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Rep. Staneski, Domestic Violence Advocates Call for Change in CT Domestic Violence Laws

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HARTFORD- Today State Rep. Pam Staneski (Milford & Orange) joined a bi-partisan group of legislators and the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) calling on Connecticut to change its existing intimate partner violence dual arrest law to a add a ‘dominant aggressive’ provision. Current statistics show that CT has a 20% dual arrest (aggressor and victim arrested) rate. The intent of the mandatory arrest policy was to remove discretion at the incident scene.  However, it came with unintended consequences—victims being arrested too!

State Reps. Brian Ohler (R-North Canaan), William Petit (R-Plainville), Pam Staneski (R-Milford), Gary Byron (R-Newington) and Sen. John Kissel (R-Enfield) stand in solidarity with the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence on changing the duel arrest domestic violence laws.

A dual arrest occurs when both parties are arrested for a family violence offense after police intervention and investigation. Connecticut’s dual arrest rate is double national rates.  Victims of domestic violence have experienced first-hand the unintended consequences of dual arrest when they make the call to have police intervene—small children who just witnessed a parent being abused are traumatized when both parents are carted away in police cars, public reporting of the arrest result in ‘quiet’ gossip among neighbors, and many feeling victimized all over again. 

Rep. Staneski said, “I certainly understand the concern expressed by some of our police officers around the liability that can come when an arrest is not made, especially when our statutory language dictates an arrest in response to an incident of family violence.  These are emotionally charged situations; however, asking the state to allow police officers some discretion in handling the incident by adding a ‘dominant aggressive’ provision will help reduce the harmful impact on victims and their families.” 

The proposal that the group supports is before the Judiciary Committee and call for changing Connecticut’s family violence arrest law to clarify that, when receiving complaints from two or more opposing parties, law enforcement must determine which party is the dominant aggressor. Such laws exists in 27 other states and guide law enforcement in determining which party is the most significant aggressor or poses the most serious ongoing threat.

 

 

 

Rep. Staneski Stands with Animal Advocates

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HARTFORD- State Rep. Pam Staneski (Milford & Orange) joined her fellow members of the Animal Welfare Caucus and the Connecticut Humane Society and announced their legislative priorities for the 2018 session.

Some of the proposals the Animal Welfare Caucus endorsed are:

• A bill requiring adequate shelter for animals in extreme weather
• A bill prohibiting the use of Accelerated Rehabilitation in cases of felony animal cruelty
• A bill to indemnify those who rescue animals locked in hot or freezing cars
• A bill specifying that bestiality be considered a felony crime

“Although the focus of the session will be on fixing the state budget, the committees of cognizance will be taking up these animal welfare proposals. I, along with the other animal advocates believe these are serious state issues, as many who abuse animals move onto violent crimes against humans,” said Rep. Staneski, who is the proud and loving own of two dachshunds.

Rep. Pam Staneski: Time to Make DMV Work for Us

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HARTFORD- To address the long wait times and inefficiencies at the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and to better serve state constituents, State Rep. Pam Staneski (Milford & Orange) has proposed a bill this legislative session to privatize some of the services done by the state agency.

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The proposal has been referred to the legislature’s Transportation committee for further consideration and possible public hearing.

“Today I join many of my colleagues and my constituents, who for years, have asked for the legislature to move toward privatizing the Department of Motor Vehicles. We cannot continue to accept 4-hour wait times to do simple tasks like renew a license or register a car,” said Rep. Staneski. “I owe it to my constituents to make sure state government works for them.”

“A 4-hour average wait time to do business with DMV has an economic impact, and just irks people. Let’s fix it, it won’t be easy, but it can be done,” said Rep. Staneski.

The DMV is still struggling to recover from problems that plagued it a few years ago, eroding public confidence in the agency to properly do its job. The department was unable to absorb the tens of thousands of new applicants for drive-only licenses once the legislature had approved a measure for undocumented immigrants to be eligible for them.  This resulted in hours-long waits in lines at all DMV offices across the state, despite many services being available online.

Soon after that, all DMV offices across the state closed for over a week to upgrade their computer software, only to roll out a system full of bugs. This resulted in numerous state residents’ motor vehicle registrations being suspended for non-insurance, when in fact they were properly insured.  It also caused several motorists to be ticketed and have their vehicles towed when they were actually in compliance with the law.

Rep. Staneski said, “It is abysmal that even after a full computer system done in 2015, with a sole purpose of improving efficiency and shortening wait times, that we see NO CHANGE—the DMV struggles to serve the very people whom they should be accountable to—the taxpayer.  This is the 21st century—technology has come a long way, so why have we not seen movement within the DMV?”