How our state politicians voted

The Bulletin used The Connecticut Mirror’s 2016 “bill tracker” to see how our state senator and representatives  — Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26), Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) and Rep. Tom O’Dea (R-125) — voted on certain issues.

A bill that would require higher education institutions in Connecticut to incorporate “affirmative consent” — clear and vocal sexual consent — into their policy or policies regarding sexual encounters passed the House and the Senate but has not yet been signed into law.

Supporters of the bill say it can help to prevent sexual assault, while critics worry that it will lead to consensual encounters being wrongly classified as crimes. On this measure, Boucher voted yes, Lavielle voted yes, and O’Dea voted no.

An act concerning palliative marijuana for minors, which would allow children with uncontrolled seizures and other severe neurological conditions to have access to medical marijuana, has passed the House and the Senate.

People in favor of the act think medical marijuana will do more good than harm for the afflicted children, while naysayers argue the drug can retard childhood development and has not been sufficiently researched. Lavielle and O’Dea voted yes, while Boucher voted no.

Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration proposed a measure that would in Connecticut replace the international symbol used to designate access for disabled people with one that depicts “a dynamic character leaning forward with a sense of movement.”

Those aligned with the governor’s administration feel as though the current symbol — which depicts a motionless, sedentary stick figure in a wheelchair — gives the impression that disabled people aren’t active, while those who disagree say it’s internationally recognized and the symbol being proposed is insulting to people with disabilities that prevent them from moving. Lavielle voted yes, O’Dea yes, Boucher no.

Public Act No. 16-29, if Malloy signs off on it, would establish the Connecticut Retirement Security Program to “promote and enhance retirement savings for private employees in the state” who “do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan or payroll deduction individual retirement account.”

Supporters of the act think small business employees deserve retirement options, while critics call it an overreach of the state government. This, though it passed through both chambers, got “no” votes from Boucher, Lavielle and O’Dea.

On the other hand, legislation to close the Connecticut Juvenile Training School — the state-run juvenile hall — got all “yes” votes from Wilton’s representatives and senator.

This bill would also implement other reforms aimed at reducing the incarceration rates of children. It was voted through the House and the Senate, and is currently awaiting Malloy’s signature.

Those in favor of its passage feel that detaining youths is not helpful, while those opposed question how else these troubled teens will be reformed.