CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY

SENATE

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Senate was called to order at 12: 56 p. m. , the President in the Chair.

THE CHAIR:

Good afternoon everybody. The Senate will please come to order. Members and guests, please rise. I direct your attention to Rabbi Philip Lazowski, who will lead us in prayer.

RABBI PHILIP LAZOWSKI:

Our thought for today is from Deuteronomy 16: 20, “Justice and only justice shall you follow.

Let us pray.   Heavenly Father, Guardian and Keeper of Your people, watch over this circle of Senators, who are entrusted with the administration of selecting and appointing judges.   The sages said, “If you see a generation drowning in the sea of troubles, appoint judges who will judge justly and truthfully. ”  You, senators, have the joy of noble service to our state.

According to Maimonides, a judge must have seven virtues:  Wisdom, humility, fear of God, disdain of profit, love of truth, love of his fellow man and a good name.

Bless these incoming judges.   We also ask God to provide His loving protection for our children, protect our defenders of freedom and those who preside as leaders of our state and nation.   Hear our prayers as we pray, and let us all say, Amen.

THE CHAIR:

Rabbi, thank you very, very much. At this time, I'd ask Senator Witkos to come up and lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

SENATOR WITKOS (8TH):

(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:

Thank you very much. At this time, I would ask if there are any points of personal privilege. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I would like to take a moment of personal privilege please.

THE CHAIR:

Please proceed, sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I have two guests here in the chamber who have driven from Naugatuck, and it's probably Senator Logan's constituents, but who have been friends of mine for a very long time, Smitty Payne [phonetic] and Livie Carroll [phonetic] who are behind me -- oh, right over there, and who have -- this is their first trip up to the State Capitol. Smitty was my letter carrier back in the day when I lived in East Norwalk, before I lived in my present home right now, and way before I ever thought about running for elective office, and we hit it up and developed a really nice friendship and over the years have stayed in touch. As a mater of fact, a few years ago, we had Postal Carrier Appreciation Day, and presented him with a State of Connecticut Legislative Citation to thank him for his good work, and now he's -- he's been delivering mail in the Rowayton section of Norwalk, and he and Livie are really just wonderful people. They made another stop here before at Fox 61, which is one of their favorite channels that they watch the news on, and I'm just really proud to have them here today and proud to call them my friend, and I -- friends, and I would ask that the rest of the chamber please rise and to give them our normal warm greeting. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Welcome. [applause] You are braver than we are. See, we don't come out in the snow and you always do, so thank you very, very much. It's great to have you here today. At this time, Mr. Clerk, do you have anything on your desk?

CLERK:

Senate Agendas 1 and 2, both dated Wednesday, February 21, 2018.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I move that all items on Senate Agendas 1 and 2, dated Wednesday, February 21, 2018, be acted upon as indicated, that the agenda be incorporated by reference into the Senate Journal and transcript.

THE CHAIR:

So ordered.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I'm just gonna move a few items on the calendar for the Go List, and Madam President we could move calendar No. 8, Senate Joint Resolution No. 9, as a Go on page 1, and then on calendar page 4, Madam President, calendar No. 2, Senate Resolution No. 5, Go, and on calendar page 4, Senate Resolution -- I'm sorry, calendar No. 3, Senate Resolution No. 4 as a Go, and Madam President, if we can move in calendar order, that would be great. Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On page 1, Calendar No. 8.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH)

Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

I'm sorry.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Could the Clerk please call calendar page -- I'm sorry -- calendar 3 and then 4 and then 8? I'm sorry, 2, 3 and then 8?

THE CHAIR:

Okay, so, Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

On page 4, calendar No. 2, Senate Resolution No. 5, RESOLUTION CONFIRMING THE NOMINATION OF VICTORIA L. VELTRI OF COLCHESTER TO BE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF HEALTH STRATEGY.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance, and will you remark, sir?

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Ms. Veltri is from Colchester. She is currently the Chief Health Policy Advisor in your office, Madam President. She is formerly the Health Advocate for the State of Connecticut Office of Healthcare, Advocate and Formal of the General Counsel for the State of Connecticut Office of Healthcare Advocate, and, Madam President, I would urge a favorable vote on Ms. Veltri's nomination.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark? Will you remark. Senator Looney.

SENATOR LOONEY (11TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madame President, speaking in support of Vicki Veltri's nomination. All of us who are fortunate enough to know her know what an extraordinary public servant she is, the great job that she did as the Victims' Advocate. Many of us, of course, referred constituent cases to her during her tenure there, and she always worked with great compassion and energy and creativity to make sure, if there was anyway possible, to make sure that that person's needs were served in a fair and equitable way to help kind of thread through the minefield of opposition often thrown up in the way of people seeking coverage for their care, and of course the work that she's done in your Healthcare Cabinet, we all know, has led to this current appointment. So, I am just so proud and happy that in this important position, we will have someone who is so skilled, so trusted, so perfect for this position, and someone whose competence inspires great confidence in all of us. So, thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, sir. Will you remark further -- will you remark further? If not, Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Might we start a Consent Calendar and, if so, I'd like to place this nomination on a Consent Calendar please.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objection, so ordered, sir. Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

Also, on page 4, calendar 3, Senate Joint Resolution No. 4, RESOLUTION CONFIRMING THE NOMINATION OF DONALD DEFRONZO OF NEW BRITAIN TO BE A MEMBER AND CHAIRPERSON OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE CONNECTICUT LOTTERY CORPORATION.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and adoption of the resolution.

THE CHAIR:

Motion is on acceptance and adoption. Will you remark, sir?

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. The name, Don DeFronzo, should be familiar to members of the circle. He is currently the Chairholder of the William A. O'Neill Chair and Public Policy and Practical Politics at Central Connecticut State University, formerly the Commissioner of the State Department of Administrative Services. It says here, he was formerly a member of the Connecticut State Senate and formerly the Mayor of New Britain, Connecticut. We all know Don. We know that he has a tremendous record in public service and somebody who will bring all of his good work, common sense and work ethic to the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, and Madam President, I would move that we vote favorably on this nomination.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further, Senator Doyle? Good afternoon, sir.

SENATOR DOYLE (9TH):

Good afternoon, Madam President. It's my pleasure to rise to support the nomination of our former colleague, Don DeFronzo, to be Chairperson of the Lottery Corporation. I found, in our work with Don in this chamber, I found him to be one of the most honorable people I served with. He's very bright. His background, going back to OPM, he really was -- and Mayor of Britain, he really is a man of high character, and I can think of no one better to go over to the Lottery and try to help us set that agency straight. There's been a lot of problems lately we've been reading about, and I really believe Don is one of the -- I think he was planning to retire and the Governor asked him to come out of retirement and help us here, so he's just a wonderful person, skilled leader, and I really look forward and glad he's gonna help us set the lottery straight. So, again, it's my pleasure to support Don's nomination today. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Will you remark further, Senator Kissel? Good afternoon, sir.

SENATOR KISSEL (7TH):

Good afternoon, Madam President. Great to see you.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you.

SENATOR KISSEL (7TH):

I'd like to associate my remarks with those that preceded me, Senator Doyle in particular. I had the pleasure of serving many years with Senator DeFronzo right to my left, and you know in this chamber there's a lot of downtime, so a lot of opportunity to chat, and I would actually like to believe that Don and I have become friends. I actually bumped into him in the LOB not too long ago, and we were chatting about various things that we had thought of in previous years. One of the issues was sports betting. You know, we had thought about that many years ago, but Senator Reid had that bottled up pretty tight in Washington, but those days may change, and I know that issue's probably going to be addressed in Public Safety with a public hearing. But, that was just one of many, many things, especially when you're in the wee hours, and we always had good discussions, comparing and fielding, and -- and I firmly believe, as Senator Doyle indicated, Don is just a great guy. He's just a great guy, great public service, keeps giving, and I can't speak more highly of him and happy to vote in his favor this afternoon. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark, Senator Gerratana?

SENATOR GERRATANA (6TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I also rise to associate myself with the comments of my fellow colleagues about Don DeFronzo. I've known Don who, of course, is a New Britain native, New Britain resident. I hold his seat, if you will. I am his successor here in the Senate. But, I've known Don for almost 40 years now, and if there's a description of Don DeFronzo, it is public service. He has served so honorably in so many ways as Mayor of New Britain, but also up here in the Legislature, and it was certainly noted by all when he was Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services, his hard work there, and I know that he will do an excellent, not just a wonderful, but an excellent job in his new position. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark further? Will you remark further, Senator Looney?

SENATOR LOONEY (11TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I join wholeheartedly in the remarks of all of my colleagues in support of Don DeFronzo's nomination. Don and I were college classmates at Fairfield University a number of years ago, back a number of decades ago [laughter], but -- but, as we all know, Don is just a superb public servant in every way; from his tenure as a Mayor of New Britain to the years he spent with us here in the State Senate from his election in 2002. He was a beloved colleague on both sides of the aisle. His superb work, then, when appointed by Governor Malloy to become the Commissioner of Administrative Services, a great career there in a very responsible and complex job, and now being willing to undertake this new assignment. So, in every capacity in which he's served, he has really shown the positive side of what it is to be a public servant; someone who is conscientious, even tempered, tremendously thoughtful, a -- a wonderful demeanor, everything that one would want to point to when you would seek to inspire confidence in the term "public servant," and to -- to have that image of Don DeFronzo as that, I think, is the pictorial representation that would do us all proud. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you, and I can't believe it's decades. Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. I'll let that one go. Madam President, if there's no objection, I would place this item on the Consent Calendar, please.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objects, so ordered, sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk?

CLERK:

And, on page 1, calendar 8, Senate Joint Resolution No. 9, RESOLUTION CONFIRMING THE NOMINATION OF THE HONORABLE THOMAS A. BISHOP OF NORTH STONINGTON TO BE A STATE REFEREE.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kissel.

SENATOR KISSEL (7TH):

Thank you very much, Madam President. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee's favorable report and accept an adoption of the resolution.

THE CHAIR:

Motions on acceptance and adoption. Will you remark?

SENATOR KISSEL (7TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Honorable Thomas A. Bishop was born in New Rochelle, New York, in 1941. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in History in 1963. Following his undergrad studies, Judge Bishop was on active duty as an Army intelligence officer from 1964 to 1966. He then attended Georgetown Law School where he was graduated in 1969 with his Juris Doctor and, upon which, he was admitted to the Connecticut and Federal Bar. Before his appointment as a superior court judge, he was managing director of the New London firm of Suisman, Shapiro, Wool, Brennan and Gray, and adjunct instructor at the University of Connecticut School of Law teaching dispute resolution and negotiations. He was appointed to the bench in 1994 and elevated to the appellate court in 2001. In addition to hearing appeals on a part-time basis and serving as a mediator in civil matters, Judge Bishop has taken on the duty of reviewing every brief at the appellate court prior to each term to recommend transfers to the Supreme Court, and I would urge my colleagues to support this resolution.

THE CHAIR:

Thank you. Will you remark, Senator Doyle?

SENATOR DOYLE (9TH):

Yes, thank you, Madam President. I, too, rise in support of Judge Bishop. He has a distinguished career as a superior court judge in appellate court. I -- when he came before us, I did ask him some questions about -- he served on the Criminal Justice Commission from 2001 through 2011. I was given -- and he gave us the patience and he answered some of my questions of background functioning of our Criminal Justice Commission, which he served above and beyond on that. So, again, I just encourage the chamber to support the appointment today of Thomas Bishop to be a judge. Thank you, Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Kissel.

SENATOR KISSEL (7TH):

Thank you very much, Madam President. If there's no further discussion, I'd ask this be placed on the Consent Calendar.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objection, so ordered, sir.

SENATOR KISSEL (7TH):

Thank you.

THE CHAIR:

Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, our three items are completed, so if the clerk would now call our Consent Calendar please.

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk, with the call of Consent Calendar, the machine will be open.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Madam President.

THE CHAIR:

I'm sorry.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Would the clerk read the items back that are on the Consent Calendar, please?

THE CHAIR:

Mr. Clerk.

CLERK:

Page 1, calendar 8, Senate Jury Resolution No. 9. Page 4, calendar No. 2, Senate Resolution No. 5. Also, on page 4, calendar 3, Senate Resolution No. 4.

THE CHAIR:

At this time, Mr. Clerk, will you call for a roll call vote on the first and only consent calendar of the day, and the machine will be open.

CLERK:

Immediate roll call has been ordered in the Senate. Immediate roll call on today's Consent Calendar 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?

CLERK:

On today's Consent Calendar.

Those voting Yea 35

Those voting Nay 0

Absent and not voting 1

THE CHAIR:

Consent Calendar is adopted. Senator Duff, do you have any good news for us?

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, without objection, I'd like to immediately transmit those items we voted on to the House of Representatives.

THE CHAIR:

Seeing no objection, so ordered, sir.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, that concludes our business for today, and I will yield before we adjourn to any points of personal privilege or announcements.

THE CHAIR:

Are there any points of personal privilege or announcements? Are there any points? Seeing none, Senator Duff.

SENATOR DUFF (25TH):

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

THE CHAIR:

We will be adjourned subject to the call of the Chair. Have a great weekend.

On motion of Senator Duff of the 25th , the Senate at 1: 17 p. m. adjourned subject to the call of the chair.

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