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Republican: Too many senators on panel, making toll votes invalid

HARTFORD — A top Republican in the Connecticut House of Representatives says there are too many senators on the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee, making the panel’s votes this session invalid.

The Transportation Committee voted to advance three bills concerning tolls last week.

Deputy Republican Leader Vincent Candelora of North Branford said Tuesday he noticed last week that 10 senators were voting on bills, including legislation implementing highway tolls. In a letter to Democratic leaders, Candelora notes how Senate rules limit each committee to having no more than nine senators.

Democratic Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney disagrees, noting there were 10 senators on the Transportation Committee in the 2017 to 2018 session. He says Senate Democrats have spoken with Senate Republicans and “we believe the issue is moot.” He says the transportation committee’s work stands.

Sen. Looney’s full statement reads:

“Ten state senators serve on the Transportation Committee in the 2019-2020 legislative term. Ten state senators served on the Transportation Committee in the 2017-2018 legislative term. Furthermore, section 15.1 of Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure states that objections in the same vein as Rep. Candelora’s do not impair the validity of a statute. The work of the Transportation Committee stands. We have spoken with the Senate Republicans and we believe the issue is moot.”

Connecticut’s legislative committees include both House and Senate members.

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