Hartford, CT – Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington) has been named to a special bipartisan task force to consider legislation in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. As ranking member of the Human Services Committee, Markley will be part of the working group focused on mental health programs.
“I am honored and humbled to serve on this critical and challenging task force,” said Sen. Markley. “We can’t maintain a peaceful society unless we address the depraved state of mine–indifferent to human life–that led to the Sandy Hook. This is a problem far beyond any law to solve. Nonetheless, it is our duty as lawmakers to begin the conversation and to craft legislation this session that might help heal the pain in our society.”
Democratic and Republican legislative leaders joined this week to announce the creation of the special bipartisan task force. The group, formed in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, will conduct a review of current law and make recommendations on a range of potential legislation intended to prevent gun violence, enhance school security, and ensure the availability of mental health services in Connecticut.
“Legislative leaders in both parties decided to establish a structure to create legislation to address this unprecedented horror,” said Markley. “The alternative was to comb through hundreds of bills, with no underlying direction or coordination. This process too will have its challenges, but I am glad I will be a part of it, both to help address our social ills and to protect the interests of Connecticut citizens.”
The task force will provide recommendations to Senate and House leadership with the goal of producing a bipartisan emergency certified bill in late February.
The first full meeting of the task force was held on Friday, January 18th at 1:30 PM in Room 2E of the legislative office building in Hartford.
It was also announced that there will be a series of public hearings.
School safety on January 25 at 9:30 a.m. in room 2C at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford
Gun safety on January 28 at 10:00 a.m. in room 2C at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford
Mental health issues January 29 at 10:00 a.m. in room 2C at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford
A fourth public hearing will be held by the full task force at Newtown High School on January 30 at 6:00 p.m.
Sen. Markley represents the 16th district towns of Southington, Prospect, Waterbury, Wolcott and Cheshire.