THE CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Thursday, May 18, 2017

(The House of Representatives was called to order at 10: 30 o'clock a. m. , Speaker Joe Aresimowicz in the Chair. )

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

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

IMAM REFAI AREFIN:

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Let us pray. Eternal God, we pause now in Your presence and acknowledge our utter dependence on You. We ask Your blessing upon the men and women of this, the people's House. Keep them aware of Your presence as they face the tasks of this day, that no burden be too heavy, no duty too difficult and no work too wearisome. Help them and, indeed, help us all to obey Your law, to do Your will and to walk in Your way. Grant that they might be good in thought, gracious in word, generous in deed and great in spirit. May all that is done this day be for Your greater honor and glory. Amen.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you. Would Representative Skulczyck of the 45th District please come to the Dais and lead us in prayer -- pledge.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Guess I'm always looking for more prayers up here. Are there any announcements or introductions? Is there any business on the clerk's desk?

CLERK:

The only business I have Mr. Speaker is the daily calender.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Clerk. Are there any announcements or introductions? Representative Arconti of the 109th. You have the floor, sir.

REPRESENTATIVE ARCONTI (109TH):

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed, Sir.

REPRESENTATIVE ARCONTI (109TH):

Today we are celebrating another birthday in the House Dem Caucus, Representative Rick Lopes, my friend from New Britain. Please join me in wishing him a happy birthday. (Applause)

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Happy birthday, Representative Lopes. Representative Arconti, is there any coincidence that you all dressed very similar today on his birthday.

REPRESENTATIVE ARCONTI (109TH):

It is not a coincidence. We actually touched base this morning on our attire. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Representative. Are there any other announcements or introductions? The House will stand at ease.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the House please come back to order? Will the clerk please call Calendar No. 407?

REPRESENTATIVE STAFSTROM (129th):

The State of Connecticut House of Reports Calendar Thursday, May 18, 2017. On page 26, House Calendar 407, substitute H. B. No. 7245, AN ACT CONCERNING THE REVISOR'S TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS TO THE GENERAL STATUTES. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good morning, Representative Stafstrom.

REPRESENTATIVE STAFSTROM (129th):

Good morning, Madam Speaker. Good to see you up there this morning.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you.

REPRESENTATIVE STAFSTROM (129th):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE STAFSTROM (129th):

Madam Speaker, we are starting off with the heavy lifting this morning. This is as the title says, LCO's technical corrections to certain general statues including our Claims Commission Statutes and some other judicial branch functions. It is purely technical. The clerk is in possession of an amendment, LCO 6663. I ask that the amendment be called and I be granted to leave the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 6663. I would ask the clerk to please call the amendment and designated House Amendment Schedule A.

CLERK:

House amendment Schedule A, LCO No. 6663, offered by Representative Tong and Representative Rebimbas.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE STAFSTROM (129th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This adds one additional section which makes one additional technical correction. I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question before the Chamber is adoption of amendment Schedule A. Will you remark on the amendment. Representative Rebimbas.

REPRESENTATIVE REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and good morning to you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good morning to you.

REPRESENTATIVE REBIMBAS (70TH):

And, I would also concur with my fellow Vice Chair that this is completely technical in nature and I do rise in support of the amendment, but just a followup question if I may.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed. Representative Stafstrom.

REPRESENTATIVE REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you. Thank you, Madam Speaker. The amendment before us which also is technical in nature, I just wanted to reaffirm that was something that was not in the original underlying bill, so the committee did not vote on this, but it was something that was discovered after the fact that we took action and proposed this amendment. Is that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Stafstrom.

REPRESENTATIVE STAFSTROM (129th):

That is correct.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REPRESENTATIVE REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As I indicated previously, I am in support of the amendment and I will reserve my comments for if this amendment passes the underlying bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Opposed? Nay. The amendment passes. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Rebimbas.

REPRESENTATIVE REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Once again, I just want to reaffirm that I am in support of the bill as amended having passed the technical amendment on the technical bill. I rise in support of both.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

The House of Representative is voting by roll. Members to the Chamber. The House is Representative is voting by roll. Members to the Chamber.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Have all the Members voted? Have all the Members voted? Will the Members please check the board to determine if your vote is properly cast? If all the Members have voted, the machine will be locked and the clerk will take the tally. Will the clerk please announce the tally?

CLERK

H. B. No. 7245 as amended by House A,

Total number voting 137

Necessary for passage 69.

Those voting Aye 137

Those voting Nay 0

Absent not voting 14

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill as amended passes. (Gavel) Representative Ryan from the 139th.

REPRESENTATIVE RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. For the purposes of announcement.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REPRESENTATIVE RYAN (139TH):

Yes, Madam. This morning people came in and they found some materials on their desk from the Council of State Governments Eastern Regional Conference. It points out that we are all members of the Council of State Governments. It provides a variety of services here. They do make Capitol visits. Some of us have been to their academies. Some of us are tolls Fellows. Some of us are ELA members and it is a very important organization that helps states in preparing and being informed about issues from across the country. There are members in the eastern region of the United States, as well as the eastern part of Canada and every year there is an annual conference. We're proud to say that this year the conference is going to be held in Connecticut at the Convention Center at Mohegan Sun. I am proud to be one of the cohosts or cochairs of the Host Committee along with Representative Staneski on the other side of the aisle who has also been vigorously helping.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ryan. Could you all please quiet down just a little bit? Representative Ryan is trying to make an important announcement and I am having trouble hearing him. Thank you very much.

REPRESENTATIVE RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Ma'am. We also have cohosts of Senator Gerratana and Senator Formica from the Senate. There has been a lot of work being done by a lot of volunteers to ensure that this is a success, that we can show Connecticut proud. We have some information here for those folks who not only want to come to the conference, but those folks who maybe want to be able to help us with getting some sponsors for the event to help cover some of the costs involved in the event, so you've got a realm of material. If you have any questions, you can see either Representative Staneski or myself. We'd be happy to answer them for you, but we hope that we all do see you down in southeastern Connecticut at the Convention Center at Mohegan Sun August 13th to 16th and we hope that we can have as many people from the Chamber involved as possible as we have people from the eastern part of the States and Canada coming to visit Connecticut. Thank you, Ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. It sounds like a great time. Representative Staneski.

REPRESENTATIVE STANESKI (119TH):

Good morning, Madam Speaker. A great day when I see you standing up there.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good morning, Representative, and thank you very much. Nice to see you as well.

REPRESENTATIVE STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you. I just want to align my comments with my good cochair over there, Representative Ryan. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Ladies and gentleman, for the second time, could you please take your conversations outside? Our Representatives are trying to make an important announcement, so let's show them respect. Thank you very much. Representative Staneski.

REPRESENTATIVE STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As I was saying earlier, I want to align my comments with Representative Ryan. I actually came on board a little bit late in this process in January and the things that I have learned about CSG and what this conference is going to do for Connecticut and opportunities it provides to all of us as legislators. I'm hoping that at some time before the end of this day, Representative Ryan's desk and mine will be flooded with questions and everybody saying, yes we want to attend, so thank you very much for allowing me to speak on that, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. I appreciate your comments. Will the clerk please Calendar No. 328.

CLERK:

On page 20, Calendar 328, H. B. No. 5434, AN ACT ADOPTING THE INTERSTATE COMPACT TO ELECT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES BY NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Government Administration and Elections.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lamar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Good morning, Madam Speaker. Good to see you today.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good morning, Representative. Nice to see you as well. Please proceed.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Lemar, you have the Floor.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the bill before us enters Connecticut into the agreement among the states to elect the President of the United States by national popular vote. Madam Speaker, the Electoral College was a construct of the original Constitution that gave the authority to the states to determine the process by which we have electors.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Ladies and gentleman, would you please take your conversations outside? I am having difficulty hearing the legislator bringing out the bill. Thank you very much. Please proceed, Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, again the National Popular Vote Bill would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The shortcomings of our current system are well-established. Right now, in the last few elections, we've seen the candidate who's received the popular vote lose the election to a candidate who has received the majority of votes in the Electoral College. This process disenfranchises millions and millions of voters across the country, particularly here in Connecticut.

Here in Connecticut, we received very few presidential visits. We received few, if any, policy priorities that the President articulates that would benefit Connecticut residents. In fact, our residents are often shortchanged because we are not a battleground state and we are not a state which ultimately determines the presidency. This would ensure that every vote counts in every community across the country that a vote in New Haven or Prospect or Hartford or East Windsor counts the same as a vote in Columbus, Ohio, and we owe our constituents the opportunity to have their voice heard at the same level as voices across the country. Madam Speaker, joining the National Popular Vote Compact protects our citizens, empowers them in a way that they are not currently empowered, and is in the best interest of the state of Connecticut. I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Devlin.

REPRESENTATIVE DEVLIN (134TH):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I rise with some questions for the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar. Please prepare yourself. Representative Devlin, you have the Floor.

REPRESENTATIVE DEVLIN (134TH):

Thank you. Through you, Madam Speaker. To the good Representative. How would the national popular vote benefit the residents of Connecticut?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. The national popular vote would benefit our residents because their voice and their vote would be weighed equally across the country with voices and votes of members of voting electorate in Ohio or Wisconsin or Minnesota where right now they are not weighed equally. In fact, similarly a vote in Wyoming is worth three times as much as a vote in Connecticut due to the Electoral College construct and that's if we matter at all; Wyoming or Connecticut. The best circumstance; we're worth one-third of a vote in Wyoming.

Worst circumstance; we look at what's happened in the last few presidential elections in which Connecticut voices have not mattered at all. No presidential visits. No policy priorities that benefit Connecticut residents. We have had in almost each of the last seven elections nothing other than a stop by for fundraising in Connecticut. Now what we do with the national popular vote is ensure that every vote in every community is weighed equally.

REPRESENTATIVE DEVLIN (134TH):

I know. I get that.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Across the board.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Devlin.

REPRESENTATIVE DEVLIN (134TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the Representative for his answers. Through you, Madam Speaker, being a small state, albeit a great state, how would the national popular vote not hurt Connecticut when we consider large states like California, large metropolitan areas like New York City, Chicago, others. How would in fact this be representative?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Report Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, because what we've noticed in the last few elections is that the only voices that really define a presidential election are held in swing states, battleground states, across the country. How we change that dynamic and going back to what the original intent of our founders was, was to ensure that our states had equal voices. The way we can do that is by ensuring that our votes are equal. They did not conceive of a construct in which these battleground states would be the only determinate of electorability in the Electoral College.

We're at this point where a vote in Connecticut, a vote in my community of New Haven, a vote in your community of Fairfield, does not matter at all when measured in relationship to a vote in Columbus, Ohio, and that's a sad fact that presidential candidates can ignore large swaths of the country and focus in on policies that only are to the betterment of a few thousand votes in a few key swing states. Madam Speaker, through you. I think that encompasses how we benefit Connecticut residents.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Devlin.

REPRESENTATIVE DEVLIN (134TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I appreciate the Representative's answers, and through you, Madam Speaker, I guess one comment to the Representative that is in fact in this last presidential election, we had three visits by presidential candidates in Connecticut, so with the national popular vote, does the good Representative see any change in presidential campaigning and what would that be? What would that look like? Thank you.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I think, through you, we all envision a presidential election that has policy priorities that reflect Connecticut's interests. We saw a presidential campaign that was as much driven by the price of corn than it was about urban development or redevelopment of our struggling manufacturing base. We saw platitudes made to those issues, but no concrete policy perspectives that would benefit Connecticut and our unique issues and across the country we determined that our unique issues aren't all that unique. They're just not part of the national conversation. The national electoral conversation is centered around the price of corn in Ohio or limited investments in certain communities in Florida or how we can pull an additional two or 3,000 independent votes in a few states across the country. I believe presidential candidates, as do those who are pushing the national compact, believe that candidates will now become responsive to real issues that affect every day Americans in all of our communities because they're going to be relying upon their votes.

And, Madam Speaker, there's no disagreement that battleground states have a greater amount of voter turnout, voter activity, and people show up and cast their votes knowing that their vote matters and that their issues were heard and addressed. In non-battleground states, we don't have that same sense of commitment because the candidates are not speaking directly to us or our needs.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Devlin.

REPRESENTATIVE DEVLIN (134TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate the good Representative's answers. The National Popular Vote Compact also sidesteps the U. S. Constitution. Why would we not want to pursue a constitutional amendment as opposed to entering a compact where in essence 11 states could then control the selection of the President of the United States.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the U. S. Constitution gives the states explicitly exclusive and plenary control over the manner of awarding their electoral votes. Those 11 states can do what they want now. We're trying to ensure a compact and a structure that most benefits Connecticut's voters. Right now, Article 2, Section 1, says quite simply, each state shall appoint in such manner as a legislature therefore directs a number of electors. Those 11 states, if we're so concerned about them, could choose to do whatever they wanted at any point. We are choosing to join a compact with other states that ensures democracy wins and the only sure way to ensure that democracy wins is to ensure the popular vote of all our citizens across the country as respected and the way to do that is through the National Popular Vote Compact.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Devlin.

REPRESENTATIVE DEVLIN (134TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, could the good Representative explain that, let's theoretically say, in the state of Connecticut the popular vote went to candidate A. The rest of the country chose candidate B. How would the state of Connecticut cast its electoral votes? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Under the scenario outlined by the good Representative, Connecticut would choose Representative B.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Devlin.

REPRESENTATIVE DEVLIN (134TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, in fact from the good Representative's answer, the National Popular Vote Compact does not necessarily provide any greater representation to the state of Connecticut residents. Question through you, Madam Speaker, to the proponent of the bill. How would Connecticut, if it chose to join the compact, remove itself from the compact?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If Connecticut were to join the compact, there's an explicit procedure in which a state can remove itself. It has to send notice to each of the governors of the surrounding states. We would need to do it six months in advance of an election or six months after an election. There is a certain timeframe in which we would have to do that. We'd have to make notice of our intent to withdraw in that timeline to the respective governors and chief elected officials of those states.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Devlin.

REPRESENTATIVE DEVLIN (134TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate the Representative's answers. I guess just some comments related to the bill. I think one thing that is overlooked significantly is the wisdom that our founding fathers had in establishing the Electoral College. The Electoral College was not something that was a fly-by-night idea. In fact, it was thoroughly thought through, and in fact, quite visionary in anticipating some of the issues of the United States; large states versus small states and to be able to provide that kind of balance which is why the establishment of our states electing the President. Further, the national popular vote, as has been described, really is an end run around the Constitution of the United States.

What's troubling is that in the recent past, both political parties have advocated for the national popular vote when in fact they thought it would be advantageous to their particular candidates which to me makes it even more important that the Electoral College is something that is not dismissed, and in fact, is embraced. Further, the example that the good Representative re-enforced and agreed is that the national popular vote under the compact does not provide any greater representation to the voices of the people of the state of Connecticut, that in fact, if the rest of the nation chose another candidate as President, Connecticut would be forced to provide its electoral votes for that candidate and against that of which the people of this state of Connecticut chose. So, for those reasons, Madam Speaker, I will not be supporting this bill and I would encourage all of my members to do the same. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Sampson.

REPRESENTATIVE SAMPSON (80TH):

Good morning, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good morning. Please proceed.

REPRESENTATIVE SAMPSON (80TH):

I think I will start by making one very clear point to all the people in this room. This is not Congress. Only Congress can enact a national popular vote, and again, we are not Congress, and despite the title of this bill, we are not enacting a national popular vote if this bill passes. We are instead joining an agreement with other states that could potentially give away the votes of our state despite the wishes of our constituents.

So, it's in direct contradiction to the notion of one person one vote. Madam Speaker, I have a couple of questions for the proponent of the bill. First one is simply, how many states are currently in the National Popular Vote Compact?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, there are currently 10 member states and the District of Columbia who have voted and signed into the compact.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Sampson.

REPRESENTATIVE SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the gentleman for that answer. A followup question; when does the compact take effect for those member states?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, the compact takes effect once 200 states with electoral votes representing 270 votes are members of the compact.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Sampson.

REPRESENTATIVE SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And how far away are we from that number currently? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Madam Speaker, we are a little over 100 electoral votes away from that number currently.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Sampson.

REPRESENTATIVE SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The proponent of the bill spoke very passionately about the importance of each of our votes and how much each of our constituent's votes must matter in our society in order for every person to have a voice, something our founding fathers were very, very keen on as well and he made the point that in the Constitution it is clear that the individual states get to choose exactly how their electoral votes are awarded, so as a state, Connecticut gets to make that choice and we have, like many other states, decided that we would have a popular vote in our state and the winner of that would be awarded those votes. This compact flies in the face of that because under these circumstances we are essentially taking away the votes of our own citizens because in effect every single person in this room, every person in this state who is a registered voter, could vote for the loser of a national popular election, and if that person still won, we would award our votes to that person.

It is the most absurd thing to say that is one person one vote. It was also mentioned about the individual states and their sovereignty. That is the purpose, Madam Speaker, of the Electoral College. It is to recognize that we are 50 individual states that preexisted, in some cases, the United States of America and that states before our formation of a country had individual citizens with individual governments and the states that subsequently joined the Union also maintained their sovereignty by having their own state governments and elections to choose their Representatives. This is because America is a big country; 50 individual states that range across a wide landscape. There are very urban states like downstate New York, a lot of the East Coast, Southern California, but there are rural states. There are farming states. There are shoreline states. There are industrial states.

There are all kinds and those people all have different interests. The Electoral College protects those interests because it sets up a situation where every one of those states can have a voice. One of the things that the proponents say about this legislation is that somehow small states are overlooked. In an actual national popular vote, which I will remind everyone this is not, small states are not relevant anymore. In fact, states are not relevant anymore. What is relevant is population centers. You will see candidates traveling to where there are high densities of people and completely ignoring places where there are not. The idea that we should be passing legislation that says, 'well, let's get someone to come to Connecticut because it's a more dense state even though it's small' strikes me as something we shouldn't do because we're essentially saying, 'well, we don't care about Nebraska because no one is ever going to go there'.

One concern I have about this is that the individual states' right to choose their own electors goes away when you set up a system that says the votes of that state are dependent on something that happens outside of it, and there's a concern that if presidential candidates can instead of trying to worry about making sure that they have support in the individual states, by catering to the issues that matter to them based on the identity of that state, whether it's a farming state or is a finance related state or an industrial state. They can pick and choose which issues are important. They could pit shoreline states against flyover states. They could pit northern states versus southern states. The founders were smart enough to protect against that, to guard against that, by making a system that allowed the states to retain their identities. At what point, if we're going to make all of our decisions based on a national popular vote, do we need to even retain state governments if we can just put everybody together in the whole country and allow a few very highly densely populated urban districts?

I think that in the last election something like 3,800 counties were won by one candidate and only a tiny fraction by the other despite the reverse in the popular vote. I think that's a dangerous notion because you would be ignoring the will of a great many citizens in a great many different places and only catering to the folks that matter to you because of their concentration. As I said from the onset, slogans are not reality. One person one vote. This is not one person one vote. In an actual national popular vote, that may in fact be the case that every person would have an opportunity to vote and we would tally it. Under this circumstance, that is not the case because not all of the states are part of the compact. The states that are outside of this compact are still going to award their electoral votes based on their own individual popular vote in their state, the way we currently do it in Connecticut and the way I would argue allows us, the citizens of Connecticut, to decide who we want to be President and not allow a group of other people in other states to decide for us.

It keeps being said, make Connecticut matter. Well, right now Connecticut does matter. Connecticut has electoral votes that we award based on our election we have in this state with our people. This bill says we are going to forget all that and we are going to give our electoral votes to people outside of this state who are going to decide who our President is. It is entirely possible for Connecticut, for whatever reason because of some political issue that affects our state specifically, to have an entirely different opinion to the other 49 states. It could happen where everyone in this state says we absolutely cannot have this person as President and in the other 49 states it's not an issue to them and they elect that person. It's not impossible.

I think we know why this bill is before us and I certainly want to stick to the policy at-hand, but I have to tell you, Madam Speaker, it is a very difficult thing to do when you recognize that the bill is not here because of policy because there's no one who is looking at this from a matter of fact, not taking personalities or the last election into consideration, who would ever say this is good policy. It's purely bad policy. It's obvious. Take away the rights of the citizens to make the vote for President in our state and transfer them to someone else. You've gotta be kidding.

So, the only reason why this bill is here is for politics and it has no business being in this Chamber, Madam Speaker. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Dubitsky.

REPRESENTATIVE DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, I appreciate it. I appreciate this debate and I just wish this were more of an academic debate as opposed to a debate on the Floor of the House of Representatives here that we're actually considering this. When I come to work here at the legislature, every single time I've got in my suit pocket a copy of the U. S. Constitution. And today, I was actually preparing to discuss this bill and noticed when I put on my suit that I actually had two copies with me, one in each breast pocket, so for those of you who are actually interested in reading it, I've got an extra copy of the Constitution right here.

Article 2 is what we really want to start looking at. Now, Article 2 encompasses the Electoral College and the Electoral College, when I look at the Constitution and I think about the Electoral College, I actually think about the giants that created it and that the people who signed the Declaration of Independence and the people who signed the Constitution and drafted the Constitution, people from Connecticut, Samuel Huntington, Oliver Ellsworth, Roger Sherman, William Williams. They were some of the smartest people who have come through Connecticut politics. Samuel Huntington was one of the fore-signers of the Declaration of Independence. He is from Scotland from my District. He is from one of my towns.

And, you think about when he was active in Connecticut politics, there was actually a war right here. It wasn't somewhere in the Middle East. It was right here in Connecticut. In fact, the war office of the Revolutionary War is located also in my District in the town of Lebanon and through that building George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Huntington, the founders of our nation were developing our nation right here in Connecticut fighting a war to keep America America, to develop a system where the people ruled.

Samuel Huntington moved from Scotland to another one of my towns, Norwich. He was like me, a farmer. He was like me, a lawyer. He was like me, a Connecticut State Representative. Samuel Huntington was one of us and he was from my District, so I feel like I am standing on the shoulders of giants, standing here in this Chamber trying to preserve what the founders of this nation created. Another one of our founders, Roger Sherman; Roger Sherman was from New Milford and he worked on drafting the Constitution and specifically along with Oliver Ellsworth from Windsor developed the concept of the Electoral College. Two giants from Connecticut developed the concept of the Electoral College for the United States Constitution.

Why? Why did Connecticut residents develop the concept of an Electoral College to put into the United States Constitution? It was to protect the state of Connecticut. That was the intent. That is what the Electoral College was designed for. That's why it's in the United States Constitution, not to protect Wyoming, not to protect Indiana, but to protect the state of Connecticut specifically. The Constitution and the Electoral College were designed to prevent the big states; at the time, New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, from just rolling over the little states which at the time were Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware. So, when the Constitution was being developed and written, we had two giants from Connecticut working on how do we create a system where the big states won't just roll over the little states?

And, what they developed was a system that was different than the Connecticut system. In the Connecticut system, we have a House and a Senate. Each one has representation based on population. The Districts overlap. House and Senate, they represent different numbers of people, different geographic areas, but they're both based on population. We do not have that in the federal system. We have a House of Representatives that based on population and we have a Senate where each state has allocated two Senators.

Now, why was that developed like that? Why is it in the Constitution that we have the same number of Senators as Texas that has 10 times the population of Connecticut? Why do we have two Senators and they have two Senators? It doesn't sound fair, does it? They should have 10 times more Senators than we do, but they don't. California has 40 million people. We have 3. 5 million people. We have the same number of Senators as California. That's not fair, is it? They should have many, many more times the Senators than we have.

The reason we don't is because Olive Ellsworth and Roger Sherman, two giants from Connecticut, developed the system to protect the state of Connecticut from mob rule, from bigger states, from at the time from New York, Virginia, and Massachusetts. That's why we have an electoral system. In the House of Representatives, we have five Representatives. We have five Districts based on population. If our population goes up, we get more. If our population goes down, we lose some. Pennsylvania and Illinois have 18 Representatives. New York and Florida have 27. Texas has 36 and California has 53 Representatives. We have five. Yet, we still have the exact same number of Senators as they have because the system is designed where we have two bodies. One is based on population and one is equal by state and what that gives us is it gives small states essentially an unfair advantage. It gives us one leg up because we are always going to be on the short end of the stick unless we have some way to overcome the fact that there are enormous states with enormous geography and enormous populations.

Without that advantage that was created by Connecticut residents in the drafting of the Constitution, Connecticut would be completely irrelevant. We would be a suburb of New York. There would be no purpose to have a border in-between Connecticut and New York. We would just, every time there a new state came in, our influence would diminish, but because we have the same number of Senators as every other state, we have the same voice as every other state.

Now, Representative Lemar had indicated that this bill, the National Popular Vote as it's called, is to ensure that every vote in Connecticut has the same weight as in Ohio, Minnesota, and Wyoming. This bill would not do that. In fact, this bill would greatly reduce the weight of the votes in Connecticut. He also mentioned that the people in Wyoming have a greater voice than the people in Connecticut. Well, that's true to some extent because Wyoming has two Senators, just like Connecticut, and we have almost three times the population as Wyoming.

But, it's the same the other way around. We have more weight than Texas and California and Florida because, although they have more people, we have proportionately more Senators. And, you can see the Electoral College is designed to give us that additional weight and another way you see it is, if you look in Article 2, you see what happens if there's a tie. If in the Electoral College there's a tie, well, who gets to decide who becomes President? It goes to the House of Representatives. Right? But, here's the key. It goes to the House of Representatives, but each state gets one vote, so we get the same weight in our vote as every other state. We get one vote just like California, just like Texas, just like Florida. That shows that this system is specifically designed to give Connecticut more power, not less power. If you read the Federalist Papers, Federalist 10, Federalist 68, our founders wrote why they developed this system and they developed it for this exact purpose to prevent the big states from rolling over the small states.

Now, up until fairly recently in our history, Senators were chosen by state legislatures. We as a state legislature chose our Senators for the first 150 some odd years of our nation's existence. In 1913, the U. S. Constitution was amended and it was amended with the 17th amendment which provided for the people of the state to vote on Senators just like they did in the House of Representatives. Now, there are people that think that that was not a good amendment and that it should be undone and there's a process for that. In the same way that the process played itself out and the people of this country said that the state legislatures should no longer choose the Senators, they went through the process. They amended the Constitution and now the people of Connecticut get to elect our Senators, but even with the popular election of Senators within the state, we still have two. We still have more Senators per person than the bigger states, so for the people who are willing to give up our vote to other states, I ask you, are you willing to give up one of our Senators?

It's not fair that we have two and so does Texas. Shouldn't Texas have 10 times our Senators? That would be fair, so which Senator should we give up? Blumenthal, Murphy? Give them to Texas. All the small states would do that. Let's give one of our Senators to Texas. That's what we're doing with this vote. That's what we're doing with this bill. We're giving away the advantage that Oliver Ellsworth and Roger Sherman wrote into the United States Constitution specifically to protect the state of Connecticut. It doesn't make any sense. And, we would be giving those votes to people that we don't even represent. We would be giving those votes to people in other states.

Let me be political for a minute here. We're all in politics. We're elected officials. Let me be political. To those who are proposing this bill, I say to you, be careful what you wish for. Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it. Recently in our history, the Democrats eliminated the filibuster for lower court judges, federal court judges. They did it because they thought they would be in power forever and they thought by eliminating the filibuster when they were in power, they were going to prevent the Republicans from filibustering their judicial nominations.

And what happened? What happened was the unexpected and we know have a Republican President who has nominations to the Supreme Court and that vote to eliminate the filibuster on federal judges came back to bite the former majority in the butt big time. So, be careful what you ask for, you may just get it. This national popular vote is a very, very sharp double-edged sword and can just as easily work against you as in your favor. I've also heard talk that candidates for President don't come to Connecticut, that we need to do something to attract candidates to Connecticut because we want candidates to come to Connecticut. We want presidential candidates to come here just like they come to New Hampshire and Iowa. Well, New Hampshire and Iowa aren't much different in size than Connecticut. Why do they go there and they don't come here? It has nothing to do with national popular vote. It has to do with primaries.

Well, if we want presidential candidates to come here, why don't address the primary system? Why don't we try to move our primary forward like New Hampshire and Iowa do? They get every single candidate for President goes to New Hampshire and Iowa. They don't come here. It has nothing to do with our electoral system. So, there's no reason to destroy a system that has worked for over 200 years that was developed by Connecticut residents specifically to protect the state of Connecticut just to try to draw candidates here. We're looking at the completely wrong solution to this problem. And, if anybody thinks for a second that presidential candidates who are now ignoring the state of Connecticut when we have seven electoral votes, just imagine how they will ignore us when we have zero because that's what we'd be doing. We would have zero electoral votes. All of our electoral votes would be given to Texas and California and Florida and whoever they vote for our votes would automatically go to them, so who would ever want to come to Connecticut?

They would go to where the big population is. They would go to the place that controlled the electoral votes, and if this bill passes, it will no longer be Connecticut controlling any electoral votes. We will have no say in it. Now, there's a lot of talk. There are bills up in the legislature this year. There's bills and discussion and court cases all over the country about disenfranchising people. We're talking about same-day registration. We're talking about early voting. We're talking about bills to impose or prevent voter ID laws. And, these discussions and these bills are intended to prevent people from being disenfranchised. They're intended to prevent people from having their votes stripped of them. They're intended to prevent keeping people away from the polls because every vote counts. We want to make sure that everybody who is qualified to vote and wants to vote can get into the ballet box and cast their vote because every vote counts.

Now, I heard a few days ago, I don't even remember what the discussion is, but I heard somebody on that side of the aisle say the following words, 'why would anybody want to make it harder to vote'? I agree with that. Why would anybody want to make it harder to vote? Because it is our birthright as American citizens to get into that ballot box and fill out a ballot and have our voices heard, when there is an election, when there's a ballot question, when there's a choice between two candidates. It's our birthright as American citizens whether we're born here or legally immigrated here. It doesn't matter. If we are allowed to vote, we should be able to vote and our vote should count. This bill is the ultimate disenfranchiser. This bill is specifically designed to strip the people of this state of their vote. Now, all these other bills, they're designed to get somebody into the voting booth. They're designed to allow people to get in there and fill in the little box. That's great, but none of that matters.

None of that matters at all if after they've filled in that vote, the vote is stripped from them. And, that's what this bill does. This bill says no matter how you vote, no matter how the majority of the people of the state of Connecticut vote, the people in Texas get to decide how those votes are counted. That flies in the face of everything that Samuel Huntington and Roger Sherman, William Williams, and Oliver Ellsworth fought so hard to enact into the United States Constitution. It also flies in the face of everything that I've heard about wanting to make sure that every vote counts and that everybody has access to the ballot, so even if every single person in the state of Connecticut votes for the Democrat in the presidential election, every single person, we get all three-and-a-half million people in this state voting for the Democrat, if the majority of the people in the United States vote for a Republican, then every one of you and every one of your constituents will also be forced to vote for that Republican. That's wrong.

Now, I've worn this before, but for this debate I wore my special necktie. This necktie has a list of all my towns. I represent nine towns in this state; Chaplin, Hampton, Scotland, Lebanon, Lisbon, Canterbury, Sprague, Norwich, and Franklin, some very historic towns, small towns, but they're proud towns and they have people in those towns who are proud of their votes. You all represent towns, too. Your ties may not have as many towns on them, but you represent people in your towns, Connecticut residents, people who live in this state, people who vote in this state, people who voted for you. I represent the people in my towns. I don't represent the people in Dallas or Houston or Amarillo or Bakersfield, California. I don't represent them. I represent the people in my towns, Connecticut residents, and I don't want to give the votes of the people that I represent to the people in other states that I don't represent and I would hope that nobody in this Chamber would want to do so either. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative Ritter, our Majority Leader. For what do you rise?

REPRESENTATIVE RITTER (01ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I appreciate the indulgence of the Chamber. I make a motion to suspend the rules for purposes of an introduction. This is very unusual, but given the circumstances, and I did talk to my colleagues from across the aisle, I think people understand this and so we're trying to accommodate a visitor who needs accommodation, and so again, this is very rare. We will not do this often and so the motion is to suspend the rules, Madam Speaker. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Is there objection to suspension of the rules? All in favor.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Carry on. Thank you. Rules are suspended. Representative Lopes.

REPRESENTATIVE LOPES (24TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I along with my delegation mates, Representative Tercyak, Representative Sanchez, rise for purpose of introduction.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REPRESENTATIVE LOPES (24TH):

My neighbors and friends, Steven Horowitz, Adrian Benjamin, Matthew Horowitz, and their daughter Zoe have come to see how the work that we do every day affects their lives. Zoe has a severe intellectual disability and autism. She is 21 years old and graduating from her school program in one month. It does mean a month from now, Zoe along with 300 young people in the IDD group, will be left with limited daytime support. This will cause a dramatic change to their families. Adrian will most likely have to close her small business as a counselor and stay at home full-time to take care of Zoe, so I want to make sure people understand the implications of our actions sometimes. In the past, we provided funding for these IDD communities for decades and I hope you consider offering them in the future and I want the Chamber to just greet them as best we can. Thank you. (Applause)

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lopes. Thank you very much. Welcome to our guests. Thank you all for indulging our visitors. We will return to the debate on the bill. Representative LeGeyt from the 17th.

REPRESENTATIVE LEGEYT (17TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. It is a distinct pleasure to see you up there, Ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. It's great to be here. Please proceed.

REPRESENTATIVE LEGEYT (17TH):

I have strong feelings about this bill and those feelings are grounded in what I think is a reasonable discrimination between the way we look at our country. Do we look at our country as one whole nation or do we look at our country as a federation of states? I prefer to look at it as a federation of states, and as such, I hold in high regard states' rights as compared with the national presence that would otherwise be the case.

As Representative Dubitsky related, we began as a group of colonies and matured into a group of states that had trouble coming together and the compromise was our national Constitution which did not give any rights to the federal government until and unless they were yielded up by the states. And, the 50 states in our country compete in many ways. If that were not the case, we could easily erase the state boundaries and just become one country with a federal presence much like many other countries that we know, but we're unique.

We have these 50 states and our national presence has emerged out of preexisting set of states that exerted their sovereignty and there's a unique situation with every state such that it's preferable that states have the authority to conduct their own business. Certainly, there are things that need to be done nationally. There's a commerce clause in the Constitution that requires that states can't interfere with other states' commerce, but Connecticut has interests that are separate and unique and those interests are protected because the Constitution respects state sovereignty first and federal authority second. The federal government gets authority only if and when the states give it to them. I have a question for the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar. Please prepare yourself. Representative LeGeyt please proceed.

REPRESENTATIVE LEGEYT (17TH):

Thank you, Madam. Is it true that Connecticut can restrict the effect of other states' laws as they might be applied in our state.

Through you, Madam.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Through you. Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative LeGeyt.

REPRESENTATIVE LEGEYT (17TH):

Thank you. And, is it in our best interest to do that, to restrict the effect of other states' laws as they might apply to our state because we have a unique situation that needs to be governed from inside Connecticut?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes. It is inherent on us as legislators to engender certain rights, privileges, or opportunities upon our citizens that other states may not wish to engender upon them and it is our obligation to protect those which we've extended rights to and we would want to necessarily limit another states' ability to restrict those rights.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative LeGeyt.

REPRESENTATIVE LEGEYT (17TH):

And, thank you very much for that answer and through you, Madam Speaker, should the votes of other states count in the national election as exercised by the citizens of Connecticut? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The votes of the citizens of Connecticut should be reflected in the outcome of the presidency, yes. Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative LeGeyt.

REPRESENTATIVE LEGEYT (17TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. One other question; how many other states, I didn't hear the number, but of the states that have approved this compact, is there a whole variety? Are they mostly large states, mostly small, mostly western, mostly eastern? Is there a general sense of how to describe the group of states that have entered into this compact already? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. At this time, there are 10 states and the District of Columbia who have joined the compact. Those states range from small states, like Rhode Island and Hawaii, to large states like Illinois and California. They represent eastern states, midwestern states, western states alike. They are large population and small population. They are racially diverse and racially monolithic in many ways. They are a very diverse subset of our states who feel like their votes through practical means are not being recognized when it comes to the presidency and that in fact their votes do not matter at all.

They are concerned by the structural inequity of our current system that has a vote in Wyoming worth three times that as a vote in Connecticut. They are concerned that when the math goes up at 701, people start measuring red states and blue states, that as soon as their state turns a certain color, they no longer count, they will not count in the preceding months before Inauguration Day, and that their votes, if they were cast in the majority for a candidate who reflects the needs of a national movement, would not become President because their individual votes in their communities did not matter at all.

And so, these 10 states and the District of Columbia, encompassing a vast portion of our country, 165 electoral votes, there's actually been in Chambers in 21 states including Republican and Democratic. The National Popular Vote Bill has passed 31 legislative chambers in 21 states, and contrary to an indication earlier from earlier testimony that this is only happening now for political reasons, I contend that this bill passed this Chamber in Connecticut in 2009 when the closest election at that point in time was when George W. Bush beat John Kerry by 3. 5 million votes in the national election, but 60 thousand votes in Ohio could've made John Kerry the President instead of George W. Bush, so the idea that this is a Democratic response and because of recent results, is unfair, inaccurate, and grounded in absolutely nothing but conjecture.

In fact, as a proponent of this bill this year, I have introduced this bill in preceding years, both in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, far before the current electoral consideration, so through you, Madam Speaker. I'm sorry. It was a bit of an open-ended question, so I took the liberty to give an open-ended answer and address the reality of some inaccurate statements earlier. This has passed in 31 legislative chambers in 21 states encompassing a wide variety of America.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative LeGeyt.

REPRESENTATIVE LEGEYT (17TH):

Thank you and thank you for that extended answer. If I could just add a question, why if it passed in 21 states, then why are only 10 states members of the compact? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. It's 31 chambers in 21 states. As is the case here in Connecticut, sometimes we don't see eye to eye with our other legislative body and in many causes it will pass the House and not the Senate or the Senate and not the House and that has been the case, and again, to deflate this idea that this is a Democratic priority, this is passed in Republican controlled chambers across a number of states.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative LeGeyt.

REPRESENTATIVE LEGEYT (17TH):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, for that clarification. I appreciate that. I think this debate is more well-framed if we get the politics out of it and not talk about party and talk more about states versus federal and whether we're a federation of states or we're a national presence. If the national popular vote were to be enacted, then quite clearly votes in a larger state where there was a plurality for whichever candidate won, could easily be transported to Connecticut in effect and affect the vote in Connecticut which may have gone for a different candidate. Through you, Madam Speaker. Am I incorrect in understanding that.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes. I would hate to infer in any way or concede in any way that this does not empower the state of Connecticut or its voters, the contention that this would somehow benefit large cities I think is inaccurate when you actually look up the makeup of America. If you added up the 50 largest cities in our country, added up the population, 100-percent of the population, of the 50 largest cities in America, that would only be 15-percent, the total population of our country. The idea, this misnomer, that this would be urban areas running roughshod over the rest of us, that somehow candidates would show up in just the big cities and ignore everyone else is a complete fallacy.

That would be an improbable, unlikely, and downright unintelligent way to run a campaign considering how our country is structured, where we live, which is generally in smaller, somewhat urban, extra-urban areas, not in metro areas. Similarly, I think it runs contrary to how we see elections play out locally. Our candidates for Governor who run statewide amongst rural, suburban, high population areas, low population areas, must campaign in all parts of the state to ensure that they're getting as many votes out of every District as possible. Our President would be forced to encourage his policymakers to reflect the needs of all parts of our community.

I think that's what would be empowered under national popular vote. That is what legislative bodies in multiple states across multiple parts of our country, big and small, populous and unpopulous, have agreed, that the current construct does not work for them and this actually goes back to what the framers had in mind. The framers never created this win or take all construct of Electoral College. That's a complete misnomer. They never said that our Electoral College should be defined by the winning candidate in each state shall get all of the electoral votes. That is not brought up in the Constitution. That's not brought up in the Federalist papers. That has never been the construct of our founders. They never envisioned that. They envisioned the states doing what was in their best interests. It is clear based on past history and the foreseeable future that the only way a Connecticut voter will matter is if their vote is treated equally as one in Wyoming, California, Florida, or Ohio.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative LeGeyt.

REPRESENTATIVE LEGEYT (17TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate that response and I'd like to take one nugget from it and focus on that for a minute and that was that the framers expected that votes in any state would be cast for the benefit of the people in that state regardless of how it played out nationally, regardless of who was the eventual winner, and I think that's the crux of my concern that in a scenario of a national popular vote, we're going to have votes cast in other states that have an effect on the votes cast in Connecticut because of differences in population and I think that's patently unfair.

And, I don't think it was the intent of the framers to have some national presence when it came to electing the President because they all recognized that the states are unique and sovereign entities that need to be managed by some national presence, but they don't need to be managed to the extent that we're going to erase the boundaries when it comes to voting for President. If we wanted to erase the boundaries, that would be a very different thing, but we don't want to do that and we don't want to have votes from other states affect the vote in Connecticut simply because there's some plurality that occurs in, let's pick a nontraditional nonpartisan state; let's say that the votes in Missouri are cast for a particular candidate and that candidate wins with a plurality of votes. And, then the votes in Connecticut are cast and the other candidate wins more narrowly.

That's the scenario that results in a disparity between the effects of the Electoral College and the effects of the voting nationwide, and so when a candidate says, 'you know, I didn't win the Electoral College, but I had three million votes more than my opponent', well, that's almost a misnomer because those three million votes were cast in states where that person won and to say that those three million votes should count now towards somebody's else total, is really talking about transporting votes from state to state to balance out or minimize the difference in our state by state elections process and that's the overriding and essential point and problem that I feel does not speak well for having the national popular vote, and therefore, I'm not in favor of this bill and will be voting against it and encourage my colleagues to do the same. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Haddad from the 54th.

REPRESENTATIVE HADDAD (54TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of this legislation. I will be very brief, but I just wanted to address two issues. One is the constitutionality of the issue and it seems to me that the Constitution is very clear. U. S. Constitution says that each state shall appoint in such a manner as the legislature thereof may direct a number of electors. The U. S. Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that state legislators have the exclusive and plenary power to choose the manner of awarding their electoral votes. It seems to me that this compact and this method of determining the winner of the presidential election, joining a national compact is entirely consistent with the U. S. Constitution and in no way violates the intent of the founders and I think that's significant because as we consider this legislation, it is important I think that we ensure that we maintain ourselves within the boundaries of the Constitution and this in fact is a right that's been authorized to the legislature and if we take this action today we are exercising that right.

More importantly, I think just on a basic level, it just seems to me that more often my constituents ask themselves not why the winner of the Electoral College is the President, but rather why the winner of the national popular vote isn't the new President. It seems to me a very simple construct. The candidate who gets the most votes should be the winner of the election. There might've been a time in the past when using gerrymander to essentially states districts using districts and assigning Electoral College votes which would prevent a regional candidate from winning the presidency might've made sense. At this point, I think we move beyond that. We can through technology and social media have national conversations on a real-time basis and we should modernize our electoral system to sort of reflect that. I'm strongly in support of this legislation. I think the time has come when we should guarantee that the winner of the presidency is the candidate who wins the most popular votes. We have the technology to do that.

I am not convinced that, in fact I'm sure, that the Constitution permits us to take this action in a way that is consistent with what the founders framed and I support the legislation. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Lesser.

REPRESENTATIVE LESSER (100TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of this bill. For many of the members in this Chamber, this is a new issue. It certainly was an issue that came to the Floor in the last election, but for me, Madam Speaker, this is not a new issue. I've introduced this bill in the past. I believe the first year I worked on this was 2009 and the reason I worked on this bill is because for me, this is an issue of fundamental legitimacy in a constitutional republic. You know, we've had a lot of discussion so far today about the United States Constitution and it is important and I'll get to that in a second.

But, there's another founding document that is also important. That's the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence reads, 'we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal' and then it goes on to say that the securities rights governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Consent of the governed I think is the critical phrase because in any republic, that consent is what confers legitimacy, it confers stability, it's critical to elected officials like ourselves being able to say with certainty that we speak on behalf of the people we represent. Several times in our history in our country, the Electoral College has not resulted in the person who received the largest number of votes winning the election for President and in each of those cases it's undercut the effectiveness and frankly the legitimacy of the person who became President of the United States. This was an issue that became clear to us before the election and I think it is clear now.

But, let's move on to the United States Constitution because there've been claims that this is an end run around the Constitution and I could not disagree more strongly because it says right there in Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution, that each state shall appoint in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct a number of electors. That is what we're doing here today. That is what we're discussing. We go back to 1789 to the original intent of the framers of our Constitution and they imagined a very different method for picking the President. They imagined legislators picking educated, wealthy, frankly white men to go into a room and to pick the President of the United States. That system never took place. That original intent never went into effect. Instead, we've seen an evolving roll for the Electoral College as the time has gone on as our democracy has evolved as legislatures choose different ways of picking the President. And, this is in keeping with that tradition. This is a constitutional bill and it reflects the strongest traditions of this country.

You know, to me it's about that legitimacy that we are looking at this issue, but sure, there are other questions as well. Does Connecticut benefit or does it lose power under this system? I think that's interesting. In 2012, I think we saw between the two major presidential candidates a total of $ 100 spent in our state. Whether that limits our effectiveness or our power I think is an important question, but I don't think that is the fundamental question that we're looking at here today.

What we're looking here at is whether or not we can do something to strengthen the institutions of democracy in this country and to provide any President, whether they're a Democrat or Republican, with a mandate to govern in this country. I don't know whether we're going to pass this bill here tonight or today, but I hope we do, but if we don't, I will keep working on this issue. I will keep fighting for this and I hope my colleagues will as well. So, thank you, Madam Speaker, and I urge all my colleagues to support this bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Perillo.

REPRESENTATIVE PERILLO (113TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. When you back in history and you look at advocates of this bill, and this bill has been debated in this Chamber before, you can go back to 2006 and one of the staunchest advocates of this bill since its original conception was the Los Angeles Times and in April of 2006 the LA Times came out and said that this is a necessary and I quote “end run around the Constitution”. They called it advocates, called it an end run around the Constitution, but it begets the question, what stops us from pursuing such an amendment as it is provided for in the Constitution. So if I may, through you, Madam Speaker, a question to the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar. Please prepare yourself. Representative Perillo, please proceed.

REPRESENTATIVE PERILLO (113TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Does the gentleman know and can he tell me what the process, what the procedure is in the Constitution, for the passage of a constitutional amendment?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This bill before us does not envision a constitutional amendment. This bill takes advantage of the fact that we are as a state allowed to entire into interstate compacts that do not impugn on federal sovereignty. The U. S. Supreme Court has indicated that compacts such as these are valid and that we do not need permission of Congress to enact because it does not impugn federal sovereignty, and in fact, what we are doing is exercising our right as guaranteed under Article 2 that the state of Connecticut can choose to assign its electors by the way our state legislature determines.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Perillo.

REPRESENTATIVE PERILLO (113TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I appreciate the gentleman's comments, but I would appreciate an answer to my question which was, does the gentleman know and can he tell me what the procedure is in the U. S. Constitution to pass an amendment to the Constitution?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lemar.

REPRESENTATIVE LEMAR (96TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. While that is completely non-germane to the topic at hand, I will do my best to revisit my seventh grade history class and I believe it has --, the barriers are votes of Congress and passage by two-thirds of the states. Through you, Madam Speaker. If the good gentleman would like to instruct me on his research, that would also be of benefit though not in any way germane to the conversation at hand. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Perillo.

REPRESENTATIVE PERILLO (113TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I would argue quite frankly this is extraordinarily germane to this question because there are many ways to skin a cat and one of them could conceivably be to amend the Constitution so I think understanding how we would do that if we chose to pursue it is indeed germane, but the gentleman is correct and he outlines the beginning of what it would take to amend the Constitution, and in fact, after that indeed 38 states would have to ratify that proposed amendment. That's a lot and that's really hard and one of the arguments I hear from proponents of this bill is that it is indeed too hard to amend the Constitution, but we need to understand that it's supposed to be hard to amend the Constitution. That was the original intent. There is a mechanism by which it can be done. This is a living document that can indeed at times adjust to the times, but there's a mechanism in the document to do it. And, in fact, it has been done. It's been done 27 times, as recently as 1992, and in fact, the 12th amendment addressed specifically the Electoral College, so not only has this been done many times in our history, it has been done to address this exact issue which we are discussing today.

As I said, Madam Speaker, this is a living document by design. We already have a mechanism in place by which we can change what we wish to change, but to simply say as this bill does that we should cast our electoral votes, direct our electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote regardless of what the voters of this state did at the polls, regardless of who the majority of the voters of Connecticut chose, to simply say that we should disregard that and cast our votes for the winner of the popular vote, a popular vote that is comprised of the other 49 states, the other 49 states. This bill allows the other 49 states to determine for whom our electors vote. This is the legislature. We make laws. We change rules all the time. Some might argue that many of them interfere with the rights of our residents, but this bill interferes with some might argue is their greatest right, their vote.

So, take out the politics. Disregard the argument as to whether or not we need a constitutional amendment or not, disregard or accept the argument that the state legislature can choose how our electoral votes are cast. If you accept all that, what this bill is asking at its core is for this legislature to take away the rights of Connecticut voters, to take away the votes they have cast on the first Tuesday in November, and give them to somebody else regardless of who the winner in the state was. I can't accept that. I simply can't accept that, and while I appreciate the intent of those advocates, specifically the proponent who I've been speaking with right now, I value that intent, but quite frankly I don't think this is the way to do it. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Majority Leader Ritter.

REPRESENTATIVE RITTER (1ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move that we pass this item temporarily. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Without objections, the item will be passed temporarily. The Chamber will stand at ease.

The Chamber will come back to order. Will the clerk please call Calendar 224?

CLERK:

On page 12, House Calendar 224, substitute H. B. 7184, AN ACT CONCERNING REIMBURSEMENT FOR HEALTHCARE AND CLINICAL SERVICES PROVIDED AT STATE EXPENSE AND ESTABLISHING A TASK FORCE TO MAXIMIZE REIMBURSEMENTS FOR COVERED BENEFITS AND SERVICES PROVIDED BY STATE AGENCIES. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Insurance and Real Estate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REPRESENTATIVE SCANLON (98TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The clerk has an amendment LCO 7376. I would ask the clerk to please call the amendment and then I'd be ready to leave the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 7376 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule A?

CLERK:

LCO No. 7376 designed House Amendment Schedule A and offered by Representative Scanlon and Senator Kennedy.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This bill simply establishes a taskforce that would study and develop strategies to maximize the recovery of reimbursements from insurers and other entities that deliver group health insurance policies. It's a very simple bill. The amendment simply lessens the number of members that are on the taskforce. It was originally 17. We have now reduced the size of the taskforce and I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The good gentleman just explained the amendment very, very clearly which is nothing more than a reduction in the members of this taskforce. I would also point out that it creates parity between the majority and minority on this taskforce and I encourage my colleagues to support it. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Opposed? The Ayes have it. The amendment is adopted. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Belsito. Representative Sampson.

REPRESENTATIVE SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As the good chairman of the Insurance Committee stated, this bill is nothing more than a taskforce to investigate whether or not our state agencies are properly accessing all of the available methods and mechanisms for reimbursement. There was some confusion on the original bill because it actually created a mandate to do so and myself and some others voted against this bill in committee because of that. This latest version; however, is just a taskforce to study how this could be done properly without creating an unnecessary mandate and I encourage my colleagues to support it. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Belsito.

REPRESENTATIVE BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Oh my God, once again another taskforce. Number 14,360. I agree that there are some taskforces that should go forward, but this one is a very small taskforce and it is going to handle a problem that we have. This is not a BS or a bad solution taskforce, but this is a taskforce that should be done. Thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please announce the tally?

CLERK:

H. B. 7184 as amended by House A,

Total voting 143 Necessary for passage 72

Those voting Aye 143

Those voting Nay 0

Absent not voting 8

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill as amended passes. (Gavel) The Chamber will stand at ease.

The Chamber will come back to order. Will the clerk please call Calendar No. 207?

CLERK:

On page 11, Calendar No. 207, H. B. No. 5140, AN ACT CONCERNING REIMBURSEMENTS TO HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Insurance and Real Estate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REPRESENTATIVE SCANLON (98TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I will keep my comments brief and allow my friend on the other side of the aisle to talk about this bill as it's his bill, but in short summary, this bill basically requires that certain health insurance policies pay some healthcare providers directly for the diagnosis and treatment of a substance abuse disorder. I don't have to tell any of my colleagues in the Chamber that Connecticut and every state in this country is in the midst of a terrible epidemic when it comes to opioid use and this bill I believe sponsored by my friend, Representative Perillo, is a great attempt to try to minimize the risks of relapse of somebody who's just received treatment in a substance abuse facility and I am proud to support this bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Perillo.

REPRESENTATIVE PERILLO (113TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And, I thank the gentleman for his kind words on the bill that's before us. The intent of this bill is very simple. The intent is to save lives, specifically the lives of those individuals struggling with addiction or in recovery. This bill will do that and I want to thank those who are involved. Even the insurance industry was involved in shaping this bill, and in fact, due to their assistance we do have some changes and the clerk is in possession of an amendment. It's LCO 7082. I ask that he please call that and I'd be given leave to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call Calendar LCO No. 7082 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule A.

CLERK:

LCO No. 7082 designed House Amendment Schedule A and offered by Representatives Perillo, Sampson, Scanlon, and Senator Kelly.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE PERILLO (113TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As is common in this building, as we discuss bills and they move ahead, we get better ideas and one of those ideas that emerged was that the tenants of this bill should apply specifically to recovery centers that are located within the state of Connecticut. I would call this a compromise, but in fact it's not. It's actually an improvement and the bill will be better for this amendment and I would move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As evidenced by the fact that my presence is on this amendment, I consider this friendly and I just again want to thank the good Representative across the aisle for all his hard work to get this bill to a better place that we can all support and I urge my colleagues on this side of the aisle to support this amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will you remark further on the amendment? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, I'll try your minds. All those in favor please signify by saying Aye.

REPRESNTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Opposed. The Ayes have it. The amendment is adopted. (Gavel) Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Will members please take your seats? The machine will be open. (Ringing)

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

Will the Clerk please announce the tally.

CLERK:

House Bill 5140 as amended by House "A"

Total number voting 141

Necessary for Passage 71

Those voting yea 141

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 10

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill as amended passes. (Gavel) The chamber will stand at ease.

Will the Chamber please come back to order? Will the clerk please call Calendar No. 329?

CLERK:

On page 45, Calendar 329, H. B. No. 5554, AN ACT CONCERNING THE POLITICAL COMPOSITION OF CERTAIN MUNICIPAL POLITICAL BODIES. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Government Administration and Elections.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REPRESENTATIVE STEINBERG (136TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question is acceptable of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Steinberg, you have the Floor.

REPRESENTATIVE STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The clerk is in possession of an amendment LCO 7400. I would ask the clerk to please call the amendment and I be granted leave to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call Calendar No. LCO 7400 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule A.

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule A LCO No. 7400 offered by Representative Steinberg and Representative Lavielle.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The Representatives, please leave the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection? Hearing none. Representative Steinberg, you may proceed with summarization.

REPRESENTATIVE STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This is a strike-all amendment which totally eliminates the underlying bill. The purpose of this amendment is to address the status of the Westport Library which is located strangely enough in the town of Westport, the town I represent. The library, which is not only a regional asset, is one of the most heavily utilized libraries in New England and is in the midst of a renovation to meet the needs of the citizens, not only of Westport, but surrounding communities. They have raised most of the money for this renovation, but are obliged to seek a small bank loan.

In the securing of this loan, it has been discovered that the 1907 state charter for the library does not enable them to borrow money. This bill enables them to raise the funds they need to specifically for this purpose and I move adoption of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE ZAWISTOWSKI (61ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This is a strike-all amendment. It solves a problem for a municipality that cannot be solved other than through legislation and I urge my colleagues to support it. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Lavielle.

REPRESENTATIVE LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I also stand in support of the amendment. I represent part of the town of Westport and this is simply a glitch in the statute that chartered the library and changing it will allow the library to borrow money, so I urge everyone to support it. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

All opposed? 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. Will members please take your seats? The machine will be open. (Ringing)

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Have all the Members voted? Have all the Members voted? If all the Members have voted, will you please check the board to see if your vote is properly cast? If all the Members voted, the machine will be locked and the clerk will take a tally. Will the clerk please announce the tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 5554 as amended by House A,

Total number voting 144

Necessary for passage 73

Those voting Aye 144

Those voting Nay 0

Absent and not voting 7

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill as amended is passed. (Gavel) Will the clerk please call Calendar No. 56.

CLERK:

On Page 1, Calendar No. 56, substitute House Bill No 7020, AN ACT REQUIRING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE PROGRAM REVIEW AND INVESTIGATIONS COMMITTEE CONCERNING LONG-TERM CARE. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Aging.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Mushinsky.

REPRESENTATIVE MUSHINSKY (85TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Mushinsky, you have the Floor, ma'am.

REPRESENTATIVE MUSHINSKY (85TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The clerk has an amendment LCO 7081. If the clerk would please call and may I be allowed to summarize?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 7081 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule A?

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule A LCO No. 7081 offered by Representative Serra, Representative Mushinsky.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE MUSHINSKY (85TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This amendment modifies the bill to clarify data collection requirements after numerous discussions with the Department of Social Services, Department on Aging, and the nursing home industry. The amendment will establish a benchmark of time for money follows the person transition of elderly to home care and collect outcome data on the fall prevention programs of organizations and institutions that serve the elderly. I move adoption of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE BYRON (27TH):

Yes. Thank you. Good afternoon, Madam Speaker. Just a quick question or two for the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REPRESENTATIVE BYRON (27TH):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Does this meet the approval of the SS?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Mushinsky.

REPRESENTATIVE MUSHINSKY (85TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Can you clarify as test?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Byron.

REPRESENTATIVE BYRON (27TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. DSS, Department of Social Services.

REPRESENTATIVE MUSHINSKY (85TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes, they have signed off on this amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Byron.

REPRESENTATIVE BYRON (27TH):

And, thank you, Madam Speaker. And, one other question, through you, Madam Speaker, does the Department of Aging approve this amendment?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Mushinsky.

REPRESENTATIVE MUSHINSKY (85TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Byron.

REPRESENTATIVE BYRON (27TH):

And, thank you very much to the proponent of the amendment. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Opposed. The Ayes have it. The amendment is adopted. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Mushinsky.

REPRESENTATIVE MUSHINSKY (85TH):

Thank you. This bill arises from the final report of the Program Review and Investigations Committee and it continues the shift in Connecticut towards homecare of our elderly residents. Our goal is 75-percent homecare, 25-percent institutional care. The PRI study determined we are now at 63-percent homecare. The shift in care is also supported by the Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century. It is a more humane approach. It is welcomed by the elderly and it also saves taxpayer dollars. I'd like to thank the Aging Committee and especially Representative Serra for helping us move this bill forward. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Byron.

REPRESENTATIVE BYRON (27TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes. These are the recommendations that came out of PRI. It requires us to collect critical data on MFP, that money follows the person and the fall prevention program. It really helps us to get a better picture on how the program works. It also helps our most vulnerable seniors. This bill should pass. I urge all my colleagues to rally behind it. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Srinivasan.

REPRESENTATIVE SRINIVASAN (31ST)

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Good afternoon, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good afternoon.

REPRESENTATIVE SRINIVASAN (31ST)

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise in strong support of this bill as amended. As we just heard, we want the seniors to be home. That's where they prefer to be and so this is work we try to do here. It's a win-win situation where we want the seniors to be where they want to be at home and also it is a cost saving, so it doesn't get better than this, Madam Speaker, so I do strongly support this bill as amended. Just a quick question if possible through you to the proponent of the bill as amended.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Mushinsky. Please prepare yourself for question. Representative Srinivasan.

REPRESENTATIVE SRINIVASAN (31ST)

Through you, Madam Speaker. So, the intent of this bill is to have seniors be at home. So, I know the good Representative had talked some numbers in terms of percentages. I was not clear. I did not hear that well. Is that from 60-percent to 75? Is that what we're hoping to accomplish?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Mushinsky.

REPRESENTATIVE MUSHINSKY (85TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. We're at 63. 1-percent now. We would like to be at 75-percent. The PRI Committee did determine that we are further along than we thought we were due to mistakes in counting. We're actually doing better than we thought which was good news, but we would like to get to 75-percent. There is always going to be about 25-percent of very frail elderly who cannot remain at home and we understand that, but we know we can do better and we're moving in the right direction. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Srinivasan.

REPRESENTATIVE SRINIVASAN (31ST)

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And, I stand here applauding this accomplishment of 63 to 75-percent. I do understand everybody cannot be taken care of at home, no question about that at all. This is a great goal for us to accomplish as a state. And, one final question to the proponent of the bill as amended.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REPRESENTATIVE SRINIVASAN (31ST)

Through you, Madam Speaker. We talked about cost savings occurring as well in this process. Do we have an idea as to what the cost savings would be for the state?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Mushinsky.

REPRESENTATIVE MUSHINSKY (85TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It's somewhere north of $ 200 million a year, maybe $ 250 million a year if we get to 75-percent homecare option.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REPRESENTATIVE SRINIVASAN (31ST)

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I want to thank the good Representative for her answers and I do urge my colleagues on both side of the aisle to support this bill as amended. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative McCarty.

REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY (38TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I just rise for a comment. I think this is a very important bill. It will do a great deal of good for our seniors as they transition from nursing homes into homecare, so I would just urge all of my colleagues to support this very important bill. We need the data. We need the resources to go forward. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill 7020 as amended by House A,

Total number voting 144

Necessary for passage 73

Those voting Aye 143

Those voting Nay 1

Absent, not voting 7

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill as amended is passed. (Gavel) Will the clerk please call Calendar No. 319?

CLERK:

On Page 20, House Calendar 319, House Bill No. 7205, AN ACT CONCERNING EARLY LITERACY. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Education.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Miller.

REPRESENTATIVE MILLER (145TH): Madam Speaker, I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE MILLER (145TH):

Thank you. Madam Speaker, the clerk has an amendment LCO 7293. I would ask the clerk to please call the amendment and that I be granted leave of the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 7293 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule A?

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule A, LCO 7293, offered by Representative Miller, Senator Boucher, et al.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE MILLER (145TH): Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, this is a strike-all amendment. Section 1 of this amendment closes a loophole in current law regarding the surveys that teachers take to ensure that they know the foundations of teaching reading. This reading survey was designed to identify potential areas of need for reading teachers and to support professional development. Currently, only the teachers receive the results of the survey and that's the loophole that we're trying to close, so this Section would amend the current law to permit teachers' supervisors to receive the survey as well, the results of the survey as well, and also it's critical to ensuring that the teachers have the support that he or she needs to successfully teach our kids how to read. The amendment ensures that the supervisor would maintain this information in confidence. By law, the survey results are not included in the teacher's annual evaluation and are exempt from disclosure of the state's Freedom of Information Act. The amendment does not change current law.

Section 2, if I may, Madam Speaker, of the amendment creates a reading readiness program at the State Department of Education. Through this program, the Department will assess alliance, districts, and commissioner's network schools to determine whether they are reading ready, and if not, what they need to get there. If SDE determines that there is a need, the amendment requires SDE to offer tiered supports to participants and the tiers are tier 1 which applies to the lowest performing schools, tier 2 which is for all alliance districts and commissioners' networks at school. SDE will provide target supports for schools with identifying needs. Tier 3 is for the lowest performing schools and districts showing the most need and SDE will provide intensive support to schools and/or districts.

Finally, all of this work will be aligned with existing turnaround in alliance district planning. I move for adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Pardon me. I stand in support of the amendment and I just have a couple of questions for the proponent for clarification.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REPRESENTATIVE LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, the amendment deals with the use and purpose of the reader survey and that it will not be used for evaluation, but for development and only by the individual concerned and a supervisor. Could the good lady from Stamford just clarify the difference from current law?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Miller.

REPRESENTATIVE MILLER (145TH): Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you and I thank the good Representative for the question. The way current law, the way it's set up now, is that the teachers take the survey and they're not giving the survey to professional development. The reason why that law was enacted was to provide teachers with the support that they need and for schools to design and facilitate professional development to meet those needs of the teachers, so the professional development would look at both their strengths and their weaknesses.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REPRESENTATIVE LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you very much. And, the other question, generally I would just like to paraphrase the other sections of the bill that have to do with the tiered system of support which is what I understand this to be is simply providing further guidance on how alliance and commissioners' network schools are to use existing dollars that they have already that are appropriated to them to provide a more specific early literacy program to their schools than they have now, so that it is tailored to their needs and it is also within existing appropriations.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Report Miller.

REPRESENTATIVE MILLER (145TH): Through you, Madam Speaker. That is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REPRESENTATIVE LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And, therefore, there is no fiscal note to this bill. It adds no dollars to the already existing programs?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Miller.

REPRESENTATIVE MILLER (145TH): Through you, Madam Speaker. That is also correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REPRESENTATIVE LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the good lady from Stamford for her answers and for her work on this bill. Really early literacy is probably the most important issue in our education system that we can address. If we don't handle that issue well, all of the students who need to learn to read and that's everybody, can't really do anything else very well once they get past that stage, so this is an improvement. It does help our early literacy teachers and all teachers of young children teach better and prepare their students, so again, I support the amendment and I urge everyone to support it. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will you remark further on the amendment? Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you very much. Thank you, Madam Speaker. It's nice to see you this afternoon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

So, I stand with concerns about the amendment as drafted. I understand the good Ranking Member just asked several questions about whether this amendment had a fiscal note and certainly I have a ton of respect for my friend who is bringing this out as a proponent and she answered in the negative that there in fact was no fiscal impact on this amendment, but the way the amendment has been worded, I have some confusion and I'm just looking for some clarification, Madam Speaker, if I could through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you very much. So, when I look at the fiscal note for the amendment, the fiscal note still has up to $ 1. 5 million in '18 and $ 1. 5 million in '19. The first says it has been eliminated the cost and a good colleague on this side says it also says within available appropriations, but I don't see that language as new language, so if the kind gentle lady across the aisle could help relieve my concerns about the fiscal note of this amendment and tell me specifically how the amendment eliminates the fiscal note and the underlying bill.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Miller.

REPRESENTATIVE MILLER (145TH): Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, Madam Speaker. What we tried to do was to write within available appropriations the --. I want to add that SDE has assured me that they are doing the work now with the 10 lowest performing schools in the educational reform district, so they have the mechanism set up to do this, so it is within available appropriations, so should a budget pass, their thinking is that they would use existing dollars from the K to 3 reading literacy and common core with the recon which is in common core.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, and I appreciate the response from across the aisle. I think it's important as we understand what agencies are in fact doing that now and what they can't do and hearing that answer that they are in fact doing a majority of this work gives me some real assurance that when you have the phrase, within available appropriations, that they are in fact going to be able to accomplish what's been set forth in this bill and I appreciate the further clarification. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

All opposed. The Ayes have it. The amendment is adopted. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Miller.

REPRESENTATIVE MILLER (145TH): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I want to thank the individuals that worked on this bill, namely SDE. I thank them for their cooperation and their willingness to work on literacy. I can say that the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, SDE, the General Assembly, as well as the, I want to say Commission on Children, but they are no longer Commission on Children, Commission on Women and Children and Seniors. And, some other partners like Literacy High have worked very hard in the state to change the needle, to move the needle on literacy. We were not as a state addressing literacy in the state and we now have our literacy director, our reading director. When we first speech therapy the CK-3 LI literacy initiative, we were given five schools, five pilots, five schools, five districts.

We now have 50 schools or 60 schools and 16 districts. We now have three districts that have taken it district wide and they're using this particular system, this particular tier support system, in the schools to see there's a clip on YouTube that I do and to see how excited teachers are about coming to work every day and seeing a change in the work. They're changing their students because can you imagine going to work every day working hard and putting all your efforts in school in your work and then at the end of the day seeing no results. And, I'm sure that's what teachers were seeing through no fault of their own, but to hear these teachers, see how excited they are, to see how excited they are to say, 'I wish I had this before'. To hear little children saying, 'I'm so excited'. So, the needle has moved and I can honestly say that it's this General Assembly that had the political will to do it, so I thank you on behalf of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus for having that political will to do what we've done and I'll be honest with you. It's my desire to see this statewide, to see it statewide, and I also want to add that I have to Dr. Michael Coyne of Neag Schools at Unconn, I have to give him some acknowledgment. He said that Connecticut is being put on the map as the state that is known for reading intervention.

So, again I want to thank you all because this is closing the achievement and opportunity gap for our children who wouldn't have an opportunity, so thank you very much.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative McCarty.

REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY (38TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise to just make a comment that I am in complete support of this bill as amended. I think early literacy is vitally important to our educational system and I think this bill will do a great deal of good in professional development and training for our early literacy teachers that will hopefully and ultimately help us to close the achievement gap here in Connecticut. Also, I would like to remind my colleagues that this is one of the four major priorities of the alliance districts to improve early literacy, so I think this is a great bill and I'm proud to stand in support. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Cheeseman.

REPRESENTATIVE CHEESEMAN (37TH):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I, too, although not serving on the Education Committee, want to stand in strong support for this bill. Unfortunately, one of the best predictors of involvement in the criminal justice system is the inability to read at grade level in grade three. That is appalling and sad and tragic and anything that can increase literacy among all our children, but particularly among our minority groups in underserved districts and among young boys, everybody deserves a chance to be a healthy, productive, contributing individual and helping all our children to read is an amazing step in the right direction, so I am so strongly in favor of this bill. I want to thank the gentle lady for her passion, for her commitment, and I urge all my colleagues to support this bill. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The patient, Representative. The fine Representative from 101st, Representative Kokoruda.

REPRESENTATIVE KOKORUDA (101ST)

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Briefly, I want to join my colleagues in thanking Representative Miller for this important bill. Since the day I arrived in this building, I have heard about the issues with achievement gap and the issues with third grade reading scores and we tried to do a lot and I think this is one more step and I know we're seeing results. I know Representative Miller is very pleased with some of the test results she has seen and we want to continue that. You know, one of the things we talk about so much is what's happening at our community colleges and our college levels with children not being able to do the work and our problem being able to support remediation of those students. It starts here. It starts with a bill like this. It starts with this action, so through you, Madam Speaker, I thank Representative Miller and everyone who worked on this important bill. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative LeGeyt.

REPRESENTATIVE LEGEYT (17TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise in strong support of this bill. I'm on the amendment. I just want to re-enforce a conviction I have that since I've been here since 2009 and been on the Education Committee all that time, we have been trying to engineer a process whereby students in alliance districts and in the commissioners' network can benefit from some type of improved teaching, improved reference to literacy, and this bill I think reaches much closer to that accomplishment than others in the past. I think that the combined work of the Commission on Women, Children, and Seniors has helped move this forward and the amendment that we have and the structure that it lays out for helping not only students but also teachers in these districts will go a long way towards making the threshold of third grade and competency on grade level in reading a reality in this state and I support this amendment strongly and encourage all my colleagues to vote in favor of it. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REPRESENTATIVE SRINIVASAN (31ST)

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I, too, rise in strong support of this bill as amended. We definitely know the value of education and we want to make sure we address this as an early a stage as possible, so we definitely stand in support, but just a question as I'm listening to the debate, to the proponent of the bill as amended.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REPRESENTATIVE SRINIVASAN (31ST)

Through you, Madam Speaker. If I heard, and I want to make sure I heard this right, there was a mention about the budget passes and there was a mention about within available appropriations, so it was not clear as to for this bill to move forward in terms of its funding, what is the mechanism? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Miller.

REPRESENTATIVE MILLER (145TH): Yes. Through you, Madam Speaker. So, the way it's set up now, we use K to 3 literacy dollars, as well as SDE uses them. Recore Conn which is through common core, so that's how it's funded now. We're hoping that it will continue to be funded that way, so dollars will be repurposed and let me add that SDE is committed to literacy. It is in fact a part of their five year comprehensive plan, literacy is that, so they are committed to making sure that this piece of legislation happens. I hope I answered your question.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative.

REPRESENTATIVE SRINIVASAN (31ST)

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The good Representative definitely did. I just needed that point to be clarified for all of us in the Chamber and I appreciate the clarification. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

H. B. 7205 as amended by House A,

Total number voting 144

Necessary for passage 73

Those voting Aye 144

Those voting Nay 0

Absent, not voting 7

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill is amended as passed. (Gavel) Will the clerk please call Calendar 161?

CLERK:

On Page 43, house Calendar 161, substitute H. B. No. 7146, AN ACT REQUIRING A CRIMINAL CONVICTION FOR CERTAIN OFFENSES BEFORE ASSETS SEIZED IN A LAWFUL ARREST OF LAWFUL SEARCH MAY BE FORFEITED IN A CIVIL PROCEEDING. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Yes. Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the clerk is in possession of an amendment LCO 7422. I ask that the clerk please call the amendment and I be granted to leave the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 7422 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule A?

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule A LCO No. 7422 offered by Representative Lesser, Representative Simanski, et al.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. At the outset, let me say that this is a strike-all amendment that if adopted would become the bill. This bill comes to us from a wide swath across the ideological spectrum of groups looking at a practice of civil asset forfeiture in Connecticut and putting for the idea that before property can be seized subject to an arrest or before it can be permanently taken that a criminal conviction should be secured. What this bill does, what this amendment does, is since leaving committee, we have worked with a variety of stakeholders including the Department of Criminal Justice, the Judicial Branch, and a variety of advocates from across the aisle to make sure that this a program that has no fiscal note to towns that protects the victims of the state and allows our law enforcement personnel to do their jobs. Madam Speaker, I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'd just like to say as a sponsor or cosigner of the amendment is that it's everything that the gentleman said it was and I would move that we support the amendment and I reserve my comments to speak further in the bill. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

All those opposed? The Ayes have it. The amendment is adopted. Will you remark further on this bill as amended? Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would emphasize that police and law enforcement personnel across the state, prosecutors, will continue to have the important authority to pursue criminal asset forfeiture in cases where this is associated with a crime. This bill ensures that each of the issues that we heard in public hearing are addressed and I urge all my colleagues to support it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Simanski.

REPRESENTATIVE SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. When this bill first came to the Banking Committee, myself and many others were taken aback because two of the groups speaking very favorably for the bill were the ACLU and the Yankee Institute, two organizations you don't see in agreement. That is because the concept behind the bill is really, really good. Basically, if your assets are seized during a lawful arrest, if you are convicted of that crime, your assets are forfeited. If you're acquitted of that crime, your assets should be returned to you and this bill sets that the process how you can get your property returned.

Even though the people spoke in favor of the original bill, there were some reservations and the Criminal Justice Division was opposed to the bill, so through you, Madam Speaker, I'd like to ask the Chairman what has changed and is the Criminal Justice Division now in favor of the amended bill?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Yes. Thank you. Through you, Madam Speaker, to the good Ranking Member. There have been a number of changes since the committee. First of all, I do believe that the Department is in support of the bill as amended. I will also note that there are a number of changes such as to clarify that police are no longer, if there is a plea deal, that it no longer removes the assets from being forfeitable and there are a variety of other changes that I'm happy to outline.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Simanski.

REPRESENTATIVE SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, Madam Speaker, I know one of the issues with the original bill was where the assets, if they were forfeited, where they would go, so through you, Madam Speaker, in this amended version, if assets are legally seized and forfeited because there is a criminal conviction, where do those assets go?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. There is no change to current law under the bill as amended and it is an apportionment between municipalities and the prosecutors.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Simanski.

REPRESENTATIVE SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And, one final question I have for the proponent of the bill, for the good Chairman. In the original bill, there was a fiscal note and particularly I'm concerned about the fact that local police departments were gonna be adversely affected by this, so could the good Chairman please explain how this has been addressed in the final version? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you to the Honorable Ranking Member. The initial bill as introduced in the committees did not allow municipalities to keep revenue from forfeited assets. That ability has been restored in this version. As well, the clarification that plea deals are not included should strike the associated fiscal and back attempts.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Simanski.

REPRESENTATIVE SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate all the answers that the good Chairman gave us. All the issues that were addressed throughout the various iterations of this bill have been addressed. Now I can finally say this is a good bill and ought to pass. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

H. B. 7146 as amended by House A,

Total number voting 143

Necessary for passage 72

Those voting Aye 143

Those voting Nay 0

Absent, not voting 8

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill is amended as passed. (Gavel) Will the clerk please call Calendar 124?

CLERK:

Page 41, Calendar 124, substitute H. B. No. 7100, AN ACT CONCERNING AMERICAN LEGION STATE FUND COMMISSION TRANSPARENCY. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Government Administration and Elections.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Hennessy.

REPRESENTATIVE HENNESSY (127TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, this bill is a result of a report by the State Auditor's office that noted that the soldiers, sailors, and Marine Fund could be more transparent. Madam Speaker, the clerk has in possession amendment LCO 7365. I would ask that the clerk please call the amendment and that I be granted leave of the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 7365 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule A?

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule A LCO No. 7365 offered by Representative Hennessy and Representative Ferraro.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, this is a strike-all amendment that achieves the goals of transparency for the fund, but protects the privacy of donors and recipients. I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair. It's good to see up there.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you very much, sir.

REPRESENTATIVE FERRARO (117TH):

You've been working hard all day as we have. I rise in strong support of the amendment for the same reasons the good Chair has brought forward. This bill does create transparency for the administrative actions of the fund, as well as protecting the privacy of the donors and the recipients. Thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

All those opposed? The Ayes have it. The amendment is adopted. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative O'Neill.

REPRESENTATIVE O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The clerk has in his possession an amendment LCO 7421. Would he please call and I be allowed to summarize?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 7421 designated as House Amendment Schedule B?

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule B LCO No. 7421 offered by Representative Klarides and Representative Hennessy, et al.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This amendment does a number of different things. The first thing that it does is raises thresholds for folks who are currently eligible to get a tax exemption from 18,000 to 21,000 for people who are single and raises the threshold from 21 to $ 24,000 dollars for married couples.

Section number two is designed to provide a local option tax exemption, property tax exemption, for Veterans who do not otherwise qualify for such an exemption in an amount up to $ 5,000 dollars or five-percent of the assessed value and again it would be a local option at the choice of the locality as to whether to grant it at all or how much.

Additional language in Section three is conforming language to make sure that this amendment is conforming to other parts of the statutes. Most of the rest of the language contained, even though it's rather extensive, is really standard language to create a local option property tax exemption. I would move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question before the Chamber is adoption of House Amendment Schedule B. Will you remark further on the amendment? Representative Hennessy.

REPRESENTATIVE HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I consider this a friendly amendment and urge the Chamber to vote for it. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Ferraro.

REPRESENTATIVE FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise as well to support the amendment. As mentioned by the Chair, it is a friendly amendment, and has been mentioned previously by the good Representative, Arthur O'Neill, it accomplishes the things that he has mentioned in the amendment, that being increasing the thresholds for cities to opt in to be able to give a tax break to Veterans making 21,000 and $ 24,000 dollars and also to increase the ability for those previously not being able to receive some benefits to now receive some limited benefits, so I would urge adoption. Thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

All those opposed? The Ayes have it. The amendment has been adopted. Will you remark further on the bill as amended Representative Hennessy. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Will members please take your seats? The machine will be open. (Ringing)

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

CLERK:

H. B. 7100 as amended by House A and House B,

Total number of voting 144

Necessary for passage 73

Those voting Aye 144

Those voting Nay 0

Absent, not voting 7

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill is amended as passed. Will the clerk please call Calendar 148?

CLERK:

On Page 7, House Calendar 148, substitute H. B. No. 6880, AN ACT CONCERNING THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING LAND USE APPEALS PROCEDURE. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Housing.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Butler.

REPRESENTATIVE BUTLER (72ND):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE BUTLER (72ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the clerk is in possession of an amendment LCO No. 7418. I would ask that the clerk call it and I be granted leave of the Chambers to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 7418 which is designated House Amendment Schedule A?

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule A LCO 7418 offered by Representative Butler, Representative Yaccarino, et al.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE BUTLER (72ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, this amendment is a strike-all amendment and this amendment will become the bill, so I will actually take the time to explain a little bit about what was the underlying bill and the bill as it has been amended to become the bill.

This bill speaks to affordable housing in the state of Connecticut. More specifically, it talks about the processing appeals that is actually in place to actually have oversight over the appeals process affordable housing. Back in 1990, there was a statute put in place and it has the designation of 8-30G and that number actually gives a lot of people anxiety in this Chamber. I must admit I'm one of them. And, while it actually pertains to affordable housing, I can tell you that it was well-intentioned and there's a great need for it, but there's been some unintended consequences associated with this and some of the unintended consequences has been that there's been local zoning that has been circumvented by some developers just for the sake of invoking the statute to actually build affordable housing the way they see fit.

While there's a lot of great developers who are actually out their building, there's a couple that are actually really just taking advantage of towns and circumventing local zoning and that actually really leaves some towns feeling very discouraged, helpless, and one of the things that we're trying to do is trying to see how we could address that unintended consequence. While we believe the number of events that happen are low, it's still when they have this in your town, the people who live in those towns really take exception to it, so the bill actually attempts to give relief to the situation while encouraging more affordable housing to be built and the way that we do that is to give towns the ability to take advantage of incentive housing zones. And the towns can designate what part of that town should be set aside for affordable housing.

And, in those parts of towns that's designated for this, that developers will actually be able to take advantage of pretty much a fast track because the towns have already designated this area for development. Also, the towns will realize extra points for housing in these incentive housing zones to the point of an extra quarter point for all housing, and to the extent where that development has more than 60-percent of family housing, elderly housing will be granted another half point.

So, and even small towns, in their calculation for moratoriums, calculation will go from 75 units down to 50 units, and while that may not put them over the hump to actually reach the required number that they seek, it will give them a better chance of actually seeing where their town stands and what needs to be done to actually accomplish moratorium.

And, finally an underlying bill, there's provision to sunset all of this after five years. And, in essence what that would do is put all the towns and cities that this is an issue in on notice. You have five years to take advantage of all of these incentives. That's a lot of incentives. No, here at the Capitol we do a lot with, you know, s stick, but we're providing caret incentive points to encourage affordable housing. Now, I know there's some people on the other side of the issue who may feel that they wouldn't like to see any change, but inherent in your argument is that they would like to see more affordable housing, so in essence, that's what this is hoped to promote, to actually give incentives for more affordable housing to be built where it wouldn't ordinarily be built.

And finally, the parts that people haven't been privy to in the past when this bill passed last year, is that there's one mobile home that actually is different than all mobile homes around the state. It is 175 units that owner occupied and with the deep restrictions in the underlying financial statements it makes it fit the sentiment of the deep restrictions that we now have for affordable housing of 30, 40 years. So, we felt that it should be included, so we included it.

And finally, in terms of moratorium, the moratorium for first time towns will be four years and then for towns that have more than 20,000 units looking at a second moratorium, that moratorium will be five years. So, I will rest here in terms of explanation of this bill and entertain any questions that anyone may have. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE KUPCHICK (132ND):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REPRESENTATIVE KUPCHICK (132ND):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'll ask the good Chairman if he could outline the changes in this legislation this year that are different from the bill that this Chamber passed last year.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Butler.

REPRESENTATIVE BUTLER (72ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. To the good Ranking member, it's a very good question. What's different in this vehicle is the fact that the mobile home scenario that I just spoke of in the way the structure of the financial statement underlying it is just a very small footprint of 175 units and it should've qualified if you consider the sentiment of deep restrictions, so we added that, and when we looked at the language around moratorium, we actually kept the four year moratorium for first time towns, but what's different is for second moratorium, we have two requirements. One is for that town to have more than 20,000 units of housing, and if that's the case that the two-percent threshold that was currently in place, will be reduced to 1. 5-percent.

And, other than that, the sunset clause for the definition of area medium income formulated debts considered in affordable housing, that will survive the sunset because in lower Fairfield County the area medium income is vastly different than the state area medium income, so we would like to take the lower of the two and the formula for affordable housing consideration. Now, other than that, everything will sunset as before except for those other clauses that I just spoke of.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Kupchick.

REPRESENTATIVE KUPCHICK (132ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'd like to just make a statement. I'd like to thank the good Chairman of the Housing Committee who has been extraordinarily patient and helpful dealing with many sides of this issue over this many years and has taken a tremendous amount of stress dealing with all the various towns and people who represent those towns. Many of us in this Chamber represent very different communities and obviously a law that impacts an entire state has different impacts on different towns.

And, when I was elected in 2011, I never even heard the words 8-30G before in my life and now I dream about those words and those letters and this has been a difficult process. Obviously, there's a lot of different people who have different opinions and we've spent over the many years with housing advocates, representatives from suburban and urban communities having really in-depth conversations which enlightened me quite a bit over the years and I think that this is a good compromise that I think allows towns or gives towns the incentive to do the right thing and not feel as if they're under some sort of attack by predatory developers, but feel encouraged, feel wanted to do what they should be doing and some towns have been already working really hard to do those things and I think that this is just even more helpful, the language here, is more helpful to allow those towns to get going and to get the housing built.

So, I would just once again like to thank the good Chairman of the Housing Committee and my state Senator, Tony Wong, and I would also like to thank Ken Lengall who's been very helpful to our committee and helping us understand a lot of complicated language and to make sure that we are doing the right thing, that we're not impeding the increase of affordable housing, but we're actually hopefully going to increase affordable housing in the state of Connecticut. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Representative Walker.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Good afternoon everybody. Good afternoon, sir. I'd like to pose a few questions to the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed, Madam.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Thank you. Through you, Madam Speaker. I'd like to understand. I thought that 8-30G was an appeals process and I hear the good gentleman talking about incentives, so I would like to have an understanding of what exactly the underlying amendment does.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Butler.

REPRESENTATIVE BUTLER (72ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes. 8-30G is the appeals process, but it's all tied to affordable housing in applications that are actually presented for consideration and if they're denied that's the process through which they have to follow.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Walker.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Then I'm confused because I did hear the good gentleman speak about the incentives that were in this amendment, so if you could explain them, how do the incentives play into the appeals process? I'm a little confused.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Butler.

REPRESENTATIVE BUTLER (72ND):

Well, we're hoping that we will actually encourage towns that don't necessarily have a great track record in building affordable housing that actually are kind of open to the various applications and there's this ongoing feud back and forth with develops in those towns about what type of housing that they will consider and that process actually has developers threatening to do certain things in terms of what they will build if they don't consider the applications, so as part of this whole process, it's what plays out and the end result is if the local zoning deny it, then it goes through the appeals process and then it goes to court, and when it goes to court, then there's a consideration and consideration could be based on holding the denial based on health and safety reasons, and other than health and safety reasons, then the develop will prevail. If there's health and safety reasons that prevent development in the eyes of court of actually having an adverse situation on health and safety in the town, then the town shall prevail.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Walker.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm still trying to understand, so let me try a different way. In this bill, are there certain towns that are being made exempt or being appealed out of this process so that they don't have to comply with 8-30G? Is that what this amendment does.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ritter.

REPRESENTATIVE RITTER (1ST):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

This bill is passed temporarily. (Gavel)

Will the court please call Calendar 180? Will the Chamber please stand at ease?

Will the Chamber please come back to order? Will the clerk please call Calendar 180?

CLERK:

On Page 10, House Calendar 180, H. B. No. 7080, AN ACT CONCERNING LEGAL PROTECTIONS FOR PERSON ENTERING PASSANGER MOTOR VEHICLES TO RENDER EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE TO CHILDREN. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Stafstrom.

REPRESENTATIVE STAFSTROM (129th):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE STAFSTROM (129th):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, this is a bill that is back before us again for I believe at least the second year having cleared this Chamber last year and not making it across the goal line in the Senate, but it's an important bill that I think this Chamber should act favorably on this year and we should push to get into law. What the bill does is it provides an affirmative defense to an individual who enters a motor vehicle to render assistance to a child who is left in that vehicle.

Really, the situation we're going after here is somebody walks into a parking lot, they see a kid that is left in a car unattended, they smash the window per se, unlock the car door, enter, and rescue the child out of the motor vehicle. I want to especially thank the leadership of the committee and Representative Carpino for bringing this to the committee. It is also an issue that is near and dear to my heart having had my child in this situation previously and I certainly ask this Chamber's support for it here.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's, never mind. Will you remark further on the bill? It's been a long day. Representative Rebimbas.

REPRESENTATIVE REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of the legislation that's before us and certainly we've seen this before, and unfortunately, this is one of those proposals that we wish we didn't have to legislate, but unfortunately, these are things that occur. And then, when you've got a responsible individual who's acting in the best interest of a child trying to save a child from potentially death, it's a serious situation. We want to be able to afford them all the defenses necessary. Again, if someone does it maliciously with other intentions, they certainly have the ability to defend themselves, but I think as it's currently drafted, it's one that will encourage our citizens to help one another because again we're a better community if we are taking care of each other's children.

And certainly, the Vice Chairman has shared a story of which a very similar incident occurred so again we always welcome responsible citizens trying to assist other people and I certainly think that this encourages that, so I do stand in support of it and also want to commend Representative Carpino for bringing this to our attention and being such an advocate for it. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Carpino.

REPRESENTATIVE CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. These are senseless deaths and tragedies that are happening across our state, so I really do appreciate the leadership of the Judiciary Committee and our intern here, Patrice. She's given me some assistance in getting the bill here this forward. Sadly, it has happened here. More often than not, we ask ourselves, is this bill something that we need to address here in Connecticut, and in just the past few years, we've had a number of incidents here at home and sadly we've lost a little boy here in the state, so with this support here in the House and hopefully our good friends upstairs, perhaps we can avoid this going forward, so thank you and I do urge all of my colleagues to support it.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on this bill? 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. (Ringing)

CLERK:

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Have all the members voted? 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.

CLERK:

House Bill 7080,

Total number voting 141

Necessary for passage 71

Those voting Aye 141

Those voting Nay 0

Absent, not voting 10

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The bill passes. (Gavel)

Will the clerk please call House Calendar 420?

CLERK:

On page 27, House Calendar 420, substitute H. B. No. 7132, AN ACT PERMITTING AN EMPLOYER TO POST NOTICE OF THE ADDRESS WHERE AN EMPLOYEE'S CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION SHOULD BE SENT. Favorable report the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Conley of the 40th District. You have the Floor, Madam.

REPRESENTATIVE CONLEY (40TH):

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVE CONLEY (40TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This bill was a heavily negotiated bill between both the employees and employers to make some changes to the noted statute for the 30-C forms for Workers Compensation claims. The clerk is in possession of amendment LCO 7424. I ask that the clerk call the amendment and request leave to summarize.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO No. 7424 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule A?

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule A LCO No. 7424 offered by Representative Tong, Representative Rebimbas, et al.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative seeks to leave the Chamber to summarize amendment? Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection to summarization? Seeing none. Representative Conley, you have the Floor.

REPRESENTATIVE CONLEY (40TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The first two changes are technical in nature, changing must to shall and adding a comma. The second change has to do with some language changes. The purpose of this amendment and the bill is that if employers wish, that they can put a notice in their office as to where they want 30-Cs to be sent, which office or to which person's attention. They also have to notify the Workers' Comp Commission who would put that information on a website that was accessible to all. The changes in this amendment state that the employer is responsible for verifying that the notice in his or her office, as well as the notice at the Worker's Comp Commission lists the same person, same address, to send the notice, as well as state if the injured employee chooses to mail their notice that it should be done certified so that the injured employee can have proof that they did follow the request and sent the forms to the correct location.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Madam. And you move to adoption. Question is on the amendment before us, will you remark? Representative Rebimbas of the 70th District. You have the Floor, Madam.

REPRESENTATIVE REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the amendment before us and I certainly want to thank everyone that did negotiate the language that's before us. So if I can just for clarification, through you, Mr. Speaker, a few questions to the proponent?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Conley.

REPRESENTATIVE CONLEY (40TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you to the good Representative. Regarding the amendment itself, there's a responsibility on the employer to verify that information has been placed on the Workers Compensation website. Is that in fact only if the employer provides the information to the Workers Compensation office regarding where notices are due to be mailed to, is that correct?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Conley.

REPRESENTATIVE CONLEY (40TH):

Thank you.

Through you, Mr. Speaker. That is correct.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REPRESENTATIVE REBIMBAS (70TH):

And the requirement of posting this information at the place of employment, is that optional?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Conley.

REPRESENTATIVE CONLEY (40TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. It is optional on the employer if they wish to do so.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REPRESENTATIVE REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, does this apply to any state or municipal employer.

Through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Conley.

REPRESENTATIVE CONLEY (40TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. No. State and municipalities have different guidelines outlined in different statutes. This is only for private employers.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REPRESENTATIVE REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And, if an employee was to exercise mailing the notice pursuant to the employer's information that's posted, would that mailing be required to be by certified mail?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Report Conley.

REPRESENTATIVE CONLEY (40TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, it would.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REPRESENTATIVE REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank the Representative for all of her questions and also for her input into this legislation. I do rise in support of the amendment and I think it's important, especially in light of the fact that we made that notice be by certified mail because there's certain duties and responsibilities that will fall on the employer after 28 days of getting any type of notice of a Workers Compensation claim, so ultimately I hope this amendment will be successful in passing and then the bill itself as amended. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much for your comments and your prompting, Representative. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, let me try your minds. All those that favor, please signify by saying Aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

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? If not, staff and guests please come to the well of the House. Members take your seats. The machine will be open. (Ringing)

CLERK:

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Have all the members voted? Have all the members of the 86th District voted? If all the members of the 86th District have voted, please check the boards to ensure your vote has been properly cast. If all the members of the 86th District have voted, the machine will be locked and the clerk will take a tally. The clerk will announce the tally.

CLERK:

House Bill 7132 as amended by House A,

Total number of voting 139

Necessary for passage 70

Those voting Aye 128

Those voting Nay 11

Absent, not voting 12

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The bill as amended passes. (Gavel) Are there any announcements or introductions? Announcements or introductions? Representative Betts of the 78th. You have the Floor, Sir.

REPRESENTATIVE BETTS (78TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm awful glad those people came back. I was running out of room on the sheet here, but for the purpose of the Journal.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed.

REPRESENTATIVE BETTS (78TH):

Representative Bolinsky is away tending to his wife who had knee surgery. Representative Smith is dealing with a death in his family. Representative Camillo was away on legislative business in his District. Representative Candelora was away on family business and Representative Stokes is away on family business and that's why they missed their votes and I thank you very much.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Journal is so noted. Thank you, Representative. Representative Luxenberg of the 12th District. You have the floor, Madam.

REPRESENTATIVE LUXENBERG (12TH):

Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Good afternoon, Madam.

REPRESENTATIVE LUXENBERG (12TH):

For purposes of a Journal notation, please.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed.

REPRESENTATIVE LUXENBERG (12TH):

Thank you, Sir. The following members were absent today for votes for illness; Representative Morris and Representative Santiago. That's Ezequiel Santiago. For a death in the family, Representative Tong and business outside the Chamber, Gentile, de la Cruz, Reed, D'Agostino, Berger, Genga, and Lesser.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The Journal will so note. Thank you, Madam. Representative Ritter of the great city of Hartford in the 1st District in this General Assembly. For what reason do you arise?

REPRESENTATIVE RITTER (1ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I hope everyone has a great weekend. We're going to take tomorrow off and I know Monday there's going to be some committee meetings. We're going to come back in Tuesday at 11: 30 in the morning with a sharp start time, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Sir. Now the announcement we've all been waiting for. Representative Albis of the 99th. For what purposes do you rise, Sir?

REPRESENTATIVE ALBIS (99TH):

Mr. Speaker, I rise because there be no further business on the clerk's desk. I move that we adjourn subject to the call of the Chair.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Question is adjournment subject to call. Is there objection? Is there objection? Seeing none. So ordered.

(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 176 pages is a complete and accurate transcription of a digital sound recording of the House Proceedings on Thursday, May 18, 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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