HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - After hours of heated debate, the state Senate passed a controversial police reform bill early Wednesday morning.

Even after the debate ended and the bill was passed, senators on both sides of the aisle continued to disagree about how the legislation would impact police in our state.

Supporters said it will help the state get rid of bad cops.

"Once people look at the bill, I don’t think there is really anything that is that threatening in the content except to officers who are bad officers," said Senate majority leader Martin Looney.

Gov. Ned Lamont has said in the past that he supports the legislation.

Critics, however, said it will only put a target on the back of all police officers.

"You’re going to see police not be proactive, but reactive," said Sen. Len Fasano, minority leader. "In other words, if they see something that they think may be an issue, they are going to be reluctant to intercede, because they are going to get sued."

The bill would make it easier for citizens to sue individual officers in state court, but they would only be held financially liable if they knowingly broke the law. Though, the burden can be shifted to individual towns and cities.

While the bill doesn’t get rid of qualified immunity, it creates a more stringent review process, and decertifies rogue officers.

Supporters say it sets up a process, and those officers who are found guilty will be financially liable.

Many police officers said that the bill would make their jobs even more difficult. They also said it's making good cops want to leave the profession.

“We believe in transparency. We also believe in protecting police officers and their right and right to due process, and if people make unsubstantiated complaints, we don’t feel they should be put out into the public," said State Police Union President and Trooper John Castiline.

The state House of Representatives passed the measure last week.

RELATED: Lawmakers pass police accountability bill that includes removal of qualified immunity

The bill passed along party lines, with only one Democrat voting no.

Tuesday, the Senate did pass three other bills including:

  • Expanded use of absentee ballots for Nov. 3
  • Expanded telemedicine opportunities
  • Cap on insulin
  • Caps cost at $25 month
  • $25 for non insulin drugs per month
  • $100 for supplies per month

On Wednesday, Gov. Lamont said he was preparing to start signing the bills as early as Thursday.

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(8) comments

dbald8

Once again our state Democrat politicians are caving into the Radical Liberal Democrats in Washington. They want restrictions and accountability from the police who are protecting the citizens of this country but when will we have auditors, independent committees who will investigate shady deals that are made in secret, accountability and transparency of our politicians? Let's see if the politicians can withstand the scrutiny that they want the police to be under. And lets pass a bill where politicians can be sued by citizens too. It's time to make things equal.

subslag

Liberals getting exactly what they want. Chaos in the streets and count the same vote 2 or three times... Wake up CT, you're looking like CA...

Brian C. Duffy

"..count the same vote 2 or three times..."

Can you back up that statement or did you just pull it out of your 'back'side, Jeffrey?

Brian Duffy ~~ Tariffville, CT

JF71

Why is there a clause to shift the payment burden on to towns? Clearly this is an out to keep the police unions happy and voting Democrat. Can't really call it police accountability when the municipality and therefore the local taxpayer is getting stuck with the bill in the end.

CTYankee

Laws don't stop bad people from becoming law enforcement officers. Just like laws don't stop criminals from owning guns.

Lamont forms a "task force/committee" every other day or hires an out of state consulting firm to provide direction. It takes them years to provide answers. How much research was done and by whom to give the legislators the proper information to make an informed decision? Or was this a knee jerk reaction?

Dan7543

So, is Len saying police are going to see people speeding through a school zone at 50 mph and they are going to do nothing?

Mommaof3

Yes, that is exqctly whats goimg to happen, after the police strike that is. I know this bc I am married to a cop, they are going to go on strike. Good luck to everyone bc its going to be bedlum. So those of you out there foolish enough to think this bill is a good idea, let this sink in- when the cops refuse to work under these conditions-who are you going to call when all the hoodlums, gangbangers, and sociopaths come to your home bc theres no one there to stop them? Good luck. I hope the good ppl of Ct have some way to protect themselves, bc you will need it. Imagine, a real life Purge scenario, and this is happening.

Brian C. Duffy

Did you forget the meds this morning, Karen?

Brian Duffy ~~ Tariffville, CT

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