While looked certain last month that legislative leaders would restore the transcription of public hearings there has been no definitive action taken on the matter.
Despite the start of the legislative session last week, legislative leaders said Tuesday that they have not taken any actions on the recommendations of the task force charged with looking at the $626,000 reduction in printing costs.
House Speaker Chris Donovan said it’s the legislature’s intention to restore the transcription of public hearings, but that it just hasn’t happened yet.
Since it hasn’t happened Legislative Management says it has no power to restore them without direction from the four legislative leaders.
“It really is a question of finding those funds,” Sen. Donald Williams said Tuesday after the Joint Committee on Legislative Management meeting.
He said since all the public hearings are still recorded on cassette they can all be transcribed at a later date.
But there may also be some legal haggling going on.
Donovan admitted there’s still some dispute over whether the Office of Fiscal Analysis budget language dictates where the cuts should be made or whether it’s the budget document itself, which doesn’t include any language about where the printing reductions should be made.
House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero said he wasn’t blaming anyone, but wanted to know why bound copies of last years statutes showed up at his office this week.
He said it’s a shame that it’s too late to do anything about them now.
Rep. Bob Godfrey, D-Danbury, said there’s a statute that says all lawmakers must receive a copy of the statutes.
Rep. Emil ‘Buddy’ Altobello, D-Meriden, said he opted out from receiving the statutes two years ago. He said it’s easier for him to read them online with the annotations.
Williams said the point was well taken and every bit of money saved will go a long way.
Meanwhile both the House and the Senate amended the rules on opening day to allow for a “sufficient” number of file copies of bills to be printed and allow for all emergency certified bills, which are usually hundreds of pages long, to be filed electronically.