FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. –State Reps. Jason Perillo and Ben McGorty voted Friday in support of a measure that would eliminate the requirement that state troopers hand-deliver notices to members of the state legislature for special sessions that are called with less than 10 days of notice.
Perillo represents Shelton. McGorty represents Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull.
“These are modern times, and when the legislature is called into special session, we don’t need to waste the time of a vital first-response resource to hand-deliver us notice about an event we already know is happening,” said Perillo. “This is an outdated and ornamental requirement from a bygone time, and it can cost the state about $35,000 to $40,000 by some estimates each time it happens.
"It’s pretty clear that as our state continues to post enormous budget deficits due to the terrible economic policies of this administration, that this is exactly the kind of unnecessary frippery we can’t afford. I am pleased we moved to eliminate it.”
McGorty said, “The required police delivery of these notices is a 1916 policy in a 2016 reality."
Perillo also pointed to the waste.
“This is the kind of waste in state government that understandably drives people up a wall. I have a phone, a cellphone, email, the Internet, television and text messages," he said. "There is no need for a police officer to be taken from his or her duties protecting the public just to hand-deliver to me a notice about a special session ... It would never be a good expense of taxpayer dollars in modern times, and it is especially bad policy while this state is under economic duress."
McGorty noted that in many instances, troopers are not able to locate a legislator immediately, requiring repeated visits.
Under the bill, the secretary of the state would be given the option of notifying General Assembly members of special sessions through email, but must do so at least 72 hours before the session convenes. The secretary of state can also send notices through first class mail if done so between 10 and 15 days before a special session and five days before a reconvened session.
The bill, HB 5242, An Act Permitting Electronic Notification of a Special Session or a Reconvened Session now heads to the State Senate for action there.
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