CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

SENATE

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Senate was called to order at 3: 36 o'clock p. m. , the President in the Chair.

THE CHAIR:

Will the Senate please come to order. Members and guests please rise and direct your attention to the shortest Reverend we have, Acting Chaplain Noele R. Kidney.

NOELE R. KIDNEY:

In these difficult times, may our leaders find in their hearts the guidance and wisdom to do what is best for the people of Connecticut. Amen.

THE CHAIR:

Now, we'll have one of our tallest members, Senator Logan, lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

SENATOR LOGAN (17TH):

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.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Mr. Clerk, do you have anything on your desk?

CLERK:

Senate Agenda No. 1 and No. 2, both dated Wednesday, May 24, 2017. They have been copied and are on members' desks.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, Mr. Clerk. At this time, I'd would ask and entertain any points of personal privilege. Senator Berthel.

SENATOR BERTHEL (32ND):

Good afternoon, Madam President, I rise for the purpose of an introduction.

THE CHAIR:

Good afternoon. Please proceed, sir.

SENATOR BERTHEL (32ND):

Thank you, madam. Arguably, Madam President, one of the most pleasurable things we get to do in our roles as legislators is to introduce constituents from our districts and today I have the honor of welcoming to the Capitol and the Senate Chamber, Watertown resident, Maggie Luddy, who is standing to my right. Maggie is a 2016 graduate of the Taft School and just finished her freshman year at Hamilton College where she is majoring in Government and has future aspirations to be a Federal prosecutor; watch out for Maggie. She is also owner and founder of Maggie's Mission and Maggie's Mission is an interactive program for all ages that teaches people how to protect themselves from an attacker and take special steps to protect themselves from being a victim. So if the Senate would please join me in extending its normal welcome to our guest from Watertown today. Thank you, Madam President. [applause].

THE CHAIR:


Welcome, Maggie
. [applause]. Hey Maggie, if you could teach me some defensive moves up here, that would be great on the late nights. Thank you so much and welcome to the chamber.

Any other points of personal privilege. Senator Moore. Good afternoon, ma'am.

SENATOR MOORE (22ND):

Good afternoon, Madam President. Madam President, I stand for point of personal privilege.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed.

SENATOR MOORE (22ND):

Thank you. This is Harnie Gosifunda [phonetic] and she is a fifth grade student at Monroe Elementary school and I asked all of the fifth graders of Monroe Elementary school to do an essay contest on what they would do for their community to make it better and this young lady wrote an essay that just blew me away. It was all about helping other people. She had a couple of great ideas. One was to take toys to children in hospitals and she wanted to start a little library in her town that doesn't have one. So we went to her school and presented her with a little library that we made and new books for her library and as a part of her winning, we told her we would bring her up here to the Capital today. So she has visited the whole Capital but she also it's Altese [phonetic] day and Bridgeport Zoo is up there and she had the large -- what type of snake?

Harnie Gosifunda:

It was a common boa.

SENATOR MOORE (22ND):

Wrapped around her neck and she was fearless.

THE CHAIR:

Really?

SENATOR MOORE (22ND):

Yes.

THE CHAIR:

She's my hero.

SENATOR MOORE (22ND):

[laughs] She is. And she said this is one of the greatest days of her life being here. So, would we please stand and acknowledge her.

THE CHAIR:

Yes. [applause] I hope one of these days you come here as a State Senator. I don't know if she'll do that yet.

Are there any other points of personal privilege? Senator Logan.

SENATOR LOGAN (17TH):

Thank you, Madam President. At this moment, I would like to pay respects to former Hamden Police Chief and legislative councilman, Jack Kennedy, who died at his Florida home on May 19th. He was 69 years old. Former Hamden Chief Kennedy served on the legislative council from 2001 to 2005 and again from 2007 to 2017, most recently serving as the council president pro tem. He previously served as acting council president in 2015. Kennedy also served as acting Public Works Director in Hamden in 2010. The most widely recognized portion of his career was with the Hamden Police Department where Kennedy enjoyed a stoic career that lasted more than five years, culminating in his service as police chief in 2005 and 2006. He was a 1965 graduate of Hamden High School and a lifelong resident. He went on to pursue a Bachelor's of Science degree in Criminal Justice at the University of New Haven before entering law enforcement in Hamden. Kennedy served with the police department for more than 35 years, starting his law enforcement career in November 1970, with a rank of patrolmen. Kennedy steadily rose through the ranks, attaining the rank of detective in 1976, Sergent in 1984, Inspector in 1993, and Deputy Chief in 2002. Chief Kennedy served Hamden's residence as a member of the Investigative Service Division, Street Narcotics Taskforce, Community Street Crime Unit with a primary focus on drug-related investigations. He received more than 50 unique commendations and awards for his service. He was a beloved member of the Hamden community. After retiring from the Hamden Police Department in 2006, he was once again elected to serve on Hamden's legislative council. He was a major contributor and proponent for the construction of the new police department headquarters in Hamden.

THE CHAIR:

I would ask the Chamber to please rise for a moment of respect. Thank you all very much. Thank you, Senator Logan. Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I rise for a point of personal privilege.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, ma'am.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you. Since 1947, the Youth of the Year has been Boys and Girls Clubs of America premier recognition programs, celebrating the extraordinary achievement of club members. The Youth of the Year members embody the values of leadership and service, academic excellence, and health lifestyles. They are examples of the critical impact that Boys and Girls Clubs have on the lives of young people. Please join me in welcoming, and I am going to say all their names before we stand up, I hope. Welcoming the 14 Youth of the Year from the birthplace of the Boys and Girls Club movement in our very own state of Connecticut. So, today we are here and we are joined by, and if they would join us in the circle. Just come around and stand along the edges there and you'll be all set. It's always amazing to me to discover how many people in this building who work here came out of Boys and Girls Clubs programs in their neighborhoods and their communities so I am so excited to have all of these distinguished young people here today. We have with us Catalina Carmona [phonetic] from the Richfield Boys and Girls Club -- you just sort of raise your hand so we know who you are. Daniel Gray from the Boys and Girls Club of Redding and Easton. Danny Ruiz, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Waterbury. Gabrielle Galetta from the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club. Geralyn Sandoval from the Ulbricht Boys and Girls Club. Jillian Magini from the Bristol Boys and Girls Club Association. Julie Meyers, where's Julie, from the Boys and Girls Club of Milford, my hometown. Kevin Harris, Boys and Girls Club of New Britain. Mackenzie Vargas from the Boys and Girls Club of Stanford. Niko Vanegas from the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich. Jazada Selena Perez Acevedo [phonetic] from the Boys and Girls Club of Hartford. Zachary Cletus from the New London Naval Sub Base. Johnea [phonetic] Ellison from the Boys and Girls Club of New Haven and Sabrina Maldonado from the Lower Naugatuck Valley Boys and Girls Club. We are so delighted to have you here and may I ask if the Chamber and circle will please rise and give these young leaders a warm welcome. [applause]

THE CHAIR:

Yes. Welcome all of you and congratulations and just keep up that leadership, okay? I've got young grandchildren at home and they're looking up to you, so don't mess up, okay? Congratulations to all of you.

Are there any other points of personal privilege or announcements? We will just wait a moment. Senator Duff, good afternoon, sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Good afternoon, I think we're -- Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, the clerk has announced Senate Agendas No. 1 and No. 2 and I move that all items dated Wednesday, May 24, 2017 on Senate Agendas No. 1 and No. 2 be acted upon as indicated, and that the agendas be incorporated by reference in the Senate Journal and transcript.

THE CHAIR:


So ordered, sir
.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I would like to do some markings please for our list today.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. On Calendar page 9, Calendar 117, Senate Bill No. 809, go. On Calendar page 16, Calendar 213, Senate Bill No. 998, go. On Calendar page 56, Calendar 295, Senate Bill No. 445, go. On Calendar page 22, Calendar 271, Senate Bill No. 1001, go. On Calendar page 19, Calendar 243, Senate Bill 271, go. On Calendar page 17, Calendar 221, Senate Bill 76, go. On Calendar page 17, Calendar 219, Senate Bill 945, go. On Calendar page 13, Calendar 175, Senate Bill 849, go. And if the clerk will please call those in that order, please.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On page 9, Calendar 117, Senate Bill No. 809, AN ACT ENABLING THE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER TO ADOPT REGULATIONS CONCERNING CREDITS FOR REINSURANCE AND MAKING MINOR CONFORMING CHANGES TO STATUTES CONCERNING REINSURANCE.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kelly, good afternoon, sir.

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

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

THE CHAIR:

The motion is on acceptance and passage. Will you remark, sir?

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

Thank you very much, Madam President. This bill makes technical changes to statutes and provides the insurance commissioner with the authority to adopt new regulations regarding reinsurance. These regulations are based upon updated guidelines and actuarial data from January 2016 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. This bill was not only supported in committee by the Commissioner, but also by the reinsurance industry here in Connecticut. This is a very important bill for our reinsurance industry as well as for jobs in the state of Connecticut to keep us on the forefront in the reinsurance industry. Madam President, the clerk has an amendment, LCO 6120, will the clerk please call the amendment.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

LCO Number 6120, Senate “A”, offered by Senators, Looney, Duff, et al.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kelly.

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

Thank you Madam President. Basically, these are very --

THE CHAIR:

For adoption, sir?

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

Yes, Madam President. I move adoption and seek leave to summarize.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on adoption. Will you remark, sir.

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

Thank you very much, Madam President. This amendment makes very minor changes, very technical in nature to the underlying bill and I would urge its approval.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the amendment, will you remark further on the amendment? Seeing none. All those in favor, we will have a voice vote. All those in favor, please say Aye.

SENATORS:

Aye.

THE CHAIR:

Opposed? Amendment “A” has been adopted. Senator Kelly.

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

Thank you, Madam President. Returning to the bill as amended, like I said, it's a very good bill for the reinsurance industry, so Madam President, if there is no objection, I would ask that this bill be placed on our Consent Calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered, sir.

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On page 16, Calendar 213, Senate Bill No. 998, AN ACT CONCERNING THE SOLICITATION OF HIGH-PRIORITY REGULATORY CONCERNS BY THE COMMISSIONER OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FROM A STATE-WIDE BUSINESS ORGANIZATION. There are amendments.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kennedy.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

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

THE CHAIR:

The motion is on acceptance and passage. Will you remark, sir?

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

Yes. We all know that Connecticut can be a challenging place for businesses to thrive and all of us dislike needless regulations that impose costs without any public health or environmental benefit, so we can always improve the communication between the business community and the regulators. Our DEEP, the environmental agency that protects our environment and public health issues quite a few regulations and this bill promotes communication between organizations and that agency. The agency currently meets with many organizations, hundreds of organizations every year and this bill seeks to solicit specific regulatory issues that need to be modified and there is an amendment. I would like to call, the clerk has an amendment, it is LCO Number 7534. Can the clerk please call the amendment.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

LCO Number 7534, Senate “A” offered by Senators Looney and Duff, et al.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kennedy.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

Thank you. So just very briefly, this amendment to the bill seeks to add, expand the list of organizations that would be asked to submit their recommendations to DEEP, instead of simply one state-wide organization that represents business, the amendment proposes that it should be any business, any labor or environmental organization should be solicited for their ideas about how to improve our regulatory environment and I move passage --

THE CHAIR:

Move adoption, sir.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

-- Move adoption of the amendment.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on adoption. Will you remark further on the amendment? Will you re -- Senator Miner, good afternoon, sir.

SENATOR MINOR (30TH):

Good afternoon, Madam President. Madam President I speak in favor of the underlying bill but I had a couple questions on the amendment as proposed. If I might, through you to the proponent.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, sir.

SENATOR MINOR (30TH):

Thank you, Madam President. So, it was my understanding during the testimony that the business community was looking to have a more in-depth conversation with DEEP and is that your recollection of how this all came to pass?


Through you, Madam President
.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kennedy.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

Yes, through you, Madam President. I think this bill has been promoted by a major business organization in our state, who I think has expressed some frustration with the timeline to which they've gotten responses from DEEP and this organization is made up of some of the most powerful business groups, influential businesses in our state who feel that some of our environmental protections are too burdensome and are trying to influence our regulatory process and it was -- my colleague is correct, what sparked this underlying bill was a sense that they wanted an opportunity to express those concerns about burdensome regulations directly to the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Miner.

SENATOR MINOR (30TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I thank the gentleman for his answer. And so under the amendment, the change then would be to add to the business organizations, also labor and environmental organizations, is that correct?

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kennedy.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

Through you, Madam President. Yes. That is correct. The purpose of the amendment simply says, why should it just be one single business organization that should be soliciting and able to sit down, using valuable time of our Commissioner, why should that just be open to one single business organization? And the purpose of the amendment is simply to say, any business of our state should have an equal right to sit down with the Commissioner. There are many businesses in our state that are not a member of this state-wide business organization, they should have an opportunity to sit down with the Commissioner and indeed, if one of the things we're trying to do is to find ways to safeguard and improve the healthcare of the citizens of our state, we should also be opening up those conversations to other interested groups such as labor organizations and environmental groups.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Miner.

SENATOR MINOR (30TH):

Thank you, Madam President. So the gentleman when he speaks about businesses, I think I'm correct and maybe he'll correct me if I'm wrong, there are a number of business organizations in the state of Connecticut that have voiced this same concern, and so when the amendment speaks to businesses; I just want to be clear that for legislative intent, it can either be businesses individually or it can be business organizations individually or collectively. We're not trying to exclude anybody from this conversation. In fact, when the amendment came out, one of the questions I had was, why would we want to engage the labor organizations in a conversation about delays in permitting? And it was explained to me that many times these are jobs and so many times organized labor is just as concerned about an undue delay of an application or a permit as businesses. Time is money and whether it's time in payroll or time with regard to what a business entity might earn, these are all important pieces of that conversation. And so too, environmental organizations. I think Senator Kennedy and I both came to the conclusions that to have kind of an adversarial situation where one appears to be pitted against the other isn't going to serve the state and so when I saw the amendment, and I thought, well, environmental organizations, maybe that is a good addition to this conversation and so I stand in support of the amendment and I would urge passage.

THE CHAIR:

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 say Aye.

SENATORS:

Aye.

THE CHAIR:

Opposed? I guess the Ayes really do have it.

Senator Kennedy, would you like to talk with any further on the bill?

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

I don't wish to speak any further on this bill, Madam President. In fact, I would like to recommend that if there is no objection that it be placed on the Consent Calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objection, so ordered. Thank you. Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On page 56, Calendar 295, substitute for Senate Bill No. 445, AN ACT CONCERNING FAIRNESS IN PHARMACY AND PHARMACY BENEFITS MANAGER CONTRACTS. There are amendments.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Gerratana, good afternoon.

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

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

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptable and passage. Will you remark ma'am?

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Yes, thank you. Madam President, the clerk has in his possession, an amendment, LCO Number 7774. If he would please call and I would be allowed to summarize?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

LCO Number 7774, Senate “A” offered by Senator Looney, Fasano, et al.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Gerratana.

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Thank you, I move adoption of the amendment.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on adoption. Will you remark?

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Thank you. Madam President, the amendment before us is a strike-all amendment and what we are doing is taking a number of pieces of legislation that have worked their way through the process into this one bill, Senate Bill No. 445. The bill before us comes from our leadership here in the Senate. Senator Looney, Senator Fasano and of course my co-chair Heather Somers as well as myself who have been working on this in the committee process. Over the past three or four years, we have taken steps to ensure that there is fairness, accountability and also protections under our laws for citizens of our state seeking to utilize our healthcare system. Our priority has been consumer rights as well as protections. This piece of legislation goes and carries on this particular tradition. It further addresses some of the practices of the healthcare industry imposed on individuals and helps to facility the electronic record-sharing system or bidirectional connectivity. I will give you just a brief overview of the bill. It's in six sections.

Section One: Is a section regarding pharmaceuticals and our patients, our constituents who purchase medications, this bands gag clauses between pharmacists and the pharmaceutical benefit managers that act as intermediaries between wholesalers and pharmacists, so that the pharmacists can inform individuals about lower cost equivalents for instance, or that they might get a better deal even buying an over-the-counter medication. It also bands clawbacks by this PBMs that result in patients unknowingly paying more for a prescription than it actually costs. Any contracts not following this law are going to be considered void and unenforceable.

Section Two: Ensures that indirect purchasers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices have standing in anti-trust cases. It does not in any way change our current anti-trust laws nor does it create any new cause of action.

Section Three: This clarifies the existing gag clause prohibition in contracts between healthcare providers and health carriers. This is just a clarification to existing law.


Section Four
: Is what I talked about bidirectional connectivity. This clarifies hospitals responsibility for providing this exchange of patient information. You know in Public Health Committee as well as discussions throughout our country, the goal here in Connecticut and throughout the country has been to make it possible so that when patients go from one provider to another that that patient record in electronic form goes with the person. This, of course, is going to ensure that they get better healthcare and we feel that many of us feel in Public Health Committee that this is the appropriate approach to take in this particular situation. So, the Section Four clarifies this. It doesn't make any new requirements on hospitals such as having to purchase new infrastructure and it takes into consideration also any security issues that the hospitals or any other healthcare provider may have.

Section Five: Is a facility fee fix and it just clarifies that patient consent to out-of-network services must be in writing.

Section Six: Adds laboratory services protections against surprise billing. Surprise billings are always unwelcome. We all go into a provider setting and we assume that our insurance is going to cover what is in the plan, but sometimes what happens, is that unfortunately, we get a surprise billing at the end of our visit because a service or perhaps even a health practitioner has been called in who is out-of-network. So this will help consumers understand and also agree that if they need to have that out-of-network that there may be additional costs. So, with that, Madam President, I do hope that the Chamber will adopt this legislation. It's very good for our constituents, it's a good consumer bill and I thank you very much.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further on Senate “A”? Will you remark on Senate “A”? If not, I will try your minds. All those in favor please say Aye.

SENATORS:

Aye.

THE CHAIR:

Opposed? Senate “A” is adopted. Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? Senator Fasano.

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President I want to thank Senator Gerratana and I want to thank Senator Somers and also it has been an honor and privilege to work with Senator Looney in a bipartisan manner with respect to this bill. Madam President, this bill has so many good parts and let me just briefly, not to be redundant of Senator Gerratana, let me just talk about one thing that I think is an amazing feature of this bill. There are pharmacy benefit managers and the reason why those were originated way back when was for the purpose of bringing pharmaceutical drugs to consumers at a reduced price. The way you do that is by having someone who buys in bulk, negotiates a price and then that price gets to the consumer. Madam President, what has happened over the time, has been nothing short of fraud in so many different circumstances. If you have to pay a co-pay of $ 50 dollars, and that drug, you could buy out-of-pocket for $ 10 dollars, the pharmacist cannot tell you that you can pay $ 10 dollars and save your $ 40 dollars. He has a gag order. And if you look at what happens, if the pharmacist even slightly suggests that this drug would cost less if you paid out-of-pocket these companies send a letter to the pharmacist saying we understand you're leaking this information, we're going to cut you from the list. That's just not fair. That's not why these have been created. We do these pharmacy benefit managers for the purpose of reducing the costs of drugs based upon the ability of the prescription drugs to be bought in bulk and the negotiating power, not to cheat the consumer. So what this bill does is it bans these gag clauses. It says, no longer can these PMBs stop a pharmacist from telling the consumer that there is a cheaper alternative. In addition, there are certain clawback provisions which allow these PMBs to get back at the money collected by the pharmacist based upon a variety of factors. We remove that.

And finally, we allow a provision of a CUTPA violation if in fact there has been a violation. And what's so important about that clause is to have the enforceability, the teeth. It was an effort to remove that. That would neuter the bill. That would leave PMBs, PBMs rather, the ability to violate our law without consequences. That just doesn't make any sense. Why would we do that? Madam President, the Attorney General was concerned about the right for pharmaceuticals and medical devices to have standing anti-trust cases. And what we've done is taken into the consideration to allow the enforcement of our existing anti-trust laws where drugs and products are purchased through a wholesaler or a middle person, middleman, middle person. So, that's another correction that this bill does at the request of the Attorney General.

Madam President, in an effort that Senator Looney and I have been working on for a number of years, we looked at the whole issue of hospital-based facility fees. And we have found that every time we try to close a gap, a new one opens up and what this does is this requires notice of facility fees to be given over the phone. This requires that a patient be told there may be a facility fee charged at the time the appointment is made and certifies or clarifies that in order for a facility bill to be required for an office visit, which is generally prohibited, an Emergency Department, the facility must meet federal definitions of Emergency Department.

Madam President, we're trying to plug up all these loopholes that consumers are unaware of when they get into the doctor's office and they receive a bill. We actually heard from someone in this building where they made a doctor's appointment and then received by letter, the day of or the night before they were going to the doctor's office that they had a facility fee charge when they come in for the visit. We said that's just not right. You need to tell them at the time they make the appointment so they can make other arrangements.

Madam President, for surprise billing, which has been a big issue, certainly something Senator Looney has also concentrated on, clarifies that patient consent to out-of-network service must be provided in writing.

Madam President, what this bill does in its totality is to make sure the consumers of medical services be all pharmaceutical drugs, be all doctor's appointments and medical facilities, there are consumers, when it comes to medicine and medical attention, they rely upon this Chamber and this billing to ensure that we protect their rights. And what we've done over the series of years and what this bill continues to do, is to act as a consumer advocate for our constituents and make sure that fairly and accurately they're being charged, they're not being overcharged, they have notice and they know the bills that they get.

Madam President, I support this bill and I thank all of those who got involved. I might want to throw out a special thank you to Dena Berlin from Senator Looney's office, Jen Mantrowsky [phonetic] from my office, those two people know more about medical billing, procedures than most people in this Capital and they've worked on this tirelessly, but more importantly, collaborately. We have sent them to seminars to get them more in tune with the issues and it has benefited this Chamber and it has benefited, their hard work has benefited the state of Connecticut. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Can I second that? Okay, I did. Will you remark further? Senator Looney, good afternoon, sir.

SENATOR LOONEY (11TH):


Good afternoon, Madam President
. And thank you very much. Speaking in support of the bill as amended, I want to begin by thanking the co-chairs, Senator Gerratana, who has been working on these issues for a long time and Senator Somers as well for a bipartisan effort within Committee and especially my colleague and friend, Senator Fasano, this continues our bipartisan effort. Some of these healthcare issues in 2015, we were able to secure passage of Senate Bill No. 811 of that session, which was Public Act No. 15/146, that is viewed by many other states now as a model dealing with some of the issues regarding facility fees and other practices of institutions that are buying up community-based facilities that we addressed in that bill. In some ways, this is a continuation of that. And, this really is, I think, one of the most important consumer protection bills of this session. As Senator Gerratana and Senator Fasano said, it bans those gag clauses, which are really unconscionable, anti-consumer practices. In contracts between pharmacist and pharmacy benefit managers. And again, PBMs were set up to be of assistance to consumers rather than to be something that provides a smoke screen for milking them. To ensure that pharmacists can inform patients when lower cost equivalent alternatives are available, and this is somewhat comparable to the existing anti-gag clause provisions that exist in contracts with physicians. And as we said, it bans the clawbacks by PBMs, so the patients cannot be charged more than the lesser of A - the co-pay, B - the allowed amount, that is what the insurer is paying for or C - the retail price and contracts to the contrary would be unenforceable and would be a Connecticut unfair trade practice violation under CUTPA and this really does protect patients from being overcharged by the pharmacy benefit managers and insurers who may have a scheme to do this. The PBM insurance industry wants to delete B above, which was the allowed amount, but that would then actually specifically allow these unethical clawbacks.

For example, if you have an insurance policy with a $ 1 hundred dollars co-pay and the insurer negotiated price to the pharmacy, that is including the dispensing fee would be $ 20 dollar and the retail price for the uninsured person is $ 40 dollars, under this bill, you would never pay more than the $ 20 dollars, which would be the negotiated price. Currently, many insurers would charge the policyholder the $ 1 hundred dollar co-pay and the pharmacist gag clause would prevent the pharmacist from telling the patient and the extra money would go to the PBM. So in reality, for some low-cost generic drugs, it is in fact, significantly less expensive for the patient to pay cash out-of-pocket than it is to go through his policy and pay his co-pay, which is really a skewered situation.

So, again, Madam President, we have combined parts of several separate bills into this new Senate Bill No. 445 and this issue on the gag clause is as it was originally in the No. 445.


We also have Section Two, from previous Senate Bill No
. 442 of the session that deals with the issues of anti-trust cases, so-called Illinois Brick Repealer and this ensures that indirect purchasers of pharmaceuticals have standing in anti-trust cases. Meaning that, the ultimate consumer would have standing to bring claims on these cases rather than just the original purchaser or wholesaler, because without this change, in many cases the people who would be the actual injured parties would not be able to bring the claim. So 30 other states have already adopted this by statute or by Case Law. And the Attorney General's office, as Senator Fasano said, said that this would be of assistance in pursuing bad actors in class action lawsuits on this kind of issue.

And the original bill dealing with this subject sought to create an action versus predatory pricing of prescriptions but the AG's office said that it would be actually more helpful to go the route that other states have done with the Illinois Brick Repealer.

Also, Madam President, as previously discussed, we have incorporated Section Six from Senate Bill No. 451 that clarifies the definition of facility fee to capture facility fees that are charged when a hospital bills under its tax ID number for affiliated as well as owned practices and requires that the facility fee notices include a telephone number that the patient can call to get more information including the estimated exact amount of the fee. Because some hospital facility fee notices only report a significant range without giving much actual information to the patient. They might say, you might face a facility fee ranging from $ 50 dollars to $ 1 thousand dollars and that's not really adequate notice at all. We started with language that the notices had to be more exact in price; that would be that the actual bill had to be within, the actual facility fee had to be within 150 percent of the lowest number sited, but the administration in hospitals complained on this that this would be administratively difficult, so now we have the provision that there has to be a telephone number to call to get that fee. We've heard from constituents that phone numbers, in some cases, were not on the notices at all. And we would now require that patients be told that their bill will include a facility fee at the time the appointment is made. Early notice is important, often a patient who has committed, it already there, already seeking treatment and maybe told that there may be a facility fee, when there really isn't a realistic option to consider other alternatives. Because sometimes as Senator Fasano said, patient notices sometimes do not arrive in the mail until the day before or maybe in some cases even the day of the appointment. And the bill also clarifies that in order to bill a facility fee for an office visit, which are general prohibited under current law, because our current law from 2015 says that for most services that can be provided in an office setting and don't require a hospital setting, that generally facility fees are not allowed. So, in order to bill a facility fee for an office fee at an Emergency Department, the facility fee must meet the federal -- the facility itself has to meet the federal definition of an Emergency Department.


Finally, we have the surprise billing section from original Senate Bill No
. 426, that adds bills for services from clinical laboratories also to the surprise bill patient protections that we adopted two years ago. So for example, if an in-network physician refers to an out-of-network lab, and the lab doesn't get patient consent, the lab would then have to take the in-network rate and that is another significant protection. And also for surprise billing would clarify that the patient consent to out-of-network services must be in writing. As we all know, sometimes patients are presented with an array of forms to sign; their attention is not drawn to any one in particular and it is important that they be given real, rather than just technical notice of the fact that they may be subject to an out-of-network service that could cost them significantly more so that there would be proof that a patient was informed that that provider is out-of-network. It would also allow that the insurer and the provider can agree to a reimbursement amount other than what the statute provides, which is the greater of in-network, Medicare or usual, customary and reasonable rates.

So all of these are significant consumer protections in the healthcare field building upon the bipartisan bill two years ago.

I want to join Senator Fasano in thanking Dena Berlin, and Jen Mantrowsky [phonetic] for their superb work on all of these issues over the last several years in which they have become specialists and experts. And what they have done is attended conferences, been involved with the study group and the overall policy group that you have chaired, Madam President that made such a significant contribution in this area as well in managing our system, our healthcare system under the Affordable Care Act. And again, I think that experience and that research and attention to detail is something that has produced a significant bill that reflects a real consumer oriented perspective on the issues of hospital practices, billing practices and this bill I think will be of huge importance to the healthcare consumer in the state of Connecticut.

So, again, Madam President, thank you very much for your input to all of this, to Senator Fasano, who has from the very beginning, has been a leader in this issues and the chairs of the committee and we look forward to moving this bill forward.

Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further? Will you remark further? If not, Senator Gerratana.

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Madam President, if there is no objection, I will move this to our Consent Calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered.

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk. Sorry, Senator Duff, why do you stand, sir?

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I had missed a marking earlier and I would just like another bill as go.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar page 17, Calendar 220, Senate Bill No. 975, marked that as go. And also if I could just take a quick moment of personal privilege, point of personal privilege?

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

I missed it when I was marking bills, I just want to take a moment to welcome somebody to the Chamber from my district who is here today. He's going to be helping me out a little bit over the summer and I just wanted to take a moment to introduce Harrison Kadesh [phonetic] please rise and if the Chamber could just give him a very warm welcome. He's from Darien and I want to thank him for being here today at the State Capital. [applause]

THE CHAIR:

Welcome. I hope you enjoy your day here. Thank you. Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On page 22, Calendar 271, substitute for Senate Bill No. 1001, AN ACT PROHIBITING SMOKING ON BEACHES IN STATE PARKS. There are amendments.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kennedy. Good afternoon, again.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

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

THE CHAIR:

The motion is on acceptance of passage. Will you remark, sir?

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

Yes. Just a couple of words. This bill really speaks for itself, the title is, AN ACT PROHIBITING SMOKING ON BEACHES IN STATE PARKS. The clerk has an amendment, LCO Number 6732, can the clerk please call the amendment?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

LCO Number 6732, Senate “A” offered by Senator Kennedy.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kennedy.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

Thank you. This is a strike --

THE CHAIR:

Move for adoption?

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

I move adoption of the amendment, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on adoption. Will you remark, sir?

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

Yes. This is a strike-all amendment that simply gets rid of the fiscal note on the bill that we heard in the Public Committee. There was a fiscal note of $ 30 thousand dollars in anticipation of having to actually post signs of the new law prohibiting smoking again on state beaches. Now that is just going to be the, policy is going to be posted on the website, so that is what the amendment does. There are at least five other states that prohibit smoking in their, some on their, in their state parks, some on the beaches of their states including Main, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oregon and the state of Iowa, that is not a coastal state, it does prohibit smoking in all of their state parks, so this is something, it's a public health trend. Also cigarette butts are one of the leading sources of marine debris that contaminate our environment and pollute Long Island Sound. So for these important reasons, I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the amendment? Yes, Senator Miner. How are you?

SENATOR MINOR (30TH):

I'm well, Madam President. Thank you. I'd like to ask a few questions to the proponent of the amendment if I might, through you.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, sir.

SENATOR MINOR (30TH):

Thank you, Madam President. So, I remember during the hearing process and during, I think it was the first Committee meeting where we attempted to draft some language relative to not allowing smoking on state beaches. The question came up, how would you delineate a beach when it came to the shore, especially because the state owns the property in theory under the water adjacent to even private property and so, through you, Madam President, in this case where we are not being specific about where that delineation line is, whether it's between a beach and a parking lot or a beach and a side lot, if you could, through you, Madam President, is the only proposal to do it on their website?


Through you
.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kennedy.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

Through you, Madam President. Regarding the warning, the setting of a state policy to prohibit smoking on state beaches, yes, the -- how that policy would be noticed to the citizens of our state would be through the website of DEEP. That is the lowest cost way to notify people. It is anticipated that maybe in the future as DEEP maybe updates their signs at different parks, maybe they do add the smoking, but we didn't want to incur the additional expense of having to actually put signs in all of our state beaches. So, I believe you asked, and if I may, Madam President, respond to the beginning part of my good colleague's questions about what we actually mean by state beaches, because I believe Senator Somers brought up a very good point, which is that, on all the beaches in Connecticut, on the 110 miles that abut Long Island Sound, the citizens of the state of Connecticut actually own that portion of the beach that's in the intertidal zone between high tide and low tide. And, of course, that was a very good point I thought. So in through that debate and through this exchange here today, I hope that it is clear, that this policy really only is anticipated to extend to the 23 beaches that are state park beaches that we have in the state of Connecticut and does not extend to other private beaches that perhaps the citizens have a right to use that beach by virtue of their ability to walk in that intertidal area.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further? Senator Miner.

SENATOR MINOR (30TH):

Thank you, Madam President. With respect to those beaches that are inland, that are not actually adjacent to tidal waters, once again, is it the intention that there will be no placard adjacent to a picnic area separating the beach from the picnic area, there will be no placard between a beach and any adjacent property, this will be completely done via the internet?


Through you, Madam President
.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kennedy.


SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH)
:

Yes. My colleague is correct. There was some debate about prohibiting smoking altogether in all state parks and forests on all, you know, state beaches. I think there was some debate about people who camp out and spend a significant amount of time and we determined that actually just prohibiting the smoking on the beach, again, where a lot of people are congregated, there are a lot of children and where people tend to butt their cigarette actually in the sand was probably the most effective way we could address this policy. So, I believe that through the question, it's, we can equivocally state that the policy does not extend to, for example, the camping area or the parking lots or the other areas in the state park that does not include the beach.


Through you, Madam President
.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Miner.

SENATOR MINOR (30TH):

Thank you, Madam President. And as the amendment is constructed, if I could, through you, is there a fine that would be levied as a result of someone having been caught smoking or is it a warning; just thinking that, again, when this bill went through Committee, there was a fair amount of conversation about where that delineation line would be. I think the Committee overwhelming felt comfortable that this was a worthwhile effort that, at least in this area, there was a lot of national support for this type of an activity. So through you, is it contemplated that there will be any type of penalty anticipated with the passage of this amendment?


Through you
.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kennedy.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

My colleague is correct in his characterization of the debate that occurred in the Environment Committee. The concerns that we don't want to turn our state parks into some kind of police state, where people are being chased and given tickets in the middle of the summer. We anticipate working kind of as on a warning system through good-will, through kind of self-enforcement I would say among other beach goers. And that we're anticipating -- we do not anticipate that DEEP would be out there issuing tickets to people. But we do allow that they can issue a warning for a violation of the smoking ban on beaches and state parks.


Through you, Madam President
.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Miner.


SENATOR MINOR (30TH)
:

Thank you, Madam President. I don't have any further questions with regard to the amendment. I think our preference would be to have some signs. I don't think there's anybody here that would say, the lack of signage is the best way to go. But I'm a realist, I think we're all realists. Even $ 30 thousand dollars to be charged in this effort is a problem. In an agency where they're having a hard time finding $ 30 thousand dollars to cut the lawn or put lifeguards at beaches, I kind of get it, and so, while it's not perfect, it's probably not the best thing that we could be doing. I would like to think that at some point, when DEEP resigns as they probably do annually, that they'll find some way to put the language in the information on that sign so there's no misunderstanding and certainly in that case if they were doing it anyway, there wouldn't be a fiscal note. So, I rise to support this amendment. I think it's a good step in terms of trying to make it a more friendly area for people. We did hear a lot of testimony with regard to the internet being the only information, again, not perfect, but I think it is the best we can do. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the amendment? Will you remark further on the amendment? Senator Kennedy.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

I just wanted to say, before we close, I wanted to thank my colleague, Senator Miner for his work on this initiative. I also wanted to thank my Vice-Chair, Senator Mae Flexer as well as the Majority Leader, Senator Duff, who has also been very helpful in promoting this idea in our state parks.

I have no further words to add and if there is no objection. Pardon me.

THE CHAIR:

Sir, we're still on the amendment.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

Oh, we're still on the amendment?

THE CHAIR:

Right.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

I'm sorry, I'm a little confused.


THE CHAIR
:

No you're not, you're doing fine. Will anybody else want to speak on the amendment? If not, then I will try your minds. All those in favor, please say Aye.

SENATORS:


Aye
.

THE CHAIR:

Opposed? The amendment passes. We are now on the bill. Senator Fasano.

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I understand the good intention for which the smoking on beaches in state parks, the prohibiting of doing that act makes sense, I do agree with Senator Miner that some extent without notice of a violation, it does cause some problems with people not knowing that there's change in policy and it seems to me that Senator Kennedy is correct when he says we don't want to have police state action on our state parks. This is a place that people go and enjoy, so we kind of have a struggling going on here. We have a policy that says you can't smoke on state beaches, followed by no real notice that you can't smoke on state beaches followed by a fine for not knowing that you can't smoke on state beaches and we don't want to be a police state. But when I put all those together, I'm not exactly sure what the bill does other than a pat on the back to say, we're not going to have smoking on state beaches, maybe, sort of. We're not going to really enforce it either. And we're not going to tell people. So Madam President, although I appreciate the good nature it's in, I think that it is something we should do perhaps when we have some money and perhaps when we can put up signs and perhaps when we have a better way of moving this along. So with that, and seeing this vehicle before me, I would ask the clerk to call LCO 7771.


THE CHAIR
:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

LCO Number 7771, Senate Amendment Schedule “B” offered by Senators Fasano, Witkos and Miner.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Fasano.

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I move the amendment and request permission to summarize.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on adoption. Will you remark, sir?

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

Yes, thank you, Madam President. Madam President, what this does, it's a strike-all amendment but what it does is recently we saw something that I think has a negative reflection on parks. We have a statute that allows folks to donate money to parks. So you can take money and there are a bunch of parks we have around this state and individuals make donations to the parks to keep them moving, to keep them funded, to make sure we keep them open to recreational activity, make sure we have money to do things and when we are in a budget crunch as we are now, that money is quite handy. You know the other day, we had a bill up here that talked about, or I should actually say, we talked about an appropriation in other places about funding parks and giving the DEEP sort of a right to run a park in a business sense. Taking a little step backwards, this says is we encourage people who enjoy the parks to make donations to the park to supplement the money, so that we can keep these parks beautiful. We can keep these parks clean. We can keep these parks open. But yet, when we have a budget crunch, we swept the money. We took all the private money that went into fund these parks and we swept in a budget deficit. The Executive Branch just did that to balance the 2017 hole. I know we have a hole, and I'm not faulting the Governor for it, I wouldn't agree with it, but he certainly he has that right to do it.

So the question is, is that fair? The question is, if citizens of this state are taking their money and saying, I enjoy Hammonasset Park or whatever the park is and I want to give my money to that park to be used for the betterment of that park, are we actually going to allow that money to be swept by government to be used for the general fund? To me, that really doesn't make a lot of sense and to me, I would think, once people find out about it, that they will, they will stop donating to parks, because there is nothing to assure them that that money is going to get into parks because we sweep it. So the policy before us, is are we going to do something to make sure that people fund the parks and we're going to keep them whole that you can't sweep that money.

So I looked around at other statutes and, for instance, we have an Attorney Trust Fund, that attorneys pay into a fund for clients and way back when, when Senator Blumenthal was Attorney General Blumenthal, there was a question whether or not you could swipe those funds to make a hole in our budget fixed. And litigation was then commenced by lawyers, we ended up not swiping that money but this legislature said, we don't like that policy, you shouldn't be able to take attorney's money that's put away for clients in the event that an attorney does something wrong and they don't have enough insurance, we want that money to be used for clients. So what we said was in the statute, the state of Connecticut is going to hold that fund in trust. Apparently those magic words prohibit the sweep of those funds, the trust language.

So what this amendment does is, it says any donation made to any state park by a private person or entity shall be held in trust for the benefit of such park and shall not be deposited in the general fund. This clears up that language. This says you can't sweep it anymore. This say, when you make a donation to the park, it is going to remain in the park and the legislature, either the legislature or the executive branch no longer has the ability to take their long claw and grab that money and bring it into the general fund. What's the positive effect of this policy? We protect our parks. Next positive effect, donors will be more than willing to give the money for the parks and its operation knowing it's secured with the state of Connecticut for the benefit of the parks. If we don't do this, we're endorsing a policy that says, donations by private citizens for parks can be taken by the legislature to fill up a budget deficit. That's the policy before us. That's what we're trying to do. As I said, I appreciate Senator Kennedy's bill. I think it's a good bill, it makes a lot of sense. I would argue that we could tighten it up if we had some money, we don't have money, so we kind of made it a soft bill.

But let's do something different. Let's go a different course. If we want to help our state parks and we want to fund them, then let's do it. Let's get those donations in. Let's keep them secure. Let's keep them in trust. Let's keep it where it belongs. Let's keep it with the intent of the donor. And that's the language we need to do it and that would protect that donation, that would protect that park. That will ensure policy that we're saying, if you vote for this amendment, we're saying, we agree parks need to be funded. We agree, private funding, private donations is a critical component and we agree with this policy that we should not take private donations to fill the coffers of the state when we're broke. That's what we're going to agree to. If you vote against it, then you're voting against that policy.

So Madam President, this strike-all amendment I put before this body and I hope to see its passage.


Thank you, Madam President
.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the amendment? Senator Looney. Senator Looney.

SENATOR LOONEY (11TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, through you, if I might, to a, my question to Senator Fasano, the distinguished Republican President, Pro Tem?

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed.

SENATOR LOONEY (11TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Through you, Madam President, Senator Fasano, I agree, and I think many of the members of our caucus agree that there is significant merit to this amendment, but we also believe there is merit to the underlying bill and would, wanted to ask if you would be amenable to having the bill PT'd so that we could redraft this amendment as a bipartisan add-on rather than a strike-all?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Fasano.

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I was about to speak, I waited for you. Could we have a moment of recess?

THE CHAIR:

You know what, the Senate will stand at ease.

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

The Senate will come back to order. Senator Fasano.

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I appreciate the gracious order, offer, by Senator Looney. At this time, I would have to decline that offer, so I still stand on my amendment, Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the amendment? Senator Miner.

SENATOR MINOR (30TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, when the vote is taken on this amendment, I would ask that it be taken by roll call.

THE CHAIR:

Then a roll call vote will be taken.

SENATOR MINOR (30TH):

Thank you, Madam President. If I could continue.

THE CHAIR:

Please continue.

SENATOR MINOR (30TH):

Thank you, I appreciate it. Madam President, I think we all recognize that in the last two years especially, managing to appropriate funds, even for something like maintenance of parks or lifeguards, you name it, it has been a struggle. And for those of that serve on the Appropriations Committee, trying to make that choice between additional food, rental assistance, any of the other what I would call core government functions, even I have sided with those core government functions and have said, look it, we've gotta figure out another way to do this. The problem is that some of the activities that have taken place over the last couple of years, have been such that the problem is that some of the sweeping of the funds --

THE CHAIR:

I'm sorry, Senator Miner, excuse me. Senator Duff, why do you rise?

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. If we could mark this bill PT'd please.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Witkos.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Thank you, Madam President, I object to the motion for the PTing of the bill and ask for roll call on the motion.

THE CHAIR:

Roll -- hold on. Stand at ease for a moment. The Senator will stand at ease for a minute. Senator Witkos.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):


Thank you, Madam President
. If I may just clarify, I do not object to the motion to PT, I would ask that we have a roll call, though, on the motion. Thank you, to PT.

THE CHAIR:

There will be a motion to vote on the PT. At this time, I would ask for a roll call. I'm sorry. Okay. We will take one. Stand at ease for a moment, please. Senator Looney.

SENATOR LOONEY (11TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, if you would just clarify for the body which would be the yes vote and which would be the no. My understanding is that Senator Witkos has asked for a roll call on the motion to PT, so my understand is that, that a vote in favor of the PT would be the green, yes vote. And a vote against that would be the red. So if you would just clarify that.

THE CHAIR:

That's correct. That's correct Senator. So, the vote to PT is a green vote. The vote not to PT is a red vote. At this time, you're not standing for any reason, right?

Mr. Clerk, will you please call for a roll call vote, the machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate on the motion to PT. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

All members have voted, all members have voted. The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, please call the tally.

CLERK:

On the motion to PT.

Total number Voting 36

Those Voting Yea 18

Those Voting Nay 18

Absent not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

Senator Fasano, I really do like your motion, but I wish we could have seen a better way of doing it, so, okay. The motion to PT has been adopted. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President that concludes our business for today. I move that we adjourn subject to the Call of the Chair.


THE CHAIR
:

Wait, Senator Looney. Stand at ease please the Senate. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President, before we adjourn, why don't we have a vote on our consent counter please?

THE CHAIR:

That's a great idea. Mr. Clerk, can you please call the bills that are on our Consent Calendar, so that we can then vote on it?

CLERK:

On page 9, Calendar 117, Senate Bill No. 809. On page 16, Calendar 213, Senate Bill No. 998. On page 56, Calendar 295, Senate Bill No. 445.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk, will you call for a roll call vote on the Consent Calendar? The machine is going to be open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call on Consent Calendar for today. Immediate roll call in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

If all members have voted, all members have voted, the machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call the tally.

CLERK:

On today's Consent Calendar.

Total number of Voting 36

Those Voting Yea 36

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The Consent Calendar has passed. [gavel] Are there any announcements or points of personal privilege? Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, is the clerk in possession of Senate Agenda No. 3?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

Is in possession of Senate Agenda No. 3 also dated Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President I move that all items on Senate Agenda No. 3 dated Wednesday, May 24, 2017, be acted upon as indicated and that the agenda be incorporated by reference in the Senate Journal and transcript.


THE CHAIR
:

So ordered. Now are there any points of personal privilege? Senator Doyle?

SENATOR DOYLE (9TH):

Thank you, Madam President. The purpose of my announcement.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed.

SENATOR DOYLE (9TH):

On behalf of Chairman Kissler, I would like to announce that the Judiciary Committee will be having a committee meeting tomorrow at 10: 00 a. m. outside the Hall of the House to consider business. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Are there any other announcements or points of personal privilege? If not, Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, with that I move that we adjourn subject to the Call of the Chair and our side of the isle, we will caucus at 11: 00 o'clock for a session at noon tomorrow, please.

THE CHAIR:

So noted. At this time, we will stand adjourned, or recess, whatever. Thank you, have a good night everybody.

(On motion of Senator Duff of the 25th, the Senate at 5: 08 p. m. adjourned subject to the Call of the Chair. }

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