Thank you for your interest in the 41st Annual Connecticut Lobbying Conference.


The Conference was held in-person this year on October 6th.
Read on to learn more about the sessions and speakers from the Conference.


If you would like to be added to our mailing list for next years conference please let us know.


The 41st Annual
Connecticut Lobbying Conference
Thursday, October 6th, 2022

The Lyceum
227 Lawrence Street
Hartford, CT 06106





  • SEN. MARTIN LOONEY: Senate President Pro Tempore, CT State Senate
  • REP. MATT RITTER: Speaker of the House, CT House of Representatives
  • REP. VINCENT CANDELORA: Minority Leader, CT House of Representatives
  • SEN. CATHERINE OSTEN: Chair, Appropriations Committee, CT State Senate
  • REP. GERALDO REYES, JR.: Chair, Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, Member, CT House of Representatives
  • REP. COREY PARIS: Member, CT House of Representatives
  • REP. TAMMY NUCCIO: Member, CT House of Representatives

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

The 2023 session will be a "long" session.  Elections will be fresh on the minds of the incoming "class" of 2023. Returning legislators may be in new positions, and the "freshmen" will be looking to make their mark.  Legislators will want to make good on campaign promises and will be introducing new ideas. They will also be wrestling with long standing challenges, starting with the budget. But, with challenges come opportunities.  What’s the best way to move your agenda forward?  How do you get a legislator to champion your cause?  This bipartisan panel of legislators will give you honest advice from their varied perspectives.


*These workshops are designed for new lobbyists and advocates.

SESSION I -- 10:35am - 11:35am


REP. BOB GODFREY: Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore, CT House of Representatives
JOE GRABARZ: Lobbyist, Gallo & Robinson, LLC

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.


SUSAN KEANE: Appropriations Committee Administrator, CT General Assembly
FRANKLIN PERRY: Chief of Staff, House Democratic Caucus, CT House of Representatives
JENNIFER SKEHAN: Chief of Staff, House Republican Office, CT House of Representatives

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. The panelists 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.

SESSION II -- 11:45am - 12:45pm


MADELINE GRANATO: Policy Director, CT Women’s Education and Legal Fund
REP. QUENTIN WILLIAMS: Chair, Housing Committee, CT House of Representatives
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.


REP. JILLIAN GILCHREST: Vice-Chair, Public Health Committee, CT House of Representatives
REP. JAY CASE: Ranking Member, Human Services Committee, CT House of Representatives
KATE ROBINSON: Lobbyist, Gallo & Robinson, LLC

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.


CLAUDINE CONSTANCE: Public Policy and Advocacy Director, ACLU CT
TERRA VOLPE: Director of Community Outreach, CT Against Gun Violence
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 activate it - for the members to communicate effectively with legislators and with you?  This workshop will cover how to organize those individuals and organizations effectively to help keep your issues before the legislature.  These advocacy leaders will give you a frank assessment of what activities in the field have contributed to the passage of legislation.

LUNCHEON -- 12:45pm - 1:30pm

SESSION III -- 1:30pm - 2:30pm


SEN. ERIC BERTHEL: Ranking Member; Banking, Education, and Human Services Committees, CT State Senate
REP. JONATHAN STEINBERG: Chair, Public Health 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, a committee chair, and a ranking member will give you the inside and outside perspective of what works best and why.

MICHAEL JOHNSON: Director, Government Relations, Sullivan and LeShane, Inc.
JESSICA TYBURSKI: Director of Legislative Affairs, Office of Governor Ned Lamont
ELEANOR MICHAEL: Policy and Legislative Advisor, Department of Administrative Services
CARA PASSARO: Chief Counsel and Director of Legislative Affairs, Office of Attorney General William Tong

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.


SEN. SAUD ANWAR: Chair, Committees on Public Health and Children, CT State Senate
REP. KATHLEEN MCCARTY: Ranking Member, Education Committee, CT House of Representatives
REP. ANTHONY NOLAN: Vice-Chair, Appropriations Committee, CT House of Representatives
BRIAN DAWSON: Lobbyist, Gallo & Robinson, LLC

What’s the difference between a hallway exchange and a formal appointment? How should you prepare for each? What questions should you be prepared to answer? What information should you provide, and in what form? This workshop, led by an experienced lobbyist and legislators from each party and each chamber, will give you some best practices to consider.

SESSION IV -- 2:40pm - 3:40pm


BEN SHAIKEN: Director of Government Relations, Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance
REP. LUCY DATHAN: Vice-Chair, Appropriations Committee, CT House of Representatives
REP. CHRISTINE PALM: Vice-Chair, Environment Committee, CT House of Representatives
HEATHER LATORRA, President & CEO of Marrakech, Inc.

This workshop features 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. Was it grassroots lobbying, political connections, timing, luck, or some combination? Involved lobbyists, advocates, and two legislative champions will outline what factors contributed to their victory, and the obstacles they faced along the way.


REP. JASON ROJAS: Majority Leader, CT House of Representatives
SEN. GARY WINFIELD: Chair, Judiciary Committee, CT State Senate
SEN. HEATHER SOMERS: Ranking Member, Committees on Public Health and Transportation, CT State Senate
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.

Workshop Selections: Please select one per session. Workshops with * are helpful for new lobbyists and advocates.
Session I Session II Session III Session IV
*Legislative Process 101* *Just the Facts* *Testifying at Public Hearings* *Successful Campaign*
Working w/ Legislative Staff Lobbying the Budget Working w/ Executive Branch Final Days and Hours
  Effective Grassroots Lobbying One-on-One  

To register go to