Bob Duff

Senate Majority Leader

Norwalk, CT

Bob Duff has served as a state senator for his hometown of Norwalk, CT since his election in 2004. Bob has earned a reputation as a consumer watchdog. As Chair of the legislature’s Banking Committee, Bob worked to safeguard Connecticut homeowners from the ravages of predatory lending by creating a package of first-in-the-nation reforms to reduce the number of home foreclosures in the state. Bob’s consumer advocacy continued as he went on to Chair the Energy and Technology Committee. As Chair, Bob championed two pieces of major energy legislation which taken together implement a new comprehensive energy strategy for Connecticut, restructuring support for renewable sources of electricity to provide for cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy for consumers and businesses.

Under Bob’s tenure as Majority Leader, the Senate Democratic caucus has achieved numerous legislative victories. Most recently, the Senate Democratic caucus passed legislation standing up for DREAMers, rewriting the state education funding formula, the National Popular Vote, net neutrality, data privacy, health care access, gun safety, paid family medical leave, LGBTQ rights and equal pay for equal work.

Pro-Growth Progressive Ideas Shared

Problem

When state governments are unable to pass critical legislation because of a lack of cooperation between parties and/or lack of public/private collaboration, everyone loses. This lack of legislative progress reduces trust in governing and hinders necessary reform.

Solution

Senator Duff argued that the state could create an inclusive, transparent model for legislative committees that benefits government, the private sector and citizens by promoting collaboration, fairness and bipartisanship. He implemented several policies to foster greater efficiency including requiring the minority party leadership to be involved in all meetings and decision making to garner strong bipartisan support. And by creating strong partnerships with community groups, nonprofits, and private stakeholders, the legislative committee has been able to create a collaborative environment to help bring solutions to the table that benefit everyone.


Problem

State rules for licensure and registration for certain occupations has become burdensome and created barriers to entry for workers through unnecessary fess and other requirements. 

Solution

By reexamining our occupational licensing and limiting it to those positions where it is necessary because of higher levels of training, health or safety considerations we are removing regulations and opening up employment to people who might not otherwise be able to enter these fields. This also cuts down on the costs to consumers and businesses, while maintaining safety for consumers by keeping licensing where it's needed. First, we passed a law to phase out occupational licenses for jobs that don’t have educational or professional prerequisites, including for Wholesaler Salesmen, Residential Flat Glass or Automotive Glazier, and Real Estate Intern. The next step will be to continue to work with the relevant state agencies and across the aisle to examine all of the occupations and determine whether they are being properly regulated by state government or not.


Problem

There is an epidemic of first responders committing suicide in this country. This bill seeks to change the way that we deal with PTSD among them and remove the barriers to them seeking treatment. Additionally, when a peace officer is voluntarily committed for psychiatric help, their service weapon is taken away and they are not able to receive it back for six months - this prevents them from doing their job and earning a living and acts as an additional barrier to seeking help.

Solution

The legislation established eligibility requirements for police officers, fire fighters and parole officers to receive benefits for PTSD. The benefits are limited to 52 weeks available within a four year period from the qualifying event. The workers compensation benefits are decreased by any additional benefits that the individual is receiving (e.g. disability insurance). Allows law enforcement officers to receive their service weapon back before six months if they have been voluntarily committed to a psychiatric institution.


Problem

Health insurance companies have become prime targets for hackers and foreign governments looking to steal highly confidential personal data of American citizens. 

Solution

Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff co-sponsored legislation that requires health insurance companies to develop a comprehensive information security program to safeguard the personal information of their enrollees. The bill provides these companies with minimum consumer data privacy requirements that they need to meet, but allows them the autonomy to decide what they need to do in order to meet those requirements.