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Norwalk’s state legislators get to work

State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25), as shown in a Tuesday photo from his Facebook page. (Contributed)

Updated, 3:26 p.m: More information; 7:32 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – State legislators from Norwalk are targeting dyslexia, cannabis and hemp, animal cruelty, board of education chair selections, and gentrification with bills introduced at the beginning of a new legislative session.

NancyOnNorwalk took a spin at the State legislative website Thursday and found that State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) has introduced multiple bills that would help and/or protect animals – including one that would prohibit dogs, cats and rabbits from being sold in pet shops – as well as a bill that would “authorize the chief elected official of a municipality to appoint the chairperson of the local Board of Education for such municipality if the budget for such Board of Education is equal to or greater than fifty per cent of the budget for such municipality, except all other officers of such board shall be elected by a majority of the members of such board.”

Expenditures for Norwalk Public Schools represent 53.8 percent of the 2018-19 Norwalk operating budget, according to budget documents available online. Mayor Harry Rilling said Friday that he was not aware that Duff was proposing this bill. 

Newly elected State Rep. Travis Simms (D-140) has introduced three bills.  One seeks to “end the displacement of low-income residents due to increased housing costs.”

State Rep. Lucy Dathan (D-142), also newly elected, is one of 53 legislators introducing a bill for a “Green New Deal.” On her own, she has introduced a bill to “permit school districts to establish later school start times for students in middle and high school that are appropriate to the needs of the school district and its students.”

State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) has introduced 31 proposed bills, including one to “require physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants and nurses to be trained in recognizing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” that is co-sponsored by Dathan, Simms and State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114), who is House Minority Leader. Lavielle has introduced a bill to eliminate the estate and gift taxes and another concerning a pilot program for regional marketing and economic development in Fairfield County.

State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137) has introduced one bill and is not listed as a cosponsor on any bills. State Rep. Terri Wood (R-141) has introduced 13 bills, including one to establish a Dyslexia Advisory Council, which is cosponsored by Dathan, and an act to create a Ways and Means Committee, to “create a comprehensive budget committee that considers both revenues and expenditures rather than the current process which establishes expenditures independent of revenue.”

Duff is one of 14 Senators listed as introducing a bill that would “provide the necessary reimbursement for Special Education costs to school districts.” He’s also one of 16 Senators introducing a bill to “enable students at public institutions of higher education to graduate without student loans.” Duff and State Sen. Catherine Osten (D-19) have introduced a bill to “require certain small school districts to create new or join existing regional school districts.”

 

A list of the proposed bills:

 

State Sen. Bob Duff (D-25)

Bills introduced by Duff:

  1. HB05765 An act establishing the federal shutdown affected employees loan program and providing additional assistance to federal employees.
  2. HB05807 An act imposing a tax on liquid vaping products
  3. HB05975 An act prohibiting the delivery of electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products to minors
  4. HB05996 an act prohibiting certain contracts for the purchase of a cat or dog
  5. HB06000 An act prohibiting the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits at pet shops
  6. HB06001 An act restricting the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses and traveling shows
  7. HB06013 An act prohibiting the expansion of hunting in Connecticut
  8. HB06014 An act prohibiting the use of leghold and body crushing traps
  9. HB06015 An act authorizing local control of animal trapping and hunting
  10. HB06017 An act prohibiting the use of wild animals in circuses and traveling Shows
  11. HB06018 An act prohibiting the import, sale and possession of the Big Six African species.
  12. HB06019 An act establishing standards for adequate shelter for dogs during adverse weather conditions
  13. HB06020 An act prohibiting wildlife trafficking
  14. HB06310 An act concerning accelerated rehabilitation in the case of a person charged with intentional animal abuse
  15. SB00001 An act concerning paid family and medical leave
  16. SB00002 An act increasing the minimum fair wage
  17. SB00003 An act combatting sexual assault and sexual harassment
  18. SB00004 An act concerning the affordability and accessibility of prescription drugs
  19. SB00005 An act concerning a workforce pipeline and job creation
  20. SB00006 An act concerning net neutrality principles and internet privacy
  21. SB00007 An act establishing Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk as a wildlife refuge
  22. SB00009 An act adjusting fees for occupational licenses, certifications and registrations
  23. SB00012 An act concerning transportation network company driver requirements
  24. SB00020 An act prohibiting the import, sale and possession of African elephants, lions, leopards, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros and giraffes
  25. SB00049 An act requiring boards of education to conduct testing of school water supplies for the presence of lead
  26. SB00110 An act concerning dual enrollment in high school
  27. SB00164 An act including certain mental or emotional impairments within the definition of “personal injury” under the workers’ compensation statutes
  28. SB00266 An act requiring polling places at institutions of higher education
  29. SB00273 An act concerning free college
  30. SB00375 An act concerning nursing home staffing levels
  31. SB00394 An act concerning quality health care for women
  32. SB00395 An act prohibiting deceptive advertising practices by limited services pregnancy centers
  33. SB00397 An act prohibiting the sale of flavored vapor products
  34. SB00423 An act concerning the creation of a Connecticut Transportation Authority
  35. SB00435 An act providing a tax credit to businesses that provide employees with student loan repayment assistance
  36. SB00457 An act concerning the size of school districts
  37. SB00458 An act concerning Boards of Education membership
  38. SB00496 An act concerning the legalization, taxation and regulation of the retail sale and recreational use of cannabis.
  39. SB00512 An act assisting federal government workers
  40. SB00526 An act concerning the municipal fiscal year
  41. SB00530 An act concerning access to original birth records by adult adopted persons
  42. SB00533 An act concerning access to diaper changing stations in public buildings
  43. SB00556 An act concerning additional compensation for certain retired public safety employees
  44. SB00588 An act prohibiting off-shore drilling for oil and gas in Connecticut
  45. SB00594 An act prohibiting the use of certain contracts for the sale or lease of cats and dogs
  46. SB00598 An act concerning the production of hemp in Connecticut
  47. SB00637 An act concerning the funding for reimbursement of Special Education costs
  48. SB00654 An act concerning a right to counsel for immigrant children
  49. SB00655 An act prohibiting ghost guns
  50. SB00665 An act concerning sports wagering

 

 

 

 

State Rep. Lucy Dathan (D-142)

Bills introduced by Dathan:

  1. HB05001 An act ensuring that students in this state receive high-quality skills training.
  2. HB05002  An act concerning the development of a Green New Deal
  3. HB05003  An act implementing a paid family medical leave program
  4. HB05004  An act raising the minimum fair wage
  5. HB05005  An act supporting local businesses
  6. HB05638  An act implementing a paid family medical leave program in the state of Connecticut
  7. HB05722  An act establishing a public health insurance option
  8. HB05807  An act imposing a tax on liquid vaping products
  9. HB05914  An act increasing the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products
  10. HB05975        An act prohibiting the delivery of electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products to minors
  11. HB06113   An act prohibiting employers from inquiring about date of birth or date of graduation on employment applications
  12. HB06222  An act concerning the establishment of later middle and high school start times
  13. HB06242  An act prohibiting surcharges from being levied on utility customers to subsidize interstate natural gas pipeline capacity
  14. HJ00049    Resolution proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to permit no-excuse absentee voting

 

Dathan’s co-sponsored bills:

  1. HB05030      An act restoring energy efficiency and clean energy funds
  2. HB05033        An act eliminating the business entity tax
  3. HB05132        An act requiring continuing medical education in recognizing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  4. HB05345        An act concerning safe firearm storage
  5. SB00006         An act concerning net neutrality principles and internet privacy
  6. SB00007         An act establishing Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk as a wildlife refuge
  7. SB00195         An act establishing a Dyslexia Advisory Council
  8. SB00220         An act concerning certain solar power facilities and net metering credits for municipalities where such facilities are located

 

 

 

State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143)

Lavielle has introduced these bills:

  1. HB05130     An act concerning deceptive advertising practices of limited services pregnancy centers
  2. HB05131        An act raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from eighteen to twenty-one
  3. HB05132        An act requiring continuing medical education in recognizing symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia
  4. HB05152        An act concerning a study to determine a way to detect when a driver is under the influence of marijuana
  5. HB05173        An act concerning a study of funding for early college programs
  6. HB05174        An act concerning the segregation and reporting of certain high school graduation rates data
  7. HB05175        An act concerning a report on graduation data for the technical education and career system
  8. HB05176        An act prohibiting the disaggregation of student data by ethnic subgroups in the public school information system
  9. HB05202        An act concerning primaries for state or district office
  10. HB05207        An act eliminating the board of regents for higher education
  11. HB05211        An act requiring health insurance coverage for Smith-Magenis Syndrome
  12. HB05285        An act concerning the licensing of new and used car dealers
  13. HB05523        An act concerning the authority of the court to enter orders of support for an adult child who is twenty-one or older and has an intellectual, mental or physical disability
  14. HB05606        An act concerning the social security benefits exemption from the personal income tax
  15. HB05607        An act eliminating the estate and gift taxes
  16. HB05615        An act concerning a report on the standards for admission of students to public institutions of higher education
  17. HB05616        An act concerning deed restrictions for affordable housing units in set-aside developments
  18. HB05617        An act concerning exemptions from the affordable housing land use appeals procedure
  19. HB05633        An act concerning persons who may serve as the directors or officers of a nonstock corporation
  20. HB05652        An act requiring the labeling of certain electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products
  21. HB05665        An act concerning reports on gas tax revenue
  22. HB05678        An act concerning the state budget process
  23. HB05685        An act prohibiting the executive branch from making rescissions to a town’s education cost-sharing grant during the fiscal year
  24. HB05720        An act concerning services for persons with Smith-Magenis syndrome
  25. HB05725        An act concerning ghost guns
  26. HB05726        An act concerning the definition of “neglected” in juvenile matters
  27. HB05746        An act concerning the use of board certification of a health care provider as a condition for licensure, staff privileges and credentialing
  28. HB05753        An act requiring the labeling of certain electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products
  29. HB06185        An act concerning a pilot program for regional marketing and economic development in Fairfield County
  30. HB06245        An act postponing the implementation of new net electric metering programs and creating a working group to provide recommendations on the value of solar
  31. HB06362        An act prohibiting deceptive advertising practices by limited services pregnancy centers

 

She is not listed as cosponsoring bills.

 

 

State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137)

Perone has introduced HB05914, an act increasing the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products

 

 

 

State Rep. Travis Simms (D-140)

Simms has introduced:

  1. HB06257        An act concerning environmental justice.
  2. HB06293        An act prohibiting Housing Authorities from using federal Section 8 program vouchers from displacing low-income residents
  3. HB06294        An act concerning the displacement of low-income residents due to increased housing costs.

 

And the bills he’s cosponsoring:

  1. HB05001        An act ensuring that students in this state receive high-quality skills training
  2. HB05002        An act concerning the development of a Green New Deal
  3. HB05003        An act implementing a paid family medical leave program
  4. HB05004        An act raising the minimum fair wage
  5. HB05005        An act supporting local businesses
  6. HB05009        An act concerning the inclusion of African-American Studies in the public school curriculum
  7. HB05132        An act requiring continuing medical education in recognizing symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia
  8. HB05173        An act concerning a study of funding for early college programs
  9. HB05194        An act exempting certain businesses from the business entity tax
  10. HB05244        An act expanding the fracking waste ban
  11. HB05255        An act concerning the tax deduction for certain Section 529 qualified state tuition program distributions
  12. HB05273        An act concerning as of right multifamily housing zones
  13. SB00005         An act concerning a workforce pipeline and job creation
  14. SB00017         An act authorizing sports wagering, internet gambling and internet Keno

State Rep. Terri Wood (R-141)

Wood has introduced:

  1. HB05725        An act concerning ghost guns
  2. HB06051        An act concerning polling places for primaries
  3. HB06052        An act concerning candidates for lieutenant governor
  4. HB06053        An act creating a ways and means committee
  5. HB06094        An act requiring health insurance coverage for peer support services provided by certified peer counselors
  6. HB06111        An act authorizing employers to enroll employees in direct paycheck deposit programs
  7. HB06127        An act encouraging the availability of mental health professionals in schools
  8. HB06129        An act increasing the age for tobacco product purchases
  9. HB06260        An act prohibiting the use of non-reusable plastic bags
  10. HB06362        An act prohibiting deceptive advertising practices by limited services pregnancy centers
  11. HB06367        An act requiring the inclusion of education concerning the dangers of vaping within the existing health curriculum
  12. HJ00040          Resolution petitioning Congress to convene an Article V convention to establish term limits
  13. SB00195         An act establishing a Dyslexia Advisory Council

 

She’s not listed as co-sponsoring bills.

The Leagues of Women Voters of Norwalk and Stamford are cosponsoring a meet and greet from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Norwalk High School, located at 23 Calvin Murphy Drive, with featured speaker Terri Ann Lowenthal discussing “The Census: Why It Matters To Every Community,” according to a press release.  Norwalk’s elected and appointed officials are invited and there will be time for audience questions.

22 comments

Mike Lyons January 25, 2019 at 7:34 am

Wow, a virtual left-wing cornucopia from our majority party members. By the time they’re done, there won’t be a business left in Connecticut…

And another political power play by Duff … can’t allow the Board of Education to select a chair who won’t cowtow to the Mayor, can we?

Mike Lyons January 25, 2019 at 7:37 am

This list reminds me of the old saying that ‘no one’s liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session’.

alan January 25, 2019 at 7:59 am

A statewide property tax of one mill?
Tolls?
Legal pot?
Sports betting?
A state bank?!! Hello Charles Keating!!
A state wide auto tax “capped” at 37 mils…you know that the cap usually gets Duffed.
They are off to a great start.

Victor Cavallo January 25, 2019 at 8:06 am

Ever the one inventing solutions in search of a problem, let’s hope Senator Duff doesn’t get any ideas about legalizing murder just like NY did.

Piberman January 25, 2019 at 9:02 am

What we expect from Norwalk’s Legislators. Noise.

CT’s reputation remains unchanged. Call the movers.

Kevin Kane January 25, 2019 at 9:11 am

HB06014 An act prohibiting the use of leghold and body crushing traps.

Finally Bob is going after taxes and other absurd undertakings by our State.

Bryan Meek January 25, 2019 at 10:22 am

What’s the deal with HB06222 from Lucy Dathan. Did she even read the text of her own bill?

It mandates that school can’t start before 8 a.m. at any level, then states its purpose as “permitting school districts to start later”.

Which is it another unfunded mandate, or are we allowed to govern ourselves at a local level?

At least SB0006 on Net Neutrality is very explicit that they want to make our cable and internet bills more expensive, with fewer choices. The regulation authority will come under PURA, which is an appointed board of mostly former Democrat lawmakers with zero utility industry experience pulling down high six figure salaries. So far they’ve done a bang up job making our electricity costs the highest in the continent. Can’t wait to see how much my cable bill can go up for lousier service.

Piberman January 25, 2019 at 11:25 am

Do any of these bills address the basic issues behind CT’s decade long failing economy and Exodus of jobs, firms and residents ?

The list itself makes a good case for a full time Legislature rather than part timers with Day jobs.

nora k king January 25, 2019 at 11:41 am

I totally disagree with the BOE bill. This stems from personal issues that has taken place where the BOE has not agreed with State Legislators in the city of Norwalk. Talk about a politician trying to make something personal. With all our problems under Dan Malloy in the past eight years – I would think they would have something better to focus on. How about jobs? How about lower taxes? How about how to bring companies here? How about reducing the number of government legislators? How about tort reform? How about finding better health insurance solutions? But this is where the focus is? Where are the bills on these issues?

Bryan Meek January 25, 2019 at 12:06 pm

@Nora. This isn’t the first law Duff has tried to pass to undermine the city’s right to govern itself. He passed a law last session to handcuff our schools and even used his influence to get the Commissioner of education to question us.

But, this shouldn’t surprise anyone. Anyone who has closely followed Duffs career know that hie has successfully stripped ever increasing amounts of revenues away from Norwalk, while managing a few crumbs here and there not even keeping up with population and inflation growth rates.

Now he’s off chasing the Net Neutraility windmill, an industry regulated by the Federal Government, that he thinks now needs state controls and fees and fines and all sorts of other goodies. If he had an economic clue, which he doesn’t, he’d realize that this is just another costly measure that will guarantee businesses take theirs elsewhere.

In the meantime, there is nothing in this list that solves any of the major problems facing our state. Nothing.

Teacher January 25, 2019 at 1:43 pm

How about open dialogue and conversation instead of demands and taking absolute positions? It always amazes me when some people can stand up and scream for their cause and at the same time shame the other side. The role of the “high and mighty” in this community is unbelievable.

Everyone wants better schools, better infrastructure but when asked to pay the excuses come flying in. Blame the past, blame the politicians, blame the unions… blame blame and more blame, never a momentary pause to search inward and find a solution that fairly burdens everyone with the cost of the needed solution.

Tysen Canevari January 25, 2019 at 2:21 pm

How about some help with insurance costs?

Stay home = Free (husky)
make a little money = $480 a month
work to support a family = $1800 a month with 12k deductible!
Wealthy = You really dont care

Please explain this picture. I write Jim Himes and get the standardized response. I guess he is helping Blumenthal determine where he served in Vietnam

Hello I Must Be Going January 25, 2019 at 2:59 pm

Apparently, Martin Looney introduced a bill that would consolidate the Norwalk and Wilton school districts into a regional district. If what I’m reading in the town’s local news sources is to be believed, Wilton is already in complete meltdown mode. Curiously enough, Democrat Will Haskell is quoted as saying he’s opposed to the bill. (A case of being more Wilton than Democrat?)

So among the depressing wasteland of terrible proposals, there’s at least that small glimmer of entertainment.

Joe January 25, 2019 at 6:23 pm

I have to pay a kid $15 an hour on his first day to learn how to wash dishes or map a floor?

Then I have to automatically give proportionate raises to the people that are already doing those jobs so they don’t get mad?

And then I also have to give ALL my employees paid sick leave even if they ALL don’t deserve it.

You can’t treat good employees the same as bad employees. That’s unreasonable and unfair. Only a communist would like that.

Joe January 25, 2019 at 8:42 pm

President Trump said (14:47) in today’s Rose Garden Border Wall address that he may transport and “release” illegals into the states and districts of congressmen and senators who won’t vote for proper border security walls.

I think that means us.

Ken January 25, 2019 at 10:32 pm

If an employer can’t afford 15 bucks an hour they should go out of business. My lowest paid employee makes 25 bucks an hour. I would take a pay cut myself before I would lower an employees wage. I look at my employees as an asset not as a cost. It’s about time the right wingers do the same.

Mike OReilly January 26, 2019 at 12:14 am

We have just passed the tipping point. Bob’s list is too long to comment on here. Some one else Please take it up

So let’s just go to State Rep. Nancy Dathan
An Act concerning The Development of The Green New Deal
An Act Raising The minimum Wage. Paid family wage and oh yes then an act to help small business. Help small business do what? Help us Rent moving van’s to get out of here? I think Bob and Nancy need to get out more often and talk to people who actually provide services and pay for all this waste.

Tysen Canevari January 26, 2019 at 7:39 pm

@ Ken Wow Ken you must be a millionare. So Stew looks at his employees as a cost? You must run a law firm. Sign your full name as well.

Mike Lyons January 26, 2019 at 8:29 pm

Well, Spain nearly destroyed its economy going in full bore for its own version of a ‘green new deal’ (Spanish unemployment rate now 15.2% [after hitting 27% at the height of its ‘green’ efforts]; U.S. unemployment rate 4%); why not duplicate those achievements in CT? After all, we know how much better politicians can grow an economy than free enterprise can – just look at the success story known as Venezuela! All hail the People’s Republic of Connecticut!

A Better Norwalk January 29, 2019 at 9:48 am

HOLD ON TO YOUR WALLETS!!!

Elections have consequences. With the 2019 legislative session now underway, we are getting a first look at some of the tax proposals Democrat lawmakers are pursuing here in Connecticut. So far, we’ve seen the following Democrat proposals:

Increase the sales tax: Democrats have filed a bill to increase the sales tax rate to 6.85%. (Senate Bill No. 475)

Create a new statewide property tax: One Democrat proposal includes a new statewide tax on real estate, on top of local property taxes. (Senate Bill No. 431)

Increase property taxes in cities and towns: A bill marketed as a way to change the state’s car tax structure would result in higher property taxes for many. The bill includes provisions to reduce certain assessed property values in towns and cities, thereby forcing municipalities to increase mill rates leading to higher property taxes on everyone. (Senate Bill No. 431)

Install tolls: A Democrat-sponsored bill to install tolls has been proposed that would require all drivers to pay. While details are still up in the air, the bill’s introducer estimates a cost of $600 per year for the average Connecticut resident. Since Connecticut cannot install border tolls, we know these tolls will have to be on roadways throughout our state. Early estimates from state officials last year suggested 60% of toll revenue would be paid by state residents and tolls would be placed on major roadways, with a DOT study pricing out 82 tolling locations across CT. (Senate Bill No. 102)

I have serious concerns about the combined impact of these proposals on growing Connecticut’s economy, creating jobs, and providing an opportunity for people to thrive in our state.

There will be opportunities to testify on these proposals to make your voice heard. Keep an eye out for emails from me with information about public hearings and opportunities to share your opinions.

Have thoughts on these proposals now? Share your thoughts with Democrat legislative leaders:
Senate Democrat Office 800-842-1420
House Democrat Office 800-842-1902

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