Rep. O’Neill Proposes Legislation to Eliminate Political Party Convention Requirements

Posted on March 22, 2019 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) announced that this coming Monday, March 25, the legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee (GAE) will hold a public hearing on a proposal to eliminate the requirement for political parties to hold nominating conventions.

HB 5041- An Act Concerning Major Party Conventions – would eliminate the requirement for political parties to hold state or district conventions, as applicable, for the purpose of choosing a candidate for nomination to any state or district office. The bill would not prohibit political parties from holding a convention if they chose to do so provided they conformed with applicable law and do not choose more than one candidate for nomination to any office.                                                                                                                              

“The integrity of our elections remains of absolute importance to the people of Connecticut and this legislation would allow a more equitable process for every candidate, regardless of political party,” Rep. O’Neill said. “The current system of holding nominating conventions can be a limiting factor for candidates who may not be directly connected to one specific party or group within a party. This bill has the potential to truly level the playing field and bring substantially more people into local and state service.”

While Representative O’Neill proposed the original legislation, it was not scheduled for a public hearing until he petitioned his legislative colleagues, gathered signatures and forced the committee to hold a hearing. Because Rep. O’Neill had to take the unusual route of petitioning for a hearing, the proposal needed to be announced as a committee bill.

The bill would also amend state law to allow election by direct primary in certain circumstances, including if a legislator dies while in office or if a vacancy appears between the one hundred twenty-fifth day and the sixty-third day before the day of a regular state or municipal election in November of any year.

Monday’s hearing will be held in room 2A of the Legislative Office Building located at 300 Capitol Avenue in Hartford.

If you would like to testify:  Sign-ups for the public hearing will be from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the First Floor Atrium of Legislative Office Building (LOB). Please submit 25 copies of written testimony to the Committee staff; testimony received after the designated time may not be distributed until after the hearing. Please email written testimony in PDF format to GAEtestimony@cga.ct.gov. The Committee requests that testimony be limited to matters related to the items on the Agenda. The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Public Officials. Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony. All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information. As such, it will be made available on the CGA website and indexed by internet search engines.