The 42nd Annual
Connecticut Lobbying Conference
was held on Thursday, October 26th, 2023
Please continue reading to see the conference information and if you would like to be added to our mailing list
for the 2024 Connecticut Lobbying Conference please send us a message.
This years Conference is sponsored by:
REGISTRATION -- 8:30am
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS -- 9:00am
PANEL: HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE LOBBYIST -- 9:15am - 10:25am
- SEN. MARTIN LOONEY: President Pro Tempore, CT State Senate
- SEN. KEVIN KELLY: Senate Republican Leader, CT State Senate
- REP. VIN CANDELORA: House Republican Leader, CT House of Representatives
- SEN. CATHERINE OSTEN: Chair, Appropriations Committee, CT State Senate
- REP. TONI WALKER: Chair, Appropriations Committee, CT House of Representatives
- REP. MARIA HORN: Chair, Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, CT House of Representatives
- REP. ANTONIO FELIPE: Member, CT House of Representatives (BPRC)
- REP. FARLEY SANTOS: Member, CT House of Representatives
- REP. CHRISTOPHER ANISKOVICH: Member, CT House of Representatives
Moderator: KATE ROBINSON, Principal and Lobbyist, Gallo & Robinson, LLC
The 2024 session will be a "short" session. The timeline is condensed, but the issues facing the state are no less small. The biennial budget is in place, but adjustments will have to be made. Elections will be visible on the horizon. What’s the best way to move your agenda forward? How do you get a legislator to champion your cause? What helps your issue be heard amongst the rest? This bipartisan panel of legislators will give you honest advice from their varied perspectives.
* indicates workshops that are most helpful for new lobbyists and advocates.
SESSION I -- 10:35am - 11:35am
WORKSHOP A: *LEGISLATIVE PROCESS 101*
REP. BOB GODFREY: Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore, CT House of Representatives
REP. GREGG HADDAD: Chair, Higher Education Committee, 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, and onto the Governor’s desk. 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. They’ll cover the basics and ‘big picture’ of the legislative process.
WORKSHOP B: WORKING WITH LEGISLATIVE STAFF
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
WORKSHOP A: *JUST THE FACTS*
SEN. JORGE CABRERA: Chair, Insurance and Real Estate Committee, CT State Senate
KATHY FLAHERTY: Executive Director, Connecticut Legal Rights Project
REP. HOLLY CHEESEMAN: Ranking Member: Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee: CT House of Representatives
KEN DIXON: Statehouse and Political Reporter, CT Hearst Media
Moderator: BRIAN DAWSON: Lobbyist, Gallo & Robinson, LLC
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.
WORKSHOP B: LOBBYING THE BUDGET
REP. JILLIAN GILCHREST: Chair, Human Services Committee, CT House of Representatives
REP. TAMMY NUCCIO: Ranking Member, Appropriations 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? 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.
WORKSHOP C: WORKING WITH THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
MATTHEW BROKMAN: Director of Policy, Office of Governor Ned Lamont
SEAN BRADBURY: Senior Director of Government Relations and External Affairs, CT State Colleges and Universities
CARA PASSARO: Chief of Staff, Office of Attorney General William Tong
MICHAEL JOHNSON: Director; Government Relations; Sullivan and LeShane, Inc.
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.
LUNCHEON -- 12:45pm - 1:30pm
SESSION III -- 1:30pm - 2:30pm
WORKSHOP A: *A SUCCESSFUL LOBBYING CAMPAIGN*
SEN. GARY WINFIELD: Chief Deputy Majority Leader; Chair, Judiciary Committee; CT State Senate
REP. STEVE STAFSTROM: Chair, Judiciary Committee, CT House of Representatives
PATRICK HULIN: Deputy Policy Director, Office of Governor Ned Lamont
JEREMY STEIN: Executive Director, Connecticut Against Gun Violence
REV. AJ JOHNSON: Organizer, Center for Leadership Justice
Moderated by BILL WELZ: Lobbyist, Gallo & Robinson, LLC
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? An involved lobbyist, an organizer, two legislative champions, and a staffer for Governor Lamont will outline what factors contributed to their victory, and the obstacles they faced along the way.
WORKSHOP B: EFFECTIVE GRASS ROOTS
SEN. SAUD ANWAR: Chair, Committees on Public Health and Children, CT State Senate
CLAUDINE CONSTANT: Public Policy and Advocacy Director, ACLU CT
DIEDRE MURCH: Lead Organizer/Elected Organizer, Home Care; State Employees Independent Union, District 1199
TERRA VOLPE: Organizing Director, Connecticut Against Gun Violence
ANNA DOROGHAZI: Associate State Director, AARP Connecticut
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.
WORKSHOP C: LOBBYING ONE-ON-ONE
SEN. CECI MAHER, Chair, Committee on Children, CT State Senate
REP. COREY PARIS: Vice Chair, Appropriations Committee, CT House of Representatives
SEN. LISA SEMINARA: Ranking Member, Human Services Committee, CT State Senate
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
WORKSHOP A: *TESTIFYING AT PUBLIC HEARINGS*
REP. JAY CASE: Ranking Member, Human Services Committee, CT House of Representatives
REP. ELENI KAVROS-DEGRAW: Chair, Planning and Development Committee, CT House of Representatives
BEN SHAIKEN: Director of Government Relations, CT Nonprofit Alliance
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? How are virtual hearings changing the approach? An experienced lobbyist, committee chair, and a ranking member, will give you the inside and outside perspective of what works best and why.
WORKSHOP B: FINAL DAYS AND HOURS
SEN. GARY WINFIELD: Chief Deputy Majority Leader; Chair, Judiciary Committee; CT State Senate
SEN. JOHN KISSEL: Chief Deputy Senate Republican Leader; Ranking Member, Judiciary Committee; CT State Senate
REP. CHRISTINE CONLEY: Deputy Majority Leader, CT House of Representatives
REP. TAMI ZAWISTOWSKI: House GOP Policy Co-Chairman, CT House of Representatives
BILL WELZ: Lobbyist, Gallo & Robinson, LLC
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 previously 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.
|Session I||Session II||Session III||Session IV|
|*Legislative Process 101*||*Just the Facts*||*Successful Campaign*||*Testifying at Public Hearings*|
|Working w/ Legislative Staff||Lobbying the Budget||Effective Grassroots||Final Days and Hours|
|Working w/ Executive Branch||Lobbying One-on-One|
If you would like to be added to our mailing list for the 2024
Connecticut Lobbying Conference please send us a message.