THE CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Monday, June 5, 2017

(The House of Representatives was called to order at 10: 35 o'clock a. m. , Speaker Joe Aresimowicz in the Chair. )

CLERK:

The House of Representatives will convene immediately. Members to the chamber. The House of Representatives will convene immediately. Members to the chamber.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

(Gavel) Will The House please come to order. Will members, staff, and guest please rise and direct your attention to the Dais where Reverend Canon Jerome Cayangyang will lead us in prayer.

REVEREND CANON JEROME R. CAYANGYANG:

Mr. Speakers, members of the The House, thank you for the opportunity to join you in prayer this morning. Let us pray. Almighty and ever-living God, in You we live and move and have our being, and in Your providence all things come to pass. We come to You this morning with humble and grateful hearts; and, ask for Your blessings on the people of the State of Connecticut - upon the Representatives gathered here today, their communities, and not to be forgotten, their families - who support them in their duties and their call to serve this great State. Guide this session today of the State House of Representatives, and may all the deliberations and decisions conducted here be guided by Your infinite wisdom. May we be eternally grateful for Your redemptive purposes being fulfilled in our midst, and for all that is good, just, and true in our lives. May our hearts be like Yours, ever mindful of the least, the lost, and the lonely. We pray for the discouraged that they might find hope; for the down-trodden that they may be lifted up; for the weary that they may find rest; and, for the lonely - that they may know the power of Your life transforming mercy and grace. Now for the work to be done here today, may each Representative know and feel the meaning of their mission, the importance of their task and the power of Your purpose - and at the end of the day, may You O Lord be honored and glorified. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done. This we ask in Your sovereign name. Amen.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Just so the chamber knows, we've been doing this throughout this session where representatives can ask that their clergy members come up, and this was from Representative France, I believe from your district correct sir? So, all right. Would Representative Petit of the 22nd District please come to the Dais to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

REP. PETIT (22ND):

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Is there any business on the clerk's desk?

CLERK:

Yes, Mr. Speaker. A list of reports to be referred to the Committees indicated.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Albis:

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Good morning.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Good morning, sir.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Mr. Speaker I move to waive the reading the list of reports and the reports to be referred to the committee as indicated.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Without objection, so ordered. Mr. Clerk?

CLERK:

Final piece is the daily calendar.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Are there any announcements or introductions? Representative Borer of the 115th madam. I see you have one of your district mates next to you. For what purpose do you rise?

REP. BORER (115TH):

I do thank you Mr. Speaker. I am joined by my esteemed colleague Representative Ferraro, and I would like to bring everybody's attention to the balcony where we have West Haven High School's AP Government and Politics class who has been studying government and politics all year long. They worked on some of our campaigns, they came to the Capitol to see what they do, and many of them aspire to be where we are sitting today and make some great decisions for the State of Connecticut. I also want to welcome there teacher, Mr. Consorte who has been teaching this class a very long time. (Applause) Probably knows a little bit more about what we do than I do at this point, but I'm just very proud because this is the high school that I graduated from in 19(mumble) and --

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Did you say '84 ma'am?

REP. BORER (115TH):

Something like that, yes. I'd like to turn it over to Representative Ferraro at this point.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and I also am very excited about welcoming West Haven High School here to the chamber. It's a great bunch of kids. Mr. Consorte does a great job with the AP Government class in West Haven, and they're always a pleasure to talk to. During election time, many of them help out with the various campaigns throughout the city on both sides of the aisle, and it's just a great pleasure. I hope everybody will stand and give them a warm chamber welcome to the West Haven High School (applause).

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Welcome to our chamber. Representative Cheeseman of the 37th, you have the floor madam.

REP. CHEESEMAN (37TH):

Thank you very much Mr. Speaker, and I know everyone in the chamber will have heard of the terrible terrorist atrocity in London over the weekend. London is a place near and dear to my heart. It's where I met my husband. My older son was born there. So, I ask the chamber to join me in a moment of silence for the victims and their families at this very sad time. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

I believe that's quite appropriate madam. Could we all rise, have a moment of silence for the victims in the tragedy in London. (Silence) (Gavel) Our thoughts and prayers are with the families. Representative David Baram of the 15th district. You have the floor sir.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Good morning Mr. Speaker. I just want to remind my colleagues that this month we're celebrating Jewish heritage in the state of Connecticut, and today between 11 and 1: 30 p. m. , there will be a display in the judiciary room upstairs with food and videos to show the contributions of the Jewish community over the last 350 years to the State of Connecticut. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Ladies and gentleman, I'm starting to notice a lot of bowties. Typically we did bowtie Tuesday, but we should've gotten the memo as bowtie Monday, but maybe bowtie Tuesday tomorrow. Are there any other announcements or introductions? Representative Currey of the 11th District. You have the floor.

REP. CURREY (11TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. For purposes of announcements, I just want to let folks know if anyone is looking for extra bowties, we have plenty over here. Help yourself.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Bowtie Monday, a new tradition. There will be a photo op with all those that have bowties at some point down in the well of The House. Are there any other announcements or introductions? I understand Representative Frey is trying to get a hockey team in here, so we could recognize them, that's what we're waiting for ladies and gentleman. Are there any announcements or introductions? Any announcements or introductions specifically about a hockey team I see in the well of the House. Representative Frey of the 111th District, you have the floor, sir.

REP. FREY (111TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Yes in fact we do have a hockey team before us today. I always thought June was like too late for hockey, but with the Stanley Cup still going on or just wrapping up, I guess that's not always the case, but I'd like to welcome the Ridgefield High School Tiger Hockey and state champions to the Connecticut House of Representatives.

The Tigers prevailed over New Canaan for their third FCIAC title in six years with a final score of 5-2, but the celebrating didn't end there. The Tigers for the first time in Ridgefield history won the Division 1 State Title against Northwest Catholic at Ingalls Rink at Yale, and our schedule here was kind of enough that I was able to attend that game. The final score was 6-2 with two goals and one assist from Matteo van Wees, is Mateo here? I don't think he's here -- he is here, two assist with Nick Cullinan, one goal and two assist from Jack Stafford hiding behind. One goal and one assist from Will Forrest, I see you've got them all. One goal and one assist from Jeff Pracella, is Jeff there, no -- yes, right there, and 30 saves from Sean Keegans, did Seam make it up? Where's Sean? He didn't come did he? There he is, okay Sean. The Tiger record at the end of the season was 24-2. Yeah, it was pretty incredible. You know, it's always nice when you beat the likes Darien, New Cannan, Fairfield Prep this year was a tough one, I'm sorry Representative Wood, but it wasn't just luck for Ridgefield, the talent, effort, and dedication from these players was extraordinary by any standard. This team culture is exemplified not just with the remarkable skill of Jack Stafford who received all FCIAC team honors, or his peers Matteo van Wees, Harrison Chuma, and Sean Keegans who each received All-State and all FCIAC honors, this team culture is also visible in the admirable team loyalty of Rian Stewart. Rian, are you there? Rian? He didn't come, okay. Rian whose injury stopped him from playing, yet he stayed throughout the season to manage a team and Gordon Santiago who served as team photographer. So let's give them and their coach, Sean, a round of applause. (Applause) Thank you so much, and congratulations guys.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Gentlemen, you may be getting a double dose of applause because I know Representative O'Dea of the 125th also wants to speak. Please proceed sir.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise to say congratulations to my friends to the north. I am the representative for New Canaan Connecticut, and it's with heavy heart that I relay that Ridgefield beat us in boys Lacrosse FCIAC and girl's Lacrosse FCIAC. So, I stand up with a heavy heart but a word of congratulations to you boys. You played great this year, and your whole -- Mr. Street, I spoke to him the other day. You should be all be proud of all you've done, and I want to say for the group of us here, my two favorite teams in the state of Connecticut are New Canaan and whoever's playing Darien. Congratulations Ridgefield. (applause)

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Frey, you still have the floor, but I thought that was important to sneak in there.

REP. FREY (111TH):

That definitely was. I'll gladly to defer to Representative O'Dea at any time, especially for that message. So Ridgefield this year just had an extraordinary year, both in sports and academics, theatre, music, you name it, we've got a group of champions, but I know as a graduate of 1981, anytime Ridgefield beat Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, it was a big victory. So, again congratulations guys, welcome to Hartford. We're going to bring up to the state senate afterwards, although they're not quite in session yet. We've got lunch for you afterwards, but again a final applause for the state champion hockey team division 1, Ridgefield High School (applause).

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Gentleman again congratulations. Be careful up in the senate, that's a more dangerous place than here in The House. Are there any other announcements or introductions? Representative Klarides-Ditria of the 105th, madam you have the floor.

REP. KLARIDES-DITRIA (105TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise for an introduction.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed.

REP. KLARIDES-DITRIA (105TH):

I'd like to introduce the floor to Seymour Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year winner Angelina Buturla to the House, and the Boys & Girls Club Representatives from Seymour. She is here to visit the chamber, to visit us, and I'd like to give her our standard chamber welcome and congratulations to this wonderful young woman. (Applause)

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Are there any other announcements or introductions? Let's begin our business. Will the clerk please call Calendar 458.

CLERK:

State of Connecticut House of Representatives calendar Monday, June 5, 2017, on page 22, House Calendar 458 substitute House Bill number 7244, AN ACT CONCERNING A GRANDPARENT'S RIGHT TO VISITATION WITH HIS OR HER GRANDCHILD. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary. The esteemed Chair of the Judiciary Committee from the great city of Stamford, William Tong, you have the floor.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Good morning Mr. Speaker. I should note that I'm on time. I don't know --

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Why anybody else, eh?

REP. TONG (147TH):

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

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

REP. TONG (147TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Under our laws grandparents, in fact, any person have a right to petition the court for visitation rights if they show by clear and convincing evidence that such person has a parent-like relationship with the minor child and denial of visitation would cause real and significant harm. Over the last several years we've heard from grandparents in our state who have expressed their concern and frankly have told us their sad stories about their inability to visit with their grandchildren, usually in the cases where the parents are divorced, the parents are living apart, and in general terms because of the relationship between the parents or the parents and the grandparents, there's an inability to find visitation, and so what this bill does is it preserves the existing regime under our law for a petition under -- by clear and convincing evidence for visitation rights but also provides that grandparents may submit a petition, and if they can demonstrate that either or both parents of the minor child are deceased, the parents of the minor child are divorced, or the parents are living separate and apart in different habitats then the grandparents can show by clear and convincing evidence that the child's parents or guardians are unreasonably depriving the grandparent of the opportunity to visit, that awarding visitation to the grandparents will not interfere with the relationship between the minor child and their parents or guardians, and that the minor child's parents or guardians are unfit or there are otherwise compelling circumstances to overcome the presumption that the parent's decision to deny visitation is not in the best interest of a child. So, if they -- grandparents are able to show that by clear and convincing evidence, the court may provide for visitation. There is extensive public hearing testimony on this bill, substantial debate. It did pass the Judiciary Committee unanimously, and I urge passage of the bill.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much sir. Will you remark further on the bill before us? The esteemed ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Representative Rebimbas, you have the floor madam.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker I rise in support of the legislation before us, and I would like to also just take the opportunity to thank my coach -- the co-chairman of this Judiciary Committee for being here on time for this very important bill. Mr. Speaker, this is a bill that has come before us previously, and we have heard, as the good chairman has indicated, from many different families who have been affected by the breakdown of a relationship between a grandparent, and their grandchild, and I think one of the things that we try to do up here so often is try to conserve the bonds of family, and this is a Bill that goes in the right direction in that regard.

We currently have a grandparent statute in our laws, and it actually originated from a taskforce. It also originated from a lot of really hard work. Unfortunately what has happened is that pieces legislation currently that we have fall short, fall short and actually provides some real challenges to grandparents in exercising the ability at least to petition to a court to either restore or strengthen the bond between the grandparent and the grandchild. So, I do believe that this is a very important piece of legislation. I thank all of the advocates for their hard work and also the cosponsors of the legislation before us, but I did want to highlight and clarify a few points in the legislation if I may through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong, please prepare yourself. Representative Rebimbas, please proceed.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and I'll just clarify as I saw a face expression from the good chairman when I indicated Co-Chairman, that's Co-Chairman with the Senate, two chairs, but certainly a Chairman that I've taken great pleasure as Ranking Member to work with, but through you Mr. Speaker to the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I just wanted to highlight the fact this is an adamant that was done through the Judiciary Committee that any petition that goes through the court, the court will use its best efforts to use the resources within the court, for example family services, special masters, or mediation to resolve any disputes, and this is not a piece of legislation that is going to be added to list of options of guardian ad litems and AMCs, is that correct through you Mr. Speaker?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker. I was just scratching my nose earlier, so I didn't make a face. I can assure the Ranking Member that I see her as my full and complete partner in all activities of the Judiciary Committee. That being said, yes you are correct. The Ranking Member is correct through you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Ladies and gentleman, I'm going to make the announcement now, and it'll probably be a few more times throughout the day, in the closing days of session I know we're all working on important pieces of legislation. The Chamber just probably isn't the best place to do it. I've had two reps already stand up and say they couldn't hear the debate happening, so if you're doing that, and I absolutely do understand that, please just take it out to the hall. There are offices available that you can do all your work, but let's make sure that the reps on the floor can hear the debate. So, with that being said, Representative Rebimbas, you now have the floor madam.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and through you Mr. Speaker just again to clarify, we are not changing the definition of a grandparent. So, we're not allowing anybody else other than a defined grandparent in this new section to petition the court and that would be a child by blood, marriage, or adoption. Is that correct through you Mr. Speaker?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you that is correct.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and we're also maintaining the criteria, as the good Chairman highlighted earlier, that at least one parent has to be deceased, the parents need to be divorced, or not living together. So, I think that were' preserving important factors in this regard as well moving forward. The court would also have to determine what's in the best interest of the child, and certainly we also have another safeguard, Mr. Speaker, as some individuals brought to us, well what if you have a grandparent, which, hopefully this would be very slim and never happening, but again we do have to deal with reality, but what if you have a grandparent that just unfortunately is someone that the parents do not believe is suitable to have contact with the child and continuously attempts to make filings in court. Well we do have a provision here, and the good Chairman if the can just confirm. That the prevailing party is able to request reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees against that individual if that is the case. If there is some type of attempt to abuse the process. Is that correct?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, that is correct.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I also did want to highlight that throughout this piece of legislation there are many different factors to consider as to a parent-like relationship, and we have not disturbed those. I think many times, Mr. Speaker, what happens is families attempt to try to resolve things on their own, so there may have been an existing parent-like relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild, but because of their efforts in trying to resolve things out of court, trying to resolve things directly with the family, the way that we want people to continue to do so, the span of time becomes long, long where it may a great challenge under the current legislation to have the grandparent petition to the court and be successful in that regard.

We have provided a guideline under this new section as to what would be at least considered a reasonable amount of time, but not having that negatively affect either the parents or the grandparents in the time of petitioning, but we are giving a 90 day at the very least, again because we want to allow the grandparent to reasonably try to negotiate things with the family member.

So through you Mr. Speaker, is that correct regarding the 90-day reference?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, I believe that is correct.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and again I would like to thank the chairman for his responses to this. I'd like to thank the Judiciary Committee for again raising this important piece of legislation, passing it out unanimously, all of the advocates that have taken the time not only to come up to the Capitol in order to share their stories, but to continue their advocacy with all of the members of the chambers, and I hope that my colleagues can support this.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

I want to thank the Ranking Member for her leadership. I want to thank the grandparent activist -- advocates who have appeared before the committee year after year to make arguments in favor. I want to thank Representative Gonzalez for her work on this bill, I'm looking at you, and the Judiciary Committee. These are difficult issues, they're emotional issues. They're not always easy to unpack legally, but I think we've arrived at a fair and effective compromise. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Cummings.

REP. CUMMINGS (74TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, just a couple of remarks on the bill. Grandparents are critical members of our family units and far too often they are punished by their children and not able to see their grandchildren over disputes of the parent doesn't like what the grandparent said to them, financial dispute.

These things are unfortunate for people who unconditionally love their grandchildren, and this will help them protect their rights, and their dedication to their grandchildren. Good bill, ought to pass.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative. Representative Gonzalez of the 3rd District, ma'am you have the floor.

REP. GONZALEZ (3RD):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker I rise in support of this bill. I also want to say thank you to the leadership, Representative Rebimbas, Representative Cummings. This is a great bill to pass. This bill really take care of the grandparents. Also, we have on the grandparents, we protect the grandparents with any -- no guardian ad litem involved, no AMC involved, so this is a great bill to pass, and I ask my colleagues to support this bill. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative.

Representative France of the 42nd District, sir you have the floor.

REP. FRANCE (42ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have a few comments on the bill. I rise in strong support of this bill. For some reason -- it was actually brought to my attention to me by a constituent who shared a moving story of being separated from her grandchild after having that grandchild live in her house for the first two plus years of that child's life.

Through some of the things that others have talked about, a disagreement between the parent and the grandparent over something that had nothing to do with the child in question. I also rise in support for two other reasons, but principally -- because if you look at the existing statute, the challenge of a grandparent demonstrating a parent-like relationship, if you could walk through a relationship between a child and -- their child and the grandparent in this case, that grandparent is going to work with the family to try and work things out over time, that could make months or even years, and by the time that has happened, then to petition the court and try and demonstrate a parent-like relationship could be difficult because there's been a time lapse of contact with that grandchild.

Finally on a personal note, I shared this with the committee -- the Judiciary Committee during the public hearing, if my own mother had decided to separate me and not allow contact with my grandparent, when I reached the 8th grade, my situation in my home life caused me to have to change and go live with my grandparents for high school.

If my parents had not allowed me to do that, not allowed the contact, I would've had no place to go. So, having this ability for a grandparent to petition the court, have a court make a judgment based on what's in the best interest of the child, I think it is a prudent step and a measure that gives strength to the family unit that has extended beyond just the parents and the value the grandparents can give to the raising of a child and to the carrying on of the legacy of that family unit. So, thank you Mr. Speaker for the opportunity to speak.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative. Representative Reyes of the 75th District. Sir -- Representative Reyes, someone's between you and me. Okay, thank you sir.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Good morning everybody. Sir, I rise in strong support of H. B. No. 7244, and I see this as an important piece of legislation. When we start talking about grandparents and -- who are not only a strong and vital part of the family household, in many cases they're the paramount leader of these households, and this piece of legislation which we're talking about the right to visitation, but it is also a lot more than that.

These grandparents are the heart and soul and sometimes the only livelihood that these young children have to a normal life, and I applaud the Judiciary Committee for coming out with this piece of legislation, and I stand in strong support of H. B. No. 7244. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative. Representative Kokoruda of the 101st, ma'am you have the floor.

REP KOKORUDA (101ST):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I also stand in strong support of H. B. No. 7244. A lot of my remarks were just said by Representative Reyes. You know, we have such an issue in this state and in our world with parental alienation. It really is a type of child abuse, and quite often where there's parental alienation, you quite often also see grandparent alienation, and I think grandparents, as we've heard here today, are such an important part of the families, of the life of these children. A lot of the grandparents are the ones that are raising these children, and to think that we would deprive the grandparents of being involved in their grandchildren's life, but even more importantly to deprive children of the role models that their grandparents can bring to the table.

So, today I thank the Judiciary Committee and its leadership. This is an important bill. As a grandmother myself, I certainly hope that every grandparent has access and can be in their grandchild's life, so thank you very much. I urge support. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative. Representative Ferraro of the 117th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. FERRARO (117TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I also rise in strong support for H. B. No. 7244 for all the reasons my colleagues have brought forward and for the fact that I'm a new grandparent myself, and I think the two boys that my -- my two grandsons are precious, and I hate to have the thought that I wouldn't have access to those children should something happen. Not only that, but throughout the raising of a child sometimes with the way the world is today, and both parents have to work full-time jobs, sometimes it's the grandparent who is really in the forefront of raising the children. So, I want to thank the Judiciary Committee for bringing this bill forward. I think it's a great bill, and I strongly support it and urge my colleagues to do the same. Thank you sir.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative de la Cruz of the 41st District. Sir, you have the floor. Is that real bowtie or is this another tee-shirt?

REP. DE LA CRUZ (41ST):

This is a bowtie, it's real.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Okay.

REP. DE LA CRUZ (41ST):

It's a clip-on. Soto is tying bowties if anyone needs one in the back. I didn't know how to do that.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Okay, thank you sir.

REP. DE LA CRUZ (41ST):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Just a comment, I -- reiterating what a lot of folks said in here today, but there's a grandparents group up here in the galley that started all of this. Again, when I stand and rise a lot of times, I mention the opioid crisis over and over and over again. This bill is another result of the opioid crisis. We have folks who are using children sometimes as pons because grandma and grandpa -- in this difficult situation of trying to support their children, but they have to look out for the well-being of the grandchildren, and can be easily shut out, and this is going to help make that better. I remember getting some crying phone calls because our group community Speaks Out is trying to help parents get these rights back, and I want to thank the group that did all that. The grandparents group up there, thank you guys. This is what changes laws and rules, and I told you that I think when I spoke to you in the car. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative. Representative Lavielle of the 143rd. Ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. LAVIELLE (143RD):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, good morning. I rise in very strong support of the bill. I have had over the years a number of constituents speak to me about this very situation, and in each case the family situation was very complex, and it was unique.

I have one constituent in particular who has -- who feels that every relationship in his family has been destroyed by the current situation before this bill, and also for his grandchildren. I believe having heard all of these stories and others that are sometimes -- that are family-related but don't involve grandparents, families are complicated entities, and it's very difficult to have one law that applies to everybody justly and fairly, and sometimes you need a little more flexibility to allow for those cases which really don't fit, and I think the area of grandparents visitation was one of those. I'm very, very happy to see this law pass, and I know that it will make my constituents happy, and it will be fair for their grandchildren, and I'm sure that will be the case in other families as well. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you ma'am. Will you remark further on the bill before us? Will you remark further on the bill before us? Representative Cheeseman of the 37th District. Ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. CHEESEMAN (37TH):

Thank you very much Mr. Speaker, and I want to echo what everyone else said. I benefitted so much from a wonderful relationship with my grandparents, in fact, my husband and I moved to be closer to my parents so my sons could have that same relationship. I can't imagine my life or their lives without it. So, I want to thank everyone on Judiciary, everyone else who supported this, and this is a wonderful bill. Thank you so much Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative. Will you remark further on the bill before us? Will you remark further on the bill before us? Will you remark further on the bill before us? If not, will staff and guest please come to the well of the House. Members take your seats, the machine will be open. (Ringing)

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill 7244,

Total number Voting 147

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 143

Those voting Nay 4

Absent and not voting 4

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The bill passes (gavel) (applause).

Are there any announcements or introductions? Any announcements or introductions? If not, will the clerk please call calendar 151.

CLERK:

On page 5, calendar 151 Substitute H. B. No. 7019, AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF BANKING'S ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY, THE ISSUANCE OF CERTAIN REPORTS, REQUIRING THE RETURN OF CERTAIN PORTIONS OF SECURITY DEPOSITS AND MAKING MINOR REVISIONS TO THE BANKING STATUTES. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Banking.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Recognizing Representative Lesser, Chairman of the Banking Committee and of the Century District. Please proceed sir.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I've never heard it called that before, but I appreciate it. I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Question before the Chamber is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Lesser, you have the floor.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Yes, good morning Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the clerk is in possession of LCO 8538. I ask that the clerk please call the amendment and that I be granted leave of the chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO 8538, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule "A. "

CLERK:

House amendment Schedule "A" LCO 8538 offered by Representative Lesser. Senator Winfield.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this being a strike-all amendment, I propose to just simply summarize what the amendment seeks to do. It makes a variety of changes to the banking statutes, the vast majority of them at the request of the Department of Banking.

Section 1 clarifies the Department of Banking enforcement authority with regards to mortgage lenders, mortgage correspondent lenders, mortgage brokers, and other qualified persons with licenses.

Sections 2 through 4 regard the maximum drop periods for credit unions and make a variety of other changes to the credit union statutes.

Sections 5 through 11 are technical.

Section 12 expands the definition of sales finance company.

Section 13 requires money transmission licensees to establish anti-money laundering programs.

Sections 14 and 15 regard the minimum tangible net worth of consumer collection agencies.

Section 16 allows the Commissioner of Banking to oppose monetary fines against persons who've engaged in dishonest or unethical practices in the commodities or securities businesses.

Section 17 regards the return of security deposits.

Section 18 looks at the issue of excessive blight fines, nuisance abatement laws. Section 18 regards a student loan ombudsman. I'm sorry, I've been thrown asunder, that was section 19 that does that.

Section 20 regards lead abatement and securing financing from private industry.

Section 21 allows state licensed banks and other entities to store funds within state-charted institutions, and sections 22 and 23 amend bills that previously passed by the House this session to make minor and technical changes.

Mr. Speaker, I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative. Will you remark further on the bill before us? Will you remark further? Representative Simanski of the 67th -- 62nd District. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I begrudgingly rise in support of this amendment, strike all which now becomes the bill, and I say begrudgingly because even though it's only 17 pages long, it still is a mini aircraft carrier.

Normally I'm not in support of bills like this one that incorporate 10 other bills inside of it. However, in the -- I guess in these final days of session I'll expedite the process, and I would thus support it.

Of the 10 bills, I normally like to see them debated and voted on by themselves, but again in the interest of expediency, I guess we can proceed. To the members of this caucus, I do want to say that even though this is 10 bills incorporated into one, it has been reviewed by myself, other members of the caucus and by our attorneys, and there are some really good ideas and concepts worthy of this bill to be passed.

Among other things, the Chairman referred to a section of this -- an attempt by the banking community to assist some of the blight issues to have in our inner city. There's also an attempt to help in the lead abatement issue with lead abatement paint. So, Mr. Chairman and members of this committee, of this Chamber rather. The SS Connecticut has sailed into this Chamber, and in order for the people to really understand what's aboard, I think it's important that the members would each sections contain in a little more detail than the chairman's quick summary. So, to that end through you Mr. Speaker, I'd like to ask some questions to the Chairman of the Banking Committee.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed sir.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Chairman the first section of the bill is the original bill, 7019, and it gives some enforcement authority to the banking commissioner, could you explain to the members of this chamber what that section entails in a little more detail please.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Through you to the honorable Ranking Member, I would refer to this as a dingy rather than an aircraft carrier, but specifically in answer to his question, in line 23 of the amendment it expands the authority beyond enforcement of regulations to orders by the commissioner. I believe that conforms to current practice, but also just clarifies the commissioner existing authority, and it expands it beyond explicitly licensed persons to persons acting within the scope of the commissioner current enforcement powers.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and through you Mr. Speaker sections 2 through 4 talk about the draw period for second mortgages issued my credit unions specifically, and could the good chairman explain to this chamber what that section pertains to and what some of the specifications are in that section.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Yes, currently Mr. Speaker through you there is a maximum 20 year draw period for credit unions. These sections simply expand that to 25 years.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Now section 5 through 11 is listed as technical changes to the banking statutes, could the good chairman please explain what some of those technical changes are and who requested them.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker through you. The majority of those changes I believe are conforming changes requested by the legislative commissioner's office. In section 6 for example there is a typographical error that is corrected. In section 7 the technical term, the term of art, is surrender and not suspension. There was a change in line 71 that was requested by the Department of Banking.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and through you Mr. Speaker, section 12, which was originally H. B. No. 7033, talk about additional protection to retail buyers and retail installment contracts. Could the good chairman please explain to this Chamber what is involved in that section and how it protects buyers? Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Yes. Through you Mr. Speaker to the Ranking Member. The bill expands the definition of sales finance company to include companies that subsequently assign, convey, or transfer the interest in contracts or loans but continue to serve as them, and it captures an evolution in the retail installment and loan contract industry to a more servicing based set up.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and through you Mr. Speaker, section 13, which is originally S. B. No. 782, AN ACT REQUIRING MONEY TRANSMISSION LICENSEE TO COMPLY WITH THE CURRENCY AND FOREIGN TRANSACTIONS REPORTING ACT, could the good Chairman please explain to this Chamber what those requirements are and why we have this section in the bill?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker to the honorable Ranking Member, this bill brings our money transmission license -- act into compliance with Federal Laws. I think you stated in the question the -- that includes a variety of internal policies, procedures, and controls, requires the designation of a compliance officer, ongoing employee training programs, independent audits to test the programs effective, as required by Federal law, and I believe received unanimous support in committee.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker and through you Mr. Speaker, sections 14 and 15 are act requiring licensing requirements for consumer collection agencies and through you Mr. Speaker, what is the purpose of this section?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. The purpose of this section is to protect the public from what I would call fly-by-night consumer collection agencies by requiring that they display a minimum tangible net worth of $ 50,000 dollars, and it requires -- and it prevents consumer collection agencies from hiring unlicensed consumer collection agencies, subcontracting out the work to unlicensed entities. The idea is to protect the public from disreputable actors.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and through you Mr. Speaker, we did hear some testimony about the reason to have a $ 50,000 dollar net worth, and one of the reasons I believe was to prevent these smaller collection agencies from taking the funds that they collect and using it in support of their own operating cost. Could the Chairman please expound upon that testimony we heard?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

I think, through you Mr. Speaker, that the honorable Ranking Members characterization is absolutely correct, and this both -- so in addition to protecting the public, this also protects the creditor as well and provides additional assurance that procedures are being paid to escrow funds and ensure that they're returned to the creditor.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and through you Mr. Speaker, section 16 is House Bill -- originally H. B. No. 7143, AN ACT ESTABLISHING FINES UNDER THE CONNECTICUT UNIFORM SECURITIES ACT FOR DISHONEST AND ETHICAL PURPOSES, could the good Chairman please explain to this chamber what that bill encompassed originally and why it's in this mini aircraft carrier?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker --

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Thank you. Thank you Mr. Speaker, through you to the honorable Ranking Member, this is to protect persons doing business with the securities and commodities industry against people who have engaged in dishonest or unethical behavior and allows the finding of persons who have violated the law.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and through you Mr. Speaker, section 17, which was originally H. B. No. 7149 entitled AN ACT CONNECTICUT BANKS -- CONCERNING CONNECTICUT BANKS AND SECURITY DEPOSITS, it does have -- will let me, through you Mr. Speaker, could the Chairman please explain what this section contains?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, it allows tenants age 62 years or older to seek return of a security deposit that exceeds one month's rent.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and through you Mr. Speaker, in the original bill what was the public hearing testimony regarding the reason that we need to enact this bill?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, I think it complies -- it provides additional harmony with other housing statutes that was requested to us by the legal aid community and advocates for seniors.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and Mr. Speaker through you, since this does in fact pertain to security deposits, should this have gone through the Housing Committee?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, I believe it was our contention that this was germane to the Banking Committee, but I would trust the Chamber's judgment on that question.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Moving on, section 18, which is originally H. B. No. 5223, AN ACT ESTABLISHING A TASKFORCE TO STUDY METHODS TO PREVENT THE ISSUANCE OF MORTGAGES TO PERSONS WITH EXCESSIVE BLIGHT FINES OR PERSON WHO HAVE VIOLATED THE NUISANCE ABATEMENT LAWS. Could the good Chairman please explain to this chamber what's encompassed in this section of the bill?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Yes, through you Mr. Speaker, this was to -- in response to concerns that the committee heard from members of this body who were concerned that there were a number of repeat offenders who were nevertheless able to continue to acquire properties despite the fact that there is excessive blight fines and nuisance abatement laws.

We attempted to address in the session. We did not have time to address it fully, but believe this is an important issue going forward and this helps us keep the momentum going.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and I do agree with the good Chairman. That is something that we try to address. We thought it would be good to assist with the blight conditions that are in some of our inner cities. Since we couldn't come up with a resolution, we did in fact establish a taskforce. Could the good Chairman please explain to the members of this chamber who will be serving on that taskforce?

Through you Mr. Speaker

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, through you to the honorable Ranking Member, there are a number of appointments from the speaker, President pro tempore of the Senate, the Majority Leader of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, the Minority Leader of the House, the Senate Republican President pro tempore, and the taskforce will report back to the Banking Committee, which will serve to provide administrative oversight.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Through you Mr. Speaker, regarding this particular section, I think it is really good and something worthwhile for members to consider when they're considering whether or not to support this bill. Blight is a big issue in our communities. Having served on planning and development, I heard about the blight issues and the way that it could be addressed and handled on more than one occasion, and I think this is now an opportunity for the banking industry to come in and study ways that they can possibly assist in helping to resolve some of those blight issues, at least by preventing people who have blight fines from getting further mortgages and buying more additional properties, so I think this is a very good section of the bill, one that is certainly worthy of support.

Through you Mr. Chairman, section 19 was originally H. B. No. 7145, AN ACT CONCERNING THE STUDENT LOAN OMBUDSMAN, STUDENT LOAN SERVICES, AND STUDENT LOAN DEBT. Could the good Chairman please explain why this is in this bill and why do we need it?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser, do you want to answer that now or do you want to wait until the phone stops ringing?

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, I'm happy to answer that now.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

That's okay.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker to the honorable Ranking Member the bill is -- this section is a followup to the Student Loan Bill of Rights passed by this Chamber a couple of years ago, and what it does is it seeks to require the Department of Banking to establish a plan for the full implementation of the student loan ombudsman office. As you may recall, the Department of Banking is now regulating the Student Loan Servicing industry and this is the consumer-facing side of that same coin.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and through you Mr. Speaker, we're moving along onto section 20, which was originally H. B. No. 7153, AN ACT CONCERNING THE PROMOTION OF SECURED AND UNSECURED LENDING FOR LEAD ABATEMENT. Could the good Chairman please expound a little more on what the section contains?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, this section was originally a public private partnership to secure credit enhancements to make capital available for lead abatement in single and multi-family housing, an important Public Health priority in this state. Given the budget crisis facing the state, and the complexity in setting up this program, we have decided to come up with a plan first, which seems prudent, and that's what this section does.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and I thank the good Chairman for working with me to resolve this section because in the original bill there was a fiscal note of some $ 200,000 dollars because it did require the commissioner, it did establish a taskforce and require the commissioner to take action on this, and also there was a comment in the original, in the fiscal note, that it would possibly require a third party in order to assist the commissioner in understanding all the complex issues that would be involved, so now it has been resolved to a study, and again I thank the good Chairman for working with me to bring it within something that could fit without being denied because of the fiscal impact.

Through you Mr. Speaker, section 21, a new section, and it was narrated by the good Chairman, and quite frankly, I don't understand it or the need for it, so through you Mr. Speaker if the Chairman could explain why it's in there? It's a short section, and how it came about?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Yes, thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this section is minor or technical in nature and it clarifies that Connecticut bank or credit unions may accept or store funds deposited by any entity licensed by the department of Banking or other state agencies, and through you Mr. Speaker, I believe it largely clarifies existing law.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Through you Mr. Speaker, and I appreciate the good Chairman illuminating that issue for us. Through you Mr. Speaker, we are now moving along, we're on to section 22 of this mini aircraft carrier, and could the good Chairman please explain why this was added to the bill?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Yes, Mr. Speaker. Earlier this year this Chamber passed H. B. No. 7161, which seeked to provide additional protects to certain municipal retirement plans, ensuring that consumers are protected there. Subsequent to passage of the bill we heard compliance questions from the variable annuity industry, which sought additional disclosure about what they could do to satisfy the disclosure requirements in this bill. We are clarifying for purposes of legislative intent and also in statute that complying with ERISA disclosure requirements effective July 1, 2017 or substantially similar requirements will meet the disclosure requirements contained in that bill.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and I do appreciate the good Chairman working with the people from the insurance association to clarify this issue and to make this a better bill, and finally Mr. Chairman, the final section of this bill is rather short, and could the good Chairman explain why we have that section inserted into this bill?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Yes, thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker may recall a debate a couple of days ago on H. B. No. 7141, in which I asserted that we had in consultation with the banking and mortgage banking industries changed a couple of effective dates of various sections to ease compliance and allow for further discussion, upon review it looks like we neglected to change one the effective dates, and this simply reflects the deal that had been agreed to at that time, and would apologize to the Chamber for missing that the first time around.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Simanski.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Members of the Chamber, this was a rather, not a monstrous bill, but it was 17 pages and it did incorporate 10 other bills into this one mini aircraft carrier if we can call it that.

Each of these sections you heard the good Chairman explain what they were about, so now you have enough information to decide how you want to vote on this bill, whether you want to support it or not.

As I stated originally, begrudgingly I support this amendment only because it incorporated 10 separate bill and I believe each bill should stand on its own merits, but as you heard each section explained by the Chairman in the final analysis, I sincerely believe this is a good bill. It would be good for the state of Connecticut. It addresses many issues through the insurance department. It helps to assist possibly in addressing the blight issue and the lead abatement issues in the inner cities. It addresses some technical issues that we're involved with, and so Mr. Speaker on final analysis, I would ask members of this Chamber to support this bill because on whole, it is really good for the state of Connecticut, it's good for our inner cities, and it's good for the citizens of this state. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Representative Fishbein of the 90th, sir on the amendment.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker and good morning. I too had some questions for the good Chairman of the Banking Committee if I may.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, sir. Am I to understand, through your opening comments, that it is the intent of this amendment, which will become the bill, to modify our banking statutes? Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, the majority of the bill refers to the banking statutes, yes.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. You would agree with me that 47A is not the banking statutes and it is in effect the housing statutes.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, I believe that is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and section 17 of the amendment specifically deals with the modification of 47A, and my question, why didn't that go through the Housing Committee for consideration?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Yes, through you Mr. Speaker. The committee received the request from advocates to be included for consideration. The committee -- the leadership on a bipartisan basis decided to raise a bill, which we incorporated into the vehicle before us. It received a public hearing, and is currently before us.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I reviewed the testimony that was submitted with regard to this particular item, and is it fair to say there was scant at least written testimony?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, I may have missed the question there to the honorable Representative of Wallingford. Ccould you please rephrase the question?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein, could you repeat the question?

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Yes. If the good Chairman of the Banking Committee could please summarize if he recalls what the testimony before the committee was with regard to this matter and why it was appropriate to be before the banking committee as opposed to the housing committee?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, the testimony was requested by Connecticut Legal Services, and I believe it clarified -- it provided consistency regarding the return of security deposits. This has fallen within the historic precedence, at least within my tenure on the committee -- of the committee, and so determined that it was within our scope, but again that is not a decision that is solely ours to make. Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and what specific scope of the Banking Committee was it deemed that this housing statute should fall within its purview?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, the world of housing and banking are inextricably linked. I'm not sure where to draw the fine line. As representative knows or may know, often bills that begin in one committee go to other committees where that -- when that happens and when that doesn't happen is outside of my ability to answer. Through you Mr. Speaker, other than to note that I don't believe the Housing Committee is a mandatory referral.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Also, this modification would perhaps touch upon the aging committee, and I must ask why it wasn't considered by the aging committee or at least by the Banking Committee to be referred to the aging committee?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Typically Mr. Speaker through you, the Banking Committee refers bills to the floor and then we trust the leadership of this body to determine where bills go next.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. So, that's -- in other committees that I sit on, they routinely when identifying a matter before them that perhaps calls -- falls into somebody else's purview, will send it to that committee. Am I to understand that the Banking Committee never does that?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, it all depends. We consult on a bipartisan basis with leadership to determine where best to send the bill, but ultimately the decision rest with the leadership of this chamber, and I think that generally is the common practice now.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Did you as the Chairman of the Banking Committee add a matter to any of your agendas to perhaps discuss referring what is now section 17, to a perhaps more appropriate committee?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure that I understand question. The question was before the committee. We had a committee meeting on the process. Any member of the committee could have made a motion to refer it to another committee, no member did.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. No, my question was specifically since, it is my belief that the chairman makes the agenda with cooperation of the Ranking Member, did the Chairman ever raise to the committee the possibility that this matter should perhaps be considered by another committee?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, no.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

I didn't hear the answer Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, no.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker I don't think that this matter is appropriate to come out of the banking committee. I don't think there has been enough review by the appropriate committees. I think the housing committee and at the very least the Aging Committee should have some input as to this and possibly even the commerce committee, but certainly not the Banking Committee, and for that reason this aircraft carrier that I referred to this morning, I will be voting against.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative -- thank you. Representative Wilson of the 66th on the amendment sir.

REP. WILSON (66TH):

Thank you Mr. Chairman, and I appreciate all the point-making comments by my fellow Representative Simanski, and I do have another question through you sir to the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed.

REP. WILSON (66TH):

Thank you. In section 18 it says, and I'll have to quote another colleague of mine, and here we go again Mr. Speaker another study. So, I thought it was joke, but anyway -- but there is an established taskforce to study methods to prevent issuance of mortgages to person with excessive blight fines, and I didn't see on this amendment any attached physical notes, so I'm wondering why there is no attached physical note to this amendment.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Mr. Speaker through you, the Office of Fiscal Analysis determined that there was no cost to having the study -- the taskforce. The taskforce will be staffed by the staff of the Banking Committee during the off session. My understanding is that that entails no additional burden on the resources of this state and should entail no fiscal note.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Wilson.

REP. WILSON (66TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, I thank the good proponent for that comment. Overall, I don't see anything in here quickly that glaringly jumps out at me other than that one question, and I would have liked a longer period of time to look at all of these additions to this proposed legislation. So, I'll continue to listen to the debate for when I cast my vote. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. 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 signify it by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Opposed, nay.

The ayes have it. The amendment passes. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Dunsby of the 135th, sir you have the floor.

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I note that in section 18 of this bill a taskforce is created, and as I go through and kind of just look through the list of people who are on the taskforce, there are eight -- it's a sizable taskforce. They will be going to -- to and from meetings. The cost to the state will be significant to maintain this taskforce, and Mr. Speaker the Clerk is in possession of an amendment, it is LCO 8563, would you please ask the clerk to call the amendment and that I be allowed to summarize?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The Chamber will stand at ease. The Chamber will come back to order. Will the clerk please call LCO 8563, which will be designated House amendment schedule B.

CLERK:

House amendment schedule B LCO 8563 offered by Representative Klarides, Representative Candelora, et al

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. As a -- what this amendment does is eliminate mileage reimbursement for this task force and all taskforce created by the state. It is typical that when a taskforce is created, a fiscal note of $ 1,000 or up to $ 1,000 is attached to each of those bills, and what this amendment would do, again, is to eliminate that fiscal note for this bill and for all subsequent bills. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative. Will you remark further on the amendment? Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, I have to say this is not an issue that I had thought much about until about a minute ago, but it seems reasonable to me. I will consider this a friendly amendment and urge support.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you representative. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Representative Belsito, did you wish to comment on the amendment?

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to make sure I heard this right from the proponent of the amendment that this is going to eliminate once and for all of the mileage that a member of a taskforce can receive, is that correct?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Is your question directed to Representative Dunsby?

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Yes, I'm sorry.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP. DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Yes, it eliminates mileage reimbursement.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you very much Mr. Speaker, and I believe this might be the first step to eliminating all of the studies and taskforce. It's time to stop because this was number 14,544. I think it's time that we really got right down to business and cut it out. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you sir. 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. The Chamber will stand at ease. Chamber will come back to order. Representative Ritter.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Is there objection? Is there objection? If not, this bill is passed temporarily. Chamber will stand at ease.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Are there any announcements or introductions? Representative Devlin, I think you had one.

REP. DEVLIN (134TH):

I do have one Mr. Speaker. Thank you so much. We have a really important group in the gallery today. We have the 5th grade class of North Stratfield School from Fairfield, Connecticut. These kids have had a fabulous elementary school time, and they are off to middle school for next year. So, please if everybody in the Chamber would join Representative McCarthy Vahey, Representative Kupchick, and I in welcoming them to the Chamber, we'd appreciate it. (Applause).

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you for coming to visit us. I hope you have an enjoyable day. Are there any other introductions or announcements? Any other introductions or announcements? If not, will the clerk please call calendar number 549.

CLERK:

On page 51, calendar 549, substitute S. B. No. 1030, AN ACT CONCERNING STATUTORY REFERENCES TO THE LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM REVIEW AND INVESTIGATIONS COMMITTEE. Favorable report of the joint standing committee on government administration and elections.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Could I ask the Chamber to quiet down before I call on Representative Fox who's brining out this bill. Thank you. Representative Fox, sir you have the floor.

REP. FOX (148TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Good afternoon sir.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Good afternoon.

REP. FOX (148TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. FOX (148TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker the bill is a straightforward technical fix of the bill. As others in the Chamber may remember the PRI Committee was eliminated in 2017. This Bill repeals statutory references to that committee. I urge adoption. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you sir, and again the question before the chamber is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the Senate. Will you remark further on the Bill? Will you remark further on the bill? Representative Devlin.

REP. DEVLIN (134TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise in support of this bill. As the good Representative from Stamford said, this does make a technical fix to remove the PRI Committee references from language, so I encourage all of my colleagues to support the bill. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you ma'am. Representative Mushinsky of the 85th. Ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. MUSHINSKY (85TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise to oppose the bill. I realize it's a logical bill. The committee doesn't exist anymore. The staff has all been relocated. However, out of respect for the work that was done by the committee, I will be voting no.

The committee existed over a 35 year period. They worked on reports to help the states -- to direct the state's economy. They worked to fix the veteran's home. They worked on autism transitional services, on restructuring higher education, on apprenticeships. They found the best apprenticeship programs and recommended transferring fund to them.

They worked on Stream flow and how the state could rewrite that legislation. They worked on a lineman of workforce to make the workers that are coming out of higher education match the jobs in Connecticut.

They were awarded a national award for their work on the Southbury Training School, in recommending that it be phased out; that it was more expensive than it needed to be, and out of respect for all of the work that's been done by group, I'll be casting my vote no today Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

CLERK:

Senate Bill 1030 in concurrence with the Senate,

Total number Voting 151

Necessary for Passage 76

Those voting Yea 91

Those voting Nay 60

Absent or Not Voting 0

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The bill passes. (Gavel)

Are there any announcements or introductions? The distinguished Representative from Wethersfied holding a child. Representative Morin, sir you have the floor.

REP. MORIN (28TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. For the purposes of an introduction.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed sir.

REP. MORIN (28TH):

In these long times of having so much fun in the Chamber, I'm very happy and proud to have my granddaughter who just turned one, Madeline, and my daughter Sara, her mom, in the Chambers with us. Just to show she's better spirited than I, she just had three shots and some bloodwork, and you can see she's much more pleasant than I've ever been so (laughter). I appreciate the opportunity. My wife, Grace, is here somewhere, but she doesn't want to be anywhere near this, so thank you very much Mr. Speaker. (Applause).

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you sir. We all have to agree she is a lot more pleasant than you are, sir. Thanks. (Laughter) Representative Hennessy of the 127th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed sir.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is Save-a-Suit Day. It will be in the portico since it's supposed -- scheduled or forecasted to be raining tomorrow. It's going to be right by the entrance as we come in under the portico. So, hopefully everybody has got their suits and nice clothes all set up, including shoes, men and women. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you sir. Are there any other announcements or introductions? Any other announcements or introductions? Hearing none. Will the clerk please call calendar number 151.

CLERK:

On page 5, calendar 151 substitute House Bill No. 7019, AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF BANKING'S ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY, THE ISSUANCE OF CERTAIN REPORTS, REQUIRING THE RETURN OF CERTAIN PORTIONS OF SECURITY DEPOSITS AND MAKING MINOR REVISIONS TO THE BANKING STATUTES. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Banking.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The question is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill, and as Representative Lesser has mentioned, we've already passed house amendment A, we are on house amendment B. Representative Dunsby, would like to call your LCO again please, recall that amendment.

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. The Clerk is in possession of an amendment LCO 8563, would you be please ask the Clerk to call and that I be allowed to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The clerk will please call LCO 8563, which has been designated House amendment schedule B.

CLERK:

House amendment schedule B LCO No. 8563 offered by Representative Klarides, Representative Candelora, et al.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

We have already heard summarization of this amendment. Representative Dunsby, do you wish to say anything else concerning the amendment?

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

Yes Mr. Speaker. Briefly what this amendment does is eliminate mileage reimbursement for this taskforce and all taskforces. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you sir. Representative Lesser.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as previously stated, this is a friendly amendment. I stand by the characterization and urge adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. When I initially took a look at this amendment I think I had some questions about it because what the amendment says and its language, even though it's just four lines, it differs a little bit from what the fiscal note. So, if you don't mind indulging me Mr. Speaker, a couple of clarifying questions through you to the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dunsby, please prepare yourself. Representative Albis, please proceed with your questions.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and I believe the proponent of the amendment stated that this amendment would apply to all taskforces, eliminating mileage reimbursement for all taskforces, is that correct?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

Yes, through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Albis.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and through you the fiscal note to this amendment says that it eliminates the cost in the bill. Could the proponents verify that's correct?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP. DUNSBY (135TH):

I'm sorry Mr. Speaker. I'm not sure I heard everything, but this eliminates the fiscal note tied to mileage reimbursement, which I believe is $ 1,000 dollars.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Albis.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and through you for clarification I was referring to the specific fiscal note for this amendment, which is LCO 8563. In the fiscal note OFA states that the cost in this particular bill is eliminated. So, that would be referring specifically to the taskforce referred to in the bill that we are debating right now. Is that correct?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP. DUNSBY (135TH):

Yes, through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Albis.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Yet the amendment, as the good gentleman indicated, eliminates the mileage reimbursement for all taskforces. So, my understanding it would be that the fiscal note would actually have a greater impact, that it would impact the costs to taskforces all across the board, not just the one in this bill. Would the gentleman agree with that?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, yes, this would produce significant savings.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Albis.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and I would tend to agree with that assessment that the cost would not just be eliminated for the taskforce in this particular bill but for all taskforces. So, the fiscal impact could actually be much greater than what the amendment indicates -- the fiscal note for the amendment indicates. One last question through you Mr. Speaker, the amendment says notwithstanding the revisions of section 2-15 of the general statutes, no member of any taskforce shall receive mileage reimbursement. Could the good gentleman what section 2-15 of the general statutes is?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

May I have just a second Mr. Speaker?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Chamber will stand at ease.

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Section 215 --

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Sorry about that.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

And we'll come back to order. Representative Dunsby.

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

Section 215 deals with mileage reimbursement for the Connecticut General Assembly.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Albis.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. So, that's referring to legislator specifically through you. Is that correct?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

My understanding Mr. Speaker through you is that refers to just legislators.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Albis.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Okay. Thank you Mr. Speaker. No further questions. I think there was some initial confusion when this amendment came out, and I appreciate the good gentleman's indulgence ensuring we -- myself and perhaps others in the Chamber understand this amendment to a greater degree. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Borer.

REP. BORER (115TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I just had a question for the proponent for the amendment, and you might have said in the previous answer, but do we know how much we're projected to spend on mileage for taskforce in 2017?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. The savings would be roughly a $ 1,000 dollars per taskforce, but I don't know what the precise number would be for 2017. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Borer.

REP. BORER (115TH):

Thank you. Do we know how many active taskforce there are right now?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP. BORER (115TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker.

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, no I do not.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Borer.

REP. BORER (115TH):

Okay, thank you. So, we're not quite clear on what the total savings would be based on the taskforce and elimination of all the mileage, correct?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

I'm sorry Mr. Speaker. Could you ask the good representative to please repeat the question?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

I have to admit I even had trouble hearing that. If you could repeat it please.

REP. BORER (115TH):

Sorry about that. I want to make sure I'm clear before voting. We're not -- we are not aware of what the total savings would be, and we're not aware of how many active taskforce we have today.

Through you Mr. Speaker. That's a question.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I don't know what the saving would be. It would be roughly -- I mean the OFA I think uses a $ 1,000 dollars. It would depend on how many people are on the taskforce, how far those people live from where the meetings are held, but I believe it would be a significant savings for the people of Connecticut, and as a matter of policy, we should not be reimbursing people for mileage expenses for these purposes. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Borer.

REP. BORER (115TH):

Thank you. Thank you for that answer, and through you Mr. Speaker I, you know, I don't think it's a bad concept. I just don't know what the total amount is. If it's $ 10,000 dollars and we're getting experts from across the state to come forward and participate on critical taskforce, then I would probably keep it. If we're saving $ 100,000 dollars because we have so many members of taskforce, then I would probably vote to eliminate it, but I'm just not quite sure on the specifics, and then my final question is, did I understand from Representative Albis' question that this also includes eliminating mileage reimbursement for legislators?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dunsby.

REP DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. So, I mean this session is not over yet, so we don't know how many more taskforces we are going to create in the next few days. So, it will depend on how many taskforces there are and the things I mentioned before, but whatever savings that we can generate for the people of Connecticut I think is something we should be doing at this point. This would eliminate mileage reimbursement for travel just to taskforces. For legislator and non-legislators, but just taskforce meetings.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Borer.

REP. BORER (115TH):

Thank you, and I thank the representative for his answers. I'm going to continue to listen to the debate. I'm a little torn on this one. I need to consider all the different aspects. I do think sometimes when we have a taskforce where we need expertise and somebody who is coming from Greenwich, it's already difficult to get people to volunteer. They're volunteers on taskforce, so I'm going to continue to listen to the debate before I vote. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Stafstrom of the 129th District. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. STAFSTROM (129TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker I want to associate myself with the remarks made by Representative Borer. I understand the fiscal situation we're in, I understand the need for savings, I would even understand if this amendment was just limited to not allowing legislators to receive reimbursement for traveling back and forth to the Capitol, but from the Bridgeport area it's about 60 miles to get to and from the Capitol, 120 miles roundtrip, which for most people is a third to a half of tank of gas. Maybe some folks can eat that cost, but I think there are a lot of folks in our state who cannot, and when they volunteer their time to serve on a taskforce, to come and offer their expertise, to weigh in on a particular issue, a meaty issue where we've empaneled the taskforce, you are necessarily prejudicing those individuals. You're prejudicing individuals who live further from the Capitol, and you're prejudicing those individuals of more limited means from being able to volunteer their time and serve on a particular taskforce.

I think this is a slippery slope and poor public policy for the state to be going on where we are necessarily saying somebody who lives closer to the Capitol or somebody with more means is in better position to be able to volunteer their time to serve their state, and for that reason I rise in opposition to this amendment Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative, and once again I have the pleasure of calling on Representative Ziobron of the 34th District. Ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. ZIOBRON (34TH):

Good afternoon Mr. Speaker, and thank you. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this amendment. I'm a little surprised to hear my colleagues worrying about how much the savings will be. Whether it's a $ 100 dollars or a $ 1,000 dollars we should be looking at saving taxpayer monies every day.

I'll also provide a little additional information to the good representative who talked about mileage, because I think that's certainly a reasonable question, and I'll remind legislators that there are options for participating in meetings through conference calls, which was clearly established through the Spending Cap Commission last summer.

Last summer we had meetings almost every other week and we had many participants participating in that process via conference call. So, this doesn't pick winners and losers, or pick people who have closer domiciles to the Capitol versus others or who may be able to afford a tank of gas or not. This is really about saving taxpayer's money at every turn. That's why we're here, that's what this amendment does. It doesn't stop anybody's ability from participating. In fact, I think it's good public policy, and one that we should emulate whenever possible. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you ma'am. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Representative Ritter of the 1st. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Mr. Speaker, I move we pass this item temporarily.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

This bill is passed temporarily. Is there objection? Hearing none. The bill is passed temporarily. We will stand at ease. Will the clerk please call Calendar 299.

CLERK:

On page 13, Calendar 299. H. B. No. 7049 AN ACT CONCERNING THE LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS' RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TECHNICAL CHANGES TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH STATUTES. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on public health.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg, respected Chairman of the Public Health Committee, you have the floor sir.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. As everybody is aware, we have passed several very important public health bills this sessions through this Chamber, this bill is not one of them. This is the LCO revisions bill, as it is described, it's very minor technical revisions. I move passage.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The question is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. Representative Steinberg, you have the floor. You'd already moved passage. Will you speak further on the bill, sir?

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

No, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Certainly appreciate that. Representative Srinivasan of the 31st. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Good afternoon Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Good afternoon sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you Mr. Speaker, I do agree with my good Chair that we have passed a lot more important legislation than what we're talking about today, but obviously the need is there to pass this legislation as well. I'm sure he and I agree on that as well. Through you Mr. Speaker, just for all of us to know in the Chamber, what are these technical changes that we're trying to pass today through you Mr. Speaker. If the good Chair would be kind enough to elaborate.

Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Through you, thank the good Representative for that excellent question, which speaks to the heart of this bill. Some of the important changes we have here is changing from and to or in one section, going from provide to provides in another section, going from subdivisions to this subdivision, and subdivision in another, from diagnoses to diagnosis. Moving the word annually from one part of the sentence to another, changing a statutory reference, and adding a word and where it belongs.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. I hope that clears things up for you Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Yes Mr. Speaker, it definitely does because as I've been reading this bill many times over, that's all that I could glean myself, so I just wanted to make sure A) for myself and B) for the Chamber that nothing was remiss here, and I want to thank the good Chair for giving us this very, very descriptive analysis of this technical bill that we're just voting on today, and I would urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to very strongly support this bill. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative. Will you remark further on the bill before us? Will you remark further on the bill before us? If not, will staff and guest 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 RYAN (139TH):

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Will the members check the board to make ensure that their vote is properly cast. If all 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 7049,

Total number Voting 149

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 149

Those voting Nay 0

Absent and not voting 2

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The bill passes (gavel). Will the clerk please call calendar 106.

CLERK:

On page 4, house calendar 106, H. B. No. 5135 AN ACT CONCERNING ELECTRONIC PROOF OF AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE IDENTIFICATION CARDS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on insurance and real estate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Scanlon. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

The clerk has an amendment in front of him, LCO 7727, I would ask the clerk to please call the amendment, and I that I be granted lead of the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 7727, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule A.

CLERK:

LCO 7727 designated House Amendment Schedule A and offered by Representative Scanlon.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative seeks lead of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection? Hearing none. Representative Scanlon, you may summarize the bill.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. This amendment basically makes two changes, which I believe we'll talk about once it is formally adopted. The first change is that removes liability from the officer involved when a traffic stop occurs. The second conforms the way in which insurance carriers talk or share information with the Department of Motor Vehicles, and I would move that we adopt this amendment.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

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

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Good afternoon Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Good afternoon, sir.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

I'm in a little bit of a difficult spot here today because the underlying bill is something that I support in concept, and I wish that I had opportunity to talk a little bit about the bill before the amendment was brought up, but I'll just briefly say that this is a bill that would allow the use of electronic documents to prove that you have insurance.

Instead of having to keep a paper insurance ID card in your car, this would allow an electronic one. The amendment before us though does concern me because, I guess where we're at with this bill, in my opinion, is that it's not fully cooked yet. There were some concerns raised by police officers across the state about their potentially liability of touching someone's phone and then maybe damaging it or dropping it or seeing something that would be inappropriate, and I don't know that those concerns have been fully addressed.

The amendment before us, to me, tries to address that by saying that they would not have any liability for such damage. I'm just afraid it goes a little too far, because it essentially says that neither the state or municipality or agency or employee of shall be liable for any damage or destruction. It doesn't even really get into the bones of why or how that could happen, and I see that as a little too broadly written.

Part of the solution for this situation has always been the conversation about how we get police officers accurate, up-to-date information in their cruisers so that they know whether someone has insurance or not so that they can properly, you know, address this subject in a case of a traffic stop or an accident, and this bill -- the amendment before us attempts to do that by expanding on a system that already exist where insurance companies are required to report certain information to the Motor Vehicle Department about the status of insurance.

This would expand it to include not just the cancellation of insurance but also adds and drops. So, if you make a change to your insurance policy, that information would be transferred to Motor Vehicle, and then hopefully to the individual police officer in his car. The problem with this is that not all police officers have that system. Not all the police departments across the state have that system or the ability to run it, and I have my concerns over whether or not the Motor Vehicle Department has the means to actually process this information in real time.

Again, as I started saying, I don't think this is fully cooked. It's a good idea. I actually proposed the underlying bill in previous years, but various players in the insurance industry and local law enforcement, my own police chiefs have expressed concern over time.

I'm going to encourage folks to not support the amendment. I think the bill is better without the amendment, and I'll leave it at that.

Thank you Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Would you care to remark further on the amendment? Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you Madam Speaker, and I appreciate the comments from my good friend, the Ranking Member. I just would like to talk a little bit more. I neglected to do that at the onset of this. As some folks in this Chamber know, I am the son, brother, and brother-in-law of police officers in the State of Connecticut, and this amendment is the work of a dialogue between myself and others to try to come up with a way that our members of law enforcement in Connecticut would feel more comfortable with this bill.

There are 48 states in the country that have passed similar legislation to this. Us and New Mexico are the only states in our good country that do not allow motorist to show a law enforcement the phone that has either an app from the company or a copy of their insurance card on this. This bill simply brings us, I believe, into the 21st century and leaves New Mexico as the only state remaining that does not allow this, and I feel that this amendment allows people to have the right, which is just a right, they don't have to switch to electronic insurance if they don't want to, but it gives them the right to do so, and then also make sure that our law enforcement is protected in the process in the form of liability.

Again, nobody is being forced to switch to the electronic proof, it just gives them the ability to do that. The second change on here as the good representative was discussing simply changes the way that folks find out or DMV finds out about information.

Today, very simply, not to get too in the weeds on this, the only time the DMV finds out who your insurance company is when you register your car for the first time, then they're told when you don't have that carrier anymore, but they're not told who you pick up, and this tries to rectify that situation, which most of the carriers are already doing. With that said, I move adoption on this amendment. I would ask when the vote be taken, it be taken by roll. Through you Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you Representative. When the vote is taken, it will be taken by roll. Will you care to remark further on the amendment before us? Further on the amendment? Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Through you Madam Speaker. A couple of questions if I could through you to the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Absolutely, please proceed.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Yes, to the good Chairman, I was listening to the debate, and what Representative Sampson raised were some pretty good questions, but more importantly the underlying bill itself seems to be very solid and has unanimous support. I'm wondering in light of the questions that were raised by Representative Sampson, why this amendment is necessary at this particular point in time? Could we not hold off on this and deal with that issue in a more comprehensive way in which people would feel very confident as opposed to hoping that there will not be problems as a result of this amendment? Through you Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Sampson. Excuse me, Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you Madam Speaker, having a Chairman and a Ranking Member with the same first initial of the last name is challenging. To the -- through you Madam Speaker, to answer that question, I believe like almost all the bills that we pass in the committee they were good ideas that were in some cases works in progress, and as we made more progress towards getting to this moment in the session, there were some things that came to our attention. Our friends, men and women in law enforcement, came to us with some concerns that they had about dealing with individual's phones during a traffic stop, during a car accident. If it's raining, it's on the side of a highway, it's a dangerous situation. If the hand off doesn't work out and the phone is being given to a police officer, if the phone drops, we don't want to have the police officer be liable to that, and to answer the question of whether it goes too far that's been discussed here, I believe it doesn't in the regard that nothing in this bill forces an individual to use electronic insurance, it simply gives them the right to do so.

So, if you're one of those folks who's worried about the fact that if you did drop your phone or the law enforcement agent dropped the phone, then you can still stick with the paper copy, and, you know, you wouldn't have to worry about that.

Through you Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Thank you. Thank you for that answer. I understand about the voluntary part of it. The part that concerns, and we, as you well know, have done this for many, many years, we can pass a bill and if there's more work that needs to be done on it, we can do it in future session.

My question was why is this so essential given the questions that were raised? Why is it absolutely necessary to include this amendment now as opposed to what is commonly done with many other bills, just hold it, examine it more, so that we don't create more problems.

We have a very good fundamental bill underlying this, and again I have not heard any specific answers or reassurances to the questions that were raised by the Ranking Member. So, again I ask the good Chairman, why is it so critical that this adopted at this point as opposed to -- is something bad going to happen if this amendment is not adopted.

Through you Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you Madam Speaker. The only group that testified against this bill in our committee when myself and the other folks that I have the pleasure of serving on the Insurance and Real Estate Committee chairing will, were the police chiefs were in our state, and when we had our JF deadline and we passed this bill, I said publicly at the committee that was I was willing to work with the members of the police chief association and our men and women of law enforcement to try to get to a place that they would feel comfortable with, given that that was the only issue raised with this bill in the committee, and I kept my word on that promise. I did meet with them, we talked about this, and this amendment, which has been filed for quite some time, is the product of that conversation that has took place since the committee deadline, and I feel that the reason to include this today is because we ask our men and women of law enforcement to do many different things for us. We're asking them to do something else here, and I think if we are going to ask them to do something, we ought not be asking them what their opinion on this is, we did, they had some changes, and we made changes to reflect what they asked us as a compromise to get this bill to a place that they felt like their men and women could be comfortable with this, and that's why we're moving forward today.

Through you Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Thank you. Thank you again for that answer. So, am I to understand from your answer that there is no opposition to this amendment and that the police chiefs and law enforcement are supportive of this amendment?

Through you Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you Madam Speaker, that is my understanding.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Betts.

REP. BETTS (78TH):

Okay, thank you very much.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you. Would you care to remark further? Representative Vail.

REP. VAIL (52ND):

Thank you Madam Speaker, and I have just a few questions for the proponent of the amendment if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

You may.

REP. VAIL (52ND):

So, on line 4 of the amendment or line 3 it says they will not be held liable for any damage or destruction of the cellular mobile telephone, what if they were negligent in handling that telephone and something was done on purpose, would they still be help harmless or they would be liable for that action?

Through you Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you Madam Speaker, it does not specify whether there would be any liability in the case of outward malfeasance or negligence.

Through you Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Vail.

REP. VAIL (52ND):

Okay, so that's not addressed here, but would that be addressed somewhere else to protect people from that?

Through you Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you Madam Speaker, I'm not aware of whether there are other parts of our statues that deal with police officer misconduct in that situation, but it's not specified in this bill.

Through you Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Vail.

REP. VAIL (52ND):

Okay, thank you for your answers.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, sir. Would you care to remark further on Senate -- House Amendment A? Would you care to remark further on House A? If not, staff and guess please come to the well of the House. Members take your seats. The machine will be open. (Ringing)

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

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

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule A,

Total number Voting 150

Necessary for Passage 76

Those voting Yea 113

Those voting Nay 37

Absent and not voting 1

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The amendment passes (gavel). Will you care to remark further on the bill as amended? Further on the bill as amended? Will you care to remark further on the bill as amended. Representative Sampson. Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Thank you Madam Speaker, and now on the underlying bill. Again, this bill simply does one thing, it basically gives anybody the ability to use an electronic copy of their auto insurance during a traffic stop or in any other situation where you would want to prove that you have auto insurance.

Forty-eight other states in our country have passed a similar law. Us and New Mexico are the only outliers, and again, this does not force you to do that. So, if you're a civil libertarian and you are uncomfortable giving your phone away to a police officer, you don't have to do it. If you are concerned about the liability of handing your phone off and possibly getting it broken, you don't have to do it. You can continue using a handheld paper copy, but this just simply, I believe, moves us further into the 21st Century where everything is happening on our phones and there are those that also want to see this, and I believe this amendment allows them to do it and also protect the men and women of law enforcement, and I urge my colleagues to support the bill.

Through you Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will you remark further on the bill before us as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Sampson of the 80th.

REP. SAMPSON (80TH):

Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. I would just reiterate my overall position of the legislation before us, that I think it's just not fully cooked. The idea behind this bill is something that I endorse. In fact, put this similar legislation in in previous years, but since then there has been a great amount of debate among people would be effected once this becomes law.

Law enforcement has expressed their dissatisfaction with the potential liability of handling someone's personal cell phone at a traffic stop or an accident, and that's something I'm very sympathetic to.

I've heard from my own police chiefs in the past that they object to the legislation because of this. Now, I understand that the amendment that just passed is designed to address those concerns, except I think it's poorly drafted. Again, I don't think it's fully cooked.

We could have taken some time to come up with real solutions, to solve the concerns of law enforcement and allow this to go forward. The good Chairman mentioned that this is the law in 48 other states, I think he's correct about that, but I don't know exactly what their laws say, and I would venture to guess that they are indeed similar laws but not exactly the same.

I have two concerns that are raised once the amendment passed, the first one is that I believe the language that we have incorporated in the amendment, now the bill, to shield law enforcement from liability goes way too far. It essentially gets them off the hook for any liability, even intentional acts would be covered by this.

My good colleague, Representative Vail, asked about negligence or purposeful thing, there was no clear answer that that would not be also shielded from the liability for that law enforcement or the state or municipality that they're employed by, to me that's going too far. I recognize their concern, but you can't take any liability whatsoever away from them.

The other piece of this is this change to how insurance companies would now be required to report information to the Motor Vehicle Department. On its face, it's a mandate on insurance companies to provide this information, which will generate a cost that'll be passed on to consumers, and I do not believe that our state DMV has the means or mechanism in place now to process that information in a way that could end up in a cop's cruiser. I just don't think that exist. I think there are some towns that have that technology, not all, and I don't think the Motor Vehicles has the means to provide it.

So, the danger there is that will ultimately end up in a significant cost to the state to make that happen, something we cannot afford to do at this juncture.

Again, a good idea, but it's not fully cooked. I don't think we've come up with all of the proper solutions to make this work in our state. I wish we had taken the time to draft a bill that does that in an intelligent way, and in light of that, Mr. Speaker, I'm going to vote no on the bill. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative. Representative Vail of the 52nd, you have the floor.

REP. VAIL (52ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, if I can just a brief comment. Although I had concerns about the underlying amendment, I agree with Representative Scanlon, the good Chairperson, I thank you for the hard work you've done on this issue.

I agree that, you know, we're not being forced to use these phones, so although I have that concern that there's no liability even under a negligence circumstance, and you can still carry a paper card in your car and use it that way, and for that reason it's time to catch up with technology, it's just us and New Mexico, so I think it's time to do the right thing. So, I encourage my colleagues to vote yes for the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you sir. Representative Petit of the 22nd, sir you have the floor.

REP. PETIT (22ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Simple question for the Chairman and maybe I missed this, in the OLR Report it states per Connecticut general statues 14-13, the law is unchanged. The card must be carried in a motor vehicle being operated on a public highway. So, in spite of the fact that you can present it electronically, you still need to carry the card?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, my understanding is that this becomes the card.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Petit.

REP. PETIT (22ND):

So they -- so if you -- through you Mr. Speaker, so if you tell your insurance company that you're going to present the card electronically, they actually no longer need to issue you a paper certificate of insurance?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, I believe -- my understanding of this is that this satisfies -- the electronic proof of insurance satisfies what is the existing law. Through you Mr. Speaker, but you still need to possess proof of insurance.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Now Representative Petit.

REP. PETIT (22ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, all set.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Wilson of the 66th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. WILSON (66TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and I just want to make a comment and someone can correct me if my analogy is wrong, but to me this is analogous for the police officers who require us to take our driver's license out of our wallet as opposed to just handing them the wallet. If you try to hand them the wallet, they will refuse the wallet and say please take out the driver's license.

So, to me this is analogous to what we're talking about here, and unless I'm wrong and can be corrected, you know, that's kind of where I'm coming from.

Thank you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Carpino of the 32nd, ma'am you have the floor.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Through you just a simple question to the proponent.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you. Could the proponent just tell me currently the landscape. So, this morning if I were coming in with a New York State plate and insurance, and I had the permission from my home state to present my insurance information electronically, if the good Chairman can explain how our officers are dealing with that currently, I think it would help me understand the bill.

Through you sir.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, without putting everybody in this chamber to sleep. I've learned a lot about the process, and I'll try to summarize it as quickly as possible.

Every one of our police officers use a computer in their car known as collect. It's a system that's run by DISP [phonetic] and on that system if you have version 2 of that system, which all but six officers or police officer -- you know -- police departments I should say, in the state have, excluding the police, so it's the troopers and five other police departments do not have version 2, but if you are in a police department that is using version 2, the officer pulls up behind you, they run your license plate, and on collect version 2 it says "insurance" question mark, and then either confirmed or not confirmed. What that's talking about is the information that the DMV is getting from the insurance industry, and that was what the second piece of the amendment we just passed tried to solve because under current law, the only information that the DMV is getting is when a company dropped somebody.

So, let's say that you had Geico, an individual had Geico when you registered your vehicle, if you decided to switch to Allstate and you leave Geico, the only information that the DMV is getting is that you left Geico, but they don't know who your current individual insurance carrier. That is why our officers ask for the insurance card to see what exactly insurance you have, and that goes beyond the confirmed or not confirmed that's on the computer that we've been talking about.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Carpino.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you, and I thank the good Chairman for more information than even I needed, but just simply said, can he confirm then that currently that all but those six departments or agencies are accepting electronic proof from other states at this point?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker. That is a great question, and yes, they are, and also, in my conversations with law enforcement in the context of this bill, many officers throughout the state are already doing this for Connecticut people who think that this is already legal in the state, and if that's the only insurance card they have, most police officers do honor that.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Carpino.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you and I think the good Chairman for his explanation.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative. Representative Belsito of the 53rd, sir you have the floor.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the proponent through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Through you to the proponent, what happens -- I understand that you have said that the insurance companies are going to be sending the information to the registry of motor vehicles. So, that means the registry of motor vehicles is going to be 100 percent responsible for the accuracy of all the information that they receive from the insurance company?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker. To elaborate on the last answer I just got, to maintain that Collect and the accuracy of Collect, right now our statute simply says that only the drops are supposed to be reported to the DMV. Meaning when Geico drops a constituent of ours, they tell the DMV about it, but the next company that picks them up doesn't have to tell DMV by law. Ninety-nine percent of the insurance carriers right now are willingly reporting that information to DMV, even though by statute that we're not making them.

So, it has been said some other times during this debate that this is going to cause more of a burden on the DMV, but 99 percent of the companies are already giving us all the information, which is their full book of business in Connecticut of who they are covering, and the DMV uses a computer database where it's not like somebody hands an excel document to an individual and they go enter into a computer, there is a two-way street computer system that the insurance companies link up with DMV, and it all goes into the computer, an that's what goes on to Collect.

So to answer the question through you Mr. Speaker, it's not going to change anything because this is already happening, it just writes what's already happening into law to make sure we're getting the most accurate information at all times about whether the driver that has a license and a registered car in Connecticut, is in fact insured per our state statute.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and just one more question. What happens with all the hacking that's going on when the Department of Motor Vehicles gets hacked? I mean they've hacked everybody in the world, so I'd like to know what ramification is going to be, and are we still going to get paper receipts in addition to it being online.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, I can't speak to the exact security system that governs this specific information with regard to DMV, though I believe to my knowledge the DMV in Connecticut has never been hacked for this information. I don't believe there has been any substantial public threat or successful threat onto this information through our DMV, but I trust that the DMV, I'm sure has very, you know, capable software that protects against intruders.

To the second piece of the gentleman's question, I think what confidence we have is that people who want paper copies can still, of course, get them from their insurance carrier. This law doesn't say that they -- the insurance carrier doesn't have to do it, it doesn't say that it does, it just says that you're allowed to use it if you'd like, and like anything in life, whether it's your bank statement that you get either via paper or online or anything else, I believe that most people will still be able to get a paper copy of their insurance card through their individual insurance carrier.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative. Representative Byron of the 27th. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. BYRON (27TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise for a question for the proponent of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed sir.

REP. BYRON (27TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, does the Connecticut Police Chief Association, do you have any knowledge if they approve this bill as amended?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, the language that is in the first section of the amendment that we passed, lines 1 through 6, was, as I said to an earlier question, the product of a conversation that I had with the Police Chief Association following the committee meeting. I had asked those folks to go out and look at what the other 48 Police Chief Associations have done with their legislators to find language that removed liability from their officers, and this is the product of that conversation that I believe that they had across the country with their peers to come up with language that they were happy with.

My understanding is that if this is the same language that's now in this bill, they would be in support of this bill.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Byron.

REP. BYRON (27TH):

Okay, thank you Mr. Speaker. Just to be clear, so for a point of clarification, that would be a yes to that question?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Scanlon.

REP. SCANLON (98TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, that was meant to be a comprehensive yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Byron.

REP. BYRON (27TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Thank you for the answer.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, will staff and guest please come to the well of the House. Will the 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 RYAN (139TH):

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Will the members check the board to see if their vote is properly cast. If all 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 5135 as amended House A,

Total number Voting 150

Necessary for Passage 76

Those voting Yea 137

Those voting Nay 13

Absent and not voting 1

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The bill as amended has passed (gavel).

Are there any announcements or introductions? Representative McCarthy-Vahey, has nothing to say. Are there any other introductions or announcements? Hearing none. Will the clerk please call calendar 643.

CLERK:

On page 43, calendar 643 substitute S. B. No. 938, AN ACT CONCERNING AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH'S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE STATE-WIDE ADOPTION OF THE MEDICAL ORDERS FOR LIFE-SUSTAINING TREATMENT PROGRAM. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on public health.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg. Sir, you have the floor.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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 Mr. Speaker. During this session we've had several important bills that have talked about keeping people healthy. This bill talks about the circumstances when one reaches end of life. When one has a serious illness.

The Department of Public Health currently operates a pilot program in what is known as Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, or as we like to call it MOLST. This pilot program is scheduled to expire by October of this year, and this bill mandates that we move from a pilot program to a full statewide program.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative -- if we could ask the chamber to quiet down. It is very difficult to hear this gentleman bringing out his bill. If you could take your conversations outside, it would be greatly appreciated. Please proceed sir.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. As I was saying, this requires the adoption of a statewide MOLST program, and it has two important features. One is that these MOLST orders must be transferable between institutions in case the patient is moved from institutional setting to another, and secondly and perhaps most importantly it requires that those who provide such orders receive training so that they can appropriately communicate the risks and benefits and establish and individualized plan for the patient, so that the MOLST orders that are created, or most suitable for the patient's needs and desires.

Mr. Speaker. The clerk is in possession of an amendment LCO 6268, I ask the clerk to call the amendment and I be granted leave of the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will the clerk please call LCO 6268, which has been designated as Senate Amendment A.

CLERK:

Senate amendment A, LCO 6268 offered by Representative Steinberg, Representative Srinivasan, et al.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative seeks leave of the chamber to summarize the amendment, is there objection to summarization? Is there objection? Hearing none. Representative Steinberg, you may proceed with a summarization of this amendment.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you. The changes in this amendment are minor and technical in nature, though it does narrow the definition of healthcare provider as appropriate in this context. I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The question before the Chamber is adoption of Senate amendment A. Will you remark on the amendment? Will you remark on the amendment? Representative Petit.

REP. PETIT (22ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I believe it's a good and simple amendment, and I urge my colleagues to vote for the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. PETIT (22ND):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Through you Mr. Speaker to the co-chair of public health. It seems that this is a good bill in terms of improving communication between patients and providers so the patients did not receive care that they did not want to receive or got the appropriate care that they wanted, do you feel that this bill will go away in terms of filling in that gap towards the end of life when people are in such a situation that you hope that they're wishes are communicated to the providers?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Through you, it's an excellent question. As technology and our understanding of medicine improves, the complexity related to end-of-life instructions becomes a big issue between provider and patient in this context. Therefore, it's very important that this communication be formalized in a fashion that the individual knows precisely what their choices are, what are the ramifications for those choices and that they actively agree on a plan at a time in which they can make those decisions rationally and without conflict. So, I think to answer the good representatives question, this is a very important advance in our ability to help people and their families manage through a very difficult time, and address the real challenges inherent in end-of-life care.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Petit.

REP. PETIT (22ND):

Thank you, thank you Mr. Speaker. Through you, a number of patients already have healthcare directives and end-of-life directives, power-of-attorney, will this replace those type of previously in place directive, or is this just meant to supplement directives that people may already have in place.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Through you another good question. It is meant to supplement but it also does -- makes you -- make sure that everything -- all your different orders are compatible with one another, it just gives you one more opportunity to make sure that all of one's wishes are actually documented effectively.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Petit.

REP. PETIT (22ND):

Through you Mr. Speaker, in terms of the pilot program that has occurred, were there any situations where it was felt that this approach interfered in terms of applying patient's ability to have their wishes presented to emergency medical providers or other people who interacted with them at this time?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Through you Mr. Speaker, I'm not aware of any, and I can't imagine we'd be talking about going from a pilot program to a statewide program had that occurred.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Petit.

REP. PETIT (22ND):

I think no further questions Mr. Speaker. I think this is a good bill that attempts to look at a difficult problem, attempting to make sure that we communicate the wishes of those that are nearing the end of life and that their wishes in terms of the type of treatment they may want or don't want are compiled with, and I urge my colleagues to support the bill. Thank you, sir.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Srinivasan of the 31st, sir. You have the floor.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Through you, Mr. Speaker, a few questions to the proponent of the bill as amended.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed sir.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, as we all are aware of, we had a pilot program which by all intentions has been very successful in information that we got from this program, and what we are trying to do here is make it a state-wide program. Through you Mr. Speaker, is there any difference in what was done in the pilot program in terms of the form, the process, compared to what it will be when it becomes a state-wide program.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you. The main parts of the program on the pilot level are being replicated on a state-wide level, but with particular additional emphasis on the transferability of these orders from institutional settings. As I said previously, the stress on communication between practitioner and patient so that they are aware of their choices and make those choices with full disclosure.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, we heard the good question, a very important question that was raised by Representative Petit, as if there are other held directives already there would this be, in addition would it be superseding. What is the protocol with the MOLST, and if other directives are already there?

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, through you. Yes, the bill does stipulate that when in communicating and helping the individual make these choices that they should also be made aware the various ways they could choose to document their wishes, which may be a MOLST order, or it could be conceivably another way of doing it.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you Mr. Speaker, the good chairman talked about in this bill there is the added component of education. If the good chair could tell us who's going to be educated (A) and (B)how is it different than what we had in the pilot program.

Through you Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Through you, yes this takes advantage of some lessons learned from the pilot program. There are really two levels of education. The first is educating the practitioner, him or herself to understand the importance of communicating the options and these choices so they realize they really need to do this in virtually every case that they have the opportunity to do so. And, then specifically the methods of presenting those choices to patients in a way that they may understand what the ramifications of those choices are. And, then obviously the education of those patients themselves, which is not really didactic as much an interactive conversation about the choices giving the patients ample opportunity to ask questions for family members to do so if they're available and to come to the best individualized plan for that patient's needs.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, in the entire pilot program the important component of that program was voluntary. Voluntary for the health care provider, it was voluntary as far as the patient is concerned, and reading this form and signing the form. Is this the same protocol we will use as far as voluntary is concerned in the statewide program?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, through you, yes that's correct.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, this bill also has the introduction of an advisory council. Through you, Mr. Speaker, what would be the role of the advisory council since we've already learned quite a bit from the pilot program, and we are now doing it on a statewide level.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, through you. A good question by the good Representative. I think there are really two aspects to it. First of all, this will be a new statewide program, so there may be some working through the kinds, and they might want to offer some advice on how to refine matters, see how they're doing in other states, many other states do have such programs. And, secondly, as I mentioned in the beginning, because technology is evolving so fast, our understanding of medicine is evolving fast. It would be wonderful to have experts be able to advise the department on anything that has changed over time so they remain up to date and the program remains up to date.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

So, through you, Mr. Speaker when we had the pilot program did we have the benefit of such a council?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, no we didn't. Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, what is important in this bill is the transfer of information through the various areas where healthcare services could be provided. Through you, Mr. Speaker, if a MOLST form, as we call this, is signed properly and all the paperwork is documented but in the transfer of the patient from location A to location B, that form unfortunately inadvertently is not following or it does not going with the patient and the wishes of the patient are not obviously fulfilled because the form was not there. Will somebody or who will be liable.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, as we just heard this conversation with both my Representative Petit and the good chair and we've had a pilot program. We've had the pilot program run for quite some time, and now to convert that into a statewide program so this becomes available, not just to those areas where we did the study (A) and got the information from the study but then doing it on a statewide program is a step definitely very much in the right direction. And I urge my colleagues, both sides of the aisle to support this. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Again, it is getting a little loud in here and becoming difficult to hear the conversations occurring with the chairman and people who are taking the time to ask him some questions. So, again, if you could take your conversations outside, it would be greatly appreciated. Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN(90th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, just some brief questions for the proponent if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. FISHBEIN (90th):

Thank you sir. In the bill as amended there is the creation of an advisory group, and there was discussion this morning as to whether or not task forces are going to be paid going forward for mileage and such things as that. This advisory group, is it anticipated that they are going to be compensated for mileage and things like that or not?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, it does stipulate a number of different people who could be coming from various areas of the state, so I'm surmising perhaps they would be eligible as we often have for other committees, councils, and task forces. I'm not certain, but I think so.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90th):

So, thank you, Mr. Speaker. So, a question, why this is called and advisory council instead of a task force, which is the language that I'm familiar with seeing?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Steinberg.

REP. STEINBERG (136TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I believe it's because they're an ongoing group as opposed to a task force, which usually has a limited time of purview, and I believe the council will exist for some time, and that's the difference.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90th):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, that's all I that I had.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Johnson of the 49th district. Romantic Willimantic. Ma'am you have the floor.

REP. JOHNSON (49TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have a few comments, and I just wanted to say how much I support this bill for Medical Orders for Sustainable Treatments. This bill came to us in the form of a study back in 2014, and we were able to pass the study and have a look at how Medical Orders for Sustainable Treatments would be addressed in urban areas and more rural settings, and the thing about this particular bill and the study was something that I felt very strongly about because as an advocate for Medicare beneficiaries, I was contacted on numerous occasions with people who were receiving hospice care at the end of life and had been revived because of the fact that the services were not coordinated with emergency medical services providers. So, this allows coordination of services between all of the providers, whether they're emergency medical services providers, or some other type of providers. So, I strongly support this bill and urge my colleagues to support this bill, and thank The Chair and the ranking member for their good work on this bill. Thank you so much, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you Representative. Will you remark further on this bill as amended? Will you remark further on this bill as amended? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the house? Members take your seats, the machine will be opened. (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 boards to ensure your vote's been properly cast. If all the members have voted, the machine will be clocked and the clerk will take a tally. The clerk will announce the tally.

CLERK:

Senate Bill 938 as amended by Senate A in concurrence with the Senate.

Total number Voting 150

Necessary for Passage 76

Those voting Yea 150

Those voting Nay 0

Absent and not voting 1

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The Bill as amended has passed. (Gavel) Representative Albis. You have the floor sir.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move for an immediate transmittal of all business needing further action in the Senate to the Senate.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

All items previously enacted, awaiting action in the Senate be transmitted, so ordered. (Gavel)

Will the Clerk please call House Calendar No. 174?

CLERK:

On Page 6, House Calendar 174, House Bill No. 6663 AN ACT CONCERNING POLICE MISCONDUCT. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Labor and Public Employees.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter of the 94th district. You have the floor, Madam.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Madam -- I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker. I move for acceptance of the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the Bill.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The question is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the Bill. Representative Porter, you have the floor.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment, LCO 8551. I would ask that the Clerk to please call the amendment and that I be granted leave of the chamber to summarize.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO No. 8551, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule “A.

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule “A” LCO No. 8551 offered by Representative Porter, Senator Winfield et al.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter seeks leave of the chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection to summarization? Hearing none, Representative Porter, please proceed.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We all, all of us, black, brown, and white, urban suburban, and rural; we all want to believe that when our police are in our neighborhoods, when we interact with them that that interaction with the officer ends up with us making it home safe and with them making it home safe as well. And, you know what, usually that is the case. Sometimes, though, sometimes things do not go as they should. Sometimes a situation happens in such a way that we don't return home unscathed. And, in the worst case scenarios, we do not return home at all. It is in these instances when the best intentions go astray that the Bill before us seeks to address. This Bill is rooted and grounded in achieving community wellness for all communities. It is rooted and grounded in making sure that the officers that protect us day and night in the state of Connecticut are protected, and that they are able to return home to their families and return back to work the next day. So, with that said, Mr. Speaker, I move adoption.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The question before the chamber is on adoption of the Amendment. Will you remark further on the Amendment before us? Representative Walker, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Bill before us is something that is very important to all the communities of the state of Connecticut. There are several things in this Bill that I think we need to have some clarification on, and with that, Sir, I would like to present a few questions to the proponent of the Amendment.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter, please prepare yourself. Representative Walker, please proceed.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To the great gentlelady from New Haven, Hamden [laughing], I would like to ask why are we prohibiting police from shooting cars?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Well, there have been a number of several high-profile cases in the state of Connecticut where police officers have fired at vehicles and part of this Bill is a new section, section 2, which deals with no shooting at motor vehicles. I would like to also say that this section was actually modeled after the Connecticut State Police Policy and what this would do is actually codify it. It is not an absolute prohibition against police officers shooting at cars. They may shoot at the driver, and I want to distinguish the difference. Officers are trained not to shoot at the vehicle that's being used as a weapon, but they are trained to shoot at the driver to disable the vehicle. So, if the person driving the vehicle poses an eminent threat or serious injury or death directed at the police officer or another person, in that instance they would be allowed to shoot at the driver to disable the vehicle.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Walker.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the gentlelady for that answer. So, I just want to make sure I understand this. So, they are not absolutely prohibited, but they are recommended to study the situation before they engage in any type of aggressive actions with an ongoing car, correct?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, that is correct. If they are able to make a reasonable decision that they can safely get themselves or another person out of harm's way, that is the first choice that they should make. But, if that is not the case, and there is eminent danger to either the officer or another person that they would be allowed to discharge their firearm to disable the driver.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Walker.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And, also, I believe there is new language in this Amendment that talks about an oversite group. So, through you Mr. Speaker, could the gentlelady explain to me about the oversite group that is in this Bill?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you, and through you, Mr. Speaker, yes I can. It is actually in section 9 of the Bill and it deals with the Commission on Equity and Opportunity, and it's going to be established that they have a working group, and the working group shall consist of: The chief of a city with a population exceeding 100,000 people appointment by the speaker of the House of Representatives, one who shall be a police chief of a city with a population exceeding 100,000 appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate, one who shall be a police chief of a city with a population of less than 75,000 appointed by the Senate Republican President pro tempore, one who shall be a police chief of a city population less than 75,000 appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, and then there's the chief public defender with his or her designee, the chief's state's attorney's office with his or her designee, the executive director of CEO Commission on Equity and Opportunity or his or her appointee, the executive director of the American Civils Liberty Union of Connecticut or his or her designee, a Representative of the Criminal Defense Bar appointed by the President of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association and all appointments to the working group should be made not later than 30 days after the effective date of this bill.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Walker.

REP. WALKER (93RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And, I thank the gentlelady for those answers. I'm really glad to hear about the working group that is being established. I know many of us have all been familiar with Raise the Age that we started back in 2008, and one of the things that we realized was that we needed to have a working group to reflect many of the people that are going to be affected by the change in the age of adult jurisdiction. In this Bill, it is doing the same thing, and as we know there are many people that criticized when we first started Raise the Age and said that it was going to cause major problems, it was going to cost the state more money, and it was going to stop everybody, the police, the prosecutors, the public defenders, the judges from doing their job. What it did do was it brought everybody together. It gave everybody an opportunity to talk. It made it very transparent, and it gave an opportunity for us to move forward in trying to oversee how we work with juveniles.

I think it's important for all people in the state of Connecticut to have a security of transparency and observation of what's going on with them, so that we give them that much more security about public safety. Nobody understands how important that is, especially in communities like mine where we all have a fear many times about who is coming to our door and what is going to happen with us. I have several grandsons who I am worried for, and I have a granddaughter that I'm worried for because the important thing I want them to understand is that we all work together for the security of the state and it's extremely important. So, thank you Mr. Speaker, and I think the gentlelady for her answers to my questions.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, ma'am. Will you remark further on the Amendment before us? Representative Miller, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. MILLER (145TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, Mr. Speaker, I have questions of clarification of the Amendment to the proponent of the bill.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter looks prepared. Representative Miller, please proceed.

REP. MILLER (145TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Did we already do a Body Camera Bill this session? I'm sorry.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Yes, we did. Through you, Mr. Speaker, I'm sorry. Yes, we did. The other Bill actually extends full reimbursement for another year and allows the fund to be used to purchase body cams and tasers. This Bill will not modify the existing body camera fund. It requires the seven biggest cities in the state to adopt body cameras.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Miller.

REP. MILLER (145TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, why mandate the big cities bring on body cameras?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We've seen increased incidents in the larger cities and in the urban center, so it makes sense for us to have them have body cameras so that we can have a high end level of accountability and transparency.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Miller.

REP. MILLER (145TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, do body cameras actually work?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes they do. They are very effective. We actually know that when people know they're being watched, they tend to have better behavior. And, with that being the case, body cameras will save and do save money. When they're used there are fewer officer injuries, fewer uses of force, fewer complaints, and actually fewer lawsuits, and I think that is imperative and that is a big issue because in this state and many other states around us where they actually have these issues going on, it's the tax payers that are footing the bill when we get sued by peopled that are suing the police department for excessive force suits.

So, through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Miller.

REP. MILLER (145TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, you just mentioned that body cameras save money and due to our fiscal condition, the state's fiscal condition at this point, how much do body cameras cost and do we have the money for them.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, we actually do. We have 9 million currently in bonding that has been allocated for the use of body cams and right now I know that New Haven has negotiated a deal for body cams, and they've cut a deal with Taser where they will be paying $ 399 per camera. And, the initial money that was allotted to the bonding fund for the body cameras was estimated so that every police officer in the state of Connecticut could have a body cam.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Miller.

REP. MILLER (145TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I've heard that storage of the footage of body cameras have been an issue. What about the cost of storage?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I'll go back to the deal that New Haven just made, and they were actually able to negotiate free storage with Taser and actually some extra tasers to go along with the body cams that they're purchasing. And, as I said before, there is 9 million dollars that is left in the fund for body cameras, and when that fund was created, it was created and designed to allow all police to purchase cameras. T

hrough you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Miller.

REP. MILLER (145TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I've also heard concerns about the review of the footage and that there is a cost associated with that. So, what about that cost, and in addition if you could also talk about is it FOI-able?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I know that my town of Hamden actually has been using body cameras prior to the bill being passed by the Legislature, and that hasn't been an issue in Hamden. This year's body camera bill has a task force to study and FOI issues.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Miller.

REP. MILLER (145TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the fine lady for her responses, answers to my questions, and I just wanted to close with a brief statement that first of all I would like to thank her and the other proponents of this bill because I know that this amendment, I know that it has changed. I appreciate the reporting. I think by having reports will allow us to look at data and make us more effective as a state to see what areas we need to work on and not only just the state but every police department. I don't think that this Bill, this Amendment is to make anyone look bad. I think it's to improve what we do as a business, and I'm not going to say as a business, but we do, what policeman do because policeman, I appreciate the work that they do, and so I think that this Bill will make them better and make everyone accountable. Thank you.

Through you, Mr. Speaker. Again, I thank the fine lady for her hard work. Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Madam. Will you remark further on the Amendment before us? Representative Candelaria, you have the floor.

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this Bill because this Bill not only protects the citizens of Connecticut, but it also protects the police officers. I commend our men and women who decided to become police officers, to make that decision it must be a difficult one, especially in these times. Many of our police officers are a critical part of our community. They are an intricate part of our community and some uphold the law, but there are others that believe they're above the law. So, as I see my colleague from New Haven ask about Section 2, which talks about no police officer should use deadly force upon another person in a motor vehicle, that reminds me of Malik Jones. Malik Jones was an individual that was in East Haven and was going through a police chase that landed into New Haven.

Specifically, the Fair Haven section of New Haven. As he was backing his vehicle, the police officer got out the vehicle and shot four times and killed Malik Jones. That was 20 years ago. Today, Malik would have been 41 years old, probably with a family, being a productive citizen of the city of New Haven. But, unfortunately, that did not happen. There was another instance in New Haven where a young lady was having a beef as we call it in the neighborhood with another 18-year-old, an 18-year-old and a 15-year-old. The 15-year-old was Maced in the face, walks outside, the police are questioning her, but she is not thinking right, she has Mace in her eyes. Because she did not respond, she was body slammed into the pavement. So, imagine your 15-year-old being body slammed into the pavement. The hurt and the suffering. If that's not excessive force, I don't know what is.

But these are some of the stories that we see in our neighborhoods. These are realities. You know, as I think about Malik Jones. If Section 2 would have been implemented back in 1997, he would be here with us today. He would not have been another statistic. I thought that would change our state, that that would change our country, but then we had Ferguson. We have not learned and not all officers are bad officers. They're great, they do great work for our community, and I respect that. I respect all those individuals. But let's take a step forward. Let's think about East Haven. As you recall, police officers in East Haven, there was the group that were called the Miller Boys. They worked the 4-12 midnight shift and what they would do, they would stop and detain Hispanic immigrants. Many of them were slapped, kicked, punched.

One of them had their head bashed against the wall, and this was reported in one of the police reports that was done. Now, imagine living in a community like that and being Latino. That must be very frightening, very frightening to see a police officer drive by you, being harassed. They even took it a step further. They would go into the stores, harass the Latino merchants, and this was taken by their security cameras, and what they would do, they would go back and ensure there was no footage condemning them of their actions. And, these are the individuals we needed to trust. Thank God for the intervention of the Justice Department, four of those officers were arrested, but that's a true story. Sometimes we cannot connect to what's happening in our neighborhoods, but we need to tell these stories, so you can come to the realization that this is happening.

This is something serious in our neighborhoods. When we talk about public safety, it's to protect our safety, and in these stories these officers failed to do that. They failed to protect the individual and protect the public safety. So, a community that looks like me and many of my colleagues, there is a sense of frustration that these incidents continue to happen. And, it will be an Amendment like this that becomes a Bill that will change our perception, that will change the way we think, and that will change the public safety of everyone. Mr. Speaker, with that, I stand in support of this Bill. I encourage my colleagues to support it. Thank you so much.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Sir. Will you remark further on the Amendment before us? Representative Soto, you have the floor, Sir.

REP. SOTO (39TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, I have a question for the proponent of the Amendment. Representative Porter, please prepare yourself. Representative Soto, please proceed.

REP. SOTO (39TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, I understand that the underlying Bill had language around suspension without pay, and I'm wondering if the proponent of the Bill can clarify if the Amendment before this chamber removes that language?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, yes it does.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Soto.

REP. SOTO (39TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, thank you for that answer. You know, before I came to this Legislature, I had a proud career as a Coast Guard law enforcement officer, and in that job, it was five years stopping drug smugglers, stopping people smugglers, stopping people from doing bad things in our ports, and as law enforcement officers you train for use of force situations. You don't ever want to be in a use of force situation, but you know that's inevitable, and when it happens, both as the officer and wherever that use of force is deployed, everyone wants to know that there's a measure of accountability in place to protect everyone that has been involved in that situation. And, so to the Amendment and the question on that and the answer to that Amendment, it frustrates me that this is an excellent Amendment that has very clear language that has gotten politicized.

It has gotten politicized because up to today, I received an email asking about suspension without pay and how that was unfair, and it frustrates me when we have people politicizing this good Amendment when we have a colleague who has worked and has heard all the stakeholders, put them at the table, grab that feedback, and the Amendment that we have before us addresses the concerns of those stakeholders. So, when I get an email today that's talking about suspension without pay, that is extremely frustrating because those that are trying to politicize it are doing it for the wrong reasons. We have good Legislation in front of us that talks about accountability.

And, again, as someone who has been a law enforcement officer, I know how important that accountability is for both sides. I've labored through this language. There are nine main sections of this Amendment. You've heard some of it talked about, specifically around a moving vehicle. That is directly from the Connecticut State Police doctrine. Body cameras, we've talked about body cameras. That is already proven to help increase and improve police-community relations. There are seven other sections that all deal with policies, reporting. This is a good Amendment, and so I ask my colleagues in this chamber as you're reading through the Amendment and reading through the underlying Bill to think about a young person that you love dearly.

Think about a young person that you love dearly. Fathom if their life was taken at the hands of use of force. Just fathom that for a second. Wouldn't you want to know that there were accountability measures in place to find out what happened and there was a good process in place to find out the facts. And, on the flip side, many of us know law enforcement and peace officers. If someone that you knew was that officer, wouldn't you want to know that there was a process in place, there were accountability measures in place that protected that person, that police officer, that law enforcement officer that you know that you love, that you trust. There were accountability measures in place to ensure that they are protected. This is the Amendment that is before us. This is part of the underlying Bill that is good public policy that protects not only young people in our communities in everyone's community, but it also protects those that are sworn to serve us. Through you, Mr. Speaker, I support this Amendment. I support this Bill, and I urge my colleagues to do the same. Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Sir. Representative Rosario, you have the floor.

REP. ROSARIO (128TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in strong support of this Bill as amended, and I want to thank the gentlelady of the 94th district for her extremely hard work on this Bill. This has been a difficult decision for me. I know many of you have been getting lots of emails and calls from police chiefs and your police unions but many people probably don't know this, but I work for a police department. I'm a civilian staff member at a police department, and when we gavel out here on June 7th, the very next day I'm going to work. These are my colleagues. These are people I see each and every day, and prior to that service, working for the police department I was in Code Enforcement in the city of Bridgeport, and I worked very hard each and every day with the men and women of the Bridgeport Police Department. They put their lives on the line.

I have relatives of mine who are police officers, but it is also no secret that the tragedy that happened in Bridgeport, young Jason Negron, he is a relative of my wife's, and it's very difficult because it's a tragedy all the way around. The Negron family, they're never going to get Jason back. And the police officer that had to make that split-second decision, he has to live with that for the rest of his life. That's difficult. That's hard. And, we come here to this chamber, we debate many issues. We talk about many things here that affect all types of communities, and the people that sent us up here, they trust us that we're going to d the best job for them. And, this is an issue that has been impacting the city of Bridgeport and many other communities here across our state. So, please, I urge my colleagues to adopt this. Think of Jason, because he's not going to be the last one. I hate to say this, but he's not going to be the last. It may not happen in Bridgeport, but it may happen in your community. Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Sir. Representative Hall, you have the floor.

REP. HALL (7TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, I have a question for the proponent of the Amendment, and then a comment.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

It looks as though Representative Porter is on her feet and prepared. Representative Hall, please proceed.

REP. HALL (7TH):

Yes, I was very concerned that aspects of the original Bill impacted areas of due process and collective bargaining. Can you confirm for me that those elements have been eliminated from this Amendment?

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Porter.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the good gentleman for his question, and once again, yes, I will state on the record that those pieces to this Bill have been taken out, and I would like to further state why they have been taken out. Because in my due diligence to make sure that all stakeholders were at the table and conversations that I had with chief police, assistant chiefs, police officers, ranking files, sergeants, lieutenants, union presidents, that was the concern. And, after the expressed their viewpoint to me, and I took all of that into consideration, and I had to think about what it was I was really wanting to do with this Bill, I had to take it out. I couldn't sit down at the table and have those conversations and still come back to this chamber and present the Bill that I first introduced when it came out. I don't think that would've made a lot of sense, and I don't think it would've been fair, and I actually think it would've been a waste of everyone's time. So, as I stated before, I did that in good faith because the ultimate goal of this Bill, through you, Mr. Speaker, is that we have a level of accountability and a level of transparency that will benefit police officers and the communities that they are sworn to protect and serve. And, I think that this does that with the reporting pieces that are in this Bill. I think that there are parts in this Bill, such as the first section where we asked that the chief's state's attorney's office get back to us within 40 business days with a preliminary status report to tell us what the preliminary status is. Nothing that would infringe upon the investigation or the integrity of the investigation but just to report back to the public and to the community and to the families that are going through this, like Jason Negron's family. They haven't heard anything yet. This Bill, within 40 business days, would require that the chief states' attorney's office give a preliminary report, reporting out, to put people at ease and bring down the tensions in the community that concern me. I believe that had a lot to do with it, and I want to say that was the main reason why I took those parts out of the Bill, just really taking into consideration you know what people came to the table and shared with me and how they felt about this Bill, and what you're looking at today is a product of that. I have tried ever since I've been up here to do bipartisan work. I believe in it. It hasn't always worked out that way, but I believe in it, and this was my effort to work with the stakeholders that this Bill will affect if and when it goes into law.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Hall.

REP. HALL (7TH):

I thank the good Chair of Labor for that response. When the government takes someone's life or uses excessive force, and we must remember that police are agents of the government; it is our responsibility to make sure that there is transparency. We need to make sure that the government and the police were well within their right to take that action. Like many of you, I also carry a copy of the United States Constitution. In the preamble of the Constitution so eloquently states that “We the People in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and to our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. ” The key ideal for me in the preamble was establish justice. Establish justice. Establish justice. For far too long the idea of justice has been out of the reach for far too many Americans. Justice has been delayed, and as we know justice delayed is justice denied. There is a fracture between police and the communities they serve and this Amendment goes a lot way in repairing that fracture by moving us closer to the ideal of establishing justice. I stand in strong support of this Amendment, and I ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do the same. Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Sir. Representative Stallworth, you have the floor.

REP. STALLWORTH (126TH):

Mr. Speaker, I stand in strong support of this Amendment and would like to make a few comments. I have ultimate respect for police officers. I believe police officers should be treated with dignity, respect, and the appreciation they deserve. They put their lives on the line daily, and the deserve to return home to their families at the end of their shift. But, I also have ultimate respect for all life, and believe all people regardless of race, gender, or social standing should be treated with dignity, respect, and the appreciation that they deserve. They, too, should be able to return home to their families. I know for some of my colleagues, maybe you believe this is not an issue in your neighborhood, in your community, and in your district but it will be. Dr. King said it well when he said, “A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. ” I was born 60 miles from Selma, Alabama; we all know Salem and “Bloody Sunday,” which are March 7, 1965; 600-hundred people marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and they met bad police officers on the other side who beat them with Billy Clubs and tear gassed them as they rode horses. For me today, it's choosing which side of that Edmund Pettus Bridge I'm going to stand today. I stand in strong support of this Amendment, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Will you speak further on the Amendment before us? Representative McGee, you have the floor, sir.

REP. MCGEE (5TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I stand for the purpose of a comment. Oh, thank you. A lot has been said on this very topic, and first and foremost, I would like to thank all of my colleagues in this chamber for their support on this important piece of proposed Legislation. This discussion, for many of us, has been talked about for many, many years in our communities, in our homes, and it's been a very emotional one at best. On March 2013, I was driving in my own vehicle in my very community and was stopped by a contingent of officers. I was advised by one of the officers that were stopping that there were suspicious vehicles riding through this very community and you happen to be one of them. And he further noted that unfortunately your car looks like many of the ones in this particular neighborhood. While I can go on and on and on about the five times that I was stopped in my own community, I'd like to talk a little bit about transparency for both public safety officers and civilians. My comments are not to support anti-police, anti-people, it is to highlight the importance of transparency, and I'll say it again to highlight the importance of transparency and accountability.

While the entire concept of this Bill and even this Amendment is important, Section 7 of this particular Amendment resonates more. And, I can go through the entire section of standardized police complaint forms and why it's important, but I'll just leave you with three very important points and hopefully it will resonate within you as well. An accessible and transparent police complaint process and form for me and I think for many in this room are the cornerstone to police accountability. Without a functioning police complaint process, citizens feel ignored and police administrators cannot learn about police misconduct. Lastly, chiefs cannot address issues and take appropriate action if they don't learn about the issues that are being communicated. And, so again, I rise in full support of this Bill, this Amendment, and I really hope the crux of this conversation, this debate, the commenting and questioning, people really understand the importance of this very piece of Legislation. I'd like to thank the wonderful Chair lady for her work and working with both sides of the aisle, including folks in our own caucus and helping us to understand the importance of transparency and not pointing the fingers but allowing for people to understand what's right. And, so I thank you, and I hope that all of my colleagues would support this piece of Legislation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Will you remark further on the Amendment before us? Representative Gonzalez of the 3rd district, you have the floor.

REP. GONZALEZ (3RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I raise in support this Bill as amended. Supporting this Bill is not that I am or the one that drew the Bill that we are against the police officer. That's not it. Here in Hartford, we have Chief Rovella, and my Chief Rovella is a great guy, great guy. I have very good communication with him, and if I support Chief Rovella, I'm saying I support Hartford Police Department.

Yes, they have the bad and the good ones, and I'm not happy with the bad ones, but I always say that we have to deal with whatever we've got in front of us and try to make it better. Mr. Speaker, we almost every year, we pass Bill in this chamber to protect the police officer for good trainings. We all know that they have a good pay, they have good benefits, and when they retire, they retire with a good pension. And guess what, we also even pay their lunches and dinners, and I don't hear anybody complaining about that's a waste of money. We don't complain. I think that should be an issue about the budget, but we don't complain. But, we have to hold them accountable. They are not above the law. This Bill is to hold accountable and to stop those cowboys that because they got a badge and a gun they think they can go shooting, especially young kids in our community. This is not the wild, wild west, and no consequences. Those cowboys don't belong in the police department. This abuse got to stop. Today, it's happening to the African-American and the Latino community, tomorrow will be others. We have to hold them accountable. They have to understand that there are consequences for their action.

We understand that their job is not easy and it's dangerous, but that's their choices. We want them to be safe, but we also want our kids in our community to be safe. When they decide to become a cop, they know the risk, and this is not a volunteer job. Like I said before, there is good pay, good benefit, and good pension. But those cowboys are giving a bad name to the ones they are protecting and serving our community. Look what happened last year here in Hartford. In Hartford, we celebrate every year the Puerto Rican parade. And last year, two police officers saw a car with a Puerto Rican flag and they decide to chase them. They were saying that there was a stolen car, but then we find out that was a rent, they rent their car. Maybe they were late but they rent the car. It was not stolen. They decide to chase these two guys all the way to West Hartford.

By the time that they got to West Hartford, it was between 30 and 40 police officers. By the time they got this guy out of the car, those 30 or 40 police officers they took their turn and they kick and they punch these two guys. To the end, when they grabbed the last guy, they pulled this guy to the tree and then a Lieutenant raised his foot and kicked him on his head, and by that time the guy was completely out. I call our friend Kevin Kane, and I ask him if he can bring the tape so we can watch what was happening. And, I believe that something happened with the tape. I don't think that what we saw was everything because one of the guys, the abuse toward one of the guys we couldn't see them. They said that for some reason it was not on the tape, but it happened, and this Lieutenant retired with a pension; I think it was $ 149,000. I don't think that this is fair. I don't think this is right. I think that we have to stop the abuse, and for that I'm going to ask this chamber to think about this. When you say no to this Bill, you are saying that it's okay for them to keep abusing the people in our community, especially the kid. If you say no, it's like you're telling us in our community we don't have no right, and I think that everybody else here in the United States, we have the same right. It doesn't matter what color. It doesn't matter if you're Latino, African-American, or white, we all have the same right. And, for those reasons I would say and I would ask this chamber to support this bill. Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Madam. Will you remark further on the Amendment before us? Representative Morris of the 140th, you have the floor sir.

REP. MORRIS (140TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I support police officers. They have a difficult job, putting their lives on the line every day for all of us in the name of public safety and the very, very vast majority of them do a good job at it. But, it's yet a difficult job, and there's times that job is not done well. Last year, with the Excessive Police Force Bill and quite frankly many people nationally took a look at our Bill and said you know what Connecticut, you're a leader.

You addressed most of the important issues in your Bill. Many of us within our caucus, we thought the cities would take advantage of the fact that we provided funding for cameras, something that provides transparency. It levels the playing field. It benefitted police officers. It benefitted civilians. However, despite providing that funding, I don't have the number but very few if any, I think maybe in one city or very few that took advantage of that. I'm fortunate that I live in a city, the city of Norwalk where my police chief, he supported cameras and had already moved towards doing that within our city. Police officers aren't complaining about it. It works so well that, you know what, we talk about police and community relations and those police officers were shot in the city of Dallas. We ended up having a great big public event in front of the police department where everyone came together; ministers, advocates, everyone supporting those police members who lost their lives wrongly. When you have transparency, when people can have some level of confidence that your police department will hold those accountable if they've done the wrong thing.

When you have measures in place, such as a video. We always say a picture is worth a thousand words, well a video is worth an awful lot of words. This Bill requires it, it mandates it for those larger towns. This is a good Bill. This is a good measure. I believe we ought to make certain that it pass. We all come closer to accountability when we do things like this. I support this Bill and I admonish all of the members of this House, Connecticut we've lead the way, let's finish the work that we started last year. I support this Bill.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Sir. Will you remark further on the Amendment? The Amendment before us? Representative Reyes, you have the floor.

REP. REYES (75TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in strong support of House Bill 6663, and especially of the Amendment. I just want to shift reference for my colleagues in the House of Representatives of the number of correspondence that I've gotten about this House Bill, and I can tell you that for me it's very simple. It's not a matter of being against one particular profession or another. It's about right and wrong. It's about justified or unjustified. It's about getting information out to those families that are effected, both ways, on a timely basis. It's about being transparent, and I have to say that my colleagues that have spoken before me have done a very good job of summarizing the transparency piece because I think the sooner that you can diffuse the issue is simply by communicating, having those hard conversations, often and sooner rather than later, and we in Waterbury had an incident back on March 10th of this year 2017 where there was a shooting at a vehicle of a young teenager.

And, again, I'm not here to talk about justified or unjustified or I want to know what it was right or wrong and what was the process and what exactly was the policy and procedure so that these families can get their communication. How our community gets more frustrated is as days go by, two days, three days, four days, five days, I still don't have an answer. I still don't know the facts. I still don't know who did what, where, when, why, and that infuriates the community. It inflames everything. It makes it so much worse, and all I'm saying about this Amendment is it's about cleaning up and adding good language to a policy and procedure that's probably already in place but needs to be tweaked and I think that this Amendment does a good job of fixing that language. And to be clear, I am a very strong supporter of law enforcement. I have current and former family members that served in law enforcement. I've been a law enforcement supporter for many, many years, and this is not about any reference to any anti-police on my part or any of my colleagues. I could not be more pro-police. But I also will tell you I'm also pro my community and what we consider right versus wrong. And, it is for that reason, Mr. Speaker, that I rise in strong support of House Bill 6663 and also would like to thank the Chairwoman of Labor, Ms. Porter, for the work that she's done. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much sir. Will you remark further on the Amendment before us? Representative Rojas, you have the floor, sir.

REP. ROJAS (9TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise to associate myself with the remarks of all of my colleagues who have spoken before me. The issue of police and community relations in our urban communities and in particular, our communities of color has always been an emotional issue fraught with mistrust, divisiveness, and acrimony. This difficult issue, in fact, has plagued our country for generations.

And, today, we have a responsibility to do what we can do to right the wrongs of the past, to right the wrongs of the present, and certainly work toward a future where we can meet the best interest of everybody who's involved in this difficult debate. The reality is the vast majority of police officers do not put on their uniforms every day with the intent of engaging in abuse or injustice of the people they are sworn to protect, but it happens. There are exceptions to the vast majority of officers who do their job with honor and integrity. Our communities of color value their officers. We value the work and sacrifice that they do every day. We value and set the sacrifice that officers' families make every day when they're putting their loved one on the front lines of maintaining the safety of all of our families. I have two incredible and thoughtful police chiefs in the towns I represent. My communities have dedicated officers who do right by the people in my communities every day. I have a long history myself of working with our police officers to enhance and support their profession, particularly in our schools, so that we can build trust between our young people and the very police officers who care so much about them. But there is always more work to be done, and there are those who seek to divide us over police and community relations. We should reject those efforts to divide us. As lawmakers, we need to address this difficult issue head on. It's in the best interest of our communities. It's in the best interest of our police officers, and it's certainly in the best interest of the state of Connecticut, and I would urge all my colleagues to support the Amendment. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Will you remark further on the Amendment before us? Representative Arce of the 4th district, you have the floor.

REP. ARCE (4TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this Amendment, and I want to say thank you to the Chairlady of Labor for bringing this Amendment out. I did have a question and it was answered before I was called, and that was on the reporting on the 40 days, which I think that's a benefit to our police department. After speaking to my chief yesterday, he stated to me that he has five days to do a report in front of the police review board, so this is a benefit. But, I will speak a little bit about some experiences and why I support this Amendment. I'm not here against police officers, and I don't stand here against police officers. In fact, I got some of the best police officers in my district, police officers that care, they care about the community, their commitment to my community. As a matter of fact, just about a month ago, we did a cleanup together with the police department and our community and at the same time those officers were recruiting some of our young people to become police officers. My officers in my district are, again, and I repeat this, they are some of the best. But, we do got a few bad apples. Now, Representative Gonzalez was mentioning just last year we had an issue that happened in West Hartford of those two Puerto Rican young men that got beat up. But, at least there's an investigation going on.

Three years ago inside one of the holding, jail, one kid was killed, three years ago. Killed by a taser when he was tazed inside jail. Three years later, today, we know nothing. What is happening to that investigation. We demand an investigation, but we still haven't heard anything. And, I stand here today not against police officers but those police officers that do the wrong things. When this happened in West Hartford, many officers in my district came to me. They were not worrying about what was going to happen, whether there was going to be a riot. They weren't even worrying about the officers that attacked these two young men. But their biggest concern was to lose the trust and the confidence that they had for years built with our community. That was their biggest concern. They didn't want to lose that on the account of those two officers. I stand here in support of this Bill because I believe that it's not only going to protect human lives, and this has not nothing to do with just black and brown. This could happen to anybody, any color, and in any place. So, I stand here today in support of this Bill, and I hope that my colleagues will support this Bill as a good Bill, and it's going to protect not only human beings in general, police officers, as well as the people of the state of Connecticut. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Will you remark further on the Amendment before us. Will you remark further on the Amendment? Representative Porter, for the second time on the Amendment, you have the floor.

REP. PORTER (94TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just want to say a little something about the Amendment. I know I said a few words earlier when asked a question by the good gentleman from Hartford, but I've done a lot of work on this bill, a lot of work. This Bill did not, this Bill does not look like the Bill I started with, and there's a lot of reason to that. And, as I stated earlier, a lot of that had to do with me sitting down and having some pretty in-depth conversations. Because I'm always interested in hearing all sides of the story, because I understand that there's not, you know people like to say there's two sides to the coin. I believe it's more than that, and I made a real strong effort to make sure that I had open conversations with people, not for the sake of just talking or listening, but for the sake of taking those things into consideration and finding a way to implement them into this Bill to make this Bill stronger and to make this Bill restorative.

This Bill is about community wellness, and with all the belaboring that I have done with this Amendment and if anybody has been following this Bill, you know that there have been several Amendments on this Bill in an effort to get it to a place where everyone in this chamber could feel comfortable with voting for this Bill. And, I have to tell you today that I have been extremely disappointed in the way things have gone down, and I'm hoping that when it's all said and done, and after everyone has had an opportunity to speak, that there will be something that has been said here today that will resonate in the minds and the souls of the people of this state. This is not about black and white, black and brown, this is about humanity.

This is about people, and I just want folks to understand that, that at the end of the day, I want a better Connecticut. I want a stronger Connecticut, I want communities, all communities to have police and citizens in the communities that they police and relationships that have social cohesion that are families; the kind of community that I remember growing up. The kind of community where the officers knew my name. They knew where I lived.

If I was out there cutting up, they would snatch me by my ear and take me home to my mother or my grandmother and I would get the crap beat out of me. That's the kind of community I want because that is the kind of community that reminds me of the village I grew up in where we all mattered, where we all counted, no matter what our zip code was, no matter what our race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation; none of that stuff mattered because at the end of the day we all live and breathe the same air and we all bleed the same color. And I just want this to stop. I want Connecticut to get ahead of the curve on what's going on in this nation right now because frankly it scares the bejesus out of me. And, it's not just for communities that look like mine, it's for every single community. No one is exempt, so please don't believe that you are. I just ask that everybody in this chamber would take serious consideration to all that is being said today on this Amendment and the Bill, and I would ask that you do that with an open heart and an open mind. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, ma'am. Will you remark further on the (Gavel) Representative Albis.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Pass the Bill temporarily. (Gavel)

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

The Chamber will please stand at ease.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

And will the chamber please come back to order? Representative Albis, for what purpose do you rise sir?

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise to announce that the House Democrats will be caucusing in about 30 minutes in Room 207A.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Representative Candelaria, for what purpose do you rise, sir?

REP. CANDELARIA (95TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, Madam Speaker the House of Republicans will be caucusing in Room 110 immediately after recess.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Representative Candelaria. The House -- Representative Albis?

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Yes, thank you Madam Speaker, I move that we recess the subject to the Call of the Chair.

DEPUTY SPEAKER ORANGE (48TH):

We are in recess subject to the Call of the Chair. (Gavel)

(On motion of Representative Albis of the 99th District, the House recessed at 3: 20 o'clock p. m. to reconvene at the Call of the Chair. )

(The House reconvened at 5: 01 o'clock p. m. , Deputy Speaker Ryan in the Chair. )

CLERK:

The House of Representatives will reconvene immediately. Members to the Chamber. The House of Representatives will reconvene immediately. Members to the Chamber.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The Chamber will come back to order. Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 151?

CLERK:

On page 5, Calendar 151, Substitute House Bill No. 7019, AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF BANKING'S ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY, THE ISSUANCE OF CERTAIN REPORTS, REQUIRING THE RETURN OF CERTAIN PORTIONS OF SECURITY DEPOSITS, AND MAKING MINOR REVISIONS TO THE BANKING STATUTES. Favorable report on the Joint Standing Committee on Banking.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Lesser, one more time.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Question is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. We have already passed House Amendment "A". I am going to go to Representative Dunsby. Representative.

REP. DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to withdraw House "B", which was LCO 8563.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

And, the amendment is withdrawn. Continue, sir.

REP. DUNSBY (135TH):

And, Mr. Speaker, I believe the Clerk is in possession of an Amendment LCO 8583. I would ask that the amendment be called and that I be given leave to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO 8583, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule "C"?

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule "C" LCO No. 8583 offered by Representative Klarides, Representative Candelora, et al.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection? I'm hearing none. Representative Dunsby, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. DUNSBY (135TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is in the substance the same amendment we talked about the two previous times. It eliminates reimbursement for the travel of legislators or non-legislators to and from taskforce. Given the deliberative process, members of the Chamber pointed out that there was what they thought some ambiguity in the amendment as originally presented. This new Amendment, the 8583, seeks to remedy that perceived ambiguity by using language which makes it clearer that the reimbursement to taskforces will be available to no member of the public whether they are legislators or not. The language is not withstanding provisions of section 2-15 of the general statutes or any other provision of the general statutes or public or special act. No member of any taskforce including but not limited to a member of the General Assembly may receive a mileage reimbursement or transportation allowance for traveling to and from a meeting of such taskforce. Mr. Speaker, I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Question before the Chamber is adoption of House Amendment Schedule "C". Will you remark on the amendment? Will you remark on the amendment? Representative Lesser of the 100th, sir, you have the floor.

REP. LESSER (100TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As with the previous amendment, I consider it as a friendly amendment and urge adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Representative O'Dea of the 125th, sir, you have the floor.

REP. O'DEA (125TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the proponent's intent of this amendment. However, I have a problem in the sense that we're -- we're taking mileage reimbursement away from our volunteers for taskforces and we're taking our reimbursement away for driving to and from taskforces as legislators but we're leaving our mileage reimbursement for coming up and doing our job that we're being paid for, so if the volunteers piece was cut out, I'd be in favor of this amendment. It's not so I am against this amendment all with -- with all respect due to my friend on this side of the aisle. Either we get rid of all the mileage reimbursements or we let our volunteers keep their mileage reimbursement and that's my opinion and I urge that my colleagues reject this amendment.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further on the amendment? Representative Stafstrom of the 129th, sir, you have the floor.

REP. STAFSTROM (129TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I want to associate myself with the remarks of Representative O'Dea on this. As I pointed out on the previous amendment, which I had hoped this new amendment would fix and it doesn't, by eliminating mileage reimbursements for members of the general public who volunteer their time to serve on taskforce, I believe the unintended consequence of this is we are limiting the number of members of the public who will be willing and able to serve on taskforce. I believe what this amendment effectively does is it discriminates against and prejudice as people from the Fairfield County part of the state and other distant parts of the state from coming to the Capitol and volunteering their time. I believe it also -- I believe it also prejudices members of the public who might not be as well off and for whom a third of a tank of gas to drive the 120 miles or 130 miles back and forth to the Capitol would be a burden, so I too stand in opposition to this amendment and ask that all of my colleagues reject it for that reason so that we are not prejudicing people who live further from the Capitol and with that, Mr. Speaker, I would ask that when the vote be taken on this amendment it be taken by roll.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

When the vote is taken, it will be taken by roll. Are there any further comments on the amendment before us? Representative Godfrey of the 110th, sir.

REP. GODFREY (110TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Taking this mileage away from volunteers is a tax on them for serving their state government. I will vote no.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Are there any further comments on the amendment? Are there any further comments on the amendment? If not -- Representative Cheeseman of the 37th. Just in the nick of time.

REP. CHEESEMAN (37TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I hope to get it in. I stand in support of the amendment. I want to reflect on what Representative Ziobron said before. I think in this 21st Century we should be taking advantage of technology. I don't see why every single taskforce meeting has to be an in-person meeting. I know everyday people in this Chamber are having teleconferences, phone conferences and I would suggest rather being the land of steady habits we should look at Connecticut as being the land of disruptive habits, embracing technology, lowering cost, and making it possible to do business without disadvantaging everyone and they can do it from the comfort of their home or office, so I stand in support of this amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Cheeseman, thank you very much. Representative Borer, of the 115th, ma'am you have the floor.

REP. BORER (115TH: )

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just a quick comment. I just want to echo what the Representative said earlier. I too am in favor in moving more towards teleconferences in the future. I think we live in a virtual world and we can do things a little bit more virtually rather than in person. Having said that, I'm all for giving up our mileage. I hate to take it away from the volunteers when it's so difficult to get good people to volunteer on our taskforce to begin with but would like to see us move in a different direction in the future. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, ma'am. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House? Will the members take your seats? The machine will be open.

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule "C".

Total number Voting 146

Necessary for Adoption 74

Those voting Yea 88

Those voting Nay 58

Absent not Voting 5

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The amendment passes. (Gavel). Any further comments on the bill as amended? Any further remarks on the bill as amended? Representative Simanski of the 62nd, sir, you have the floor.

REP. SIMANSKI (62ND):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The underlying bill the Chairman did an excellent job explaining to the Chamber why this was good for the state of Connecticut and now I'd like to add good bill ought to pass. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? 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.

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 MORIN (28TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill 7019 as amended by House "A" and "C".

Total number Voting 145

Necessary for Passage 73

Those voting Yea 116

Those voting Nay 29

Absent not Voting 6

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

The bill as amended is passed. (Gavel). Are there any announcements or introductions? Representative Rosario, sir, you have the floor.

REP. ROSARIO (128TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to cast my vote in the affirmative.

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

Representative Rosario, would like to cast his vote in the affirmative. Transcript will note. Will the Chamber stand at ease? The Chamber will return to order. Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 62?

CLERK:

On page 2, Calendar 62, House Bill No. 6333, AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AS THE LEAD AGENCY FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE FOOD SAFETY MODERIZATION ACT. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Environment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

Good evening, Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

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

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As the title indicates, this bill makes the Connecticut Department of Agriculture the lead agency for implementing, administering, and enforcing the Federal Food Safety Modernization Act otherwise known as FFSMA. The Federal Food and Drug Administration has been developing regulations regarding produce safety standards in order to ensure a safe food supply and this bill will enable DOAG to enable -- or to implement these regulations in Connecticut, and I urge -- I urge my colleagues to support it. Oh, and I should note that an amendment will be forthcoming that will strengthen this bill and -- and -- thank you, sir.

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

How about we go to Representative Harding. Thank you, Representative Demicco. You have the floor, sir.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Good evening, Mr. Speaker. How are you, sir?

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

Good evening. I'm great. How are you?

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you. I am well. Through you, Mr. Speaker, this is a bill that my -- my good colleague and the good Chairman eloquently and articulately stated is a requirement from the federal government to -- to appoint an agency to oversee the Food Safety Act, and so I do understand there is an amendment from one of my esteemed colleagues, which clarifies. There is some issues between departments of who exactly would be in control of what aspects of the bill and the amendment would clear that language up and I think satisfy everyone involved so with that being said, I look forward to the debate on this bill. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

Thank you, Representative Harding. Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. yes, I would concur with good Ranking Member. What he said is exactly correct. Thank you, sir.

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

I take it that there is an amendment to be called. Representative Dubitsky, so nice to see you, sir.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Nice to see you too. Thank you, sir. Mr. Speaker, the Clerk is in possession of an amendment LCO 8559. I ask that the amendment be called and I be given leave to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO 8559, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule "A"?

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule "A" LCO No. 8559 offered by Representative Dubitsky, Representative Demicco, et al.

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection? I'm hearing none. Representative Dubitsky, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as my distinguished colleagues have indicated, there is now a new federal law that has been implemented and that states are required to abide by. One of the things that the states need to do in order to implement this law is to designate an agency that will handle various parts of it. There are seven parts of the Food Safety Modernization Act and the original bill was to designate the Department of Agriculture as the lead agency on the entire federal law and what this amendment does is it carves out the produce safety standards so the one section of the seven sections of the federal law that will be administered by the -- by the Department of Agriculture.

It only deals with produce safety standards. It doesn't deal with meat or poultry or things like that. Those are all covered by existing federal laws, so what this does is it says that the Department of Agriculture will be the lead agency for the produce safety standards. Now, one thing that's important is this -- this amendment has been negotiated between the various agencies, Department of Consumer Protection, Department of Agriculture, and the governor's office and everybody seems to be happy with this version of it, but one thing that is very important is it doesn't change the existing responsibilities of the two agencies. everything that is in the -- the agriculture -- the Department of Agriculture's purview currently, which is Title 22 of our general statutes in Chapters 491 and 492 of the general statutes will remain under the purview of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection will continue to have purview over Chapters 417 and 418 of the general statutes as they relate to -- too food safety, so I move for adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

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

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to say I concur with my good colleague's explanation of the amendment. I believe it is a good amendment. It improves the bill and I consider it to be a friendly amendment and I would urge all my colleagues to support it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

Will you remark further on the amendment? Representative Harding.

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I just rise in support of the amendment. I want to give a big thank you to Representative Dubitsky who has put in a lot of effort and a lot of hours into making this bill a possibility. As Representative Dubitsky stated, this is something that all -- all interested parties were involved. It -- it brings our laws in accordance with federal law and it is a good bill and I support the amendment and I support the overall bill. It ought to pass and I will say one thing. Any amendment that has Representative Dubitsky's name and Representative Demicco's name on it is a truly encompassing bill and for that reason, I do strongly support the amendment. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

Thank you, Representative Harding. The Chamber will stand at ease.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Ritter.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

This item is passed temporarily. The Chamber will stand at ease. Will the Clerk please -- the Chamber will come back to order. Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 62?

CLERK:

On page 2, Calendar 62, House Bill No. 6333, AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AS THE LEAD AGENCY FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE FOOD SAFETY MODERNIZATION ACT. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Environment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Demicco, the esteemed Chairman of the Environment Committee.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The question is acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and passage of the bill. At this time, I'll call on Representative Dubitsky. I believe you have an action to take.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to withdraw LCO 8559.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Okay, LCO 8559 House Amendment Schedule "A" has been withdrawn. Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Clerk should be in possession of an amendment. It is LCO 8616. I ask that it be called and that I be given leave to summarise.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO 8616, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule "B"?

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule "B" LCO No. 8616 offered by Representative Dubitsky, Representative Demicco, et al.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection? I'm hearing none. Representative Dubitsky, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this amendment simply corrects a scrivener's error in line 65. This is essentially the same amendment that was discussed earlier and I move for adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The question before the Chamber is adoption of House Amendment Schedule "B". Will you remark on the amendment? Will you remark on the amendment? Representative Harding, sir, do you wish to talk?

REP. HARDING (107TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. For the reason as stated before, I want to thank Representative Dubitsky for his work on this -- on this amendment and this bill. I support the amendment and I hope my colleagues will do the same. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. As previously indicated, this is a friendly amendment, good amendment, and I urge support. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? I will try your minds. All those in favor signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

Opposed nay. The aye's 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? Representative Demicco.

REP. DEMICCO (21ST):

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the hard work and efforts of Representative Dubitsky, as well as Representative Albis in getting this accomplished, so thank you, Mr. Speaker -- as well as my good Ranking Member, Representative Harding. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER MORIN (28TH):

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to reiterate for the purposes of legislative intent that this bill, again, does not change current law with regard to who has authorization over which portions of the general statues and this is a good bill necessary in order to implement the federal law. I also since this appears to be a bit of a love fest want to give my -- my kudos to -- to Chairman, Representative Demicco and Ranking Member, Harding, and also I thank all the other sponsors -- or co-sponsors -- of this bill and this amendment and I also surprisingly would like to give the governor's office a lot of credit for working with us to get this done and -- and also the Department of Agriculture who is -- is -- has really worked hard to make sure that -- that we maintain a safe and tasty food supply, so I encourage my -- my colleagues to support this bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill 6333 as amended by House "B".

Total number voting 146

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 146

Those voting Nay 0

Absent not Voting 5

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The bill as amended is passed. (Gavel). Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 398?

CLERK:

On page 48, House Calendar 398, House Bill No. 7248, AN ACT CONCERNING RECOVERY OF ATTORNEY FEES AND CONTRACTING WITH QUASI-PUBLIC AGENCIES UNDER THE STATE CODE OF ETHICS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Fox, distinguished Chair of the GAE Committees, sir, you have the floor.

REP. FOX (148TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. FOX (148TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Clerk is in possession of Amendment LCO 8552. I ask the amendment be called and I be granted leave of the Chamber to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO 8552, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule "A".

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule "A" LCO No. 8552 offered by Representative Fox and Representative Devlin.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. FOX (148TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the bill does a number of things properly attended by the Office of State Ethics. Primary purpose of the bill is Section 1, which permits reappointments of board members in order to avoid a lack of decorum and delays in securing appointments. OSE, the Office of State Ethics, is having a difficult time with their reappointment process and this bill addresses that. Section 2 clarifies that hearing is held pursuant to the subsection to be conducted in concordance of the UAPA.

Section 4 -- I'm sorry that was Section 3. Section 4 limits the restriction of political contributions made by CAB members from the Office of State Ethics. Section 5 clarifies that the restriction imposed on CAB members from holding any other positions in state employment within one year of departure from the board is volunteer unpaid position in state service. Section 6 allows a two-thirds vote by the board and enforcement of proceedings under the code of ethics for public officials. Section 7 allows a two-thirds vote to impose a civil penalty after a hearing conducted according to the UAPA. Section 8 allows a two-thirds vote by the board and enforcement of proceedings under the code of ethics for lobbyists, and Section 9 makes consistent the board's -- Section 9 makes consistent the board's voting procedure and imposing a civil penalty after a hearing conducted according to the UAPA. I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will you remark further? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Representative Devlin of the 134th, ma'am, will you remark on the amendment? Representative Devlin.

REP. DEVLIN (134TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in support of this amendment. As the good Representative outlined, it does several things that support the Office of State Ethics and really to help them do the job that we are expecting that they're able to do. One of the more important things I think -- well, maybe not more important -- but a critical piece is that for the -- some of the boards that are involved to be able to enable reappointment so that we can continue to have our good citizens that are participating continue to do that. I really support this amendment and encourage all of my members to do the same. It's a good amendment. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, ma'am. 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 signify by saying aye.

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Opposed nay. The Aye's 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 your seats? The machine will be open.

CLERK:

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill 7248 as amended by House "A".

Total number Voting 147

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 147

Those voting Nay 0

Absent not Voting 4

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The bill as amended is passed. (Gavel). Are there any announcements or introductions? I'm hearing none. Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 565?

CLERK:

On page 31, House Calendar 565, Substitute Senate Bill No. 260, AN ACT CONCERNING AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Transportation.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Guerrera, Chairman of the Transportation Committee, sir, you have the floor.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Good evening, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I move acceptance of the Joint Favorable Committee's report with concurrence from the Senate here.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this is a very simple bill. It just does a study in regards to autonomous vehicles. It passed in the Senate overwhelmingly and passed through the -- through the Transportation Committee and I move for its adoption and passage. Thank you. I move for adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Guerrera

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

I move for the adoption of Senate "A" please. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to -- I apologize. It was Senate Amendment "A" and I ask that it be called -- LCO 6730.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Sir, did you say 6730?

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Okay, will the Clerk please call LCO 6730, which has been designated Senate Amendment Schedule "A"?

CLERK:

Senate Amendment Schedule "A" LCO No. 6730 offered by Senator Leone, Representative Guerrera, et al.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

I believe the Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection? I'm hearing none. Representative Guerrera, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, again, this bill was passed through the Senate and also, when we had the public hearings, there was no -- no one that was against the autonomous vehicle in regards to the study; so therefore, I ask for its adoption and I move for adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Question before the Chamber is adoption of Senate Amendment Schedule "A". Will you remark on the amendment? Representative Carney of the 23rd, sir, you have the floor.

REP. CARNEY (23RD):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. just a few questions to the proponent of the amendment, through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. CARNEY (23RD):

I just would like to know how the amendment changed from the underlying bill.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, there were just some appointments that were added up in the Senate and therefore, that's how it got changed.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Guerrera. Excuse me. Representative Carney.

REP. CARNEY (23RD):

Okay, I thank the good proponent for that answer. One other thing that the bill does is it also increases -- or the amendment does -- it also increases the number of municipalities that can participate in this pilot program for autonomous vehicles so now there are four. I believe there is one for city over 124,000 people, one for a smaller city, and one it's really up to the taskforce I believe but it can be anywhere. I do support this amendment. We heard a lot about autonomous vehicles. They are the way of the future so I think it -- it would be good public policy for us to understand more about how we can use them beneficially for our citizens and for our businesses of this state, so I urge my colleagues to support the amendment. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Will you remark further on the amendment? Representative Carpino of the 32nd, ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just a few comments if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed.

REP. CARPINO (32ND):

You looked unsure if you were gonna give me permission. Thank you, kind sir. My name is on this amendment because I believe in this very strongly. Although technology is a point of which many people will think of first, we're gonna think of autonomous vehicles. When folks vote, hopefully in favor of this, I want them to keep in mind the population that I had thought of when I put this bill in. We have a large population here in Connecticut that we struggle to serve. We have individuals with disability who don't have the physical abilities to drive themselves to where they need to be.

We also have a group of individuals who are elderly now and who do not feel safe behind the road and I truly believe that this will give them an opportunity to become more self-sufficient, so Mr. Speaker, although I do know that some folks may have issue with the word taskforce in here -- I don't vote for them often myself -- but there are some issues that are too big to jump into without studying first; so unlike other issues where sometimes we pass a bill and study later, I think this one is right for studying first and acting later. Thank you, sir.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, ma'am. Will you remark further on the amendment before us? Will you remark further on the amendment before us? I will try your -- oh, Representative Staneski of the 119th, ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise for a few questions to the proponent of the bill -- or the amendment -- please, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative, please proceed.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

I'm looking at section -- or lines 56 where it says the chief elected official or chief executive officer of municipalities selected by the secretary and in that section, it is my understanding that the municipality will be the one entering into the memorandum of understanding and actually deciding what route of highways the testing will be done.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, is that true?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, that is correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you and I also see that as part of this that one of the comments made by one of my colleagues is that if we're looking at this because there may be people who are not able to drive and so this would actually help make them mobile. Is that true?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, the good Representative is absolutely correct.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you, so through you, Mr. Speaker, when I look at the line 70 that requires and says that -- line 71c, capable of taking immediate manual control of such autonomous vehicle, can I ask through you, Mr. Speaker, who will be the determinate of whether or not that person that was mentioned earlier who cannot drive is capable of taking care of control of this vehicle if necessary?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Through you -- through you, Mr. Speaker, that is the time that when we do the study that we can find out all those answers in regards to how those situations would occur.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Staneski.

REP. STANESKI (119TH):

Thank you. I do have some reservations about this just because of the -- the sections regarding the municipality choosing the routes and roads. Just when you think about enforcement if it is something that is done as a test and it's not agreed upon with other areas and I'll just take my area of 95 -- if there's an MOU between my two towns and not in the abutting towns and an autonomous car is driven -- because there's no exit into another area, I guess I just wonder whether or not the enforcement would stop or would they be driving illegally if they went there and I just hope that these will be addressed through this taskforce. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Belsito of the 53rd, sir, you have the floor -- on the amendment.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Oh my God. Another taskforce -- 14,544. In a brief evaluation of it in the last four or five minutes, there are like 14 people on this taskforce. I'm not sure if there is anyone who is on this taskforce that knows about the project that they're going to do a taskforce on and through you, Mr. Speaker, to the proponent of the bill --

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I apologize. Could the good Representative repeat the question?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Belsito, could you repeat the question please?

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, there are a number of people on this taskforce -- just about 14. Do any of these individuals know anything about what they're going to be studying on?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That is why we are doing this taskforce -- to find out more information about these self-driving vehicles and have people on this taskforce so they can have a better understanding to report back to us in regards to what the future holds in regards to these self-driving vehicles.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you to the proponent, I understand that completely that we have to find out what is involved with these automatic vehicles but the individuals that you have on the taskforce are not really into -- I mean everybody is driving the vehicle. I have to admit that but this is a new -- a whole new era of how we're going to be transporting people and I really think it needs some individuals that have design innovations, who have engineering innovations that can actually put together a vehicle that is going to be so completely automatic that you just sit in the backseat and it drives alone, so my question to the proponent of the bill is why aren't there engineers, which I haven't seen on here, but he's got the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. I'm sure he knows how to drive a vehicle but what we need on this taskforce if you're gonna do this is a group that has experience in building vehicles that know what it's all about, that have some idea of what's going to be happening because this is a very new innovation and so through you, I want from the -- from the proponent of the bill, do you have any engineers on this taskforce?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, what we have is as you can see through the appointments that we have people who are in insurance industry and so forth but again, when you have these public hearings, you will have individuals such as engineers, such as individuals who work for the manufacturers of these car deals to discuss how these self-driving vehicles work, how they move on the roadways, how they stop at certain stop signs that they have individuals in the car and so forth so that is the whole purpose of having this taskforce and learning more and more through these public hearings.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.
DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH)
:

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you to the proponent of the bill, how are they going -- these individuals that you have on this taskforce -- I know that you're gonna bring in a lot of people but there are 14 or 15 people on the taskforce -- how are you going to get these individuals that are out there from different parts of the country and maybe different parts of the world to come in and relay their information to you when this is a brand new upstart?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and to the good Representative, that is the whole point because the technology is so new that we want to learn as much as we can now and in the future in regards before we set forth in regards to moving these vehicles on our roadway.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

And, through you, Mr. Speaker, on maybe one final question for the proponent of the bill. To the proponent of the bill, when do you expect these driverless vehicles to appear on the roads of Connecticut?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Well, through you, Mr. Speaker, if I had that crystal ball and I can tell you, I wouldn't be here. I can tell you that but obviously, from what we're hearing out there, they're out there already and I think we have to be all prepared in regard to what's happening in our world and in the future. As I mentioned today, I know many of us may not want to believe it but Toyota has introduced a car that will fly three feet off the air so therefore, won't do any damage to our roads and they plan on announcing it by three years from now during the Tokyo Olympics, so that is the whole point of this whole study.

We do not want to be behind the eight ball and be behind any technology. That is why we want to do this, get the ball rolling, and through you, Mr. Speaker, to the good Representative, there is a number of issues I'm sure that are gonna come out of this in regards to where we go forward with this but this is a starting point that we hope that with many of the information that we receive we can come back to the Transportation Committee and we can ask through the committee to those individuals what best fits for our good state.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Just some closing statements, Mr. Speaker. I just can't believe it. I have to say God forbid that we have vehicles that are gonna be flying around, especially with the state of some people who are smoking pot -- [laughter] -- I mean I'd like to say that. I mean hopefully I'm around when that happens but it's very unlikely and I would like to make a recommendation to the Speaker of the House is that maybe the Commissioner of Transportation and the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles should be the two individuals that perform this -- not a study but a looksee into what is going to happen in the near future rather than 15 other people that they probably will not be able to get together. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thanks to the proponent for his answers.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Fishbein of the 90th, sir, you have the floor.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I too had some questions for the good proponent of the bill if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, sir. Is my understanding correct that in conjunction with a taskforce there's also going to be four municipalities testing these vehicles?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, that is a possibility, yes.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and what is the liability for these municipalities in taking on the testing of these vehicles within the confines of their towns?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, I believe that the insurance would follow the vehicle that is out on the roadway there.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, so just for the purpose of legislative intent, is it -- am I to understand that the municipalities will be barred from suit in taking on this testing?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, if you can give me one second please?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Sure.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, again, I would -- yes, I would believe that the insurance would follow the vehicle so therefore, the municipality would not have any liability.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I to understand that the insurance -- cause I don't know that insurance is written in this state for these autonomous vehicles at this point so perhaps, that's a question. Through you, Madam Speaker, is insurance written for these vehicles to be operating in our state presently?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Through you -- through you, Madam Speaker, I don't know -- I don't have the answer in regards -- in regards to what the written insurance would be but I would have to imagine that there would have to be a bond that would be placed in regards to any of these vehicles out on the roadway.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Is there a certain procedure which would provide for such a bond to protect the municipalities?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and through you to the good Representative, yes, there is. I believe, as I stated before, they would have to have liability insurance and also hold a $ 5-million-dollar personal injury clause in the -- on the insurance policy itself before the vehicle hits the road.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and is that expressly in this legislation?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, yes, it is.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and where would I find that within the legislation? I perhaps missed it.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, it would be under the testing requirements and under the requirements it says that -- under the bill, any testers that would have to first register with DMV and hold a personal policy of $ 5 million dollars.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Fishbein.

REP. FISHBEIN (90TH):

Thank you. That concludes my questions. Thank you, Madam Speaker. The good Representative from the 31st, Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Good evening, Madam Speaker. Good to see you there.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Through you, just a few questions to the proponent of the bill as amended?

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Absolutely, please go ahead.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Through you, Mrs. Speaker, do these autonomous vehicles already exist and are on the roads in our nation?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, I do believe there are vehicles, to the good Representative, that are out there right now. In the state of Connecticut, I believe you have some vehicles that you don't need to put your hands on the steering wheels, that will tell you when you're veering off certain lanes, but a true self-driving vehicle itself I have not seen one in the state of Connecticut yet.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

So, through you, Madam Speaker, if these vehicles already are on the road -- I know they are, especially in California -- I haven't seen any in Connecticut but I'm sure they are; so if these vehicles are already there, obviously, they've gone through all this intense testing and liability and all of that component, so what is it that we are trying to study here? That's the problem that I'm not able to understand. It's not something that is not there at all and there's nothing here that we're gonna say that these vehicles cannot be on our roads, so if these vehicles are already there and they are on our roads as well, what is it that this taskforce job is gonna be? What is it that they're trying to accomplish for us?

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Guerrera.

REP. GUERRERA (29TH):

Through you, Madam Speaker, that is why they're trying to do a pilot program to find out how these vehicles would work in our state. Connecticut is a unique state as we know. It's a small state and they want to find out how exactly they would fit in regards to where we stand today.

Through you, Madam Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Representative Srinivasan.

REP. SRINIVASAN (31ST):

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I want to thank the good Chair for his answers. We appreciate that. Thank you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER COOK (65TH):

Opposed? The aye's 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.

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?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

CLERK:

Senate Bill 260 as amended by Senate "A" and in concurrence with the Senate.

Total number Voting 148

Necessary for Passage 75

Those voting Yea 130

Those voting Nay 18

Absent not Voting 3

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The bill as amended is passed in concurrence with the Senate. The Chamber will stand at ease. The Chamber will come back to order. Are there any announcements or introductions? Ahh, Representative Hennessy of Bridgeport of the 127th, sir, you have the floor.

REP. HENNESSY (127TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is an announcement to let the Chamber know that the American Legion tomorrow is holding their annual event at the Nathan Hale Statue, which is at the east lobby to honor Nathan Hale -- his birthday tomorrow -- and this is at noon tomorrow so if it we're available, we're invited to join the American Legion in honoring our national hero Nathan Hale. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Are there any other announcements or introductions? The Chamber will stand at ease again. The Chamber will come back to order. Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 89?

CLERK:

On page 3, House Calendar 89, House Bill No. 7072, AN ACT CONCERNING ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR PERMITS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing committee on General Law.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Baram, sir, you have the floor.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has a strike all Amendment LCO 8406. I would ask that the Clerk call the amendment and that I be granted leave to summarize.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will the Clerk please call LCO 8406, which will be designated House Amendment Schedule "A".

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule "A" LCO No. 8406 offered by Representative Smith, Representative Perillo, Representative Rutigliano.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection? I'm hearing none. Representative Baram, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my colleagues who are named on this bill have been working on this for the last month. This bill did get a public hearing in environment and we have been vetting it with the Department of Consumer Protection, which believes that the language before the Chamber is in accordance with past precedent. This bill would allow a farm distillery to operate and have a special permit. It would be defined as a distillery that produces less than 10,000 gallons per year and again, a distillery is spirits and hard liquor which includes whiskey, gin, vodka, and rum and this would allow for this kind of permitted use to number one sell in bulk, secondly to ship to retailers in containers of not more than 15 gallons. It would also allow for sample tastings not to exceed two ounces on the site of the distillery itself and a town could by ordinance prevent the distillery from existing in that locality. It also indicates that this is to be a Connecticut distillery.

It has to produce an average of 25 percent of its own crops on the distillery and they have an averaging of over the five-year period to determine what the 25 percent of the crops should be. This is modeled after a farm brewery that we have where we sell Connecticut craft beers and wines as well and so even though this is new, it doesn't set any significant precedent because we have done this with both beer and wine, and this sort of closes the circle and now allows us to look at spirits and hard liquor in the same way, which will hopefully produce new industries in Connecticut and be able to sell and promote Connecticut homegrown spirits to our residents. Mr. Speaker, I would move adoption of the amendment and passage of the bill.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. The question before the Chamber is adoption of House Amendment Schedule "A". Will you remark on the amendment? Will you remark on the amendment? Representative Perillo of the 113th, sir.

REP. PERILLO (113TH):

Mr. Speaker, thank you very much. The good Chair of the General Law Committee did an excellent job of laying out what is in this amendment and I thank him and the chairs of the committee for their assistance in making this happen. The General Law Committee rightly a few months ago held this bill up so we could do more work on it and that work we have done, and in concert with the Department of Consumer Protection, we have come up with what is a very solid bill. Again, I want to thank the agency. I want to thank the chairs for working with me on this and I urge adoption of the amendment and passage.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, sir. Representative Smith of the 108th, sir, you have the floor.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I too am very thankful for all the work that's gone into this bill. There's been a lot of efforts on many folks' part, especially the Department of Consumer Protection, Representative Perillo, and my good colleague Rep Baram over there so we have the wine farm markets, we have the breweries, and now we have the distilleries as well, so these are all Connecticut-based products. We need more of that here in Connecticut to keep our businesses - farms growing, so I encourage my colleagues to support this type of legislation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and just a question to the proponent of the amendment.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and first, I want to say I'm in support of this legislation but I do have a question on the permit fee. The permit fee for the distillery seems to be $ 300 dollars for the farm distillery. What is the manufacturer's permit fee?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Baram.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I do not have that information available but it is my understanding that this fee was vetted by the Department of Consumer Protection and is consistent with like kind fees.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Ackert.

REP. ACKERT (8TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I appreciate the answer that it being consistent with others makes it sensible so I stand in support of the legislation and thanks to the good Chairman for the answer. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Belsito of the 53rd, sir, you have the floor.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Of the amendment, sir?

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Amendment -- I'm sorry.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Okay, please proceed.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, to the proponent, it says here that they would be in production for not more than 10,000 gallons per calendar year of distilled alcohol, spirits included but not limited to whiskey, gin, rum, and vodka. Have they looked at exactly what type of income and cost would be incurred to the person or the individuals who will be running the brewery and will it be enough to cover the cost of all the equipment that's needed? It's 10,000 gallons. I'm interested to know if they know exactly the type of income that will come in from 10,000 gallons and the cost of producing that with the employees, the equipment, and everything else?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Baram.

REP. BARAM (15TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I have not received any information explaining what the cost would be. I can only assure my colleague that this bill was endorsed by the distillers within the state of Connecticut and I have to believe that they would not have been promoting this bill if they did not think that it would be good for them as well as the consumers of our state.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Belsito.

REP. BELSITO (53RD):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Opposed nay. The aye's have it. The amendment is adopted. (Gavel). Have you remark further on the bill as amended? 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 RYAN (139TH):

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

CLERK:

House Bill 7072 as amended by House "A".

Total number Voting 147

Necessary for Passage 74

Those voting Yea 147

Those voting Nay 0

Absent not Voting 4

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The bill as amended has passed. (Gavel). The Chamber will stand at ease. The Chamber will come back to order. Are there any announcements or introductions? Okay, I'm hearing none. Representative Albis.

REP. ALBIS (99TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I move that we immediately transmit to the Senate all bills requiring further action in the Senate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Is there an objection? Is there objection? Everything will be -- everything will be immediately transmitted to the Senate. So ordered. (Gavel). Will the Clerk please call Calendar No. 646?

CLERK:

On page 43, Calendar 646, Substitute Senate Bill No. 981, AN ACT CONCERNING STRATEGIC LITIGATION AGAINST PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN A SPECIAL MOTION TO DISMISS. Favorable report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong, sir, you have the floor.

REP. TONG (147TH):

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

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. TONG (147TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Clerk has an amendment LCO No. 7089. I ask the Clerk please call the amendment and I be given leave of the Chamber to summarize?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Okay, will the Clerk please call LCO 7089? Excuse me -- designated Senate Amendment Schedule "A".

CLERK:

Senate Amendment Schedule "A" LCO No. 7089 offered by Representative Tong, Representative Rebimbas, et al.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The Representative seeks leave of the Chamber to summarize the amendment. Is there objection to summarization? Is there objection? If not, Representative Tong, you may proceed with summarization.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This amendment carves out a couple of exclusions. It basically carves out claims for bodily injury, physical harm, and fits in the overall design of the underlying bill, which I'm happy to discuss after we get through the amendment but that's what the amendment does and I move adoption.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

The question before the Chamber is adoption of Senate Amendment Schedule "A". Will you remark on the amendment? Will you remark on the amendment? Representative Rebimbas, ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the amendment and certainly, it would make sense to have the amendment pass in order then to highlight exactly what the legislation before us does so I rise in support of the amendment and look forward to making comments once the bill is amended.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

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

REP. TONG (147TH):

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the Connecticut Broadcaster's Association for bringing this bill to our attention. Really, it's a bill to protect people against liabilities and there have been situations in which people have spoken out on matters of public concern including the press and we've seen situations where people file litigation. There appears to be no basis to that litigation but it's designed to chill free speech and the expression of constitutional rights and so this provides for a special motion to dismiss so that early in the process somebody who's speaking and exercised their constitutional rights can try to dismiss a frivolous or abusive claim that has no merit and short circuit a litigation where it might otherwise cost a great deal of money to continue to prosecute. We think it's an important measure here to promote free speech and reporting by our news organizations as well. I think it's a good bill and I urge passage.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Will you remark further? Will you remark further on the amendment before us -- excuse me -- on the bill as amended? Representative Rebimbas of the 70th, ma'am, you have the floor.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I do rise in support of the bill as amended. Just some clarifications, questions to the good Chair.

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you. The amendment that we just passed on the underlying bill it does make some extensions of time and also some deletions. I believe the deletion was already highlighted by the good Chairman but regarding the extensions of time from a 30 day to 60 day, through you, Mr. Speaker, if the good Chairman could just highlight the purpose and reason for that?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

This -- the extensions of time for example on line 8 of the amendment, which refers to lines 46 through 49, this provides more time for the court to consider the papers, maybe conduct some limited discovery before it has an expedited hearing so it moves the time from 30 to 60 days.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I'd like to thank the Chairman for that explanation. This -- this legislation does provide for an expedited hearing and the purpose in that, again, is as the good Chairman had indicated it is a gentle balance between free speech by being able to resolve any issues once it's brought before the court's attention and through you, Mr. Speaker, in line 67, if the good Chairman could explain the amendment, which now the bill as amendment, but what the amendment did in striking out by preponderance of the evidence?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, is the question from the Ranking Member why preponderance of the evidence was struck there at line 67?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

That is correct, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

I think it's because -- and just referring the Ranking Member to line 68 -- there's already a standard of proof. It's something akin to a probable cause standard of proof so because that's there, the previous reference to a standard of proof is unnecessary.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I'd like to thank the Chairman for that response. That was my understanding of it. I do know that the good Chairman in his introduction had provided thanks of gratitude -- certainly, we all do -- to the Broadcaster's Association. Does the good Chairman know whether or not there was any type of specific incident whether in the state of Connecticut or outside of the state of Connecticut that has led to this piece of legislation?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, yes, there are a number of incidents here in Connecticut. twenty-nine other states have adopted similar legislation very similar to the construct we have here. In Connecticut, there have been situations where a news organization -- for example, in one case, a broadcast organization here in the Hartford area broadcast a story about the arrest of somebody and then was later sued for liable when in fact the arrest occurred and -- and the facts were true, but the litigation, as with all litigation, still cost money and the news organization still had to hire counsel and it still cost a -- a, you know, a significant amount of resources in order to put that litigation behind them so there have been a number of instances that call for the passage of this legislation.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, Mr. Speaker, to the good Chairman, does he know whether or not this is any type of special filing or special Calendar that this may appear in the judicial court or is this simply something that will be going on the regular schedule Calendar?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, it is called a special motion to dismiss but it does not call for a special Calendar or Docket.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, Mr. Speaker, do we know whether or not there's any pending matters currently that has been brought to our knowledge here in the state of Connecticut?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, I'm not -- if the question is whether there's any pending matter now that I'm aware of that may implicate the subject matter of this proposal, I don't know the answer to that question but I do know that the legislation won't be effective til October 1, 2017 and will only be applicable to civil litigation filed after that date.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Rebimbas.

REP. REBIMBAS (70TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I'd like to thank the Chairman for his responses. The bill as amended is certainly a legislation that I support. It's one of which that came out of the Judiciary Committee after lots of testimony before us and I do believe that there is merit and I do ask my colleagues to support the same.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you -- thank you, Representative. Representative Dubitsky of the 47th, sir, you have the floor.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, a few questions for the proponent if I may?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

You may.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

I thank you. Mr. Speaker, I heard the proponent talk about discovery -- limited discovery and I -- I see in the underlying bill -- I can't really tell if it's been amended by this amendment about staying discovery, so I -- I was wondering if the proponent could explain whether or not under this amendment discovery has stayed or whether it is continued or whether there would be some type of discovery?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I think to be technically accurate in my response the bill itself contemplates that the court may order specified and limited discovery pursuant to this special motion to dismiss -- that's at lines 47 and 48 -- but, otherwise, contemplates that yes, there'd be a stop in the case and that otherwise discovery would not proceed until this issue was resolved.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Now, with this limited discovery, would there be an evidentiary hearing that would take place after the limited discovery or would this all be something that's done only on papers without an opportunity for -- for an evidentiary hearing?

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, I think it contemplates that the court will certainly conduct a hearing. It doesn't contemplate that a specific evidentiary hearing so docketed would occur but it provides that there will be a hearing on the evidence presented, the pleading, supporting and opposing affidavits, and in the course of the party moving to dismiss using the special motion to dismiss in the context of their making the showing that the claim does not have merit, then there will be an evidentiary hearing in that sense.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I -- I appreciate that. That was another part that I actually had a question about because it -- it does say that the court will look at -- at the affidavits. It doesn't say anything about testimony and it would appear to me that if there's going to be a hearing that the -- the plaintiff would be able to put forth witnesses and have live testimony so I'm -- I'm confused as to what the -- the hearing would be if the court is going to consider affidavits. It doesn't say anything about testimony. Perhaps, the proponent can clear that up for me? Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I think that it's silent on that issue in this proposal but the court has wide latitude to consider competent evidence in determining whether to grant the special motion to dismiss. To answer the question, I suppose the court could decide to hear testimony if it wanted to but as a general manner, I'm not sure if that will be necessary as is often not the case on a motion to dismiss.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The good proponent mentioned how the court is to decide this motion to dismiss and typically a motion to dismiss is something that sort of either challenges jurisdiction or challenges standing or challenges some legal basis of the claim. It appears to me that if the court is going to look at these affidavits and hold a hearing and especially, if the court is going to allow for limited discovery, then we're really talking about having a hearing on the merits and if -- if that's the case, then it would appear that this mini trial -- I mean this hearing is actually going to be a mini trial on the facts. If the -- if the proponent could expound on that or -- or explain if -- if I'm interpreting that correctly? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I apologize. I had some trouble hearing and if the -- if my colleague could rephrase the question one more time so I could answer it effectively through you?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

I just ask members of the Chamber to quiet down so that the two people carrying on a conversation can hear each other. Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I apologize. I know I'm fairly soft spoken. I will try to increase the volume of my voice. My -- my point was that based on the -- the bill seems to indicate that the court is to look at affidavits and the pleadings and determine based on that but if there is going to be an evidentiary hearing and this is a motion to dismiss, it would almost seem to me at least that this motion to dismiss would be essentially a mini trial on the merits given that a motion to dismiss is often on -- on a -- on the issue of jurisdiction or standing or some other legal basis to dismiss the case if the court is going to actually hold a hearing that appears to be an evidentiary hearing meaning it's essentially a mini trial on the merits and I was wondering if the good proponent could -- could tell me if I am interpreting that correctly?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, yes, I think it's a hearing or a mini trial on the merits of the specific question posed by the legislation, which is -- is the complaint against the defendant -- a complaint that impacts or potentially impairs their exercise of a constitutional right, most often the right of free speech, and so the court must so find that first and then the court must find that the person moving for the motion -- moving to dismiss -- establishes that they have a valid defense to the complaint or the claim; so the way this arises usually is where somebody has spoken, so let's just say a news organization has spoken, some private party sues the news organization and says hey, I've suffered damages cause you said that or I need an adjunction to prevent you from saying that and then the news organization says no, I have every right to say that and by the way what I'm saying is true and as we know, truth is a valid defense to a defamation claim so that's -- that's really how this will -- how this will proceed and it's that specific question upon which there is a mini trial if you will.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That -- I think that clears up considerably so. It wouldn't actually be an entire trial on the merits of the -- the plaintiff's claim but essentially a limited trial on the issue of -- of truth because I assume that once the -- if the -- if the newspaper or the news organization can establish truth, then that's essentially an affirmative defense, a perfect defense to defamation, and I would ask is there any other issue that would be relevant to a motion to dismiss in this case -- a special motion to dismiss other than the truth of the -- of the assertion?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Well, I think that the statute contemplates that the person is exercising their right of free speech, their right of petition, their right of association and I suppose there could be a claim to enjoin the exercise of those rights and like the defense of truth, the defendant could insert a defense based on their right to engage in -- in conduct, you know, associative conduct, petitioning conduct, so I'm at -- not having litigated these cases myself -- I'm at a loss to identify what the technical claim would be but I think the idea is that the burden -- the burden would be the defendant to show that they have a valid defense and if they carry the valid defense then that would be sufficient for the court to find and grant the motion.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you and I thank the proponent for that. I -- I didn't mean to try to corner the proponent into trying to come up with a hypothetical. My -- the reason for my question is that typically a defendant even without this statute is entitled to seek a motion to dismiss if the defendant believes that the plaintiff can't establish one of the necessary elements of the -- of the claim, so for example, would under this statute -- under this bill, would it become statute -- would a defendant still be able to move to dismiss based on -- on a defense for example that the statements made by the news organization didn't actually cause damage and that damage was a necessary element of the claims, would this -- would the defendant go through this statute or is there some other mechanism that the -- that the defendant would use to -- to seek to dismiss a claim based on the failure to establish a necessary element?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the statute is to leave all other defenses otherwise intact and to leave all of the remedies otherwise available to the parties so it's not intended to foreclose any defense or any motion or process.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and after this mini trial took place, does this bill contemplate an opportunity for argument afterwards or would that be something that would be -- would the court look to the standard practice book or would -- is there something in here -- again, I apologize I was not able to look through the amendment -- is there something that's contemplated in here for argument after the hearing or is it more like -- like a mini trial where all the evidence comes in and essentially, that's it?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I think the intention is at the court's discretion that this may be arguable. They're showing nothing in the statue that provided it's not arguable.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Dubitsky.

REP. DUBITSKY (47TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the -- the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee for his responses and I will continue to listen to the debate.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Thank you, Representative. Representative Smith of the 108th, sir, you have the floor.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Mr. Speaker, I have a few questions through you please to the proponent?

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Please proceed, sir.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

Thank you, sir, and I know the Chairman described some of the circumstances that might bring this type of motion to the court if this legislation becomes an actual statute and I do recall some of the discussion we had in the committee when this bill became before us but I didn't quite hear how it really applies. I know we talked about news agencies and them potentially having some difficulty with claims that are being brought against them and they're frivolous claims perhaps. Are those the only circumstances we're talking about with this type of motion -- special motion -- or are there others? Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, Mr. Speaker. I think one of the other major areas where this has really become an issue not just in other states but here in Connecticut the Vice Chairman has a situation in his district where somebody speaks out often on a zoning issue about a development. They're a private citizen and they oppose a development for example and the developer has comparatively more resources to try to shut down that opposition and they do so by filing a defamation claim. It's sort of textbook definition of what is colloquially known as a liable bully and they'll go and they'll initiate litigation to try to spend down the defendant and try to use the litigation process to pressure them into standing down. That's the other situation in which we see this.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Smith.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

And, I want to thank the Chairman for that clarification because I thought there were others but I just could not quite recall what they were but now that you mention it I do recall that conversation as well and would hate to see somebody's right to free speech and their right to contest a hearing -- whatever it might be on a zoning level or anywhere else -- to have that right stymied just because somebody else has a bigger pocket book and I know the Chairman also discussed I believe the grounds on which this type of motion would be granted and I was looking through the bill as proposed with the amendment and if you could just -- if the Chairman could direct me to that section that gives the judge some guidance to decide on how or whether or not to grant this type of motion?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Through you, we're looking at lines 58 through 73, which as I covered with Representative Dubitsky, provides the back and forth and the relative burdens among the parties to make a showing -- a competent showing before the court that in fact a claim implicates the exercise of a constitutional right, that the claimant has not established probable cause that they will prevail in the merits, and the defendant has established a valid defense and so when those elements are present, the court may find that there is a valid defense and that the special motion to dismiss ought to be granted.

Through you.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Smith.

REP. SMITH (108TH):

I thank the Chairman again, so for a valid defense -- I mean as I read the legislation -- there's nothing in here that gives the judge guidance on to what a valid defense might be. I'm assuming that would have to be determined by the facts and I just want to make sure that I'm correct with that assumption?

Through you, Mr. Speaker.

DEPUTY SPEAKER RYAN (139TH):

Representative Tong.

REP. TONG (147TH):

Yes, the fact, the relevant claim, the relevant constitutional right, allegedly impaired as I said t