We are please to announce that the 41st Annual Connecticut Lobbying Conference will be held in-person on October 6th, 2022 at the Lyceum in Hartford, Connecticut.

We'll be announcing the slate of sessions and panelists soon so mark your calendars.


The 40th Annual
Connecticut Lobbying Conference
is going virtual again!


Workshops are taking place during the week of October 25th to the 29th with morning and afternoon sessions.  


We are offering three options:

1) Lobbying Foundations: 

This set of workshops, taken together, offer a strong foundation for anyone new to lobbying, yet still offers skills to people who have knowledge of the process but want to advance their understanding. Learn from legislators and practitioners in the field about best practices and pitfalls to avoid as you make your case.

2) Advanced Advocacy Skill Building:

This set of workshops builds on existing skills and provides a deeper exploration of the internal and external roles and responsibilities of legislators and staff. These workshops will cover some of the boundaries and opportunities in the policy making process. 

3) 360 Package – All Workshops:

Can’t make up your mind?  This option provides the attendees with access to ALL of the workshops. 

Schedule Mon 10/25 Tue 10/26 Wed 10/27 Thu 10/28 Fri 10/29
10:00 – 11:00

Panel – Effective Lobbying 

*10:00 – 11:30**

All attendees

Legislative Process 101  What’s in Your Digital Toolbox Testifying At Public Hearings  Effective Grassroots 
2:00 – 3:00 

Just the Facts

Fact Sheet Workshop

**All Attendees 

Working with Legislative Staff Working with the Executive Branch Lobbying the State Budget Final Days and Hours


Below is the program information with our current presenter and panelist information. 




All Workshops: October 25th-29th, 2021


Monday, October 25, 2021


SEN. MARTIN LOONEY: Senate President Pro Tempore, CT State Senate
REP. MATT RITTER: Speaker of the House, CT House of Representatives
SEN. CATHERINE OSTEN: Chair, Appropriations Committee, CT State Senate
SEN. PAUL FORMICA: Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore, CT State Senate
REP. VINCENT CANDELORA: Minority Leader, CT House of Representatives
REP. GREG HOWARD: Member, CT House of Representatives
REP. KATE FARRAR: Member, CT House of Representatives

Moderator: KATE ROBINSON: Principal and Lobbyist, Gallo & Robinson

2021’s 'long session’ is behind us and the 2022 ‘short session’ is on the horizon. Whether a virtual or in-person session, many old challenges and issues persist. What is the best way to move your agenda forward? How do you get a legislator to champion your cause? Featuring leaders from both parties in both chambers, as well as new and up-and-coming lawmakers, this bipartisan panel of legislators will give you honest advice from their varied perspectives.

2:00 - 3:00PM JUST THE FACTSBoth Packages

MADELINE GRANATO: Policy Director, CT Women’s Education and Legal Fund
SEN. JULIE KUSHNER: Chair, Labor and Public Employees Committee, CT State Senate
REP. HOLLY CHEESEMAN: Ranking Member, Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, CT House of Representatives
SUSAN HAIGH: Statehouse and Political Reporter, Associated Press

You drafted the policy. You understand the impacts of what you are proposing. You prepped for your conversations with elected officials and members of the press. What will you share with them to refresh their memory of the conversation? What can a legislator refer to during a floor speech? How do reporters/editors decide what is newsworthy? What essential information should be included in your press advisory? These panelists will provide you with tips to make your fact sheets and press advisories more effective.



Tuesday, October 26, 2021

10:00 - 11:00AM LEGISLATIVE PROCESS 101Lobbying Foundations

JEFF CURREY: Deputy Majority Leader, CT House of Representatives
JOE GRABARZ: Lobbyist, Gallo & Robinson

This workshop, designed for first time lobbyists, will cover the legislative process from introduction of bills to passage in the House and Senate. Learn about the differences between ‘long’ and ‘short’ sessions, committee and screening processes at the caucus level, and the work that happens behind the scenes, so you can make sure your bill gets to a vote in committee and on the floor.

2:00 - 3:00PM WORKING WITH LEGISLATIVE STAFFAdvanced Advocacy Skill Building

SUSAN KEANE: Appropriations Committee Administrator, CT General Assembly
FRANKLIN PERRY: Chief of Staff, House Democratic Caucus, CT House of Representatives
JAMES IACOBELLIS: Senior VP of Government and Regulatory Affairs, CT Hospital Association

Lobbyists, legislators, and staff work closely alongside each other. Legislators often have both partisan and non-partisan staff with them in meetings. It is important to understand the roles of those staff members, so you can work more effectively. This panel includes an experienced non-partisan staff, current caucus staff member, and a former caucus staffer turned lobbyist. They will tell you how each of the committees and nonpartisan offices work from the inside out, and the outside in. They will explain the roles of each of the different staff offices and caucuses, and how to work effectively with them.



Wednesday, October 27, 2021

10:00 - 11:00AM WHAT’S IN YOUR DIGITAL TOOLBOXLobbying Foundations

KIM SKONIECZNY, ITS Training Coordinator, Information Technology Services, CT General Assembly
LISA BRUNO: Consultant, Comprehensive Legislative Services
BRIAN DAWSON: Lobbyist, Gallo & Robinson

Learn how to track bills, find bill histories, committee membership, legislator contact information, testimony, proposed substitute language, amendments, and tally sheets. The panelists will cover how to find the fiscal notes, OLR reports, file copies, and of course, what all of that means! You will also find out about resources available to the public, and to lobbyists, provided by the Association of Connecticut Lobbyists, and others.

2:00 - 3:00PM WORKING WITH THE EXECUTIVE BRANCHAdvanced Advocacy Skill Building

MICHAEL JOHNSON: Vice President of Government Affairs, Sullivan & LeShane, Inc.
VINCENT RUSSO: Legislative Liaison, Department of Children and Families
ELEANOR MICHAEL: Policy and Legislative Advisor, Department of Administrative Services

Few policies can be implemented without the Executive Branch. State agency budget/legislative requests, regulations, contracts, or policies are likely to have a greater impact on your organization than legislation. Yet, the state agency decision-making process can be harder to influence than the legislature. Learn from these panelists about the role of Legislative Liaisons, Chiefs of Staff, Commissioners, and how to lobby state agencies.



Thursday, October 28, 2021

10:00 - 11:00AM TESTIFYING AT PUBLIC HEARINGSLobbying Foundations

SEN. MATTHEW LESSER: Chair, Insurance and Real Estate Committee, CT State Senate
REP. QUENTIN "Q" PHIPPS: Chair, Aging Committee, CT House of Representatives
ANNA DOROGHAZI: Associate State Director, AARP Connecticut

Now that your bill has been raised for a public hearing, what should you do? How important are public hearings? How can you maximize the effectiveness of this process? Should the lobbyist or the client testify? How many people should testify? Should they deliver live or written testimony? An experienced lobbyist and two committee chairs will give you the inside and outside perspective of what works best and why.

2:00 - 3:00PM LOBBYING THE STATE BUDGETAdvanced Advocacy Skill Building

REP. CATHERINE ABERCROMBIE: Chair, Human Services Committee, CT House of Representatives
REP. JAY CASE: Ranking Member, Human Services Committee, CT House of Representatives
KATE ROBINSON: Principal and Lobbyist, Gallo & Robinson

The state budget process is complicated and navigating it can be a challenge. How to handle a fiscal note, build consensus on budget items, and have your priorities heard? Is there any room for a new allocation in this challenging budget environment? These panelists will explain the state budget process, including state agency proposals, the Governor’s budget proposal, the Appropriations Committee public hearings, subcommittees and beyond.



Friday, October 29, 2021


SEN. GARY WINFIELD: Chair, Judiciary Committee, CT State Senate
CLAUDINE FOX: Public Policy and Advocacy Director, ACLU CT
TERRA VOLPE: Director of Community Outreach, CT Against Gun Violence
GRETCHEN RAFFA: Senior Director- Public Policy, Advocacy, and Organizing, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England
DIEDRE MURCH: Lead Organizer/Elected Organizer, Home Care, State Employees Independent Union, District 1199

How do you identify those individuals and organizations that can help you win passage of your bill? How do you build your network and help your members communicate effectively with legislators? This workshop will cover how to organize those individuals and organizations to help keep your issues before the legislature. This workshop will feature a recent case history of a lobbying campaign around a challenging, multi-year issue that was successful, and an honest assessment of why this campaign worked.

2:00 - 3:00PM FINAL DAYS AND HOURS - Advanced Advocacy Skill Building

REP. JASON ROJAS: Majority Leader, CT House of Representatives
SEN. WILL HASKELL: Chair, Transportation Committee, CT State Senate
REP. LEZLYE ZUPKUS: Deputy Republican Leader, CT House of Representatives
BILL WELZ: Lobbyist, Gallo & Robinson

In the last days of the legislative session, every second counts. If your bill has made it through one chamber, what is the best advice to getting the bill called in the other chamber as the clock keeps ticking? Will it be a “talker”? Is it a “consent-able” item? What gets a bill moving? What if the bill has been passed temporarily? These seasoned leaders and a lobbyist who worked in a Governor’s office will help you plan your arguments and tactics to draw on during the final days and hours of the session.



If you missed this year's Lobbying Conference and would like to be added to our mailing list for next year's Conference please use our Contact Us form to let us know.