HARTFORD, CT — Four Senate leaders gathered Tuesday to adopt the rules for a special session.
The House is expected to convene Thursday at 11 a.m. for a special session and the Senate will convene Tuesday, July 28 at 10:30 a.m.
Because of COVID-19 the two chambers will have to vote days apart from each other. The last time lawmakers were altogether in the building was on March 11.
Since that time they’ve held public hearings remotely on the four bills they plan to tackle when they reconvene.
The House will deploy a new voting technology that will allow them to vote from the safety of their offices in the Legislative Office Building. However, if they want to ask a question or debate the bill they will need to go to the floor of the House.
In the Senate the four leaders will be in the chamber with a limited number of staff and whatever lawmaker is looking to ask questions or debate the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff explained that they will wipe down the chairs and the microphones between speakers.
“You’ll notice that the nameplates are all gone except for the four leaders,” Duff said. “It’s all done so it’s socially distant and it’s safe.”
He said people will still have the opportunity to come in and ask questions.
He said that may make debate a little longer than it would be, but “we want to make sure we keep people safe and still respect the process.”
Lawmakers won’t be able to use their typical caucus rooms because they’re too small. Lawmakers will have to find ways to stay socially distant from each other in the building.
In order to vote, lawmakers will have to be in the building.
Lawmakers plans to tackle four issues, including police accountability, absentee ballots, telehealth services and an insulin cap.
The most controversial issue is part of the police accountability legislation that would allow the public to file lawsuits against officers in civil court.