JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE

Monday, June 23, 2014

On Monday, the 23rd day of June, 2014, in accordance with the Constitution of the State of Connecticut and the Call of the Secretary of the State, the House of Representatives reconvened at the State Capitol at 10: 10 o'clock a. m. , Deputy Speaker Robert D. Godfrey in the Chair.

Prayer was offered by the guest Chaplain, Representative Pamela Z. Sawyer of Bolton, Connecticut.

The following is the prayer:

Let us pray. Almighty God, bless us as we come together for this Veto Session. Allow our deliberations to result in effective solutions to the State's business and resolve the issues placed before us. Bless the people who work and serve this Chamber, as we strive to have a decent and orderly government. These words are from the past and are still true today. Let us say together. Amen.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Representative Altobello of the 82nd District.

The Call of the Session was read by the Clerk and ordered printed in the Journal.

The following is the Call:

CALL RECONVENING THE 2014 REGULAR SESSION

OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

WHEREAS, the regular session of the 2014 General Assembly adjourned on [sic], in accordance with the Constitution of Connecticut; and

WHEREAS, the Governor has disapproved certain bills passed by the regular session of the 2014 General Assembly and has transmitted same to the Secretary of the State with his objections; and

WHEREAS, said bills were not reconsidered by the General Assembly or were so disapproved by the Governor after said adjournment;

NOW THEREFORE, as required by Article Third of the Amendments to the Constitution of Connecticut, I hereby call the 2014 Regular Session of the General Assembly to reconvene in session at Hartford on June 23, 2014 at ten o'clock in the morning, for a period not to exceed three days following such reconvening, for the sole purpose of reconsidering and, if the General Assembly so desires, repassing said bills.

Given under my hand and the Seal of

the State at the City of Hartford, this

16th day of June, 2014.

Denise W. Merrill

Secretary of the State

RECESS

On motion of Representative Altobello of the 82nd District, the House recessed at 10: 15 o'clock a. m. , to reconvene at the Call of the Chair.

AFTER RECESS

The House reconvened at 11: 11 o'clock a. m. , Deputy Speaker Godfrey in the Chair.

HOUSE RESOLUTION ADOPTED

H. R. No. 101 REP. ARESIMOWICZ, 30th DIST. RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE RULES OF THE HOUSE FOR THE RECONVENED SESSION OF THE 2014 GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

The resolution was explained by Representative Aresimowicz of the 30th.

The resolution was discussed by Representative Cafero of the 142nd.

On a voice vote House Resolution No. 101 was adopted.

The following is the Resolution:

Resolved by this House:

That the rules of the House at this reconvened session of the 2014 General Assembly shall be the same as the rules of the House in force at the 2014 regular session, except as said rules are amended, altered or repealed in this resolution and by the addition of the following rules, which additional rules are hereby made a part of said House rules.

Strike out Rule 10 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 10. The clerk shall keep a journal of the House and shall enter therein a record of each day's proceedings.

Strike out Rule 11 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 11. The clerk shall keep a calendar on which he shall enter daily all House bills disapproved by the Governor and all bills and joint resolutions received from the Senate for action.

Strike out Rule 12 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 12. Any matter requiring further action by the Senate shall be immediately transmitted to the Senate upon final action by the House.

Strike out Rule 15.

Strike out Rules 19 and 20.

Strike out Rule 21 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 21. The order of business shall be as follows:

1. Reception of communications from the Governor and Secretary of the State.

2. Introduction of resolutions.

3. Business on the calendar.

4. Reception of business from the Senate.

Strike out Rule 31.

Add a new Rule 48 as follows:

Rule 48. Except as provided in joint rule 33, no resolutions shall be received other than those expressing sympathy on the demise of a legislator or a member of a legislator's family or those pertaining to the rules of this reconvened session and the printing of the journals of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the expenses of this reconvened session.

SUSPENSION OF THE RULES

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED

S. J. No. 75 SEN. LOONEY, 11th DIST. ; REP. ARESIMOWICZ, 30th DIST. RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE JOINT RULES OF THE RECONVENED SESSION OF THE 2014 GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

Representative Aresimowicz of the 30th District moved for suspension of the rules for immediate consideration.

On a voice vote the motion carried.

The resolution was explained by Representative Aresimowicz of the 30th.

On a voice vote Senate Joint Resolution No. 75 was adopted in concurrence with the Senate.

The following is the Resolution:

Resolved by this Assembly:

That the joint rules of this reconvened session of the 2014 General Assembly shall be the same as the joint rules in force at the 2014 regular session, except as said rules are amended, altered or repealed in this resolution and by the addition of the following rules, which additional rules are hereby made a part of the joint rules of this reconvened session.

Strike out Rule 6.

Strike out Rule 7.

Strike out Rule 8 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 8. The reconvened session of the 2014 General Assembly shall be for the sole purpose of reconsidering bills approved by the 2014 General Assembly and disapproved by the Governor. Except as provided in joint rule 33, no substantive resolutions shall be received other than those pertaining to the rules applicable to this reconvened session and the printing of the journals of the Senate and House of Representatives and the expenses of this reconvened session. The reconvened session shall adjourn sine die not later than midnight, June 26, 2014.

Strike out Rules 9, 10 and 11.

Strike out Rule 12 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 12. No amendments shall be permitted to any disapproved bill submitted to the reconvened session.

Strike out Rule 13.

Strike out Rule 14 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 14. Each disapproved bill shall be submitted to the chamber of origin for reconsideration. If, after such reconsideration, that chamber shall again pass it, but by the approval of at least two-thirds of the membership, it shall be immediately transmitted with the veto message to the other chamber, which shall also reconsider it. The votes of each chamber shall be determined by the yeas and nays and the names of the members voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journals of each chamber respectively.

Strike out Rules 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20.

Strike out Rule 21 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 21. After the time has elapsed for the reconsideration of any vote upon any bill, no resolution or motion to recall such bill from the other chamber shall be allowed for the purposes of reconsideration, except when there has clearly been a mistake in the vote on such bill.

Strike out Rules 22, 23 and 24.

Strike out Rule 25 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 25. The respective clerks of the House and Senate shall immediately notify the Secretary of the State and the Legislative Commissioners of the final action taken on each disapproved bill and its engrossed copy shall bear the notation of such final action and if repassed, the date of final passage.

Strike out Rule 26.

Strike out Rule 27 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 27. The official copies of all disapproved bills repassed by the General Assembly shall be delivered to the Secretary of the State.

Strike out Rules 31 and 32.

S. J. No. 76 SEN. LOONEY, 11th DIST. ; REP. ARESIMOWICZ, 30th DIST. RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE EXPENSES OF THE RECONVENED SESSION OF THE 2014 GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

Representative Aresimowicz of the 30th District moved for suspension of the rules for immediate consideration.

On a voice vote the motion carried.

The resolution was explained by Representative Aresimowicz of the 30th.

On a voice vote Senate Joint Resolution No. 76 was adopted in concurrence with the Senate.

The following is the Resolution:

Resolved by this Assembly:

That the Joint Committee on Legislative Management is authorized to pay the necessary expenses of this reconvened session of the 2014 General Assembly.

S. J. No. 77 SEN. LOONEY, 11th DIST. ; REP. ARESIMOWICZ, 30th DIST. RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE PRINTING OF THE JOURNALS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR THE RECONVENED SESSION OF THE 2014 GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

Representative Aresimowicz of the 30th District moved for suspension of the rules for immediate consideration.

On a voice vote the motion carried.

The resolution was explained by Representative Aresimowicz of the 30th.

On a voice vote Senate Joint Resolution No. 77 was adopted in concurrence with the Senate.

The following is the Resolution:

Resolved by this Assembly:

That the journals of the proceedings of the Senate and House of Representatives at this reconvened session shall be printed as provided in section 2-49 of the general statutes with the journals of the February 2014 session of the General Assembly.

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE STATE

GOVERNOR'S VETO MESSAGES

The following communications were received from the Honorable Denise W. Merrill, Secretary of the State, on the date indicated, read by the Clerk and ordered printed in the Journal.

May 29, 2014

The Honorable Denise Merrill

Secretary of State

30 Trinity Street

Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Madam Secretary:

I hereby return, without my signature, substitute House Bill 5373, An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee Concerning the Reporting of Certain Data by Managed Care Organizations and Health Insurance Companies to the Insurance Department.

I support the objective of this bill, which is to increase the amount of information available to policymakers and citizens concerning substance use and the accessibility and availability of substance abuse treatment and coverage in Connecticut. While the objective is laudable, for the reasons stated below, I am not comfortable signing this bill into law. As the effective date of the Act is January, 2016, I believe that there will be an opportunity for stakeholders, the executive branch, the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange, and others, to work together to pursue this bill's laudable objective in the next legislative session.

First, I am concerned that the data required by subdivisions (7) through (9) of Section 1 of this bill could provide an inaccurate picture on the accessibility and availability of substance use treatment in the State. Subdivisions (7) through (9) require Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to report on the number of covered individuals receiving substance use treatment and average length and expense of treatment in addition to the number of in-network providers and facilities that treat substance use disorders and information related to the number of providers and facilities that have been accepted or left the MCOs network. The data can only be accurate if a provider reports a patient as being treated for substance use. I am persuaded that, perhaps due to stigma or other reasons, there may be a significant number of people who seek substance use treatment but are reported to carriers as being treated for other issues such as depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.

Second, there is ambiguity in the reporting requirements, which could lead to different carriers reporting information differently about essentially the same service. This information will then be published by the Insurance Department in the Annual Consumer Report Card on Health Insurance, which could lead to consumer confusion and misconceptions about the level of substance use treatment available from each provider. The Consumer Report Card is intended to inform consumers about the availability of medical and surgical care within provider networks generally. I am concerned that if the report includes a substantial amount of potentially incomplete or misleading information on substance use treatment, the Report Card risks losing the valuable consumer education function it was intended to serve.  

Third, Subparagraphs (10) and (11) of Section 1 require MCOs to provide an annual report “explaining factors that may be negatively impacting covered individuals' access to treatment of substance use disorders, including … screening procedures, the supply state-wide of certain categories of health care providers, health care provider capacity limitations and provider reimbursement rates,” while section (11) requires reporting on “[p]lans and ongoing or completed activities” to address the factors identified in subdivision (10). It is unusual to require, by statute, that private sector entities opine on matters of public policy or report on activities to achieve public policy objectives. I am concerned by the precedent such a requirement would set.

Finally, as highlighted by the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange (the “Exchange”), the Exchange has significant concerns about the ability of the Exchange's All-Payer Claims Database to assist MCOs in complying with the reporting requirements described above. Specifically, the Exchange has noted that the database was not and is not intended to track the information sought in this bill and further, that the preparation and provision of the required report is outside the scope of the federal grant received to fund the All-Payer Claims Database.

For these reasons, I disapprove of substitute House Bill 5373, An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee Concerning the Reporting of Certain Data by Managed Care Organizations and Health Insurance Companies to the Insurance Department. Pursuant to Section 15 of Article Fourth of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, I am returning substitute House Bill 5373 without my signature.

DANNEL P. MALLOY

Governor

May 30, 2014

The Honorable Denise Merrill

Secretary of State

30 Trinity Street

Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Madam Secretary:

I hereby return, without my signature, substitute House Bill 5417, An Act Establishing a Season for the Taking of Glass Eels. This bill removes our State's statutory restriction on the taking of elver and glass eels from Connecticut waters, and gives the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection the authority to establish harvest restrictions and a permit system for the taking of these creatures.

Elver and glass eels are the early life stages of the American eel. A review is currently being undertaken by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to determine whether American eels are a threatened species. Accordingly, any bill which takes a step towards allowing these creatures to be taken from the waters of our State is premature. Protecting vulnerable species is of the utmost importance. Until and unless it is determined that the American eel will not be on the brink of extinction in the near future, I cannot approve a bill that would prematurely move towards lifting our State restriction on fishing for the young life stages of this species.

For these reasons, I disapprove of substitute House Bill 5417, An Act Establishing a Season for the Taking of Glass Eels. Pursuant to Section 15 of Article Fourth of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, I am returning substitute House Bill 5417 without my signature.

DANNEL P. MALLOY

Governor

June 6, 2014

The Honorable Denise Merrill

Secretary of State

30 Trinity Street

Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Madam Secretary:

I hereby return, without my signature, substitute House Bill 5220, An Act Concerning a Property Owner's Liability for the Expenses of Removing a Fallen Tree or Limb. This legislation attempts to address a legitimate issue and I would be happy to work with proponents of the bill in the next legislative session. However, I am concerned that the bill, as drafted, could lead to the unnecessary removal of healthy trees.

Under this bill, a tree owner would be liable for the costs of removal of a tree that falls onto a neighbor's private property if (1) that neighbor had previously notified the tree owner that the tree or branch was diseased or likely to fall, and (2) the tree owner failed to remove or prune the tree or branch within thirty calendar days after receiving that notice.

I am concerned that this bill is weighted too heavily in favor of neighbors who want branches and trees taken down and provides no avenue for a tree owner to contest a neighbor's assertion that their tree or branch is “likely to fall. ” Without such a provision, there is a strong possibility that tree owners will feel compelled to remove a tree upon merely receiving a letter from a neighbor, even when the tree may in fact be healthy.

It is also worth noting that, under current law, property owners have the right to cut branches or limbs extending across their property line, and property owners can and should exercise that right where a tree limb may be diseased or likely to fall.   The bill, as drafted, would allow property owners to shift the burden of caring for the trees exclusively onto the shoulders of the property owner on whose property the tree trunk is located.

For these reasons, I disapprove of substitute House Bill 5220, An Act Concerning a Property Owner's Liability for the Expenses of Removing a Fallen Tree or Limb. Pursuant to Section 15 of Article Fourth of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, I am returning substitute House Bill 5220 without my signature.

DANNEL P. MALLOY

Governor

June 6, 2014

The Honorable Denise Merrill

Secretary of State

30 Trinity Street

Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Madam Secretary:

I hereby return, without my signature, substitute House Bill 5348, An Act Concerning the Consideration of Property Values When Determining Eligibility for a Certain Property Tax Relief Program.

This bill allows municipalities to limit eligibility for the Elderly Circuit Breaker Tax Relief Program. In municipalities that enact such an ordinance, the bill will result in an increased property tax bill for elderly and disabled individuals with low annual income, but with equity in their home. I have reservations about the policy of this bill, particularly since the State currently reimburses towns at a nearly 90% rate for the property tax loss associated with this program.

For these reasons, I disapprove of substitute House Bill 5348, An Act Concerning the Consideration of Property Values When Determining Eligibility for a Certain Property Tax Relief Program. Pursuant to Section 15 of Article Fourth of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, I am returning substitute House Bill 5348 without my signature.

DANNEL P. MALLOY

Governor

June 11, 2014

The Honorable Denise Merrill

Secretary of State

30 Trinity Street

Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Madam Secretary:

I hereby return, without my signature, substitute Senate Bill 75, An Act Increasing the Cap on the Neighborhood Assistance Act Tax Credit Program. This is a good bill, and I deeply regret being unable to sign it. However, while I support this program and would welcome an opportunity to expand it, the $5 million potential revenue loss was not contemplated in this year's budget adjustments and will put the budget out of balance.  

The Neighborhood Assistance Act encourages businesses to invest in neighborhood programs focused on job training or education, community services, crime prevention, energy conservation, or construction or rehabilitation of low and moderate income housing, among other things. This good program helps fund valuable projects and provides an opportunity for business to become critical partners in community development.  

Every budget process involves difficult choices. This year's budget adjustments were no exception and, unfortunately, the expansion of the Neighborhood Assistance Act program was not included in the final budget that I signed.   Therefore, this worthwhile expansion must be delayed until the resources are available.   I urge the legislature next session to appropriate the funds necessary to increase the cap on the Neighborhood Assistance Act tax credit.   I will support and would unreservedly sign such a bill.  

For these reasons, I disapprove of substitute Senate Bill 75, An Act Increasing the Cap on the Neighborhood Assistance Act Tax Credit Program. Pursuant to Section 15 of Article Fourth of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, I am returning substitute Senate Bill 75 without my signature.

DANNEL P. MALLOY

Governor

June 12, 2014

The Honorable Denise Merrill

Secretary of State

30 Trinity Street

Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Madam Secretary:

I hereby return, without my signature, substitute House Bill 5566, An Act Concerning Minor Revisions to the Education Statutes.  There is much in this bill that I support, and I look forward to working with the legislature to enact the bill's many sound provisions into law. However, I cannot support section 8, which potentially prohibits the sale of nonfat chocolate milk in our public schools.  

 

The section at issue is well-intentioned and with some minor changes I would be fully supportive.   However, as written, the section prohibits the sale of nonfat milk containing any “added sodium. ”  Unfortunately, all milk producers that sell milk to our public schools add some sodium to their nonfat chocolate milk product to counteract the bitterness caused by adding cocoa to the milk.  

 

The provision related to sodium was intended to contribute to a sensible effort to reduce the amount of sodium consumed by our students, as required by federal law.   Excessive consumption of sodium is a contributing factor to the high rate of heart disease in our country, and it may be wise to cap the sodium levels in milk offered in our schools.   But an outright ban on added sodium is not workable.  

 

Ideally, students will choose to drink unflavored nonfat milk. Chocolate milk contains unnecessary calories, sugar, as well as sodium.   Dietary guidelines for Americans recommend that children consume three servings of nonfat or low fat dairy a day in order to ensure that they are getting the amount of calcium needed during these critical bone developing years.   Research shows, however, that when chocolate milk is removed as an option, total milk consumption goes down and milk waste increases, presumably because students who do not like the taste of unflavored milk throw it away.   On balance, health professionals are largely in agreement that for these reasons chocolate milk should remain an option in our schools, though children should be encouraged to try unflavored milk.   

 

I am not opposed to individual school districts having the choice to eliminate the sale of chocolate milk in their schools.   However, I do not think it is a wise policy to mandate state-wide.  

For these reasons, I disapprove of substitute House Bill 5566, An Act Concerning Minor Revisions to the Education Statutes. Pursuant to Section 15 of Article Fourth of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, I am returning substitute House Bill 5566 without my signature.

DANNEL P. MALLOY

Governor

June 12, 2014

The Honorable Denise Merrill

Secretary of State

30 Trinity Street

Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Madam Secretary:

I hereby return, without my signature, substitute Senate Bill 410, An Act Concerning Administrative Hearings Conducted by the Department of Social Services.  

My concern with this bill is Section 1(d), which would restrict Department of Social Services (“DSS”) hearing officers' ability to seek counsel from agency attorneys or other staff.   The hearings at issue are held to determine whether DSS has properly denied an application for certain federal and state entitlement programs.   Prohibiting hearing officers from consulting with counsel or with agency subject-matter experts would impair DSS's ability to fulfill its mission of making accurate eligibility determinations in an efficient and timely manner.  

My office has received communications urging me to sign this bill from private and legal services attorneys who represent clients before DSS, and I fully support a robust and collaborative process to identify and implement any reasonable improvements to guarantee the effectiveness, efficiency and fairness of the DSS hearings process.   To that end, I am directing my General Counsel to convene a working group to examine thoroughly the DSS hearings process and to report to me by December 1st, 2014.   That working group shall include three representatives of the State, at least three attorneys who represent or have represented clients in administrative hearings before DSS, and at least one independent expert in administrative law.  

While I fully support a collaborative effort to identify any and all reasonable improvements to the DSS hearings process, I am not comfortable signing the bill in its current form.

For these reasons, I disapprove of substitute Senate Bill 410, An Act Concerning Administrative Hearings Conducted by the Department of Social Services.   Pursuant to Section 15 of Article Fourth of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, I am returning substitute Senate Bill 410 without my signature.   I welcome the opportunity to work closely with proponents of this bill in the coming months.

DANNEL P. MALLOY

Governor

June 13, 2014

The Honorable Denise Merrill

Secretary of State

30 Trinity Street

Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Madam Secretary:

I hereby return, without my signature, Senate Bill 426, An Act Concerning Payment of the Costs of Certification for a Police Officer. This bill requires any police department that hires an officer from another department within two years after the officer is certified by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) to reimburse the initial hiring department the total cost of certification.

I am sympathetic to towns' legitimate interest in protecting their investment after paying for the cost of police officer training. On the other hand, I am concerned that imposing a two year limitation, as required by this bill, may unduly constrain police officers' professional mobility. Further consideration is warranted to determine the appropriate balance between these competing interests.

For these reasons, I disapprove of Senate Bill 426, An Act Concerning Payment of the Costs of Certification for a Police Officer. Pursuant to Section 15 of Article Fourth of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, I am returning substitute House Bill 5220 [sic] without my signature.

DANNEL P. MALLOY

Governor

ADJOURNMENT

On motion of Representative Aresimowicz of the 30th District, the House adjourned at 11: 18 o'clock a. m. , sine die.

ATTEST: Martin J. Dunleavy

Clerk of the House of Representatives

Hartford, Connecticut

June 23, 2014 at 11: 18 o'clock a. m.