CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

SENATE

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Senate was called to order at 5: 30 p. m. , the President in the Chair.

THE CHAIR:

The Senate please come to order. Members and guests please rise, direct your attention to Reverend Hope Eakins who will lead us in prayer today.

REVEREND HOPE EAKINS:

Almighty God, the fountain of wisdom, whose statutes are upright and whose law is truth, we give you thanks for the diligence of our Senate during this last session.

Guide and direct the ongoing work of these legislators and their staffs that it may be for the good of all your people; give them ears to hear and patience to listen, that even when they differ in their understanding, they may live in concord and respect one another.

Endue them with openness to change and a willingness to adapt to a changing world so that through their endeavors, they may bring peace and joy and prosperity to our state.

May every decision made, every budget balanced, and every law enacted here honor your Spirit of justice and Your purpose for our lives for Yours is the Kingdom now and forever. Amen.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, Reverend Eakins. Reverend Eakins happens to be Bruce Adams' mom who is joining us today and his wonderful two daughters; that's Margaret and Lucy. You wanna say hi to everybody? So, I'd ask you to give them a warm welcome today. [clapping]

Thank you, and at this time, I'd ask Senator Looney -- Senator Fasano around? I guess not. Senator Looney, would you come up and lead us in the Pledge.

SENATOR FASANO (11TH):

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

THE CHAIR:

At this time, Mr. Clerk -- I'm sorry before Mr. Clerk, are there any other points of personal privilege? I should have asked. I'm sorry. Senator Frantz.

SENATOR FRANTZ (36TH):

Of no doubt at all, Madam President, thank you very much for the time here. We appreciate that. I've told you so many times how long the drive is from where I live to the Capitol and if you do this at the wrong time of the day, it can take up to two and a half to three hours and sometimes even four hours to do it, so it's rare that we get visitors up here, but we have some very special visitors. If they'd come on up here. Doug Hight and son Jimmy Hight drove all the way up at the wrong time of the day today to come up and see what this place is all about on [inaudible00: 04: 45], the last day of our session.

They're a wonderful family, great family friends. It's a family of athletes. They play just about every sport under the sun and they're darn good at it. So, if the Senate would give them a wonderful warm welcome, we would appreciate it. Thank you. [clapping]

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Are there any other points of personal privilege? Seeing none.

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

CLERK:

I'm in possession of Senate Agenda No. 1 dated Wednesday, June 7, 2017. It's been copied and is on Senator's desks.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President, and good evening. Madam President I move that all items on Senate Agenda No. 1 dated Wednesday, June 7, 2017 be acted upon as indicated and that the agenda be incorporated by reference in the Senate Journal and transcript and that items be immediately placed on the calendar.

THE CHAIR:

So, ordered.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. For some markings please?

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I'm going to start off with a consent calendar. On Calendar, page -- I'm sorry, on no page -- Calendar 295, Senate Bill 445. I'd like to suspend the rules and add that item to the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. On Calendar Page 13, Calendar 348, House Bill 6260, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 13, Calendar 366, House Bill 7066, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 14, Calendar 367, House Bill 7104, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 18, Calendar 419, House Bill 7262, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 20, Calendar 439, House Bill 6219, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 23, Calendar 483, House Bill 7291, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 24, Calendar 494, House Bill 7146, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 28, Calendar 555, House Bill 7308, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 28, Calendar 557, House Bill 7256, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 31, Calendar 574, House Bill 6603, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 32, Calendar 577, House Bill 7091, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 32, Calendar 578, House Bill 6155, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 33, Calendar 580, House Bill 6997, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

And on Calendar Page 36, Calendar 600, House Bill 7302, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President, and for further markings please?

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 22, Calendar 4782, House Bill 7212, I would like to mark that item go. On Calendar Page 29, Calendar 559, House Bill 6880, I would like to mark that item go. And on Calendar Page 34, Calendar 591, House Bill 7271, I would like to mark that item as go.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk?

CLERK:

On Page 22, Calendar 472, Substitute for House Bill No. 7212 an ACT CONCERNING THE PROMOTION OF LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAMS.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Bye. Good afternoon sir -- ma'am.

SENATOR BYE (5TH):

Good afternoon Madam President. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the House.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage in concurrence. Will you remark?

SENATOR BYE (5TH):

Yes, Madam President. This bill simply is requiring the state loan Ombudsman -- that's a hard word to say -- to make sure that they let public service employees know when they're eligible for student loan forgiveness. It's a good bill, ought to pass. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

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

SENATOR LINARES (33RD):

Good afternoon Madam President, good evening. Just a few questions for the proponent of the bill.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, sir.

SENATOR LINARES (33RD):

Through you, Madam President, is there any cost to the state in this proposed bill? Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Bye.

SENATOR BYE (5TH):

Through you Madam President, no. If you look at the fiscal note, it's saying it's expected that this will not result in a fiscal impact to the state or the towns. Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Linares.

SENATOR LINARES (33RD):

Thank you, Madam President. A follow-up question; through you, do we expect that this will cost any of the public service employers any additional money? I know that you said for the municipalities, but is there any way that this can be an expense for these public service employers? Through you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Bye.

SENATOR BYE (5TH):

Through you Madam President, I'm going to read from the fiscal note. It says, "It is anticipated that the distribution of materials provided by the Ombudsman to newly hired teachers has no fiscal impact to the municipalities as this can be done electronically". Through you Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Linares.

SENATOR LINARES (33RD):

Thank you, Madam President. I don't have any further questions. At first, I was skeptical about this bill. I was concerned that this could lead to there being an additional mandate, but after reviewing the bill I can see how this can be a positive thing for the state of Connecticut for our public service employees and employers. There are federal loan forgiveness opportunities that the federal government offers and to the extent that we can encourage folks in Connecticut to take advantage of that, I think that's a good thing. So, I'd encourage the Chamber to support. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

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

SENATOR BYE (5TH):

Madam President if there's no objection, I ask that it be moved to consent.

THE CHAIR:

We'll have a roll call vote on that. Mr. Clerk will you call for a roll call vote and the machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Gomes, please. Senator Formica. Thank you. Senator Cassano.

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

CLERK:

House Bill 7212.

Total number voting 36

Necessary for Adoption 19

Those voting Yea 36

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The Bill passes. [Gavel] At this time, I ask for any points of personal privilege? Oh, Senator Fasano.

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Thank you for your patience. Madam President, I have had the privilege of being a leader of this caucus for three years now, but prior to me was a leader of the caucus, John McKinney, who I had the pleasure of serving as his deputy leader for six years. John has taught me a lot of things, certainly in this budget time, a lot of skills that I've learned from him have come into play and he saw that we were tied and he thought that perhaps he could be the 19th vote for the republicans and I think there's a motion or bill pending out there on this issue actually.

So, I just want to give a warm welcome to my very good friend, Senator John McKinney. [clapping]

THE CHAIR:

Welcome back John. It's great to see you here. You've got the biggest smile on your face. Senator Looney.

SENATOR LOONEY (11TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I would like to joint Senator Fasano in welcoming Senator McKinney here. He was, of course, really a treasure to this chamber and to state government during his time in office there. There was never a better floor debater, I think, ever to serve in this chamber and no one who was both a formidable adversary and a good friend at the same time, John McKinney. [clapping]

THE CHAIR:

You know this is probably -- go ahead Senator Hwang.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I did seek permission to do so, but I want to take a few moments to acknowledge John. I have the incredible privilege of following him and he has led some very, very big shoes and I'm not sure if I filled them yet. I will do my best, but I also want to acknowledge that there's a man that looks absolutely fit, happy and thin. This is what happens to you when you move on past this chamber. So, there are better things in the future. So, welcome John, welcome. [clapping]

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, John. Well you should have come around earlier. [Laughing] Senator Leone, are you standing for point of personal privilege?

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Yes.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, sir.

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Yes, if I may Madam President. I want to take a moment just to recognize a long-time staffer in both the house and the Senate for anyone who has ever had to work in transportation or through transportation on issues. Most people will have come across Mary Anderson, a long-time legendary aide to numerous people. She used to have a great wall of all the legislators that have come through this building going back multiple years. She has been a friend and a mentor and a trustee of many people across the aisle. I have been told and we have been informed that she, today will be her last day. That she is moving on to retire and spend more time with her family. She may reconsider once everyone goes up to congratulate her and tell her that we will miss her and can't live without her. If that were to happen, I think we would all be very happy. But given the fact that she is a little bit of a shy person and doesn't like the spotlight, we wanted to kind of put the spotlight on her for all her years of service, the tremendous support she has given to so many people, myself included, and I know I will miss her. I know many other people that have had any kind of contact with her, direct or indirect, will understand why she is so important to how this business and how this building has run for so many years. And I know of a very specific chairman down in the House who is not gonna be too happy, the current chairman down in the House is very, very close to her. But we all wanna be as close to her as he and even if we're not, we're still gonna very much miss her. I know I will miss her. She has been a friend to many as I said including myself, so with that said, I wanna give her a very strong word of -- round of applause. My Senator Boucher, I think, is going to have a few great words to say on her behalf as well. So, after Senator Boucher has a few comments, I would ask this chamber to give her a warm applause for her years of service and her demeanor and how she has handled herself and has been a model for us to follow. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Yes, thank you Madam President. I also rise to recognize someone that is near and dear to so many of our hearts. Someone that is warm and loving and has made this legislature and the people in it her second family. We call her the grandmother and mom of so many, and if those of you have never had the occasion to be the recipient of something that she is so famous for, and that is a baby blanket that she hand-crochets herself and I think that individuals with children or grandchildren, both sides of the political aisle, they have been so richly rewarded with such an incredible home-grown gift. And it's interesting because just a couple of days ago one of my colleagues presented me with a little book, a book of thoughts and prayers, and I happen to open it to a page that absolutely exemplifies Mary Anderson. Who, by the way, if you've never had one of her bear hugs you are missing something? Really very, very special. And this says it all. Its a few words about gifts.

"What gives a gift its value is sentiment and thought. It's not determined by the cost, for love cannot be bought. Homemade gifts can warm the heart and always bring a smile for loves the main ingredient that makes a gift worthwhile. Store-bought gifts can be exchanged, returned or thrown away, but something made by loving hands grows fonder day by day. "

And that is Mary Anderson. She, with her homemade beautiful baby blankets has certainly, made by her loving hands, and is treasured by all that receive it. So, we do thank her so much not only for her many contributions and her great work as an expert clerk and aide, but also for her loving ways and making this a much more pleasanter place to be in. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Hi. Thank you very much. Let me take a moment first -- I'm sorry, because I think Marty Looney and I are probably the longest knowing Mary Anderson in here and we are gonna miss her. Mary Anderson was here before I was here, so you know how long she's been here and she truly is somebody that teaches you the way and welcomes you and I have two of those blankets. Yea. So, I was one of those special people. So, I want to wish her the very, very best, good health and happiness, and thanks for giving so much back to the state and to all of us.

So, I want to do a round of applause for Mary Anderson. Thank you. [Applause]

Thank you. Are there any other points of personal privilege? Any other points of personal privilege? If not, Mr. Clerk will you back to the calendar please?

CLERK:

On Page 29, Calendar 559, Substitute for House Bill No. 6880, an ACT CONCERNING THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING LAND USE OF APPEALS PROCEDURE.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg, good afternoon?

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

It's still afternoon, Madam President, so nice to see you.

THE CHAIR:

Good to see you, ma'am.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

I move the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the House.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage in concurrence. Will you remark, ma'am?

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you. This bill before us makes reasonable reforms to the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure that was enacted nearly 30 years ago and has had relatively few changes since then.

And basically, it does a few things. It recognizes that at first, we want to encourage all types of affordable housing. So first it recognizes that a resident-owned mobile home park with certain restrictions that are more stringent in the number of affordable units than the developments already described in statute will be eligible for points toward a moratorium. Now the point system can be rather complicated, so for clarification; points for a resident-owned mobile home park would be awarded as follows. So, for example, if there are 174 housing units, 75 percent of the units are occupied by residents at 80 percent or less of the area median income, that would be 130 units. Forty percent of those 75 percent are occupied by residents at 60 percent of less than the area median income, that's 52 units. If you take the 130 and you subtract 52, you end up with 78 and so for purposes of awarding points those are the numbers we would be using. So, for the 78 units that are at 80 percent of the area median income, they would each be eligible for one and a half points totaling 117 points. For the remaining 52 units that are at 60 percent or less of the area median income, they would be eligible for two points for a total of 104 points. And the 44 remaining market-rate units would be eligible for a quarter of a point for 11 points total allowing for 232 points for a 174-unit resident-owned mobile home park.

Now the bill does not award points for units that are at less than 50 percent of the area median income in a resident-owned mobile home park and therefore when points are calculated, it should be according to the 75 percent/ 40 percent formula that I just described.

Secondly, this bill makes a change in regard to a moratorium from municipalities that have over 20,000 dwelling units and that have an affordable housing plan in place. It changes their second and subsequent moratorium thresholds from two percent to one and a half percent and extends the moratorium for that second or subsequent moratorium, one additional a year. This change makes a moratorium more achievable for these mid-sized cities and affects six cities in our state. It is albeit still a very difficult number to reach, a very high and lofty goal, but for example instead of being required to build between 700 and 800 units those towns would now be required to build 500 units and for many towns that is very challenging based on the amount of space they have left and in regard to the market and the economic conditions they are experiencing.

I would note that in the past 30 years, no mid-sized town that we are discussing has ever built this much housing, nor has there been a housing boom that has allowed for that much. I would like to emphasize that the towns must still build affordable housing and there is no retraction from that. Five hundred units is still a lot of housing, but this at lease recognizes the reality of the challenges ahead and encourages town to actually try to reach for this goal.

The bill before us makes additional changes to some of the points which encourage family units to be built amongst other things. It lowers the area median income under for incentivized housing zones to the lesser of the state median income or the area median income and makes other minor changes. Many people have worked on this issue for many years. This is a reasonable bill that allows us to continue to increase our affordable housing stock while recognizing the realities of our town's experiences.

At this time, I'd just like to say, to recognize, and to thank my co-chair Senator Hwang and to recognize Representative Butler our House chair for their tireless advocacy and great collaboration and I would ask for the Chamber's support and at this time Madam President, if I may, I would yield to my co-chair Senator Hwang.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Hwang, will you accept the yield sir?

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Happily, thank you Madam President. I rise in support of this bill and I want to acknowledge the great efforts of Senator Slossberg and Representative Butler, who is here. I want to urge support because I want to reiterate that this is simply a start. This is simply a start to recognize that we in the state of Connecticut still have a long way to go, that we need to build significant stock of affordable and workforce housing to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to have roof over their head and to be able to get access to every community in our state. So, you have my commitment as chair of this committee that we are not only making a slight change in the statute, but we are re-doubling our effort to recognize that we will have a long way to go. And I want to acknowledge the thanks of not only the chairs, but also the housing advocates, our colleagues like Representative Rose and Representative Kupchick. I want to thank Senator Winfield for his advocacy as a past chair of the committee. Most important of all, I want to recognize that the spirit of how we approach this bill is important. We can write all the words and laws that we ever want to put into the statute, but the bottom line is we now need to put into action a real commitment that affording housing and workforce housing is a respective dignity of every individual to be able to live and engage in our communities.

So, I urge support in this, but before I go I also want to take a moment to acknowledge Representative Larry Miller who has passed, who has been a tremendous advocate and taught me so much in this regard and understanding that it is not just one community or one group, it is housing that is respectful of everyone. So, I urge passage and I urge support. Thank you, ma'am.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you and will you remark further? Senator Winfield, good evening sir, or morning.

SENATOR WINFIELD (10TH):

You're right, you're right Madam President, its evening. Good evening. So, I rise. I will cast a vote in the affirmative on the amendment and the bill. I appreciate those who have indicated that I've been a part of how we come here. I started off absolutely opposed to any changes to affordable housing. It took me a long time to find myself here, and honestly, I don't find myself here because I am thrilled with what we're doing. I find myself here because I find it to be a necessary step and I think it's important that be said, not to say anything negative about what people are trying to do but there is a reality in this state and the reality is that. Madam President, could you ask people to?

THE CHAIR:

Will the Chamber please refrain from speaking as it is difficult with Senator Winfield to get his point across? Please.

SENATOR WINFIELD (10TH):

Yes, it's difficult to hear myself. Thank you, Madam President. And the reality is that we have places in the state where building the type of housing we're taking about has not been something, at least hasn't seemed to be something that was of much concern. We've had places in the state where the building of affordable housing over periods of long years has been zero, zero units.

We've had the feds come in and have to deal with some of our municipalities. We've had a lot of things happen and I've had a hard time trusting that we were going to do the right thing. So that's part of the reason why this is, at least part of the bill is, a five-year test. There is a sunset provision that's part of this bill. And what it says to those who have come to us saying we are looking to build but it's difficult to build is here's you're shot. Because we don't necessarily trust given the history that everyone is going to do what they're supposed to do. So, we can come back at some point in the future and look if I was wrong great, but if I was right that we are not necessarily looking to do what I thought we should be doing, doing what the law suggests we should be doing, then we will have a new discussion. But this is a five-year discussion that we are embarking on. I wanna say something about trying to have these conversations without talking about some of the things that undergird this, right, cause we're talking about affordable housing, workforce type housing, but we're not talking about low income housing necessarily. And I remember being a chair of the committee and sitting in New Haven cause we had an off-site hearing and having people say to me, we don't want those types of people in our communities, and everywhere I go when I talk about that people are like, well -- and by the way the chairs at that time were myself and Representative Butler two of those types of people by the way -- and everywhere I go I wanna talk about that and people say well that's not what we're talking about, but it is part of what we're talking about. And I know that if there's such a pushback against affordable housing for the types of people that Senator Hwang was pointing out that you could imagine what those people think when they looked at me. The same thing those people at that hearing were thinking. We don't want those types of people.

So, this is a good step considering what the alternatives are, but let us now be in this chamber celebrating when this passes because there are some things that undergird this that are not what they should be. So, I will be voting yes, but I just wanted to give us a sense of there's something deeper here. There's something that this chamber should be considering, this body should be considering as we pass it. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you
. Will you remark further? Senator Gomes, good evening sir.

SENATOR GOMES (23RD):

I rise to speak in favor of this bill. As I do sometimes quite reluctantly. I spent six years down in housing as a co-chairman of housing, and when Larry Butler arrived he was my partner there. In difference, Larry Butler, I am sort of acquiescent to his position on this bill. I don't enjoy it. I thought that I would never see anything happen to 830G; 830G was to preserve affordable housing in certain areas that some people resisted and a lot of communities they resisted and they blamed it on the developers because they claimed the developers were using the 830G to process and build apartments or some apartment buildings which were in violation of their zoning. We went through all of that, and we still kept 830G intact. Now with this bill here, there's certain changes to be made to it and I've stepped back because of the partner that I had who helped defend 830G has seen it at this time to be something that needs to be done.

I don't like casting this vote. I'm gonna tell you right now, but I will because I promised. What we will look in the future to see how much of this, if any, is going to be any problems with this bill in the future. Other than that, like I said, I will cast my vote reluctantly but I will keep my promise. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further? Will you remark further? Senator McLachlan, sorry.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Good evening Madam President. I stand for the purpose of questions to the proponent of the bill.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed sir.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Senator Slossberg thank you to you and Senator Hwang and many others who have worked on this over years. I know this has been a high priority for you for many years, and I appreciate your persistence. My question is, in this bill as it relates to mobile home communities and how the existing mobile home communities qualify for the exemption calculation for municipalities? So, in the city of Danbury we have three rather large mobile home communities, two really large, one sort of medium-sized. And the question is these are all mobile homes owned by the occupant or owner and rented land essentially, they pay a monthly fee, and so the question is how does this bill affect the calculation of mobile home communities in the exemption. Through you Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg
.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Madam President. So, if I understand the question, there's two different types of mobile homes that are addressed in the bill. The current statutes is not affected by this bill address mobile home, you know traditional mobile homes and mobile home parks and those restrictions are not touched here. The change in this bill before us addresses only those homes that are a resident-owned mobile home park that then all that is on land that is deed-restricted and that land was financed with a loan that has affordability restrictions that I laid out and that are laid out in the statute.

So, there are two different types of mobile homes that are addressed in this -- if and when this bill should pass and become law, there will be two different standards. One for that resident-owned mobile home park that I just described and then one for the other mobile home parks that are part of our current statute and that are unchanged by this legislation.

THE CHAIR:

Senator McLachlan.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Through you, just for further clarification Senator Slossberg, so the mobile home park, the older ones that are rented land essentially, they pay a common charge which includes rent. They are part of the calculation for the municipal exemption of affordable housing appeals? Through you Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Depending upon the mobile home park and how that is -- it has to be deed-restricted. If they meet the requirements of the current statute then they would be able to be counted toward the 10 percent exemption number under the current statute.

THE CHAIR:

Senator McLachlan.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I have no further questions and I will support the bill.

THE CHAIR:

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

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Good evening Madam President. Madam President, I have a long history with this particular piece of statute given almost 20 years ago as a ranking member of the housing committee it was an era and a time when Representative Larry Miller was representing Trumbull brought to this issue some very compelling experiences in advocacy on the part of his town of Trumbull, and I fully understand and remember talking at length with the originator of this law in Connecticut and I'm listening to representatives from our major cities that really are advocates of affordable housing. Connecticut did have an issue with not having the kind of affordable housing in a diverse community in many places and this was a valid and honest attempt to try to be able to increase the inventory of affordable housing for all the people of Connecticut and share some of that responsibility with our cities. However, what happened in Trumbull that year was that they were being overwhelmed by the sheer number of projects that were coming forward that was changing the entire complexion of that community and their inability to absorb the quantity of housing units that were being proposed. Over the years, Larry Miller was able to show how that has really hurt the community in big ways and their inability to handle the traffic and also the school population that had increased at a precipitous rate. Larry Miller made that his career practically, for all the years that I've known him, and I remember how courageous he was and I would support him on the 30 and 40 amendments that he would raise every year for every housing bill and there was a year when the passions around this issue was so great that in fact the housing chairman was willing to lose all of the bills of that entire session rather than even sit down and actually cooperate and compromise with language, that I think I'm seeing more increasing the case in a good way here. And so, I take my hat off to our state senators from New Haven, our state senators from Bridgeport that are finding themselves in a difficult position right now on this issue to actually move forward some small changes to try to mitigate the issue around this because quite frankly when you see a developer go to a town, 4, 5, 6 times to not get their full market rate projects through and then use that language simply to get what they wanted what they couldn't get in a normal fashion. That legislation was really being abused. It wasn't really -- had integrity in it, and that's why over the years more and more, a larger percentage, of a project needs to be and has to been designated that it had to be affordable for it to really be credible and have value.

So, my hats off to everyone that's worked really hard on this. I think that it has been a hard slug and I again commend the good chairmen of this committee Senator Slossberg, Senator Hwang and certainly Senator Winfield that has really spent some time to investigate this. He's gone into communities to see what has happened with this law. He was very sincere about this and so I think this bill is very commendable and should be supported.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further? Will you remark further? Senator Logan.

SENATOR LOGAN (17TH):

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm here just to comment on H-30G in general. In my opinion, a lack of housing diversity is current hurting Connecticut towns. We have an issue in the state of Connecticut when it comes to affordable housing. I want to make sure that the Senate Chamber, you know, keeps in mind that you know this issue in no way, shape or form is being solved by this particular bill. This bill is a compromise to deal with certain situations that we have in limited communities. My take on 8-30G is that I'm generally reluctant to make changes to 8-30G that I fear will weaken the spirit of 8-30G. Often times I've heard in my short time here in the Senate a number of varying proposals for changing and modifying 8-30G and time after time the sort of unattended consequences when you take a look at what the affects would be on a state-wide basis would be hurtful. There are many towns in Connecticut that are failing to deliver. The smaller, denser, more affordable homes that low and moderate income households, working families, the elderly and millennials want. There are many towns that have a surplus of single family homes and not enough affordable multi-family homes. That is a bit of an issue I think for us here in Connecticut. When you take a look at 8-30G you know there are a number of towns, many towns have achieved moratorium under 8-30G; towns like Berlin and Darien have each received two moratoriums; Trumbull, Richfield, Wilton, Farmington, have all achieved moratorium. And more towns are close to reaching one. These towns have succeeded by making thoughtful focused efforts to increase housing choice in their communities. Towns can control their housing creation in a positive way by being proactive. Towns have had 30 years to comply with 8-30G, so I do understand that there are certain communities that are in special situation and I acknowledge the good work of the legislators to pull together a compromise in that regard in this particular case.

You know just some more information, facts, about 8-30G that I do not want to be lost as we debate the current bill. Eight-30G incentivizes municipalities to work toward creating affordable housing and has led many to embrace the housing for economic growth. Incentive housing zone programs to productively create the affordable housing that towns need. I think it's important that towns not look at this as some sort of trend to water down 8-30G. I will, as co-chair and planning and development, continue to look at proposals who water down 8-30G with lots of skepticism and again I employ my Senate colleagues to do the same and for us to continue to be very careful for proposals that will water down 8-30G and adversely affect the people who need it most; folks with lower income, the elderly. I've been shown, I have seen data that shows -- when you take a look at where subsidize housing is throughout Connecticut currently. It is concentrated now as it was 10 years ago, as it was 20 years ago, as it was 30 years ago, as it was 50 years ago, in more of the urban areas in our districts. We need to make housing affordable and it's also for folks that work in these towns where affordable housing is an issue, whether they be police officers or firefighters that can't afford to live in the towns that they work in.

So, thank you Madam President for allowing me to talk about the importance of 8-30G to the Chamber.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further? Senator McCrory, good evening sir.

SENATOR MCCRORY (2ND):

Good evening Madam President. Madam President, I rise in opposition of this piece of legislation and I want to align my comments more so in the lines of Senator Logan. You know there's an action for every reaction that takes place here and I'm gonna start my comments with giving the historical analysis of why are we here today. These things don't happen in vacuums, and I think everyone needs to know how we got to this place and why we have an 8-30G. What I did over the last two months is research and learn about affordable housing, low income housing and not just from a local perspective but from a historic and national perspective and what I found was stunning.

Some of you might be familiar with the things I'm gonna line out here and I will explain to you why this is not good legislation. So, I'll begin. I think a term that needs to be defined that is not a part of this legislature is called red lining. Some of you might be familiar with the term red lining, but if you aren't I'm gonna read it. I Googled the term and it's defined, "describes the discriminatory practice of fencing off areas where banks would avoid investments based on community demographics". During the heyday of red lining the area's most frequently discriminated against were African American inner city neighborhoods. The biggest perpetrator of red lining was the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the government. Between 1934 and 1968 FHA explicitly refused to make loans to black people or even those people who live in their African-American people. That was the law of the land. What inevitably happened is the government created what is commonly referred to as ghettos. Some of us use other terminology like inner city, urban areas, densely populated community. All those things are the same. A ghetto is defined as, "a place of a city in which members of the minority group live typically as a result of social, legal or economic pressure". The term was originally used in Venice to describe the part of the city where Jews were restricted.

Connecticut is a very wealthy state. Unfortunately, we have three of the poorest communities, large cities, cities where what is defined, not my term, as ghettos; and what happened in these ghettos where these individuals lived. They were not afforded the opportunity to purchase homes where 8-30G is regulated toward. They couldn't do it. They had to live there. It was orchestrated by our government, banks, realtors, federal law, state laws and local laws. And unfortunately, in those ghettos many people remain and it was very tough and it is still extremely tough in those communities where opportunities doesn't exist often. But although we were born, some of us was born there and still live there and raise our children there, our parents in that community who did everything they possibly could do to build our self-esteem because when you living in areas where there's low income, low opportunity, poor housing, poor healthcare, you lose your self-esteem. But the people did everything, our parents, our neighbors, our teachers, our pastors, did everything to build our self-esteem and they told us things like you have to be work twice as hard and maybe you were born in this ghetto but the ghetto wasn't born in you.

So that's the historical context from where I want to begin. So, as we move forward, after World War II our government began to create what was commonly referred to as suburbs and they financed these homes for low and moderate income people to live. Our soldiers came home, we built beautiful suburbs. Unfortunately, if you do your research the African-American soldiers couldn't get that VA loan. It was against the law, the policy of the land. And if that wasn't enough our government created highways that divided those urban inner-city communities and separated them from downtowns. If you look at Connecticut, look at 84, look at 91 and look at what communities that were destroyed and devastated, and today we're talking about how we can fix 84 and 91, but yet we destroyed those communities where those people had to live and all of a sudden there was a Housing Act of 1968 that the government realized they did bad things intentionally, but that law didn't have any teeth to it so we went on and on and on and not provided housing opportunities for certain communities, certain people. I'm just giving you the facts folks, I know it's difficult. I know it's difficult.

So now we get to a point where 1990 Connecticut realizes looked at itself in the mirror and said we have to do something about this, and we created an 8-30G and I think that is a great start. It's a great start, but the reality after you review the data from 8-30G from 1990 to the present under this statute only 5,000 units have been built. That's about a 170 a year. I don't think that's good. And now we're here to water down 8-30G, to lower the bar? Because we're not doing what we need to do to provide affordable housing to everyone. You see, some communities have reached their goals. There's about six of them, but unfortunately as I did my research and digged a little deeper, there was one community that built 1,300 new units, not one was affordable. There was another community that built 451, not one affordable; of 1300, 10 affordable. So, I looked at what would be the consequences if we don't follow the law that we created 8-30G, there was none. So, in essence, some communities don't have to build one affordable housing and nothing will happen. And we want to water down this 8-30G. I say we should build it up. I say we should build it up for those grandmothers and grandfathers who still live in those ghettos who are fighting every single day for more opportunities where those homes are old and decrepit and we know in Connecticut education your zip code will determine what type of education you receive. If they stay in those zip codes they will not get a quality education. I'm not gonna give up on them. No, I might be the only one to vote against this legislation. I know it's gonna pass, but I'm not gonna give up on them. I refuse. See we will build affordable housing in Connecticut but they will have to be in certain communities, the same communities that they are in today so you'll affordable housing. In Hartford, we'll tear down a project and put another one up. We'll tear down another project in Bridgeport and put another one up. We'll tear down another project in New Haven and put another one up. It's like putting lipstick on a pig and spraying a little cologne and we'll say we're doing something. No, we're not.

We look at our corporations and this is why it's bad for Connecticut. We look at our corporations, UTC. Guess what they did? They left Connecticut and they moved to a vibrant urban area where kids can learn and read and play together and been to school together. UTC is Connecticut and it left us and went to Brooklyn. Look at AETNA. I was in Boston this weekend, downtown Boston, I was walking around and was like wow look at this place. Then I looked at Hartford and I looked at our suburbs. It's an old playbook folks. The Hartford Insurance Company closed down their suburban office park 15 years ago. That playbook doesn't work anymore. AETNA closed down its office park 25 years ago. That playbook doesn't work anymore. How long are we gonna continue the same playbook and get the same results?

So, I'm sorry that I can't be the one to go along to get along all the time in this senate. I know I'm new and I'm learning in nomenclature, but on my principle, on the humanity of those who are still trapped in urban communities or not just urban communities those police officers who work in those suburban communities and can't live there. Teachers who I know work in those communities but can't afford to build a home there. And now we're almost to the point that, hey we're open it up to everybody as long as you can afford to buy a house, but the homes are too expensive. Now when you got 'em early 30-40 years ago you could afford them, now you can't even afford them.

So, I'm asking us how do we get out of this. How do we get out of this tailspin that we've been in for the last 80 years? Is it to lower the bar and give more moratoriums? A moratorium means you don't have to do more if you get to a small number. You can stop. And I conclude with the words that one of my students said just last week. She just laughed at me and I said I'm gonna make it law. She said "make right decisions". And my decision today will be not to support this legislation, and I'm sorry that you guys been -- all the people that were named that have been working over and over and over the number of years that you been putting into this legislation, but in my opinion as I spelled it out to you historically, as I speak to you what the numbers look like today, I can't in my right mind support this legislation. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, Senator McCrory. Will you remark? Will you remark? If not, the clerk will announce the pending decision of a roll call vote. Mr. Majority Leader -- oh, okay, Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Will all members check the board to ensure your vote has been properly recorded? If so, the machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk will you announce the tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 6880.

Total number voting 36

Necessary for Adoption 19

Those voting Yea 30

Those voting Nay 6

Those absent and not voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The Bill is passed. The chamber will stand at ease.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Mr. President, good to see you up there. Mr. President if the clerk would just call the next bill that I marked go please?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 34, Calendar 591, Substitute for House Bill No. 7271, an ACT CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL SYSTEM.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark? The chair recognized Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. So, nice to see you up there on the dais. I move the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the House.

THE CHAIR:

The question is on acceptance of the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill. Will you remark?

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you Mr. President. This bill before us establishes our tech high school system as an independent system. It will be removed from under the auspices of the state department of education. It will be an independent executive branch agency with its own executive director and will have some higher level of independent budgeting authority, and the purpose of this change will take placed over a number of years will require a phase-in, is to allow us to focus more on our vo-technical high school system and also to add in an element of post-secondary use for our buildings and our staff and really maximize the potential that we have. There are many of us who have believed for many years that our vo-tech high schools really are the producers are some of the greatest workers that we have and we know that our manufacturing industry needs them desperately as well as many of our other industries and they provide a pathway toward careers that are successful and we want to be focusing on growing them and we want to make sure that we are really giving them the full attention that they deserve. We believe that by establishing our vo-technical high school system as an independent agency that will achieve that purpose and we will move our Connecticut's workforce and our students and our education system further along. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you Senator Slossberg. Will you remark? Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Good Evening Mr. President, nice to see you there. I rise to discuss this bill that certainly is a pretty striking change from what we have today. And I would like to say that it is a change that we do need to make with our vo-tech system. The need for a change came to me at one time sat on the state board of education and in that role a sub-committee of the state board of education was appointed to be the board of education for our vo-tech schools. So, I served on that sub-committee as well. But beyond that, I have a personal reason for that in that members of my family, my husband's family, have been the graduates of Connecticut's vo-tech schools, particularly Kaynor Technical Vo-Tech in Waterbury and they all learned a very useful trade. In fact, even the father, my father-in-law, also was a tool and dye maker. And so, it fills a very important role. It could do even better because of the direction that manufacturing is going, our economy is going. It takes more skill sets and there are all kinds of intervention and involvement that the private sector and businesses need to provide us and can do that through these vo-tech schools.

In my view, they should be the best magnet schools that we have in the state of Connecticut. But when I served on that board, it also came -- I came to the realization that unfortunately they were not given the kind of attention that they deserve. In many cases, they were neglected. Their facilities wasn't up to snuff. Our local boards of education seemed to have a more buy-in and were more stronger advocates of their individual schools, and that caused me a great deal of concern and I always have felt that we needed a different governance model, something that would be more responsive to the needs of our vo-tech system. And this is a very strong and valid attempt to try to do that, but it also raises a number of questions on our side of the aisle as well.

So, through you Mr. President, I wonder if I could ask a couple of questions and I know that this won't come as a surprise to the good chairwoman of this committee that in this new agency that is deemed to be created that would be under the auspices of OPM, the Governor's office and the office of budget. There would be a new position created beyond a superintendent that would be an executive director and instead of an independent agency with a commissioner as we have now, this would have again an executive director and a superintendent. My question, through you Mr. President, is what are the differences in that role and why would there be two leaders that oftentimes seem to me a little confused in what individual roles they have, who would be appointing them, who would they responsible to, who would evaluate them, compensate them, in general how are they different from one from the other? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you. Through you Mr. President, thank you to my good co-chair for that question. I think there are a lot of questions there, so I'll do my best to answer them. You know, the reason -- right now as was suggested there is in this bill in starting fiscal year 2020 there would be an executive director and that executive director would be responsible for the administrative operation, issues like financial accountability. They would be reviewing all of the contracts and submitting their budget to OPM. They would be working on admissions policies. Beneath the executive director, would be the superintendent who would be a certified superintendent and that superintendent would be responsible for the operation and administration regarding the actual education of the students there, and so there is a division of labor. I asked the same question of this as we started to discuss the governing structure and I think the answer to this very simply is we've seen in recent times that we had a commissioner and a board and where contracts were not being reviewed properly and there were some problems, and so there is this extra layer of oversight so that it will be both a superintendent who will be running the day-to-day operations of the education system and then the executive director who will be reviewing all those contracts and then submitting them to the board.

So, there is an added layer, but given our recent history in particular and the creation of this being more independent, it seems to make sense to have that added layer.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President. I really appreciate the very clear answer to that question. My further question is how is the additional cost being anticipated to be funded that would require some duplicate positions, because right now I understand the department of education has staff that are cross trained for both systems to work carefully, but this would anticipate that they might have to then have quite a few more additional staff, and given our financial situation, what is the plan moving forward to fund this new system?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg, do you care to respond?

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you Mr. President. An excellent question with regard to you know how are we going to staff up this system. You know, currently this is going to be phased in over two years and so right now there are probably about 17 personnel who are in the state department of education who are exclusively overseeing the vo-tech school. So, they would be continuing to do that. Then the next layer are people who would be cross trained from the state department of education to potentially be doing both jobs or to be moving over, and then the other piece of this bill is that there would be an outside consultant that would be hired to help ensure that they build the leanest system they possibly can in terms of bureaucracy and that there would be very limited additional staff that would be required, but certainly there would be some in the out years, which would be fiscal year 2020 and beyond.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, is there a fiscal note to anticipate those funding changes? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you Mr. President. My understanding is that there is a fiscal note. It is $ 150,000 dollars.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, is there an anticipation that with this very dramatic change that there would be some reporting back to the legislature to review how it's going during this phase-in period and if there are adjustments that might need to be made with regard to the government's system if it's working properly or not? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg, do you care to respond?

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you Mr. President. Yes, annually we have a joint committee meeting that is required to occur and so we would get reports back to the legislature on an annual basis, and of course those things that are already always currently available.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. I really appreciate the good chairwoman of the Education Committee for her answers. I think that covers some of the outstanding -- not all of them, but the outstanding questions that were on top of mine for me right now with regard to this issue. I would have to say that I'm very conflicted with regard to this piece of legislation. There's a part of me that for years has advocated that we have to look at the government's model and make a change, but the change that I was looking for was not necessarily to bring it further into the bureaucratic governmental process but more de-centralize it and bring some of these schools closer to their school districts, to the sending districts, closer to the parents and the administration that would have direct oversight that would be passionate about their needs would be there more closely on a day-to-day basis and in a way de-centralize and bring the funding from the state into those districts so that it could be managed more directly. In a way, more like a local board of education that would care about what was going on there. Because here you see that it is going to have a board that is picked by the administration that will have the oversight, the executive director picked by the administration, the board chair picked by the administration, and yet it is under the administration's own office of budget. So, it appears that the same individuals would be literally both managing it, funding it and so forth without that kind of local intervention and local involvement that I think, you know, I would love to see a little bit more of that kind of strong advocacy for those individual schools. However, as I said this is at least a very valid attempt to try to change the way in which it is governed. It does need that.

I would question that you would need two heads, in other words two leading administrators for this system. I think you could do very well. Many of those positions that were discussed that the executive director would have and the superintendent could be under the same individual. Now, it could be valid that you would have a chief financial officer and administrator under a superintendent like they do in many of our schools, a facilities manager to take care of that, a purchasing agent that might want to make sure that they were purchasing goods at a much larger quantity to get that kind of cost advantage, but I don't know that you need two chiefs and how they would work well with each other; an executive director and a superintendent. Not to mention the cost that that might be because I'm not sure under this new model that you wouldn't even have to have an additional CFO, chief of financial officer. You may even have to have a facilities manager in addition to this other layer of management and I know that the teachers in fact would like to see less of that kind of management oversight and a more lean operation from a managerial standpoint. One can debate whether that leadership was the kind we wanted at this point in time, maybe we need better, but when you have a good leader, we all know that, a good principal in a school and a good superintendent things run really well especially when the board is also well functioning and has the kind of government's practices that make for a healthy system.

So, I've just outlined some of my concerns about this, all the while explaining that I do think that we do need a different government's model. We need to have more advocacy. We need to support our vo-tech schools even more than we have. The potential is so great. It hasn't really yet been realized to the degree that it should. These are technical schools for technical skills in a world that is changing at such a rapid pace, it would make your head spin right now. So it's critical that their relationship with the job providers is connected very closely and in states where they do that they are having a lot more success with regards of growing jobs, keeping major industries there, along with good tax policy of course that's always the case, but certainly when you make these individual vo-tech schools places that is so attractive that some of the leading technology and instruction is happening whether it's on the technology side, on the manufacturing side, the mechanical side, the engineering, architectural and certainly all the other trades with regards to culinary arts and other areas. They can really be leaders and they will attract students rather than in the past at times have been stereotyped not in the most positive light.

So, I stand here before you saying yes, we need a change, is this the change that we want to move in that direction? Does it answer all the questions? Are we creating another agency and the cost could be quite high? Those are questions that I'm not altogether confident that we have all the answers yet. So, I'm going to see if there are any other questions on the part of my colleagues and hope that maybe this is a small step in the right direction. We shall see. Thank you, Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, Senator Boucher. Will you remark? Senator Witkos.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Thank you and good evening Mr. President. If I may, just a couple of questions to the proponent of the bill.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg, please prepare yourself. Please frame the question.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Thank you Mr. President, and through you to Senator Slossberg in the beginning in Section 1 of the bill it speaks to appointments to the new commission and because of the split in the state senate this year, there's always been an additional appointment to that board and I noticed that this language does not address that, and I'd ask if the gentlelady knows why this particular section of the bill was not updated to reflect numerous other pieces of legislation that have asked for appointments to do the same thing. Through you Mr. President.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. If I may just for clarification if you're speaking as to the membership of the system board?

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Through you Mr. President, that is correct.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. So, these are all appointments by the governor given that this would be an executive branch agency. So as currently is the state board of education and then it goes through exec. noms.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Witkos.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Well this would be the 17-member board of the -- in Lines 12-18 of the bill which is Section 1, it speaks to who is allowed to make the six-member appointment and that is the section that I am referring to. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Through you again, I apologize Mr. President. Could you -- what line was he on again?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Witkos.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Lines 12-18, through you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Lines 12 have four executive spot of the Connecticut based employers and it actually starts at Line 10 nominated by the Connecticut Employment Training Commission established pursuant to Section 3138 who are appointed by the governor. Then there are five members appointment by the state board of ed. Then there's the commissioner of DECD, the Labor Commission and the governor appoints the chairperson, and the chairperson of the new high school system would serve as a non-voting ex officio member of the state board. So, there are no legislative appointments to this.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Witkos.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Mr. President, if I may be allowed to read for a moment. On Lines, and I'll pick up where the good Senator left off, Line 9 on House Bill 7271, File 555 it says, "and appointed by the governor two five members appointed by the state board of education, number three the commissioner of economic community development, four the labor commissioner and this is the new language and under Sub. 5 six members, one appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, one appointed by the present pro tempore of the Senate, one appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, one appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representative, one appointed by the majority leader of the Senate and one appointed by the minority leader of the Senate. The Governor shall appoint the chairperson. The chairperson of the technical high school system board shall serve as a non-voting ex officio member of the state board of education. And those -- is the section of the legislation of the bill proposed that I am questioning. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. It is my understanding that perhaps the Good Senator is reading off a previous version of this bill and not the current amendment. It would be LCO 8534.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Witkos.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Since I don't have that in front of me, then I guess I'll pose this question to the Good Senator. Is there a reason why there were no legislative appointments to the board? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you, through you Mr. President, as I stated before this will be an executive branch agency and so therefore all of the members of the board will be appointed by the Governor and then those members will have to go through our executive nomination system as do all appointments for the Governor per statute.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Witkos.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Thank you and through you Mr. President, is there an impetus or a reason that brought us to this bill for today that either the system wasn't working or we are making improvements or we felt that the current management of the technical high school system wasn't appropriate with meeting the needs of the children. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you Mr. President. Yeah, the need for this bill has been something that we've been talking about in this building for an awfully long time and is the desire to actually focus on our vo-tech system as I stated before, as well as to expand the use of the buildings and the system and to be able to build greater cooperation with our employers in the state. I don't think that the recent challenges that our system has had with regard to contracts, you know, I think that highlighted the need for a different governing structure.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Witkos.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Thank you, Mr. President, and I thank the gentlelady for those answers and I look forward to listening to the remainder of the discussion on the bill.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you Senator Witkos. Will you remark? Will you remark? Senator Fonfara.

SENATOR FONFARA (1ST):

Thank you very much Mr. President. Good to see you this evening. I can't believe it. My goodness. Mr. President, I rise in strong support of this bill. In my eyes, this may be in fact the most important bill we do this session. Mr. President, we, and I thank very much Senator Slossberg for shepherding this to getting it to this point, we just heard very passionate remarks on behalf of Senator McCrory regarding opportunity. And I don't know of another initiative, again, that we do this session that has the potential to provide opportunity to many of our young people in this state than what this bill could do. By creating for the first time, I believe, that our vo-tech system is out from under an agency in which at best it was an afterthought, at best. Or as was proposed some years ago that it be turned over to municipalities which we strongly opposed because of the potential of the system being lost there. Today, there's not much change in the way young people get introduced to our vocational technical schools. Very often it is still my father went, my brother's going, my friend is thinking about going. It has not changed very much. But what has changed is the American economy and we're not going back. The days of getting a liberal arts degree at a four-year institution or even less and getting a good job working across the street at the AETNA or the Hartford or the Travelers and raising a family and moving into the suburbs of Connecticut and buying a home, sending your kids to a good school, living the so-called American Dream. For many, those opportunities are over. That degree does not bring the cache that we still as Americans obsess over. That we believe is the path that so many parents at a dinner party when they are asked what is your son doing or your daughter doing. And you're embarrassed to say well they're not going to college. Or when they are asked what college are they going to, are they finished? Because we have this mindset in this country that the college path is the only way that you can say that you made it or that your kid is following your dreams, not only is the American economy changed but how people will pursue their dream can be realized, but we're stuck in this system where you can come out of college after four years with $ 40,000 or $ 50,000 or $ 60,000 thousand dollars in debt and go literally over a decade before you can get out of it. In believing that when you get that diploma that you're going to be on your way and hopefully most will, but many will not. And for too many, it is a fallacy that we continue through this institution by supporting so much and in other ways in our philosophies and our beliefs and our articulation of what it means to be successful in our society that that's the path. The country of Germany, which for many, many years, has embraced the apprenticeship program where fully 60 percent of their young people take part in apprenticeships. In this country, it is barely 5 percent, 5 percent. It is my hope that this particular bill here tonight will advance that notion, will begin to change attitudes, will introduce young people to a different path at an earlier age in a more important way. Apprenticeship today trains advanced manufacturing, IT, banking, hospitality and a host of other significant areas of employment and training. They do that by providing in the same day academic training in the school and on-the-job training in the workplace where employers work hand-in-hand with that student. We were just read something in the last few minutes that in an article that 96 percent of college presidents say they are training -- they are preparing students for the workforce, whereas only 11 percent of business leaders say they are getting what they want. Ninety-six percent of college presidents versus 11 percent Mr. President of employers. There's a huge disconnect in here. And our employers in this state are begging, begging for trained workers to meet the need of Pratt & Whitney, of Electric Boat, of Sikorsky; but so many other companies in this state that don't have the notoriety, don't have the name recognition that those companies do but are just as much in need of trained workers, workers that will make a very good living in many respects more than they would with a college degree.

But Senator Slossberg, sadly this bill it will pass, I surely hope the Governor will sign it, but will it be understood what the potential is for it? I hope it will. I hope that we will remain vigilant to ensure that it has the support it needs and that we put more resources into the system and encourage apprenticeships. That's what will be a major shot in the arm for Connecticut's economy and for its employers, and for the future of so many families in this state. I thank you Senator. Thank you, Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, Senator Fonfara. Will you remark? Senator Miner.

SENATOR MINER (30TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, I have a few questions if I might for the proponent of the bill please?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg, prepare yourself. Senator Miner, please frame your question.

SENATOR MINER (30TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. Through you Mr. President, I would like to go back to the questions that were asked by Senator Witkos relative to the makeup of the board and in Section 5, the board calls for 11 members as I read it and of the 11 members, it seems to direct that four of those members will actually serve with some experience in manufacturing and Connecticut-based employers. Through you if the gentlelady could explain where the other seven members will come from and which industry segments will they represent as part of this board. Through you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg, do you care to respond?

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Okay, thank you through you Mr. President. So, there are two phases to this bill and so the board membership does change over the phases. So, I'm gonna go over phase one first. Our board membership under the current law and phase one you have four executives of Connecticut-based employers nominated by the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission appointed by the Governor, and there are five appointed by the state board of ed. plus the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development plus the Commissioner of Labor. That's under phase one.

Under phase two there will be two executives of Connecticut-based employers also nominated by the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission, the Commissioner of Education or his/her designee who will be ex officio, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development or his/her designee will also be ex officio, Commissioner of Labor and designee ex officio, two people with expertise in manufacturing or trade offered by the system who are system alumni and then four members who have no specified criteria attached with them. So, the board composition changes over the phase in of this piece of legislation.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Miner.

SENATOR MINER (30TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. I thank the gentlelady for her response. And so, when I was listening to Senator Fonfara I was kind of thinking of some of the industries that I first became aware of in the northwest corner when I moved to Litchfield County and one of them was an airplane seat manufacturer. It was originally under the Pullman Corporation. They were bought out, I think there were a number of buy-outs, but at the time I moved to Litchfield it was under the name plate of B/E Aerospace and there must have been I don't know 500, 600 employees there and they came from all around the area. They learned how to weld. They weld aluminum seats and they build a dynamic test facility. So, they would actually build these replacement seats for the airliners that we all ride in and then they would put the crash dummies in them and crash them and make sure they worked. They also had a sewing division and so over in Torrington all the covers that went on those seats and the foam. Everybody that worked there learned in some form or fashion, usually through I think a technical college or a technical school of some sort, how to do all these trades. And what I'm trying to make sure is if we're gonna go down this path of trying to provide employment opportunity, which I think is important, I think Senator Fonfara is quite right. For some reason, this state has gotten away from making things or at least we don't appear to be motivated to move people in that direction, and so how do we know that this makeup will actually have the individual technical backgrounds that we would be looking for in the next generation of workforce here so that we're not just, I guess, moving people through the system. My concern is that we can put this all on paper, 106 pages, we can develop this new direction, this new train of thought, but if it's not very specific and it doesn't have some hope of changing the dynamic so that we're not graduating students out of a high school to enter into a fast-food workshop. I'm not sure where we're going, and so through you Mr. President that's my question I guess. My question is of all these appointments, are they going to come from specific sectors so that when they finish here someone has a reasonable hope or expectation to going to work here doing something that we need to have made here? Through you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg, do you care to respond?

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you Mr. President. And this is a very interesting question. You know the appointments are being made by the Governor and so the appointments, there are some specifications on some of the appointments. So, for example, two with expertise in manufacturing or a trade offered by the system or who are system alumni; so, people who actually have some of the experience that the good Senator is talking about very clear. I think that it's been the experience of the executive branch that sometimes when we limit in our actual appointments if we are too limiting they actually can't find people to serve. So where is our level of accountability here to make sure that we get the right people as the good Senator has asked about comes with our actual general assembly executive nominations process of review where we have the opportunity to vet and decide what the candidate that the Governor has put forward is actually an appropriate person to fill that spot or that vacancy.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Miner.

SENATOR MINER (30TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. I thank the gentlelady for her answers. So, it's the thought that the other seats will be filled by the executive branch and the Governor would then decide which areas of expertise we're looking to get people from or is that all spelled out in this 106 pages somewhere so that we can be relatively sure that this new kind of high-powered technical school system, which I think is a good move, will actually get us where we want to go? Through you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. So, it's my understanding that the Governor, you know that on this board are our three commissioners; a Commissioner of Education, a Commissioner of DCD and Commissioner of Labor, to actually make sure that we aligning our members and the focus of this school with both our educational and our workforce needs. So, I believe that would be driving the appointments to this board, and as I said before those appointments will be coming before the legislature for approval so that we have the ultimate authority to then look and make sure that the things that we believe should be represented are in fact represented on the board.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Miner.

SENATOR MINER (30TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. The other question that I had was regard to funding. Currently my understanding is that the state pays the tuition for vo-tech students no matter where they come from within the state of Connecticut. Is that how that would work here or is there some new plan? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you Mr. President. There are no changes to the manners in which we fund.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Miner.

SENATOR MINER (30TH):

And so, thank you Mr. President. And so, in the bill it talks about developing a relationship with either regional school systems or other school systems, other technical school systems, is it anticipated that they will have some memorandum of agreement about what portion of the day the student may come to the technical school? So, I noticed that it says, "It shall have full-time capacity, but it may have part-time evening capacity". And so, is it anticipated that in this new concept someone would be in a, let's say a Litchfield Public School System but may want to in the evening take a technical background in welding? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you. Through you Mr. President, yes, I believe that part of the purpose of this whole bill and this change is to provide for that flexibility. This will continue to be a full-time high school system, but we do know that we have schools that are closed in the evening where we have very good high-tech equipment that many people, you know adults as well, could be able to come and be trained or students to want to add something. The intent of this bill is to allow for those cooperative agreements with local boards of education and maximize the facility and to increase the flexibility. It should create additional opportunities for everyone in our state.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Miner.

SENATOR MINER (30TH):

And I just had two other questions Mr. President. So, if I remember in the earlier part of the bill it talked about making sure that the curriculum and the outcome was appropriate, was in some way managed so that we would be able to determine whether or not we were achieving a high-quality education along with the technical background. If the gentlelady could explain how that is anticipated to occur. One of the things that I have heard about our current system is that depending on where you are you may get a very strong focus on the technical hands-on background and maybe not so much on the other educational background, and so I'm just trying to make sure how we are gonna do that going forward. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg, do you care to respond?

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. You know, I'm very proud. I'm very close with Platt Technical High School in my district. I spend a lot of time there. I'm very proud of the strong education that those students are provided with, both on the technical side but in particular in your traditional non-technical subjects and this bill will continue that process of focusing on student achievement. It requires the system board to continue to establish specific achievement goals for students at each grade level in the school systems and that's a duty that's required under current law and also as the transition goes along. The board must measure each school's performance and identify a set of quantifiable measures to use and the measures have to include things as your tenth and eleventh grade student performance on your state-wide mastery exams, which is our SAT, as well as the various other measures that we currently use. So, we will continue to hold our teachers and our students and our system to the highest standards of academic achievement.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Miner.

SENATOR MINER (30TH):

And the last thing, through you Mr. President, I'm recalling a tour that I had taken, I think in Torrington and there was some discussion at that time about an extraordinary wait list statewide for the technical school system, and so as we go down this road, how does this bill change that dynamic? Are there some nuances of how we intend to try and educate students on a go forward basis or is it anticipated that this will require new brick and mortar, perhaps in a state that is flushed with brick and mortar at this point, but anyway through you, that's my last question, Mr. President?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you Mr. President. Also, a very excellent question. This question really relates to our admissions policies which are set to some extent at each school currently and it has been a source of challenge and that will be addressed as we move forward in this. As the current system exists we have an admissions policy where you have a test that you have to take in order to get into the school and each school system, each school, sets their own cut rate that you have to make that mark or you don't get it. So, you may have schools where they're actually not filled to capacity. In fact, we have a number of our vo-tech schools that are not filled to capacity and they actually have seats available and they also have what they call a wait list, but the wait list really isn't a wait list. It is a list of students who didn't make the cut. So, this is actually not the wait list that you expect where, oh we're filled to capacity and if three kids don't show up then the next three kids on the list move in. This is actually a strange situation where you have capacity in the schools but they are not being admitted. So, there are a couple of things that are important that need to happen in relationship to that and there will be, you know, an effort a task force that is to get a work group is a better word that will be working in this first phase to work on admissions policies to try to address that issues as it relates to how many students are coming in and are we really maximizing and making sure that every student who wants to be in the technical school system can get a seat. Then we'll start to get a really true measure of where we are with capacity.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Miner.

SENATOR MINER (30TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. I thank the gentlelady for all of her answers. Mr. President I'm gonna go back to the original story that I started to tell relative to B/E Aerospace. I came to Litchfield through the automobile business and I can tell you that there was a point, that point in my life where I got to meet a number of people that just barely made it through high school, just barely made it out of high school, but they could afford to buy a car and they could afford a good rent or they could afford to buy a home, and they were proud. They were proud to make a bearing and they were proud to make an airplane seat and they were proud to make anything else that we taught them to make or their uncle brought them into a factory to show them how to make. There was a system in place where people that otherwise wouldn't have had a job got a job, and they were black and they were white and they were Hispanic and they came from poor communities and they came from wealthy communities, but they had a trade. They had something they could live off of and it was something that made them proud. I hope this gets us to that place. When I listened to Senator Fonfara I thought to myself that's where we should be going. It doesn't mean that they can't be educated, we, our children, our grandchildren, can't be educated to be anything else. There's no reason why your education has to stop. You can have any college degree you want in addition to a trade degree and that's a good thing. But if you can't buy a car and you don't have enough money to pay rent and you'd have nowhere to live, there is nowhere to go. And so, I hope this gets us somewhere. I think the trade school system in Connecticut is very good, but if this makes it even better and makes those connections then I think we are on the right track. With regard to how we're gonna fund this next step, if it means we need to look at different brick and mortar, I don't know how we get there either, but I'd certainly love to have that be the problem rather than continuing to try and graduate students into a job market that just doesn't provide a future. And so, I'm inclined to support this, I'm not sure if anybody else has anything else to say, but I do appreciate the answers from the good chair and the chamber's time. Thank you, Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, Senator Miner. Will you remark? Will you remark further? If not, the clerk will announce the pendency of a roll call vote.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Machine is open, please cast your vote.

THE CHAIR:

Have all members voted? Will all members check the board to ensure your vote has been properly recorded? If so, the machine will be closed. The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, can you announce the tally?

Clerk:

House Bill 7271.

Total number voting 35

Necessary for Adoption 18

Those voting Yea 34

Those voting Nay 1

Those absent and not voting 1

THE CHAIR:

The Chair recognizes the Majority Leader -- [gavel] Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. I would like to place an additional item on our consent calendar please. On Calendar Page 36, Calendar 599, House Bill 5590, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

So, ordered.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. And if the clerk will now call the next item in our go list please.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. I would like to mark Calendar Page 40, Calendar 615, House Bill 6948 as the next go item and if the clerk would please call that.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 40, Calendar 615, House Bill No. 6948, an ACT CONCERNING REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Cassano.

SENATOR CASSANO (4TH):

Good afternoon Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Good afternoon.

SENATOR CASSANO (4TH):

I move acceptance of Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill, waive its reading and seek leave to summarize?

THE CHAIR:

Question is on acceptance and passage. Will you remark?

SENATOR CASSANO (4TH):

Yes, I would like to actually yield my time for an explanation of this bill to our vice chairman of planning and development and former chairman, Senator Cathy Osten.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you Senator Cassano. Senator Osten do you accept the yield?

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Mr. President, yes, I accept the yield. Thank you very much, and it is nice seeing you up there.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you. Mr. President this bill increases by six from 18-20 -- for the maximum number of authorized off-track betting facilities. This bill also allows those six additional off-tract betting to go in unspecified location. Existing law requires 15 of the off-track betting facilities to be in specific locations but it has three that are in unspecified locations. These additional six will also be in unspecified location. The bill also establishes an advisory council on large entertainment venues to coordinate large entertainment events at certain facilities and addresses other issues related to operating such facilities. The council includes representatives from large Connecticut entertainment facilities and upon the authorization of a casino gaming facility representatives from the tribes. This bill also requires the Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner to adopt regulations to regular waging on sporting events to the extent allowed under both state and federal law. This bill, I urge my colleagues to pass this bill as it relates in similar fashion to the earlier gaming bill we passed and was ultimately passed in the House last night. In addition, the states generally under the 15 existing simulcasting facilities that are located in Bridgeport, Bristol, East Haven, Hartford, Manchester, Milford, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Putnam, Torrington, Waterbury, Windham and Windsor Locks location of the simulcasting of these facilities and the addition of simulcasting capability as subject to the DCP Commissioner approval and also require approval by the host town's legislative body. In addition, sports gambling currently illegal both under federal and state law should it pass on a federal basis, discussion would be allowed for sports gambling. Connecticut law among other things prohibits risking any money, credit or other value for game which is contingent upon chance. It prohibits any gambling activity unless specifically authorized by law. I urge my colleagues to pass this piece of legislation.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you Senator Osten. [Phone ringing] Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon, nice to see you up there sir.

THE CHAIR:

Good afternoon.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you. I rise in support of this legislation. This was a long-time coming and has been a lot of hard work by a lot of folks. I commend Senator Osten on her hard work on this situation and I think this opens up an opportunity as we move into protecting our gaming dollars in the state, protecting jobs in our state, to supporting the hometown team and keeping things in Connecticut. I think this is a good opportunity to support that and to help with the entertainment distribution around the state. I think that that is a good opportunity and I certainly support this and urge adoption. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, Senator Formica. Will you remark? Senator Kissel.

SENATOR KISSEL (7TH):

Good evening Mr. President. It's great to see you up there.

THE CHAIR:

Good to see you.

SENATOR KISSEL (7TH):

I rise in opposition to this bill, but I appreciate the efforts made by the proponents. I understand that all of this is trying to cobble together some kind of collaboration to move the casino bill forward and indeed I do have an off-track betting facility in the town of Windsor Locks within my district and probably those folks are happy with what's in this bill. Nonetheless, I have always stated that I am concerned about the blossoming and the vast expansion of gambling here in the state of Connecticut. There are limited gambling dollars. Why do casinos make millions of dollars? Because our citizenry, whether from Connecticut or surrounding states, are losing millions of dollars. This is not something where everyone benefits, that if we all plant a field with corn kernels and seeds that in the fall we're going to have a vast harvest where we're all wealthier. This is an industry where there are vast winners and losers, and in a difficult economy where people don't really know where to go the idea of getting striking it rich and finding that pot of gold is very alluring.

I have personal knowledge of people within my district that have suffered personal loses because some family member, if not addicted to gambling, had lost thousands of dollars that the family needed to make ends meet but they lost it through gambling. So, what do we do to cobble together, this prospect of a third casino? We have -- let's just open it up to everybody. Off-track betting, we'll take care of you. Sports betting, we'll start the path down that road. And where does it end? Because once upon a time about three years ago I sat on the task force that determined whether off-track betting should get slots and the statistics were abundantly clear. There is a diminishing number of gambling dollars out there. What we do here in Connecticut will not stop the competition from these larger states, so we have to be nimble and we have to begin our turn away from this revenue stream and not be dependent upon it and think that if we can throw out more nets, we're gonna catch more gambling dollar fish.

There's not a good end to this. At some point, there's no more alleged rabbits in a hat because there's only so much gambling you'll be able -- I'm mean you can have slots in every 7/11 and every convenience store in the state of Connecticut and there will be "x" amount of dollars that you will be able to reap and that will be the end. That is unlike so many other areas of commerce that we have where a kernel of a new idea, technology, a patent, or something else, can blossom and that rising tide will lift all ships. This is a losery, and it's a false god for us here in the state of Connecticut.

I'm not arguing this on moral grounds. We have gambling, and we've had gambling and I remember when we had scratch ticket and the lottery and all the money was gonna be dedicated to education. When I go out and talk to my constituents to this day, they say what about that lottery money, wasn't it all supposed to go into education? How long did that last? That vanished long ago. But we keep tricking ourselves.

So, I will be voting no on this. I understand what's going on as far as trying to bring in all these disparate groups so that everybody gets a little bit of something at this point in time, but I will say not matter what you do you will still face these legal challenges and on this third casino you will still fight this equal protection of the laws fight, and you will still have to justify what you did as far as allowing the two tribes off their tribal lands to establish this casino in East Windsor, and I think that there will be a rigorous court challenge and it will not surprise me if there is an injunction and there will not be construction until this matter is ultimately resolved by the courts.

I hate to say it, because I don't want to sound holier than though, but I really think that we are kidding ourselves when we go down this path. And as far as my neck of the woods in northcentral Connecticut, I don't really think it's gonna enhance our quality of life. It's not any port in a storm, because if part is filled with peril then you may as well be still out at sea. I would urge my colleagues to reject this bill and determine that Connecticut can find a better path to prosperity for our state and its citizens. Thank you, Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator McLachlan.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. I stand in opposition to the proposal before us and align my comments to that of the co-chair of the judiciary committee and my friend Senator Kissel. I have supported the first proposals for a third casino, and frankly did that because I thought it was a jobs preservation bill for the state of Connecticut. I'm not a fan of expanding casino gambling in Connecticut, but I thought that that proposal was measured and made sense and so I voted for it, but I don't support this idea because it's expanding gambling in many other ways and I don't like the ideas proposed here.

You know sports betting has been happening for a long time and I understand people say its happening why not let the state participate in regulating it. I think that is just another reason to go down the road of saying that it's okay to do something that may not be right.

So, Mr. President, reluctantly I have to say no to this idea. I understand it's part of the bigger picture of trying to fix the problem of the House here in the state capital and trying to make people support the big idea of the third casino, but in this case when we're talking about more OTB and the chance of sports betting, I think that's the wrong road for us to take and I urge rejection. Thank you, Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, Senator McLachlan. Senator Hwang.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. It is good to see you up there and I want to first align my comments with that of Chairman of Judiciary Senator Kissel in regard to the issue of the constitutionality and the potential litigation in regard to what this bill and what we are doing in the promulgation of gambling in our state. I also want to align my thoughts with the good Senator McLachlan from Danbury in his comments that the original idea of building a third casino was for jobs. And what this creation as a sweetener as we've heard multiple times throughout the discussion of this is indeed a fact an incentive to sweeten the pot. And through you Mr. President, may I have some questions to proponent of this bill?

THE CHAIR:

Absolutely, Senator Osten prepare yourself. Senator Hwang, frame the question.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Thank you. Through you Mr. President we are extending off-track betting from 18 to 24 and as I looked at the fiscal note one thing struck me, that the gains for the municipalities for the year moving forward 18 and 19 were said to be minimal. So, as we talk about the premise of jobs and revenue, what is the rationale for us to extend the increases of off-track betting when truly the OFA analysis said the financial gains would be minimal? What would be the rationale then to such an expansion? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President. Mr. President, through you, the gains would be in the increase in jobs that would be located at the six additional facilities. Through you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Hwang.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Through you Mr. President, jobs is there a number for the jobs that would be qualified in that arena? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President. Through you, my understanding is that the off-track betting facilities require at least five persons working there plus it allows for a venue for having an eatery and that would require additional workers. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Hwang.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Thank you. I want to thank the good Senator from the eastern Connecticut, but I did not hear an answer in regards to the revenue gains that would be expected from this expansion effort. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Through you Mr. President, the revenue gains according to the Office of Fiscal Analysis have a potential of bringing a variety of dollars and their analysis does not include a specific dollar amount. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Hwang.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Through you Mr. President, would you then agree though from what I read and indeed if we are reading the same thing that fiscal year '18 and fiscal year '19 that the municipal impact and revenue is minimal?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Through you Mr. President, I would not agree that it's minimal or expansive. I'm merely going by what the Office of Fiscal Analysis said and they have said that there's a potential revenue gain. Through you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Hwang.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. So, I'll just base it on what I'm able to read from the OFA analysis. I'll go on to the next section. Could the good Senator explain a little bit more of the establishment of the advisory council of large entertainment revenue? Is that an existing agency or an existing organization? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President, and specifically what lines would the gentleman like me to explain? Through you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Hwang.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Through you Mr. President, I believe it's Section 1 Line 3, "there is an established advisory council on large entertainment revenue" and if the good Senator could explain a little bit from that line forward what it means.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President. Through you, there is established and advisory council on large entertainment venues which would be a new advisory council to look at the larger venues around the state such as the variety of like Dodd Stadium in Norwich or the XL Center in Hartford or the Yard Goats, a variety of these larger venues and the concerts that are happening in the gaming industries, so through you this advisory council would be a new council, not paid for that would be established to coordinate these larger entertainment venues. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Hwang.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Thank you. Through you Mr. President, it is a volunteer organization? Is there a fiscal note attached to that, I couldn't find it anywhere? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

According to, through you Mr. President, according to the Office of Fiscal Analysis there is not a fiscal note. Through you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Hwang.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Through you Mr. President. So, there is no fiscal note that's noted, but is it a volunteer organization and how is that organization selected? How is the infrastructure for the allocation? As I read through the analysis the level and the scope of what that organization's role is is quite significant, so is there any structural or organizational or any ancillary cost that may be associated? And if there is who would be paying for that? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Through you Mr. President, this council is established for any organization or any place that has a seating capacity of greater than 5,000 persons shall be entitled to representation on the council. The council shall select the chairperson from among the members of the council, and the first meeting of the council shall be held not later than October 1st and this is entirely voluntary according to the office of fiscal analysis. There is no cost to this council. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Hwang.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Thank you and if there is a cost, would the state or the organizational entity be responsible for it? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President. There is no cost, through you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Hwang.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Thank you and I appreciate that information. I'm gonna move on to the area, one of the nuance of this is the idea of sports book gambling. Could the good Senator elaborate a little bit more of what we are doing under this bill in regard to the promulgation of sports book gambling? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President. Which lines is the good Gentleman referring to?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Hwang.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Well, through you Mr. President, I'm reading this as quickly as it just come off the press, but for me I'm reading the OLR report and the OLR report addresses the issue of sports gambling, so I don't know the exact line of the bill, but through the OLR analysis there is an issue related to sports gambling, so if the good Senator from eastern Connecticut could give me a little more background under the statute and what I understand it to be. And I apologize for not knowing the exact.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Through you Mr. President, would you be referring to Lines 26-29? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Hwang.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Through you Mr. President, as I'm reading through it it does not say specifically sports gambling and which may lead to my not being able to decipher it clearly, but obviously our Office of Legislative Research denotes that somewhere in the statute in the background analysis is sports gambling and that is the purpose of me leading to this question is, nowhere do I specifically read unless I've missed it, through you Mr. President, that there is an issue addressing sports books gambling or is promulgated under different languages that I am not familiar with? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President, and through you I believe that the gentleman's talking about Line 28 which says to regular wagering on sporting events to the extent permitted by state and federal law, and I have to tell you I'm not really someone who goes to sporting events and in my many years on this earth my betting on sporting events has been done by the color of the uniform that people wear, so I have no idea and a lot of times I ask folks what the ball is shaped like either round with squares on it or, you know, large white ball or I'm just not really a sporting fanatic and I wish they'd go back to having sports in the correct seasons so I could keep them straight in my head. So, I believe that that's what the gentleman is talking about.

Generally, what this is about is currently sporting events are not allowed to have wagers placed on them by state and federal law and until that changes there would be no change. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Hwang.

SENATOR HWANG (28TH):

Thank you. Through you Mr. President, I appreciate the clarification on that and I too also miss sporting in the proper seasons, and I will not belabor the point any further. I think for me the clarification even though this is a bill of only two or three pages and the possibility of 61 lines, there's a lot of material here, there's a lot of moving pieces, and I would simply offer that it seems to me as I have posed the opposition to any form of gambling expansion, it seems like we're rushing through. We're trying to make ends meet to pursue something that may, may not be realizable. So, I stand in strong opposition to this and I will grant that I respect the people who do advocate it and I urge rejection to this. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark? Will you remark further? Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President. If there's no further discussion, I would ask for a roll call vote on this bill.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no further discussion, the clerk will announce the pendency of a roll call vote.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

The machine is open, please cast your vote.

THE CHAIR:

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Will all members check the board to ensure your vote has been properly recorded? If so, the machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, please announce the tally.

CLERK:

House Bill 6948.

Total number voting 36

Necessary for Adoption 19

Those voting Yea 22

Those voting Nay 14

Those absent and not voting 0

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Senator Duff. [Gavel]

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President the clerk can now call the items on our consent calendar followed by a vote of the consent calendar please.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

Page 13, Calendar 348, House Bill 6260, also Senate Bill 445; Page 13, Calendar 366, House Bill 7066; Page 14, Calendar 367, House Bill 7104; Page 18, Calendar 419, House Bill 7262; Page 20, Calendar 439, House Bill 6219; Page 23, Calendar 483, House Bill 7291; Page 24, Calendar 494, House Bill 7146; Page 28, Calendar 555, House Bill 7308; Page 28, 557, House Bill 7256; on Page 31, Calendar 574, House Bill 6603; On Page 32, Calendar 577, House Bill 7091; also on Page 32, Calendar 578, House Bill 6155; Page 33, Calendar 580, House Bill 6997; Page 36, Calendar 600, House Bill 7302; also on Page 36, Calendar 599, House Bill 5590.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk will you announce a roll call?

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate on the first consent calendar for today. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Have all members voted? Have all members voted? Will all members check the board to ensure your vote has been properly recorded? If so, the machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk will you please announce the tally?

CLERK:

On the first consent calendar for today.

Total number voting 36

Necessary for Adoption 19

Those voting Yea 36

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 0

THE CHAIR:

[Gavel] Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. If the clerk will now call Calendar Page 40, Calendar 66, Senate Bill 130, please?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 40, Calendar 66, substitute for Senate Bill No. 130, and ACT ESTABLISHING A SURCHARGE ON ANIMAL ADOPTION FEES TO FUND THE SECOND CHANCE LARGE ANIMAL REHABILITATION PROGRAM, and there are amendments.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, Mr. Clerk. Will you remark? Senator Miner.

SENATOR MINER (30TH):

I love surprises Mr. President. Mr. President, I rise to support the bill and move adoption.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further?

SENATOR MINER (30TH):

Sure. Thank you, Mr. President. Do I yield to you? [Laughter] I don't know what you're doing here. Mr. President, if I might yield to Senator Formica please?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica, do you accept the yield?

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you, Mr. President, yes, I do. Do I need to move acceptance of the Committee's Joint Favorable Report and passage of the bill or has that been done? That's been done, alright. Thank you, Mr. President. I rise to speak on this bill. The clerk is in possession of an amendment LCO 8873. I ask the clerk to please call the amendment.

THE CHAIR:

Will the chamber stand at ease. Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

LCO No. 8873, Senator Amendment schedule "A" offered by Senators Fasano and Witkos.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark?

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

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

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further?

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. This amendment is, it's something that many of you have seen before. This is the summary of the republican biannual budget. This is our proposal and I'd like to stand here for a few minutes and talk about this budget. I am proud to present this opportunity which is a balance line-by-line fully vetted budget. This budget contains that general fund appropriations of $ 18. 8 billion in fiscal year '18 and $ 19. 2 in fiscal year '19 which represents a growth rate of 2 percent. There is a surplus of $ 1. 1 million in 2018 and $ 2. 2 million in 2019. The budget is $ 750 million under $ 0. 7 under the proposed spending cap in '18 and $ 189 million under than cap in 2019, and that cap calculation is based on debt service excluded. The budget increases statutory grant municipal aide by $ 64. 8 million between 2017 and 2018 and by $ 47. 4 million between fiscal year 2018 and 2019.

By way of an example Mr. President, the city of Hartford would receive an additional $ 7. 2 million next year and an additional $ 14 million in the following year. Newington would receive an additional $ 610,000 and $ 1. 4 million in the following year and West Haven as an example receives an additional $ 3. 2 million next year and an additional $ 5. 6 million next year. Overall, this closes the deficit without new taxes. It increases education funding and includes a new ECS formula. The budget stabilizes municipal aide and proposes not to add new financial burdens on our cities and towns. The budget maintains a tax-exempt status for hospitals to protect them from any local hospital property tax. It preserves core government services by restoring funding or social services and protecting funds for services and programs that benefit the people whom are most in need. Mr. President, we prioritize transportation needs and stabilize funding without additional of new tolls or taxes. And this lowered taxes for retirees and helped seniors to age in place. We have new programs that would enhance funding for state parks and tourism and it streamlines government while providing for structural change.

A little bit about the education cost sharing formula. I will begin to summarize just a few items. Fully functioning formula that counts current enrollment using a foundation grant basis of $ 9,638 dollars. It provides a weight of 30 percent for students that receive free and reduced-price lunch. It contains additional weight of 5 percent for those communities that have more than 75 percent of the population eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. It provides a weight of 15 percent for English-language learners and an additional three to six percent for communities that have the public investment community index which costs about $ 9. 4 million.

The proposal weights, the next equalized grant list at 70 percent and median household income at 30 percent, and when the proposed ECS formula is fully implemented the state will be spending $ 678. 7 million dollars more on ECS. The proposal recommends flat funding in municipalities that would've seen a reduction in ECS. As a result of the formula in the next fiscal year 2018, it would then phase in reductions for those municipalities over a 10-year period beginning in 2019. For a municipality that is due to receive an increase, the proposal recommends phasing that increase over a 10-year period.

Similar to the Governor, we propose to seek to transfer the portion of the ECS grant that is attributed to special education, which is approximately 22 percent of the number and combines the $ 447 with the current excess cost account and an additional $ 10 million dollars creating a combined pool of $ 597. 6 million. There is a formula for those funds to be distributed, weighted, through communities based on grant list.

General reductions, this budget recommends rolling forward the 2017 holdbacks except for core services that this budget seeks to protect. Municipal aide, it does not require municipalities to assume any costs associated with teacher's retirement and it recommends eliminating the general fund revenue and care tax portion of the municipal revenue sharing account which allows $ 340 million in 2018 and $ 349 million in 2019 to remain in the general fund.

It recommends additional mandate relief. As far as transportation goes, Mr. President, this contains multiple policy changes to make the special transportation fund solvent and prevent it from entering a deficiency. It does move the transportation revenue related revenue into the special transportation fund to make that solvent through 2022 and beyond. Our prioritized progress for funding transportation infrastructure upgrades provides $ 62 billion over 30 years, again without additional taxes or tolls.

There is a number of tax reductions that we propose over time, exempting also security from taxes as of January 1 for single-income tax filers with adjusted gross income below $ 75,000 and joint filers below $ 100,000 and a seven-year phase in for all pensions and annuity income as of January 1 for single income tax filers with adjusted gross income for $ 75 and families, joint filers below $ 100. This is an important opportunity, we believe, that will send a clear message to those folks who live on pensions so that we are becoming a more friendly state from where to live. There are labor savings contemplating in this budget. Originally, we proposed the Governor's labor-saving target of $ 700 million in 2018 and $ 892. 4 million in '19, which was a bit more than the Governor's in fiscal year '19 based on an annualized medical inflation. Since the consensus revenues were released and an analysis of the SEBAC deal was conducted. The budget was updated to include additional savings of $ 136. 9 million, more in '18, and $ 188. 9 million more in '19, which was an equal percentage of the labor savings proposed in the original budget applied to the additional deficit. So those labor savings now total $ 836 million in '18 and a little over $ 1 billion in '19.

This budget proposes to restore funding for veterans' headstones and burial expenses and two items that we proposed different which is to a way to fund parks in an effort to stabilize the state's protection administration of parks. The budget contemplates a new environmental conservation account. We've seen this before. This has been discussed. We adopt this with a $ 5 annual state park pass allowing those Connecticut registrations to access any and all parks for no charge, just simply the registration plate on their vehicle would suffice. We think that by keeping a fund I place for that and generating new revenues will go a long way to beginning the stabilization of funding items for our state, which are so valuable to the quality of life here in the state of Connecticut, and hopefully we can gather more and more into that special revenue fund so that it can be creatively implemented on new programs and new initiatives to keep the parks moving forward.

Tourism, there's been a lot of talk about the tourism multiplier through the state of Connecticut that every dollar that we spend on tourism provides a large return, and so this budget contemplates doing the same thing by taking some dollars from the 1. 5 percent of the current hotel occupancy tax and directing it to tourism.

So those, Mr. President, are some of the highlights of this budget. We feel very confident that this would be a good budget for which to begin. The budget discussion in earnest here in the circle and in other parts of the building so that we can being the process of identifying that budget that is best suited to move the needs of the state of Connecticut forward and continue into a new direction. So, at this point, I'd like to yield to Senator Frantz.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Frantz, do you accept the yield?

SENATOR FRANTZ (36TH):

I accept the yield Mr. President. Thank you very much for that, and thank you Senator Formica. This is a super, super important budget that you're hearing about tonight. It is in fact a no new tax budget and I wanna first start by saying thank you to Lisa Hammersley for her incredible prowess in this field of finance and also Senator Formica of course for his leadership and Senator Fasano for his incredible leadership in bringing this out and making the big, bold move to get this out in front of the people of Connecticut. It's super serious that they take a look at this because it is a balanced budget. It's about the only workable way that I can imagine we get to where we need to be as a state where we can begin to shore up our crumbling foundation of our fiscal house.

We went over some of these numbers before, but Connecticut has truly fallen from grace. It's taken not even a full generation to go from number one, two and three in all the important categories to 48, 49 and 50 in the same categories. In everything that you look at, just you know, places to retire, debt per capita, financial management, fiscal management per capita. It's a job rate job growth, economic growth, et. cetera, et. cetera. It's super, super important that we shore up our balance sheet. The only way we can do that is with a budget like this where we can make structural changes that are permanent and that bring things back into line with reality. In other words, with what we can afford going forward. We have one of the slowest growing economies in the entire nation. We have an entire workforce that since 2008 has only grown at about half a percent since the great recession started versus a national average annually of well over seven percent. Our neighboring states, what's so different about Massachusetts and Connecticut, Rhode Island and Connecticut that they have three and a half times the growth rate that we do in jobs. In other words, Massachusetts and yes it does have Boston, but we have some pretty nice cities too, is at 300 percent of the jobs that they lost during the great recession. We're only at 78 percent. Rhode Island has about 165 percent recovery in that category. Why is it? Why is it?

The reason, I can tell ya, is because they have lower taxes in Massachusetts, the former taxachusetts we used to laugh about that a lot but they've gone down in their tax rates five percent cap on the highest marginal -- actually it's a flat tax rate there and Rhode Island it's the same thing, it's a little higher than Massachusetts but's it's certainly lower than Connecticut and remember we do not allow itemized deductions in our state so you have to adjust for that. Highest marginal tax bracket 6. 99 percent is more like about 9 percent which makes us uncompetitive with New York, with Massachusetts, with the rest of New England. And that's why this budget is important. It does not raise taxes. A few minor adjustments here and there which we'll talk about in a minute, but it really does not raise taxes and that's important. We need to send out the message to corporate Connecticut that we are serious about fixing our balance sheet. They are scared to death as to what they see. They see liabilities approaching, unfunded liabilities as well as bonded indebtedness approaching $ 100 billion dollars. We are a small state ladies and gentleman, 3. 5 million people. We have assets of about 12 maybe 13 billion dollars if you want to stretch it and we don't own any printing presses. This is important.

We've also come very close to maxing out our credit card limit and that is also important to know because if we really get ourselves into an even worse bind then we are today with about a 14 percent forecast budget deficit of the biennium, what do we do? If we can't borrow? Then you've got real problems in your hand and you know what are we doing wrong? We've been raising taxes way too frequently. Over the last six years along, two historically large tax increases in the state of Connecticut have really jeopardized our recovery in all respects and it has scared away some very well-known corporate citizens. The General Election Committee, very clear, no matter what their saying today or no matter what people think, it was all about taxes. It was all about the unitary tax. Put that tax in and we're gonna get out of Connecticut. We are taillights and more recently AETNA. Those are the ones that are on the radar screen. There are hundreds and hundreds of other companies that are much smaller and some medium-sized companies that don't hit the radar screen, don't hit the headlights. They leave because they do not like the tax structure in this state and they do not like the balance sheet at all.

We also have a population drain. A lot of taxpayers you know that are in the you know mid-level demographic categories. We've lost over 100,000 folks in just the last three, three and a half years or so. You talk to the moving companies and they will tell you what's going on, that we are the highest departure state in the entire country. And along with that goes a lot of adjusted gross income, you know where's it's all going. There's a book how there, How Money Moves that talks about where money goes and if you look at Florida they pick up between five and seven billion in adjusted gross income every year for the last 15 years. Where does it come from? It comes from Connecticut, New Jersey, New York to a certain degree. We're losing that battle because people do not like the tax structure up here. It needs to be changed, and that's once again is why this is a really good budget and I hope that people do get the message and do listen to these tapes or at least read the headlines about how this republican budget here is going to do the right thing for the folks of Connecticut and in particular, the taxpayers.

It is imperative that we pass a budget like this, maybe it can be fine-tuned, maybe we can take this to the negotiating table and do some fine tuning with it, but it's important that we do this and become a much more rational state going forward. All eyes are on Connecticut, you know, there have been some high-profile difficulties with places and all eyes are on Puerto Rico, they are on places like Illinois where 40% of their budget is unpaid bills. They are a much larger state than we are, so on a per capita basis we're not far behind them. So, all eyes are also on Connecticut and they are on this chamber tonight. We must do the right thing by voting in favor of this budget.

So very briefly, some of these were actually described before but if I could have another couple of minutes Mr. President, there's some really good things here for taxpayers in this package. The state and gift tax threshold gets raised to the federal level which is $ 5. 49 million. In other words, you're not paying any state tax until your state is valued at greater than $ 5. 49 million. Insurance premium tax reduction that reduces from 1. 75 percent to 1. 5 percent. The insurance premium tax rate, that actually came from the executive branch but it's a good idea and we have that in our budget. Film and digital medial production tax credits, you want to give tax credits to as many different entities and industries as you can, but there are some that just don't pay for themselves and we know that they don't, so this is one where we eliminate the one on production film production tax credits in the state, but that's a good thing, that's a good thing for the taxpayer.

The property tax credit against personal income tax is adjusted. Yes, that's one that we would love to give full value to everybody who is over 65 years old but we do fine tune that. It's still available for most people who really genuinely need it, but that is fine-tuned as well. And as was pointed out before, we start to nick away at the taxes that are paid on pension income and social security income, it gets phased out over the course of time to a very reasonable level and eventually gets phased out completely and that is the idea. That's the least we can do for our seniors, the people who have made so many great contributions to this state over the course of time and we have the, you know, the gall to tax them as they reach their golden years.

The earned income tax credit is adjusted a bit, but that's something that had to be done as well and it is a good thing again for the balance sheet for the state of Connecticut, as well as the "income" statement of the state of Connecticut. It eliminates the five percent emissions tax on boxing and mixed martial arts matches, which will hopefully get some economic development going there as well. There are a few fee increases which, you know, we'd love to avoid those to but you have to do what you to do because they haven't been touched for a long time and they're not frequently used by most citizens in the state of Connecticut and so there are some emergency services and state police increases in fees. We have a motor vehicle registration fee for state parks where if you pay $ 10 when you renew your registration on your car for two years you get free parking in the state parks and that would create a fund and that would be used to maintain the state parks, which is sorely, sorely needed.

So, in a nutshell, those are the highlights on the revenue raising and of this budget. And once again before I hang up the mic here Mr. President and everybody listening, it is super, super important that we do the right thing here with respect to our budget. We've got to reverse the trend. It is not a good one, and I would at this point I would like to yield to Senator McLachlan, through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator McLachlan, do you accept the yield?

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Mr. President, I do accept the yield and thank you Senator Frantz. I especially want to thank our leadership in the senate republican caucus; Senator Fasano, Senator Witkos, Senator Frantz and Senator Formica for your hard work on this budget package with the unending support of staff behind the scenes who to this moment is still standing right there waiting for somebody to keel over. We're very grateful for all the hard work you've done.

Mr. President, I stand in support of this proposal as I've been anxiously awaiting an opportunity in this state senate to offer the people of Connecticut a buckle-down budget where we are showing the people of Connecticut that we can balance the budget without taxes, without pain and providing all the core services that are necessary to the residents of the state of Connecticut and I think this budget does that most affectively. I might add that there are some pretty incredible incentives for us to embrace this budget because it is exactly what the residents of Connecticut are asking for, and I'll start with the spending cap. I was proud to serve on the Spending Cap Commission that was created by the Connecticut General Assembly and met for nine months last year. I served on that commission with five other members of the state senate, some of whom are still with us in the circle tonight. The Spending Cap Commission worked diligently with a whole group of dedicated staff and members of the commission to identify ways to fully implement the state's spending cap and we have in this budget a spending cap that embraces recommendations that came out of the spending cap commission. Now this is a heavy lift to get a spending cap constitutionally accepted, we all understand that, but this budget honors the spending cap proposal that we have which essentially lowers the cap by reducing the allowable exemptions and also has a more conservative and somewhat aggressive calculation of the growth rate. I will say that in the current fiscal '18 year we're under the spending cap by $ 750 million dollars and in fiscal year '19 we're under the spending cap by $ 189 million dollars in this budget proposal. The spending cap was approved by voters 27 years ago but a vote on Election Day with an 80 percent majority vote, 82 percent I think was the majority vote. And the legislature has been unable to fully implement the spending cap to this day which requires a three-fifths majority vote of both houses of the legislature. Not an easy thing to do, but the residents of Connecticut are still waiting and this is a good start for us to get going on that.

This budget also has additional long-term structural changes that are friendly to the residents and taxpayers of Connecticut. One of the most important to me frankly is that it requires this legislature to vote on all state union contracts. In the local level of government in Connecticut, all legislative bodies are used to approving union contracts on a regular basis. Union contracts don't just become approved the way they do in state government. On a local level, all those contracts are reviewed and approved or disapproved. This requires all contracts to be voted on here at the legislature.

In addition to enacting the constitutional spending cap, it enacts a constitutional transportation lock box and a lock box for the transportation fund that cannot be rated. There won't be allowable transfers of funds from the transportation fund with this lock box that we are embracing. This also enacts a $ 2 billion-dollar cap on bond allocations and that's phased in on issuances over a two-year period. We are above the neck on the ability of state tax payers to handle any more debt. When you look at the total debt of bonds issued by the state of Connecticut and the unfunded liabilities for future pensions and healthcare costs of currently retired and future retirees that we anticipate, the state taxpayers are not gonna to be able to continue the level of spending by way of borrowed money and this puts a firm cap on as a result of this budget.

This also encourages urban economic growth with the implementation of a 7/7 Brownfield Redevelopment Program. It removes barriers to regionalization, but it does regionalization without creating a new county government. You know, regionalization is a great idea on paper but it's not a great idea if you're creating all kinds of new bureaucracies to go with it. So that's an important point for us to consider as we move forward with the ideas of efficiencies through regionalization, but we can't do that by creating new government bureaucracy in the same stroke of the pen.

And lastly for my comments, it applies the results first score to all grant programs, results first is accountability and that's something that is challenged for government to score accountability on grant programs. Oftentimes governments are trying to initiate something brand new that doesn't have a base to score upon. This looks to use results first model for that purpose. Mr. President, this is a great move forward for the residents of Connecticut. It also, if we enact this budget, is gonna mean that businesses are gonna pay attention to this being one of the first positive steps forward for responsible government spending in the state of Connecticut in many years.

And most importantly, if we have businesses with a better attitude about what's happening here at the state capital and we have Wall Street paying more favorable attention to what's happening here at the state capital and Wall Street stops lowering our bond rating and giving us back scores, that means that we're not chasing businesses out the door and retirees are actually considering staying in Connecticut versus looking to bail out and find a tax-friendly state elsewhere for their permanent domicile. So, I urge adoption of this budget Mr. President, and I yield now to Senator Heath Somers.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Somers, do you accept the yield?

SENATOR SOMERS (18TH):

Yes, I do. Thank you, Mr. President. I rise today to speak on the proposed senate republican budget. I believe that this budget that is presented is really our pathway forward for the state of Connecticut. It's a move in the right direction, that's the direction of sustainability out of necessity, a restoration of confidence and confidence that the leaders in government know what the problems are, see the financial despair that's facing our state and that we have a plan to fix it going forward. Not just for those who are living here now, but for those who will live here in the future, our future generations, my children, my grandchildren, your children, your grandchildren.

This budget is the only budget that has been presented that has been vetted by the office of fiscal analysis line item by line item. It does things like increased dollars for education, takes care of those who are the most needy and the most vulnerable in our society here in Connecticut. It restores mental healthcare, substance abuse care and restores funding for those who have intellectual disabilities. There are significant changes for our seniors here in Connecticut with a proposal to reduce the tax that they pay right now on Social Security and eventually phase out the tax that they pay on their pensions. We are one of few states in the nation that tax both of those things.

It provides consistency and accuracy for our municipalities so they know exactly what they're going to be getting in the years to come. As a former mayor, I can tell you that's critical in your planning especially now as we hear on a daily basis from our mayors and selectmen asking us in the legislature, us as the leaders, why we can't get our budget done so they can set their budgets.

It supports economic growth which we desperately need here in Connecticut. It restores funding for parks. It increases tourism dollars and we all know that tourism here in Connecticut is one of our economic engines. It strives to make Connecticut a more attractive place, not only for businesses to come and to try to set up roots here, but for our residents that are here to stay. We know and we hear time and time again that people are leaving Connecticut. We've seen in the revenues that we have gotten just recently, the numbers that are in.

What this budget does not do, and I can't be any more clear, is that it does not end collective bargaining. We have heard that over and over from the hundreds of e-mails that I've gotten saying please don't get rid of collective bargaining. This budget does not do that. Again, this does not get rid of collective bargaining.

Some of the things that this budget does which I think are really important for people listening to to understand and to wrap their arms around is that we do this without raising taxes. We have figured out a way to reallocate the funds that we have in a more efficient fair manner here in Connecticut. We restore things that have been cut under the other proposed budgets, things like Meals On Wheels, funding to the school-based health clinics. For me, which are one of the most important things we can do for our youth. It restores funding for rape crisis centers, community health centers, nutrition assistants, family resource centers. It restores funding for the most needed right now in the middle of our opiate crisis, the mental health boards and mental health services, and it does reduce burial benefits for those who have passed away with nothing left.

As far as tourism, this particular budget proposes a transfer of one and a half percent of the currently hotel occupancy tax to be dedicated for tourism. I used to sit on the Economic Competitiveness Commission for the state of Connecticut and we went through a process there where McKinsey, which is a company out of Stamford who does economic studies for countries gave us the landscape of Connecticut. One of the areas which they had promoted for us to focus on is tourism. This is a great self-fulfilling prophesy. One and a half percent of the hotel tax going to tourism where the people that know what they're doing can use the money in the way that they find most effective. Then when they grow tourism and there's more people coming and staying in our hotel tax, they will increase their revenue.

This budget recognizes that this state and everyone in this circle needs to rethink the way we deliver government, there's just no other way. I'm gonna leave you with a statistic which I think is really interesting. In the late '80's, there was 3. 1 million people in Connecticut. We had about 28,000 employees. The size of government has just gotten too large, too big that we can see here in Connecticut that it's actually collapsing upon itself because we are financially bankrupt in so many words. Right now, we have that same amount of people living in Connecticut, approximately. We have close to 50,000 state employees. I think state employees do a great job, but we have to look at how we streamline and deliver the services of government so that people can afford to live in our state. This budget does it. It does it without tax increases. It does it without layoffs. It does it without getting rid of collective bargaining. And I will support this budget wholeheartedly when eventually it comes to the floor for a vote, and right now Mr. President I would like to yield my time to Senator Kelly, but he is not -- oh he is here. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kelly, do you accept the yield?

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

Mr. President, yes, I do and thank you very much. I rise to speak on our budget because it was a little more than seven years ago that I decided to step forward and run for this office, and it was really done for two primary purposes. Number one is that I have younger children, although I will tell you they are now graduating from grammar school and another one graduating from college, but seven years ago I was in quite a different place. And I recognized at that time that our government was mortgaging their future and I had a choice. I could either sit on the couch and do nothing and grouse about it or get involved. And for the past six years I know I have had the opportunity to comment on budgets and unfortunately a lot of those budgets have put us on the path that Connecticut now suffers from. It's what the Governor calls the new economic reality. The new economic reality that requires middle class families to accept a standard of living that is in decline. The second reason I got involved was that I am a practitioner, an elder law attorney, and so working in the Medicaid field for as long as I've had, I've had some aptitude and skill dealing with human services and so I felt I could come and make a contribution in that area. In both of these issues that I got involved for to make sure that the future for our children is bright and prosperous as well as preserving a social safety net for those individuals who are less fortunate and in need of help. This budget helps both those issues.

So, I stand forward and rise today to support this budget and to vote for this budget because what this budget does is it addresses not only what I got involved for but as I go across my district from Danny's Drive-In in Stratford to Bill's in Monroe or from Hunting Green and Shelton to the hills section of Seymour, families and individuals across my district continued to tell me about the financial hardship and difficulty to make ends meet here in the state of Connecticut. I hear all the time about what tax increases, what the cost of doing business, what the costs of fees and expenses that our government puts on our people, what that means to them and their family budget and how it is so much more difficult today to make those ends meet than it was a few years ago. And I'm telling you that the people that come to me in my district are coming to me frustrated because they feel that their government isn't listening. Well let me tell you with this budget, I believe this listens to middle class Connecticut and we hear you loud and clear, that this budget puts you, the middle-class family of Connecticut, front and center. Our budget has no new taxes, closes the deficit and does so in a balanced way. That's what Connecticut families do and that's what our budget should do and that's what this does.

We also in this budget invest in transportation. We move forward our prioritized progress initiatives so that we can invest to make sure that Connecticut can continue to grow jobs and we also place a priority on increased funding for education to make sure that our children are equipped with the proper skills so that they can compete in the next generation, and we do it with an ECS that's an actual formula. This is new. This is bold. We also, we hear time and time again that it's very difficult to retire in Connecticut, well what this budget also includes is a repeal of the income tax on Social Security income and unfortunately we can't do it for pension today, but it will be phased in over time for any single-filer $ 75,000 dollars or less and joint filers of $ 100,000. There's going to be a repeal of the income tax on your Social Security income. That, again, bold. We preserve the core social services funding. We make sure that we take care of people that need help. We fund mental health and substance abuse, Care for Kids and maintain day and employment services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We maintain aging in place and senior initiatives. We reject the Governor's constant cuts to aging in place that those initiatives that individuals want that are arguably better and less expensive in a day and age when we have little resources and more demand. These are the types of initiatives that we need to focus on and move forward.

Unfortunately, since I've been here what I've seen is a retreat from the Connecticut Home Care Program, a retreat from aging in place initiatives, a retreat from those government services that our seniors, the greatest generation looked for, fought for and have earned, have been basically abandoned and in this budget we restore that. We also look to Meals on Wheels and also non-ADA Dial-A-Ride as well as looking at maintaining burial funds services and then what I believe to be one of the most unkindest cuts is a restoration of the personal needs allowance. Let me tell you what that is. A personal needs allowance is what little you have left, when someone has exhausted all of their life savings, their house, their money, their assets are below $ 1,600 dollars, they're in a nursing home and we take all their income but $ 60 dollars, $ 60 that's all you have left is $ 60 dollars and the Governor wants to cut that too. We do not. We do not. As chairman on the Insurance Committee we had a bill that came before us this year and I might say that I was a bit of ashamed to actually have to witness what I witnessed where we saw chiefs of fire departments from across the state of Connecticut come before our committee to beg for the proper funding so that they could be adequately trained and have cutting edge equipment to provide safety for our families. In my view, public safety is at the top of government service. If there's one thing government needs and must do it's protect its citizens. And I think we would all agree that when we dial 911, we want to have the best come to us and help us. Why wouldn't we want to fund those individuals so that they would have the proper equipment and training to do their job well, because I know that they will always do their job well? Our budget increases the funding for fire training. It's a priority to us. We recognize this and we placed it in our budget and we've continued to do that. And our budget includes significant and substantial structural change that is a bold and new path for Connecticut, a new direction for Connecticut.

Basically, this budget places the public interest before the special interests and demonstrates quite clearly that there is an alternative to Hartford's business as usual budgeting. One that puts the burdens of today on the backs of our children tomorrow. That must stop and it does with our budget. We demonstrate that there is a better way that benefits middle class families not the government itself and instead sets our state on a path to prosperity for us, for our children and for all future generations. For these reasons, I support this budget and will vote for this budget. And Mr. President, at this time I would like to yield my time to Senator Boucher.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher, do you accept the yield?

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Mr. President, I do accept the yield.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you very much. Mr. President, everywhere we go throughout our districts, throughout our state, whether we're in the grocery store or at the movie theater, all we hear about is what are you doing in Hartford. We need a new direction, a change in the state of Connecticut. It's at the top of everybody's lips right now and for good reason because since 2008, 2010, during the great recession we lost a lot of jobs so did our neighboring states. In fact, it was nationwide; however, since then the state of Massachusetts has recovered 300 percent of its jobs. New Hampshire that does not have a state income tax has recovered nearly 200 percent of its jobs and all of the other states around us nearly 100 percent, except for Connecticut. We are barely over 70 percent. We have not recovered the jobs of a recession that was nearly a whole decade ago.

In addition, our unemployment rate is going up rather than down. It just recently rose from 4. 8 to 4. 9 percent. Our neighboring states, Massachusetts their unemployment rate is 2. 3 percent, New Hampshire 2. 3 percent, and not to be outdone even New York and all of the other states in New England are substantially less as is the national average. People are upset, many are downright frightened and too many tell us that they're being forced out to a state that they love, and just recently I received an e-mail from someone that said, oh my gosh you've given us hope, we've just read that your proposing an alternative, it sounds like the right direction to go in. But sure there are some things in this budget that even I -- that we're proposing it, we're supporting it, we're gonna vote for it, we're gonna encourage our colleagues to support for it. There's things in there we don't like to see cut. There's things in here that I care a great deal about, but unfortunately over the last eight years when we proposed alternatives, instead of listening to those proposals the state has decided to kick the can down the road because it just simply didn't believe that things could get worse and of course they did. When you propose 77 new taxes on everything, lots of new brackets, then of course it's gonna take a few years but boy people will start making plans to leave. That's why in the beginning of all those new taxes you actually saw an increase in tax revenues, but now a few years later, it's gone precipitously lower and we all know that it's the highest taxpayers that $ 600 million of taxes has now been reduced to nearly $ 240 million. That's a huge drop. It's attacking the very people that pay the most, and it continues, that rhetoric continues to this very day. In fact, we're getting all kinds of e-mails right now, 10 at a time from the same person talking about how they're concerned about the possible budget that we're bringing out.

Let me tell you, even though there are things in here that I don't want to see cut that I really care about, the reason that I'm supporting it is because it actually funds the things that are at the top of the pyramid of priorities; education funding, special education funding, funds for transportation, it actually secures those funds.

Particularly it's certainly does not require municipalities, our towns, to assume any cost associated with the teacher's retirement. How many of us have heard from our towns and cities about that one issue that would topple their very well crafted and negotiated budgets that take them from balancing their budget to being anywhere from two to five million dollars in the hole overnight. This budget funds transportation and by the way without tolls, without a mileage driven tax. It also doesn't allow municipalities to tax local hospitals and preserves the small hospital pool.

And one of the areas that I really care a great deal about, and you all do too as well, and those are our disabled population, the ones that need day care and employment services for those individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and one of the other areas is Care for Kids. That is really an important area because it allows those on the lowest income to be able to actually work, make a living to take care of their children.

As I've said, Mr. President, I'm going to be voting for this budget. I encourage my colleagues to do so as well to really begin to move Connecticut in a new direction, something that everyone in Connecticut is seeking. Thank you, Mr. President. Oh, and by the way, Mr. President before I do [laughing] conclude my remarks, I hope you will allow me to yield my time over to the very distinguished and very lovable Senator Henry Martin.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Martin, do you accept the yield?

SENATOR MARTIN (31ST):

Thank you, Mr. President, thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed.

SENATOR MARTIN (31ST):

Senator Boucher for your kind remarks. Mr. President, I rise because I want to tell the taxpayers of Connecticut that we've heard them loud and clear. I know for the last three years since I ran for the first time, I've heard it over and over and over again, and I'm sure all of us here in the circle, you've heard it from our friends and our families and our businesses that we gotta stop this insanity. No more taxes. That's what I keep hearing. No more taxes. We have no more to give you.

That sort of reminds me of a little, a few years ago maybe early '90s, I was in a board room and it was a workout for this developers, a group of them, and they had gone through three different workouts and it was a large project. It went from a $ 12 million-dollar project initially to a $ 19 million-dollar project by the time the third workout came, and I remember the individual at the far end of the table representing the group, the developers, and saying you are looking at individuals that used to be wealthy and now we have no more money, no more to give you. And the truth, I believe, that the people of Connecticut have become very cynical. They don't believe that we can fix this, and can you really blame them. They read, or the proof I should say, is when they pick up a financial publication like Forbes Magazine or the Wall Street Journal or others that place Connecticut last or pretty much to last on almost economic or job growth lists. The proof, how about the migration of individuals, regardless of age and businesses that are leaving our state. The proof, the drop in our state revenue. The businesses, I'll give you an example of what I've experienced anyway. I hear it from a financial planner friend of mine and he tells me, "Henry, my client base are moving out", financial planner well to do and he's thinking about himself maybe I ought to be moving somewhere else as well.

The proof, three years ago in my first term, my very first evening of the witching hour here so to speak, is when that budget was passed, I walked out, I saw a lobbyist, I sat down, I saw his body language and I asked him talk to me. That's all I asked, that's all I said, talk to me. And he said that they have no idea what they just did. Board room decisions will be made, not to invest in the state of Connecticut. Their capital will go somewhere else. They will make those decisions and it's not going to take place over night, but an erosion, a slow erosion will take place and I believe we are seeing the proof of that today. And those that we haven't even seen yet. It brings into perspective for me something I read a few years ago, and I quote, "Citizens are customers of government, citizens are customers of government, and citizens can and will do what dissatisfied customers will do, they will go somewhere else. " High property taxes force people to move. High sales tax provokes them to shop somewhere else. High taxes on businesses make companies build and hire somewhere else, and lastly high-income taxes undermine the will to work.

So how do we stop this migration? How do we make them want to stay? What do we need to do to turn this anemic state economy around? And if the goal is to attract businesses and people into Connecticut in order to grow the economy, then fundamentally I believe our policies first and foremost ought to be lowering taxes and minimizing government spending. And I have said this here before. The empirical data is clear. The communities and states with the greatest economic growth are the communities and the states with lower taxes and less government spending, and they are the ones that attract the businesses, the people and the jobs. I believe this budget provides, that's in front of us now, a clear message to the people of Connecticut, a message of a new direction. You've heard that. This new direction in front of us makes structural changes that will take us off the treadmill of higher taxes that have lead us to slower growth. When I came to the capital this session, I spoke to our leadership and Lisa in particular and told her, gee here's my thoughts and I really felt that you know what got us into this financial mess was the spending cap. You know, we never really truly adopted the spending cap and I felt that that was one of the structural changes that needed to take place and we heard Jim Smith, I believe, from Webster Bank in September of this past year testify in front of the constitutional commission spending cap commission that we placed together and he went on to say that had we not excluded the any expenses from the spending cap that our budget would be, don't quote me to this, but I believe he said $ 5 million dollars less. I said wow that would be quite different. Our fiscal situation here would be quite different today, and we would never have and I firmly believe this, had we adhered to that going back to 1991 that we would never have had the highest and the second highest largest tax increase in the state's history.

So, I believe the budget that we submitted here, the cornerstone in there, I believe is the cornerstone of what I believe sound fiscal policy and that's the enactment of a constitutional spending cap. This budget also sends a clear message to the seniors who have been telling us for years, and I know many of you have heard them, stop taxing me, my income isn't growing, and I can't afford this. So, this budget exempts social security from the state income tax on those who earn less than $ 75,000 singly and jointly $ 100,000 dollars. It also phases in a federal exemption for the state tax. We protect the municipalities, municipal aide, so it doesn't require towns to assume any costs associated with teacher retirement, which if we don't do that we'll surely raise their taxes or their property taxes, so forces the municipalities to raise their property taxes. This budget also reduces government spending and maintains a tax-exempt status on non-profit hospitals.

Our responsibility in providing core services of government is to take care of the most vulnerable and this budget does that. I have said enough, the fact is the budget that is in front of us, I believe, provides a foundation and the framework to re-build economic stability in our state by reducing government spending and beginning to lower taxes, and clearly sends a message to the people of Connecticut that we have heard them loud and clear Mr. President.

Mr. President, I plan to vote for this budget and I would like to yield to my good colleague Senator Suzio.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Suzio, do you accept the yield?

SENATOR SUZIO (13TH):

With enthusiasm Mr. President. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed.

SENATOR SUZIO (13TH):

Mr. President, and my colleagues in the circle, putting together a budget is something I think I know something about. I was trained in economic in finance and accounting at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and for 48 years I've been working in the financial world working on proformas statements, budgets, cash flow forecasts and I can tell you that the document that we have put together that we are talking about tonight is as good and as serious detailed budget as I've seen in all that time. I am really, really proud and enthusiastic for the bold proposal that we have put forward and I do want to thank and I want congratulate Senators Formica and Frantz and I want to thank staff member Lisa Hamersley for their enormous work they put into this bold and important document that should form the blue print of the budget process which should begin immediately. There is no time to waste. I also want to thank Senator Fasano for his bold leadership of our caucus. He hasn't been afraid to take on a controversial issue loaded with all sorts of potential pitfalls, no he's done what he thinks is right for the state of Connecticut. There's a Latin expression, carpe diem, seize the day, Senator Fasano and his leadership of our caucus truly has seized the day. He hasn't been afraid to shy away from doing what's necessary to save our state.

We are only at the beginning of the process of building the state budget. The budget itself is just a document that's the outcome of that process. During the next few months, there will be a lot of give and take and there should be a lot of give and take as we put the final budget together. In fact, our budget and our proposal is so good and so pragmatic and so reasonable that we've already received input from around the state and have begun to make adjustments reflecting what we thought was legitimate and constructive criticism.

A good example was some of the comments about the comp time, the complimentary time, and whether the amount that we had put into the budget that we had proposed was reasonable. Our staff got to work right away, looked at that and said, yea maybe we should adjust that. Maybe we should do something that might be a bit more realistic recognizing that we do have men and women who work for our state where overtime is necessary and can't necessarily be accommodated for it by comp time. So, we adjusted the proposed budget already to reflect that and to be much more realistic. The proposed budget has made every effort to balance the budget without raising taxes and without shifting costs.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Suzio, can you stand at ease for one moment. I just want to just tell the audience, please don't lean over, please don't lean over the gallery up there and please you can't film the chamber, okay. So please don't film and also don't lean over cause we're concerned for security. Thank you. Senator Suzio, please proceed.

SENATOR SUZIO (13TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. As I was saying the proposed budget has made every effort to avoid tax increases and to avoid shifting costs to our cities and towns as has been proposed by the current administration. And the proposed budget that we are discussing tonight is remarkably successful at doing that, but there is a crucial assumption build into our budget that needs to be addressed and needs to be addressed as soon as possible and that relates to the outcome of the SEBAC negotiations. Will the necessary savings be achieved or not? In the budget that we developed, we allowed for SEBAC savings of about $ 1. 9 billion dollars out of the projected budget deficit of $ 5 billion. That means that we feel we can balance the budget, the majority of the budget, over $ 3 billion dollars of the budget deficit without imposing a burden on the men and women who work for our state and doing a remarkable job doing so, but there's no getting around it, we need the cooperation of the state employees and their willingness to come forward and help us address the budget deficit we have.

In fact, I want to make sure that everyone in this circle and in the state of Connecticut realizes we are not in a budget crisis, we are in the middle of a budget catastrophe. We are beyond the crisis stage. We are literally on the verge of a financial meltdown and until everybody in this state realizes that we won't treat it with the proper seriousness that it deserves. The proposed SEBAC agreement if I give credit to the estimate given by the Governor would leave us about $ 348 million dollars short of what we need to balance the budget without raising taxes and without shifting costs to the cities and towns.

Is it reasonable, the big question is is it reasonable to expect state employees to come forward a bit more than what's in the tentative agreement? Well let's take a look at perhaps what might be a typical state employee and see what is being asked of them. If we were to look at a state employee whose making $ 70,000 a year right now. That employee would give up any pay increases for the first three years and then would be entitled to a pay increase of three and a half percent each in years four and five. Not only that, but that employee would be entitled for a bonus in year three of either $ 2,000 or their step plus $ 1,000. The steps are increments in the pay scales for our state employees. Generally speaking there are 10, 12 or 13 steps. It can vary depending on the unit and the particular job, but it's another pay increase basically and they typically go two and a half to three and a half percent. So, in the proposed SEBAC deal the state employees in years four and five would be getting their step increase plus three and a half percent. When you do the computation, an employee who starts out making $ 70,000 dollars a year four years from now would be making about $ 80,000 dollars per year. This is in the concession agreement that's been proposed by SEBAC. Now that employee would be contributing more toward their healthcare. I calculate probably an estimate of about $ 500 more per year toward healthcare and that employee would be contributing more towards their retirement, a couple percent of their pay. So, if you're at $ 70,000 to $ 80,000 that is about two percent about $ 1,500 dollars to $ 1,600 dollars a year. But again, the pay increase over that period of time would be about $ 10,000 dollars. So, it's not too bad a position to be in. I know that there are some writers who have talked about state employees having to give up $ 30,000 - $ 40,000 dollars but that is a totally an unrealistic way to look at it. The realistic way is to look at what is in the paycheck and what is coming out of their pockets as they go forward in the next five years.

I think it's important to communicate to the state and to the state employees that we are grateful for their willingness to come forward as they have done in the past and sacrifice for the good of the state, but we are in dire straits. We are not just in an ordinary crisis. We are in a budget meltdown crisis. The wheels are coming off the bus and if we are to avoid a tax increase or if we are to avoid shifting the cost that we've incurred to the cities and towns and making them bear the burden, it's imperative that the state employees come forward and are willing to bear their fair share of the costs. A $ 1. 5 billion out of $ 5 billion deficit, I think that's reasonable particularly when you look at it at the context of an example like I just articulated.

It's imperative that we resolve this budget deficit without tax increases and without shifting the costs to cities and towns. So, I am going to enthusiastically support this proposal and vote for it and I urge all of you in the circle to do so. And remembering that this is the starting point. It's a document that we recognize is going to have to be tweaked and changed over the next few months, but we cannot lose a moment's time. Every month we delay in solving the problem the hole gets deeper. We cannot continue to let ourselves get into a deeper hole because the pain and the suffering are going to be that much greater.

As I began talking I mentioned about Senator Fasano's bold leadership, and I mean that sincerely. It is my privilege to yield the floor to Senator Fasano. May I do so Mr. President?

THE CHAIR:

Yes, Senator Fasano do you accept the yield? Please proceed.

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

Thank you very much. Thank you Mr. President and Senator Suzio thank you for your kind words and you direction in our caucus. Mr. President, this is our budget that you have heard about today. And these choices in our budget were not easy choices. We had a budget originally that adopted the savings that governor Malloy had placed forth, $ 1. 5 billion roughly over the two years. And then we were hit with a $ 1. 8 billion-dollar additional deficit, and the question is how do you deal with that, and we looked at it and said what direction are we going in, and we sat down and we made a number of changes. We did make more cuts to social services. We made more cuts some to municipalities, small as it may be and phased them out over 10 years, but then you get down to harder choices and you realize that you need to make structural changes that save in two years "x" but by five and 10 years, 10-20 times "x" because when we do budgets we shouldn't be doing them for elections. We should be doing them for generations. We need to set a framework and a road for future legislators to say this is the path to prosperity. Some have argued that the budget that we're producing here today that we put a press conference seems like a couple days ago, but it was this morning, was a surprise. Hogwash. It wasn't a surprise. We did a line by line budget, balanced, vetted and then when the new numbers came out, we did a second line by line budget, vetted and balanced. And as we stand here in the chamber we are the only caucus to have a line by line vetted balanced budget, end of story. End of story. The Governor's got a budget, line by line and balanced. I don't think it's got wide support on either side of the aisle or either chamber, but that's what we put forth and that budget's been on our Website and that budget's been distributed to the leadership in this building and many people have had this budget for a long time. We did a small tweak the other day in direct response to two issues. One of which was the Governor saying I don't think you could achieve this savings. We looked at it and said, okay we think we can but arguably we can't, we'll make that change and we made another change that we think in hindsight should've been changed to help businesses. But we updated that.

What we have to talk about is moving this state forward. We have one solemn obligation to the constituency in the state of Connecticut every two years and that's to pass a budget. And an obligation that we do it as quickly as possible. We've put it out there. It's gonna be easy for people to sit on the sideline and throw rocks especially when they don't have a budget that you could look at. I've constantly said I'm not going to negotiate with ghosts. I am not going to negotiate with a budget that I don't know what it does. If you're not give me a line by line budget, you're gonna do concepts, how can I possibly have a conversation with you? How can I possibly say, I don't like Line 2 or Line 5? I've got to say I don't even know what that means. We have a greater obligation to the state. We are in survival mode.

Our bonding has gone down. Our population has gone down. Whether people like to admit it or not, this is a simple fact. The wealthy are leaving the state. You don't believe it, let's talk numbers. The top 50 -- let's say top 100 because I want to be absolutely certain about my numbers, the top 100 taxpayers six years ago paid $ 600 million to the state. Four years ago it went down to $ 450 million dollars to the state. Currently it's projected to be $ 253 million dollars. How do you ever get that money back? That $ 400 million is $ 800 million over the two years. How do you get that money back? This is the problem we're down into and if those numbers were up, we'd be able to fund everything we wanted to; social services, education, special needs, drug rehab. But we can't do it because we're on a wrong path. And I will say this, it's not a shocker. We have talked about a wrong path for a while. We have suggested straightening it out.

The numbers in this chamber and the numbers down in the House prohibited us from having that conversation. One year ago today, we'll say one year ago and about one year ago today, there were budget negotiations. Republicans were not allowed in the room, not allowed in the room. We're in the room now. Its 18: 18 and downstairs they are off by four, that's not by accident. This state's heading down the wrong direction. We need to work together, not against. Not ships in the night. We need to work together. We put forth a budget. We accept criticism. We accept constructive additions and subtractions, of conversations. When you have a document for which you can have those conversations about.

Let's talk a little bit about the union concessions. Yes, we have more union concessions than the Governor does, no question about it. There's a miscommunication out there indicating that we, senator republicans, are dismantling collective bargaining. That is not accurate. In fact, that is a lie, we are not. All the rights, privileges and collective bargaining remain, and you cannot under federal law get rid of collective bargaining. What we have said, like many other states, 47 of the 50 states say that pensions will be controlled by statute not by collective bargaining and what we said is we are going to have parameters on pensions, retirement. All we're saying is let's equalize the playing field. The state workers are hard, dedicated folks who pay taxes, hard, dedicated people. They work extraordinarily hard and they are entitled to every benefit for which they are receiving, no doubt about it, but the question is are we sustainable? I would suggest had we made the changes years ago to the budget and made the cuts we had to make we would not be in a position that we are today with such a deficit that we have to look at a whole different set of numbers and a whole different set of methodology to achieve a result. But we are where we are. We are saying the local unions, I've heard people say this affects fireman, policemen and teachers, rubbish. It does not. It does not. This is about 75 percent of the state employees pay 2 percent toward their pension on a defined benefit. It's a great deal. I don't begrudge them for having it, or we're saying in our budget we just need to change that. The average is seven. We need to change that.

After 2022 is what our proposal says how we change it. Now I do congratulate the unions and the Governor for putting a hybrid out there. That is a great recognition of a structural change, and in that hybrid overtime is not included, a great structural change. And within hybrid, you get 6 percent, 7 percent if you don't get a return of 6. 9. That's a significant change, but we still have an ongoing problem today that has not been addressed in that negotiation. So, we need to change the structural methodology. It's not against unions. It's not against collective bargaining. It is the fact that we need to face the reality that the current situation cannot continue. We have seen our neighbors to the north, Rhode Island, with a democratic governor, do the exact same thing. Some people have quoted by saying a Wisconsin moment. No. Wisconsin did municipal. Wisconsin did a lot more than what this is suggesting. This is suggesting being parody between the private sector and the local unions such that we can survive as a state because right now we are gonna be faced with significant problems unless we change. That's what we are proposing to do. Those are the conversations we have to have. They are uncomfortable. They are uncomfortable, but unfortunately, they are necessary because if we don't address them we can't help those who need help, who need help.

I would also add in our budget, we recognize that on the state employees pay scale that some folks who get paid higher should pay a higher premium than those folks who are paying $ 70,000 dollars or less. There should be some sort of sliding scale to bring parody even amongst the union folks so that we can help everybody in this methodology that we're looking at. Our cities need help, our schools need help. In this budget, and we have the only budget that does this, is look at the court decisions and say we need to change ECS to make it fair. We need to make sure the cities get the money they need to properly educate our kids. There's no greater equalizer among people than education. That's how you get people to grow, get jobs and succeed in life.

Mr. President, this is not a budget that we put forward in a happenstance or as a knee-jerk reaction to a situation. This is a budget that we thought long and hard on. You just can't make a change in this state unless you make significant structural changes. I do appreciate the negotiations between the unions and the governor. When you do the math, its $ 186 million dollars, if you do the math in terms of what that change on the union contracts are. It's only $ 186 million dollars. WE could have a policy debate whether we believe that's a fair number or not. I would suggest it has to be higher. That's the reason why we did what we did. We welcome a conversation with the unions. If they look at our budget and say Item 2 is not good, but I'll give you a substitute in terms of a number. Okay. It's not the item, it's the number. We welcome that conversation. My door is open. I'll talk to anybody at any time about these issues, but we need to confront them. And as Senator Suzio said, this is the budget that has all the factors and structures that say let's take this budget, let's start to have a conversation. If the things that -- that there's a strong need to change on the other side of the aisle or from the unions, let's have that conversation, but we have to more forward. We felt it was our obligation to put forth a balanced, vetted, line by line two-year budget and we wanted to fill our obligations to the state of Connecticut.

Mr. President, with that it's my understanding that Senator Osten may have some questions. I perhaps would yield to Senator Osten.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten, do you accept the yield?

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much. I appreciate that.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

I will certainly accept the yield and I have several questions and I'm not certain who I'm directing those questions to. Would those questions go to the proponent to the bill, would it be Senator Formica?

THE CHAIR:

It looks like Senator Formica.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

I think so, but it started with Senator Miner and I'm not certain you actually brought the bill out so [background laughter] or the amendment. So, I have a couple of questions Senator Formica and I'm wondering if you want to so that we can both stand up at the same time. We usually share a microphone, but this would be a little bit cumbersome. So, I'll move over here if you want to take that microphone over there from Senator Kelly. Thank you very much. I looked through the budget, you know, unbeknownst to many of my colleagues after voting yesterday to pass and debate and work on a state budget in special session I was a little surprised to come in and some quite a distance less than the 12 hours in our rules about budget that would be presented. A budget shows up and here we are tonight debating it, and so having looked at it for a little bit of time, I am now going to address some of those questions that I have.

So, I looked at some big numbers to see where you are making some changes and I noticed in the pension line item that you actually go down in pension payments some $ 300 million dollars in year one and $ 300 million dollars in year two and neither the governor nor the Appropriations Committee budget, a budget that was presented and worked on through the Office of Fiscal Analysis. Can you tell me what the actuarial assessment why you are not working off the actuarial assessment for the retirement fund of state employees? Through you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you, Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed Senator.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you. We, hold a second please.

THE CHAIR:

Sure, Chamber will stand at ease. Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Yes, I'm not sure where you're seeing that. I'm not seeing a reduction--

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

--Sure, I can point out--

THE CHAIR:

--Senator Osten. --

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

--I have $ 4. 9 million dollars, it looks like in an increase for $ 9 million into--

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

--So, if you look at T5-20 State Employee Retirement Contributions, you have $ 921 million dollars and yet in the current year if was $ 1. 1 billion dollars and you've gone down. The actuarial assessment was $ 1. 2 and so I'm wondering where the $ 300 million dollars was? I know that you've looked at a variety of things, but this is in your budget item signed and offered by Senator Fasano and Senator Witkos. I thought it was interesting, none of the house republicans signed onto the budget, but I'm wondering where the heck that $ 300 million dollars went to.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

I'm told it's based on the--

THE CHAIR:

--Ok, both senators please go through the chair. So, Senator Formica, please proceed.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you. My apologies Mr. President. I'm told it's a result of the 2014 modification of the pension agreement.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President. And through you, I'm not certain what 2014 agreement we're talking about but if you're looking at changes that might happen in 2023, are we ignoring our pension and our un-funded pension liability, something that has not happened since Governor Malloy has been in office? Are we going back to the bad habit of ignoring our unfunded pension liability? Through you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. I believe I spoke in error, it's the February modification of the 2017 pension agreement. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you, Mr. President, and through you, even the Governor who has negotiated the SEBAC agreement included $ 1. 2 billion dollars in pension payments. Again, where is that $ 300 million-dollar payment difference?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. If we could stand at ease a minute, I'll see if I can locate that for you.

THE CHAIR:

Chamber will stand at ease. Chamber will come back to order. Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

I'm not quite sure Mr. President what the good senator is referring to. It seems that we are fully funding the pension agreement. It seems that you may be referring the extension of the 2017 pension agreement that happened in February.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President, and I again point out the Governor has in his budget $ 1. 2 billion dollars in pension payments. He actually knows what he did on the SEBAC extension and he knows what he did in the agreement with state employee unions and he does not have this number, so I purport that you have a $ 300 million-dollar error in your accounting, but I would move on from that. I looked at the OPEB line item and the line item that is in the SEBAC agreement is shorted by $ 33 million dollars, and I'm wondering where did you put that $ 33 million dollars and why would you not fund something that is under the new SEBAC agreement. Through Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. We're contemplating requiring managers to pay 5 percent toward the retiree health. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much and that would not be included under the OPEB line item, through you, but I would move on from there too. So that's $ 333 million dollars that I find errors in just in a cursory review in this small amount of time that was allotted to me and a review of your budget. And I'm looking at a number of unallocated lapses and targeted savings and I notice that you did not include any language that would dictate where those unallocated lapses would come from or those targeted savings. Can you give me a listing of all of the unallocated lapses and targeted savings that would be included in your budget?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Yes, thank you Mr. President. Yes, there's a couple that I can give you now. The IT allocated lapse, the HR and the Deputy Commissioner's reduction.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President. And which Deputy Commissioners are you laying them off, are you accounting for them in unemployment because I do notice that you increased your expenses in unemployment significantly by some $ 25 million dollars, and I'm curious how many people are you laying off in your budget? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

I'm not -- thank you Mr. President, I'm not certain of the exact number, but we felt it was important to have some management layoffs through this budget if the employee base was going to take some modifications to their, so, but I believe we contemplate no more than one deputy commissioner. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

I'm not, again through you Mr. President, I'm not certain if that means that you're laying off one deputy commission or you're leaving just one in the whole state. So, again curious, is one deputy commissioner worth $ 29 million dollars or is that several deputy commissioners and again how many people, real people, are you laying off? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. As I mentioned previously, I'm not sure of the exact number but it would be per agency that the reduction would occur.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President, and through you, the Governor had talked about layoffs and he indicated a specific number, so I'm curious why you did not calculate out what -- how many state employees you would be laying off and it was purported that we had some 50,000 state employees yet in a conversation that I had with the Office of Fiscal Analysis they said the general fund has 29,000 state employees significantly down from before and through you, would you be able to provide this circle with the number of people that you're laying off so we know how much real money that we have to put in the unemployment line item of the budget in the future? I also noticed in you're a new direction for Connecticut, I have one more question, actually several more questions, but I'm trying to speed it up because I've been given a short amount of time to talk about this budget and I wanna make sure that I get the questions out there. But I notice in your public safety block, it says that you're transferring police and correctional officers and other public safety individuals from overtime to compensatory time. Have you looked in federal law to see if it's allowable to take people from overtime to compensatory time who are often forced to stay on for a full additional shift? It would be under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. I believe that we've made a change to that and that the units that you referred to would not qualify under that, but through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

So, there is no change, through you Mr. President, of anybody from overtime to compensatory time, would that be your statement?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. Yes, we do in this budget allow them to accrue over time and we restored $ 100 million to do so.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President. And one of your colleagues was talking about a state employee that earned $ 80,000 or $ 70,000 dollars a year and I was wondering is there a new calculation of state employees because I worked for the state for 21 years and I don't know very many people making that kind of money and I have the current salary for a police officer at a state university, and it's $ 44,000 and so I'm wondering exactly who are we talking about who's making $ 80,000 dollars a year and do you have that listing of job classifications and how long they have worked in state employment. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. I'd be happy to get that information for you, but I understand the average salary for the state employees is around $ 60,000 unless you get into some other higher education field and what not then the salary range might be a little bit higher, but to your point I believe that answers your question.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Through you Mr. President, I believe that that is an inaccurate statement and I would suggest strongly that you pull out the union contracts which indicate how long it takes an average state employee to make that kind of money, if any ever get there. Through you Mr. President, I also have a letter here from the University of Connecticut and they indicate that your budget is cutting UCONN and UCONN Health over $ 100 million dollars. Are you suggesting that our students are going to pay increased tuition of $ 100 million dollars to make that up? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

I'm sorry, would you repeat the question? Through you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President. I'd be happy to repeat that question. I have a letter from the University of Connecticut's president Susan Herbst whose indicating that your budget that was presented in April and the numbers have gone up right now, but it indicates a loss of over $ 100 million dollars for our state university and UCONN Health combined and I'm wondering are you expecting our students to increase their tuition so that they can go to our great state university and I'm wondering where does that money come from?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. The UCONN Health student costs is in excess of a few hundred thousand dollars and we transferred some fringe benefits through there and you know let the university assume those. So, we fell that it's time for some taxpayer relief on some of those items through our wonderful school system.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President, and I'm glad that you think the University of Connecticut is as wonderful as it is. Nonetheless, when you transfer costs from one side of the budget to another side of the budget, that means that you are increasing the costs for our students, that means our students have to pay an increase in tuition and I just don't see how you would expect our students to have to increase tuition by $ 100 million dollars a year. I'm wondering if you think poor people in Connecticut should not be going to the University to Connecticut, but I would move on. So, I looked at some of the questions you had in here -- some of the statements that have been made by your colleagues and they indicated that they were putting back all the money into DMHAS and helping out with our mental health situations and I noticed that in fiscal year '17 DMHAS was getting $ 186 million dollars and yet you took $ 30 million dollars out in fiscal year '18 and additional $ 27 million dollars in fiscal year '19. How are we taking care of our opioid crisis if you are significantly decreasing the funding for DMHAS.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

Can we stand at ease please Mr. President?

THE CHAIR:

Chamber will stand at ease. Chamber will come back to order. Senator Formica.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

President, thank you Senator for your questions. I believe you are referring to the part where we privatize state services and reduced that that way. Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten.

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

Thank you very much Mr. President. I've looked at privatizing services in the state of Connecticut and I asked the Alliance for Nonprofits how that paid their people and they indicated that they pay minimum wage. Minimum wage. So, are we saying that our folks that are working in one of the areas that is one of the most stressful areas, our mental health system, something that we don't provide enough resources today that we are dropping their pay rates down to minimum wage? Are we then removing them from the healthcare systems that they have and providing healthcare for those workers through HUSKY? Are we going to put them on state aide for heating assistance or are we denying them that also? Are we putting them on the food stamp program because minimum wage, they are not gonna make enough to eat. So, I'm a little curious how we are going to pay these people enough to support a living wage, and when I ask the alliance they say they pay their managers very well and they pay their workers very poorly. I will guarantee you they didn't characterize it as that, but I do. When someone is working minimal wage and a manager is making five times that, I think that's a problem, but I would move on because I only have another two minutes and then I have to stop talking. So apparently 168 pages only deserves about 20 minutes of conversation.

So again, I looked at -- I was looking through your budget and in our budgets we've always include a revenue runs for towns and I did not see that and when I called the Office Of Fiscal Analysis, they said you had not released it. So am I supposed to verify what our towns are making because I don't see how I can verify what towns are making and so I guess my time is up, but I would yield my time over to Senator Fonfara who I know has some questions on your revenue assessments. Thank you very much.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Fonfara, do you accept the yield?

SENATOR FONFARA (1ST):

I do Mr. President, thank you very much. And thank you very much Senator Osten for the yield. Mr. President, I rise to not to ask questions but to make some observations of the testimony of many of those who stood up in support of the bill before us and take note of in particular some of the those and the comments that were made. Senator Formica mentioned this budget has no new taxes, it stabilizes municipal aide, no increased financial burden on towns. Senator Somers, this budget does a lot of things and it does it by not increasing taxes. Senator Kelly, no new taxes. Senator Martin, no more taxes. Senator Suzio, if we're going to advance the interest of the state it's important that we pass a budget that avoids a tax increase and avoids shifting costs onto cities and towns. Those are just some of the comments that I heard regarding cities and towns and many comments about growing our economy and investing in our state to be more competitive. However, Mr. President, in looking at the budget and the revenue side of the proposal, Senator Osten just indicated we don't have a run on how towns will fair in this, but we do know that this budget does eliminate the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account. Something that this chamber and the House passed, the Governor signed some two or three, three years ago now, in which we without raising one new dime of taxes, not one new dime of taxes, in fact reduced out spending in other areas to provide relief for all of our cities and towns around the state. Every town received the benefit from the first time of sharing a portion of the sales tax, something that many states and this state do, but we never have, for the first time without raising the sales tax one percentage point, we shared some $ 327 million dollars with towns, cities and towns. That's what is budgeted, $ 327 million dollars. This budget sweeps every bit of that, every bit of that, and cuts the towns and cities across our state. That's a lot of money ladies and gentleman. It will result in either towns increasing taxes, that's without question. Towns will increase taxes on all of our constituents. It eliminates $ 61 million dollars in car tax reductions that will result in a car tax reduction for many across our state immediately if this budget passes. It's a $ 55 million-dollar reduction in the property tax credit. That will result in many people across our state, families seeing a property tax increase. It eliminates the Angel Investor Tax Credit and takes $ 81 million dollars in energy conservation and in clean energy investments.

Ladies and gentleman, I generally don't engage in the partisanship that sometimes takes place. It's not been my reason for being here, but Senator Fasano said something in his remarks and he's absolutely true when he says it, absolutely correct, when he said we are in the room and I have hope for nothing more than to have everyone in the room when we make this decision. Not going into the room with preconditions that says we can't do "x" but we want to be in the room? If we did this in the years that we've been in the majority we would never have passed the budget, never, because you can't do that to get to a majority. Everybody has to give in order to get. That's how you get this done, and the document that gets done this year just like every year. When you put your name on that when it counts, you think a little bit more before you push the button. You think a little bit more because that's gonna impact people and whether your motivation is you wanna come back here or whatever reason it might be as to why you decide to do something when you know it's not gonna count, you can do a lot more things, you can make a lot more statements. This time it should be different. I don't know if it will be, but it should be different. I pray it will be different because Senator Fasano is absolutely correct. You should be in the room and that will result, in my opinion, in a better product, a better product that incorporates those issues and concerns that both sides bring to the table, that both sides bring to the table.

Your vote has consequences. In this budget, we eliminate the Angel Investor Tax Credit. That is a program that has produced 89 new companies in this state in bioscience, in information technology and clean technology. It's provided over 500 new jobs. That's an area where this state should be excelling and our efforts to grow in this space. The governor's made major commitments. This legislature has made major commitments. This budget eliminates that. As I said earlier, it eliminates funding for energy conservation and clean energy. Energy conservation that provides for businesses of this state to be more competitive to reduce their costs. We like to talk about, some do, that we have the highest electric rates in the country. This program, while we may have high rates, but this program results in people having competitive costs with many states around the country, competitive costs, but this budget cuts that program in half, cuts it in half. There are consequences. It's easy to say no new taxes, we haven't increased taxes, but when you eliminate these programs that benefit residents around our state, eliminate conservation and energy, cut the Earned Income Tax Credit for the some of the neediest in our state by $ 75 million dollars. That's a program that encourages people to go to work, it encourages people to go to work so they are productive taxpayers in this state.

So, Mr. President, I appreciate this budget. I appreciate that the other side has come forward with a document, but now the work begins and I truly believe and hope that Senator Fasano's comments that we can realize that everyone will be in the room and participating equally in the process. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark? Senator Duff, good evening sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Good evening Madam President. Madam President, I move that we mark this item PT please.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on PT. Senator Fasano, good evening sir.

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

Good evening Madam President. Thank you for returning. We would ask that the motion be voted on.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the motion? There will be a roll call vote. Will you remark further on the motion? Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Madam President would you just let the chamber know red and green and which is. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Absolutely. So, I'm sorry. The Senate will stand at ease. So, let me just explain. At this point, if you vote on the green side, you are agreeing to PT the vote. If you vote red, you are against PT'ing the vote. So, if [background chatter and laughter]. Excuse me, I just want you to know, look at his colored tie and look at yours sir, that's not right. Okay, at this time, the machines will be open. Mr. Clerk, will you call for a roll call vote?

CLERK:

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

THE CHAIR:

If all members have voted, all members have voted, the machine will be closed. At this time I just want you to know that there is more time to come since we know we are called into special session and we'll have a better time to really review this budget. So, at this time, my vote is going to be "Yay" in favor of PT'ing. So, I choose in the affirmative and the motion carries, the bill is PT'ed. [Gavel] Mr. , I'm sorry, Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, a number of items to mark go please.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. On Calendar Page 31, Calendar 573, House Bill 7201, I would like to mark go. On Calendar Page 34, Calendar 590, House Bill 7253, go. On Calendar Page 4, Calendar 148, Senate Bill 807, go. On Calendar Page 38, Calendar 608, House Bill 7278, go. On Calendar Page 28, Calendar 556, House Bill 7138, go. On Calendar Page 33, Calendar 585, House Bill 7174, go. And on Calendar Page 7, Calendar 236, Senate Bill 316, go. And I would ask all members of the chamber to please stay in their seats because votes will be coming quickly. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further? Mr. Clerk, will you call the first bill?

CLERK:

On Page 31, Calendar 573, House Bill No. 7201, an ACT APPLYING THE SHEFF DEFINITION OF REDUCED-ISOLATION SETTING TO ALL INTERDISTRICT MAGNET SCHOOLS IN THE STATE.

THE CHAIR:

I'm sorry. Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you Madam President. I move the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage. Will you remark --

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

--Yes, the clerk has in his possession LCO No. 8975. I ask that it please be called and I'd be granted leave to summarize.

THE CHAIR:

Please Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

LCO No. 8975 Senate "A" offered by Senators Duff, Slossberg, et al.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you Madam President. This is a strike all amendment that addresses --

THE CHAIR:

--Motion is on adoption--

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

I move adoption.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark ma'am.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Madam President. This amendment before us is a strike-all amendment that addresses issues of racial isolation in our state and allows us to make payments to magnet schools.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further? Will you remark further? Senator Boucher. Senator Boucher, please.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, this is a very good amendment, support it and hope everyone will vote in favor. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you? Will you remark further? Will you remark further? Senator Suzio.

SENATOR SUZIO (13TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I have a question for the proponent of the bill if I may?

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed sir.

SENATOR SUZIO (13TH):

Yes, Madam President. My question pertains to whether this legislation that stands before us today does affect the state statute and legislation in 10-264 Subsection C, Subsection C. I would like to know if that is correct that it does not change that particular legislation. Through you Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you Madam President. No, it does not.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Suzio.

SENATOR SUZIO (13TH):

That makes my questions moot. Thank you very much.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you very much. Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? If not -- I'm sorry on the amendment? I will try your minds, all those in favor please say "Aye".

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

THE CHAIR:

Opposed? The amendment passes. Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

If there's no objection Madam President, I'd ask that this item be placed on our consent calendar?

THE CHAIR:

No, no you want to vote on it now ma'am and send it downstairs.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Oh, I'm sorry Madam President. I ask for a roll call vote.

THE CHAIR:

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.

THE CHAIR:

Senators I ask you not to leave the chamber, we will be rolling through these bills as quickly as possible. After you vote, please do not leave the chamber. Senator Hwang? If all members have vote, all members have voted, the machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk will you call the tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 7201.

Total number voting 36

Necessary for Adoption 19

Those voting Yea 36

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 0

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Do the next call.

THE CHAIR:

The machine is closed. Oh, I'm sorry. Please do the next one, Mr. Clerk?

CLERK:

Page 34, Calendar 590, Substitute for House Bill No. 7253, an ACT CONCERNING MINOR REVISIONS AND ADDITIONS TO THE EDUCATION STATUTES.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I move the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, Madam President the clerk has in his possession LCO No. 8958 I believe and ask that it be called and I be granted leave to summarize.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

LCO No. 8958 Senate "A" offered by Senator Slossberg, et al.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

I move adoption.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on adoption. Will you remark further?

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, Madam President, this is our annual education minor revisions bill. It continues a number of items for a number of districts. The amendment before us adds some additional provisions that are minor revisions.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? Senator Boucher. I'm sorry it's on the amendment, I apologize.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Yes, on the amendment Madam Chairman, the amendment does take care of a number of concerns on part of the Department of Education and makes this bill very acceptable to everyone and it should pass. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you very much. Will you remark further on Senate "A"? If not, I'll try your minds. All those in favor please say "Aye".

REPRESENTATIVES:

Aye.

THE CHAIR:

Opposed? Senate "A" is adopted. At this time, I call for a roll call vote on the bill. Mr. Clerk will you call for a roll call vote? The machine is open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Will all members please stay in the chamber as we will be voting quickly? If all members would please stay in the Senate while we vote quickly. Senator McCrory? Senator Suzio? All members have voted? All members have voted, the machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk -- okay, at this time Senator Duff. Oh, I'm sorry, the bill passes, the machine is closed. Yea, Mr. Clerk you wanna read the tally.

CLERK:

House Bill 7253

Total number voting 36

Necessary for Adoption 19

Those voting Yea 36

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not voting 0

THE CHAIR:

Great. Senator Duff. [Background laughter] Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thanks Madam President. On the last two items, I mark that we move these immediately to the House of Representative.

THE CHAIR:

They will immediately be moved, Amen. Go ahead. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. The next two items are marked PT, would the clerk please call Calendar Page 28, Calendar 556, House Bill 7138?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 28, Calendar 556, House Bill No. 7138--

THE CHAIR:

--I'm sorry--

CLERK:

--7183, an ACT CONCERNING CAPTIVE INSURANCE COMPANIES, SHORT-TERM CARE INSURANCE, PERSONAL AND COMMERCIAL RISK INSURANCE, PREFERRED PROVIDER NETWORKS, AND MAKING MINOR AND TECHNICAL CHANGES TO CERTAIN INSURANCE-RELATED STATUTES.

THE CHAIR:

No. I'm sorry, the next one I have is on Page 28, 568? [Background chatter] [Phone ringing]

CLERK:

Page 28, Calendar 556, Substitute for House Bill No. 7138, an ACT CONCERNING LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT OF MAJOR TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS AND PLANNING.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Leone, good evening sir.

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Good evening Madam President. Madam President, I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the House of Representatives.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage in concurrence. Will you remark sir?

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Yes, Madam President. This is a bill to establish a transportation authority to provide legislative oversight of transportation plans and projects. I would urge adoption and support for this bill.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and adoption. Will you remark? Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, this bill caused a great deal of concern creating another oversight over an activity that DOT already has. I don't plan to speak on it at length other to say that I do not support it and would be opposing it.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further? Senator Fasano.

SENATOR FASANO (34TH):

And President I know we're trying to move through this quickly; however, I do want to point out that I think this bill is a very bad bill. It cuts out the ability of a governor to talk directly with the DOT Commissioner. In addition to that, it doesn't even allow the commissioner of DOT to have a vote on the very proposals that that committee is going to make. Number three is that that committee if it decides to go in a different direction can wipe out all of the infrastructure that the commissioner had planned years before. Number four is that these are projects that we as a legislature have already approved, have already bonded for, have already put into pay and then this committee can come along and say we don't think that's the right thing to do, change your minds. It usurps our authority. It ignores the DOT Commissioner and it doesn't allow a governor, this one or the one elected in 2018, to direct the state in the direction they want to go. It's another group of people. Madam President, I would talk longer but I know we're in a rush so I ran through as fast as I can. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Have all the members voted? Have all the members voted? The machine will be closed and we will stand at ease. The Senate will come back to order. There is a tie vote on this and the Chairperson will vote "Yay" to break the tie. The machine is closed. Mr. Clerk now do you wanna call the tally. I'm sorry, you don't have to call the tally. The bill passes. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, will the clerk now please call Calendar Page 38, Calendar 608, House Bill 7278?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 28, I'm sorry 38, Calendar 608, Substitute for House Bill No. 7278, an ACT CONCERNING THE CONVEYANCE OF CERTAIN PARCELS OF STATE LAND.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Flexer.

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 in concurrence with the house.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is acceptance and passage in compliance with the House. Will you remark ma'am?

SENATOR FLEXER (29TH):

Yes, thank you Madam President. Madam President, this is the annual bill that conveys various pieces of state lands to various entities. I urge the chamber to support this measure. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

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

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I stand for comments on the bill.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed sir.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, the annual conveyance bill is an important piece of legislation every year for legislators throughout the state capital. One of the challenges to the conveyance bill is coordination of requests that come from 187 legislators. That is handled by staff. They do a terrific job funneling all that through to the committee members in the Government Administration Elections Committee and then it goes to each chamber of the legislature. Up until this year, the house coordinator was Representative Mary Fritz and certainly Senator Cassano can appreciate all the hard work that Mary Fritz put into the conveyance bill every year. But this year we had a breakdown in communication. What happened with this bill this year was the House always handles the bill, but there was a very troubling lack of communication with the Senate. So, I bring that to everyone's attention so that that doesn't happen again. Normally we would probably just set this aside and deal with it at a later date, but I want to bring that to everyone's attention.

Another point about this bill is Section 13. Section 13 in the bill is not a bill related to the conveyance, it is a planning and development bill. For some reason, it got stuffed into this one. I assume it's because that bill wasn't gonna make it across the finish line in the House and this is what they thought was a convenient vehicle. I'm not sure why the lawyers allowed that to happen. It's not germane to this bill but low and behold it came out of the House approved that way, and Madam President, I want to bring that to the attention to this body because I think protocol demands that we follow our own protocols and not do that in the future. Thank you, 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 and the machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Could you just call for another roll call vote as quickly as you can please? Never mind, never mind sir. At this time, if all -- if all members have voted, all members voted, the machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk will you please call the tally.

CLERK:

House Bill 7278.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 36

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes. [Gavel] Senator Duff. I'm sorry, would you call the next bill please?

CLERK:

On Page 33, Calendar 585, Substitute for House Bill No. 7174, an ACT ALLOWING CERTAIN HOSPITAL PERSONNEL TO ADMINISTER A SALINE FLUSH TO AN INTRAVENOUS LINE.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Gerratana, good evening ma'am.

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Good evening Madam President. Madam President, I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's Favorable Report in concurrence with the house.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage in concurrence. Will you remark please?

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Yes, thank you Madam. This bill allows a phlebotomist working in a hospital plush a peripherally inserted intravenous line with a prepackaged normal saline device. It comes in a single dose prefilled. The phlebotomist does this under the orders of licensed personnel such as doctors, nurses and podiatrists and also with appropriate training and I urge the chamber to adopt the bill.

THE CHAIR:

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

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

I would ask for a roll call vote please Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

A roll call vote will be had. At this time, Mr. Clerk will you call for a roll call vote and the machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica, Senator Kelly. Senator Kelly, will you pass your vote please? Thank you. Have all members voted? Have all members voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call a tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 7174.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 31

Those voting Nay 5

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

[Gavel] The bill passes. Mr. Clerk will you call the next bill please?

CLERK:

On Page 7, Calendar 236, Senate Bill No. 316, an ACT REQUIRING A STUDY REGARDING REFERRALS BY HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO CERTAIN HEALTH CARE FACILITIES. There's amendments.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Gerratana, good evening again ma'am.

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Good evening again Madam President. I move 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 GERRATANA (6TH):

Yes, Madam President. The clerk has an amendment. It is a strike-all. If he would call LCO No. 8930?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

LCO No. 8930 Senate "A" offered by Senators Gerratana, Somers, et al.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Gerratana.

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

I move adoption.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on adoption. Will you remark further?

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, this actually makes some changes to the previous bill by tightening the language up and making sure that phlebotomist only perform this in connection with drawing blood which they normally do and there's a minor technical change to one of the bills that passed out of the Senate, its regarding respectful language. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

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

SENATOR OSTEN (19TH):

I would ask for a roll call vote please.

THE CHAIR:

A roll call vote will be had. Will you remark further on the amendment? If not, Mr. Clerk will you call for a roll call vote and the machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate on Senator Amendment Schedule "A". Immediate roll call in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Boucher. Thank you. Have all members have voted? Have all members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call a tally on this amendment?

CLERK:

House Amendment Schedule "A".

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 33

Those voting Nay 3

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The amendment passes. [Gavel] Will you remark further? Will you remark further? If not, Mr. Clerk will you call for a roll call vote?

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Witkos, Senator Looney, cast your vote please. All members have voted? All members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call a tally?

CLERK:

Senate Bill 316.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 33

Those voting Nay 3

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes. [Gavel] Will you remark further? Senator Duff.

Senator Duff (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Will the clerk now please call Calendar Page 7, Calendar 258, House Bill 7156 please?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 7, Calendar 258, House Bill No. 7156, an ACT CONCERNING ACCESS TO STUDENT RECORDS FOR CERTAIN UNACCOMPANIED YOUTHS.

THE CHAIR:

Okay. Senator Fonfara, I'm so sorry. Who's bringing out this bill please? Would you repeat the bill again?

CLERK:

On Page 7, Calendar 258, House Bill No. 7156, an ACT CONCERNING ACCESS TO STUDENT RECORDS FOR CERTAIN UNACCOMPANIED YOUTHS.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

This is us.

THE CHAIR:

Sorry, Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I move the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the house.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage in concurrence. Will you remark ma'am?

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you Madam President. This bill very simply provides that if there is a homeless youth they have access to their student records.

THE CHAIR:

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 and the machine will be open?

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff. All members have voted? All members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call a tally please?

CLERK:

House Bill 7156.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 33

Those voting Nay 3

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes. [Gavel] Senator Duff.

Senator Duff (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, would the clerk now please call Calendar Page 25, Calendar 537, House Bill 7251?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk. Page 25--

CLERK:

--On Page 25, Calendar 537, House Bill No. 7251, an ACT CONCERNING REFORM DISTRICT TURNAROUND PLANS.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, thank you Madam President. I move the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the house.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage in concurrence. Will you remark ma'am?

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, Madam President. This board very simply requires our state Board of Education to develop guidelines that have reformed district turnaround plans. They are based on the best practices that we've heard from very many districts where they've actually very successful turnaround experiences.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further? Will you remark further? If not, Mr. Clerk will you call for a roll call vote and the machine will be open?

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Fasano. Senator Leone. Thank you. If all members have voted? All members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call a tally please?

CLERK:

House Bill 7251.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 29

Those voting Nay 7

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes. [Gavel] Senator Duff.

Senator Duff (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, would the clerk now please call Calendar Page 12, Calendar 345, House Bill 7073?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 12, Calendar 345, Substitute for House Bill No. 7073, an ACT CONCERNING REMEDIES IN LAWSUITS AGAINST PROPERTY OWNERS BY SUBCONTRACTORS AND THE RELEASE OF RETAINAGE WITHHELD IN PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Leone.

SENATOR LEONE (11TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the House of Representatives.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage in concurrence. Will you please remark sir?

SENATOR LEONE (11TH):

Thank you, Madam President. This bill is to clarify the remedy for bringing a lawsuit against a property owner by an unpaid subcontractor which would include attorney fees and interest. I would move adoption.

THE CHAIR:

The motion is on adoption. Will you remark further? Will you remark further? Senator Witkos.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Thank you, Madam President. This is the second sequence of a bill that we heard in the General Law Committee. It really allows the folks that front their money to contractors. They've completed the work, they want to make sure that they get paid for the work that they do and again it's a consumer-friendly bill if you will for the folks that have completed their work and if the homeowner or the business owner doesn't pay the general contractor this allows the subcontractors to be paid through the general contractor. I support its adoption. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

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 and the machine will be open?

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Suzio. Senator Boucher. If all members have voted? All members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call a tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 7073.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 32

Those voting Nay 4

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill is passed. [Gavel] Will you remark -- I mean Senator Duff.

Senator Duff (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, if the clerk could now call Calendar Page 15, Calendar 379, House Bill 6981?

CLERK:

On Page 15, Calendar 379, Substitute for House Bill No. 6981, an ACT ESTABLISHING A TASK FORCE TO STUDY PUBLIC HEALTH PREVENTION EFFORTS.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Gerratana.

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's Favorable Report in concurrence with the House.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage in concurrence. Will you please remark ma'am?

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Thank you, Madam President. This is a task force to study public health prevention efforts. Prevention is very important in our state. I urge the chamber to support the bill.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? If not, Mr. Clerk, go head.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

I'm sorry Senator Witkos, do you stand?

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Thank you, Madam President. If I may I'd like to ask that the chamber stand at ease for just a moment.

THE CHAIR:

Absolutely, the Senate will stand at ease.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Would you close the vote on this please?

THE CHAIR:

I'm sorry, Senator Witkos hasn't voted and he's in the chamber. All members have voted? All members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call the tally please?

CLERK:

House Bill 6981.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 33

Those voting Nay 3

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

[Gavel] The bill passes and [background clapping and laughing] Senator Duff.

Senator Duff (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Will the clerk now please call Calendar Page 45, Calendar 604, House Joint Resolution 100?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 45,

THE CHAIR:

Sorry, 604.

CLERK:

Calendar--

THE CHAIR:

-- 604 is it Senator Duff? It's 604.

CLERK:

Calendar 604, House Joint Resolution No. 100, a RESOLUTION APPROVING A STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO PROTECT TRANSPORTATION FUNDS.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Flexer.

SENATOR FLEXER (29TH):

Good evening Madam President. Madam President, I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage in concurrence with the House.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and acception and adoption and will you -- in concurrence. Will you remark ma'am, sorry?

SENATOR FLEXER (29TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, the resolution before us is the last step in creating a constitutional amendment for this legislature for a transportation lockbox. This amendment received broad bipartisan support, unanimous support in this chamber a 35-0 vote in December 2015. This initiative is critical to ensuring that our state has the resources necessary to invest in our transportation infrastructure and therefore grow our economy. I hope that this measure will enjoy broad support tonight and if it does, it will move forward and the people of the state of Connecticut will be able to vote on this constitutional amendment in November of 2018. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further? Will you remark further? Senator Markley, I tried sir, Senator Markley.

SENATOR MARKLEY (16TH):

Thank you, Madam President, and at the risk of frustrating some of my colleagues who I know are in a hurry to move forward on legislation, I have to say that what we are talking about right now is a constitutional amendment and it's not my fault that it's being called with less than 70 minutes left in our legislative session. But I rise for the purpose of some questions to the proponent of this resolution.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed sir.

SENATOR MARKLEY (16TH):

Who is, oh there she is.

THE CHAIR:

Oh, I'm sorry, Senator Flexer.

SENATOR MARKLEY (16TH):

Okay, thank you. Let me ask first through you Madam President, when and this is defined as being a perpetual fund, does that mean that it's simply that it cannot be eliminated except by another constitutional amendment repealing it?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Flexer.

SENATOR FLEXER (29TH):

Through you Madam President, yes, the amendment before us if enacted by the people of the state of Connecticut will enshrine in the state constitution, the special transportation fund as a perpetual fund.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Markley.

SENATOR MARKLEY (16TH):

Thank you, Madam President, and thank you for that answer. Let me talk just a -- let me ask a couple of questions about this definition of the expenditure for transportation purposes. Defined within the language says "including but not limited to", so it's a rather open definition. I wonder, I guess I will ask a general question to see if other questions can be avoided which is can the advocate of the amendment explain to me what the definition of transportation purposes would be under this amendment.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Flexer.

SENATOR FLEXER (29TH):

Through you Madam President, currently the term transportation purposes is defined in our statutes in Section 33-B-69. If this amendment moves forward, whatever definition of transportation purposes were in that statute would be the definition used in this amendment.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Markley.

SENATOR MARKLEY (16TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for that answer. Could I -- would it then be, would that statute them become perpetual as well as the amendment is or would the statute still be subject to change by the legislature. Through you Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Flexer.

SENATOR FLEXER (29TH):

Through you Madam President, the statute like any statute would still be subject to change potentially by the legislature, and I think that's important because as we know especially in the area of transportation, technology is constantly changing and there are things that our transportation today that we didn't consider perhaps 10, 20 years ago and so we want to make sure that we are protecting these funds but also making sure there's flexibility for future legislatures to establish a definition of transportation purposes that may include technologies that are not even a thought in our mind right now. Through you Madam President.

SENATOR MARKLEY (16TH):

Thank you, Madam President, and thank you to Senator Flexer for her courteous and direct replies. I don't have any other questions on this, but I will say just a few words about it if I may.

THE CHAIR:

May I please have the Senate please lower their voices so Senator Markley can speak? Thank you very much. Senator Markley.

SENATOR MARKLEY (16TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I would say that the fact that the definition of transportation expenditures is left to statute means that the fact of the amendment really has very little power. Future legislatures can define whatever they want to to be transportation expenses, all kinds of administrative expenses which only have peripheral contact with transportation.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Markley, I apologize, I ask people, no one in the balconies to please be taking pictures or taking movies. Thank you very much. Senator Markley please.

SENATOR MARKLEY (16TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I feel like -- the fact of it being a constitutional amendment gives a kind of a false security to our notion of what would be included as for transportation purposes. We have no more reason to count on the fidelity of future legislatures to that definition than we do have -- for them to respect the special transportation fund which has not happened which is the entire purpose of this amendment creating this so-call lockbox. Let me say that I think that we are perpetrating upon the people of Connecticut a fraud by passing a constitutional amendment for the purpose of ultimately increasing the taxes they pay in transportation revenue and yet giving they no real security for the use of that money. The only security we have for the use of money in the legislation is the good will and the responsibility of the people who serve here, and a constitutional amendment although it may do no harm in and of itself by the implication that it somehow is going to bind us to better behavior than our own conscience and our own understanding of the law binds ourselves is simply false. And I will oppose this and I will urge my colleagues in the circle to oppose it as well. Thank you, Madam President. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further? Senator McLachlan.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I stand in opposition to this proposal for all of the reasons that my colleague Senator Markley so eloquently shared with us. This proposal was a very close vote in the government administration and elections committee. In fact, a vote of 9: 8, and the objections were for all the exact reasons that Senator Markley has expressed. I urge rejection. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further? Will you remark further on this bill? If not, Mr. Clerk will you call for a roll call vote and the machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

I'm so sorry. Senator Looney, I apologize sir. Senator Looney please.

SENATOR LOONEY (11TH):

Yes, thank you Madam President for speaking in support of the resolution, but wanting to make a few points for legislative history. My understanding is that our understanding about what is meant or controlled by this proposed constitutional amendment actually relates back to our debate on this issue on December 8, 2015 and a colloquy that occurred on that evening was also referenced in the House debate and there was, at the time a colloquy between Senator Fasano and I on that occasion that I think clarified the intent of the proposed constitutional amendment which is that once funds are placed into the special transportation fund in a given fiscal year--

THE CHAIR:

--Ladies and gentleman could you keep their voices down so we can hear Senator Looney. Thank you very much--

SENATOR LOONEY (11TH):

--thank you that those funds are then sacrosanct and cannot be removed in the future by the legislature; however, legislatures in the future do have the opportunity to make decisions on a year-to-year basis about if or how much new funding will be placed into the transportation fund, but once a decision has been made to place some in there, that cannot be removed. And a question that Senator Fasano asked me on that occasion and he said let's assume that the gas tax goes into the transportation fund then let's assume that the gas tax, this body determines that the gas tax the following year should go into DCF funds to help DCF. The money that was collected the year before under the gas tax was going for the transportation fund can never be removed from that fund. Would that be an accurate based upon that hypothetical, and my response at the time was thanking Senator Fasano for his question and said the answer would be yes. That once the money placed into the transportation fund let's say in 2015. If there was a decision in 2016 to use that category of funds potentially for a different purpose primarily, the funds that had been placed in 2015 in the fund could not be retroactively withdrawn or retrieved. Once the money is in the fund, the fund is lock boxed for that purpose and those funds again or accumulation of funds for prior years cannot be raided for a future purpose. So that would be -- that was the clarification of the language. I understand that now the Governor's council agrees with that interpretation. There was apparently some difference in some of her earlier statements, but my understanding that that is the agreed upon interpretation about what we are doing.

Also in the part of that same colloquy later with Senator Boucher in response to a question said that my understanding is that there is mandate that the traditional streams of revenue, sources of revenue for the transportation fund shall continue to be sources of revenue, but obviously in terms of the amounts to be deposited from one category or another will continue and appropriately so to be a matter of legislative action from session to session. So, I just wanted to thank you Madam President, for the opportunity to put that legislative history in the record since our discussion this year relates back to our discussion on December 8, 2015. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Again Senator, I'm sorry about that. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Good evening Madam President. As a point of order, I believe since the bill was still being debated we should take the vote off the board and then re-vote it again.

THE CHAIR:

So, ordered sir. Madam clerk or Mr. Clerk, will you please remove the votes and I will close this machine -- I'm gonna cancel the vote, that's what I'm gonna do. Got scary on that one. At this point, Mr. Clerk will call for a roll call vote again and the machines will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

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

CLERK:

House Joint Resolution No. 100.

Total number Voting 36 (sic)

Necessary for Passage 18

Those voting Yea 34

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not Voting 2

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes. [Gavel] At this time, I'd ask you all to please stay in the chamber so we can get the bills passed. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Is the clerk in possession of Senate agendas number two and three?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

Clerk has Senate Agendas number two and three both dated Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, you got this love for November. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I move that all items on Senate Agenda number two and three dated--

THE CHAIR:

--So, ordered sir--

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

--Wednesday, June 7, 2017, to be acted upon as indicated and agenda be incorporated by reference to the Senate journal and transcript and placed immediately on the Senate Calendar please?

THE CHAIR:

So, ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President, if the clerk could now please call the item we marked PT before; Calendar Page 4, Calendar 148, Senate Bill 807.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 4, Calendar 148, Substitute for Senate Bill No. 807, an ACT INCREASING THE MINIMUM NET WORTH OF AND SECURITY MAINTAINED BY PREFERRED PROVIDER NETWORKS, AND MAKING MINOR AND TECHNICAL CHANGES TO CERTAIN INSURANCE-RELATED STATUTES.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kelly. Good evening sir.

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

Good evening Madam President. I move acceptance of the committee's joint favorable report and passage of the bill.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage. Will you remark sir?

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

Thank you very much Madam President. The clerk is in possession of LCO 8986. I ask the clerk to please call the amendment.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

LCO No. 8986 Senate "A" offered by Senator Kelly.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kelly.

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

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

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on adoption. Will you remark sir?

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

Thank you, Madam President. This bill or this amendment is a strike all and basically cleans up some of the issues that we had last evening with the Uber bill. It does primarily four things. Number one, it reduces the registration fee from $ 50 to $ 5,000 dollars. Number two, it amends the flashing light on the top of a cab so that's it not a permanent fixture. And three, it conforms with end coil model language and also takes out Subsection H of Section five Subsection three of the bill.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill, I mean the amendment sorry?

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

No.

THE CHAIR:

If the Senate will stand at ease for a moment please, they are confused about. Will you again Senator Kelly, this is Senate Bill 807 that you're talking about sir?

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

The underlying bill is Senate Bill 807 and I am calling LCO Amendment No. 8986 which is a strike all.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk. You called it? Senator McLachlan. Senator McLachlan.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I stand for the purpose of questions to the proponent of the amendment.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed sir.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Senator Kelly thanks for all your hard work on the transportation network company legislation last night. As you may recall, I had many questions of the proponent of that bill and I wonder if the concerns that I raised, I think there were four major points, if those four concerns were addressed in your amendment. Through you Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kelly.

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

Thank you, Madam President. I don't believe all four of your issues and concerns were addressed. One that I think you had last evening and if my recollection is correct is with regard to the removal of the permanent rooftop light that would be attached to a taxicab vehicle. It is now something that's temporary and they're no longer required to have the three-inch type permanently set on the vehicle.

THE CHAIR:

Senator McLachlan.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Through you, does -- that's the taxicab issue. My concerns were with the TNC's. Does this amendment address any of the concerns about insurance for an Uber driver about the background check for an Uber driver, the concerns of the lienholder for any Uber driver's automobile? Through you Mr. President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kelly.

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

Thank you, Mr. President. And I think one of the things that we spoke about last evening was that this is an imperfect bill. With regard to the lease, I don't believe that's here but one thing that we did do is conform our bill with the end coil insurance model language with regard to TNC networks. So, what we're doing is conforming this with the national standard that's used in other state jurisdictions. Through you Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator McLachlan.

SENATOR MCLACHLAN (24TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Thank you, Senator Kelly. I know you've worked hard on this. I think this, though frankly, is another example of Connecticut legislation conforming to a global company. We seem to be chasing whatever it is that they do elsewhere and we're trying to make sure that we cover all the bases and with all due respect, I'm going to oppose this amendment because I believe that we're still not addressing the underlying concerns that I have and were expressed all summer long last year related to TNC's and the companies that operate in that realm and how they treat their drivers and the concerns of liability insurance both for the drivers and the passengers. Madam President, I urge rejection. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further Senator Kelly?

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

I have no further remarks Madam.

THE CHAIR:

I will try your minds on -- did you call for a roll call vote? I'm sorry, I missed the roll call vote. Mr. Clerk will you call for a roll call vote and the machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate on Senate Amendment Schedule "A". Immediate roll call in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Gerratana, please don't leave the chamber, you haven't cast your vote please. Thank you so much. Thank you. Senator Martin. Thank you very much. All members have voted? All members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk will call the tally?

CLERK:

Senate Amendment Schedule "A".

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 18

Those voting Yea 29

Those voting Nay 7

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes. [Gavel] Senator Kelly -- I mean the amendment passes. Senator Kelly.

SENATOR KELLY (21ST):

Madam President, the amendment has now become the bill and I would urge adoption of the bill.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? At this time, I will call for a roll call vote on the bill. The machine will be open. Mr. Clerk will call for that roll call?

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

If all members have voted? All members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call for a tally?

CLERK:

Senate Bill 807.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 33

Those voting Nay 3

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes. [Gavel] Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I move for immediate transmittal to the House of Representatives please.

THE CHAIR:

So, ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Madam President, I ask for suspension on agenda's number two and three to put three items on our consent calendar please? On Senate Agenda number two, substitute for Senate Bill No. 820, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. On Senate Agenda number two, substitute for Senate Bill No. 963, I move that item to our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):


Thank you, Madam President
. On Senate Agenda number three, House Bill 7318, I move that item to our consent calendar please.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. If the clerk would now please call Calendar Page 16, Calendar 396, House Bill 7119?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 16, Calendar 396, Substitute for House Bill No. 7119, an ACT CONCERNING THE AUTHORITY OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF HIGHER EDUCATION RELATING TO TEACH-OUT PLANS AND ON-SITE REVIEW OF ACADEMIC PROGRAMS.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Bye.

SENATOR BYE (5TH):

Madam President, I move 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 BYE (5TH):

Yes Madam. In concurrence with the House, this bill assures that students who are in schools that are in danger of closing can complete their coursework and it makes sure that students and schools for licensing can receive those licenses. I move adoption.

THE CHAIR:

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 and the machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Cassano. If all members have voted? All members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call a tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 7119.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 36

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

[Gavel] The bill passed. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. If the clerk would now please call Calendar Page 16, Calendar 399, House Bill 6881?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 16, Calendar 399, House Bill No. 6881, an ACT CONCERNING THE PROVISION OF ESSENTIAL SERVICES BY LANDLORDS.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I move the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage. Will you remark--

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

--In concurrence with the House--

THE CHAIR:

--in concurrence with the House, I'm sorry ma'am?

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Madam President. This bill very simply requires that under current law a landlord is required to--

THE CHAIR:

--Ladies and gentleman, can we keep our voices down in the chamber so we can hear Senator Slossberg. Please--

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Under current law Madam President, landlords are required to procure reasonable substitute housing if the landlord fails to provide heat, hot water, if that is part -- heat, hot water and other essential services if that is part of their lease. This changes the time that they have to provide that from two business days to 48 hours.

THE CHAIR:

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 and the machine is open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

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

CLERK:

House Bill 6881.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 28

Those voting Nay 8

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes. [Gavel] Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Will the clerk now please call Calendar Page 22, Calendar 476, House Bill 7047?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 22, Calendar 476, House Bill No. 7047, an ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL FIRE APPARATUS SAFETY AND TESTING.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Cassano, good evening sir.

SENATOR CASSANO (4TH):

Good evening. I move the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill, waive its readings, seeks a leave to summarize?

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage. Will you remark in concurrence is it?

SENATOR CASSANO (4TH):


This involves municipal fire departments, it was passed unanimously in the House and I'd move adoption
.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further on the bill? Senator Miner are you standing to -- no I guess not. Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? If not, Mr. Clerk you wanna call for a roll call vote and the machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Martin. If all members have voted? All members have voted? Please, the machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call the tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 7047.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 32

Those voting Nay 4

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes. [Gavel] Senator Duff. Thank you.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I would like to call items for our consent calendar please?

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, would you like --

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Yes, Madam President, if I can ask please --

THE CHAIR:

--Ladies and gentleman, ladies and gentleman, we cannot hear the majority leader. Can we just keep the conversation down so you know what's going on? Senator Duff, please.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Mr. President. On Calendar Page 11, Calendar 342, Senate Bill 342, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar. I'm sorry, that's not true. Calendar Page 11--

THE CHAIR:

You take that back?

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

I take that back. Calendar Page 11, Calendar 342, House Bill 7112, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. On Calendar Page 7, Calendar 261, House Bill 5928, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 8, Calendar 263, House Bill 6432, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objection.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 13, Calendar 366, House Bill 7066, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objection.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 14, Calendar 371, House Bill 7024, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 14, Calendar 374, House Bill 6941, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 14, Calendar 375, House Bill 7185, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 16, Calendar 394, House Bill 6749, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 17, Calendar 406, House Bill 7093, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 17, Calendar 407, House Bill 5584, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 18, Calendar 410, House Bill 5116, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 19, Calendar 420, House Bill 7176, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 19, Calendar 424, Senate Bill 1058, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 20, Calendar 431, House Bill 7207, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 20, Calendar 440, House Bill 7046, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 21, Calendar 458, House Bill 7208, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 44, Calendar 464, Senate Bill 1051, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 22, Calendar 474, House Bill 7304, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 23, Calendar 479, House Bill 6334, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 23, Calendar 481, House Bill 7316, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 23, Calendar 45, House Bill 7090, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 24, Calendar 49, House Bill 7100, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 26, Calendar 544, House Bill 5886, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 26, Calendar 545, House Bill 6041, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 27, Calendar 548, House Bill 6347, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 27, Calendar 552, House Bill 7225, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 27, Calendar 553, House Bill 7226, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 27, Calendar 554, House Bill 7276, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 28, Calendar 557, House Bill 7256, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 28, Calendar 558, House Bill 7183, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 29, Calendar 563, House Bill 6221, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 30, Calendar 565, House Bill 6623, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 30, Calendar 569, House Bill --

THE CHAIR:

Sorry, Senator Formica. Senator Formica please.

SENATOR FORMICA (20TH):

I'm sorry to interrupt sir, I just missed the call of 663, it kinda blurted, would you mind repeating that sir?

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 30, Calendar 565, House Bill 6623, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections there.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 30, Calendar 569, House Bill 7053, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 32, Calendar 577, House Bill 7091, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 33, Calendar 581, House Bill 7023, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objection.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 35, Calendar 593, House Bill 7049, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff, seeing no objection. Please proceed sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 35, Calendar 595, House Bill 7072, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 35, Calendar 596, House Bill 7248, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 35, Calendar 597, House Bill 6333, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 38, Calendar 598, House Bill 7019, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 37, Calendar 605, House Bill 6304, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 37, Calendar 606, House Bill 7305, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 38, Calendar 609, House Bill 7070, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 39, Calendar 612, House Bill 7295, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 39, Calendar 613, House Bill 6907, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On Calendar Page 39, Calendar 614, House Bill 7179, I would like to place that item on the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President, and if we could go back to our call. Thank you, Madam President. If the clerk could now please call Calendar Page 16, Calendar 404, House Bill 5756?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 16, Calendar 404, Substitute for House Bill No. 5756, an ACT CONCERNING THE STATE DENTAL COMMISSION.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark on the bill? Will you remark on the bill? Senator McCrory are you -- no I guess you're not. Senator Gerratana, are you. Senator Duff, I'm not sure who's calling this bill. Senator Gerratana.

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

[Laughing] Sorry Madam President. Madam President--

THE CHAIR:

--Okay, Senator Gerratana, can you wait one second. Senator Duff. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Madam President, only I'd like to PT that item please. If we could now call Calendar Page 39, Calendar 611, House Bill 7055?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 39, Calendar 611, Substitute for House Bill No. 7055, an ACT CONCERNING RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION REGARDING THE NOTIFICATION OF STATE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT OPPORTUNITIES BY THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT AND THE COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION, PARKING SPACES, WAYSIDE HORNS, THE DISPOSITION OF EXCESS STATE PROPERTY, HEAVY DUTY TRAILERS, FLASHING LIGHTS ON MOTOR VEHICLES AND ROAD AND BRIDGE DESIGNATIONS.

THE CHAIR:

The Senate will stand at ease for a moment please.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President, I'm gonna ask to PT that bill please?

THE CHAIR:

The bill will be PT'ed.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

If the clerk can call Calendar Page 22, Calendar 473, House Bill 7060?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

Page 22, Calendar 473, Substitute for House Bill No. 7060, an ACT PROHIBITING THE DISCLOSURE OF IDENTIFYING INFORMATION OF DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Slossberg.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I move the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the House.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage in concurrence. Will you remark ma'am.

SENATOR SLOSSBERG (14TH):

Yes, Madam President. This makes any lists or names of people who participate in the Department of Housing programs confidential and shielded from FOI.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? Seeing not, then I'll ask Mr. Clerk will you call the roll call vote and the machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Larson, don't leave please. Please vote. Thank you, sir. Senator Somers. Thank you. If all members have voted? All members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call the tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 7060.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 32

Those voting Nay 4

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes. [Gavel] Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Madam President, if the clerk can now please call Calendar Page 29, Calendar 561, House Bill 6999?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

Page 29, Calendar 561, Substitute for House Bill No. 6999, an ACT CONCERNING THE PROVISION OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE USE OF THERAPY DOGS TO COMFORT AND SUPPORT TESTIFYING WITNESSES IN CERTAIN CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Moore.

SENATOR MOORE (22ND):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the House.

THE CHAIR:

The motion is on acceptance and passage in concurrence. Will you remark ma'am?

SENATOR MOORE (22ND):

Yes, this bill allows the use of therapy dogs to provide comfort to children who are testifying in a criminal prosecution of an offense involving assault, sexual assault or abuse of a child under the age of 18.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the bill? Senator Suzio.

SENATOR SUZIO (13TH):

Yes, Madam, I rise in strong support of this. I think it's a great idea and again I thank Senator Moore for collaborating with me on the children's committee with this important piece of legislation. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further? Will you remark further? If not, Mr. Clerk will you call the roll call vote and the machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

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

CLERK:

House Bill 6999.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 36

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes. [Gavel] Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Will the clerk now please call Calendar Page 12, Calendar 343, Senate Bill 7229?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

Page 12, Calendar 343, Substitute for House Bill No. 7229, an ACT CONCERNING THE CREATION OF CONNECTICUT BROWNFIELD LAND BANKS, REVISIONS TO THE BROWNFIELD REMEDIATION AND REVITALIZATION PROGRAM AND AUTHORIZING BONDS OF THE STATE FOR BROWNFIELD REMEDIATION AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Hartley.

SENATOR HARTLEY (15TH):

Madam President, I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

The motion is on acceptance and passage in concurrence.

SENATOR HARTLEY (15TH):

This is a bill that this chamber passed unanimously last year as well as the lower chamber. There is broad support by the Governor, DECD, OPM, DEEP and the Brownfields Working Group. It sets up a not-for-profit Brownfields land bank and affords them all of the availability to existing Brownfields programs as well as protections including what's called negative pledge to make sure that an offender or polluter would never be able to benefit from the program. I move adoption Madam.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further? Will you remark further? Senator Somers. Senator Somers please.

SENATOR SOMERS (18TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I urge the circles to support this bill. It's great for redevelopment of Brownfields. We have a very large former state hospital that needs this to help them to be able to redevelop it, so please consider it. It's a great economic took for the state of Connecticut and it will yield great benefits in the future. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Senator Berthel. Senator Berthel.

SENATOR BERTHEL (32ND):

Thank you, Madam President. I also encourage support. Good bill, ought to pass.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you very much. Will you remark further? Will you remark further? If not, Mr. Clerk will you call for a roll call vote and the machine is open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you please call the tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 7229.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 36

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

[Gavel] The bill passes. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Will the clerk now please call Calendar Page 39, Calendar 611, House Bill 7055?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On Page 39, Calendar 611, Substitute for House Bill No. 7055, an ACT CONCERNING RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION REGARDING THE NOTIFICATION OF STATE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT OPPORTUNITIES BY THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT AND THE COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION, PARKING SPACES, --

THE CHAIR:

--Senator Boucher.

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Yes, good evening Madam President, I move acceptance of the Committee's Joint Favorable Report and passage of the --

THE CHAIR:

--The motion is on acceptance and passage in concurrence. Will you remark ma'am?

SENATOR BOUCHER (26TH):

Yes, in concurrence with the house. Madam President, this bill is the agency DOT bill. It has several sections that I'll very briefly review and it's Section one through three. It's a proposal to in a joint proposal between the Department of Transportation and UCONN which eliminates the requirement for both organizations to advertise specific construction related contracts. In Section number four, on-street parallel parking spaces for people with disabilities. It allows designating on-street parking for persons who are blind and persons with disabilities. Section number five, this section would conform state statutes to federal rules for the use of right-of-way horns. Section number six is the transfer of excess property. This bill or proposal rectifies a drafting error from a 2013 public act by eliminating a redundancy and streamlining the transfer excess property. Section number seven, from the office of highway operations, it revises current statutes regarding heavy duty trailer conveyance throughout the state. Section number eight discusses allowing the Commissioner of Transportation to authorize construction and inspectors employed by the state of Connecticut to utilize flashing amber lights while engaged in official inspection work. Section number nine has a feasibility study on the Danbury train line. And on Section number ten adds a report back-date of January 1, 2018 for the DOT to investigate and identify methods to improve notification of height restrictions on the Merritt Parkway. Section number eleven is a baby in car seat increasing the age and weight for when a child no longer needs a car seat. Section number twelve is regarding to railroad pesticide use. It requires railroad companies to notify municipalities. No, that's it. Okay, it looks great and everybody's favorite, it ends with a naming of course. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you very much. Will you remark further on the bill? Senator, oops, I'm sorry Senator Witkos, why do you stand sir?

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I would like to remark on the bill if I may?

THE CHAIR:

I'm sorry?

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

I want to remark on the bill if I may?

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed sir.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

Thank you, Madam President, although I had an amendment prepared for this evening, I'm not going to call it; however, I am concerned with the section of the bill which raises the age for child to be required to remain in car seats and that is to age eight, so we're talking about kids in third grade and being in a booster seat. I think that this is a little aggressive from my perspective to require that. Why not have a phase-in period? I'm gonna be working when the bill passes here to address that and I have some concerns with it and some folks that have agreed to work with me on fixing that in a future legislation, because I just think that we're going in the wrong direction putting more mandates -- I'm all about safety, but I think this is a little over the top to require third graders to be in a car seat. So, I am gonna support the bill; however, I just wanted to address my concerns openly in the chamber. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further? Senator Leone.

SENATOR LEONE (27TH):

Thank you, Madam Chair. I just wanted to thank the good Senator Boucher as a senate co-chair on the transportation committee. This is the DOT large scale bill that has requests from many members of the legislature both in the house and the senate and I do want to acknowledge Senator Witkos's comments that we will gladly work with him to address his concerns and I would urge adoption. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

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 and the machine is open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Logan. Senator Logan. Senator Moore. Senator Kelly. Please vote on the bill while you're in the chamber. Senator Moore. Thank you. If all members have voted? All members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call the tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 7055.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 27

Those voting Nay 9

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

[Gavel] The bill passes. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I would like to take an item off the consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Calendar Page 19, Calendar 424, Senate Bill 1058, and ask the clerk to please call that bill please?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk, will you please call the bill please?

CLERK:

On Page 19, Calendar 424, Substitute for Senate Bill No. 1058, an ACT CONCERNING THE IDENTIFICATION OF EMERGING ECONOMIC TRENDS.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Fonfara, good evening.

SENATOR FONFARA (1ST):

Yes, good evening Madam President, I move acceptance of the Committee's Joint Favorable Report and passage of the bill.

THE CHAIR:

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

SENATOR FONFARA (1ST):

I urge passage Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

I'm sorry?

SENATOR FONFARA (1ST):

I urge passage.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further? Will you remark further? If not, Mr. Clerk will you call for a roll call vote and the machine is open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Fasano. If all members have voted? All members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call the tally please?

CLERK:

Senate Bill 1058.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 32

Those voting Nay 4

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff. Oh, I'm sorry, the bill passes. [Gavel] Now Senator Duff, maybe. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I move for immediate transmittal to the House of Representatives please.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I need to first some markings please.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

On our consent calendar, I need to remove Calendar Page 13, Calendar 366, House Bill 7066 because that was already on our consent calendar before. I would like to add Calendar Page 32, Calendar Page 32, Calendar 576, House Bill 7141. I'm sorry, please disregard that. Senate stand at ease please.

THE CHAIR:

The senate will stand at ease. Senator Duff. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, again I would like to add Calendar Page 32, Calendar 576, House Bill 7141 on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President, and if I could remove Calendar Page 28, Calendar 557, House Bill 7256, that was on our first consent calendar. Removing that from our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

No objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. On Calendar Page 30, Calendar 565, House Bill 6623, I'd like to remove that item from our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing on objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

And on Calendar Page 32, Calendar 577, House Bill 7091, I'd like to remove that item from our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing on objections, so ordered sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

That is on our first consent calendar that we have voted on, so that will remain there. And then on Page 21, Calendar 454, House Bill 7171, I'd like to add that item to our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Will the Senate stand at ease please?

THE CHAIR:

Senate will stand at ease.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. If the clerk can now please call the items on the consent calendar followed by a vote of the consent calendar please.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

Senate Bill 827, [inaudible06: 19: 09]

THE CHAIR:

You gotta slow down Gary. [Laughing] We have time.

CLERK:

Page 14, Calendar--

THE CHAIR:

--Thank you--

CLERK:

--Calendar 375, House Bill 7185; Page 16, Calendar 394, House Bill 6749; Page 17, Calendar 406, House Bill 7093; Page 17, Calendar 407, House Bill 5584; Page 18, Calendar 410, House Bill 5116; Page 19, Calendar 420, House Bill 7176; Page 20, Calendar 431, House Bill 7207; Page 20, Calendar 440, House Bill 7046; Page 21, Calendar 405, House Bill 7208; Page 21, Calendar 454, House Bill 7171; Page 22, Calendar 474, House Bill 7304; Page 23, Calendar 479, House Bill 6334; Page 23, Calendar 481, House Bill 7316; Page 23, Calendar 481, House Bill 7316; Page 23, Calendar 485, House Bill 7090; Page 24, Calendar 489, House Bill 7100; Page 26, Calendar 544, 5886; Page 26, Calendar 545, House Bill 6041; Page 27, Calendar 548, House Bill 6347; Page 27, Calendar 552, House Bill 7225; Page 27, Calendar 553, House Bill 7226; Page 27, Calendar 554, House Bill 7276; Page 28, Calendar 558, House Bill 7183; Page 29, Calendar 563, House Bill 6221; Page 30, Calendar 565, House Bill 6623; Page 30, Calendar 569, House Bill 7053; Page 33, Calendar 581, House Bill 7023; Page 35, Calendar 593, House Bill 7049; Page 35, Calendar 595, House Bill 7072; Page 35, Calendar 596, House Bill 7248; Page 35, Calendar 597, House Bill 6333; Page 36, Calendar 598, House Bill 7019; Page 37, Calendar 605, House Bill 6304; Page 37, Calendar 606, House Bill 7305; Page 38, Calendar 609, House Bill 7070; Page 39, Calendar 612, House Bill 7295; Page 39, Calendar 613, House Bill 6907; Page 39, Calendar 614, House Bill 7179; Page 44, Calendar 464, Senate Bill 1051.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk, will you call for a roll call vote on the consent calendar? The machine is open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate on Consent Calendar No. Two. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

If all members have voted? All members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk will you call a tally on consent two?

CLERK:

Consent Calendar No. Two.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 36

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

[Gavel] The Consent Calendar passes. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, will the clerk please call Calendar Page 26, Calendar 539, House Bill 7221?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Logan. Senator Logan please.

SENATOR LOGAN (17TH):

Madam President, pursuant to Senate rule 15, I wish to excuse myself from the debate regarding the bill.

THE CHAIR:

Please do, remove yourself sir. Thank you very much. Will you call the bill now please? [Background laughter] Thank you Senator Logan.

CLERK:

On Page 26, Calendar 539, Substitute for House Bill No. 7221, an ACT CONCERNING ACCESS TO WATER PLANNING INFORMATION.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Gerratana.

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Madam President, I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's Favorable Report and passage of the bill in concurrence with the House.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and passage in concurrence. Will you remark please?

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Madam President, this is a very good bill. It helps revamp water company records' fillings. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further on the bill? Will you remark further on the bill? Mr. Clerk will you call for a roll call vote and the machine is open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Osten, will you vote on the bill please? If all members have voted? All members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call the tally?

CLERK:

House Bill 7221.

Total number Voting 35

Necessary for Passage 18

Those voting Yea 35

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not Voting 1

THE CHAIR:

The bill passes. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. For two items for our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President, On Senate Agenda number two, substitute for Senate Bill 991. Place that item on our consent calendar?

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objection.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Will the Senate stand at ease?

THE CHAIR:

Senate will stand at ease.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Madam President, I'd like to add Calendar Page 32, Calendar 576, House Bill 7141 to our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections, so ordered.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. On Calendar Page 24, Calendar 490, House Bill 5140, I would like to place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing -- can you say that one more time?

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

I'm sorry. On Calendar Page 24, Calendar 490, House Bill 5140, if we can place that item on our consent calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objections sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Will the Senate stand at ease for a moment?

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Senate will stand at ease. Madam President?

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. If the clerk would call the items on our third consent calendar please for a vote.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk, on the consent calendar please.

CLERK:

Senate Bill No. 991, on Page 24, Calendar 490, House Bill 5140; Page 32, Calendar 576, House Bill 7141.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk will you call for a roll call vote and the machine will be open on the third consent calendar.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate on consent calendar number three. Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Formica. Senator Fasano. Senator Bye, please. Senator Fonfara. If all members have voted? All members have voted? The machine will be closed. Mr. Clerk, will you call the tally?

CLERK:

On Consent Calendar Number Three.

Total number Voting 36

Necessary for Passage 19

Those voting Yea 36

Those voting Nay 0

Those absent and not Voting 0

THE CHAIR:

Consent calendar passes. [Gavel] Senator Duff. Senator Duff please.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. With plenty of time, will the senate stand at ease please?

THE CHAIR:

Oh sure, Senate stand at ease. [Background laughter]

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff, you got some good news for us?

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I think we've had a very successful session. I move that we adjourn Sine Die.

(On the motion of Senator Duff of the 25th, the Senate at 11: 58 p. m. adjourned Sine Die. )

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