CCFOI Meeting Minutes – November 18, 2020

The meeting was by Zoom.

Present: Mike Savino, Kimberly Phillips DeBaise, Michele Jacklin, George Lombardi, Steve Nevas, Liz Gemski, Mitch Pearlman, Mary Connolly, Chris Powell, Matt Kauffman, Tom Scheffey, Jeff Daniels, Paula Pearlman, Gary Gold.

The minutes of the Oct. 21, 2020 meeting were accepted.

Treasurer’s report: Lombardi reported a balance of $7,838.35

New treasurer: Kimberly Phillips DeBaise has volunteered to be our new treasurer. Lombardi has retired but has continued to serve as treasurer as we searched for a new treasurer. She is the news editor at the Journal Inquirer of Manchester. A motion to elect Kimberly Phillips DeBaise as the treasurer of CCFOI was unanimously approved.

Legislative report: Gemski discussed the election results and the increased Democratic majority in the House and Senate. This adds to Gov. Ned Lamont’s power. Committee leadership is still being decided.

Denise Merrill: It was agreed to invite Merrill to a Zoom meeting at a CCFOI meeting to discuss her proposals on absentee voting and public access to voter information.

CCFOI 2021 legislative agenda: Gemski suggested limiting our agenda to three or four priorities. After discussion, it was agreed our top three agenda items will be advocating that public hearings be required on legislation that puts new limits on the FOI Act, union contracts not be exempt from FOI provisions, and the handling of new digital programs expected to be adopted as part of state consolidation and modernization. On defense, we will be watching proposals from the secretary of the state and the FOI budget.

Looking ahead: The next CCFOI meeting will be Dec. 16 at noon, via Zoom.