Conn. State Reps. voted to reduce Capitol security

- FILE - Connecticut State Capitol (WTNH)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Believe it or not; on the final night of the General Assembly session last week; the overwhelming majority of State Representatives voted to reduce the security at the State Capitol Complex in Hartford.

Three years ago, airport type personal screening security was added to all public entrances of the State Capitol Complex.  It has been in place for decades at the State’s court houses.

But with just nine minutes left in the General Assembly Session last Wednesday night, the House voted 106 to 44 to remove it.

It was supported by nearly all of the Republicans and about half of the Democrats. With minutes left in the session, the bill was sent to the Senate where Democratic Leader Martin Looney decided not to put it on the agenda because there wasn’t enough time to discuss such an important issue.

“I talked to Senator Looney,” said Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven),  “we felt we should read it and talk to our caucus. We had less than ten minutes so we couldn’t move on the bill.”

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Democratic New Haven Senator Gary Winfield has been involved with many high profile controversial issues,  “I never advocated for the security that we have but I think it makes people feel safer.”

Here’s what House Republican leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) said when asked the next day about her about voting to remove the security.   “We don’t like them, Mark. We don’t think that they necessarily make the people in this building safer.”

The Governor, who has been threatened more than once,  has a full time security detail.  He said today the vote was a mistake,  “I think we need security, we live in a society where that’s highly appropriate so that was not ever my idea and not something I ascribe to.”

Klarides also said,  “A lot of people don’t like them, they don’t feel that they’re helping us and, you know, we go back to; it’s the people’s building.”  Winfield added,  “The reality is this; we walk outside that building, we live in neighborhoods, that information is available to the public and if people really want to get to us they they can get to us there.”

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Governor Malloy also said today that today’s shooting in Alexandria is another reason why “we need saner gun laws in America.”

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