Members Testify in an Array of Public Hearings
Moving Stories Punctuate Hours of Virtual Hearings in 2021 General Session
With public hearings in full swing, our CSEA members have been busy drafting testimony and learning the ropes of this new virtual world. Below, please read a few excerpts from some of our member’s most effective, moving pieces of testimony.
Kevin O’Meara, Corrections Officer, testifying in support of Senate Bill 666: An Act Concerning Workers’ Compensation Benefits For Certain Mental Or Emotional Impairments And Mental Health Care For Correctional Staff, Emergency Medical Staff And Dispatchers:
“This is just one disgusting example of countless incidents where I have absolutely ZERO control. I am a broken man. I am NOT the same human being that I once was 15 long years ago. I can’t quite remember myself to be honest but I know for sure I am forever changed.
I have submitted and been denied a Worker’s compensation claim for PTSI. I remained out of work until my forced return on January 6th, 2021 because I simply hadn’t received a paycheck for several months and could not afford to go into any further debt. Very sad as I was completely debt free prior to this incident in accordance with one of life goals to be debt free by the time I retire. I now have to start over. It is currently, as we speak in appeals, seemingly in vein as I and my fellow brothers and sisters in blue remain the “forgotten cops” as we are inevitably out of sight, and out of mind, yet have ALL raised our right hands while swearing the same oath to protect and serve the residents of the State of Connecticut. I absolutely and respectfully urge you to include myself and my Correctional brothers and sisters in blue in the PTSI bill. I urge you to look at this not as a further financial burden to the state, but to hold onto and not lose sight of the human element.”
Patrice Peterson, Council 400 Chapter President testifying in support of House Joint Resolution 58: Resolution Proposing an Amendment to the State Constitution to Permit No-Excuse Absentee Voting and House Joint Resolution 59: Resolution Proposing an Amendment to the State Constitution to Permit Early Voting:
“As a Registrar of Voters, I had the experience of seeing the full impact of No-Excuse Absentee Voting in last year’s primary and general election. In my hometown, West Hartford, we had almost 50% of total electors vote absentee. That translates to over 19,000 people who cast their vote by absentee ballot. West Hartford had over an 87 % turnout rate. We heard from thousands of citizens who talked about safety at the polls, that being able to vote absentee gave them a chance to study a ballot to make better informed decisions, that due to the severe limitations of voting on one day during certain hours had prevented those with multiple jobs, overtime work shifts and work schedules from voting in the past, that long lines had prevented many with time constraints or physical challenges from voting in the past. It is clear that so many who may have been frustrated by the voting limits in the past were anxious to avail themselves of absentee voting as was allowed last year. I heard directly of the importance of expanding voting opportunities to so many citizens.
It is past time to recognize the needs of the citizens of Connecticut and expand voting to include both early voting and no excuse absentee voting.
Especially on behalf of the retired and older voters I ask for you to support both House Joint Resolution 58 and 59. Do not continue to limit our ability to cast a ballot just due to being the land of steady habits.”