CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

SENATE

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Senate was called to order at 7: 49 o'clock p. m. , the President in the Chair.

THE CHAIR:

Good evening. The Senate will please come to order. Members and guests, please rise and direct your attention to the wonderful, Noele Kidney who will lead us in prayer.

NOELE R. KIDNEY:

Please bless us with an inner strength so that our lives and our work may be a blessing on others. Amen.

THE CHAIR:

Don't you wish our whole day would go like that. At this time, I would ask Senator Hwang to come up and lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Come on Tony.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

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 all very much. At this time, I'd entertain points of personal privilege or announcements. Seeing none. Senator Duff. Oh, I'm sorry, excuse me.

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

CLERK:

Senate Agendas No. 1 and 2 both dated Monday, June 5, 2017. They have been copied and are on Senators' desks.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I move that all items on Senate Agenda No. 1 and 2 dated Monday, June 5, 2017 be acted upon as indicated and that the agenda be incorporated by reference into the Senate Journal and transcript.

THE CHAIR:

So ordered. Thank you. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I have items to mark to go for this evening.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. On Calendar page 8, Calendar 238, Senate Bill No. 850, go. On Calendar page 12, Calendar 314, Senate Bill No. 991, go. On Calendar page 15, Calendar 361, Senate Bill No. 1042, go. On Calendar page 46, Calendar 124, Senate Bill 917, go. On Calendar page 10, Calendar 272, Senate Bill 796, go. On Calendar page 5, Calendar 157, Senate Bill 943, go. On Calendar page 6, Calendar 190, Senate Bill 964, go. On Calendar page 5, Calendar 178, Senate Bill 778, go. On Calendar page 10, Calendar 298, Senate Bill 711, go. On Calendar page 47, Calendar 240, Senate Bill 996, go. And if the clerk can please go in that order, please.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On page 8, Calendar 238, substitute for Senate Bill No. 850, AN ACT CONCERNING RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES REGARDING INSURANCE POLICIES FOR CERTAIN VEHICLES, YOUTH INSTRUCTION PERMITS, OPERATOR LICENSES, COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATION, ADMINISTRATIVE FEES, DIVERSION PROGRAM, STUDENT TRANSPORTATION VEHICLES AND OTHER CHANGES TO THE MOTOR VEHICLE STATUTES. There are amendments.

THE CHAIR:

Good evening, Senator Leone. How are you tonight?

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Good evening, Madam President. It's lovely to see you up there today.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you.

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Madam President, I move 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 LEONE (27TH):

Yes, Madam President, the bill before us today is the Department of Motor Vehicle's large technical bill with other issues that are being corrected. Before getting into it, Madam President, the clerk is in possession of an LCO, Amendment No. 8211. I would ask the LCO to call that, please.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

The Senator will stand at ease for a moment. [pause to 09: 51]. The Senate will come back to order. Mr. Clerk, will you please call the amendment?

CLERK:

LCO 8211, Senate Amendment Schedule “A” offered by Senators Leone and Boucher, et al.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Senator Leone.

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Than you, Madam President. I move the amendment and seek leave to summarize.

THE CHAIR:

The motion is on adoption. Will you remark, sir?

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Yes, thank you, Madam President. The bill we have again before us is the Department of Motor Vehicles; this is their large bill incorporating many technical changes and other issues that were being dealt with, with interested parties. I want to thank the members of the Transportation Committee, my Senate co-chair, Senate Boucher and of course, my House Chair and Ranking Member, and everyone involved in working towards this resolution. This bill incorporates many facets; I'll just gloss over a few of them. This would amend the statutes as recommended by the Department of Motor Vehicles concerning identity cards, insurance policies and indemnity bonds for certain vehicles. It corporates youth instruction permits, operator's license, disqualification from operating commercial motor vehicles. It speaks to administrative fees, diversion programs for young persons and also technical and minor changes to the motor vehicle statutes.

There's many issues in here that I'm sure some folks may have some questions. One of the more pressing issues was in regards to towing activities and we did have a little bit of a sticking, a little bit of a glitch in coming to some agreement with the language being requested by the Department of Motor Vehicles and the various towing agencies. We did have a very nice, fruitful, sit-down meeting where we hammered out the details that everyone could agree to and I'm happy to say that those agreements are here in this bill that are acceptable both to the towers as well as to the Department of Motor Vehicles. One of the issues it does is it raises a filing feel from $ 5 dollars to $ 10 dollars. It also gives the commissioner at his or hers discretion any limits on storage charges for 30 days for a vehicle valued under $ 15 hundred dollars and 60 days to a vehicle valued over $ 15 hundred dollars, unless there is a reason for the delay. That was a little bit of a sticking issue until we went through the actual process and made sure that we addressed the concern of the towers aa well as the complaints that were coming into DMV; I'm happy to say that that is in here.

There are many technical changes that just deals with punctuation. We did eliminate a section requiring DMV to prepare a course of study for secondary school driver's ed, so that is now obsolete. It clarifies that all CDL holders, interstate and intrastate are required to have medical certification under Statute 49C of R39. 41. It also has language in here on the VW litigation that has been ongoing and what it does exactly is, it would prohibit DMV from revoking a vehicle's registration if it is subject to the VW settlement. This provision is required for the state to receive VW settlement funds and we have been working on this with DMV and instead of one consent decree, there are multiple consent decrees, so the language in here makes sure that we can apply to any consent decree that would be forthcoming.

So, this is a bill that many interested parties have worked on. We have come to agreement to this point so I would urge my colleagues to support this and I would be happy to take any questions.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further on the bill? Senator Boucher. Good evening, Ma'am.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Yes, good evening, Madam President. It's very nice to be with you this evening. We're here to discuss the major Department of Motor Vehicles' bill this year and as my colleague states, Senator Carlo Leone, explained the various components and sections of this, it is always a fairly lengthy one and this year as well. In fact, I think there's nearly 27 different sections, and it may be helpful for some for us to just discuss a little bit in more detail a couple of the sections for everyone's benefit.

On Section 15, in this section, we talk about the diversionary programs for persons under 25 that have been convicted of moving violations. If the good chairman would go into just a little bit more detail, so everyone knows what this section change is.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Leone.

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Thank you, Madam President and I want to thank the good chair and my Senate colleague for her question as well as her assistance on crafting of this legislation.

So in that section, Section 15, she is correct. Under state and federal law, CDL and CLP holders cannot participate in diversion programs for any traffic-related violation, so this section carves out an exception to participation in the program for these groups. It also prohibits participation for distracted driving offenses.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Madam President, that was very helpful and I know that the chairman did go into some detail with regards to the towing bill and he is correct that there has been quite a bit of discussion on there. Could he please explain the rationale behind the DMV's need to make some, several changes to this towing bill, what precipitated it.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Leone.

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Through you, Madam President. Quite frankly, the DMV has gotten numerous complaints from people that have been affected from when their vehicle has been towed and there has been various issues that have been brought forward, so as a result of these issues on being able to access their vehicle or whether their vehicle was on the lot for an extended period of time, and then may have gone to auction, we wanted to put in language that would give adequate notification when a bill -- when a car would fall under that category. So, the main driving factor is the number of complaints that were coming forward. So the attempt by the department was to address the complaints and to work with the towers to find out how the towers can still do their very important public service job that the do, but at the same time, address all the issues that were coming forward to DMV versus complaints. So this section here is really to maintain and address consumer issues and the language in here is attempted to be a consumer protection model, if you will.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Madam President. And thank you for the answer, for sure. There was another section of this bill that was brought before us that had to do, as we often do every single year it seems like, our handicap placards. This year, there was an issue that was brought before us from the Veterans with regards to PTSD. If the good Senator could explain that for us as well.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Leone.

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Yes, this was an issue that was brought forward to us in committee in regards to Veterans who have PTSD, the post-traumatic stress disorder and their ability to navigate parking areas and roadways if they are under severe stress with the disorder. So, the request was to find out if we could give them a handicap placard. So we needed to address what we could do to conform to federal law while at the same time, try and accommodate our good Veterans who have given their sacrifices. So the language in here pretty much indicates that a Veteran who is who may or may be affected by post-traumatic stress would have to go through the Veteran Affairs, would have to be qualified by a Veteran-approved psychologist and then the psychologist would have to write a prescription or a script, if you will, indicating that their disorder is causing a handicap and only then would they be available for a handicap placard which would conform to federal law and it's in that hope that if that does transpire, this is what we would do inside the bill.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Madam President. It is certainly not unexpected that the good chairman would know a great deal about this area for his many years of work on the Veteran's Committee and we appreciate him following through with this particular issue.

My very last question would be, some people would be questioning us, so why would we have a desire to have a commemorative plate for the Hartford Whalers?

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Leone.

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Through you, Madam President. I know this is very much dear to your heart, so you'll appreciate the answer here [laughs]. The Hartford Whalers, as everyone knows was the NHL professional team that we had here years ago and for all the fans who were so passionate, have never forgotten when they left. And to this day, they still would prefer for them to come back to the state of Connecticut and there is always that hope that that still might happen. In the meantime, they do want to show their support in the hopes that the NHL would bring back the Hartford Whalers by establishing a commemorative plate.

The good news is that the DMV has a process on how to establish a commemorative plate and usually you have to obtain a significant amount of signatures through a petition so that it doesn't have a cost to the department. Those who came forward to us in front of the Transportation Committee were so passionate; they had those signatures and then some. So, there is definitely a desire to purchase the plate, to make sure it is no cost to the department by virtue of the numbers that would be attached to it and in the hopes that when all our Connecticut resides that obtain this commemorative plate that would hopefully send the message to the NHL that there is still a hope and a desire and a willingness to bring the Whalers back to Connecticut where there would be passionate support to buy the tickets, because it's all about the fan base and so I don't think the NHL doesn't want to come to Connecticut unless there's a fan base, you know, to have a completed venue. So, this would send the message that that exactly is what would happen. So, that is how this request came forward. I believe the rest of us on the committee were actually surprised that the passion was still out there. And as a result, that is why this is in here and I know, Madam President, you'll probably be the first one to have it on their plates.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

[laughing] No matter what he said. Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Madam President. And I would concur with the good chairman that it did catch us all by surprise the level of support, the amount of enthusiasm that surrounded the whole issue of having a Hartford Whalers' plate. So, I think we were won over, the great cheerleading squad; we'll see what happens, maybe it will get some attention. I would bet that it might get some national attention, so it is quite remarkable that it made it all the way to this evening, but I stand here in full support of this particular bill and hope that my colleagues would support it as well. I do know that there'll probably be an amendment or two down the road, but at this point, I would urge support. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? If not, oh, I'm sorry. The amendment, I apologize, on the amendment. I apologize. Senator Leone.

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

I would move the amendment, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the amendment? Will you remark further on the amendment? If not, I will try your minds. All those in favor please say Aye.

SENATORS:

Aye.

THE CHAIR:

Opposed? Amendment A is passed. Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? I knew who was coming up next. Senator Fasano.

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I'd ask the clerk to call LCO 8294.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

LCO 8294. Senate “B” offered by Senators McLachlan, Fasano and Boucher.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Fasano.

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

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

THE CHAIR:

The motion is on adoption, will you remark, sir?

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, what this amendment seeks to do is Department of Motor Vehicles shall not conduct voter registration without the approval of the General Assembly and any agreement that has been executed with the Secretary of the State and DMV, shall be void.

Madam President, there's a reason why I raise this issue. I had a person come see me who moved her residence from the town in North Branford from the north end to the south end of the town of North Branford and she went in to change her license to reflect the new address. When she changed her license, there was a part that you could check off saying that you would like to register to vote. Because she was already registered to vote, she checked no. She then proceeded to send that to DMV and about three weeks later, she received a notice from her local registrar of voters saying that her registration had been changed from a Republican to an Independent, or I should say an unaffiliated; I'm sorry, a Republican to an Unaffiliated, at which point, we talked and we got some information and when we got the records from the Secretary of State's office, it turned out that there was a form that had a signature that was lifted from her old license and placed on a voter registration form as if she had signed it. It was off her old license, not her new license because she had to resign for the new license. She never filled out the form, which we have the copies, but yet her signature was lifted off the old license.

Now Madam President, this did happen right before the November election and I was going to make an issue of it, but being the political time it was, it would be judged in a different light. Since that time, a constituent in North Haven had the exact same problem. She moved from one part of North Haven to another part of North Haven and her signature was lifted off the old license and placed on a registration form changing her registration. If you look at the form, it says if you don't pick a party, you'll be unaffiliated. So they didn't pick a party for either one, but they did remove her signature from the old license and placed it on the registration form. So that's twice it happened.

In addition to that, my law partner had a client come up about a month ago who went to DMV; I don't recall if it was a change of license or to re-register a car, and low and behold, their registration, their voter registration was changed as well.

Madam President, this raises concerns in my mind on how we are handling this at DMV. Who has access, if it's done automatically, whether or not the registrar of voters -- I'm sorry, whether or not the Secretary of State has access to this information such that this type can be done? But it's certainly starts me to wonder a whole slew of scenarios upon someone who may not be eligible to vote could registered to vote just by simply changing addresses. Or it could significantly change on the Republican side and the Democrat side the number of people registered in a party-affiliation for a particular status of a major party, given the fact that something is going awry and it doesn't seem to be a once in a life time situation, it seems to be a pattern developing. That has raised some concerns of mine, and others, when I brought it to their attention.

I will say, I did meet with the Commissioner and explained the situation. He has promised to look into it and I thank him for that and I will be giving him the materials. But it still raises in my mind, this circle may recall that the Secretary had asked that we allow registration through the DMV for voter registration. Secretary of State had asked this circle to pass a bill and both sides of the aisle; and I would argue, both Chambers agreed that that was not a good thing to do; that we should not pass this legislation to push this. We had an order from DOJ saying we need to do a better job and we could do a better job, but not what you wanted to do. And this Chamber said no, we're not going to entertain that bill and downstairs they said, no, we're not going to entertain that bill; but yet, two days after we got out of session, a Memorandum of Understanding was entered into between the Secretary of State and DMV, and that's what is operational. I. e. , forget you legislature, I'm going to do it anyway.

So what this bill says, or amendment I should say says, it says something has gone wrong there, outside of our control, our instincts were correct, we should do this better, we should do it differently. We weren't comfortable, those who knew the bill better than myself. We were comfortable with the way it's going, therefore, we need to look at it further, but that wasn't done. It was done by the Secretary of State pushing forward. In my view, this is a serious problem. Lifting a name off an old license number and placing it on a form and making a representation of a public document that that is the wishes of that particular constituent/voter, is of a serious concern of mine, as I'm sure it is in the circle.

So Madam President, what this amendment proposes to do is to say, we're going to ignore that memorandum and we're going to come up with a mechanism vis--vis GAE and we'll be ready to move on it next session. Madam President, I put forth this amendment. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Further on the amendment? Senator McLachlan, good even, sir.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Good evening, Madam President. I stand for the purpose of comments on the amendment.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, sir.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I want to thank Senator Fasano for bringing to our attention the issues that he experienced with constituents in his area. I too have heard comments from constituents about concerns of registrations that mysteriously happened regarding their voter registration.

Now, I will say that as the ranked -- former ranking member and now co-chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, I've been part of conversations about this concept for many years. In fact, the Secretary of State has brought this proposal before the GAE Committee at least two times in the past and that proposal failed to be approved by this legislature. The concerns were many when it was brought before the GAE Committee, but namely, and ironically, the concern came from the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, the former Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, I might add. And the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles said, we have much on our plate, we're upgrading our computer systems; you may recall, that was a problem. A little bit later, they were concerned about long lines at motor vehicles and nevertheless, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles said we don't have time for this now. We can entertain it sometime in the future and when it came up a second time, we got similar comments from Motor Vehicles that now is not the time for us to take on additional responsibilities. And so, ironically, it was after a legislative session, as Senator Fasano said, not long after as I recall, that a Memorandum of Understanding was developed between the Secretary of the State and the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to proceed with this idea.

So, the defense of that idea over the objection of the Connecticut General Assembly was that the federal government was rattling our cage, so to speak, with a nasty letter from the United States Attorney to the state of Connecticut saying we're not properly addressing the motor-voter law in Connecticut. Well, we were complying with all that previously under the old system until the Department of Motor Vehicles stopped their share of making available paper applications, paper registration applications available to their patrons at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

So the point is this, we didn't need to do this under force from the United States Attorney, this was indeed a political issue that was rejected by this General Assembly. It was put into place administratively with a Memorandum of Understanding and now we find out that the system is broken and perhaps even fraudulent; that's the problem here. Something really broke down if someone's signature mysteriously shows up on a government document without their authorization. So obviously, there's a problem. I'm sure that our current Motor Vehicle Commissioner is on this like a ton of bricks and isn't going to let this happen again. But that's not the point; the point is that we still have three hour waiting lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles. So why don't we get our motor vehicle clerks, on the front line, to focus on motor vehicle transactions and stop worrying about somebody's motor registration today until they get their system up and running at 100 percent?

Now their computer system apparently is coming along. Maybe someday down the road, this new computer system could properly and securely include some form of voter registration, but it's not working. Pull the plug, that's what we're saying. You gotta pull the plug on this, because if somebody comes forward again with this mysterious registration change, then that seems to me to be something bordering on criminal. Just pull the plug, very simple. And then, fix the problem and bring it back to the Connecticut General Assembly and let us look at what the proposal is and we're likely to approve it, but not until Motor Vehicle is back on the ball, doesn't have three-hour, four-hour waiting times. Their new computer system is at 100 percent and Motor Vehicle employees understand that they have very strict guidelines to touch a voter registration document.

Madam President, I urge adoption of this amendment. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further? Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I rise to strongly support this amendment. I do so because having been very involved in this issue from the very beginning on the Transportation Committee just last year, during one of the most difficult periods that DMV has experienced in a long time, when a massive failure of software implementation resulted in three, four, six hours of waiting time for residents when all of our phones rang off the hook; certainly the Governor's office, the DMV offices, our offices all over the state and the individuals had to wait so long to be able to process any of their transactions. It happened then at the same time, it was just very much detailed by both Senator Fasano and Senator McLachlan that this new task was being required of DMV at the worst possible time it could have.

At a time when employees at that point in time were learning a new software system that wasn't working and produced a great deal of anger on the part of the customers coming before them and now they were also expected to take on something that is not a core function of the DMV. This is a function of the Secretary of the State and our Registrar of Voters in our local communities. They have the equipment and the expertise to do this properly. To do something, by the way, that is critical and is the actual integrity of our voting system that underpins our democracy. So at a time when the DMV was experiencing such and so many problems, we were giving them another task. And as you heard from the proponents of this amendment, it's not going well. And quite frankly, I have been hearing as well from my constituents that they're being asked questions about party affiliation and really upset about it, they've called me about it. They're very concerned and I actually had an amendment as well, that I'm not calling tonight that actually prohibited any employee of the DMV to ask questions about party affiliation, to encourage the change of party affiliation and in this case, we actually saw them change a party affiliation against the express opposition of the individuals coming before them. We should be very concerned in the state about this, very concerned.

In fact, I had a case just this weekend with double voting in an election that the SEC was pursuing against someone in our district. So when people say, well there has never been an irregularity in our voting system, there certainly has, there certainly has been and we need to protect this at all cost. So, you know, now that we are making some progress in the wait times at DMV, I am hearing that again, the wait times have been extended to three and four hours. I received a couple emails in the last couple of days up in the Danbury DMV, the Norwalk DMV that, again, wait times are long. By the way, that wait time of three to four hours is only recorded once they get a ticket. It doesn't record the hour or two they might be spending outside the doors before they get inside the building and all the while, the individual now has to stop and talk about voter registration, ask them to fill out a form, go through the questionnaire on questions that we're still dubious as whether or not this is a core function or required even of the DMV at a time when they should be concentrating on improving the experience at the most public-facing agency of the state of Connecticut. Almost everybody in the state goes to the DMV. That's the place where they get an impression of our state government, whether it's a positive experience or negative experience; we should be doing everything we can to make it a user-friendly positive experience. And by making sure that they're only required to do the jobs that is under the purview of the DMV, should be that area. We should leave the voting process to the local municipalities to our Registrar of Voters; that is why we elect them, that is why we compensate them, that's their main job, that's their core function. So, for that reason, Madam President, I strongly support this amendment and hope that my colleagues will as well.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, so much. Senator Miner. Good evening, sir. Senator Miner, please. Senator Miner, please. Thank you.

SENATOR MINER (30TH):

Good even, Madam President. Madam President, I too rise in support of this amendment. I was part of a meeting with the Commissioner earlier this afternoon with Senator Fasano and spoke to him about another situation in my district. An employee of the Department of Motor Vehicle had brought to my attention an issue where he was under the impression that some Motor Vehicle employees were exchanging a drive-only license from another state for a regular license here in the state of Connecticut and when I thought about that, I thought, well, we went through a lot of angst when we passed that bill and the big concern was voter fraud; that we didn't want to have people unable to drive an automobile here in the state of Connecticut and we wanted to provide them a mechanism by they could -- where they could be credentialed.

I think the argument at that time was, you can't get insurance if you can't get a license. But at that time, we didn't know how many other states were going to go to a drive-only license and I guess there are probably about four. And what I think the Commissioner told me and he's here, I think he would probably correct me if I'm wrong, I think what he told me was, we didn't go far enough to say that you could even exchange that drive-only license for a new drive-only license here in the state of Connecticut. So, if you were from out-of-state with a drive-only licence and wanted to get a Connecticut drive-only license, the only way to get one in the state of Connecticut is to start the whole process over here, which means it could take months. And so, he's assured me that he will look into that issue because he doesn't want that kind of fraud existing with the agency and I take him at his word. I didn't see a reason to run another amendment to make that issue, let's say before the Chamber officially so that we could put another amendment up and then either vote for it or vote it down. But I do think that these two situations are cause for us to be concerned.

Look, I think the people that work for the Motor Vehicle are good and I think they're honest and I think they work hard and I -- every time I go into Motor Vehicle, I think to myself, it must be a very difficult job trying to understand what people are talking about, especially if they don't even have the right paperwork. So I give them high marks for trying to just do that on a daily basis. But if we do have people within the employ of the state of Connecticut that are operating outside the regulations and outside state statute, then we need to get to the bottom of that as well.

And so, thank you, Madam President, for an opportunity to speak and I do also support the underlying amendment. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you so much. Will you remark further on the amendment? Will you remark further on the amendment? Oh, good evening Senator Fasano.

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

Good evening, Madam President. Madam President, I want to thank the comments of Senator McLachlan, Senator Boucher and Senator Miner, all of which are indeed indicative of the problems that we have faced while we've been discussing this amendment and I haven't had the opportunity to have a longer conversation with the commissioner. -- longer conversation with the Commissioner and he has assured me that the concerns that I have raised and Senator McLachlan has raised and Senator Boucher and Senator Miner, he is going to look into them; I take him for his word. He's always been very helpful to all of us here in the circle and therefore, at this time, based upon working on it this summer, I would withdraw the amendment at this time. Thank you, Madam President.


THE CHAIR
:

Thank you, Senator Fasano. And would somebody have the ability to please check Senator Fasano's microphone. Something seems wrong.

At this time, Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Senator Leone.

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I just wanted to rise in support of the current bill as amended under Senate “A” and I do appreciate the comments brought forward by my fellow colleagues in regards to the amendment that was just withdrawn. I know DMV, the Department is working very hard to address many of those concerns and I'm heartened by the fact that the Commissioner and the Department have stepped forward to look into this issue going forward. I do know that in the Transportation Committee as this comes in front of us, we will be happy to participate in those discussions.

The only thing I would said is that the -- what the DMV does in regards to the issue is something that has to be adhered to under the National Voter Registration Act and anything that would be done other than that is the way the amendment may have conflicted. But that aside, the issues that are being raised, we have to take them as real. We have to address them and I am heartened that the Department is willing to work with us on that. So I appreciate those efforts going forward.

So, as we have the bill in front of us as amended, I think it's a very comprehensive bill that addresses many other issues that everyone have agreed to, so I'd urge its support.

Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the bill as amended? Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):


Thank you, Madam President
. For the second time, I just wanted to make sure that we reiterate the fact that when this voter registration piece of this bill was debated and discussed previously, I did make a commitment and DMV recognized that I would make this issue and review this issue, again, should there be the kinds of problems that were outlined in today's debate in the Senate.

Given that many of the concerns that we had, have come to light and have become a reality, I will reiterate the fact that next year, when we do meet again, at the Transportation Committee that definitely this would become a major issue and proposal that we're going to revisit, review and make any changes necessary because it's still unclear what the federal requirements are for this particular bill and certainly, things have changed on a national scale and probably at the national Department of Transportation, so we will have a thorough review as was just mentioned, so we can work out any of the problems and hopefully make the kind of changes to keep our voting system at a level where it has integrity and people have faith that it's being done properly. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further, Senator Leone.

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Thank you, Madam President. If there is no objection, I would be glad to start a Consent Calendar and offer this up as the first one.

THE CHAIR:

There is an objection. Mr. Clerk, will you call for a rollcall vote? The machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate Roll Call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate Roll Call has been ordered in the Senate. [pause 47: 42 to 58: 45]

THE CHAIR:

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

CLERK:

On Senate Bill No. 850.

Total number Voting 35

Those Voting Yea 35

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent not Voting 1

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes [gavel]. Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On page 12, Calendar 314, substitute for Senate Bill No. 991, AN ACT MAKING REVISIONS TO STATUTES CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES. There are amendments.

THE CHAIR:

Senator McLachlan. Good evening, again, sir.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

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

THE CHAIR:

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

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. The clerk should have an amendment, LCO 8436.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk, will you please call the amendment.

CLERK:

LCO 8436, Senate “A” offered by Senators Flexer, McLachlan, et al.

THE CHAIR:

Senator McLachlan.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I move adoption of the amendment, waive the reading and seek leave to summarize.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on adoption. Will you remark, sir.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):


Thank you, Madam President
. Madam President, this makes changes to the underlying bill, which I will also summarize. This particular amendment is for the purpose of adding a public entity crime to our state's statutes. This particular amendment begins by making a minor technical change to the value of contracts and then the public entity crime issue is -- implements best practices of government. It conforms our state government contracting with federal procurement policy and procedures. It informs the public procurement process, provides an additional layer of protection for expending public resources and it affirms that the taxpayers are protected.

Madam President, this public entity crime amendment provides for a new affidavit that must be included by a state contractor in any bid for state projects, for materials and it states in that affidavit that the individual has not been convicted of a public entity crime within the last five years.


Madam President, I move adoption of the amendment
.

THE CHAIR:

Motion was already adopted. Will you remark further on Senate “A”? Will you remark further on Senate “A”. If not, I'll try your minds. Oops, Senator Doyle.

SENATOR DOYLE (9TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I have a question for the proponent of the amendment.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, sir.

SENATOR DOYLE (9TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Senator McLachlan, I was contacted by a constituent regarding this amendment in the sense that it was framed to me that this is a duplicative requirement that already exists in the prequalification process, do you agree with that statement?

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator McLachlan.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Thank you, Senator Doyle for that question. I've heard that comment previously. The, this particular amendment was another bill that was heard before the Government Administration Elections Committee which was far broader than what we're proposing today. In fact, this particular affidavit is very specific and further protects the state of Connecticut in that it strengthens our prequalification process over $ 5 hundred thousand dollars. It also establishes a criminal conviction as the threshold for disqualification, which safeguards due process. So I would beg to differ that this only enhances our qualification process and makes perfect sense for the state of Connecticut.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Doyle.

SENATOR DOYLE (9TH):

Yes, thank you, Madam President. Well it was framed to me from a businessman from my district who actually is involved with this process and it was framed that this, you know, I think it's fairly clear to say, our bidding process is cumbersome after the reforms we made back in the Aurelle years, we created the more complicated bidding process. And the question, from my perspective, I'm certainly not an expert on this and I think Senator McLachlan knows it better than me, but from my perspective, I was told that the current prequalification is very thorough and once you get through that, your backgrounds are fully screened and also apparently there is another statute whereas even after a person is qualified, the state has an ability to disqualify certain contractors if other flaws are created; I think it's 31-57C. So, in light of our -- I've heard many complaints through the years that our current process takes a long time to get contractors approved and then the process through and if we were to add this, I think it would just further burden our bidding process and I believe it's already covered in our current process.

So I will oppose this amendment. I'll urge my colleagues to reject this on the grounds that we have to try to get our projects approved and get jobs moving sooner. So I believe this amendment will delay things and make it more cumbersome to complete our projects. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Senator McLachlan.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Senator Doyle, for your comments and concerns. I certainly appreciate them. Let me just clarify further, if I may, current Department of Administrative Service Policy and Regulations does not require a swearing of the facts are true when they are qualified and have not -- or making a statement that they have not been convicted of a crime as such. It also lacks staff vetting as to the truthfulness of the responses given. So, what's the reason of this affidavit, it's a very simple additional document added. It's not going to slow down anybody. What it does, is it has a very specific statement made by the perspective state contractor that you are, in fact, have not been convicted or pleaded nolo contendre to a public entity's crime, only within the last five years. It's a very liberal, frankly, a fairly liberal statement that has to be made and this does not exist in state statute today. It is a very simple document that would probably take only moments for the state contractor to execute, but it is a sworn statement. So, Senator Doyle, I hope you'll reconsider your objection. Madam President, once again, I urge adoption. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the amendment? Will you remark further on the amendment? If not, oh, Senator Doyle.

SENATOR DOYLE (9TH):

Could a vote be taken by roll please?

THE CHAIR:

A Roll Call vote will be had. Mr. Clerk, will you call for a Roll Call vote on Senate “A”. The machine is open.

CLERK:

Immediate Roll Call has been order in the Senate on Senate Amendment Schedule “A”. Immediate Roll Call has been order in the Senate. [pause 1: 07: 20 to 1: 09: 36].

THE CHAIR:

If all Senators are in the room please cast your ballot now. All Senators in the room please cast your ballot. Senator Hartley.

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

CLERK:


On Senate Amendment Scheduled “A”
.

Total number Voting 36

Those Voting Yea 20

Those Voting Nay 16

Absent not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The amendment passes. [gavel]

Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? Senator McLachlan.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Now the underlying bill becomes the bill and I urge adoption.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is adoption. Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? If not, Mr. Clerk will you please for a Roll Call vote. The machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate Roll Call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate Roll Call has been ordered in the Senate. [pause 1: 10: 44 to 1: 13: 25].

THE CHAIR:

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

CLERK:

On Senate Bill No. 991.

Total number Voting 36

Those Voting Yea 21

Those Voting Nay 15

Absent not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill is passed. [gavel]

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On page 15, Calendar 361, substitute for Senate Bill no. 1042, AN ACT CONCERNING THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR THE PROSECUTION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT. There are amendments.

THE CHAIR:

Good evening, Senator Kissel. How are you tonight, sir?

SENATOR KISSELL (7TH):

I am fine, Madam President. How are you? I hope you are as well.

THE CHAIR:

Absolutely.

SENATOR KISSELL (7TH):

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

THE CHAIR:

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

SENATOR KISSELL (7TH):

Thank you very much. This bill is very straightforward and in fact, we alluded to it in some debate in the last week or so. What this does is, it takes the current statute of limitations for various sexual assault crimes and doubles it from the current five years to ten years; it's effective as October 1st, so by way of explanation, if the current statute of limitations as of October 1st has not run from the date of the alleged occurrence, then there would be the additional five years tacked on to that. If between now and October 1st, that original five years has come and gone, then an individual could not be prosecuted for that underlying alleged misconduct. I think it's a good bill and I also would indicate that while I cannot commit my co-chairs, I certainly would be more than willing to revisit this issue for further discussion during next years' session and I would urge my colleagues to support this bill. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark? Senator Doyle.

SENATOR DOYLE (9TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I speak in favor of this bill also, extending the statutes of limitations from five to ten years. We had a public hearing in the Judiciary Committee and it was the consensus of the committee for this year to increase it from five to ten years. There was, you know, some internal and external discussions by committee members. There were certainly members on both sides of it. Some wanted to make it unlimited. Some didn't want to change it at all. In the time of the committee level, we got out this five to ten years.

You know, there are -- on its face it seems to make perfect sense to extend it out unlimited, others raised concerns, you know, is it fair that a person will always be held responsible and won't be able to properly defend themselves and that's the issue and that's what the committee struggles with. So today, we're going five to ten years. Like co-chairman Kissel, we can review again next year and consider maybe going farther, but I think it's a compromise that extends out, it provides some additional time, but I think it's a reasonable figure at the present time and I urge the Chamber to approve it. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further, will you remark further? If not, Senator Kissel, oops sorry, Senator Flexer. Senator Flexer, please.

SENATOR FLEXER (29TH):

Good even, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Good evening, ma'am.

SENATOR FLEXER (29TH):

Madam President, I rise in support of the bill and I just want to thank Senator Kissel and Senator Doyle for their work on this bill and also to thank them for their commitment to looking at this issue in the future. I think it's really important that we're moving forward with this measure. Connecticut will catch up with at least 34 other states that have statutes of limitations for these sorts of crimes of at least ten years and hopefully, we'll catch up with the 23 states that have no statute of limitations for these crimes in the future. But this is a really important bill that will make sure that more victims of sexual assault in the future, will be able to seek justice in our state, and that's a really important thing to be proud of this evening. So, again, I want to thank the leadership of the Judiciary Committee and I hope that the Chamber will support this important measure. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further? Senator Bye.

SENATOR BYE (5TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Good evening.

THE CHAIR:

Good evening, Ma'am.

SENATOR BYE (5TH):

I want to echo Senator Flexer's gratitude to Senator Kissel and Doyle and I also want to thank Senator Flexer for her leadership on this issue. I think it's recognizing that sexual assault is a different kind of crime and that we need longer for the statute of limitations. I've been a proponent of no statute of limitations for at least ten years in this building. Currently, the statute of limitations is longer to collect a debt than it is to press charges for a sexual assault, so I'm really glad that this legislature is taking this step. I'm also really encouraged to hear both Senator Doyle and Kissel say that next year they're willing to have this conversation again to perhaps extend the statute of limitations. I know it's a complicated legal issue when it comes to defense and evidence and all that, but this is a particular kind of crime where there's pretty good evidence that victims have many reasons not to report the crime or that they suppress the crime for many years. So I just rise in strong support of the bill. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? Senator Kissel.

SENATOR KISSELL (7TH):

I appreciate all the positive comments made by Senator Flexer and Senator Bye and seeing no further comments or questions, I would ask for a Roll Call vote on this bill. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Roll Call will be had. Mr. Clerk, will you call for a Roll Call on the bill, the machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate Roll Call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate Roll Call has been ordered in the Senate. [pause 01: 19: 38 to 01: 21: 33]

THE CHAIR:

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

CLERK:

Senate Bill 1042.

Total number Voting 36

Those Voting Yay 36

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes. [gavel] Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On page 46, Calendar 124, substitute for Senate Bill No. 917, AN ACT CONCERNING DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES AGAINST VETERANS, LEAVES OF ABSENCE FOR NATIONAL GUARD MEMBERS, REGISTRATION FOR CERTAIN MEDICAID PROGRAMS AND DISCLOSURE OF CERTAIN RECORDS TO FEDERAL MILITARY LAW ENFORCEMENT.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Flexer, good even ma'am.

SENATOR FLEXER (29TH):

Good evening, 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 acceptance and passage. Will you remark, ma'am?

SENATOR FLEXER (29TH):

Yes, thank you, Madam President. Madam President, the bill before us does a number of different things. First of all, it adds Veteran status to the statutes that govern discrimination in employment, public accommodations, housing, credit and other laws that CHRO has jurisdiction over. It allows Veterans who allege that they have been discriminated against to take any measures that are allowed in statutes for other forms of discrimination to move forward and make sure that if they are discriminated against because they are a Veteran, they can have the same protections that other protected groups do.

The bill also requires that if someone in Connecticut is serving in the National Guard, that is, the National Guard of another state, not the Connecticut National Guard, that they can be granted leave from their employer for that purpose. Current law protects members of the Connecticut National Guard, but not necessarily members of the National Guard that serve in other states. I know in my district many of my constituents serve in the National Guard in Rhode Island or Massachusetts; this would ensure that they would enjoy the same protections if they have to have a leave from their employment.


It also allows active duty service members, if they are attempting to enroll in Medicaid while they are stationed in another place that they can maintain their same place where they
've attempted to get Medicaid in another state if they move to Connecticut that they can have the same place in line, if you will, when they come here.

And it also makes sure that military officers are mandated reporters of the Department of Children and Families if they have any suspicion of abuse and neglect.


The final three items of the bill that I just described, Madam President, came from us as suggestions from the Department of Defense and I hope that the Chamber will support this measure
.

Madam President, the clerk is in possession of an amendment, LCO 8645. I would ask that the clerk call the amendment and I be granted leave to summarize.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

LCO 8645, Senate “A” offered by Senators Flexer and Martin.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Flexer.

SENATOR FLEXER (29TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I move adoption.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on adoption. Will you remark, ma'am.

SENATOR FLEXER (29TH):

Yes, thank you, Madam President. Madam President, the amendment before us just makes a few changes to the sections concerning Medicaid that I described to make it more consistent with Connecticut's existing statutes and I hope that the Chamber would support the amendment.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the amendment? Senator Martin. Good evening, sir.

SENATOR MARTIN (31ST):

Good evening, Madam President. Madam President, I rise in support of the amendment. It is technical changes but also the underlining bill as a whole. Thank you, Madam.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further on the amendment? 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 as amended? Will you remark further on the bill as amended? If not, Mr. Clerk, will you call for a Roll Call vote? The machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate Roll Call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate Roll Call has been ordered in the Senate. [pause 01: 25: 55 to 01: 28: 09]

THE CHAIR:

If all members have voted, if all members have voted, the machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you please call for a tally?

CLERK:

Senate Bill No. 917.

Total number Voting 36

Those Voting Yea 36

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes. [gavel] Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On page 10, Calendar 271, substitute for Senate Bill No. 796, AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF RESPECTFUL AND PERSON-FIRST LANGUAGE. There are amendments.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Gerratana.

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

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

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage. Will you remark?

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Yes, Madam President. Madam President, I have a strike-all amendment, so if the clerk would please call LCO 8612 and I would be allowed to summarize.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

LCO 8612, Senate “A” offered by Senators Gerratana, Somers, et al.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Gerratana.

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I move adoption.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on adoption. Will you remark, ma'am.

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Yes, Thank you, Madam President. The amendment before us actually becomes the bill as it's a strike-all amendment, but I did want to comment and preface my explanation of the bill by stating that this is a years' work, almost a years' work on behalf of the Governor's liaison to the disability community, John Slifka. John comes to us with this legislation through the Governor's office because many different advocacy groups did talk with him and contacted him to do this very chore. And it is quite a chore. I think some of the members will remember in the past that we amended and updated the APRN Statutes, which was also many, many sections to that bill and this bill, of course, does a very important job and that is, the correction, if you will, and the usage of terms in our statutes; some of them that are outdated, disrespectful or inappropriate. So, I just wanted to give you some instances, since the bill has so many different sections.

For instance, in many places where it refers to disabled person, now it will refer to a person with disabilities. Other common changes include instead of deaf and hearing impaired, it will be deaf or hard-of-hearing, and of course, instead of handicapped, it will be a person with a disability. These changes reflect common usage throughout our country, and of course, is considered respectful and person-first language.

Mr. Slifka also met, along with members of the legislature here, with a number of individuals, those who testified before our committee and others who had concerns about the bill, worked out those changes; hence, the many different amendments and this is very common in bills of this sort, when you have so many sections of the statute that you're amending. But their concerns were addressed, so I do hope that the Chamber will adopt this amendment. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the amendment? Senator Somers. Good evening, ma'am.

SENATOR SOMERS (18TH):

Good evening, Madam President. I would just like to echo my fellow Senator's and co-chair's words. I hope that you will all take it upon yourselves to vote in support of this amendment, which is now the bill, which will correct the use of language and have the language in our statutes be considered more respectful. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, ma'am. Will you remark further on Senate “A”? Senator Kennedy.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I rise in support of this important bill. I want to thank my colleagues and Jonathan Slifka for really bringing an important issue. You know, a lot of people say that language is symbolic. But the language we use is really indicative of the attitudes that we hold. And we know that for people with disabilities, it's not their physical or mental condition that really create the disability, it is society's stereotypes and outdated attitudes about people and I've seen -- many people know I've worked in this field for a long time and I've seen language develop from invalid, which means invalid.

Disabled, sounds like a broken down car on the side of the road. We've seen the word crippled. Handicapped and like other disenfranchised groups in our society, the language has changed and evolved, thankfully, and I'm really pleased to see our state finally make the effort to changing our and modernizing the language because it sends a really important message to people with disabilities and to the rest of the world that we really believe in equality and independence for all people. So I encourage my colleagues to vote in favor of this important measure. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, Senator Kennedy. Well said. Will you remark further on the amendment? Will you remark further on the amendment? If not, I will try your minds. All those in favor of Senate “A” 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 Markley. Good evening, sir.

SENATOR MARKLEY (16TH):

Good evening, Madam President. Thank you, very much. I rise, first of all, to thank the chairs of the committee for the changes that were made in this amendment, which I think are very much an improvement and have gone a considerable way in addressing the concerns that I had about this bill and that friends of mine have expressed to me about this bill. And I think the problem we often have when we get into legislation, which has to do with picking proper words, is that there's not universal agreement on what the proper word is. But I haven't been in politics, which is a profession that has a good deal to do with the struggles with words, I've taught English or I've written as best I could and I am very aware of the struggle that we have constantly to make words mean what we want them to say, and the rather hopeless feeling you have as the words go down on the page and fail to reflect the glowing notion you have in your mind that can never be properly captured.

I think the same thing happens to us in trying to find the proper words to deal with people. Obviously, people are very sensitive to the words that are used about them. Perhaps it's my own experience that the folks in the disabled community that I have been the closest too, have not been comfortable with these particular changes, which are seen as person-oriented, but that's not a movement, that's not a direction which is universally embraced in each of these communities to say, rather than to say, a blind person, a person with a visual impairment or whatever.

I feel like there still is a mixed reaction to this and I hesitate to support putting into statute something that is to my mind, linguistically unresolved. And with all respect to the folks who have been in favor of this and to Jonathan who I know has made an effort, particularly in this case, to satisfy the concerns of everybody; in the end, you can't satisfy the concerns of everybody and I am almost inclined to say myself, again maybe speaking as a conservative; I'm more likely to allow the language to work itself out than ratifying a statute, rather than try to step out in statute before that discussion is entirely resolved.

So for those reasons, and again, with regard to the folks who have worked on this bill, I believe in good conscience, I can't support it tonight. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? If not, 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. Immediate Roll Call has been ordered in the Senate.

[pause 01: 37: 11 to 01: 40: 01]

THE CHAIR:

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

CLERK:

Senate Bill No. 769.

Total number Voting 36

Those Voting Yea 35

Those Voting Nay 1

Absent not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The vote passes. [gave]. Senator Duff, why do you stand sir?

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President for a couple markings, please.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Will the Senate stand at ease for a moment?

THE CHAIR:

The Senate will stand at ease. [pause 01: 40: 34 to 01: 40: 43]

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. On Calendar page 5, Calendar 157, Senate Bill No. 943, I move to mark that item PT.

THE CHAIR:

So ordered.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

And on Calendar page 6, Calendar 190, Senate Bill No. 964, I move to mark that item PT. And on the last item that we mark today, on Calendar page 47, Calendar 240, I read the wrong bill number, it is not 996, it is Senate Bill No. 966. Madam President, if we could just stand at ease for a moment.

THE CHAIR:

We will stand at ease, sir. [gavel] [pause 01: 41: 21 to 01: 46: 04]

Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I ask for reconsideration of Senate Bill No. 850, Calendar page 8, Calendar 238, Senate Bill No. 850, I was on the prevailing side. We would like to have a revote; we had a member who was absent and I think we can get all 36 of us now. And so, if the clerk can please call that bill?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk, can you call that bill?

CLERK:

On page 8, Calendar 238, Senate Bill No. 850.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk, can you just call for a Roll Call vote on that bill? The machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate Roll Call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate Roll Call on reconsidered Senate Bill No. 850. [pause 1: 46: 59 to 1: 49: 28]

THE CHAIR:

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

CLERK:


Senate Bill No
. 850.

Total number voting 36

Those Voting Yea 36

Those Voting Nay 0

Absent not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes [gavel]. [pause 1: 48: 46 to 01: 50: 01] The Senate will stand at ease. [pause 1: 50: 04 to 1: 58: 26]

The Senate will come back to order. Senator Duff. Senator Duff, please. Somebody? Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I move that all items acted upon that need House approval be immediately transmitted to the House of Representatives, please.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered, sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, does the clerk have on his desk, Agenda No. 3?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

Is in possession of Senate Agenda No. 3, dated Monday, June 5, 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 Monday, June, 5, 2017, be acted upon as indicated and the Agenda be incorporated by reference into the Senate Journal and transcript and that today's agendas be moved immediately to the Calendar, please.

THE CHAIR:

So will.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. If the Senate could stand at ease.

THE CHAIR:

The Senate will stand at ease. [pause 01: 59: 35 to 02: 04: 54] The Senate. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. If the clerk can call Calendar page 10, Calendar 298, Senate Bill No. 711.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:


On page 10, Calendar 298, Senate Bill No
. 711, AN ACT INCREASING THE AMOUNT A SCHOOL DISTRICT MAY REDUCE ITS MINIMUM BUDGET REQUIREMENT WHEN IT EXPERIENCES A DECLINE IN STUDENT ENROLLMENT. There is an amendment.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Yes, good evening, 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 acceptance and passage. Will you remark, ma'am?

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Yes. Thank you, Madam President. This bill, Senate Bill No. 711, I would like to move passage of the bill, if I could.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance of passage. Will you remark, ma'am.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Yes. Thank you very much, Madam President. Madam President, Senate Bill No. 711, addresses a problem that many of our school systems are experiencing right now. Given the state of our economy and the change in population, as has been reported time and again, they are seeing a serious decline in student enrollment. The MBR, which requires a school district to spend the same as it had in the previous year, has caused them a great deal of concern. This bill moves to try to reduce that mandate, allowing some flexibility given the economic situation that they find themselves in. This bill extends the current MBR requirement in the existing reductions and exemptions for it in 2018 and 2019. It also eliminates the cap on how much a town's MBR can be reduced or decreased for decreased enrollments in 2018 and 2019.

Under the bill, the eligible town can use more than one MBR reduction. Right now, one of them of course is for reduced enrollment or declining enrollment, but they also can achieve efficiencies either through their own processes or through regional cooperation agreements. Additionally, a school district could close a school and therefore, it would seem unreasonable to expect that they would be spending the same amount of funds. It makes a great deal of sense.

The bill also has mechanisms that include two different caps on the reduction, depending upon the percentage of students in the district eligible for free and reduced lunch. If the district student population eligible for free and reduced lunch is equal to or greater than 20 percent, the MBR reduction cap is 1. 5 percent of the town's education budge. If it is less than 20 percent, the MBR cap is 3 percent of the town's educational budget. This bill eliminates the cap and any references to the free and reduced lunch. Again, but this is only for declining enrollments I might add.


So, Madam President, I hope that there will be some discussion of this bill, but also the approval of it because it is a timely bill, something that we really need right now
. I encourage the members of this circle to support this amendment, excuse me, this bill and vote in favor of it this evening. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? Senator Bye.

SENATOR BYE (5TH):

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

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed ma'am.

SENATOR BYE (5TH):

Through you, Madam President. I really appreciate the good work of the co-chair of the Education Committee, both actually, Senator Slossberg and Boucher and I know I supported this out of committee, but I always have some questions and reservations about MBR.

Through you, Madam President, could Senator Boucher please describe what MBR is and what the exemptions are meant to help with?

Through you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Yes, Madam President. Madam President, the minimum budget requirement was a provision that was passed some years past because we had certain, usually it was municipalities, not so often in smaller communities. We are -- the Education Cautionary Grants that were provided to community didn't always reach the classroom. A lot of that -- the funding, the reimbursement, the funding, somehow was used for other purposes in the town, sometimes to reduce property taxes, other times for municipal purposes, and there was a great deal of concern. There was one municipality in particular, I might add, it was in the city of Bridgeport, where there was a lot of concern that our education funds did not reach that classroom. So, as a result, this bill was put in place particularly to stop that kind of practice. There were severe penalties, in fact, in the millions of dollars in some cases were actually exacted on certain municipalities for not doing the right thing and making sure that the education dollars reached those communities.

However, in the interim, and by the way, that still is going to be continued in practice for those situations. This is where, and we're -- this of late, more of a concern than it has been in the past, when we had increasing enrollments all the while.

So in fact, any exemptions from the MBR wouldn't have been effective. But, given the situation that the state finds itself in, particularly some of our smaller communities, cost communities, this has become a severe problem. Because in fact, they've had some severe -- I believe there's only four communities or cities in the state right now that are actually experiencing an increase in enrollment. So we are forcing them to artificially pay more for fewer students and fewer staff and fewer needs. So I think this is a critical bill right now, given the fact that the vast majority of our towns are experiencing a decrease in enrollment.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Bye.

SENATOR BYE (5TH):

Thank you, Madam President and I thank the gentlewoman for her answers. It was a very clear description of what MBR is and what it's meant to do and what the exemptions are meant to do.

My question for her is this, one thing I always wonder, is, if a community has fewer students than they had previously and they still get the same amount of money from the state, why then allow the town to use those dollars for other purposes versus send them back to the state which may be able to redistribute them to towns who are underfunded?

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, this bill allows the town to reduce its MBR if it receives a reduction in ECS aide by the amount of the aide reduction. Also, if a town receives an increase in ECR, its MBR must increase by the same amount, except that it may be eligible for one or more of the following reductions or exemptions in 2018 and 2019 and that is: Reduced enrollment reduction, a town without a high school and the calculation is 100 percent of the reduction of the tuition paid out to a town where students attend high school. The MBR reduction cap, there is none. Also, where there's increased efficiencies or regional collaborations for any district, would be 50 percent of the savings and the MBR reduction cap would be 0. 5 percent. And additionally, a school closed due to declining enrollments, that would be for any district and that is really actually determined by the Commissioner and there is no MBR reduction cap. So that is how it's intended to work.


Through you, Madam President
.


THE CHAIR
:

Senator Bye.

SENATOR BYE (5TH):

Through you, Madam President. I appreciate the answer. I'm a little more confused, so I'm just going to ask my broad concern and then move on for others who have questions.

So, as I understand, Senator Boucher's answer, she's saying a town can only interject an MBR exemption if indeed, their ECS grant was reduced by the amount of funds for which they're asking an exemption? Is that accurate, Senator Boucher?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Yes. Through you, Madam President, that is correct. And only for declining enrollment.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Bye.

SENATOR BYE (5TH):

I thank the gentlewoman for her answers. I just, I still have some concerns but actually a lot of allayed by the gentlewoman's answers. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further? Senator Witkos. Good evening.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Good evening, Madam President. Great seeing you this evening.

THE CHAIR:

Great seeing you, sir.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

I risk in support of the bill that's before us. You know we've heard from many of our municipalities when they first received their municipal and ECS runs earlier this year in February and then again in May and, they were trying to figure out as they came up with their budgets how they were going to manage those finances and bring to their local taxpayers, budgets that would require a four, five or six percent increases to taxpayers and they were horrified. And they said, we need some help with this legislature. And I think this is one of those mechanisms in that, the reason why the ECS monies are being reduced in part, was because of a declining enrollment.

I remember, it's been since 2011 since many communities were flat-funded at the time and we never utilized ECS formula since that time. It was always, you got what you got the previous year since 2011 unless you were in a district lucky enough where you might have received some additional funds, but it certainly wasn't tied to student enrollment numbers.

So when these new numbers came out for reimbursements, they were actually tied to a number of students that live and go to school in those districts and they are down. So we can only ask our local Boards of Education, if we're cutting you money, you should be allowed to cut that same amount of money from your budgets. Why should we tell our local Boards of Education, if you're receiving a 15 percent reduction in your state grants that you would normally be getting, we don't care, you find the 15 percent from your local taxpayers. That's not right, because we as a state, have reduced time and time again the amount of education dollars that fund our public education. More often we rely on the local taxpayers to fund that and it's just not fair. We have a constitutional obligation to provide a free public education to the students of the state of Connecticut. Free doesn't necessarily mean push it on the backs of the local taxpayers. So, when we're cutting out from under them, and especially midterm cuts, they can't manage that at the local level. They need relief.

This doesn't mean they're getting rid of teachers. This doesn't mean that the student's class sizes are going from 18 to 30. This means that they don't have to spend the money on non-educational items that they may have before in the past, that doesn't affect the student's performance.

This is right. Ask any first selectman that asked, they tell you. Or any Board of Education chair. It's very difficult because at the local level, a Board of Finance can only suggest a bottom line reduction to a Board of Education budget. They can't go through a line item budget like they can on the municipal side of the government.


So this is the type of relief, that if we so chose as a body, to reduce the amount
. And it's up to us, it's what we give them in a budget, we don't have to give them a reduction at all if we don't want to, if that's what we determine the best course of the taxpayer's dollar should go. Let's fully fund the ECS. So this won't even come up to a question. But if we reduce it, we've got to give the municipalities the opportunity to reduce that, just that amount accordingly. And I ask the Chamber for its adoption.

Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further? Senator Osten. Good evening, ma'am.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Good evening. I'm very glad that it's evening. I rise for a couple of questions to the proponent of the bill.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, ma'am.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much, Madam President. Madam President, through you, what percentage of a Board of Education budget is the fixed costs, i. e. electricity, fuel, etc.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, that question depends on which school system you're talking about. I believe that that would be different depending upon the community, about the size of the school, about the scope of the numbers of various school buildings there is. I do not have an answer directly for generally for the state of Connecticut.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much, Madam President. I believe that on every EDLO1 that is done by a school it lists out the fixed costs and I'm sure that many people around the circle have reviewed some of those fixed costs.

Through you, Madam President, to the proponent of the bill. What is the percentage of salaries in a Board of Education budget?

Through you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, the salary, benefits and other fringe for many school districts can range, but typically I would say they are between 75 percent and 80 percent, could be probably 60 percent to 80 percent; it just, again, depends on the school system.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much, Madam President and it's a good thing that the state of Connecticut picks up the total cost of the pension payments for our teachers or otherwise, it would be certainly much higher. So, if it's 60 percent to 80 percent, so let's take the lower number 60 percent of the budget is salaries. And then we have the fixed cost of running a building, so, through you, Madam President, would you say that that could run about 15 percent of the total budget?

Through you, Madam President. Would that be a fair assessment?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Madam President. That sounds a reasonable number.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much, Madam President. So if we say 60 percent/65 percent are salaries and 15 percent are the fixed costs of a building, I think they're probably a little bit higher than that, but just for sake of a math problem, that brings us up to 80 percent of budget that has nothing to do with programs for children. So that leaves us 20 percent of the budget that's left. So, is the proponent of the bill suggesting that where we would say to our local Boards of Education that they should cut the budget that directly impacts children buying books, having the software for computers, figuring out what science classes and the material necessary for that?

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I may differ with the characterization of direct services to students. I would maintain that the single most direct impact to children is the teacher in that classroom.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.


SENATOR OSTEN (19TH)
:

Thank you very much, Madam President and I would agree that teachers are very valuable for our student population, but teachers need tools and part of those tools are textbooks and other material they, while in the town of Sprague, many of the parents buy all the pens and pencils, crayons and glue and paper and all the other things that are sort of ancillary to a child's usage in a classroom; they still need -- they don't buy the books and they don't buy the testing material and they don't buy the lab materials that are necessary, so I think that if we -- and I think that this is a conundrum.

So, through you, Madam President, we have, in the case of a Parish Hill High School, which is not in my district and the fixed costs have risen so dramatically that there is nothing left to cut. So, that cost at that school, some $ 26 thousand dollars per student, if we say to them that they are going to cut 15 percent, that will leave nothing for students at all. The fixed costs would eat up all of that. Now, I think that school should be very frugal, but I'm a little concerned on this percentage because I don't find that, and I would agree with Senator Witkos when he talked about having line item rescission and if you put into this amendment that we allow line item rescissions on Board of Education budgets, and take away the requirement of having Superintendents and high-paid administrative staff, I could clearly vote for that, but this puts schools in a very difficult position because we're not taking away where they could save money and not impact children. And I think those areas where they could save money and not impact children is to decrease the unnecessary administrative positions and allow for line item rescissions when a budget is being reviewed by a Board of Finance or whatever the mechanism is in that particular town.

In addition to that, I think that when they're transfers between accounts, that that should be reviewed by the local Board of Finance or whatever the financial mechanism is for that particular town.

So, I was wondering if the proponent of the bill had reviewed those policies and looked for ways to allow our schools to operate at the lowest level possible; that is, with teachers teaching children and keeping the necessary materials there, recognizing that the fixed costs of a building never really change; sometimes you pay a little bit more for electricity and sometimes the winters are warmer or colder and you might pay a little bit more or less for heat, but if we are truly interested in putting the dollars in the classroom, we need to get rid some of the high-paid administrative positions.

Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Madam President and I listened with great interest to the comments by my distinguished colleague on this issue. It is a matter of great debate on local school boards very often about, you know, the high fixed costs of maintaining the school building and classrooms; at what point when you get a reduction in a student body do you then eat into the meat of the operation? But we have to remember, that we're talking about a “per pupil” cost. We're not talking about cutting 20 percent of a whole budget. This is very carefully stated in that, as you reduce your enrollment to such degree and your reimbursement from the state is that “per pupil” reduction, the school board and the local municipality can make all the changes that were just described. They would not have the need for additional administrators if the student body was greatly reduced and in some cases that could be nearly 50 percent of a high school that might have been 800/900, could be 400, 350 and at that point, you know, it is up to the school board to decide how that is done.

Oftentimes, we often get into debates locally that the Board of Finance should have line item veto on educational budget lines and we fight that tooth and nail and bills like that have never passed this General Assembly because we believe that the school board has that decision-making. They're closest to their needs of the community and they can make those line item changes. Instead, the Board of Finance can say, well, we may reduce you $ 1 hundred thousand dollars or $ 5 hundred thousand dollars, but we cannot tell you where to make those cuts. And that's correct, because they are experts on what the educational need is locally. They're responding to the parents that are their advocates. We are not in this bill saying you can wholesale, cut 20 percent. We're talking about a “per pupil” reduction in enrollment.

And also there, remember, there's caps still involved in this bill that we just talked about, 1. 5 percent and 3 percent that were there originally, but now we're saying that maybe those caps do not necessarily or are appropriate given the economic conditions we're in and we have, in many of our cities, increasing enrollments. In fact, that's where the enrollments are growing and this would still apply in their circumstances. And it is very limited.

So, you know, I understand the deep concerns, I share that, but in addition, when you have reductions in enrollment, oftentimes that also means reductions in administration as well.


Through you, Madam President
.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much, Madam President. And through you to my distinguished colleague, the facts are that we should give each municipality the ability to make that decision on whether or not a municipality's financial arms should have the right for a line item rescission; let the town decide by its legislative body on whether or not the line item should be vetoed at a financial arm. That way, it's not the state making that decision and the state requires high-level administrative positions. It may allow regionalization. It already allows towns to cut their expenses based on a certain percentage of a loss of student population. But we have not loosened the reigns on whether or not a town has to or does have to have a superintendent. We have not loosened the reigns on allowing towns themselves to determine whether or not, their financial arm can review school budgets by line items and I think that driving, as my colleague has said, the local level knows best. Let the local level make that decision on whether or not to review a Board of Education budget and make line item rescissions and review transfers between line items and let the town decide whether or not they need high-paid administrators in schools because they often keep their jobs and the lower level teachers and lower level non-certified staff are the ones that are first to be let go.


So, I
'll listen to this debate, but I don't think this gives towns an ability to handle school budgets in a thoughtful, precise manner that gives children educational resources and targets cuts into areas that are not necessary.

Thank you very much, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? If not, Mr. Clerk, will you call for a Roll Call vote? The machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate Roll Call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate Roll Call has been ordered in the Senate. [pause 02: 31: 24 to 02: 35: 00]

THE CHAIR:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? Is your vote properly recorded? If so, the machine will be locked and the clerk will please take a tally.

CLERK:

Senate Bill No. 711.

Total number Voting 36

Those Voting Yea 31

Those Voting Nay 5

Absent not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

[gavel] Mr. Majority Leader.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I move that this item be immediately transmitted to the House of Representatives, please.

THE CHAIR:

Without object, so ordered, sir. You have the floor, Mr. Majority Leader.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I'm going to yield to Senator Kennedy, who has a point of personal privilege, please.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kennedy, do you accept the yield, sir?

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

Yes I do Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

You have the floor.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

Thank you, I rise for the purposes of personal privilege.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed.

SENATOR KENNEDY (12TH):

I, Connecticut lost a true environmental champion at the end of May. Many of us knew Sandy Breslin very well. Sandy Breslin was a well-known environmental and community activist who was involved politically in Connecticut and really devoted her life to preserving and protecting Long Island Sound. She was the Director of Government Affairs for the Audubon Society and every time you see a school of fish or a beautiful flock of ducks on Long Island Sound, you have Sandy Breslin to thank for her work. She passed away from cancer on May 31, 2017 and I'd just like to ask the Chamber to rise for just a moment of silence in loving memory of Sandy Breslin.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you all arise for a moment of silence for a very wonderful lady. [silence] Thank you all. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I would yield to Senator Flexer for a point of personal privilege please.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Flexer. Will you accept the yield, ma'am?

SENATOR FLEXER (29TH):

Yes, I do, Madam President. Madam President I rise for a point of personal privilege.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, ma'am.

SENATOR FLEXER (29TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, tomorrow, Senator Martin, Representative Hennessy, Representative Ferraro and the members of the Veterans Affairs Committee are hosting another event to help support our Veterans. The Save a Suit event and I would like to ask my colleagues to please consider donating their gently used men's and women's professional clothing tomorrow at the parking lot outside of the Capitol Building starting at 9: 00 a. m.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Any other points of privilege or announcements? Seeing none. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, a few announcements. One is that the Senate Democrats will have an immediate caucus once we adjourn.

Secondly, our business is done for the day.

Third, the Senate Democrats will have a caucus tomorrow morning at 10: 30, followed by a session at noonish and [laughing] I will now yield to Senator Witkos.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Witkos, what kind of “ish” announcements do you have? [laughing]

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Thank you, Madam President. The Senate Republicans will caucus immediately following the adjournment of the Agenda for today.

THE CHAIR:

Are there any other announcements? Are there any other announcements? Senator Duff, give us the great words that we want to hear.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I move that we adjourn, subject to the Call of the Chair.

THE CHAIR:

So ordered, sir.

On motion of Senator Duff of the 25th, the Senate at 10: 19 p. m. adjourned subject to the call of the chair.

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