NORWALK, Conn. — Some State Legislature notes:
- Duff reelected Majority Leader
- Dathan gains new leadership role
- Simms appointed Assistant Deputy Speaker
Duff begins ninth year as Majority Leader
Bob Duff has been reelected State Senate Majority Leader, once again confounding his critics.
“When I first came to the legislature as a House member in a special election, I was so excited just to see my name on the board in the House, never thinking that it would I would ever be here in the Senate. Nor did I ever think that I would have the confidence of my colleagues to be the Senate Majority Leader. It is an honor of a lifetime and one that that hits me pretty much every single day,” Duff said Wednesday in the Statehouse.
First elected to the Senate in 2005, Duff has been Majority Leader since 2015.
Duff handily beat Republican opponent Daniel Miressi in last fall’s election. Miressi, who self-funded his campaign, was very vocal on Twitter and after the election highlighted a post pointing out that he’d won Darien while only spending $2,000 in the hunt for votes.
George Colli, a veteran journalist, wrote, “Lamont won Darien and Duff loses by hundreds? Any plans Duff has to ever run for more than State Senate were crushed by Dan Miressi and Duff’s immature demeanor. He’s done. I doubt he gets voted into leadership by his own caucus this year. Finished.”
Duff routinely loses in Republican-leaning Darien. Gov. Ned Lamont ran town-wide, while District 25 only includes part of Darien.
Miressi’s last Tweet was Dec. 23. He has a Nov. 14 post pinned to the top of his feed, announcing his new podcast. There’s been one episode.
On Wednesday, Duff said, “I look forward to working with all of my colleagues, both Democrat and Republican, to make sure that the floor works smoothly, and that we get our bills through and that we have a productive session.”
Dathan appointed Committee Chair
State Rep. Lucy Dathan (D-142) began her third two-year term Wednesday. At the Dec. 19 Democratic Town Committee meeting, Dathan said she would be leading the Regulation Review Committee this time around. She’s been on the Human Services Committee and was becoming Vice Chair. She was also continuing on the Appropriations Committee, of which she has been Vice Chair, and she said she’d been co-chair of a Medicaid subcommittee.
Dathan was appointed Regulation Review Committee Chairwoman the week before.
“Lucy will be chairing a truly bipartisan committee – it’s evenly split,” Speaker of the House Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) said in a news release. “This is a Committee that does not let party get in the way of policy and that is exactly how Lucy operates.”
“The Regulation Review Committee is tasked with the important role of ensuring the regulations recommended by State agencies are fair and reasonable for Connecticut’s residents – a role I believe Rep. Dathan is well suited for,” House Majority Leader Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford, Manchester) said in the release. “Rep. Dathan has quickly established herself as a capable policy leader who understands governance issues and has a detailed understanding of the State budget and policy design. Her skillset is well-suited for regs review, a critically important step in the policy making process where proper implementation of the law is essential to positive and impactful laws. I’m excited to see her rise into this leadership role.”
State Rep. Travis Simms (D-140), at the Dec. 19 DTC meeting, said he was being promoted to Assistant Deputy Speaker.
Simms, first elected in 2018, has been Vice Chair of the Transportation Committee. He said he was leaving that role.
The State’s website lists three Assistant Deputy Speakers but hasn’t been updated to reflect this year’s session. Simms is listed as Assistant Majority Leader for 2021-22.
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