly unanimously, out of the Environment Committee. In my opinion, it was amended in a positive manner within the Judiciary Committee, taking away the aspect where simply the installation is a provisional law.

From my understanding from some of my colleagues, some fairs and carnivals utilize this device at those proceedings. So that would have been in violation of the law under the law passed out of Environment.

The good thing it passed, the law passed out of Judiciary, it addresses that issue and simply addresses the fact that individuals utilizing this emissions or smoke to cause harassment upon another individual.

So it's a good change, it's a good bill and I would urge my colleagues to support it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Gentleman from North Haven, Representative Yaccarino.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Quick question of the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Sure.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

If I'm driving like a '73 Ford pickup truck and I backfire and it was not intended to rolling coal but it was a really severe backfire. And somebody said, “Representative Yaccarino was rolling coal. ” And I didn't have rolling coal but it was just an innocent malfunction of a 1973 Ford pickup truck.

What would happen then?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you for the question, Representative.

My understanding is that in that case it would be up to the prosecutor if it came to that, to be able to prove that there was intent on your part and hopefully, hopefully the good Representative would not be in that position where intent was able to be proven and I'm sure that it wouldn't be proven against the good Representative.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Yaccarino.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

Thank you for that -- thank you for that answer. My only concern, I understand the intent of it, I definitely do. When I was going door-to-door last year, an old truck drove by me and they're shifting and it was a big black smoke backfire, definitely was innocent.

But I could've said that person was rolling coal and they would have hired an attorney, go to court, they would have most likely been innocent but it would've cost them quite a bit of money for something they didn't -- there's no negligent, there's not intended.

So sometime, I'm just fearing that it could be he said, my word against your word. And I wish there was some teeth to where you could find definitive intent.

I think it's a well-intended bill but I think we have to be careful. There might be people having false claims and you have to -- I would think it would go to the police and let them make the determination by putting the car in a lift. Putting your truck in a lift to see if there's any devices.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Got a question, sir?

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

It is a question. So through you, Mr. Speaker, I would think that if it was to happen and it was my truck, they would, the police come to me, come to my house and have the car towed to a garage and have them check the truck immediately instead of going to court.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. Again, I -- my understanding is that a police officer would have to be convinced that there was malicious intent and further, a prosecutor would have to be convinced that there was -- and be able to prove that there was intent involved.

And I think that's a fairly stiff standard so I think that the good Representative's concern is probably not necessary. But I appreciate it, but I think that, I think that it might be a little bit overdone.

So through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Yaccarino.

REP. YACCARINO (87TH):

Thank you for that answer and thank you for the -- thank you, Mr. Chair and thank you, the proponent for the answers. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Some questions also for the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, sir. Can you give me a scenario in which one would be in violation of this statute?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes. Through you, Mr. Speaker, I would imagine that either the police officer or the prosecutor would have to be convinced through some other actions, maybe through words that were exchanged or maybe through gestures, you know, that were, you know, that were performed in addition to the emission of the soot or the smoke.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So I mean that seems to be after the fact. So one needs to be operating a motor vehicle to be in violation.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

I believe that is correct.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and one needs to be emanating soot, smoke.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, that is correct.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and that emanation of smoke and/or soot could be, I guess, natural combustion of an engine or artificial. I can't tell from this.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yeah, through you, Mr. Speaker, yes. Again, there would have to be, there would have to be convincing evidence, I would think, that this was done in a deliberate manner. As the bill says, with the intention of harassing, annoying, alarming the aggrieved party.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Are there any scenarios, is this a problem in our state? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, my understanding is that it is somewhat of a problem here in this state and that some people have put videos up on YouTube, you know, demonstrating this type of action and, you know, getting a good laugh out of it and you know, at the expense of someone else's, you know, feeling threatened or harassed.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

The proponent mentioned that there had to be malicious intent and I inquire as to where that is gleaned from the statute.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, through you, Mr. Speaker, well you know, the bill says intent but then it goes further to say to cause a reasonable person to feel harassed, annoyed or alarmed.

So in my view, if I -- if you're doing an action to harass or annoy or alarm someone, then to me, that is malicious. I can remove the word from the discussion if you'd like, if the Representative likes, but the bill just says malicious. Excuse me, the bill just says intent. So maybe we should leave it at that.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

[GAVEL] Thank you. Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just don't see a need for this but thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Ackert.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and just rise with some concerns. So sometimes our legislation has very good intentions, we're trying to resolve an issue but sometimes with an unintended consequence.

And I look at line 24-B. As somebody in the construction business, so often that there's tri-axles and tractor trailers and they emit an emission that maybe somebody would cause and say, “You know what, I'm sick of this harassment”, or “My neighbor's got a, you know, the trucking company. I never wanted that trucking company next to me”, and they find an avenue here that sits there and says, “You know, when they leave the smog comes through and they're just harassing me. Now they're harassing me that they hit the gas hard and the truck swerves.

So I do have some concerns so is it to the good Chairman of Environment, the intent of this legislation is not to impose a fine on construction vehicles in their daily activities to do their business.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, the gentleman is correct. That is certainly not the intent of this legislation.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Ackert.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I appreciate the answers of the good gentleman. I do have, at times, you know, I understand the value of the legislation that was explained but sometimes when it's written as it may be that I hope that the good working bodies out there that are doing construction jobs and you know, they're not unduly themselves harassed or fined from the regular operation of the business.

So thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, there appears to be a large degree of befuddlement, at least on my side of the aisle, with regard to what this bill is about and what it is -- what its intent really is.

I was -- I voted on this bill. I voted against it in both the Environment Committee and the Judiciary Committee. And it was kind of curious to me as to, excuse me, as to why it came to the Judiciary Committee.

And I, too, was completely befuddled about the purpose of this bill and what it was going to do and all I could think about was that the people in my district, many of whom have big tractors that blow all kinds of diesel smoke, blowing pick-up trucks that have the big stacks that shoot up.

And what I was concerned with is that this bill could unintentionally kind of carry these people into the judicial process and get them in trouble when they had no intention of doing anything that would harm anybody.

While we were in the Judiciary Committee, because of the discussion, it became clear to me that this bill is really intended to prevent harassment. This is not necessarily a bill that even is directed at motor vehicles or tractors or trucks. But it really is intended to prevent people from driving up to a group of people or a specific person and essentially blowing smoke at them on purpose.

I'm not sure that really comes through in the language of the bill but I do understand that that's the intent. Frankly, I think the bill could have been drafted in a way that was considerably clearer and made that more -- that made it easier for people to understand what this bill was really about.

Specifically, you know, the discussion in the Judiciary Committee revolved around people of -- that are minorities being harassed by people who were not. Somebody coming up to a group of African-Americans and pointing the rear end of their vehicle towards them and basically just blowing smoke at them.

Obviously we want to do all we can in the legislature to prevent that kind of unacceptable conduct. I understand this bill is sort of an effort to do that. I'm not sure that this is really the best way to go about that. I would personally rather see something that was a little stronger with regard to harassment laws or discrimination laws or something like that as opposed to targeting motor vehicles.

But this is the bill before us and I think if people had been in the Judiciary Committee discussion, perhaps they would understand a little bit more about what the intent of the bill is. But you know, I hope that for the purpose of legislative intent, we do have on the record that this bill is not directed at people who drive down the street with vehicles that blow smoke. This bill is directed specifically at people who intend to use that specific mechanism to harass somebody.

And hopefully for the purpose of legislative intent, it's clear and the people of my district who happen to have big trucks with big stacks or tractors that blow smoke, that it's clear by legislative intent that this is not directed at them. This is specifically directed at people who use a motor vehicle as a tool to harass somebody, specifically with intent to do so.

Now I frankly would have liked to have seen the words alarm removed because there are a number of people who are alarmed by trucks that blow smoke up in the air. And somebody running up and down the road in a big truck that's blowing smoke, do they -- are they alarming people, do they know they're alarming people?

Perhaps, but if there's no intent to harass or annoy somebody specifically and more specifically because they are of a minority group or because of some characteristic of them, that would be a better focus of this bill.

But this is the bill that we have, I don't, frankly, think it's going to do any harm to the people of my district unless they have an intent to annoy or harass somebody specifically with the motor vehicle.

But I do think that perhaps next year we could revisit this issue and address, and really address the actual issue of harassment and intentionally annoying people with whatever mechanism as opposed to passing specific laws about each given device that could be used for this purpose. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise to ask the proponent a couple of questions if I may, through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed, sir. Proceed, sir.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through the proponent, is there any estimate on how many people have objected or have been harmed by this rolling coal, so called, from a vehicle?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I do not have an estimate on the number of people who have been harmed. I know that it's some and more than a few but I wouldn't venture to go any further than that.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, to the proponent of the bill. Does a few mean two?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have been made aware of several incidents of this nature happening to people.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, during the last year, I have not observed one vehicle that spews out this rolling coal. How many has the proponent of the bill observed?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I personally have not witnessed any but we do have testimony that was submitted to the Environment Committee where this bill originated that will attest to the occurrence of these type of events.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Mr. Speaker, through you, since the proponent of the bill has testimony, would it be possible to find out how many, exactly how many pieces of testimony he has?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

I'm sure it would be possible, yes, Mr. Speaker. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, does the proponent know offhand how many there were?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yeah, thank you, Mr. Speaker. We had testimony submitted by several individuals to the Environment Committee on this issue. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I know I've asked this sort of in a different way but maybe this time, he has stated that there have been several individuals. Does that mean more than three?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

The answer is yes, through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and to the proponent of the bill, it says on 24-B that Representative Ackert was pointing out that it wouldn't be against construction vehicles.

Has the proponent of the bill ever seen a construction vehicle start up first thing in the morning?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, Mr. Speaker, yes I have. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Okay, through you, Mr. Speaker, does the proponent realize that those vehicles have large engines and most of them are diesel, spew out a very heavy rolling coal exhaust system when they first start up. And that could be construed as being against what the proponent of the bill is talking about.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, I am aware of that but again, I am at pains to point out as I have a few times now, that as long as there is no intent to harass, annoy or alarm an individual, then someone whose vehicle did this as a matter of course would not be in violation of the proposed law.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, Mr. Speaker, but it does not say that in the proposed bill. It just says that anybody who is spewing out a rolling coal will be assigned a bill or a fee for doing that.

So the bill itself does not do that. I think the proponent of the bill should withdraw the bill.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Is there a question in there somewhere, Representative Belsito?

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Yes, I wanna know if he's willing to withdraw the bill because it doesn't state in the bill that construction vehicles will be eliminated.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

That's not a question for Representative Demicco. Proceed, sir.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Through Mr. -- through the Representative. Will you be willing to pull this bill because it does not state in the bill that construction vehicles will be eliminated from doing this.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Belsito, would you be willing to yield the floor to Representative Ritter? Take that advice.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Representative Ritter.

REP. RITTER (1ST):
I move that we pass this temporarily, Mr
. Speaker. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Without objections, the item is passed temporarily.

Will the Clerk please call Calendar 460.

THE CLERK:

On page 45, House Calendar 460, substitute House Bill number 7284, AN ACT CONCERNING STATE IDENTIFICATION FOR INMATES UPON REENTRY.

Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative de la Cruz.

REP. DE LA CRUZ (41ST):

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Questions on acceptance and passage, will you explain the bill, please sir?

REP. DE LA CRUZ (41ST):

Yes sir and thank you, Mr. Speaker. This bill was put in to allow inmates, whether it was a felony or a misdemeanor, to once they're incarcerated in prison, to on their way out, have a maybe a 30 or 40-day trigger where they're gonna get a license.

So upon reentry into the community, they'll have identification, whether it's a state ID or a, hopefully a drivers' license. If they had a valid drivers' license before they went into prison, on the way out, they'll have a valid drivers' license out, whether expired or not.

Again, this is a bill that's really related to the opioid crisis and was one of the reasons that I came up here, to try to get something like this passed. We're trying to get folks work and when they come out without a license and just a piece of paper with their name on it, it's very difficult to get those folks jobs.

And I'd also like to point out that a couple of Veterans groups have jumped on. They're really excited about this bill and they're looking forward to hopefully its passage. They're seeing a huge uptick with Veterans struggling to get IDs after committing crimes.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. [GAVEL] Thank you. Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the legislation that's before us. I also want to take the opportunity to thank Senator Winfield who has been working on this for many years and the Judiciary Committee for making the necessary changes in order to see it come through the Committee and hopefully ultimately make it through the two Chambers.

I'd like to thank the good Representative for his description and if I just may, through you, Mr. Speaker, a few questions just for clarification.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Proceed.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, Mr. Speaker, is it correct that this legislation, in fact, does not have a fiscal impact and it is codifying the current practice that's taking place?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative de la Cruz.

REP. DE LA CRUZ (41ST):

Yes, that is correct. I was hoping -- not hoping for a fiscal impact but I think a lot of times the folks in that situation have trouble paying for the license on the way out. But I think it's gonna end up being a positive fiscal impact because if they get jobs and they stay out of prison, it's gonna result in savings. Thank you.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I actually agree with that sentiment because when I looked at this legislation, if we expect these individuals to come out and be reformed, we want them to be able to more easily get housing and jobs and having identification certainly would be assisting in that situation and those challenges once someone's released from prison.

Again, just for further clarification, through you, Mr. Speaker, we're talking about individuals who actually have been convicted of a crime who spends time in prison but then upon their release, would have this opportunity. Is that correct?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative de la Cruz.

REP. DE LA CRUZ (41ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes that is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and again, I wanna thank the Representative for his responses. I think it's important that the legislation that is before us is within appropriations but these individuals, when they come out, they have to make this request. And then they also have to be found eligible because not everyone's going to be found eligible for either a state ID or drivers' licenses.

And they also, in this legislation, requires the individual to pay if there is any fee associated with obtaining that identification.

So again, Mr. Speaker, I do rise in support of the legislation and I thank everyone for the good work that they did and I do ask my colleagues to support it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, ma'am. Will you remark further on the bill. Will you remark further on the bill? If not, staff and guests please come to the well of the house, members take their seats, the machine will be open.

THE 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 GODFREY:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? If so, the machine will be locked. Clerk will take a tally. And the Clerk will announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 7284.

Total Number Voting 147

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 147

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 4

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The bill is passed. [GAVEL]

Calendar 142.

THE CLERK:

On page nine, House Calendar 142, substitute House Bill 6520, AN ACT RAISING THE ASSET LIMITATION FOR COMMUNITY BANKS AND COMMUNITY CREDIT UNIONS.

Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Banking.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Distinguished Chairman of the Banking Committee. And before we go to you, Representative Lesser, [GAVEL] could we have the area around Representative Lesser just cleared so he, we can hear and see him and vice versa. Please. Any time. Now. Thank you. Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on acceptance and passage. Will you explain the bill, please, sir?

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Yes, Mr. Speaker, this is a straightforward bill that does what it says it does. It increases the definition of community banks and community credit unions in the statutes from $ 100 million dollars to $ 1 billion dollars.

The purpose of this is to allow more community banks and community credit unions to participate in a program established by the State Treasurer to support such entities and this bill allows them to do so.

Mr. Speaker, I move passage.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. The distinguished ranking member of the Banking Committee, Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The esteemed Chairman did a good job of explaining why we should support this bill. I just want to add some additional comments for members of the Chamber.

When this act was first passed in 2006, 11 years ago, its purpose was to support Connecticut's community banks and credit unions and enhance their ability to promote the economic and social health of the communities they serve.

Now, 11 years later, I think it's even more important that we support our community banks and credit unions so they can, in fact, help the communities where they are at and I would just like to say this is a good bill, oughta pass. Eleven years ago, $ 500 million dollars was a lot of money. A billion now is much better.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

A billion here, a billion there. Thank you, sir. Remark further on this bill. Will you remark further on this bill? Representative Wilson.

REP. WILSON (66TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, rise in support of this bill. When we went through the financial crisis, many of the big mortgage companies and the large institutions had all kinds of bad mortgages on their books but I'll remind the Chamber that the credit unions in the state of Connecticut and the small community banks were solid through that entire period of time and this will further enhance their ability to conduct their business and make dollars available to the citizens of our state.

So I support this. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further? If not, staff and guests please come to the well the house, members take your seats, the machine will be open.

THE 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 GODFREY:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? If so, the machine will be locked. The Clerk will take a tally. The Clerk will announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 6520.

Total Number Voting 147

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 147

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 4

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The bill is passed. [GAVEL]

Three-forty-seven, Mr. Clerk, please.

THE CLERK:

House Calendar 347, substitute House Bill 7186, AN ACT REVISION CERTAIN STATUTES CONCERNING THE STATE COMPTROLLER.

Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Government Administration and Elections.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The distinguished Chair of the GAA Committee, Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (148TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on acceptance and passage, would you explain the bill, please sir.

REP. FOX (148TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the bill makes changes to the statutes governing the Connecticut state employee campaign for charitable giving.

Last session the Chamber passed a bill with unanimous support to update and streamline these statutes. This bill provides further clarity to the underlying statutes.

Mr. Speaker, the Clerk's in possession of an amendment, LCO 6809. I ask the amendment be called and I be granted leave of the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The Clerk is in possession of LCO 6809 which will be designated as House Amendment Schedule “A”. Mr. Clerk.

MR. CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO number 6809 offered by Representative Fox, Representative Devlin.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Gentleman has asked leave of the Chamber to summarize, is there objection? Hearing none, Representative Fox.

REP. FOX (148TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, under current law, the amendment makes somewhat of a minor clarifying change to the bill brought to our attention by OLR.

Under current law, the state employee campaign committee must select the administrating organization through a competitive process and supervises activities.

The bill, however, did not establish procedure or criteria for selecting administrating organization. The amendment clarifies how the administrators be selected.

The bill was passed unanimously in Committee with no fiscal impact. I want to thank Rep Devlin for support of the bill and I move adoption.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on adoption. Will you remark on House A, the distinguished ranking members of the GAA Committee, Representative Devlin.

REP. DEVLIN (134TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the amendment and encourage my colleagues to support that as well.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, ma'am. Will you remark further on House “A”? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor, signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Opposed, nay, the ayes have it, the amendment is adopted. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, staff and guests please come to the well of the house, members take their seats, the machine will be open.

THE 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 CANDELARIA:

I would like to ask members to please stay in the Chambers as we'll be moving on three quick bills. So please stay in the Chambers.

Have all members voted? Please check the board and check that your vote has been properly cast.

Have all members voted. Have all members voted, the machine will be locked and the Clerk will take a tally. Will the Clerk please announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 7186 as amended by House A.

Total Number Voting 146

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 146

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 5

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

The bill as amended passes. [GAVEL]

Will the Clerk please call calendar number 418?

THE CLERK:

On page 38, calendar number 418, substitute House Bill 5743, AN ACT CONCERNING HATE CRIMES.

Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Representative Tong from the 147th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. TONG (147TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

The questions is on the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Would you remark, sir?

REP. TONG (147TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Unfortunately, Connecticut has seen a recent increase in hate crimes or bigotry or bias-related crime from swastikas painted in Danbury to threats on Jewish Community Centers in Woodbridge and in West Hartford and also in my hometown of Stamford, a racial epithet spray painted on a garage door that was there for all to see.

Because of that, the Judiciary Committee thought it was important to take action to strengthen our state's hate crime laws. There are a variety of provisions on our general statutes that provide for various penalties for desecration of religious institutions and houses of worship and also for first degree, second degree, third degree threatening which also covers various types of hate crimes or bias or bigotry-motivated crimes.

There are also sections of our general statutes related to bias or bigotry-related crimes and this proposal increases penalties for all of those offenses.

Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment, LCO number 6741. I ask the Clerk please call the amendment.

I apologize, Mr. Speaker. Clerk has amendment LCO number 6814. I ask the Clerk please call the amendment and I be given leave of the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Will the Clerk please call LCO 6814 which is designated House Amendment Schedule “A”.

THE CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO number 6814 offered by Representative Tong, Senator Looney, Senator Doyle, Senator Kissel and Representative Rebimbas.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, this amendment includes some clarifying language. It also strikes section nine and section ten. I want to thank the Ranking Member for her input and feedback which led to the development of this amendment today and I urge adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

The question before the Chamber is on adoption of House Amendment Schedule “A”. Will you remark on the amendment? Would you remark? Representative Rebimbas of the 70th, you have the floor, ma'am.

REP. REBIMBAS (70Th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I just want to take an opportunity to say that I rise in support of the amendment before us and I certainly want to thank Senator Looney and all of the Chairs of the Judiciary Committee for listening to some of the concerns that we have and in fact, this amendment eliminates a section that did create a fiscal note and also another section that we thought didn't necessarily fit with the underlying bill.

So I rise in support of the amendment before us and I'll reserve further comments for, if the amendment passes for the underlying bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Thank you, ma'am. Representative Dubitsky of the 47th, you have the floor, sir.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I unfortunately did not hear what this amendment really does. I'm looking at it and it's got line-by-line deletions and additions but I'm not able to put that together in my own brain as to what it actually does.

So if I could ask the proponent of the bill what this bill does, I would certainly appreciate it.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Thank you. Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Yes, through you, Mr. Speaker, I guess I would direct my fellow member of the Judiciary Committee to lines three through seven which provides further definition of the term “religiously affiliated community center”, which is used in the bill.

I would then refer him to lines eight through ten which does the same thing. I think line seven is a clarification as to numbering and then 12 and 13 really reflect the work of the Committee and in particular, feedback from the Ranking Member to strike sections nine and ten.

Section nine previously provided for a hotline which we removed. We thought that was unnecessary. It also had a fiscal impact. And also section ten pertained to a time off or actually related to wrongful discharge. The wrongful discharge statutes. And it related to the amount of time somebody could take off of work if their children's school, their daycare center was threatened and in particular in the commission of a hate crime.

We thought that language, while motivated by a good purpose, it didn't quite work so we decided to take it out today.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the proponent's explanation.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

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

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Those opposed nay. The ayes have it, the amendment is adopted. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended, Representative Rebimbas of the 70th.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the bill as amended. Just some clarification questions through you to the good Chairman.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Please proceed, ma'am.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you. Through you, if the good Chairman just can clarify if there's still a fiscal impact of the bill as amended and what that impact would be.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, the bill as amended eliminates the fiscal impact.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you. And actually that's it for me, Mr. Speaker. Certainly I'll allow others to ask the questions. I think we did hear testimony and unfortunately we have stories of real facts and situations that have taken place throughout the state of Connecticut.

I think this is certainly responsive to that. We do have legislation on our books but certainly this is a heightened penalty for these types of hate crimes which everyone believes to be unacceptable so I rise in support of the legislation before us and again, I thank everyone who took the time to amend it for the bill as it appears today.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Thank you. Will you remark further on the bill that's amended? Will you remark further on the bill that's amended? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the house. Will members please take your seats, the machine will be open.

THE 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 CANDELARIA:

Have all the members voted. Okay, if all the members have voted, the machine will be locked. Clerk will take a tally. And Mr. Clerk, kindly announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 5743 as amended by House A.

Total Number Voting 146

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 146

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 5

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The bill as amended is passed. [GAVEL] Are there any introductions? Representative McGee.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I stand for the purpose of an introduction.

DEPUTY SPEAKER CANDELARIA:

Proceed, sir.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Mr. Speaker, I have standing right next to me, obviously, my colleague. You all know this guy, Angel Arce, along with the rest of the Hartford delegation. Some of them are in meetings or walking around but we have a group of amazing people that all have participated in the Parent Leadership Training Institute right here in the city of Hartford.

We have standing with me all parents. We have their facilitator, Tammy Garris (phonetic) and also Linda Martinez of the City of Hartford and they provide all types of resources and training for many parents from all walks of life right here in the city of Hartford.

And allowing them to understand the education system, advocate for themselves and the list goes on. And I'm just so glad that they're here on a very busy evening at the state capitol.

So if you all could stand to your feet and just give them a warm welcome for being here. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE]

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, Representative McGee. That's a wonderful program, I know it's repeated in a lot of places around the state and it is truly helpful and I'm glad your guests are here tonight.

Are there any other introductions? If not, we'll return to the call of the calendar. Calendar 92, please, Mr. Clerk.

THE CLERK:

On page five, House Calendar 92, House Bill 7046, AN ACT CONCERNING CLOSURE OF CERTAIN BUILDING PERMITS.

Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Development.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Lemar.

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on acceptance and passage, will you remark, sir?

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

Mr. Speaker, the bill will close all their building permits for one and two family properties that have not completed the inspection and approval process. Currently these older properties can remain open indefinitely, causing possible issues upon title search and refinancing of a property.

Mr. Speaker, the Clerk is in possession of amendment LCO number 6294. I ask that the Clerk please call the amendment and I be given permission to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

The Clerk is in possession of LCO number 6294 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule “A”. Mr. Clerk, it's one sentence, could you just please read it, it'll make it a little quicker.

THE CLERK:

House Amendment “A”, LCO number 6294, offered by Representative Lemar, Representative Zawistowski.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Representative Lemar, you have permission of the Chamber to summarize.

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, simple and technical.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Remark further on House A, Representative Zawistowski.

REP. ZAWISTOWSKI (61ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is a basic amendment. I rise in support and recommend its passage.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you. Thank you, ma'am. Remark further on House A? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor, signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Opposed nay, the ayes have it, the amendment is adopted. Representative Lemar.

REP. LEMAR (96TH):

I think we covered it, Mr. Speaker, thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Excellent. Remark further on the bill as amended. Representative Smith.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Mr. Speaker, thank you. I'm so happy to have this bill before us today. This bill will go a long way to make the real estate transactions throughout the state of Connecticut much easier. Many of them get bogged down because of these old permits and seals that are nonexistent and this, although it's nine years, a lot of them are actually 20 years old and 15 years old and they can really cause a damper on the closings and actually make them fall apart. I've had several that have because of this.

So I'm happy to see this, I urge my colleagues to support it. Our constituents will happy you do. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Representative Zawistowski.

REP. ZAWISTOWSKI (61ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, this bill does create certainty in the real estate transactions when there are outstanding permits. It passed unanimously in Planning and Development and it saves municipalities money.

It's a good bill, it oughta pass. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, ma'am. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not staff and guests please come to the well of the house, members take your seats, the machine will be open.

THE 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 GODFREY:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? If so, the machine will be locked. Clerk will take the tally. And the Clerk will announce the tally.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 7046 as amended by House A.

Total Number Voting 145

Necessary for Passage 73

Those voting Yea 144

Those voting Nay 1

Those absent and not voting 6

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Bill as amended is passed. [GAVEL] Calendar number 406, please, Mr. Clerk.

THE CLERK:

On page 37, House Calendar 406, substitute House Bill 7214, AN ACT CONCERNING HARASSMENT OF A GUIDE OR ASSISTANCE DOG OR THE HANDLER OF SUCH DOG.

Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Distinguished Vice Chairman of Judiciary Committee, Representative Stafstrom.

REP. STAFSTROM (129TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Questions on acceptance and passage. Will you explain the bill, sir?

REP. STAFSTROM (129TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it's actually a fairly simple bill. What this bill does is it makes it a Class C misdemeanor to intentionally -- and I want to emphasize the word intentionally -- interfere with a blind, deaf, or mobility impaired person's use of a guide or assistance dog.

I ask the Chamber to support it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, sir. Distinguished Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, Representative Rebimbas. Just a second, Representative Rebimbas. [GAVEL] Thank you. Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the legislation before us and I certainly want to thank the Judiciary Committee for moving this and this is one of those topics that we didn't know was a problem until we heard from all the individuals who came up to testify and I wanna personally thank Representative Cara Pavalock-D'Amato for bringing this to our attention and all the advocates who took the time to come up and share their stories with us.

So this is a good bill and I ask my colleagues to support it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, ma'am, the gentle woman from Bristol, Representative Pavalock-D'Amato.

REP. PAVALOCK-D'AMATO (77TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in support of this bill. This bill seeks to protect disabled individuals who rely on service dogs to accomplish the day-to-day activities that we all take for granted.

It's inconceivable that somebody would intentionally harass, distract or even assault a dog or their owner just because they weren't allowed to pet that working service animal. But it happens.

It's not acceptable to interfere with someone's wheelchair or their walker and a service dog should be no different.

Education is the key and I'll be reaching out to my local police officer -- police chief and my newspapers to inform them of this bill. And I also encourage my colleagues to do the same.

I want to thank the Judiciary Committee and their staff for all the hard work and I urge support of this bill.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER GODFREY:

Thank you, madam. The distinguished Deputy Speaker from Waterbury, Representative Berger.

No? Quite all right. Will you remark further on this bill? Will you remark further on this bill? If not, staff and guests please come to the well of the house, members take your seats, the machine will be open.

THE 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:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? If all the members have voted, please check the board to ensure 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.

THE CLERK:

House Bill 7214.

Total Number Voting 145

Necessary for Passage 73

Those voting Yea 145

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 6

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

The bill passes. [GAVEL] Are there any announcements or introductions? Announcements or introductions?

Representative Santiago of the 84th District, you have the floor, madam.

REP. SANTIAGO (84TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I would just like to mention the attendance. Representative Reed, Representative Luxenberg, Representative Fleischmann and Representative Dillon were all out on business, out of the Chamber.

And Representative Gonzalez and Representative Morris were out ill.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

And that was per a journal notation, correct, Representative?

REP. SANTIAGO (84TH):

Yes.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Thank you.

REP. SANTIAGO (84TH):

Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Betts of the 78th, sir, you have the floor.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of journal notation, Representative Frey missed votes today because he's out of state on legislative business and Representative Labriola missed some votes because he was in district on business.

Thank you very much.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Representative Albis, for what purposes do you rise, sir?

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise because the Clerk has a copy of today's goal list containing today's referrals. I move that we waive the reading of the list of referrals and that the bills be referred to the committees indicated.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Is there objection, is there objection? Seeing none, the bills are so referred. Thank you, sir.

Any other announcements or introductions? Representative Albis.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ:

Question is on adjournment subject to the call the Chair. Is there objection? Is there objection? Seeing none, we are adjourned. [GAVEL]

(On motion of Representative Aresimowicz of the 30th District, the House adjourned at 4: 40 o'clock p. m. , sine die. )

CERTIFICATE

I hereby certify that the foregoing 254 pages is a complete and accurate transcription of a digital sound recording of the House Proceedings on Tuesday, May 9, 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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