Government Administration and Elections Committee Meets to Weigh Recommendations

Mar 10, 2014

The Connecticut State Capitol.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Connecticut legislature's Government Administration and Elections Committee met Monday to discuss an act that would implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public's Right to Know. 

Some legislators acknowledged they're struggling over whether to support the proposed legislation, which would limit public access to 911 audio tapes, additional types of crime scene photos, and law enforcement audio recordings.

The legislation stems from task force recommendations that reviewed ways to balance victim privacy concerns with the public's right to know. The panel was created by the General Assembly last year in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Middletown Rep. Matthew Lesser said he's torn over the issue. He said he's concerned some material would appear forever on the Internet. Senate President Donald Williams urged his colleagues to oppose the recommendations, saying they aren't necessary. He said there are many instances in history where controversial images and recordings have led to public policy reforms. 

The hearing took place at the same time as another public hearing addressing the same topic, held by another legislative body, the Judiciary Committee. The Connecticut Daily Newspapers Association had requested that one hearing be moved to a later date.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.