In March 2018 a new Bill was raised in Connecticut, An Act Concerning Justices of the Peace Who May Serve as Marriage Officiants (SB 396), which would allow anyone to be a JP for a Day in the state.
Connecticut legislators need to hear from their constituents
WHAT JPus IS DOING
The Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on Friday, March 9, 2018 where JPus presented testimony opposing the legislation. We are also working with state Senators and Representatives, and talking with the Secretary of State’s Office, advocating to have the bill killed in committee.
HOW TO SUBMIT TESTIMONY
You may submit written testimony to the Judiciary Committee at email@example.com. We also recommend sending a copy to your own legislators. If you don’t know who they are, click here. Please also send a copy of your testimony to JPus at admin@JPus.org so we can keep track of our collective efforts.
COMPOSING YOUR TESTIMONY
When you begin, start by greeting the committee (Senator Doyle, Senator Kissel, Representative Tong and members of the Judiciary Committee), clearly state your name, your town and that you are opposed to SB 396.
State that you are a Justice of the Peace and a member of the Justice of the Peace Association.
Here is a template to help you present your message.
Your goal is to help members of the legislative body better understand what your experiences are. Think about the different points you may want to get across. You won’t be able to cover them all, so identify between one and three to help you focus your message. Think about how you could give Legislators a real understanding
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.
Following are some suggestions to help you formulate your message:
- What do you offer that makes hiring a professional JP important?
- JPs are standing in for the state when they perform their duties. Is the JP role more than someone just signing a form? How?
- Consider the CT JP Manual (pages 12-16) for the official duties. Does this bill diminish the importance of JP’s responsibilities that being a professional JPs provides?
- The state’s income from fees related to JP for a Day will be at the expense of JPs who derive their livelihood from their marriage officiant role, negating the state’s benefits.
When concluding your statement, please remember to say, “Please vote No on Raised Bill SB 396” and thank the committee for taking the time to listen to your experiences.
- Write testimony; use our template for guidance, or call the JPus office at 203.255.7703.
- Email testimony to the Judiciary Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org and send a copy to JPus: email@example.com.
- Contact your legislators and let them know that you are opposed to SB396. Help them understand why this is important to you.
JPus MEMBERS ONLY Join our closed Facebook group for ongoing discussion with other JPs about this important issue.
See JPus statement to the CGA Judiciary Committee here.