In the fall of each year, Gallo & Robinson, LLC. holds the annual Connecticut Lobbying Conference to help new lobbyists learn how to be effective advocates for their causes and seasoned veterans update their skills.  Below is the program for the 36th Annual Connecticut Lobbying Conference. Please click here for the registration page.

 

THE 2017 CONNECTICUT LOBBYING CONFERENCE
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Lyceum
227 Lawrence Street
Hartford, CT 06106

REGISTRATION -- 8:30am

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS -- 9:00am

PANEL: HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE LOBBYIST -- 9:15am - 10:25am

  • SEN. JOHN KISSEL: Chair, Judiciary Committee, Connecticut State Senate
  • SEN. CATHERINE OSTEN: Chair, Appropriations Committee, Connecticut State Senate
  • SEN. GEORGE LOGAN: Chair, Planning and Development Committee, Connecticut State Senate
  • REP. JOE ARESIMOWICZ: Speaker, Connecticut House of Representatives
  • REP. THEMIS KLARIDES: House Republican Leader, Connecticut House of Representatives
  • REP. TONI WALKER: Chair, Appropriations Committee, Connecticut House of Representatives
  • REP. CHRIS SOTO: Member, Connecticut House of Representatives

The 2018 session is a “short session”, compounding the challenges that were ushered in by the 2016 election cycle. It is also an election year. But, with challenges come opportunities. How do you get a legislator’s attention? 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.


SKILLS WORKSHOPS

*These workshops are designed for new lobbyists and advocates.

SESSION I -- 10:35am - 11:35am

WORKSHOP A: LEGISLATIVE PROCESS 101*
REP. JAMES ALBIS, Deputy Majority Leader, Connecticut House of Representatives
REP. VINCENT CANDELORA: Deputy House Republican Leader, Connecticut House of Representatives
BRIE WOLF: Legislative Liaison, Connecticut Department of Public Health
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 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.

WORKSHOP B: TACTICS FOR PASSING OR KILLING A BILL
KIMBERLY HARRISON: Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Hartford Healthcare
PETE SMITH: Principal, Rome Smith & Lutz Government Relations
What elements help a lobbyist develop a lobbying strategy for an issue or a bill? Whether you are focused on passing, killing or preventing a bill from coming up in the first place, it is good to know the tricks on all sides. These two well-respected political strategists will discuss how to match a strategy with the issue, and take action at the appropriate time.

WORKSHOP C: EFFECTIVE GRASS ROOTS
DANIELA GIORDANO: Public Policy Director, NAMI-Connecticut
CLAUDIO GUALTIERI: Associate Director of Advocacy and Outreach, AARP Connecticut
GRETCHEN RAFFA: Director, Public Policy, Advocacy and Strategic Engagement, Planned Parenthood New England
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 - in order for the members to communicate effectively with legislators and with you? This workshop will also 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.

SESSION II -- 11:45am - 12:45pm

WORKSHOP A: WORKING WITH LEGISLATIVE STAFF*
DIANA CALIENDO: Supervisor of Legislative Documents, Legislative Commissioners Office
JIM IACOBELLIS: Director of Government Relations, Connecticut 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 a veteran non-partisan staff person, and a former caucus staff person 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.

WORKSHOP B: A SUCCESSFUL LOBBYING CAMPAIGN
REP. MATT LESSER: Chair, Banks Committee, Connecticut House of Representatives
BETTY GALLO: Lobbyist, Gallo & Robinson, LLC
DAVID MCGUIRE: Executive Director, ACLU Connecticut
SUZANNE BATES: Executive Director, Yankee Institute for Public Policy
This workshop features a recent case history of a lobbying campaign around challenging issues that was successful, and an honest assessment of why this campaign worked. Was it grassroots lobbying, political connections, timing, luck? These panelists have been directly involved in a recent highly-visible and successful campaign. They will outline what factors contributed to their victory, and the obstacles they faced along the way.

WORKSHOP C: TRACKING BILLS AND ONLINE RESEARCH RESOURCES
PAUL ALDERUCCI: Project Manager, Information Technology Services, Connecticut General Assembly
LISA BRUNO: Consultant, Comprehensive Legislative Services
Explore the informational resources available, including the CGA Webpage. You will learn how to track bills, find bill histories, testimony, proposed substitute language, amendments and tally sheets. The panelists will cover how to find the Fiscal Notes and Office of Legislative Research Reports for file copies and for bills that have passed. You will also find out about the “Lobbyist Information Room” and resources available to the public.

LUNCHEON -- 12:45pm - 1:30pm

SESSION III -- 1:30pm - 2:30pm

WORKSHOP A: LOBBYING ONE ON ONE*
REP. LONNIE REED, Chair: Energy and Technology Committee, Connecticut House of Representatives
JOE GRABARZ: 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 a legislator, will give you some best practices to consider.

WORKSHOP B: PUTTING YOUR ETHICS HOUSE IN ORDER
JOSHUA FOLEY: Compliance Attorney, State Elections Enforcement Commission
PETER LEWANDOWSKI: Assistant General Counsel, Office of State Ethics
You will be lobbying for your company or organization, and you need to register with the Office of State Ethics. You would like to attend a fundraiser for a candidate or a PAC, but can you? Can you, or your organization purchase an ad in an ad book? You get a new client part way into the legislative session. Do you have to register them? It’s an election year. You have always been involved in local politics, and you would like to stay politically active – but in your new role, what activities are permissible? Can you volunteer or manage a campaign? These panelists will break it down and give you the information you need keep your ethics house in order.

WORKSHOP C: LOBBYING THE BUDGET
SEN. JOE MARKLEY: Chair, Human Services Committee, Connecticut State Senate
REP. CATHERINE ABERCROMBIE, Chair, Human Services Committee, Connecticut State Senate
KATE ROBINSON: Lobbyist, Gallo & Robinson, LLC
The state budget process is complicated, and navigating it can be a challenge. With the new, bipartisan arrangement, how do you build consensus on budget items? 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 and Budget they vote on. They will also discuss leadership negotiations, legislative consideration and the Governor’s signature.

SESSION IV -- 2:40pm - 3:40pm

WORKSHOP A: TESTIFYING AT PUBLIC HEARINGS*
REP. TERRIE WOOD: Ranking Member, Executive and Legislative Nominations, Connecticut House of Representatives
BEN SHAIKEN: Public Policy Specialist, Connecticut Community 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? These panelists will give you the inside and outside perspective of what works best and why.

WORKSHOP B: WORKING WITH THE PRESS
JEFF COHEN: News Director, WNPR, Connecticut Public Radio
SUSAN HAIGH: Political Writer, Associated Press
PATTY MCQUEEN: Patty McQueen, Principal, Patty McQueen Communications Strategies
The press is a powerful resource in making (or breaking) the case at the legislature. Editorials, Op-Ed pieces, interviews, letters to the editor and hard-news coverage all resonate with elected officials. What gets the Capitol Press Corps to attend and cover a press conference? What elements must be in a press alert and a press release? Learn from these print, television, radio and public relations veterans on what makes a press release or news alert effective, what stories get press attention, and why.

WORKSHOP C: LOBBYING THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
MICHAEL JOHNSON: Government Relations Manager, Sullivan and LeShane, Inc.
LESLIE O’BRIEN: Legislative Liaison, Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection
The Governor, Office of Policy and Management, Commissioners, etc… eventually you are going to have to take your case to the Executive Branch. Often state agency budget requests, regulations, contracts or policies have a greater impact on your organization than legislation. Yet, the state agency decision-making process can be harder to influence than the legislature. These panelists will discuss the role of Legislative Liaisons and how to lobby state agencies.

Workshop space is limited and the Early Bird discount ends soon so click here to register now.
There is also a discount for five or more attending from the same organization.