|January 2002||Volume 4 Number 1|
Steve Mirsky, Bill Room Supervisor
The 2002 session of the Connecticut General Assembly will mark the 21th Anniversary of the legislative internship program at the Bill Room at Connecticut State Library. The legislative internship program is offered every year during the legislative session and is a unique cooperative effort with the Office of Joint Committee on Legislative Management in the Connecticut General Assembly. The legislative intern is paid as a sessional employee by the Connecticut General Assembly but works exclusively at the Connecticut State Library. The program is the only General Assembly student internship with a salary. Most importantly, this relationship allows the intern and two separate branches of government to mutually assist and benefit one another.
The legislative internship in the Bill Room has been offered since 1981. Every year, a new intern is recruited from area colleges such as Manchester Technical Community College, Central Connecticut State University, University of Hartford, and Briarwood College, to participate in the program. Students who are interested in learning about the legislative process and are pursuing courses in paralegal or political science usually apply. Depending on the school they attend, student interns have the option of earning course credit while earning a decent hourly wage. In order to meet a school's standards of earning credit, the Bill Room provides weekly homework assignments including 13 lesson tutorials which closely parallel their daily work schedule. Among the many routine tasks performed in the Bill Room, interns have the opportunity to track bills for clients and attend the public committee hearings associated with these bills which are held in the chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly. Bills are tracked using the Legislative Branch's intranet site called CGALites. During the session, late breaking bill information is posted online and is available only to legislative and Bill Room staff. In return for providing timely reference, archiving, and making documents of the Connecticut General Assembly more accessible, Bill Room staff have the opportunity to assist the intern in achieving an expert level of knowledge in the legislative process.
Several interns have gone on to be quite distinguished in their careers after working in the legislative internship program. One student named Brian Mattiello, who was intern during the 1985 session, later became a State Representative for the 65th District between 1993 and 2000 and is currently serving as undersecretary at the Office of Policy and Management. Another former intern during the 1984 session named Paul Munns was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in the 9th District during 1989 through 1994 and then won the 4th Senate District seat for the 1995-96 term. Paul's latest publicity stemmed from his December 2001 petition to the Connecticut Supreme Court. Paul contended that the General Assembly missed its constitutional deadline. His petition prompted the Connecticut General Assembly to appoint a reapportionment committee to submit a redistricting plan for the United States House of Representatives. Recent interns Amber Page (1996) and Beth Corona (1999) have obtained employment in the Connecticut State House Majority Office and as a staff member for Connecticut Senator Thomas P. Gaffey, respectively.
We are looking forward to welcoming our new intern on February 6th. Katarzyna Krach is from Central Connecticut State University. She is a native of Poland and majors in International Studies with a concentration in Western European Policy. She welcomes the prospect of being exposed to a part of the democratic legislative process here in the United States.
Brian E. Mattiello
Paul R. Munns
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