THE CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Friday, June 2, 2017

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Will the house come to order? Will members, staff, and guests please rise? Direct your attention to the dais for Father Charles Jacobs will lead us in prayer.

DEPUTY CHAPLAIN FATHER CHARLES E. JACOBS:

Let us bow our heads and pray for God's blessing. God of wisdom, You have bound us together in a common life. Help us in the midst of our struggles for consensus to work together with mutual respect. We ask for a vision that is not consumed in the details and process, but rather builds for tomorrow upon the progress of yesterday and the possibility of tomorrow. And to this prayer, let us respond. Amen. Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you, Father. And it gives me great pleasure to call up Representative Floren of the 149th District to come up and lead us in prayer -- I mean, pledge. [Laughter]

DEPUTY CHAPLAIN FATHER CHARLES E. JACOBS:

She might do another prayer. We'll both do.

REP. FLOREN (149TH):

(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):

Representative Buckbee, I'm not gonna clarify what just happened on the dais, okay, sir? But I will say -- and I think it is no secret to the House that Livvy Floren is probably the member we all like to see the most, probably one of the sweetest most kind-hearted people we've ever met, so thank you. [Applause] [Cheers]

Representative Case of the 63rd, blending into that large crowd in the back, for what purposes do you rise, sir?

REP. CASE (63RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. For a point of introduction, if I may, sir.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Mr. Speaker, today I'm honored once again, to have the students of my home high school, the Gilbert School along with Mr. Goetz and Mr. Hoffman and their civics class and their social studies class here today at the Capitol to see how things go. I'd appreciate it if we'd give a regular warm welcome to the students of the Gilbert School. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. [Applause]

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir and thank you very much for having them come up today. Representative Zupkus of the 89th, for what purposes do you rise, Madam?

REP. ZUPKUS (89th):

For an announcement, please Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed.

REP. ZUPKUS (89th):

Thank you. I just wanted to remind everybody that today is dress down Friday or dress up Friday. The cause that we are raising money for is for the Home of the Brave in Bridgeport and it is for homeless women Veterans and their children, which is a very important cause. So thank you to everybody in here, in the gallery, out in the halls that have paid already. If you have not, Representative Abercombie and I would be more than happy to collect. So thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Zupkus, I know we normally don't exchange money up here on the dais, but I do see Representative Abercrombie and I haven't paid yet. So if she'll come up and accept my donation. [Laughter] [Applause] And thank you both for organizing it, it is a great cause. Representative Hennessy of the 127th, you got some news for us?

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. For the purpose of an announcement.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Our Help A Hero drive was a wonderful success. The legislative participation was amazing. On behalf of Brian Baker of the South Park Inn and Vince Santilli of Homes For the Brave in Bridgeport, a heartfelt thank you. I'd like to thank all the legislators that put up collection sites in their city halls and it really increased the amount of collection.

I'd like to thank the lobbyists out there who pitched in and also supported our drive. We contacted all the legislative liaisons for all the different state departments so the state agencies and commissions also participated and I'd like to thank them. I was concerned that since we now have two homeless shelters that participated -- on in Hartford and one in Bridgeport that there would be a loss to them but we just about doubled our donations this year, so I just want to thank you all very much.

Just to put in a word, they're -- Department of Housing and the VA are cutting funding for the shelters and so they are being hurt and so we really need to support them and finally, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to mention that next Tuesday is Save A Suit Drive so when you're cleaning out your closets -- spring cleaning, please bring in your professional clothing.

Save a Suit -- this is the second year that we're doing this in which this organization prepares Veterans for interviews -- for job interviews and sets them up with appropriate clothing. Last year it was a success and I'm sure next week it'll be also a success. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Are there any other announcements or introductions? Is there any business on the clerk's desk?

CLERK:

Yes. Good morning, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Good morning, sir.

CLERK:

We have favorable report Senate Bills to be tabled for the calendar.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

I think have Representative Albis over there. You have the floor, sir.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move that we waive the reading of the Senate favorable reports and the bills be tabled for the calendar.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Hearing no objection. So ordered. Mr. Clerk, anything else?

CLERK:

Yes, Mr. Speaker. The last piece of business is the daily calendar.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much sir. Mr. Clerk, what do you say we use that calendar and call House Calendar Number 615?

CLERK:

State of Connecticut House of Representatives calendar, Friday, June 2, 2017. On page 42, Calendar Number 615, Substitute for Bill Number -- Substitute Senate Bill Number 1014, AN ACT CONCERNING VARIOUS REVISIONS AND ADDITIONS TO THE EDUCATION STATUTES as amended by a Senate Amendment Schedule “A”.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Fleischmann of the 18th, good morning, and you have the floor, sir.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Question before the chamber is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Fleischmann please proceed.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Speaker Aresimowicz, I shall. The measure before us, it contains various revisions that reflect good policy ideas from both chambers, both sides of the aisle. Among them, this bill would extend the school security grant program by another year.

It would make certified teachers from another state, US possession, or territory, District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico eligible for a temporary teaching certificate. It would extend the length of a resident teacher certificate from one to two years, very helpful for Teach for America.

It would create a private school transportation pilot program in school districts within 12 miles of various towns where private and parochial schools have indicated this would be helpful and it would also take an important measure we enacted last year that protects children against teachers or administrators who --

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Fleischmann, can I hold you for one moment, please?

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Certainly, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Because it was only single starred on the calendar, ladies and gentleman, we actually have to suspend to be able to take up that rule, so we don't find ourself [sic] in a procedural issue, I'm gonna hold off and we're gonna request a suspension of our rules, so Representative Albis.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Mr. Speaker, I move that we waive the rules to take up this bill that is one starred.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Question before the chamber is on suspension of our rules for immediate consideration of Senate Bill 1014. Is there objection? Is there objection? Hearing none, so ordered. Representative Fleischmann, please proceed.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So just to add to the summary of good measures included in this omnibus. This bill would take an important law that we enacted recently to protect children against predations of teachers or administrators who are fired from their jobs due to malfeasance, due to bad behavior towards children. We've protected students in public schools from those challenges.

This bill would extend those protections to private schools and I just want to make it clear that the independent schools of Connecticut have asked us to please do this so that the very protections we have for our public school students are extended to those children in private schools for whom the school in loco parentis.

Madam Speaker, this is a very good measure. We found that it had a fiscal note so in that spirit, the clerk is in possession of an amendment, LCO 7652. I ask the clerk please call it and I be given permission to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO Senate Amendment “A” previously designated as Senate Amendment “A” and would the -- leave the -- LCO 7652.

CLERK:

Senate Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO Number 7652 offered by Representative Fleischmann, Representative Lavielle, 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 Fleischmann, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So the amendment that's now before us says two fundamental things. First, it ensures that if we are going to have a system of background checks and proper reference checks for people who are moving from one private school to another or from a public school to a private school that is funded and it doesn't result in a cost impact to the State of Connecticut or to our local municipality.

So this amendment includes a mechanism to allow the private and independent schools to pay the State of Connecticut for background checking. Second, in the section of the bill where we were trying to broaden the ability of teachers to come from other states or territories into the State of Connecticut, there were some technical challenges that were found with the original drafting and so this measure -- this amendment corrects those technical issues and makes it clear how exactly we're going to give reciprocity, fundamentally to those teachers. I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question before the chamber is adoption of Senate Amendment “A”. Will you remark on the amendment? Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I rise in strong support of the amendment. A couple of things I would mention are that the facilitation of reciprocity or certification of teachers who come from other states is very important. Sometimes we have shortage areas, particularly in bi-lingual education for example, where we simply can't find enough qualified teachers locally.

There are many very qualified teachers who come from other places, so this is an excellent measure. Also, I would mention that the pilot on school transportation is extended to Stamford which I think is -- it's a good move to have that happen in the Southwestern part of the state as well.

Finally, I would simply say that this amendment does eliminate the fiscal note as the good chairman of education said and in view of the dire -- absolutely dire -- financial circumstances facing our state, that's a necessity and another argument in favor of this very good amendment which will become the bill.

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you very much, Representative. Will you remark further? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, I'll try your minds. All those in favor, signify by saying, “aye”.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Opposed? The “ayes” have it. The amendment is adopted. (Gavel) Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Boyd.

REP. BOYD (50TH):

Good morning, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good morning, Representative. Please proceed.

REP. BOYD (50TH):

I just want to take a moment and thank the leadership for this. I had in a hand in working on this bill. I've been in education for 17 years and in -- particularly with the independent school and this bill goes a long way in addressing some of the issues that had been previously overlooked in independent schools that had been common practice in the public sector.

We were able to get the Independent School Association on board, heads of school, so much so that even some provisions that may have had a fiscal note, the Independent School Association, through their heads of masters and heads of school, have all agreed that those schools will pay fees associated with background checks in that area.

So I think this is a good bill. It's a -- it goes a long way to protecting our students and as somebody who's been an independent school dean for a while, I think this is a great thing for the State of Connecticut to do. So I thank the chairs and the ranking members in both the House and the Senate. Thank you, Ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you very much, Representative. Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you very much. Please proceed.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Madam Speaker, as my good colleague, Representative Boyd just talked about, this bill was worked on by many people in regards to the independent academies and so on. Last night, it did pass in the Senate with some different language. I'd just like to thank everybody involved with it because it does not intrude into these schools that do some very work.

As you heard earlier, you know, I do have the school here today -- a previous school that I went to and I just want to thank everybody who helped maintain the stability of the three endowed academies in the State of Connecticut. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative France of the 42nd. Representative France, please proceed.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

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

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann, please prepare yourself. Please proceed, Representative France.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have a question concerning the transportation pilot program that's governed in Section 8, starting in Line 429 and the question that I have regards to provision that I read in the summary from -- that states that the Board of Education shall be reimbursed by either the students or the non-public school.

I'd ask the proponent to -- what is the mechanism for that and how will that cost be determined to ensure the local Board of Education is not having mandate for a cost to the local town sending their student outside the town.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I thank our good colleague for his question. So this pilot is exactly parallel to one we set up a couple years ago in the New Haven area and I think in one other metro area and the --

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative, please -- (Gavel) Ladies and gentleman, our good colleagues are having difficulty hearing themselves if you could please take your conversations outside as we're discussing an important piece of legislation. Thank you all very much. Please proceed, Representative.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The public school districts that provide transportation calculate the cost of adding a student onto the bus. They are then able to invoice the private or parochial school that's participating so they are made fully whole and they are fully recompensed for any services they provide to those who participate in the pilot.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative France.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

I thank you for that answer. I guess that takes care of the invoicing. I presume -- I'll ask the question of the proponent. Have there been any issues with the pilot that was done in the City of New Haven with a non-public school questioning the invoice or not paying the invoice to the local board of education?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No. It -- the partnerships that have been established so far have worked very well. The private and parochial schools are really appreciative of having the service available. Any invoice they received from a public school is far less than the cost they would incur if they had to lease their own buses. So it's worked extremely well.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative France.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

Thank you for that. That's good news. I appreciate that answer. The final piece is dealing with it also allows for reimbursement by students. How would that mechanism work if the families were invoiced for the cost?

I can clearly see where a local board of education would send an invoice to another school -- in this case, a parochial school as used in the example. But how would -- as is allowed under the wording -- the private student be invoiced and what mechanism would be made to ensure the Board of Education was reimbursed?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. To my knowledge, only schools have been repaying public school districts for the provision of school bus services so far, under the pilot we've established, so I'm not aware of any individual families that have yet been invoiced and it's my sense that this is -- as it's rolled out in the State of Connecticut, it's involved relationships between private and parochial schools and public schools and families have been left out of the equation in terms of payment.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative France.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

Thank you for that and I understand and am not doubtful that that has been the only relationship in the past that has happened. My concern is that the statute allows a Board of Education to have the students reimburse the Board of Education and I'm not certain how that mechanism and what authority a Board of Ed would have to dictate to a private family to reimburse for transportation in this case. I certainly understand how, you know, the relationship and the -- between the non-public school and the Board of Education would be productive and it has been.

My concern is that the statute also allows for billing of a -- an individual family for that reimbursement and how that would work and under what authority the Board of Ed could mandate repayment from a private citizen for that cost as is allowed under the state. Even if it's not been used, it's allowed the wording in the statute.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. As this provision has yet to be utilized in the State of Connecticut, the question moves us into the realm of speculation to some extent. My best guess would be that if there were a circumstance where the private or parochial school, for some reason, was choosing to have families pay individually for their transportation costs that the Board of Ed would send its invoice to the family in question.

That family would be obligated to pay for transportation and I suppose if there were non-payment, as in any arrangement, the public school system would have the option of discontinuing the allowance for the student to board the public school bus.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative France.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

I appreciate the hypothetical answer and I guess my question really comes down to is under what statutory authority does the Board of Education have to send that bill and expect repayment? I do understand that under the hypothetical situation that the good proponent offered, that is a likely consequence.

I'm just not -- not being familiar with the educational law in this state, I have concern that there is authority for a Board of Education to do what the statute is saying they can do to actually bill a private family for transportation even at the request of that private family. I'm not familiar with it, so that's why I'm asking the question.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

One moment, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

We'll stand at ease for one moment. Chamber, come back to order. Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So, this bill, like the measure that we passed a few years ago, in its language empowers the local Board of Education to invoice either the resident student or the non-public school in which that student is enrolled.

So the language in this bill, like the language in the pilot bill that we passed a couple of years ago, gives the local education authority the power to go ahead and send that invoice to a family. But as I say, because the private and parochial schools themselves are such powerful advocates of this program, there is no invoice to my knowledge that has ever been sent a family.

All invoices have been sent to the private and parochial schools which have recompensed the public schools.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Ladies and gentleman, again, our colleagues are having difficulty hearing and getting some clarification on this piece of legislation. Thank you so much for taking your conversations outside. Representative France.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and I appreciate the help that the proponent has provided to understand how that mechanism would work and what authority they have and thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative McCarty.

REP. MCCARTY (38TH):

Good morning and thank you, Madam Speaker. I just really rise with a few comments. I wanted to just go on the record saying that I strongly support this piece of legislation. I think it's excellent that we're showing sensitivity to our parochial and non-public schools, particularly in the area of the security grant and I believe this pilot program will be worked out to the best interest of all parties.

I don't see any issues with it and I just wanted to stand and say that I think this is an excellent piece of legislation. Again, it shows sensitivity to all parties involved.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you very much, 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 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? If all the members have voted, the machine will be locked and will the clerk please take a tally? Will the clerk please announce the tally?

CLERK:

Senate Bill 1014 as amended by Senate “A” in concurrence with the Senate.

Total Number Voting 133

Necessary for Passage 67

Those voting Yea 133

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 18

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill as amended is passed in concurrence with the Senate. (Gavel) Are there any announcements or introductions? Representative Godfrey.

REP. GODFREY (110TH):

For an introduction, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. GODFREY (110TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. We are joined, happily, today by an old colleague and friend, Phil Prelli who's sitting right over here next to Pam Sawyer. Phil's a former member of this House and all current members aside, is the original gentle giant of the House of Representatives.

Phil and I spent many a Monday during sessions putting together go lists and the frightening thing -- he and I were on the same page more often than not -- or actually, the two political parties that are present in this chamber. It was a strange and much more civil time, I suspect that we cooperated. Phil of course, retired about 10 years ago, was later the commissioner of Agriculture.

He was truly a giant. He was truly gentle, and I'm delighted he has graced our chamber with a visit today. I believe his successor -- the current person who holds his seat might want to speak on this, who is up in the back. So I would yield the floor and hope later that we'll all be able to give a Phil a rousing welcome. [Applause]

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Welcome back, sir. Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

I thank my good colleague for the introduction and I also just want to thank the previous 63rd State Rep here, Mr. Phil Prelli, for coming to the Capitol today and for indulging us in some civic lessons on how I need to do things. So I thank you, Madam Speaker. [Applause]

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Wood.

REP. WOOD (141ST):

I rise on a point of introduction.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed, Ma'am. You look like you have a great group there.

REP. WOOD (141ST):

Thank you very much. So it's a joy to welcome the winners of the eeSmarts Award which is being celebrated today and sponsored by Eversource and Ryan Blatney and William Harper are the first and second place winners in the division called Wait Til 8 and it's about how you can preserve the environment by waiting till 8 to do your -- don't laundry, do your dishes, and they both wrote great essays and I'd love the chamber to give them a warm welcome. Thank you. [Applause]

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Congratulations and I see that we have other members of -- other winners on the floor in front of us and behind us, so I would like to welcome them all and congratulation them for the great work that they have done.

We'll now come back to order. Will the clerk please call Calendar 116?

CLERK:

On page 44, House Calendar 116, House Bill Number 6603, AN ACT CONCERNING A STUDY OF CERTAIN TENANTS OF STATE-FUNDED PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECTS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Butler.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

Good morning, Madam Speaker. It's good to see you so early in the morning.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good morning, Representative. It's nice to be seen.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

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. Representatives Butler, you have the floor.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the bill actually is to perform a study on existing state funded elderly and disabled housing to actually take a look at the buildings around the state to evaluate how it's working, how we could make it better.

And before I go forward in any description, I'd like to have the clerk call an amendment in their possession. LCO Number 6655 and I would be -- I would ask to be granted leave of the chamber so I can summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 6655 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule “A”?

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO Number 6655, offered by Representative Butler, Representative Kupchick, 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.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the amendment is to address a couple of issues related to the study, one of which -- there's multiple agencies that will be a part of this study and one of the agencies, the -- for the protection efficacy of persons with disabilities will no longer exist at the time that this bill becomes adopted. So -- if it's actually passed in the House and the Senate.

So what the amendment does is gives the replacement organization which is Disability Rights of Connecticut Inc. which will replace them in the appropriate line within the bill. Also because of the passage state, we're going to move back the date that the Department of Housing has to come back to us with a report on this and that date is -- be moves from December 31, 2017 to March 1, 2018. 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 amendment? Representative Kupchick. Will you remark further? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, I try your minds. All those in favor signify by saying “Aye”.

REPRESENATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Opposed? The “ayes” have it. The amendment is adopted. (Gavel) Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Kupchick.

REP. KUPCHICK (132ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise in support of this bill. During the session, Representative Nicole Klarides-Ditria came before the committee with a bill that looked to increase our senior housing -- affordable housing stock in our state and obviously, we are looking with our baby boom generation, to be able to provide additional more affordable housing stock.

So the bill has been turned into a study so that the state can look additionally at opportunities for us to handle the, what I would call the Senior rush that's going to happen with our baby boomers and I think it's a good bill and I hope that it's going to pass.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. The good representative from the 105th. Please proceed.

REP. KLARIDES-DITRIA (105TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise for a few comments.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. KLARIDES-DITRIA (105TH):

Thank you. I rise in support of this bill -- this study -- which explores the different needs of Connecticut's elderly tenants and our younger tenants with disabilities and the different support services they may need. I thank both my colleagues for the hard work they've done on this bill and I support -- and these two populations, they're very important populations in our state and they deserve our full support so I encourage all my colleagues to please support the study.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Oh my God. Another study. Number 14,547. This study is gonna cost over $ 25,000 dollars. It's going to study three of the -- three of the housings that we have. Three. $ 25,000 dollars for three.

It's gonna cover such things as the number of residents who live in the rented area, the rents that are charged to the residents, the operating costs, the information about the use of the municipal services including ambulance and everything else -- how many younger people are in there, assessment of supportive services. There's 13 different things that they're gonna cover.

All of these things are known. They are known factors and it's known right by the person -- the individuals who's running each of these apartment complexes. All we have to do is get the commissioner of Housing to make a list of what we have here to go in for basically no cost and determine what we have to do to support it.

Now remember, this is $ 25,000 dollars. There are only three housing complexes that they're looking at and each of these can be done by the commissioner of Housing. There is no need -- no need whatsoever to spend $ 25,000 and no need to have a whole study group do this. This can be done within a couple of hours by the commissioner of Housing.

Remind me what I'm seeing. A couple of hours, it could be done and put together by the commissioner of Housing and his staff. Remember, one more time. There are only three complexes that we're studying, there are a total of 13 questions that were gonna be asked and all of the individuals who manage these complexes know how many times the ambulance have come, how many elderly people they have, how many younger people they have.

All of the questions that they're asking are known by the managers of the complex. There is no need to do this study. This is totally -- it's a good study -- but it can be done within a couple of hours by the commissioner of Housing.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you very much and good afternoon, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good afternoon to you.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Madam Speaker, I rise with several concerns about this piece of legislation. I'll note that it was supported unanimously in the Appropriations Committee and I did so because I believe in the work and that it would be a work in progress and was happy to support the intent of the legislation and I do support the intent of the legislation.

But I was really hoping that this bill would become within available appropriations here on the floor and that is not the case. When you go to the Department of Housing's website, there is an actual list right now of housing units completed from 2011 to 2017 and I don't often agree with my colleague on some issues from Tolland when we talk about studies but this is an area I do agree with him on.

I don't know if it can be done in a couple of hours, but I certainly do believe that it should be done within available appropriations by the Department of Housing. I'll read to you their mission. Their mission is a Connecticut where affordable housing and strong, vibrant, and inclusive communities is accessible to individuals and families across the state and homelessness is a thing of the past.

The question we really should be asking is why aren't they doing this already? If this -- if that's not their mission to identify the very things that the good representative is talking about, the proponent of this legislation -- what are they doing? So $ 25,000 dollars for yet another consultant -- it makes me have pause.

While I totally respect the intent of the legislation from the good proponent and chair of the Housing Committee -- I've never served on that committee and I'm sure you've asked, sir, those questions to the commissioner many times. Why aren't you already doing this? I'm sure he has. Which is what has led him to propose this legislation to get them to do their jobs.

That is an admirable thing for him to be doing and I support those efforts which I supported it in the appropriations committee because we should be holding the department of Housing accountable to their mission statement.

While I support the intent, Madam Speaker, I cannot in good conscience support $ 25,000 dollars of taxpayer money for a consultant to do the job that the Department of Housing should be doing anyway, and for that reason, I'll be opposed with great respect to the proponent.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Reyes of the 75th.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise in strong support of Housing Bill 6603 and I thank the good proponent of the bill and the -- my colleagues on both sides of the aisle that actually supported this bill.

One of the concerns that the -- I have is that the -- although we may know certain things about particular housing needs and particular housing situations, until you've actually spent some time talking with elderly and talking with the different associates that live in there -- and I understand that there are federal guidelines that we have to follow and adhere to.

But there are definitely some cause and needs -- cause for concern and some needs that to be addressed because at the end of the day, I do have constituents that are living in not ideal conditions where they're actually not comfortable in what should be their golden years at a place that they call home and I agree with my colleague across the aisle, the good representative said that the Housing Department should have most of this data and I agree.

But let's bring it all to the forefront and let's start addressing the needs for the elderly that are not comfortable in their home and I thank you.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Butler.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. [Clearing throat] I'd just like to actually speak to some of the concerns that was brought forward, specifically the first one that was mentioned about a consultant doing the work. In terms of what I've been led to believe, there's already an employee of the State of Connecticut that will have their duties expanded to actually help work on this report.

So it won't be a consultant, it will be an employee of the state. And to that end, they may even be able to do it for less than $ 25,000 dollars. You gotta remember and everybody in here knows that OFA makes it best attempt to put a price tag on everything but it's not necessarily the price tag that it's gonna take.

But if it, I think it's -- if we do anything here in Hartford -- if we could actually spend $ 25,000 dollars to actually come up with a solution to make life for our seniors and our disabled possibilities a quality of life experience here in the State of Connecticut -- boy, you couldn't even take a penny and break off a piece in the grand scheme of things of what that would mean and I think it's worth our seniors and our disabled populations are worth that -- whatever that may be.

Secondly, so it's not gonna be a consultant. And secondly, you can't just look at the categories that the reporting is gonna be done and say that, okay, you just look at the numbers and the numbers will tell you everything you need to know. Please realize that these numbers are very involved and it takes some analysis once you look at the numbers to actually look at the impact on both of those populations -- both the elderly and the disabled.

And the disabled population comes in multiple categories so it's not just like cut and dry. This is very sophisticated and the work that goes into it is gonna be very sophisticated. So I would just -- again, say that this is our responsibility to do our due diligence before we could actually come here with a bill to ask for exactly what we want for these populations. We should get the information in a very comprehensive manner so that whatever decision we come back with and whatever we plan to do is based on good hard facts.

So, again, Madam Speaker, for all those reasons, I'd like to thank the good ranking member, my Vice-Chair and the good representative from the 105th that's been supportive and I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Kupchick.

REP. KUPCHICK (132ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. When we debated this bill in the Housing Committee, it was told to us very clearly by the commissioner that a new employee that would be hired by the Department of Housing would be handling a lot of this additional work. Additionally, the Fair Housing Commission was going to be able to do this work. There was no fiscal note attached to it.

Now, I realize that OFA doesn't realize exactly how the budget is gonna be passed or what's going to happen with the budget. So they put a fiscal note on pretty much everything -- basically, to cover themselves. But that's not what we were told. That's not what I believe will happen. This is not something that should cost $ 25,000 dollars -- $ 10,000 dollars -- it shouldn't even cost a $ 1,000 dollars. It should be done within available appropriations.

So I'm gonna give the Department of Housing the benefit of the doubt to be able to do a study to increase affordable housing for seniors and persons with disabilities so I will still continue to support the bill.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

[Clearing throat] Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have great respect for both the chair and the ranking member of the Housing Committee and what the intent of hits legislation and I support those efforts. Let me be clear. I support those efforts. This is also from my colleague's benefit, a one-time fiscal year only in '18 $ 25,000 dollars.

But if we wanted to remove all doubt of how this was gonna be accomplished within the Department of Housing, we would have done what was talked about in the Appropriations Committee and the amendment would say within available appropriations. If the amendment had said within available appropriations, there would not be a fiscal note on this bill right now, Madam Speaker, and it's for that reason, I'll be still voting now. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Good morning. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. A question through you to the Chair of the Housing Committee.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Butler, please prepare yourself. Representative Betts, please proceed.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Thank you very much. To the good chairman, as I listen to this debate, it seems to me the common ground as we all want this work done and as I listen to Representative Ziobron about the mission of the Department of Housing and the way this has evolved, I have the impression that this would be part of their normal duties and responsibilities within the Department of Housing.

If I'm correct -- well, let me ask you this. Through you, Madam Speaker. Am I correct in assuming that this befalls within their normal duties and responsibilities within the Department of Housing?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Butler.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I'm not sure if it's gonna be one of the employees directly related underneath the Department of Housing or associated through CHFA but it will be just an extension of what they're gonna be asked to do.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will the -- will the chamber please stand at ease? Will the chamber please come back to order. Representative Albis.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill will be passed temporarily. (Gavel) Representative Albis.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move that we suspend the rules for immediate consideration of Calendar Number 614, which is currently single starred.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question is on suspension of the rules for the immediate consideration of calendar 614. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection to summarization? Hearing none. The rules are suspended for the immediate consideration of calendar 614. (Gavel)

Will the clerk please call Calendar Number 614?

CLERK:

On page 42, House Calendar 614, Substitute Senate Bill Number 918, AN ACT CONCERNING A MUNICIPAL OPTION PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION FOR GOLD STAR PARENTS AND SPOUSES. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I move adoption of the Joint Committee's favorable report in concurrence with the Senate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate. Is that what you --

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

That is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed, Representative.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the clerk is in possession of LCO Number 7588. I would ask that he call the amendment that I be given leave of the chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 7588, previously amended Senate “A” which will be designated House -- please proceed.

CLERK:

Senate Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO 7588 offered by Senator Looney, Senator Duff, 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 Hennessy, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the amendment makes a clarifying change which has no fiscal impact. I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question before the chamber is adoption of Senate Amendment “A”. Will you remark on the amendment?

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, this bill allows -- I'll wait until the amendment is adopted.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will you remark further on the amendment? Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Just want to make a statement. I rise in support of the amendment as offered by our Senate colleagues. This bill would assist -- this amendment will assist gold star parents who have given up so much, so I urge my colleagues to support the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment? If not, I 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 in concurrence with the senate is adopted. (Gavel) Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This bill allows municipalities with their legislative body's approval, to provide a property tax exemption to a parent or surviving spouse of a service member killed in action while performing active military duty with the United States Armed Forces.

I ask that the body support the bill. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. The good representative from the 73rd, Representative Berger.

REP. BERGER (73RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise in strong support of the bill and also to thank the Veterans Committee, the House Chair, and the Senate for recognition of the importance of this bill to gold star families. I'd also like to note Joseph Nolan, a former Waterbury teacher, comes up consistently every year and we testify together in the Veterans Committee usually for Veterans issues and gold star family issues.

And this is just another outgrowth of his diligence in memory of his son, Sergeant Joseph Nolan who lost his life by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2006. So again, thank you to the committee and thank you to this General Assembly for its continued work recognition of Veterans and gold star families.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Dunsby.

REP. DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. A couple questions for the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Hennessy, please prepare yourself. Representative Dunsby, please proceed.

REP. DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, is there an estimate of how much this will cost municipalities in lost property tax revenue?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, Madam Speaker. A municipality may exempt up to $ 20,000 dollars or 10 percent of the property's assessed value.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP. DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I was hoping more for a number but the -- so I understand the intent, which is an admirable one, to provide for Veterans and their families. It is being operationalized here in the form of a tax deduction. My question is, was there any consideration of making this a tax deduction against state income taxes as opposed to making this deduction at the municipal level?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Madam Speaker, I did not hear the question. If the good Representative could repeat it please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP. DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The question is and the prologue to the question is, I understand the intent which is an admirable one, to help Veterans and parents and gold star parents which is what more specifically this is and is being operationalized through a tax deduction. The tax deduction is at the municipal level.

Was there any consideration to accomplishing this same goal by providing a tax deduction at the state level, say against income tax, opposed to an offset to local property tax -- the local property tax?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Hennessy.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The answer is no.

REP. DUNSBY (135TH):

Okay. Well --

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP. DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I thank the representative for that answer. Obviously, it's hard to argue with the intent here but I will have to point out that there are about roughly, I think, 80 property tax exemptions passed by the state, put forward on the municipalities.

Every one of them, I'm sure, has a great intention behind them but it's difficult for municipalities to raise tax revenues and to operate their governments if the state continues going down the road of saying this exemption is a good idea and we're gonna make municipality pay for it.

If this exemption is a good idea, the state has the resources to pay for it. It's much more simpler, it's much more appropriate for this body to pass exemptions at the state level than to pass exemptions whose cost must be more borne by the municipality.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Ferraro.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and again, I rise asking my colleagues to support this -- the underlying bill as amended. It is a bill that will award some tax relief to gold star parents. It is permissive by the municipality so I urge my colleagues to support. Thank you very much.

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 will the Clerk please take the tally?

Will the Clerk please announce the tally?

CLERK:

Senate Bill 918 as amended by Senate “A” in concurrence with the Senate.

Total Number Voting 142

Necessary for Passage 72

Those voting Yea 141

Those voting Nay 1

Those absent and not voting 9

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The Bill passes in concurrence with the Senate. (Gavel) Are there any announcements or introductions? The good representative from the 103rd, please proceed, Ma'am.

REP. LINEHAN (103RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I'm just so happy you're up here for when I'm doing this from one mom to a next. I'd like to -- I rise for the purpose of an introduction of my daughter Zoe. She's 8-years-old and she goes to Highland School in Cheshire.

Zoe didn't feel well this morning but now she's feeling just fine as she's here in the legislature and I'm hoping that my colleagues can give a nice warm welcome to her. Say hi. [Applause]

Thank you very much and Madam Speaker, just one more point. I would like to mention that Zoe was with me once when we were in the Environment Committee meeting where we brought up the bottle bill and as we were coming to the legislature today, she asked if that was going to be up on the board and so Zoe would just like to say that she hope it does, someday.

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative and Zoe, welcome to our chamber. I hope you enjoy your visit. Representative Ritter. Will the Clerk please call Calendar 68?

CLERK:

On page 2, House Calendar 68, Substitute House Bill Number 5857, AN ACT REQUIRING CERTAIN RETAIL FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS TO HAVE RECYCLING BINS ON THE PREMISES. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Environment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ritter.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Madam Speaker, I move that we recommit this item at this time. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Without objection, so ordered. (Gavel) Will the chamber please stand at ease for a moment? Will the chamber please come back to order? Will the Clerk please call Calendar Number 368?

CLERK:

On page 47, House Calendar 368, Substitute House Bill Number 7255, AN ACT ESTABLISHING A TASK FORCE TO CONDUCT A FEASIBILITY STUDY REGARDING THE CREATION OF A SPECIAL EDUCATION PREDICTABLE COST COOPERATIVE. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

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 Fleischmann, you have the floor.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As the title indicates, the measure before us is designed to allow a group of people with expertise to go ahead and look at a concept that was placed before the assembly in January for a cooperative approach to special education that potentially would act like a captive insurance model where there would be greater predictability and smoothness to special education costs.

This is a very complicated idea and it's just one of many. So it would take quite a bit of money, we found out, as -- once the bill was filed, to fully study this because potentially we would need an actuarial cost study that involves a lot of expertise and time and dollars.

So there was a fiscal note attached and in that spirit, Madam Speaker, the Clerk is in possession of amendment LCO 7913. I ask the clerk please call and I be given permission to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative, could you please repeat the LCO? I'm having difficulty hearing you.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Certainly. It's LCO Number 7913.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO Number 7913 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule “A”.

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO Number 7913, offered by Representative Fleischmann, Representative Lavielle, 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 Fleischmann, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. As referenced in my earlier comments, this amendment maintains the spirit of the original bill but makes two fundamental and very important changes. One, it eliminates the fiscal note leaving only incidental costs of up to $ 1,000 dollars at the State Department of Education and ensuring that any additional costs beyond that will be covered by contributions from non-profits and foundations with an interest in this approach.

Second, as the esteemed ranking member of the committee pointed out, the scope of the original study was unnecessarily narrow. The language just spoke about a special ed predictable cost cooperative and the ranking member pointed out that there may be other models that would provide smoothing and predictability for special ed costs.

So the language now in front of us ensures that this agust [phonetic] group of experts who come together will not only look at a cooperative but will look at other approaches that could offer help and relief to our school officials and special ed experts at the district level. 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 amendment? Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Good morning -- I think.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good morning, Ma'am.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Yes, still good morning.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Sneaking it right in there.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you. I -- before I say anything else, I'll say that I am rising in support of the amendment which does some very important things. I will follow that with some questions because I think it's important for us to have a record of some of the legislative intent of this strike-all amendment which is very similar to the original bill.

So I -- let me say why I support this, first of all. Special education costs are rising. We are finding it -- that there is more identification of idiosyncratic disorders. We're finding better ways to serve children with special needs. School districts are more active in this regard. We must provide these services and they are leading to higher degrees of literacy, certainly, and of independence.

However, the costs are accelerating with every year and the acceleration of these costs and the problems with predicting them are brought up to all of us, I know, constantly. From our Boards of Education and from our school superintendents -- and even from parents and from taxpayers. So it is a question that really as a General Assembly, we have a very, very important responsibility to address.

There can be many ways of doing that. The original bill focused only on looking at once possibility, one option, for addressing the issue of special education costs. The amendment, and this is very important for everyone to know -- the amendment broadens that and requires the group concentrating on this question as stipulated in the bill, to consider any and all alternative models of special education funding that it considers may be viable.

So that would include as well models that are used by other states. We'll go over that in a minute but this is why I support the amendment. And it's very -- considering, I'm going to ask some questions but I do want it to be clear that the concept of investigating, exploring, and making recommendations on how to fund special education in general is embedded in this amendment as it's written. And that is something that I feel very strongly that we need to do.

Now, having said that, because there is quite a bit of language in here that is devoted to the concept of a special education cooperative, I think it's just important to have on the record some of the factors that are involved in that so that we know as the task force proceeds to examine all types of special education funding that all of these things will be considered. So those are the reasons for my questions. It is not to oppose the bill or the amendment.

So with that, Madam Speaker, I have some questions for the good chairman of Education.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann, please prepare yourself. Representative Lavielle, please proceed.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. So first of all, do we know if such a special education cooperative has ever been established in any other state or jurisdiction? Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm not sure. What I am aware of is that the notion of creating a captive insurer organization for various types of costs that entail risk is one that is commonplace in many different areas and what was so interesting about the proposal brought before the legislature this year was that that model that has worked well in many other areas was being applied to special ed and so we're interested in looking at it but I am not aware of whether there are other states that haven taken this path.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And how were we -- how did this concept come to be brought before the legislature for consideration?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. To my knowledge, the concept was placed before us by an organization -- a non-profit called the Connecticut School Finance Initiative -- and in looking at the fluctuations in special ed costs and the unpredictability and variability, folks at that project developed this concept.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And the good Chair mentioned the unpredictability of special ed costs which I -- was my understanding, was a prime objective of the development of this funding alternative. Does it also address amount of cost, increasing cost, acceleration of cost?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes, I believe that as is the case oftentimes with various insurance approaches there is the possibility for some cost containment if this is done in an appropriate way and that's something that folks with more expertise and actuarial science and special education will be looking at through this body.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Now, under the scheme that is proposed by this particular funding alternative, as the chair mentioned, there is the creation of a captive insurance company to take into account in an -- by actuarial method, the fluctuation in special ed costs from year to year through a multiplicity of districts.

This is not anticipated -- well, I'd -- actually some questions about governance. Is this anticipated to be a state agency, a quasi-public agency, a completely independent organization? How is this envisaged so far as we know to be organized?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and through you, to the good ranking member. It's not clear what the best form of organization will be so that very question is one that the task force shall examine.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And since it would be receiving funds from the districts themselves, which ordinarily come from sources like property taxes, would this organization be subject to scrutiny by the auditors of public accounts?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I certainly would support that 100 percent and I believe that the fact that public dollars are involved would really make it incumbent upon us to ensure that that was the case but we will have the task force looking at that issue as well, I'm sure.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And in terms of management and oversight, is that something that we would look into that we would be sure that the task force would look into as well and be as precise as possible in how that would be organized?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes. I don't think that a task force impaneled in the way that is envisioned in this amendment would be doing its work if it didn't come back to us with a report on how the management structure would work and the ways that our local education authorities in the state could be ensured that everything was being administered properly and overseen and audited properly.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And as well, would the task force be examining the pros and cons of any capital investment being provided to this captive insurance structure and where that would come from?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes. If the captive insurer model were the one that were pursued and there were a requirement for an infusion of initial capital, it would be incumbent on the task force to figure out a fair way to set up that initial capital and make sure that the interests of the districts and the state were protected.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, and would we anticipate that were such a solution identified or something of this type, that all districts would be obligated to participate or that they would have the option?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you. Through you, Madam Speaker. Again, that's a topic that I would expect this task force to opine on. My guess is that you would have to have a certain critical mass of districts participating for this system to work but I don't have the expertise to say how many or -- so, I expect that the folks who are impaneled on this task force will be letting us know what they think the best practice would be.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So we've covered a few subjects that are rather more financial actuarial and governance related than just being confined to education. So does the task force include representatives of organizations or experts in that kind of material -- the financial actuarial and insurance side as well as governance?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Also, I just wanted to make clear as I understand it, the -- there is no representative of the organization that actually brought this idea to the legislature, although we would imagine they would be consulted at great length. Is that correct?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. One more question and then I'll just make some remarks. I want to address the fiscal note for a moment which is another thing that the amendment takes care of. As the good chair mentioned to us earlier, the state is not on the hook for this, that the state would not be expected to spend any more than a $ 1,000 dollars on the maintenance of this group which I think actually amounts to more than a task force.

This is a really serious subject that needs to be addressed. The fiscal note also mentions the opportunity that is articulated in the amendment of receiving funds for a more extensive study from non-profits. That this would be completely allowed and not only that, but since the -- this could actually entail some real cost, the fiscal note says $ 250,000 dollars plus but it could not be that much or it could be more -- that it won't happen unless we get funding from non-profits which in this dire fiscal crisis we're experiencing is entirely appropriate and I applaud that.

What I wanted to ask was would we expect that in receiving non-profits and soliciting and receiving them, that this would be done in a way that would not bias the findings in one direction or the other which might happen if the funds came from only one source? So will there be some effort to ensure that the funding is not biased by being received from only organization?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes and for purposes of legislative intent, I do want to underscore that it's our expectation that this task force will cast its net far and wide in search of support so that they're not left in a situation where there is just one or two funders who may come from a certain ideological perspective that leads people to question whether you know, the piper is calling the tune.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Lavielle.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I thank the good representative for his very precise answer to that which I think is important to us all and I don't have any further questions but as -- again, I want to thank him particularly -- thank Representative Fleischmann for his very assiduous and collaborative work on this bill because it had some very particular origins and I think we've come out with something that is not only better but really will be beneficial and lead some -- and yield some results that will be important for the state and for all of our school districts. I will explain why.

At the beginning of this session, there was a bill that was brought before the Insurance Committee, which to make a long story short, would have simply implemented this special education cost cooperative. Something that has not to my knowledge either, been tried in any other state and it would simply have mounted the plan and brought it before the commissioner to implement with no legislative approval.

The subsequent version that was voted out of the committee did require legislative approval but no other alternatives were to be examined. And that seemed to all of us in education committee leadership, a bit extreme and a risk. This bill was developed to do two things.

One, to provide us something that would allow us to examine that alternative among others so that we weren't even confronted with that issue of it's this or nothing -- and that was very, very important. And we worked very hard together on that. It was a wonderful collaborative effort. And secondly, it allowed us to proceed this bill as it is -- amendment.

Allows us to proceed with a topic of great urgency which is to find out how we can confront this not only unpredictability but also acceleration of burgeoning special education costs which we must deal with, which we are obligated by federal mandate to deal with. And as such, it's -- I have had many superintendents tell me this is going to become unsustainable and I don't know how we will do it in our districts.

So this bill actually requires us to examine not only this particular idea which has some merits and also some potential disadvantages so we have to find out and we should find out -- we should examine it. But it also requires us through this group to examine models for special education funding that had been used constructively and successfully in other states that we do not use in Connecticut. And they run the gamut from excess cost reimbursement like we have here and funding that is granted at the beginning of the year based on other indices.

There are many, many things to look into and now that the mandate of this work group is that broad, it has the potential to yield very informative results for us all and I hope that it will be beneficial for every single one of our districts and above all, for the population of children with special needs and their families because we really need to make sure we are handling that the best and most efficient and most effective way.

So I do believe having had many misgivings at the beginning of this exercise because we were focused only on that one alternative, I think now we have set up a process for yielding results that we can all use. We will need to be vigilant. I know that I for one -- if we are faced with no other alternative at the end or if the task force doesn't do its duty as outlined in here, I -- we will address that.

I will -- and I know that the Chair of Education joins me in that and I again can't speak highly enough of his good faith and his collaboration and willingness to be open to looking at this as a broader exercise and having said all that, I do urge everyone to support this. I think that it will be informative and will lead us to the best possible result we can get under the current circumstances. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Morning, Madam Speaker. I had some questions for the proponent, if I may.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann, please prepare yourself. Representative Fishbein, please proceed.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you. As to the amendment, my understanding of the amendment -- the main reason for the amendment is to try and eliminate or diminish the fiscal note. Is that the case?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. As I indicated in my initial summation, the amendment has two fundamental purposes. One is the intent that my good colleague pointed out to eliminate the underlying cost of the bill. The second is to broaden the scope of the task force to ensure that it looks at models other than that of a predictable cost cooperative.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And am I to understand that the cost of the task force which is estimated to be between $ 250,000 and $ 500,000 dollars is not changed via the amendment?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No, I would not accept that characterization. The cost to the state is changed. The original fiscal note had a cost of -- and I don't have it in front of me but I'll take it at my colleague's representation that it was in the $ 250,000 dollar range and now under this amendment, the cost to the state can only be up to $ 1,000 dollars for incidental costs that would be incurred for copying, etcetera.

Any additional costs for the study would have to be covered by donations from foundations and non-profits. So if for example, they do a full actuarial study of a insurance captive model it could be a $ 100,000 dollars to $ 200,000 dollars but only if those dollars are raised and if not, that portion of the study does not occur and of course, there's no cost to the state.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Perhaps my good colleague did not understand the question. It had to do with the overall cost of the study and if I could pose the question again, am I to understand that the cost of the study which was originally estimated to be $ 250,000 dollars to $ 500,000 dollars is not altered by the amendment? Not to the state, just the cost of the study.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I thank my good colleague for his clarification and the answer to that question is yes. There is no change.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And am I to understand through -- via the amendment that now that cost is supposed to be borne by non-profit agencies in this state?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Sort of. The cost is to be borne by 501c3s which are not just non-profit organizations but also foundations and my expectation is that it's more likely the dollars will come from foundations that are established as 501c3s than non-profit agencies but both are permissible sources.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And am I to further understand that should these funds not come in as anticipated, well, if the funds should not come in that the task force is not to convene or the report is not to be done -- I don't know.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It's a very fair question and my understanding is this: if sufficient funds are not raised to do the full actuarial cost study of the cost cooperative which would be basically a captive insurance model, then that portion of the study could not be done.

The task force would still convene, I would expect, and would still study other matters that it was able to study. It would simply not be able to put forward the full actuarial analysis that is tied to that expensive fiscal note.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And in interest of the taxpayer dollars, are 501c3 organizations that receive state and or municipal funding barred from contributing to this fund for the task force?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I don't know. The language before us doesn't speak to that issue. There may be rules under the state contracting board or certain sections of our ethics statutes that may preclude certain parties from donating based on potential conflicts of interests, executive versus legislative branch, etcetera but the measure before us does not speak directly to that.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So just to clarify, it's certainly possible that 501c3 organization in our state that receives either municipal and/or state taxpayer dollars could wholly or partially fund this task force that's supposed to cost up to $ 500,000 dollars?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No, I wouldn't accept that characterization. So as I just mentioned, this bill is silent on the issue but we have statutes in place that speak to those issues. So for example, if there were some 501c3 that received significant dollars from an executive branch agency that decided it was interested in this legislative task force, I believe our existing ethics framework would preclude that executive funded non-profit from participating in this legislative branch task force.

The other hypothetical I heard in the question related to municipally funded non-profits -- I'm not as familiar with the rules about municipally support non-profits and what they may do with the state. I suppose it's theoretically possible that they could be involved with this but I am not aware of any municipally supported non-profit that would have the wherewithal to make any significant contribution to this purpose.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. You know, I think we're setting a bad precedent here. It's been determined that there's a need for a study to be done here and the cost is very large. I'm very sensitive to special education. Education in of itself as well as the funding of the same. I think, you know, we end up with task force that's not gonna issue a report unless 501c3s come to the table and fund it. I just think we're going down a bad road here and I do not intend on supporting the amendment nor, at this point, the underling bill. So, thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I have a few questions for the proponent of the bill.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative, are they are on the amendment? We have not adopted the bill as of yet.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Yes. I'm sorry, they are on the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Okay. Representative Fleischmann, please prepare. Representative Belsito, please proceed.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Through the proponent of the bill, through you, Madam Speaker. I've heard you say that the non-profits are going to contribute, 5013cs [sic] are going to contribute -- most of those individuals are companies -- non-profits get a very big share of their funds from the State of Connecticut.

That means that the people of the State of Connecticut are paying for this. So one way or another, they're paying for this, is that true?

Through you Mr -- Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker [sic]. No. So, the primary likely funders are non-profit foundations. There are various types of foundations in the State of Connecticut: family foundations, community foundations. The sources of their dollars are the largesse of individuals who've decided that they want to create a foundation that can support enterprises they think further the good of the people of Connecticut.

So -- and they typically have mission statements that constrain how they spend their dollars. So, for example, it is imaginable that an organization like the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving or the New Haven Foundation or the Eastern Connecticut Foundation might hear from a number of people that the special education problems and needs of Connecticut are profound and that there's a desire for those foundations to support this enterprise and they could make contributions to support it.

Those are not taxpayer dollars, those are dollars that are thrown off of the large endowments of those community foundations and if they're family foundations participating again typically, most of the monies are the interest and dividends thrown off of the endowment of those family foundations.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, Madam Speaker, to the proponent of the bill. Have you contacted any of these non-profits or 5013Cs [sic] or organizations that have very big endowments so that you can say this project will be funded because I have already contacted them with the amendment you made, you're eliminating over $ 500,000 dollars' worth of expenses and have you made contact with them to see if they are willing to contribute $ 500,000 dollars or less?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

So, but -- thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, Madam Speaker to the proponent of the bill. Does that mean that we are looking at a totally unfunded amendment and bill to come, that has no form of funding, yet we're proposing it at this time?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Through you -- thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, Madam Speaker, I didn't quite understand the answer no. If we have no funding, where are we going to get the money?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The fact that I have not personally made outreach to engage funders in the question of supporting this enterprise doesn't mean such funding is not available. I expect that members of the task force will do that. I believe that there are foundations and non-profits that are interested in this and that will fund it.

And last but not least, I've had conversations with people from the insurance department who have indicated that the costs listed in this fiscal note represents the very upper end of the costs of the study if it were to -- you know, be a worst case scenario and that in fact, the likely parameters are more like $ 100,000 dollars which is a low enough figure that a single foundation or a single non-profit of sufficient size would be able to fund the study.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, Madam Speaker, what is the probability of these unnamed donors to contribute the funds that we need to complete the study? I understand that the study is going to go forward but what will it take, how far forward will it go without any funding?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I believe I heard two questions there. The first in terms of what is the probability -- I think the probability is good. As I said, $ 100,000 dollars is not a lot of money considering the size of the enterprise that's being looked at. We spend millions and millions of dollars on special ed and we have a lot of parties interested in controlling that and I believe the second part of the question related to what the task force would do if it didn't receive funding and as I said to Representative Fishbein, if no funding were raised, we would get a report that looked at the various ways to smooth special education costs without having included the expensive actuarial study.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and that is the end of the questions I have. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If I may, a few questions to the proponent of the amendment.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

My questions are gonna center on the section starting on Line 126 and thereafter, relating to the funding of the task force. What it calls for, as I understand it, is for the task force to receive funds from 501c3 organizations and subsequent sections of the code or to receive pro-bono services from any public or private entity.

So starting with the 501c3 and cash contributions, exactly how is the task force which is gonna be made up of a collection of individuals, how are they to receive money?

I know a little later -- a few lines later -- it talks about the Office of Legislative Management will assist but I would like to flesh out exactly how if an organization -- a 501c3 wanted to donate $ 100,000 dollars, make it simple as that, exactly what would be the mechanics of the receipt of the money and the control of the disbursement and oversight of the money?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, as my good colleague has observed, the Office of Legislative Management is mentioned and I believe they could essentially serve as the agent of process, so -- currently the State of Connecticut -- I'm sorry.

The legislative branch sometimes conducts studies that are of interest to us, through the Office of Legislative Management and OLM go ahead -- goes ahead to set up the potential contract and then makes its progress payments and so forth.

In this instance, I would expect that they would similarly aim to set up what the cost structure would be, what the potential cost incurred with those doing an actuarial study would be and would -- on behalf of the task force receive dollars and disburse dollars for the purposes intended.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

UNKNOWN SPEAKER: [inaudible - 02: 14: 40]

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to explore again, through the mechanics cause I believe this is the first time I can remember seeing a situation in which a significant amount of money is anticipated to be received to pay for a study of this sort. I know that there have been -- there statutes that do allow for entities.

The one that I'm most familiar with is the Law Revision Commission which the enabling statute authorized it to receive contributions. I know that we were always a little reluctant about receiving the contributions for the reasons expressed by the ranking member on the education committee.

The perception that perhaps people are going to be buy a study, fund it through a state agency, in that case, the Law Revision Commission and so there was that -- always that concern about that receipt. But I'm actually focused more on the exact mechanics of how this is going to be done.

So -- and I'm hoping that perhaps this is a freestanding statute that deals with this in a more general sort of way so that we don't kind of have to invent the wheel here today by way of legislative dialogue and intent. So I guess my next question would be, is there some statutory section that governs the receipt and distribution of monies in circumstances such as these?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

UNKNOWN SPEAKER: [inaudible - 02: 16: 09]

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Madam [sic] Speaker. While I don't have a direct citation to offer my good colleague, I believe the answer to that question is yes for this reason. I have seen a number of studies in the last few years where we did empower agencies to support a task force conducting a study. We empowered 501c3s to make donations to help allow for the study and the departments accepted the donations and moved the study forward.

So I know that there's a mechanism that's been used by state departments that I would expect the Office of Legislative Management to follow and I believe, given that those processes have occurred before that the Department of Administrative Services may have both statutes and regulations that help guide that process.

Through you.

UNKNOWN SPEAKER: [inaudible - 02: 17: 11]

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm concerned about the answer because it's relating to executive branch functions and this is gonna be a legislative study and the Office of Legislative Management is the one that's being designated to assist the task force with the -- effectively handling the money -- acting as kind of the treasurer and the sort of secretariat for this group.

And my concern is both with this one but also because I suspect that this is going to become a bit of a model or at least maybe a template for other studies given our financial condition going forward that we're going to be looking to private donations to help fund some of these things that we be sure that -- make sure that the money's gonna be handled -- first of all, it doesn't get lost, mislaid, misapplied, and that sort of thing in a very general sense.

But also that the monies are in effect segregated from other monies that the Office of Legislative Management might be coming into possession of to make sure that there's no flow either out of legislative management into this fund or flow of the fund -- of this fund into other's activities of legislative management and I don't know for sure that they have the mechanisms set up in legislative management to provide for that kind of assurance about this activity.

So that's one of the questions that I -- it sounds like the good Chairman doesn't have a statutory reference to mention to me and obviously there's nothing specifically mentioned in the amendment before us that says pursuant to Section two dash whatever this money will be received and disbursed under the supervision of legislative management.

So I really think that we should, as I said, be thinking about doing something like this -- what I've just described -- of having a specific statutory section of some sort to deal with these things if we're gonna have it run through the legislature because it's not gonna be run through an executive branch agency like the Department of Administrative Services which may have a lot more experience in dealing with receipts and disbursements of this kind, dealing with these 501c3 type organizations.

There's a second piece of this and it talks about -- or accept -- it's on Line 133. Or accept pro bono services from any public or private entity to conduct such feasibility -- I guess next word would be study -- it comes off the -- it runs off the end of the page. I'm not quite sure I understand what pro bono services from a public entity are.

So if I could ask and since that's gonna be presumably a contribution towards that $ 250,000 to $ 500,000 dollar figure, what exactly is contemplated by pro bono services from a public entity?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

UNKNOWN SPEAKER: [inaudible - 02: 20: 26]

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. While I'm not sure and I believe that the task force will figure out some of the -- its needs as it progresses. An example that comes to mind is this: the task force is going to need to gather data to look at what -- what's feasible in the realm of smoothing special education costs.

So it may be that it could need some cooperation from school districts in providing certain data and if so, we would ask school districts to provide that -- the data pro bono. I think it's also possible that -- well, I -- that's the best example that I have that comes to mind for the moment.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

UNKNOWN SPEAKER: [inaudible - 02: 21: 25]

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So -- and just so that I'm clear -- when this was being contemplated the committee at the time that the fiscal note was being put together, was the acquisition of that data coming from local school districts for example part of the $ 250,000 to $ 500,000 dollar cost or was it always assumed that the school districts would -- in a pro bono way provide that money without charging the state a fee for it?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

UNKNOWN SPEAKER: [inaudible - 02: 21: 57]

Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I don't know.

UNKNOWN SPEAKER: [inaudible - 02: 21: 57]

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Because the concept of pro bono and I don't know if I have any more questions but I don't have one right now, so the Chair can relax a bit. I don't know if the concept of -- where the concept of pro bono fits into a public service situation.

The people working for the school districts, I assume, are going to continue to get paid their regular salaries and they're gonna be using school district equipment and so forth to gather data and then supply it to the state, so it's -- in a sense, it's I guess, being donated by the local school district but it's still public funds that are being utilized to help pay for this project.

A private entity, I can understand, if a law firm or an accounting firm or an actuary were to donate his or her services to help facilitate the study. That would clearly be pro bono that they would be doing it but I think this also unfortunately highlights an issue that would probably be best addressed if we create a statute and I don't know that we can do it in this one today -- this bill proposal -- this bill.

But we create some sort of a statutory framework to deal with exactly this kind of thing where we're receiving money, we're gonna be expending money and it's gonna be the Office of Legislative Management that's gonna be in charge with doing it that we have this sort of a set of procedures in place and we know exactly what the answers and what is expected to be donated and how that's gonna be handled and how it's gonna be accounted for in terms of values that are gonna be given to it when we receive it from someone.

So I think what this highlights -- this particular amendment, is the need for this to set up some really clear process and procedures and if we're -- cause I strongly suspect that we're gonna be doing a lot more of this as we go forward given our budgetary constraints. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Kokoruda -- on the amendment?

REP. KOKORUDA (101ST):

Yes. Thank you, Madam Speaker. It's good to see you today.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Nice to see you.

REP. KOKORUDA (101ST):

I stand in strong support of this amendment that will become the bill. You know, those of us who have been working with our Boards of Education, we've been hearing for years about the unfunded mandates and how they need relief, especially now when so many schools' education dollars have been cut. But of all the mandates we hear about the one that is really the most concern for everyone is providing funding for special education.

Most children in Connecticut get no state aid for special education. Most children -- I know they say it's 25 percent but the child that goes to the speech therapist, occupational therapist -- all that is paid with ECS dollars and municipal property taxes. Only the children who's disabilities are so, so grave, who actually -- it would cost four-and-a-half times a typical -- that's usually about $ 70,000 dollars a year.

Those children, and there are a lot of them in the six figures that our municipalities totally foot the bill until they reach that four-and-a-half times and even then, the municipalities pay for a lot more beyond that because the state doesn't always provide all the funding even at that -- so you're talking major money and I really want to thank the leadership of the Education Committee, our three co-chairs, our ranking member.

This bill really finally will help us take a look at the predictability -- the unpredictability of what our towns are facing. I know in my town, we've actually started a reserve fund for special education because we never know from year to year who's gonna show up and that unpredictability is very difficult.

You might get a child that actually comes in the middle of the year and could all of a sudden cost six figures and a small district that is a major, major -- has a major impact. So I'm standing and we have to take care of this problem. Special education is just growing in leaps and bounds. It's the one thing, I think if we can get our hands around -- we can give incredible relief to every single school child, every single school district.

I know for myself as a grandparent of a special needs child, who doesn't reach four-and-a-half-times margin, I know he costs my school district between $ 50,000 to $ 60,000 dollars a year. And this year, the State of Connecticut's giving that $ 150 dollars toward it. This is what we have to look at.

This is what our small towns are dealing with and I think this study is really gonna provide so many answers on how we can help our communities, how we can better take care of these children, make a fair playing field for every child with disabilities. It won't be from town to town.

It won't matter where you live or what your zip code is but it really -- to find a way that the State of Connecticut can make educating these children, giving them what they deserve, make it sustainable for our communities and really, really reform -- totally reform how we educate children with special needs so again, I stand in strong support of this amendment that will become the bill. It is time to really get our hands around this major issue. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will the chamber please stand at ease for one moment? Will you remark further on the amendment? Representative Fleischmann.

REP. FLEISCHMANN (18TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And first, I wanted to thank my good colleague, Representative Kokoruda for her warm words of support for this amendment and for the whole impetus that underlies it and I would like to ask that when the vote is taken on this amendment, it be taken by roll.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. So when the vote will be taken, the vote will be taken by roll. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well 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):

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:

LCO Number 7913 designated House “A”.

Total Number Voting 146

Necessary for Adoption 74

Those voting Yea 138

Those voting Nay 8

Those absent and not voting 5

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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 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):

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

Will the Clerk please announce the tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 7255 as amended by House “A”.

Total Number Voting 148

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 139

Those voting Nay 9

Those absent and not voting 3

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The Bill as amended is passed. (Gavel) Are there announcements or introductions? Representative Skulczyck.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and that was good. You pronounced my name really well that time. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

I'm practicing.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I stand -- I rise for an introduction if I may.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you. I'd like for the House to recognize we have today with us the Plainfield Central Middle School 7th grade class who are not only in the well here but upstairs. A little bit of a special guest today. My wife is actually one of their teachers, Melissa Rizzuto Skulczyck -- for you Yankee fans -- and so if we would give them a warm welcome to the Plainfield School. Thank you. [Applause]

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Welcome to our chamber. I hope you all enjoy your visit here, today. Thank you for being here. Representative Boyd.

REP. BOYD (50TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'd just like to say as a proud alum of Plainfield Central School. Welcome to the chamber as well. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will the Clerk please call Calendar 116?

CLERK:

On page 44, Calendar Number 116, House Bill Number 6603, AN ACT CONCERNING A STUDY OF CERTAIN TENANTS OF STATE-FUNDED PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECTS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Butler.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, when last we were talking about this, we were actually speaking of the merits of the bill as amended. And there was an issue about a fiscal note and I'm gonna ask that the Clerk call an amendment -- yes. So I'm gonna ask that -- to move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill as amended.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

As amended.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

As amended.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Butler, you have the floor.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the clerk is in possession of an amendment, LCO Number 8348. I would ask that the clerk call it and I be granted leave of the chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 8348 which will be designated House Amendment Schedule “B”?

CLERK:

LCO Number 8348, designated House Amendment Schedule “A” and offered by -- “B” I'm sorry. I stand corrected. House “B” offered by Representatives Kupchick, Ziobron, and Butler.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The Representative seeks leave of the chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection? Is there objection? If there is no objection -- hearing none. Representative Butler, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, when last we were talking about the bill as amended it sounded like the provisions of the bill as amended was pretty well accepted but there was a question about the fiscal note and the fiscal note as was discussed when the bill came out of appropriations.

There was some understanding between the members of the Appropriations Committee and I can tell you, Madam Speaker, I'm not on Appropriations so that line of communication that happened once the bill came out of Appropriations just never made it back to me.

But the kind members of Appropriations that brought to my attention this amendment will simply change the fiscal note to State within available appropriations. I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question before the chamber is adoption on House Amendment Schedule “B”. Will you remark on the amendment? Representative Kupchick.

REP. KUPCHICK (132ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I would just like to comment that I appreciate the good ranking member from the Appropriations Committee and the chairman of the Housing Committee for working together to be able to fix this little glitch and to get this bill going. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. And I rise in strong support of this amendment and I want to thank the good Chair of the Housing Committee and the ranking member of the Housing Committee. This is exactly the way government is supposed to work when you see something that you can agree on, you fix the underlying issue so that you can move with the good intentions of this bill.

That's what this amendment does. I know the passion that the good Chairman of the Housing Committee has for this issue. No doubt about it, it's something that should be done and we need to hold the Commissioner accountable and I'm glad to stand up and hold their feet to the fire with the Chairman of the Housing Committee. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

Yes. Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I would just quickly say that I had opportunity to speak to the Commissioner of Housing in between last being on the floor and she indicated -- that's Commissioner Klein indicated that she would be open to the statement of within the available appropriations.

One, to make sure that we in this chamber understand the fiscal impact on the whole budget and all the organizations that actually are gonna have to participate in this and to just keep that on their mind that we've changed it to within existing appropriations, so you know, I don't know how that's gonna play out in the future but I want everybody to be aware of that. I'm sure that she didn't mind me sharing that with our members. With that, again, I would move adoption, 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 schedule “B” is adopted. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House? Will the members please take 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 votes have been 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 6603 as amended by House “A” and House “B”.

Total Number Voting 148

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 143

Those voting Nay 5

Those absent and not voting 3

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill as amended is passed. (Gavel) Representative Albis.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I move that we suspend the rules for immediate consideration of House Calendar 612, which is currently one starred.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Is there objection? Is there objection? Seeing none. So ordered. (Gavel) Representative Zupkus. For what do you rise, Madam?

REP. ZUPKUS (89th):

I rise for the point of introduction, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. ZUPKUS (89th):

Thank you. I would like to introduce one of the classes from the best little small town in Connecticut. It's the fourth grade class from Prospect Elementary School. If you would look up into the gallery and help me welcome them to the State Capitol today. [Applause]

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Welcome to the Capitol, boys and girls. Nice to see you all. Will the clerk please call Calendar 612?

CLERK:

On page 42, Calendar Number 612, Senate Bill Number 772, AN ACT CONCERNING EMERGENCY GENERATORS IN CERTAIN HOUSING FOR THE ELDERLY. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Aging.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good afternoon, Representative Serra. Please proceed.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate. Representative Serra, you have the floor.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I have a [Clearing throat] an amendment, LCO 6915 and I ask that -- your permission to call it, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 6915, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule -- previously designated Senate Amendment “A”.

CLERK:

LCO Number 6915, previously designated Senate Amendment Schedule “A” and offered by Senators Looney, Duff, Doyle, 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 Serra, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, this amendment limits the electrical generator requirements for certain housing projects in municipalities of a specific size that are at least 15 stories in height with age-restricted dwellings and individuals living there.

The amendment therefore will limit the cost noted to the underlying bill to the New Haven House and authority based on current population levels. The cost associated with generators and all necessary fuel will be paid for by the Housing Authority or the owner of the building. With that, Madam Speaker, I move for adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question before the chamber is adoption of Senate Amendment “A”. Will you remark on the amendment? Representative Byron.

REP. BYRON (27TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I do rise for the -- a question for the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. BYRON (27TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. What cities or towns does this bill apply to?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. This, to my understanding applies just to the City of New Haven and a complex there called Bonavista [sic].

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Byron.

REP. BYRON (27TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. In the testimony, Bella Vista is mentioned, and as the Chairman has also mentioned it -- it's mentioned as having a problem with losing power in the year 2000. So my question to the proponent of the bill is why is this bill being brought before the legislature in 2017?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The ranking member is correct, except that this has happened basically, almost on a yearly basis when we have major storms. And I can recall seeing on television myself that the fire department in New Haven had to climb 15 stories to get all these seniors down and out who were either on oxygen, dialysis machines and stuff like that. So it's nothing new.

In fact, just to make the House aware, I have before me a major report done by the -- through the auspices of the aging committee -- looking at all senior housing throughout the State of Connecticut because this is becoming more and more of a big issue as our population obviously, many of you know, is aging and this is going to be a major problem down the road.

And of course, it's curtailed by the lack of funding by -- not only here in the State of Connecticut, but some of the Housing Authorities. So, this is an issue that was brought before us by the Senate and the Aging Committee as the ranking member knows, this is an issue we discuss all the time.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Byron, further questions on the amendment?

REP. BYRON (27TH):

Yes. If I may, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. BYRON (27TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and through you. How many privately owned housing projects are in the City of New Haven?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I don't have that number, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Byron.

REP. BYRON (27TH):

Okay. Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, then -- would the proponent of the bill know approximately how many tenants live in these senior housing projects?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

My understanding through testimony before the Aging Committee -- a minimum of 1,000 elderly residents in this whole complex.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Byron.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker.

REP. BYRON (27TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I thank the good chairman of the Aging committee for that answer. I do have a question regarding these -- do any of these facilities, through you, Madam Speaker -- do they already have existing emergency generators?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes. But not enough to provide power to each unit. The generators only provide power to some of the elevators so when a major weather issue -- the fire department has to go up 15 flights and remove a lot of the seniors -- physically remove them. So there's no adequate generation in these facilities.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Byron.

REP. BYRON (27TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I'm just looking right now -- in my hand I have a report from the Office of Fiscal Analysis. And it reads at least one housing project with five buildings is known to meet the criteria in the bill. It is unclear whether other housing projects also meet the criteria of this bill.

So through you, Madam Speaker, I do have a question to the good Chairman of the Aging Committee regarding that statement in the report from the Office of Fiscal Analysis, and that is, are you sure that this bill only applies to only one senior housing project in the City of New Haven?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I believe that Bonavista's complex is the only complex that this bill -- it's restricted to.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Byron.

REP. BYRON (27TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I think just one final question to the good proponent, and that is again, looking at the report from the Office of Fiscal Analysis and it states that there's no state -- there's no municipal impact, there's no state impact, so I guess that begs the question then, would the costs of these emergency generators be reflected in a potential increase of rent?

And I just think of the individuals that live in these senior housing projects that -- many of them living on fixed incomes of course and I would hate to think that the landlord or the -- either the property management or the actual owner of these dwellings could then pass along these increases to their tenants.

So my question and my final question to the proponent would be -- would the cost of these emergency generators be reflected in an increase of rent?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. According to my information, no. Because this is a HUD-backed rent-controlled complex and it's not allowed to be passed through to the tenants.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Byron.

REP. BYRON (27TH):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker and I would also like to thank the great chairman of our Aging Committee for his work on this. I only -- the only concern I have is making sure that these costs are not passed along to the -- our most vulnerable elderly citizens of the State, many of whom live on fixed incomes and have other hardships.

And that this being a -- specifically a carve-out for the City of New Haven, but I do thank the good Chairman and thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Belsito, we're on the amendment.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Through you -- on --

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

On the amendment?

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

On the amendment. I'm sorry. Through you, Madam Speaker. I'd like to follow up on the good Representative's question. If the tenants are not gonna pay for the bill, who -- for installing it -- who will be paying for it?

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

To my knowledge, it's gonna be the New Haven Housing Authority and the owner of the complex. That's my understanding.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And once again, a question through you, Madam Speaker. Has the Housing Authority had -- has the Housing Authority been to the electrical generating company who controls the lines, actually look at the reason that they are losing power every year for almost 17 years?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Again, it's my understanding that the -- they had an electrical survey of the whole complex and know that they have to put in new generation in order for these issues not to be reoccurring.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, Madam Speaker. When the good Representative says new generation, is he talking about the electrical company installing new generation systems or is it the complex that has to install new generation systems?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm talking about the complex installing new generation.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And, through you, Madam Speaker. Could the proponent of the amendment tell us what this new generation system consists of, if it doesn't come from the electrical companies that means it's got something to do with the installation of the electricity in the power grid or the boards or something.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I've had a little experience in this area. What's gonna happen is that Eversource will go to the generation, bring in their line and they have a trip there so when there's a failure, the generator will automatically go on so that they don't lose any power in the complex. But in terms of the generator, generator will be privately purchased the Housing Authority and the owner of the complex.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, Madam Speaker to the proponent of the bill. I understand that they're gonna install an electrical generator for that complex. What I'm asking is, has the problem been attributed to the electrical company that there's a shut down every year? And have they done anything to install new lines, make improvements to the area?

It's their electricity that's being shut down to this complex, so there's gotta be some major problem there and I'd like to know if we know what the problem is.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm not aware of the problems there. The only thing I'm aware of, is that the generation that they have there now is inadequate when they have outages so when their generators kick in, they really just handle the elevators. And even that sometimes fails, so these firefighters -- my knowledge have to go up 15 stories and carry all these elderly people who are handicapped down.

So I guess it's finally reached a critical issue where they -- New Haven Housing Authority -- and we've had hearings on this, not only for New Haven but throughout the state -- is ready to address this issue.

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm hoping that answers the question to my good Representative.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

And through you, Madam Speaker to the proponent of the amendment. Once again, I'm gonna ask very specifically. Has the electrical company looked into the reason why they continuously every year have power outages in the City of New Haven?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I don't have the answer to that. That question, I'm assuming, should be directed to Eversource or -- through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, Madam Speaker. Just maybe one more question. This is -- seems to be aimed at just New Haven. Why does it say just New Haven? Why doesn't it say across the state? I'm interested to know why this is not across the state. We have many elderly housing complexes across the state. Why wouldn't this law apply to everybody instead of just New Haven?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That's a good question and I said earlier that you're gonna -- this legislature is gonna see more and more of these requests coming up throughout the state as we start to look at these elderly senior complexes who have experienced this. Maybe not as severe as -- [Crosstalk]

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

[Crosstalk] Why can't we do it now?

REP. SERRA (33RD):

-- as Bonavista down in New Haven but right now, I guess, it's carved out just for them because it's the biggest issue that's been highlighted so I guess it's a first step in the right direction.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the answer and I have another question. The question is, can this bill be amended to include every elderly housing area within the state? Why do we have to wait? Why are we going to write a law every year, one at a time? Let's do it right the first time. We know what's wrong. Let's do it right.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I don't disagree with the good representative except that, you know, it's all a question of money. Some of the senior complexes are more difficult to put generation in. Some of them are two levels with only duplexes and you may have 50 duplexes, so it's really all about money.

This I think is concentrated in these high rises but as I put this legislature on notice, you'll see more and more of this coming up every year. Hopefully, we'll get out of this financial situation that we have in Connecticut but you'll see this.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'd like to have this bill PT'd until next year so we can include every single complex that's in this state. We have to be fair to all of the elderly people in the state, not just New Haven. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker. I rise with a few questions on this amendment. I've been trying to ascertain reading the public testimony, I think it was on the underlying bill before the amendment.

So my question is, first, how does the amendment strike the fiscal cost that would have been passed down to the tenants of this housing complex, which clearly, according to the commissioner of Department of Housing would have actually occurred but yet, this amendment makes it so it's only for private development.

So my question is, how does this make sure -- this amendment make sure that the cost won't be passed on to elderly seniors on a fixed income?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. As I said earlier that this is an agreement between the Housing Authority and the owner of the complex. So there's no state funds involved in this generation.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I was listening intently, trying to understand, you know. I always say to my son and my daughter, you know, there's no such thing as a free lunch. You know, somebody's gonna be paying for this somewhere.

Reading the testimony, there was clearly some concerns from CCM and others about the unintended consequences of this language and while I certainly believe it's important for our seniors to have the real layer of protection to make sure that they have a generator. You know, many of them are relying on different medications.

Some -- like some members of my own family, are hooked up to things like LVADs and other things where losing power is a frightening aspect to many seniors. But I'm really concerned about the unintended consequences and I just can't wrap my head around the fact that somehow taxpayers or the seniors in this facility paying rent aren't somehow gonna have to pay anything for this upgrade.

Because according to the testimony, Madam Speaker, that I'm reading, a facility could have many buildings and I guess this one does. I think this one has maybe as many as five buildings in the complex. So how exactly is that gonna work if one unit is $ 350,000 dollars?

Am I to believe that this private owner of this facility somehow is gonna be willing to take that cost, to not pass it on to the consumer of his private property and that that those five buildings are all gonna be protected?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'll address that in two parts. You're absolutely right with CCM. They came before us and one of the things that the Aging Committee does and the ranking members here -- former ranking member -- we put bills through we know have fiscal consequences to it.

But I think it's incumbent upon the Aging Committee to make this General Assembly aware of the issues that affect all our seniors as it goes through the process and through Appropriations and all it -- as you well know, better than me that it dies there. Because there's no funding.

So CCM was correct and we had a report done purposely to make sure that at least there was this big issue about generation to all our senior complexes throughout the State of Connecticut but at the same time, we are well aware there wasn't funding and we'd amount to put a mandate on all these towns.

This here was a voluntary thing that was developed by the New Haven Housing Authority and the owners of that facility who decided they were gonna pick up the cost of doing the one building that they thought was the more critical and had the most issues. So that's where we stand today. I can't tell you what's gonna happen in the future at this complex.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I appreciate the comments from the good Representative and longtime ranking member of this very important committee.

You know, in looking through the public testimony, one of the things that's blatantly missing for me is testimony from the New Haven Housing Authority themselves. Am I missing something? Did they come before your committee and testify in support of this bill?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I can't recall but I do know that the New Haven -- the Department of Police Services and various agencies from the City of New Haven did come before the committee and testify about the emergency issues that confront them when we have these big natural storms and power failures and what they have to do to get these seniors from 15 stories down to the ground who have all those various health issues that you described earlier.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And sometimes it's not what's there, it's what's missing that concerns me and not having testimony from the actual Housing Authority that's -- sounds like sincerely is coming before certain delegations and memberships saying, listen we want to be part of the solution but why isn't that in the public record?

I'm concerned about that. I don't understand why it would be so. When I was reading the Department of Housing commissioner's testimony on the underlying bill which this amendment, I think, helps to correct -- they talk about the ability for towns to apply for funding so my next question, through you, Madam Speaker is, does the good representative know if that -- this Housing Authority has ever applied through the proper channels for funding for this very important resource for its constituents?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Through you, Madam Speaker. I've just been informed that they have applied for grants for this generation.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. And I think I misspoke before. Certainly not a Public House Authority. I know it's a privately owned authority, so if they've applied for grants, is the fact that they are a private and not a public authority limiting their ability to in fact get assistance in providing these assets?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. No, I don't think so because the private owner in the contract with both the New Haven Housing Authority and HUD. So that's -- it's a marriage that way through government and private entities.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ziobron.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. And I thank the good gentlemen for his comments. I -- I'll just wrap up by saying again, you know, there's a concern that I have when I don't see testimony from the very folks who are willing to be part of the solution and it concerns me when I don't see that.

You know, I mentioned before when, you know, certainly when we talk about, there's no such thing as a free lunch, there's no such thing as free money -- there's also a concern that I have that this is a slippery slope. And what I mean by that, Madam Speaker, is today we have a carve-out for this very worthy and deserving facility. Tomorrow, it's gonna be another community and the next day another.

There is certainly a process that's exactly what the Housing director -- commissioner, excuse me, discussed in her testimony. I know that many different Housing Authorities across the state have tried to avail themselves to those -- that funding and it's really with a heavy heart that I just have to stand opposed. I'm worried about the direction that this and the message that this sends and for that reason I'll be opposed. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Sredzinski.

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. On the amendment, a question through you, if I may.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. In the amendment it says that this housing project has to be in a municipality with a population of at least 130,000 but less than 135,000. Through you, Madam Speaker. What happens if the population of New Haven changes by 5,000?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Well, if this passes and everything is approved and the population goes down, I guess there's nothing we can do about it because it qualified at the time the amendment went through.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Sredzinski.

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Was there a reason why we didn't just insert the name New Haven into the amendment?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I believe that with the various weather issues we've had throughout the State of Connecticut. I think this facility down at Bonavista had a lot of the problems and -- and to correct something that was said -- not correct. I shouldn't say that.

But it was New Haven Department of Public Service that had a meeting with the Housing Authority and said basically, they were -- they had to react every time there was an outage at that place and taking people down 15 stories.

So they came up here as part of the general subject about generation for senior complexes and so we heard that and it got narrowed down just to this one New Haven complex, Bonavista.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Sredzinski.

REP. SREDZINSKI (112TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Again, I don't question the need for a generator at this facility and I don't question the need for services to respond when a long-term electrical outage occurs. As someone that's involved in emergency services, I fully realize the impact that a loss of power can have especially on a large facility such as this one. I'm not arguing that this unnecessary.

My question was more about why specifically this building and this building only, and then again to protect the State of Connecticut -- and the intent of this is obviously to put a generator in, on this building.

My concern with the population change is that we have seen plenty of bills before us, including the budget implementers and multiple other forms of legislation that specify municipality's names. And I was just curious why and that raises a little bit of suspicion for me. I will continue to listen to the debate and thank you, Madam Speaker, for the time.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Wilms.

REP. WILMS (142ND):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. WILMS (142ND):

Thank you. Through you, Madam President. I was looking through the public testimony and it -- if I read it correctly, the commissioner of Housing -- Evonne Klein -- spoke against the underlying bill or the bill that was presented to the Committee and she called it an unfunded mandate and through you, Madam Speaker, have you heard any further comments from the commissioner of Housing in relation to this bill as amended?

Through you.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

No, I have personally have not heard any additional comments other than the public testimony when the Aging Committee had a public hearing.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Wilms.

REP. WILMS (142ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you -- and I think it's been brought up already but also the -- I couldn't help but notice that CCM also testified and they were also opposed to the -- this legislation. They also called it an unfunded mandate.

Through you, Madam Speaker, when we pass unfunded mandates, let's say on a municipality, we know that the municipality has to pay if they're gonna raise property taxes. But in this case, with this unfunded mandate, who's gonna pay for it, exactly?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I understand CCM when they came before and why they said what they said. And I'm not a big unfunded mandate guy, but this is not an unfunded mandate. This is the New Haven Housing Authority and the private owner coming together to fund this generator. So it's no mandate on the part of the rest of the State of Connecticut or on the State of Connecticut's funding.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Wilms.

REP. WILMS (142ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Just to follow up on that question. So, in terms of the impact of the unfunded mandate, and I understand that we're not paying for it and I understand that the city of New Haven's not paying for it, but I guess my question is who is paying for it exactly?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm assuming that it'll be the New Haven Housing Authority and in conjunction with the private owner coming together to pay for this generator.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Wilms.

REP. WILMS (142ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I thank the proponent for his answers. I'll continue to listen to the debate but I have very grave concerns about setting a precedent of an unfunded mandate like this. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you. Will you remark further? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Representative Fishbein. On the amendment?

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I just had a few questions for the proponent in line with what my colleague just asked, if I may.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you. If there's an agreement between the private owner and the New Haven Housing Authority to do this, to fund this, why does this good body need to do anything here?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm assuming and I don't know, but I'm assuming that by having this bill, they will be able to apply for federal and state grants if they become available.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So am I to understand that there is no agreement between the private owner and the New Haven Housing Authority as previously represented?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

My understanding -- there is an agreement between the private owner and the New Haven Housing Authority who are both on record that they want the situation corrected that every time there's major weather episodes here that they lose power throughout that whole area.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Am I to understand, through the good representative that there will be no costs having to be expended by the property owner as a result of this legislation?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

To my knowledge, no there will be no additional cost.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

And just to follow up, am I to understand that all of the funding for this one or perhaps two under the legislation -- generators would be from the public?

Though you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

My understanding, through you, Madam Speaker, there will be no additional cost to the public. All the cost for this generator will be between the New Haven Housing Authority and the private owner of the complex.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Then to whom is it intended that a grant would be applied for, from?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

My understanding, Madam Speaker, if grants are available then it would be City of New Haven's Housing Authority that would be the governmental agency that would apply for grants.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And to whom would they be applying for a grant and usually housing authorities apply for small city grants, things like that. To whom would they be applying for a grant?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I'm sure that people within the New Haven Housing Authority will look at the State if there's available grants for the state or to the federal government.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

So then -- and I just asked this minutes ago, am I to understand that funding of grants through the State and/or federal government is public funds?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That's correct. There is many of our projects throughout the State of Connecticut are co-mingled between state funds, federal funds, and private investment.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Then to ask the question that I previously asked, am I to understand that this generator and/or generators will be solely funded from public funds?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. At this point, my understanding is this funding will come between the New Haven Housing Authority and the private owner of the complex.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

I have no further questions. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will you remark further? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Representative Dauphinais.

REP. DAUPHINAIS (44TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. DAUPHINAIS (44TH):

Is the only way that you can apply for a grant -- is if this is made a mandate through a bill?

Through you, Ms. -- Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Can you repeat the question? I've got other people talking to me.

REP. DAUPHINAIS (44TH):

So my question is --

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. DAUPHINAIS (44TH):

Is the only way that you can apply for a grant is if this is a mandate -- a mandate made through a bill?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

My understanding, Madam Speaker, this isn't a mandate but all housing authorities throughout the State of Connecticut in cities and towns -- if there's grants available either through the state or the federal government, obviously any political subdivision of the State of Connecticut can apply. If they have indeed -- and they have to have the criteria to apply.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Dauphinais.

REP. DAUPHINAIS (44TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So just a couple of comments. I too see the need for generators in such housing for the elderly. I mean, we have things like power outages during the heat. There's no water for them -- the individuals. High heat for elderly is always life-threatening. No refrigeration for medications, no oxygen, so on and so forth.

But my concern is, is this discriminates across the State for just one particular housing and if it's -- you know, if it's this important, I think we should be looking at it across the state and not just for one town. In addition to -- from what the proponent of the bill says, you can still apply for grants with or without this bill. So thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Serra.

REP. SERRA (33RD):

Madam Speaker, if I may, could I have a roll call vote on this issue, Madam Speaker?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Yes, you may. When the vote will be taken, the vote will be taken by roll. Will you remark further? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the house? Will members take your seats and 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 has been 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:

LCO 6915 as amended by Senate “A”.

Total Number Voting 149

Necessary for Adoption 75

Those voting Yea 87

Those voting Nay 62

Those absent and not voting 2

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The amendment is adopted. (Gavel) Will you remark further on the bill as amended? The good representative from the 97th.

REP. PAOLILLO (97TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate the opportunity to speak in support of this bill today. I want to recognize the good work of the Chair for the committee and just to state that over the last several years, the housing development in question, Bella Vista, has had several instances where a thousand plus of the residents have been at risk and were at risk with public safety.

So certainly, this step today is a step in the right direction to ensure their safety going forward with this very, most vulnerable population. So I urge your support and thank you for the opportunity, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will you remark further? 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):

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted?

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

Will the Clerk please announce the tally?

CLERK:

Senate Bill 772 as amended by Senate “A” in concurrence with the Senate.

Total Number Voting 149

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 95

Those voting Nay 54

Those absent and not voting 2

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The Bill passes in concurrence with the Senate. (Gavel) Are there any announcements or introductions? The good representative from the 77th.

REP. PAVALOCK-D'AMATO (77TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise for the purpose of an introduction.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed, Madam.

REP. PAVALOCK-D'AMATO (77TH):

Thank you. Today we have with us in the gallery, interns from the Connecticut Republican Party. They're actually on their second day, so I just wanted to thank them for coming, hope they learn, and hope they enjoy their experience. So, if everybody could give them a warm welcome, that would be greatly appreciated. [Applause]

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The wonderful legislator from the Meriden area, Representative Abercrombie, what can we do for you today?

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, for the purpose of an announcement.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

I'm so glad I could make you blush. Please proceed, Madam.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Oh, thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, on behalf of Representative Zupkus and myself, we would just like to thank everyone in here for contributing to dress down day today. We will still be collecting contributions up till 4 o'clock so if you have forgotten, you can give the money to Leslie or myself. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Borer.

REP. BORER (115TH):

Did you say me?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed, Ma'am.

REP. BORER (115TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would ask that we all welcome our school from West Haven, Saint Lawrence fourth grade class up in the balcony. Give them a great wave. Oh, and our state Representative from West Haven, Charlie Ferraro with them. [Applause]

Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Welcome to our chamber. Will the clerk please call Calendar 520?

CLERK:

On page 32, Calendar 520, Senate Bill Number 377, AN ACT AMENDING THE CHARTER OF THE ODD FELLOWS HOME OF CONNECTICUT. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Development.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Conley. How are you today?

REP. CONLEY (40TH):

I'm good. How are you, Madam Speaker?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Doing well. Please proceed, Madam.

REP. CONLEY (40TH):

I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution as amended in concurrence with the Senate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution. Representative Conley, you have the floor.

REP. CONLEY (40TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This slight change of the bill, the -- brief background is that this taxing -- special tax law began in the late 1800s for the Odd Fellow's Home which is a home that has a nursing home, it's now expanded to apartments for the elderly as well as more of a condo style independent living units for the elderly.

It's a large facility in town that does great work and in 2012 when this body amended the rules, it created a problem between the town and the business regarding how much was to be taxed and what happened when the business was assessed at over $ 25 Million dollars. The business and the town have had many, many months of litigation -- or many years of litigation, many months of negotiation and came up with an agreement.

This bill is part of that agreement which ends the lawsuit where the business is paying pilot money or payment in lieu of taxes to the town, has agreed on the assessed value of the property and paying taxes on the value of the property over $ 25 Million dollars.

So this small change in the law does end years of litigation and lawsuits and will hopefully resolve this so that this body won't be asked to make another amendment in the upcoming years. I ask my colleagues to support it. As does Rep. de la Cruz who is in District on business.

Oh I have an amendment. It is LCO Number 6267 and I ask it to be called and I ask permission to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 6267, previously designated Senate Amendment “A”?

CLERK:

Senate Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO Number 6267, offered by Senator Somers.

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 Conley, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. CONLEY (40TH):

Hi. This is a one-change -- thank you, Madam Speaker. One change striking the word assessed from assessed value as parties have agreed to the value of the property so that is no longer in dispute as part of the settlement. And I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question before the chamber is adoption of Senate Amendment “A”. Will you remark on the amendment? The good representative of the 61st.

REP. ZAWISTOWSKI (61ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The amendment makes a very minor change to the underlying bill which clarifies the tax exempt status of the Odd Fellows Home. I recommend adoption. Thank you.

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 minds. All those in favor please signify by saying “Aye”.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

All those opposed? The “ayes” have it and the amendment -- Senate amendment “A” 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 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:

Senate Bill 377, as amended by Senate “A” in concurrence with the Senate.

Total Number Voting 148

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 148

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 3

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill passes in concurrence with the Senate. (Gavel) Will the good representative from the 117th, I see you have guests standing next to you?

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This would be take number two for the Saint Lawrence Grammar School in West Haven. I wanted to rise with my constituents from the 115th and the 116th, Representative Borer and Representative DiMassa and I want to say a few words about Saint Lawrence school in West Haven.

Many people don't know that Saint Lawrence is celebrating this year, it's 100th anniversary. I think that's a great accomplishment. It's one of our oldest establishments in West Haven. Many of you might remember a pretty prominent figure around these halls, Representative Steve Dargan. Everybody remember Representative Steve Dargan? He is a proud graduate of Saint Lawrence School.

Also in my upbringing, I had the pleasure of making my confirmation through Saint Lawrence and I also played CYO Basketball for Saint Lawrence. This is one of the schools that we're very proud of. Accompanying the students here today is Mr. Johnson of the 5th grade. He teaches the 5th grade and Mr. Amore of the fourth grade. Could we have a General Assembly round of applause for this great group of students? [Applause]

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

We would like to welcome you all here. I hope you enjoy your time and tell you that you all look very good for 100 years old. [Laughter] So I hope you enjoy your time. Will the clerk please call Calendar 312?

CLERK:

On page 16, Calendar 312, House Bill Number 6306, AN ACT ESTABLISHING A GREEN BUILDING TASK FORCE. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Energy and Technology.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker. How are you?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good afternoon, Representative. I'm doing well. Thank you very much. Please proceed.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Well, thank you very much. 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 Steinberg, you have the floor.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, we are poised on the cusp of a great revolution. You may ask what is this great revolution? It is a revolution in the design, in the construction, and in the management of the buildings in which we live and work.

This bill acknowledges a new understanding of human's relationships with their built environment. I'll take you back a few thousand years, maybe more than that, to the Savannah where man was seeking to survive in hostile circumstances. Shelter became critically important to his survival. That's why shelter is one of our basic needs.

Now think of where we are today. In America, we spend virtually 90 percent of our time indoors. This is not the way we were made. This is not in our genes. And our buildings do not always reflect what is most effective for us to prosper. So this bill -- this green building task force -- seeks to bring together experts from across the spectrum to discuss this new understanding.

You would ask, what's new? I was talking to a colleague about this just the other day and he said we know what's going on with green buildings. You put in some more insulation, maybe you change out your windows, some light bulbs, and you're done, right? Well, that's what I once thought.

Some years ago, you may remember we had a couple of big storms. And we created a shoreline resilience task force headed up by the good Representative Albis over there. And I learned a lot of things. That you had to raise your buildings near the shoreline, that you had to put in different kinds of windows, you had to gird the structure, that you had things like blue roofs and green roofs.

So I had to open my eyes to some of the things that were out there. I did the energy audit in my house before I put in solar panels. I changed my lightbulbs. I put in new windows. I thought I had done all I could do. But then I went to a conference at Yale last year and it opened my eyes as to what sustainability in buildings really means. And more recently, I went to another forum on sustainable buildings.

Colleagues, this now goes well beyond our basic conception of LEED buildings -- the Leading in Energy and Environment Design. It goes well beyond simple standards of changes in use of materials or creating energy efficiency. It touches us in so many different ways. Think about the impact of light and temperature. I'm sure there are people across this chamber who are concerned about the temperature in one direction or the other. Acoustics.

These are all factors that have now been proven to have an impact as to our level of comfort and believe it or not, also as been correlated to our productivity in the workplace. It has to do with our wellbeing.

So I would suggest this task force offers the prospect of bringing together parties so that our public works directors, our building directors, our conservation directors, our fire marshals, and people who design and construct buildings will have a better understanding of this new understanding itself.

And will bring us to a point where we're not only creating better productivity, we're also creating new green jobs and we can certainly use those here in the State of Connecticut. So Madam Speaker, the clerk is in the possession of an amendment, LCO 8356. 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 LCO 8356 -- will be designated House Amendment Schedule “A”.

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO Number 8356 offered by Representative Steinberg.

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 Steinberg, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The reason this amendment exists and it effectively is a strike-all, is that so many people, when they got wind of what we were trying to do with this task force, they wanted on.

All these different experts, including the utilities, including architects, building constructors, people in our municipalities, DAS wanted to make sure somebody who could speak to our state building code -- all these people wanted to make sure that they were participating in this task force.

It got bigger than when we started. But it's intent is to be as inclusive as possible and bring together experts across the entire spectrum to talk together about how we as a state and our municipalities and the private sector can work collaboratively to create buildings that are not merely energy and water efficient, but are better places for us to work, that reflect our human spirit and our human needs.

And we're at the point now where this task force is very much called for. Madam Speaker, I call for adoption of the amendment.

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 Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. A few questions through you, to the proponent of the bill and the amendment. [Clearing throat]

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Questions on the amendment, Madam?

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Yes, because not -- then will become the bill. Yes, ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you. To the good representative from the 136th district. Would you please define what a green building is?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. That is indeed the pith of the question here. Green buildings, as I stated before, started off talking mostly about efficiency and design and efficiency and management. So we talked about creating greater energy efficiency, we talked about use of materials to get greater mileage out of them and the sourcing. We talked sometimes about water management and reuse in that context.

But green buildings have evolved really, beyond sort of the earlier standard understanding which was almost exclusively related to energy efficiency. And now encompass a much broader range of functionality in buildings, dare I say, we also should talk about the controls of buildings.

That an HVAC system is only as good as the controls we have to apply to them, so it affects those who install solar panels or heat pumps, but it also affects those manage the controls. It -- electricians.

As I said, all sorts of municipal leaders who have to create regulations as it relates to that and there's a lot of educating to do there. It also involves any number of people in the building industry so that they're fully up to speed.

So green buildings encompasses a whole range of things related to buildings but I would also say related to place. And when we talk about green buildings these days, we also talk about the surrounding environment.

The use of bioswales or cisterns to collect water, interactivity with the environment, actually designing a building to fit in the place in which it's gonna go. So I hope that answers the good representative's questions. Green buildings has a very broad definition at this point.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

I thank the good Chairman of Public Health for his descriptive and picturesque response. I think I'm gonna try to get a little more narrow though. And through you, Madam Speaker, does the good representative expect that this task force will help define for statute the definition of a green building?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. I certainly hope so. That is the intent. I was being pretty much serious across the entire gamut. I'm not sure that we -- I could tell you right now what would be the perfect definition of a green building and we -- it's certainly the intent that this task force would give us that kind of insight and put some parameters on it.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, the study of green buildings is really for what purpose? And I know you spoke in largesse about that but specifically, what are the short and long-term goals that you expect to achieve?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. The goal is to bring together a lot of the interested parties and see what role government used to play in facilitating what we see to be the next generation of good building practices and much of this will take place, not necessarily at the state level -- Madam Speaker, if I could get a little bit more --

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

(Gavel) Ladies and gentleman, our colleagues are having difficulty hearing each other during the question and answer process. If you could please take your conversations outside. Please proceed, Representative.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. The objective would be to bring together the parties so that they could help identify an agenda for promoting green and sustainable buildings throughout the state both in private and public settings.

Also the institutional settings, schools and a lot of larger facilities could benefit from this as well and I should add, it's not simply a matter of best practices, we do believe this will lead to efficiencies that will actually save money over the long-term.

We often hear the lead is more expensive than regular buildings but I think that we need to re-educate people so they understand that in the long-haul, not only is it good for the environment, it's good for business.

So the objective to be perfectly clear, is to identify an agenda for moving forward to facilitate something that will benefit both residential and commercial building users and owners in a way that will last us for the next generation.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and thank you to the kind gentleman from the 136th. I -- as I know some of my colleagues will comment on another study, I'm -- that is why I'm being so specific in outlining the objectives of this study and the outcomes -- so through you, Madam Speaker. To the good representative.

Will there be a compare -- sorry Madam Speaker. Will there be a comparison of building products and processes? I could go through this altogether but I want to really get it on the record for the benefits of this task force so will there be a comparison of building products and processes, the green benefits, the financial differences between the products and processes?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. Yes, that is a wonderfully more succinct summary than I provided and that's precisely the agenda that I was referring to.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I could equate that to Mars and Venus or male and female or republican and democrat, but I'll take the good representative as his response with that. Another question, through you, Madam Speaker. On Line 29 which could have been a previous rendition of the amendment.

We talk about the solar industry and I think you referenced heat pumps updating and I'm just curious as to why you targeted those two industries and maybe necessarily not geothermal or what was your thought process in identifying solar and heat pumps?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. An excellent question. At one point we considered being even more enumerative but we chose to focus in on the products that would -- might be most generally used in a variety of contexts.

I fully expect that we'll have somebody on this task force who will be able to talk to geothermal and some of the more site specific kind of options that are out there. So it was not intentional omission as much as recognizing that there were some limitations to all the areas we could cover in one task force.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, Madam Speaker. Would this be a way to target our most expensive utility, which is electricity? Is that why you focused on -- in that area?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. That's an excellent question. That's where we started. It really started on the energy efficiency side. That's what we all understand to be the biggest opportunity per se but I would also argue that there are other benefits whether they are with water or use of other materials and the like which also could save money in the long-run.

So at the very least we would expect this to generate significant savings on the energy side but should also have other benefits.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And through you, I noticed in the -- several renditions that we now have an appointment for an electric distribution company of 18 or more communities and I was wondering what happened to the 17 or less appointment?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I confess, I was unaware that we lost the 17 or less. Our goal was to make sure that we had representation from the utilities and our goal was to be inclusive so that's all I can comment at this point.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Hoydick.

REP. HOYDICK (120TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and thank you to the good representative. I am particularly particular -- particularly focused on the EDC for 17 or less since a good -- a member of my board of directors happens to be the senior load management director and has great expertise in these areas of energy efficiency. So that's why it drew my attention to the good representative.

I think that though this is a study and the study will terminate on the -- a submittal of the report and the task force will end at the submittal of the report, I think we have a lot to learn from this kind of review and this kind of study and I thank the kind representative for putting this together and working so diligently.

As you can see, there's probably 10 amendments or revisions of this amendment. So I am going to be supporting the amendment and the bill and I would encourage my colleagues to do so also. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Madam Speaker, could I just add one additional comment?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

I just want to offer a correction. If the good representative would look on Line 16 of the amendment, we do actually have somebody for -- from 17 or less. Bless you. So I just -- to correct the record. We do actually address utilities of both size ranges. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REP. REED (102ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I actually rise just to applaud my colleague, the good revolutionary, Representative Jonathon Steinberg. This, as you can tell, has been a passion of his for many, many years and it's so clear that we really do need to -- as we go forward, to a future of renewables, make sure that our structures welcome renewables.

And so there's so much to be learned and I certainly support this and congratulations. I'm assuming -- I'm hoping all my colleagues will as well. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Case, on the amendment?

REP. CASE (63RD):

Yes, Ma'am. On the amendment, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. CASE (63RD):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg, prepare yourself. Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

In reading through the amendment, a few questions. Would this pertain to studying also new state buildings that are being built?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Certainly we would -- through you -- we would choose to anticipate the state also taking advantage of this. That's one reason why the Department of Administrative Services was interested in making sure they have somebody on this task force who might actually make recommendations for the state building code.

So yes, I would think it's a reasonable assumption, that the learnings we take away from this task force would apply to state buildings as well.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Through you, Madam Speaker. So would the task force also entertain looking into buildings that are presently under construction or near completion?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. A good question. Obviously what we hope to accomplish are changes that will ripple through the building code down to the municipal level so I'm not sure we can capture any one particular building project nor do we intend to interfere -- with those projects moving forward, the degree to which we can get more information out there, I think it will inform design and construction on an on-going basis.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Case.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And a few comments just to close out. I think it's a great idea to look at green things but in the State of Connecticut right now, in my particular town, we have a $ 28 Million dollar building that's being built. We're running short of money.

What do you think the first thing that was cut out of this green building? The green initiatives. The solar, the garden. Because the state felt as though they could not afford to do those for this building. It's a beautiful building and it was to be all green and the community college said we have -- that the speaker and I share -- is beautiful and we -- it was sold to be a green building.

So if the state can't afford it, if the state can't afford to build it, how do we see this green initiative for others to be able to afford it? I really hope this task force takes into consideration what the state has tried to do with green buildings and I give the commissioner, you know, great pride in you know, what she did on getting that building the way it is.

But it's hard to explain to the people who really wanted a green building that the first things that were cut out of a state building were the green initiatives. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Fishbein. On the amendment? Please proceed.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I just had some brief comments for the proponent if I may.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you. Looking at the difference between the amendment and the original proposed language, I note that in the original bill, it was anticipated that -- and that's in section paren d, the Chairpersons of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly have a cognizance over the matters relating to energy or their designees would serve and in the new -- in the amendment, that language is taken out and it's for members of the General Assembly without qualification are supplanted and may I ask why that is the case?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. A good question cause otherwise it wouldn't be clear. I think it reflects the fact that we -- that the task force grew. We added a number of other members and this seemed to make it somewhat easier to address the representation from the General Assembly.

I am confident, however, that those responsible for choosing those from the General Assembly will certainly take into account both background and interest in this particular subject. I view this as honoring the intent of the original language.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Isn't it true that all of the members of this task force could be members of the General Assembly as presented proposed to be amended?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

If I understand the good representative's question, you're asking if all the members of the task force could be from the legislature? From my understanding of the different roles that are enumerated among the non-legislative members, there are areas of expertise such as being a fire marshal, which I'm not sure anybody in the legislature would be doing, and a number of other municipal roles -- so I'm highly doubtful that that prospect would ever obtain.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you and I thank the good gentleman for his answer but I know there is no restriction. Usually in a area like this it would say two members from the general public who happen to be a fire marshal so to speak, or such similar language. And I note that that is not in here. I'm just concerned -- I just don't know the need for four members of the General Assembly in general, without qualification. So that's not a question, it's a notation and thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Wood, on the amendment?

REP. WOOD (141ST):

It's actually on both.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. WOOD (141ST):

Thank -- I mean, it's not -- doesn't separate one from the other. Thank you very much. Thank you, Representative Steinberg. I think your comments were eloquent and very heartfelt on one aspect of this legislation that we don't often think of and that's the environment and the emotional impact of this can have on our learning and our living and the essential benefits of looking at that.

So I applaud that effort in this legislation. I also feel -- I know there are some people that don't believe in climate change -- I think it's irrefutable and I do believe that we need to be looking at how we can move the needle on this. So again, that's another reason I will be strongly supporting this.

I do have a question on reading through the amendment. It doesn't look like you have anybody in there that's in the construction industry who has built green homes. Is that true?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. I think it may be a matter a little bit of interpretation but if you look at the person representing LEED and LEED Design Construction, certainly you would have somebody with some expertise there and several other of the roles involve various aspects of construction.

Particularly that would lead to creation of green buildings, so I'd like to believe that we have it covered even if there's no one single individual with that narrow expertise.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Wood.

REP. WOOD (141ST):

Thank you for that response and I too wondered on Lines 10 through 13 if a LEED person would be a construction -- somebody who's versed in construction and I hope the consideration will be given to that that we should be looking for somebody who does have experience in the construction of green buildings and there have been enough green buildings constructed in our state that I believe we could find somebody who's probably pretty good at it.

The other points I'd like to make is on the bottom line. I think Representative Case referenced that -- the first thing to go when they have to cut the cost of a building are the environmental aspects of it and wow.

But the more we develop, the more we do, the lower that cost is going to be and that could be a great business for our state as we're looking to develop another economy that could be one of them and we certainly -- to Representative Hoydick's good point on the energy and the cost of electricity in our state.

We definitely need to lower the cost of electricity for consumers and businesses and the more we do, the more we build, the more we support these industries, the lower their cost will be. So for those reasons, I am very strongly in support of this. I applaud Representative Steinberg's efforts and everyone involved in this. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Ackert.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good afternoon, sir.
REP
. ACKERT (8TH):

Through you, a question to the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you and I do stand in support of this amendment. But I do have some questions. One mainly being, you know, as each year, the state department administration and others look at building codes. This is not a code panel essentially, right? This is essentially dealing primarily with energy efficiency in buildings. Is that true?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. I would agree it's not primarily about code though we certainly have expectations that the deliberations may lead to some changes of code at either the state or municipal level as they choose to encourage certain green activities. So I think code is a component of what we seek to see happen but it's much broader than that.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Ackert.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Part of the reason why I asked the question is the home builders and remodelers association very intuitive in terms of our building codes and what takes place and we just went through a completely new code updates last October 1st they went into place with substantial energy efficiency component to it which was -- been pushed back for years because of the initial cost but I think as you do more and more of that -- cause as mentioned earlier, the prices drop.

I believe the value that this will have in bringing to light, being in the building trades myself, many of the builders out there are you know, change is hard. Change is hard but then you start to see the price of LED lighting so -- things like that that are dropping down to the prices that essentially the old high energy incandescent are.

They're just not on board and don't know enough at the point. So sometimes, bringing this to light -- usually the customer goes to the builder and asks for energy efficiency. We want to maybe flip that around and have that driven by the builders out there and promote you know, these energy efficiency homes that don't cost much more than the others and they show the long-term savings would be cheaper than that non-energy efficient home so I look forward to the results of this task force.

It is an aggressive time frame. I did notice that. And -- but I think we have the intellectual capabilities out there that -- be appointed on this board that can get this done at that time frame and I look forward to the -- looking at the results of that force. Thank you, Madam Speaker. Thank you to the good gentleman and all those that worked on this legislation.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Oh my God. Another task force. Another study. 14,543. Is this better than any of the others? That depends on how you look at it. If I'm building a new house and I want it to be efficient, guess where I go? You go to an architect. And he tells you exactly what the newest things are. You go to a designer. The designer will tell you exactly what's going on.

If I'm building a building and I want a high efficiency building, my architect, my designer, the people that are going to work on it are going to tell me that. We don't need a study to tell us that. You just have to ask somebody. Now a study might be good in some respects because it might bring together a whole bunch of qualified people.

But do we know that we have to get something that's more efficient in electricity in our homes? Of course we do. Do you realize we are the second highest rate payers in the nation? Second highest rate payers in the nation for electricity. There's only one state that beats us and that's Hawaii. And if they could harness their volcanoes, they would get -- cost a fraction of it. But we are the second highest in the state.

As far as a task force for energy, my God, there are so many people out there doing geothermal, new electrical lights, new electrical everything. Every single thing is being explored. And it's being explored -- you could get look at a house beautiful. You could go to any magazine and find what you need. We don't need a task force to do that.

You -- if you're building a building, you know you're going to a big builder, you're going to have architects in there and they are going to do all of this for you. You tell them what you want. For us to do a task force, is for no reason whatsoever. To find this out because we can do it on our own. It doesn't make sense to incorporate a task force for a year to find out what we are doing when it's already out there in front of us.

We are acting like the people of this state have no foresight, have no imagination, cannot read and will not doing anything when they're building a new home or building a new building. This information is readily available, it's online.

You could look it up yourself within a half hour and find all of the new involvements there are for a task force for energy and green efficiency. But to do a green efficient task force in this time and to waste time doing that, I don't think it's necessary. 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'll 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. (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 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 was 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 6306 as amended by House “A”.

Total Number Voting 149

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 135

Those voting Nay 14

Those absent and not voting 2

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill as amended passes. (Gavel) Will the chamber please stand at ease for one moment? Will the clerk please -- chamber come back to order.

Will the clerk please call Calendar 480?

CLERK:

On page 28, Calendar 480, Substitute Senate Bill Number 937, AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH'S RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING LEAD PREVENTION INITIATIVES AND ASBESTOS TRAINING. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Public Health.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Madam Speaker, so good to see you again. So soon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Nice to be seen so soon.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you. I move for the adoption of the bill in concurrence with the Senate -- passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate. Representative Steinberg, you have the floor.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This bill addresses statutory revisions and some definition changes regarding lead prevention initiatives and asbestos training. As everyone understands, lead and asbestos are two of the great scourges in building construction and in water use and some of our statutes are not as up-to-date as they need to be with regard particularly to workers who have the responsibility for often correcting problems relating to asbestos and lead in the environment.

So this bill does a number of things but why don't we move straight to the amendment. The clerk is in possession of an amendment, LCO 6135. I move for adoption of the amendment and the opportunity to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 6135 as previously passed as Senate Amendment “A”?

CLERK:

Senate Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO Number 6135, offered by Representative Steinberg, Representative Srinivasan, 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 Steinberg, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The amendment creates greater clarity and focus, particularly with the path to certification the DPH will need to create both for asbestos and lead -- workers in the space -- the trainers, excuse me, in the space so that they are appropriately trained to discover and deal with issues of asbestos and lead in buildings and other environments and makes a few other technical changes. I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question before the chamber is adoption of Senate Amendment “A”. Will you remark on the amendment? Representative Kokoruda. Thank you. Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

[Clearing throat] Thank you, Madam Speaker. Good to see you there.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Please proceed.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So in this amendment, through you, Madam Speaker, Lines 2 and 3 talk about a change of date on or after October 1, 2017. So through you, Madam Speaker, if the good Chairman can explain that need for us to change the date.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. An excellent question from the good representative. In the amending the bill, it was intended to address the fact that DPH might require some time after passage of the bill to prepare themselves for what is called for and so basically, we have changed the date of implementation of that aspect from the date of passage to the date stipulated in the bill which should be sufficient for them to prepare themselves to execute the bill as suggested.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Going down in Lines 35 on, so we are talking about an asbestos training provider and this training provider -- is this trainer somebody that is already there but now by statute we are just calling them a trainer or who is this asbestos and lead training provider?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. Yes indeed, that is the crux of this section is that there are people in this space currently, who are providing training but as is often the case for many people in health-related fields, we have no previously established a standard of training and expertise or what their training ought to involve and this is now the time for us to formalize that relationship in statute.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

So through you, Madam Speaker. What we are accomplishing here is to make sure that they're trainers have -- are adequately trained and certified?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Madam Speaker. In the public hearings there was no major support or opposition for this bill other than, you know, what was sent to us by the department. Through you, Madam Speaker, with the change of date from the date of passage to October later this year -- would that give enough time for DPH to come up with a program so that we are able to train and certify both the asbestos and the lead trainers?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. As you might imagine, it was DPH who suggested this date of October 1st because they want to be very much clear that they will be ready as of this date, so this was something that they suggested and we decided that it was good for us to concur.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

And through you, Madam Speaker. My final question on the amendment. So moving forward, if this amendment and the underlying bill were to move forward then all of our asbestos and lead trainer or what they will call now will now be called trainers -- will also be certified?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. Yes, that is indeed the intent -- is that we will reach a point in the not-distant future where these workers important roles, these trainers will be certified.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and I want to thank the good chair for his answers.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will you remark further? 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”.

REPRESENTATIVES:

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 the members take their 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:

Senate Bill 937 as amended by Senate “A” in concurrence with the Senate.

Total Number Voting 149

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 146

Those voting Nay 3

Those absent and not voting 2

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The bill passes as amended. (Gavel)

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call Calendar 599?

CLERK:

On page 40, Calendar 599, Substitute Senate Bill Number 870, AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Higher Education and Employment Advancement.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad. Oh, Representative Haddad please hold for one moment. Representative Slap.

REP. SLAP (19TH):

Hi, Madam Chair, I'd like to recuse myself from this vote, please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the chamber stand at ease? Will the chamber come back to order? Representative Haddad, please proceed. We're having technical difficulties. If the chamber will just bear with us for a moment.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

There we go.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad, please proceed.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the clerk has an amendment, LCO Number 7678. I would ask the clerk to please call the amendment, I be granted leave of the chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 7678 previously designated by the Senate and -- as Senate “A”?

CLERK:

Senate Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO Number 7678, offered by Senator Bye, Senator Linares, and Representative Haddad.

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 Haddad, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, this amendment becomes the bill. It's a strike-all amendment that was adopted in the Senate. It makes various technical changes to a number of different programs that have been the responsibility of the Board of Regents but ought to be the responsibility of the Office of the -- of Higher Education and so it moves those programs to the Office of Higher Education.

Additionally, it makes changes in the way that we invest and handle a state match for endowed chairs. This is an old program. I think most of these chairs were matched. We used state money to match contributions to private foundations to establish eight endowed chairs at our public state universities and that money is currently held by the Office of the State Treasurer.

This bill allows that money to be moved to the individual foundations of the schools in order to achieve a greater return on investment. Madam Speaker, I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question before the chamber is adoption of Senate Amendment “A”. Will you remark on the amendment? Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Good afternoon, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good afternoon, Representative.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Always good to see one of our female leaders up there at the dais.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you very much.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

The good Chair of Higher Ed summarized the bill correctly but I do have a few questions, if I may, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed, Madam.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you. So Line 5 through Line 12 changes the responsibility for collecting and housing the state and national education trends, programs, methods of teaching, from the Board of Regents to the Office of Higher Ed and it also -- this bill also says that they will aid in the development of the programs and this is for the purpose of recruiting and preparing personnel needed for said programs.

Can you, through you, Madam Speaker, can the good Chair tell me why move this from the Board of Regents where it is currently housed to the Office of Higher Ed?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. It's a good question. I think that this is a responsibility that was a holdover from the previous Department of Higher Education. The Department of Higher Education was responsible for doing these specific responsibilities around our education programs.

When the Department of Higher Education was consolidated and dissolved at the same time that we established the Board of Regents, these responsibilities became the responsibility of the Board of Regents but then we subsequently created the Office of Higher Education and I think that this responsibility is best located there.

It is the analysis of programs and methods of education is not specific to the programs that are run by the Board of Regents and just those specific schools. It also includes programs that are offered by other public schools and private schools and so I think the responsibility is best placed with the Office of Higher Education.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

And I thank the good gentleman for that answer and I concur with him. If we go on to Line 15, Line 48, and Line 88 it actually references the programs specifically -- energy -- Engineering Connecticut, UBELONG, and Green Technology, and the bill, I think, speaks to language that was already existing that says that we provide grants based on certain criteria to cover student loans and this moves the administration of these programs from the Board of Regents to the Office of Higher Ed. That is my understanding and I -- so I'm -- I guess my question is, are these still active programs?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

That's a very good question. Through you, Madam Speaker. These answer -- I guess the question would be more appropriately posed were these programs ever active? I think that they're all programs that were established by good faith by the General Assembly. All of them are conducted within available appropriations and to the best of my knowledge, none of them have ever been activated.

Through you, Mr. Speaker -- Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you and I thank him for that clarification and I -- in my understanding they have -- yeah, that they're not active right now but I think that that's a good thing to leave in there given that they are programs that are to the mission of Higher Ed especially around the Green Technology.

If I could, there are -- so when we're looking at these programs while they're not active now, if through appropriations that are available they do become active -- can the gentleman explain the difference between two of the programs, Engineering Connecticut and UBELONG -- says they may include income guidelines and the Green Technology program actually spells out income requirements. The first two are on Line 33 and Line 72 then Line 108 and 121, if you could.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. As you stated before, these are all existing -- this existing language current -- in current state statute? I don't recall being here in the General Assembly when these programs were initially adopted.

I imagine that there were different purposes and intents established at the time that the language was put into our state statutes and all for good reason. As for the likelihood that these programs will be funded in the future, Madam Speaker, I suppose we can all dream the dream.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you. Thank you for that, Mr -- Madam Speaker. With that said, I guess then that I should not pursue asking if we were going to continue to have these in statute that we would put something into -- for notification purposes.

That very well could be and this is just a comment, why some of these programs are not or have not been accessed in prior days when there was some appropriations so when the funds are running again, maybe it is something we can talk about in Higher Ed.

A part that actually concerns me a little bit is some talk that's up here about moving our state technical schools to a separate system and Lines 136 to 142 indicate that the Office of Higher Ed in consultation with the State Department of Education will prepare and publish a website listing these inactive jobs and such and that they have to do a report on that.

So through you, Madam Speaker, is there any consideration with the possible change of making our technical schools a separate standalone?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker -- Madam Speaker. To the extent that this requirement is on the Board of Regents, I think that it is better placed with the Office of Higher Education in the event that the rest of State Government is reorganized. My expectation would be there would be technical and conforming changes that would happen when and if that occurs.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you. And I thank the good gentleman for that answer. As you stated earlier, this is a bill with two parts. There's some technical changes in moving things from the Board of Regents over to the Office of Higher Ed but the piece of this bill is the endowed chair piece and I have a few questions.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you. If you could, through you, Madam Speaker. How are the endowed Chair funds currently administered or managed?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I want to make a distinction in answering your question between different kinds of endowed chairs. For the most part, endowed chairs are -- come -- the money comes from contributions from private individuals as held by the foundations.

The foundation invests that money and the investment income that is derived from the principal is used to -- for the purposes that the contributor most often as arranged with the college or university and so that money is used to -- oftentimes to pay for a professor or a program.

What we're getting at in this amendment, however, is that for a brief amount of time as best I can tell in the late 80's, early 90's, the State of Connecticut established a state matching program for the establishment of endowed chairs and so while the private money was contributed to the foundation, the state money -- the matching money was held by the State Treasurer. And that continues to this day.

The State Treasurer holds funds that were used to match the private contributions that were contributed for endowed chair -- for the -- to establish an endowed chair that was held by the foundations. Subsequently and recently, we've noticed that the return on investment between the funds that are invested by the State Treasurer and the funds that are invested -- the matched funds that are invested by the foundation are quite different.

And in fact, the foundations are getting a better and higher return on investment than what the State Treasurer receives with the funds that they invest through the short-term investment fund -- the STIF fund. And so this bill seeks to actually add money to the system by allowing the money to be invested by the foundations at the request of the foundations and the schools rather than by the State Treasurer.

In doing so, the foundations and the schools will use a number of well-established protocols for investing restricted funds that are contributed for endowments and I think that that adequately protects our state investments while also throwing off additional investment income that can be used to lower the cost of providing education for our students and so I think that this is a wise program or -- and suggestion.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I agree with the good Chair. I think in our conversations it was 10 times in some of the interest that was earned on the endowment that was kept at the -- in the foundations at the university level.

I guess my next question is in our conversations with the foundation managers, we had asked whether or not their spending policy is consistent across all endowments and the answer that I believe I heard was that it is. Could the good chair please confirm that?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. The money invested as restricted funds contributed to a foundation are governed by a number of different established protocols and some of them are mentioned in the bill if you look at Lines 247 through 249 it specifically references the Connecticut Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act and as such, I think all of the foundations comply with the established standards for investing funds of this nature.

There is some leeway between institutions about how they do that but for the most part, I think that those funds are treated very similarly.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you. Through you, Madam Speaker. It is also my understanding that the language has been changed after many conversations and there's an application that has to be reviewed by the Office of Higher Education before these funds are -- and matching has to be raised first, before these funds are transferred from the State Treasurer's office over to the foundation.

Through you, Madam Speaker. Would you care to elaborate on that, Mr. Chairman?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I will say that most of the language in this amendment is current statute. Although there are a number of sections of this bill that are underlined and other sections that are bracketed that in fact, are the same language. There are no current applications. The language stays the same.

In the event that we reestablish a state match for endowed chairs. Again, that would have to come with appropriation and that has not happened for several years. But I -- but the application process is outlined in the statute and you can see that in Lines 176 through 191.

Essentially as the foundation raises money, they apply to the Office of Higher Education for a match of not less than $ 500,000 not more than $ 1 Million dollars from the endowed chair investment fund and that matching fund would be then contributed -- would be invested with the State Treasurer.

Again, the purpose of this amendment and this bill will be to allow the foundations to move that money from the State Treasurer's office to the individual foundation office in an effort to increase the investment income and the amount of money that we can then invest in reducing the cost of education for our students.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This is a good bill. It's -- there were several meetings to discuss this. I know there might be some questions about whether this is good policy -- giving taxpayer dollars to a foundation for them to invest but this legislation puts in all those protections. We're doing it anyway.

The dollars are sitting in the Treasurer's office. She's investing them. I don't know why the return at that level isn't equal to the return that is happening at the universities. The principal is never touched. It's the interest that is earned on that that is used to build programs to fund scholarships and whatever the mission is of the endowed chair and it's protected.

It's a restricted fund. We are asking that if that money is transferred that it is accounted for separately so that we have the interest of the taxpayer in hand and -- but we're also allowing these universities to double the principal amount and build on that. So I'm hoping that my colleagues will support that part of the bill.

I also hope that my colleagues will support while its existing language, the transfer from the Board of Regents over to the Office of Higher Ed with regard to these four programs. Because while I agree with my colleague we don't have the appropriations to fund these.

These are all good programs and I believe the glass is half full and we will be able to take care of those engineering students and take care of those kids and young people who want to engage in green technology which I think is something Connecticut is trying to be at the forefront on. So I would encourage my colleagues to support this bill. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Yes. Thank you, Madam Speaker. Following up on that last exchange between the ranking member and the chair, I understood the ranking member indicate that there was really no explanation for the difference between what the private foundations were able to obtain as a return on investment and what the Treasurer has been obtaining as a return on investment.

But I'd like to explore that issue a little bit if I might with the chair of the committee. Through you, Madam Speaker. If I could, just a couple of questions.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Please proceed.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I took a quick look through the testimony -- not the testimony but the report by the committee -- the JF report and I didn't see anything in there referencing returns on investment on the original bill and this of course, this new language is in the amendment.

So if I could ask, how did it come to the attention of the committee that there was this very substantial discrepancy between the amount of return on investment at the treasurer's office versus the private foundation?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I think that's a very good question. It gets at the heart of the idea that's embedded in this bill. And so I will share this with you. This was suggested to us from the Board of Regents who -- you know, as we know are working like all state agencies to do more with less and are trying to maximize the value of the investments that we've made in the past -- in the future.

So to provide a -- I'm not by any means an investment expert, but this is my best explanation for why there is a difference in the investment income from the State Treasurer as opposed to from the foundations.

When the foundations make an investment of the principal amount of -- you know, and this is the privately raised money for an endowment they have the luxury of making aggressive -- if they choose to, more aggressive investments knowing that they have unrestricted dollars that they've raised as a foundation that can cover any potential losses in the principal amount that might occur.

And according to their own professional standards, they're allowed to cover any loss in principal with unrestricted funds and they -- and years when their investment targets exceed their -- when the actual return on investment exceeds their investment target, they can pay back their unrestricted funds over time.

The state treasurer has no such luxury and so as a result, the state treasurer tends to invest its funds to protect the principal very, very conservatively and so the investment yields a lower return and so I think that that explains at least partly why the foundations are able to achieve over time a greater return on investment.

Even if there might be moments when they -- their return is lower than what the state treasurer would have because they're investments are more volatile but because they can cover the potential loss in a way that preserves the principal amount of the endowment, they are advantaged in the way that they handle the funds.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Was there any indication -- through you -- was there any indication of the time frame over which the comparison between the Treasurer and the foundations was made?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I don't recall any specific testimony regarding the time frame but it's -- certainly it's been presented to us that in recent years the return on investment has been greater at the foundations than at the State Treasurer's office.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you. There was testimony about this. Was this written testimony or was this oral testimony?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. There was both public testimony at our hearing and then subsequently I think our -- the leadership of our committee took a deeper dive and Representative Staneski and Senator Bye and Senator Linares and I all met with representatives from the foundations and the universities to better understand what the differences are in investment strategies and why the -- why this bill would make sense.

What came out of those were some additional language I would say as well, if you look at Lines 250 through 258, there has been language that's included here that really seeks to protect the principal amount of state funds granted to the foundations to ensure that the principal amount that we contribute to the foundation would not -- will not be diminished over time in the event that they -- and that's consistent with their current practice but we felt it was important also to put in this bill that there would be protections for state dollars.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Is the language that was just -- well reference was just made -- the language that involves or requires that they follow the UPMIFA standards that are set forth? I guess it's in US code?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

I'm sorry. I didn't quite hear all of that but in Lines 246 through 248, that references the, you know, the professional standards that foundations are required to adhere to when they are investing funds that were contributed to the foundation in a restricted manner as opposed to unrestricted funds.

And additionally, what follows that reference is additional language that we felt was important that indicates that the principal -- that really seeks to protect the principal amount of money that the state would contribute to a foundation if they decide to take advantage of managing the state match of the endowment fund and they exercise that option.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I guess I have to say that the -- this is interesting to say the least that there are private organizations managing -- it sounds like a million dollars or less for these endowed chairs or perhaps a million dollars but in that neighborhood and that they are able to achieve on a sustained basis a rate of return that exceeds what the state treasurer is able to do even though she is basically trying to accomplish the same goal which is protect the principal but generate enough income to supply the money necessary to pay the costs of the chair.

So that the principal never gets touched, that it's always being -- the payments are always being made out of the return on investment out of the interest or the dividends, whichever it may be. Because -- and I think I heard a number of tenfold difference between the treasurer is getting and what these private foundations are able to generate and it strikes me, I mean, maybe one of the solutions to our financial difficulties would be to put these foundations in charge of the rest of the money that's under management by the Treasurer.

If we can get ten times the rate of return on a sustained basis, that perhaps could go a long way towards solving our problems with pensions for both teachers and state employees. And it's one of those things that if it sounds too good to be true, in my mind, that perhaps it is.

And that's one of the reasons why I'm wondering about the time frame. You know, last four or five years in the stock market have been very good and you know, there was a period of time when people were making a lot of money dealing with mortgage backed securities prior to 2008 and there were people who looked like absolute geniuses financially on wall street for about three or four years in a row and then the end came rather suddenly.

So that's the essence of my concern and why I was asking those questions. Besides the members of the committee who went and examined this, were -- and talked to the people at the foundation -- were any other financial consultant people consulted? I guess I would start with the Treasurer's office. Were they asked to come in and explain why they could not achieve the same kind of return on investment?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. I did not personally have a conversation with the State Treasurer's office nor did I feel like that was necessary for me to endorse the bill.

But again, I just want to reiterate that -- that the major difference between the way that the foundation invests money and the Treasurer invests money is that the Treasurer does not have a backstop -- additional unrestricted funds that they can use to backfill any potential loss in the principal amount as a fundraising organization or a foundation of the public universities has and so when they -- when the foundation raises unrestricted dollars, they can use that to ensure that the principal amount is not diminished in the event that they make an investment that might prove to be more volatile.

That security, I think, is what has led to the difference in investment income to the best of my knowledge.

Thank you -- through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Perhaps I have misunderstood is -- is this an endowment then that there was a million dollars raised, was placed in a fund and that fund was invested and it's the return on investment that's being used to pay for the chair?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Through you, Madam Chair. Yes, that is the circumstances and the private money that was raised to endow the chair is currently held by the foundation. The state match is held by the state treasurer. And so we have -- in most cases, the same amount of money in different investment funds.

And those investment funds are -- have very different investment strategies. The State Treasurer as we said, like doesn't have that backstop to protect against potential loss of principal and so she invests it very conservatively and the foundations do have a backstop to protect against a potential loss in principal amount and can invest it more aggressively.

And as a result, over time, that the -- and foundations have done better. I would mention though, that I -- and I think it is true to say that there have been times especially around 2008, when the principal amount at -- even at the private foundations dropped below the original principal amount and it triggered the use of unrestricted dollars into the endowment and the endowed chair to ensure that that investment is always throwing off -- you have the principal amount is not eroded. Subsequent investments -- when the subsequent investment comes through some of those unrestricted dollars could be paid back.

I would also mention one other thing and that is that the state law requires that the principal amount for the State Treasurer -- when the state treasury -- the amount that was -- the principal that she holds that all of the investment income that comes off of the State Treasurer's portion of the endowed chair gets contributed to the university to pay for expenses.

On the foundation side, when their obligations are met and their investment income exceeds their obligations to the -- to fund the programs, the extra amount can be used to increase the principal.

And so that becomes a -- it compounds and as a result, the principal amount at the private foundations also grows even though the principal amount with the State Treasurer -- you know, necessarily stays the same.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Okay. Just -- hopefully this will be the last one. It -- the impression I'm getting is that when the foundation has a bad year or two, and loses money, it goes out and raises more money from someone else to contribute to the fund? Is that basically what we're saying here?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes. And I would say it doesn't have to raise more money, it uses unrestricted dollars that it's already raised to cover the loss.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Okay, so where are those unrestricted dollars -- when they don't have a bad year?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Haddad.

REP. HADDAD (54TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That is typically what we refer to as the endowment of the university. And so, the foundations of the different public universities vary dramatically in size -- the largest being the one for the University of Connecticut but even smaller community colleges have a pot of money that they invest and contribute the -- from their investment return to the university.

And that happens through the provision of scholarships or payment of -- transfer of money to help cover the operating expenses at university. As you know, the University of Connecticut has an endowment that's something -- somewhere around $ 350 Million dollars, I think now.

It is not as good as what you see at other public universities like the University of Michigan which has an $ 8 Billion dollar endowment -- nonetheless, it is substantial enough to -- in the fairly limited case of these endowed chairs where's there's a state -- endowed chairs where there's a state match to cover any potential loss that might occur if their investment strategy is off for a year.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL (69TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will you remark further? 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”.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Opposed? The “ayes” have it. The amendment -- Senate Amendment “A” 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 the members please take your seats? The machine will be open.

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Have all the members voted? 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:

Senate Bill 870 as amended by Senate “A” in concurrence with the Senate.

Total Number Voting 147

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 147

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 4

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill passes in concurrence with the Senate. (Gavel) Will the clerk please call Calendar 153?

CLERK:

On page 6, Calendar 153, House Bill Number 7030, AN ACT PROTECTING THE CREDIT OF CERTAIN UTILITY CUSTOMERS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Banking.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Stallworth.

REP. STALLWORTH (126TH):

-- 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 Stallworth, you have the floor, sir.

REP. STALLWORTH (126TH):

Madam Speaker, the clerk is in possession of an amendment, 8032. I ask the clerk please call the amendment and that I be granted leave of chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 8032, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule “A”?

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule “A”, LCO Number 8032, offered by Representative Lesser, Representative Simanski.

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 Stallworth, you may proceed with the summarization.

REP. STALLWORTH (126TH):

Madam Speaker, the amendment is just a strike-all of the underlying bill and the only thing it does, it moves the number of days from 60 to 120 in which an electric, gas, or water company can report the customers to a credit reporting agency. I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The question before the chamber is adoption of Senate Amendment Schedule “A”. Will you remark on the amendment? Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I must say, it's nice to see someone from the Northwest corner up there.
DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH)
:

Thank you very much, sir.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

A forgotten part of the state.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Madam Speaker, I stand in strong support of this amendment which is a strike-all and now becomes the bill. The reason I stand in support of it is when it was originally -- the original bill precluded any utility or telecom company from reporting delinquent payments to the credit rating agencies and that was strongly supported -- the original bill by AARP and Connecticut Legal Services because of the affect that it would have on the elderly people and primarily the people who have low-income jobs.

The other side of the fence, we had millennials who are concerned because if they're paying their heat bills, they're paying their electric, they're paying their water, they're paying their telecommunications bill on a routine basis, they wanted to build up a credit history.

So it would be adverse to them if they couldn't build a credit history by having the utilities and the telecom companies report their credit rating. The -- apparently the governor himself stepped into the fray and he's the one who negotiated this compromise coming out that the utility companies can report to the credit rating agencies but only after 120 days and by giving proper notice to the customers that this could be reported to the credit rating agencies and for the telecom companies it's 60 days before they can report a delinquency. So I think this is a good bill -- ought to pass. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? The fine representative from the 32nd.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I don't have the luxury of sitting on the banking commission -- committee, so through you, a couple of questions for some better understanding.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Stallworth, prepare yourself. Representative Carpino, please proceed.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you, if the good gentleman can just help me understand why we're going to have a different period of time before delinquency can be reported for each of the different utilities?

Through you, Ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Stallworth.

REP. STALLWORTH (126TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Good question. It's simply because there's more competition. Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Carpino.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you, and I thank you for the answer, although that doesn't necessarily help me understand. So they're utilities that are being used by most consumers. We're talking about telephone companies, telecommunications and then our basic water and gas and I'm having a difficulty just understanding why there will be a different period of time before they're reported.

Trying to make sure that consumers understand when they're going to be reported. I'm just looking for a bit of legislative intent.

Through you, Ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Stallworth.

REP. STALLWORTH (126TH):

Yes, Madam Speaker. The phone companies actually have participation in the conversation and telecommunication and telephones are time-frames actually excluded from the same as electric and gas and water. Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Carpino.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you. I -- although I don't disagree with the intent of this, I think that we make mistakes as we go forward and I think unfortunately we sometimes consumers when we give them different periods of time.

One more simple question, through you, Ma'am. Does the notice have to be sent out separately or the utility companies and telecommunications providers in compliance -- if they simply put that notification on each billing statement --

Through you, Ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Stallworth.

REP. STALLWORTH (126TH):

Yes, Madam Speaker. The mailing have to be sent out separately.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Carpino.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you, Ma'am. And what is the intent of a separate mailing versus having it on each and every piece of correspondence going out to the consumers?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Stallworth.

REP. STALLWORTH (126TH):

Yes, Madam Speaker. Just to make sure they have sufficient notice.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Carpino.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you, and has anyone studied the additional cost that the utilities will have to incur in order to send out separate notice?

Through you, Ma'am.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Stallworth.

REP. STALLWORTH (126TH):

Madam Speaker, I cannot on behalf of the utility companies.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Carpino.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you, Ma'am. I did not understand his answer. Did he -- did the conversation or the information come out during the negotiation or the public hearing?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Stallworth.

REP. STALLWORTH (126TH):

Yes, Madam Speaker. There was no information presented.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Carpino.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you, I will continue listening to the debate but I am a little concerned that some of these questions could not be answered. Thank you, Ma'am.

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'll 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. (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 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 7070 as amended by House “A”.

Total Number Voting 148

Necessary for Passage 73

Those voting Yea 107

Those voting Nay 41

Those absent and not voting 3

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The bill as amended is passed. (Gavel) Will the clerk please call Calendar 511?

CLERK:

On page 31, Calendar 511, Substitute House Bill Number 7312, AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SERVICES' RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STATE TAXATION AND COLLECTION AND IMPROVING TAX GAP COMPLIANCE. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Finance Revenue and Bonding.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Elliott.

REP. ELLIOTT (88TH):

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 Elliott, you have the floor.

REP. ELLIOTT (88TH):

Madam Speaker, the clerk has amendment LCO 8352. I would ask the clerk to please call the amendment and I be granted leave of the chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 8352, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule “A”?

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule “A” LCO Number 8352, offered by Representative Rojas, Senator Fonfara, Representative Elliott.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

The representative seeks leave of the chamber to summarize. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection? Hearing none. Representative Elliott, you have -- you may proceed with summarization.

REP. ELLIOTT (88TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. This is an omnibus DRS bill. There's two major functions. One is to close the sales tax gap which we estimate to be around $ 200 Million dollars which is very similar to nearby states. The amendment specifically is also going to include -- it's a strike-all. It's going to include a little information about tax preparers and having some robust regulation to make sure that we have some laws included there.

So very quickly the bill's going to shorten the validity period of sales tax permits, establish methods for weekly sales tax remittance, require then allow income tax withholding for certain pension annuity payments, require certain entities to file copies with DRS to the annual federal information returns that report the payment transactions they process for connected retailers and authorizes the commissioner require taxpayers to post a bond or security with the commissioner and secure withholding tax payments.

Additionally it will create a regulatory structure for tax preparers and facilitators. It makes anyone who buys a business or product stock of a cigarette and dealer of tobacco products, distributor or unclassified tobacco products importer liable for unpaid taxes and the same provisions that are already applied to people who purchase a cigarette distributor's business or a product stock.

Tightens requirements for maintaining tobacco products, tax records and expands the definition of racketeering activity under the corrupt organization racketeering acts to include violations of certain tobacco products related crimes. Additionally it has some information about municipal bonds and refunding them to allow municipalities to kick back their payments by 30 years. To you, Ms. -- 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 Davis.

REP. DAVIS (57TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and good afternoon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Good afternoon. Representative, before you proceed -- (Gavel) if you all could please take your conversations outside so our good legislators could hear each other have a conversation. Thank you very much. Please proceed, Representative Davis.

REP. DAVIS (57TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker and I thank the kind gentleman from Hamden for his summarization of the amendment. Ladies and gentleman, this is the combination of the two Department of Revenue Service bills that came through the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee.

This amendment puts both of them together and additionally includes some provisions included in a Planning and Development bill that was before that committee -- House Bill 6684. The kind gentleman gave quite the summary of obviously a very complicated and large amount of sections of this bill and if I could, I'd like to just kind of walk through some of these changes that have been made.

I'll start with two of the more controversial issues that came up when both of these bills were -- the original bills that these -- this amendment comes from and was heard in the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee.

And through you, Madam Speaker to the kind proponent of the amendment, are -- has the hosting platform language been removed from this bill?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Elliott.

REP. ELLIOTT (88TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Could you clarify the question?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Davis.

REP. DAVIS (57TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I believe in the original underlying bill, I think it was section 11 of 7312 that dealt with the hosting platform requirements to collect and remit the occupancy -- hotel and occupancy tax for hosting platform, similar to Air B&B and various -- VRBO and various other platforms that would have been encompassed in that. Has that language been removed from the bill under this amendment?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Elliott.

REP. ELLIOTT (88TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. Yes it has. Any language about the VRBOs has been completely removed.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Davis.

REP. DAVIS (57TH):

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. And additionally, from Senate Bill 1047, the Senate version of the DRS bills this year, there was a somewhat controversial Section 28 that dealt with requiring businesses to use electronic company to collect sales tax and then have to remit it through a software company which would be very, very costly for those businesses and through you, Madam Speaker, is that section included in this amendment?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Elliott.

REP. ELLIOTT (88TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker. That has also be removed