Connecticut residents convicted of certain crimes like sedition, rebellion, or insurrection would be largely shut out of the democratic process and barred from working within state and local government under a new bill proposed by Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff.
Duff, a Democrat from Norwalk, has proposed legislation to the Government Administration and Elections Committee that would have people convicted of insurrection-related felonies forfeit their electoral rights as well as prohibit them from holding office or employment in state and local government.
In an interview on Monday, Duff said the bill was a response to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“I think it’s important for us to send the message that anybody who’s convicted of some of the most important crimes in our country — they do not have the ability to be a part of our government,” Duff said. “These are people who tried to take down our government, tried to basically put in a dictator. They are election deniers. They use fake electors and we have to send a very strong message about that.”
Duff said the legislation was an attempt to keep people guilty of sedition far away from the levers of power in government.
The bill is a new concept for the Connecticut legislature and one which Duff said he did not see as running counter to recent efforts by members of his party to remove barriers to restoring the electoral rights of formerly incarcerated people.
It was unclear Monday how much support the policy would have among other state lawmakers. It will not find support, however, from House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford. In a Monday afternoon interview, Candelora called the bill “reprehensible” and a policy targeted to “blatantly aggravate and annoy a group of individuals who happen to be Republican.”
“This goes against everything that [Duff’s] caucus leadership has been pursuing over the last 10 years – some legislation which I even supported because I think anybody that commits a crime shouldn’t become unemployable for the rest of their lives,” Candelora said. “Apparently Senator Duff thinks it’s acceptable for certain types of crimes.”