Legislators explain their roles at Chamber of Commerce breakfast

by Ed Harris

Most of Southington’s legislative delegation flushed out their roles in Hartford during a recent legislative breakfast event, hosted by the Southington Chamber of Commerce.
Only Republican state Rep. Al Adinolfi, who oversees a sliver of Southington ever since the redistricting in December 2011, was not in attendance.
Republican Rob Sampson, now in his second term, serves on the Appropriations, Real Estate and Insurance and Environmental Committees.
“You wouldn’t believe the amount of bills we get,” Sampson said.
Sampson briefly outlined some of the various bills before his three committees, including pesticides and oyster size in the Environmental Committee and the possible changing of auto insurance and the banning of private transfer fees.
Southington state Senator Joe Markley, a Republican serving in his third, non consecutive term, serves on the Appropriations, Program Review, Human Services and Labor Committees.
Markley called the Human Services Committee, which oversees social services in the state, the “most important and most expensive” commission in the state.
The state senator went on to refer to the Labor Committee as “divisive.” He said some of the issues to come before this committee in recent years included mandatory paid sick leave and the raising of the minimum wage.
“This tends to be issues that divide us on ideological grounds,” he said.
Democratic state Rep. Dave Zoni is a little more than three months into his first term.
“I’m the new guy,” Zoni joked, telling the breakfast attendees that he was relying on common sense as he familiarized himself with the various issues going on in Hartford.
Zoni serves on the Aging, Public Health and Finance Committees. Zoni said some of the bills before him include research for Lyme disease and strokes on public health and finding ways to finance the state, without levying new taxes, per Gov. Malloy’s request, with the Finance Committee.
“We’re sort of moving the deck chairs around, but the boat is not getting bigger,” Zoni said, in reference to the Finance Committee.
Fellow Southington state Rep. Joe Aresimowicz is the House Minority Leader and therefore does not sit on any committees.
“My job is unique,” Aresimowicz said.
Aresimowicz said he had to often put aside his own personal beliefs and instead go to bat with his colleagues and members of the Democratic caucus, which elected him as minority leader.
One large issue that Aresimowicz had a hand in was the recent debate on the new gun laws that were recently introduced.
“It was very difficult,” Aresimowicz said. “It was controversial.”
According to his website, Al Adinolfi, a Republican,  serves on the Judiciary, Veterans’ Affairs, Appropriations and Aging Committees.
There was a brief question and answer segment following the legislator’s remarks. The questions included healthcare issues, regulations, budget concerns and firearms.

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