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West Hartford Legislators to Serve on Gun Violence and School Safety Task Force

Legislative leaders appoint members of task force to address gun violence, enhance school safety, and increase mental health care.

State Sen. Beth Bye (D-5th) and State Rep. Andrew Fleischmann (D-18th), both of West Hartford, have been appointed to the Connecticut State Legislature's Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence and Child Safety.

According to a news release, the task force "will explore ways to make Connecticut a safer place for families and children in the wake of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown."

Rep. Fleischmann, who is currently chairman of the Education Committee, will co-chair the School Safety Subcommittee of the task force along with Sen. Toni Boucher.

Sen. Bye, who is Senate Chairman of the Higher Education Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Education Committee, will serve on the School Security Subcommittee of the bipartisan task force.

"We have to help ensure that what happened in Newtown doesn’t happen again anywhere in America. I've already put forth several legislative proposals regarding gun safety and mental health, and I look forward to using my knowledge of early education to make informed and significant proposals regarding school safety," Bye said in a prepared statement. "Part of school safety is having sufficient support for students with behavioral or mental health needs."

In a blog post on West Hartford Patch last week, Bye outlined many of the her legislative priorities regarding gun safety, including restricting the "the sale and possession of any rifle, shotgun or pistol magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds; expanding the definition of an 'assault weapon' under current state law; instituting a 50-percent sales tax on the sale of ammunition and firearms magazines; and several other ammunition-related restrictions."

According to a news release, the bipartisan task force will hold a public hearing focusing on school safety on Jan. 25 at 9:30 a.m., a gun safety hearing on Jan. 28 at 10 a.m., and a hearing on mental health issues Jan. 29 at 10 a.m., all in room 2C at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. A fourth public hearing will be held by the task force at Newtown High School on Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. 

Task force subcommittee members include the following: 

Gun Violence:

Sen. Martin Looney, Co-chair

Rep. Craig Miner, Co-chair

Rep. Gerald Fox III

Rep. Stephen Dargan

Rep. Bob Godfrey

Rep. Toni Walker

Rep. Rosa Rebimbas

Rep. Janice Giegler

Rep. Dan Carter

Sen. Eric Coleman

Sen. John Fonfara

Sen. Joan Hartley

Sen. John Kissel

Sen. Scott Frantz

Sen. Tony Guglielmo

Sen. Kevin Witkos

School Safety:

Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, Co-chair

Sen. Toni Boucher, Co-chair

Rep. Roberta Willis

Rep. Patricia Widlitz

Rep. Diana Urban

Rep. Tim Ackert

Rep. Tim LeGeyt

Rep. Whit Betts

Rep. Mitch Bolinsky

Sen. Dante Bartolomeo

Sen. Andrea Stillman

Sen. Beth Bye

Sen. Andrew Maynard

Sen. Art Linares

Sen. Mike McLachlan

Sen. Kevin Witkos 

Mental Health:

Sen. Toni Harp, Co-chair

Rep. Terrie Wood, Co-chair

Rep. Susan Johnson

Rep. Cathy Abercrombie

Rep. Robert Megna

Rep. Betsy Ritter 

Rep. Prasad Srinivasan

Rep. DebraLee Hovey

Sen. Terry Gerratana

Sen. Gayle Slossberg

Sen. Joe Crisco

Sen. Rob Kane

Sen. Kevin Kelly

Sen. Joe Markley

Sen. Jason Welch

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