THE CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

(The House of Representatives was called to order at 11: 00 o'clock a. m. , Speaker Joe Aresimowicz in the Chair. )

CLERK:

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

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

(Gavel)

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Will the House come to order, please? Will members, staff and guests please rise. Direct your attention to the Dais where Representative Skulczyck will lead us in prayer.

REP. SKULCZYCK (45TH):

Thank you. The daily prayer. Let us pray. Almighty God, bless our Legislators who give all of their time and themselves for the good of the people of the great State of Connecticut. Guide them to make dens that will benefit all. Amen. Thank you.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Would Representative Larry Butler of the 72nd District, please come to the Dias and lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

REP. BUTLER (72ND):

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Is there any business on the Clerk's desk?

CLERK:

Yes, Mr. Speaker. Communications from the Secretary of the State, special election results, Assembly District 15. This letter was addressed to the Clerk of the House and it reads, “Dear, Mr. Jortner: This is to advise you that the return of votes cast at the special election held in the 15th Assembly District on January 9, 2018 for the purpose of filling a vacancy in the office of State Representative for said district, states the following candidates received the number of votes annexed to their names: Bobby Gibson, Jr. , (D) 922, Joseph M. Suggs, Jr. , (PC) 854. In accordance with Connecticut General Statute 9-215, Bobby Gibson, Jr. will appear on Friday, January 12, 2018 for the oath of office to be administered. A copy of the official Statement of vote signed by the State Board of Canvassers is enclosed. Sincerely, Scott D. Bates, Deputy Secretary of the State.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

It's ordered to be printed in the Journal, Mr. Clerk. (Gavel)

Representative Ritter, for what purposes do you rise, sir?

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Gentleman, Mr. Speaker, and if I could just have the Chamber's attention for one second. The Clerk just read the announcement of the special election. So, I would like for us all, all 151 of us or whoever is here to formally welcome, from the Town of Bloomfield and a sliver of Windsor, I believe, the new State Rep. for the 15th Assembly District, Bobby Gibson. (Applause)

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Mr. Majority Leader. Representative Gibson, welcome to our Chamber.

Are there any other announcements or introductions? Representative Klarides of the 114th, Madam, you have the floor.

REP. KLARIDES-DITRIA (114TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On behalf of our side of the aisle, in particular, I'd like to welcome Representative Gibson. Although I don't know why he would want to do this at this time in our history. Congratulations and welcome. (Applause)

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Madam. Are there any other announcements or introductions? Representative Klarides, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. KLARIDES-DITRIA (114TH):

I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker. Just for purposes of an announcement, I would like to say Happy Birthday to our amazing and wonderful Chief Legal Counsel,

Sarah Frissell.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Are there any other announcements or introductions? Representative Carney of the 23rd District, sir, you have the floor.

REP. CARNEY (23RD):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I rise for a comment. Unfortunately, I received some bad news --

(Gavel)

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Ladies and gentlemen of the Chamber, can we give Representative Carney our attention, please. Thank you. Please proceed, sir.

REP. CARNEY (23RD):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Unfortunately, this morning, I received some bad news. Some folks in this Chamber may have remembered my predecessor from years ago, Jack Tiffany. He was an old-school legislator, had a farm in Lyme. He served in the legislature, I think, close to 30 years. Back when I think they only met two weeks, I think, out of the year. But he was a great person. He did so much for the State of Connecticut, so much for farming, and so much for the town of Lyme. So, I would just ask that we all rise for a moment of silence in memory of Jack Tiffany.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Absolutely, Representative. We can all stand for a moment of silence, please. (Gavel)

Thank you.

Are there any other announcements or introductions? Representative Pavalock-D'Amato of the 77th, Madam, you have the floor.

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

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I also have some bad news. A former Representative of the 77th District, Representative James White, 86, of Bristol, passed away Thursday, December 28th, 2017. He served as a Counselman in Bristol and, of course, as a Representative. He was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather. He worked for 35 years in our City of Bristol Board of Education and was the first principal of Memorial Boulevard School.

Representative White enjoyed many things, including JC events, the Rotary Club, bowling and golf. He was a great man and my mentor. So, I ask for a moment of silence.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Absolutely, Madam. If we could all rise, brief moment of silence. (Gavel)

Thank you. The legendary Representative Orange of the 48th. Madam, for what purposes do you rise?

REP. ORANGE (48TH):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good morning to you and I rise for an announcement.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Please proceed, Madam.

REP. ORANGE (48TH):

I would just like to say that we're going to miss his birthday if we don't say anything today. But it is on Saturday, it will be former State Senator Ken Przybysz' birthday and I couldn't help but mention it to the Chamber here. He'll only be 71, but he thinks he's 50.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Madam. Are there any other announcements or introductions? On to the business of the day. Would the Clerk please call House Resolution 401?

CLERK:

House Resolution 401, a RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE RULES OF THE HOUSE FOR THE JANUARY RECONVENED SESSION FOR THE JANUARY SPECIAL SESSION, 2018, OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Introduced by Representative Ritter.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Ritter.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Mr. Speaker, I move adoption of the Resolution.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The question before the Chamber is on adoption of the resolution. Will you remark? Representative Ritter?

REP. RITTER (1ST):

No, pretty self-explanatory.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much. Will you care to remark further? Will you care to remark further? If not, let me try your minds. All of those in favor of the Resolution, please signify by saying, aye. Opposed, nay. The ayes have it. The Resolution is adopted. (Gavel)

Will the Clerk please call House Joint Resolution 501?

CLERK:

House Joint Resolution 501, a RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE JOINT RULES OF THE JANUARY RECONVENED SESSION OF THE JANUARY SPECIAL SESSION, 2018 OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Introduced by Representative Ritter, Senator Duff, Senator Witkos.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Back to you, Representative Ritter.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Mr. Speaker, I move adoption of the Resolution.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much. Will you remark further? Will you remark further? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor, please signify by saying, aye. Those opposed, nay. The ayes have it. The Resolution is adopted. (Gavel)

Will the Clerk please call House Joint Resolution 502?

CLERK:

House Joint Resolution No. 502, RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE EXPENSES OF THE JANUARY RECONVENED SESSION FOR THE JANUARY SPECIAL SESSION, 2018, OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Introduced by Representative Ritter, Senator Duff, Senator Witkos.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Ritter.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Mr. Speaker, I move adoption of the Resolution.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Will you remark further on the Resolution before us? Will you remark further on the Resolution before us? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor, signify by saying, aye. Those opposed, nay. The ayes have it. The Resolution is adopted. (Gavel)

Will the Clerk please call House Joint Resolution 503?

CLERK:

House Joint Resolution No. 503, RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE PRINTINGN OF THE JOURNALS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR THE JANUARY RECONVENED SESSION FOR THE JANUARY SPECIAL SESSION, 2018, OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Introduced by Representative Ritter, Senator Duff, Senator Witkos.

REP. ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Representative Ritter.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Mr. Speaker, last one. I move adoption of the Resolution.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Will you remark further on adoption of the resolution? Will you remark further? If not, let me try your minds. All those in favor, please signify by saying, aye. Those opposed, nay. The ayes have it. The Resolution is adopted. (Gavel)

Representative Ritter.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move immediate transmittal of all Resolutions that require further action in the Senate to the Senate.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Is there objection to transmittal? Is there objection to transmittal? Seeing none, so ordered. (Gavel)

Will the Clerk please call Emergency Certified House Bill 7601?

CLERK:

Emergency Certification, House Bill No. 7601. AN ACT CONCERNING ADJUSTMENTS TO THE STATE BUDGET REGARDING THE MEDICARE SAVINGS PROGRAM AND ELIGIBILITY THEREFORE. Introduced by Representative Aresimowicz, Representative Ritter, Representative Klarides, Representative Candelora, Senator Looney, Senator Duff, Senator Fasano, and Senator Witkos.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Ladies and gentlemen of the Chamber, before calling on Representative Abercrombie, I would like to point out to the Chamber. (Gavel)

Before we call on Representative Abercrombie to explain the bill, I'd like to point out to the Chamber that in order to take up a bill vetoed by the Governor, we need to follow a two-step process. The first step is a Motion for Reconsideration, assuming the motion is adopted, we then move on to the second motion. That motion would be a motion to repass the vetoed bill. The first motion, the Motion for Reconsideration is decided by a simple majority vote. The second motion is a motion to repass the legislation and that motion requires a two-thirds vote or at least 101 members.

I'm requesting that members avoid a prolonged discussion on the first procedural motion and reserve their comments or remarks for a second motion to repass the legislation.

With that being said, Representative Abercrombie, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I move for reconsideration.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The question before the Chamber is on the reconsideration of House Bill 7601. For the benefit of the Chamber, I will note that Representative Abercrombie was on the prevailing side of this issue when the Chamber passed this measure and is therefore an appropriate member to make the motion for reconsideration.

Representative Abercrombie, will you remark?

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

I'll reserve my remarks when we pass the resolution, sir.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Madam. Will you remark on the Motion to Reconsider? Will you remark further on the Motion to Reconsider? If not, it shall be a voice vote.

So, let me try your minds. All those in favor of the Motion for Reconsideration, please signify by saying, aye. Those opposed, nay. The ayes have it. the bill will be reconsidered. (Gavel)

Representative Abercrombie.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I move for reconsideration of House Bill 7601.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Madam. It's the re-passage of the bill. The question before the Chamber is on re-passage of that bill. Representative Abercrombie, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. ABERCROMBIE (83RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we're here today because with the wisdom of this body, we passed in Special Session to fully fund the Medicare Savings Program. Since then, the Governor has decided to veto that measure. We're here today to override that veto. This body believes in the Medicare Savings Program. This is a program that is very beneficial not only to our seniors, but to many individuals with disabilities. This is a supplemental program that helps people that have Medicare. With that I move adoption.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The question before the Chamber is on re-passage of the bill. Will you remark? Representative Case of the 63rd District, you have the floor, sir.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And Mr. Speaker, it's unfortunate we're here today just to do another overturn.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

(Gavel) Ladies and gentlemen, I know the legislative session is just a couple of weeks away. A lot of us have interns and staff trying to catch up on the duties for that and individual legislators we haven't seen each other for at least a couple of weeks, so I know a lot of conversations are taking place. I will ask that if you're having those conversations, please bring them out to the hall. Today we are taking up a bill that provides healthcare to some of our most vulnerable residents. And I would ask that the State -- that this Chamber give that its proper attention. We can hear from the speakers about this bill.

I apologize for the interruption, Representative Case, but please now proceed.

REP. CASE (63RD):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And Mr. Speaker, just for a point of comment. It's unfortunate that we're here today, once again, to override the Governor's veto. But I'm proud to be here and to ensure our most vulnerable, as the Speaker said, that this program will go on through the end of June. It's a program that the cut was going to come through in November and hit -- gave people 30 days' notice on not having it anymore.

Today it's also my pleasure that the good Chairwoman of Human Services agreed to working with me and finding solutions to this program and ways that we can move the state along and move it so that our most vulnerable aren't attacked and aren't afraid of losing these benefits.

So, through you, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to once again vote this, override it, and let's move forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, sir. Will you remark further? Representative Urban of the 43rd District, you have the floor, Madam.

REP. URBAN (43RD):

Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And, Mr. Speaker, I did speak on this before, so I will keep this brief. But I do believe that the way that we are funding this is disingenuous. We now have until July to actually work through this and get it funded the right way. When we have taken an additional 1 percent to our teachers for the pension and then we're flipping that money in to do the Medicare Savings Plan and we're using some creative accounting from year-to-year to fund the Medicare Savings Plan. I cannot, in good conscience, say that this is the way that we should be funding this. I can, in good conscience, say that program is a necessity. That there is no question that every person in this Chamber wants this program to succeed. That we understand the underlying benefits of it, but I also understand it needs to be done in a fiscally responsible way so that our seniors and our disabled can rest assured that this is taken care of. And the way that it's funded today, they cannot rest easy, though we are doing the thing that is going to give them security.

Again, we have until July to get it right. I would tell you that I'm going to be voting the same way that I did last time.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Thank you very much, Madam. Will you remark further? If not, will staff and guest please come to the well of the House. Members take your seats. The machine will be open.

CLERK:

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

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Have all the members voted? If all the members have voted, please check the board to ensure your vote's been properly cast. If all the members have voted, the machine will be locked, and the Clerk will take a tally.

The Clerk will now announce that tally.

CLERK:

Emergency Certification 7601.

Total Number of Voting 135

Necessary for Re-Passage 101

Those Voting Yea 131

Those Voting Nay 4

Those absent and not voting 15

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The bill is re-passed. (Gavel)

Representative Ritter, the Majority Leader, for what purposes do you rise, sir?

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move that we immediately transmit all Resolutions that require further action by the Senate to the Senate.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

Are there any objections to immediate transmittal? Are there any objections to immediate transmittal? If not, so ordered. (Gavel)

Representative Ritter.

REP. RITTER (1ST):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move that we adjourn the veto session sine die.

SPEAKER ARESIMOWICZ (30TH):

The question is on adjournment of the veto session, sine die; is there objection? Is there objection? Hearing none, the House veto session is adjourned sine die. (Gavel)

(On motion of Representative Ritter of the 1st District, the House adjourned at 11: 37 o'clock a. m. , sine die. )

CERTIFICATE

I hereby certify that the foregoing 21 pages is a complete and accurate transcription of a digital sound recording of the House Proceedings on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

I further certify that the digital sound recording was transcribed by the word processing department employees of Alpha Transcription, under my direction.

_____________________________________

Thomas Bailey

President

Alpha Transcription

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