May 4th, 2018
Welcome to In the Loop!

From Paddi's Desk


With four more session days left, there hasn't been many bills - in fact, only six - that have passed both the House and Senate. The Calendars for both have at least 350 items sitting on them requires one or both chambers to approve before they head to the Governor's office. If you recall, we started this session by saying that getting through the clutter during the last three days takes a lot of strategy, agile maneuvering and, at times, dumb luck. Well, that time is now here!

There's NO movement on a fixer-upper state budget proposal. There's definitely no movement at all on the bring tolls to Connecticut to shore up the special transportation fund, and Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate are beginning to play their game of chicken. " We'll send the other chamber a bill you do not want but makes our members happy, and you figure out what to do with it!"

Party politics were on display when all Superior Court judges were approved on strict party line votes in the House. The Republicans were all defending the nominees as highly skilled and people of character, but said they don't have the money to pay for them.
On the other hand, the Senate had a more philosophical take - in eight years when these folks come back to for re-appointment, no one has any idea who the Governor will be (two full gubernatorial elections away). The Judiciary Committee looks at the original votes and sees party line in the House and a tied vote in Senate, with the Lt. Governor breaking the tie. They decided that the four Senate Republican leaders would support the nominations while the remaining 14 Republican Senators would take a stand for fiscal responsibility.

Veteran committee chairs figured out at about the same time as experienced lobbyists that if they consolidated their key issues into one big bill - packaging House and Senate Democrats and Republicans and the Governor's items together - they could work around the end of session whirlwind. So, the Energy Committee took five of its top items and turned the Governor's major policy bill (Senate Bill 9) into an aircraft carrier with items for all. The other committees quickly took note, and now the race is on to beat the clock on Wednesday at midnight.

Veteran lobbyists are expected to see the decorum and patience of the legislature get real in the next four days. They will start to see those bills they care about not going anywhere while others are moving. Legislators will also get pressed on parliamentary procedures to detour proposals they are not fond of, while the old tried and true filibuster technique - if used effectively - will destroy a proposal for the session or leverage a deal.

So, as I opened with, GAME ON!
Intern Spotlight

Your time at Sullivan & LeShane and what's in store...

I had an excellent time interning for Sullivan & LeShane this semester. I learned a considerable amount about the legislative process and was able to network with Senators and Representatives throughout the Constitution State.  I enjoyed attending the public hearings and later, see the elected officials debate issues while reflecting the views of their constituents.  Overall, I could not be more impressed with the professionalism of the team and their effort to include me in all parts of the process.  I am currently completing my BA in Political Science with a minor in Creative Writing at Trinity College. Afterwards, I would like to attend law school and work hard to improve the lives of my fellow Americans.  
- Dave Shultz, Trinity College

I learned about Sullivan & LeShane while interning at the Governor's Constituent Services Office. I was looking to gain more experience in Connecticut politics, having had seen our government from the perspective of the Executive Branch. Over the past four months, my perspective has grown with the knowledge of how many challenges our state and its residents face. It's easy to see Connecticut politics as stagnating, but I wouldn't agree. Our elected and appointed officials have shown both me and the state the ability to adapt to changing challenges, technologies, and constituencies. I hope to use my experiences with our government's administration, the legislative process, and being flexible to time constraints in a career in lobbying.
- Murtaza Zaidi, University of Connecticut

This semester sure has been exciting! Interning at Sullivan & LeShane as a way to finish up my college career has been a superb experience. I have learned so much about lobbying and different governmental processes. From bill tracking to keeping track of amendments, this has been an insightful and rewarding time. I would absolutely recommend this internship to a friend or another fellow UConn student. After my time at Sullivan & LeShane I look forward to landing a job in the financial industry in Boston unless my path takes me out of state as I have applied to jobs in Florida, Texas and North Carolina.
- Conor  Mayers, University of Connecticut

In This Issue:
The Real Scoop

With elections coming up in the fall, both parties are already making their campaigning voices heard on the local and national scale. 

During such a polarized time, how will the elections play out? Only time will tell, but gives an insightful look into projections on the national scale, and Connecticut in particular. 

Will the Democrats really eat into the GOP's continuing momentum of last few years? 

Read more  here.

CT Agency Corner   

CT Agency Corner - Cybersecurity Plan Unveiled by the State

by Mike Johnson

Governor Malloy revealed plans this week to have the state evaluate what the state, towns and private entities can do to prevent their information from being obtained through ransomware and other predatory hackers.
The 41-page plan rolled out this week calls on every agency to create its own plan consistent with the state's cyber-security strategy and the state plan including to pass a resolution establishing what the standards should be to prevent a system from being penetrated. Different stakeholders such as the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and others worked with the state on the plan, including working with a department within DAS that specifically charged the state with creating a cyber-security plan.
Arguably one of the most significant proposals in the plan calls for state agencies also should have a recovery plan including continuity of operations planning based on worst-assumption scenarios and rehearse recovery steps. The questions that lie ahead for the plan are what can the state invest to help their departments with recovery plans and who will oversee these case by case situations as hacks occur? Our office will be closely following this process moving forward and will include updates in this article.
Behind the Scenes

By Chelsea Neelon

This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with with Representative Rick Lopes,  of the 24th House District  to hear more about his time as a legislator and some thoughts on the 2018 legislative session. 

What are some of your legislative priorities for the session?
-  Equitable taxation and 15 dollars an hour minimum wage. My personal priorities are restoring the Medicaid funding and Care 4 Kids, and as always, education funding.

What is your favorite memory as a legislator?
-  There is a lot of them. I'd say my favorite memory was the passage of campaign finance reform.

What legislation are you most proud of getting passed?
- This ironically will confuse some people because I wasn't a legislator then, I was staff. But it was something I worked on long and hard and it is still a major victory to help root out corruption in elections.

What is your favorite late night session snack?
- Chili dogs!

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