Testifying to the Judiciary Committee: March 9, 2018

Your voice counts!

THE ISSUE

A new Bill has been 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. The Judiciary Committee needs to hear what you think about this proposed legislation.

 

WHERE TO TESTIFY

The Judiciary Committee’s public hearing is on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 11:00 AM in Room 2E of the Legislative Office Building (LOB). The first hour of the hearing is usually reserved for Legislators, Constitutional Officers, State Agency Heads and Chief Elected Municipal Officials. The Public will likely begin testifying around 12:00 PM. There is usually a sign-up sheet if you intend to testify in person; email JPus if you would like us to put your name on the sign-up sheet.

 

HOW TO TESTIFY

You may submit your testimony in writing only, or you may testify in person by summarizing your written statement. In-person testimony is limited to three minutes.

Either way, send the written statement to the Judiciary Committee by email (judtestimony@cga.ct.gov) by Thursday evening at the latest; this will allow staff to distribute it to all committee members so they have the chance to read it prior to the hearing. Please also send a copy of your testimony to JPus at admin@JPus.org.

 

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 the related Bill that you are testifying about (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.

 

TO-DO CHECKLIST

  1. Write testimony; use our template for guidance, or call the JPus office at 203.255.7703.
  2. Email testimony to the Judiciary Committee by Thursday evening: judtestimony@cga.ct.gov
  3. Email testimony to JPus: admin@jpus.org. If you plan to testify in-person and would like JPus to put your name on the testifiers list then please request this as well, and include your cell phone number for text communication
  4. On Friday go to Room 2E of the Legislative Office Building, in Hartford. JPus’ Loretta Jay will be there and can be reached by text at 203.984.8736

 

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