Democratic and Republican lawmakers "reached an agreement to cooperatively manage the Connecticut State Senate over the next two years."
There are 18 Democratic senators and 18 Republican senators after the recent election. In this election, Republicans gained three seats. It was the first time that has happened in Connecticut since 1893.
State Sen. Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) will remain as the president pro tempore for the Connecticut State Senate while Len Fasano (R-North Haven) will serve as the Senate Republican president pro tempore. State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) will remain as the senate majority leader while state Sen. Kevin Witkos (R-Canton) will serve as the deputy senate Republican president pro tempore.
The two senate chairs "will have the right to split a committee, thereby allowing each chair an equal influence over Senate bills and agendas," according to lawmakers.
"Under the agreed upon rule changes, all budget and budget implementer bills presented through the emergency certification (e-cert) process will have to be released to the public at least 12 hours before the Senate takes up any such bills," Democrats and Republicans said in a joint statement on Thursday.
Looney said it is "critical" for Democrats and Republicans to "work together to reach a fair compromise to ensure that the Senate is able to conduct its business and move Connecticut forward,”
“With bipartisan power comes bipartisan responsibility and accountability. Today’s announcement would not have been possible without Senator Fasano’s leadership and commitment to working together throughout this process. I look forward to continuing our partnership when the legislative session convenes on January 4th," Looney said in a statement on Thursday.
Fasano said Thursday's agreement "sets a historic precedent for lawmakers to work together, no matter which party holds the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, and respect a relationship of equal power as decided by Connecticut voters."
“Senator Looney and I have known each other for many years and we have an enormous amount of respect for one another. I appreciate his leadership and partnership in putting together this agreement to ensure a smooth transition this coming legislative session. Our goal is to do what is in the best interest of our state, and that includes respecting those who voted for balance and an evenly split state Senate. We have become a chamber of equals, and now we have a plan to maintain that equality in all day to day legislative business," Fasano said in a statement on Thursday.
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