CTCDD: Policy Meeting 1-11-11

Policy Meeting 1-11-11


Draft             Unadopted Subject to Change                       Draft






185 Main Street

New Britain, CT




PRESENT:  Frank Reed; Jennifer Lortie, Vice Chair; Monica Smyth; Guy Sullivan;  Bill Knight, Chair; Maryann Lombardi; and Gabriela Freyre-Calish; Steve Belske; Larry Carlson


ABSENT:   Al Piehl; Patricia Tyler; Fred Frank; Leslie Prior; and Hayley Kelley


STAFF:  Mary-Ann Langton and Margaret Cohan.


GUESTS:  Patricia Carrin, MSW Intern, Smith College, Dawn, personal assistant to Ms. Lortie, and MSW Intern Kaitlyn Blicharz from UCEDD


Mr. Knight called the Legislation, Policy and Planning Committee meeting to order on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 9:50 a.m.  A quorum was not present initially so informal discussion took place until more committee members arrived.


A quorum was present at 10:00AM. Committee now has a quorum.


Ms. Smyth made a motion to approve the minutes from November 9, 2010. Ms. Lortie seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Knight asked for a motion to amend the agenda to add three items to the agenda, discuss these items first as well as move to discuss the quorom requirements of the LPP Committee as item 4.

1.     Rapid Response Team

2.     Accessible Taxi’s and Expedited Hearing at DOT.

3.     Response to Consolidation of State Agencies.

4.     Quorum requirements.


Ms. Smyth made a motion to approve amend the agenda to add three items, move those items first on the agenda and also move agenda item on quorum as  a fourth item. Ms. Lombardi seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Knight asked committee members to consider forming a Rapid Response Team to be able to respond quickly to legislative issues. After a lengthy discussion the committee proposed  to ask the Council to approve the following: When and where legislators provide an unusually small window (seventy-two (72) hours or less) notification of the opportunity to testify regarding issues of import to the CT CDD, the following would occur:


a.     Notification: An email (or suitable contact method ensuring immediate delivery of notice) would be sent to all members of the LPP notifying them of the impending issue and a conference call by the Chair, Vice-Chair, Margaret Cohan or her designee.

b.     Testimony and Research: Concurrently or hopefully well in advance, CT CDD staff would assemble the Council’s testimony, rationale for position and any pertinent factual research to enable members of the LPP to arrive at a reasoned and suitable decision.

c.      Availability: That background information, legislation, research and proposed testimony would all be made available via email attachments prior to the conference call to all LPP members.  That conference call would be hosted by one or all of the following: the LPP Chair, LPP Vice-Chair, Ms. Cohan or Council Staff.

d.     Speed vs. Participation: In order to balance the need for speed and the need for input, all reasonable efforts will be made to provide a sufficient amount of time between notification and the actual conference call.  It is anticipated that could be as short as eight (8) hours notice.

e.      Decision-making:  

                                                          i.      A majority of those LPP members participating on the conference call or those LPP members who vote by email would determine whether to have the Council appear before the GA and submit testimony. 

                                                         ii.      A quorum of the LPP is unnecessary.

                                                         iii.      A simple majority of the LPP Members would vote either by voice or email. Ms. Cohan will tally the email and voice votes and forward to the Chair and Vice-Chair.

                                                        iv.      Only “Yes” or “No” votes count in the tally. 

                                                        v.      “Abstain” is counted as a non-vote. 

                                                        vi.      In the case of a positive majority, the testimony would go forward in the form as determined by the conference call members made up solely LPP members.

                                                        vii.      In the case of a draw or “no” majority, the testimony would not go forward.


Mr. Reed made a motion to ask the Council to allow the LPP committee to form a Rapid Response Team and forgo Roberts’ Rules when necessary to act quickly.  Ms. Smyth seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Knight asked for comments about the upcoming hearing at DOT regarding taxis with wheelchair access and the LPP committee’s position. At the last LPP committee meeting Mr. Scalzi of Metro Taxi was a guest and answered questions about the cabs.


Mr. Reed had concerns if portal to portal service would be available and wanted to know if taxi drivers would be indemnified? No one knew the answer. Ms. Cohan explained taxi service is very limited in Connecticut to persons who use wheelchairs and this would be another option available on the continuum of transportation available to persons with disabilities.


Ms. Smyth made a motion to support the Accessible Taxi initiative with Metro Taxi and Yellow Cab. Ms. Lombardi seconded.. The motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Knight asked for discussion on the rumored consolidation of DMHAS and DDS and if the committee wanted to take a position. Mr. Reed said he would like to know how this would impact persons with disabilities before any decision made by the committee.


Ms. Smyth made a motion to table the discussion on consolidation of DDS and DMHAS until more information is gathered. Mr. Reed seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Knight stated he wanted to discuss with committee members the importance of having a quorum at each meeting. Ms. Cohan asked if the committee had an opinion if meeting at another time instead of just prior to full Council meeting  would work. Ms. Lortie was concerned about transportation to another meeting. Mr. Knight asked the committee to think about not meeting before the full Council meeting because always pressed for time. No decision was made on when or where to have the next meeting.


Mr. Reed made a motion to adjourn at 10:55 AM. Ms. Lombardi Seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


Respectfully submitted,

Margaret Cohan

Disability Policy Specialist

CT Council on Developmental Disabilities

Content Last Modified on 1/19/2011 8:27:03 PM