Several Connecticut lawmakers are in hot water for excessively drinking during legislative sessions. House Speaker Matt Ritter says the legislators could face “significant” punishment if the behavior continues.
One of the lawmakers slurred her words and struggled to speak on the House floor last Thursday.
A routine speech came to a halt when Rep. Robin Comey spoke.
"Um -- excuse me," she said. "Understand that she was able to -- um. I'm sorry," she said.
Colleagues rushed to help.
Capitol Police arrived with medical equipment, eventually escorting Comey off the floor.
Below is Rep. Comey's full statement:
"I would like to sincerely apologize for my behavior last Thursday night.
That evening, while speaking on H.B. 6558, I suddenly and unexpectedly began to feel unwell. This was due to several factors, including anxiety, exhaustion, and, regrettably, the wine I had with dinner. In an abundance of caution, I did not drive home and remained in Hartford until the following morning.
This type of behavior is not typical for me. I take full responsibility for my error in judgement.
To my Branford constituents, I will continue fighting for you with the same responsibility, respect and commitment as always. I am grateful for your understanding and support."
Former state lawmaker Kevin Rennie broke the story on his political blog. He says legislative staffers, and police, have even taken some lawmakers’ keys to keep them from driving home.
"Some legislators are gathering on the roof of the parking building that's attached to the Legislative Office Building and are drinking there," he said.
"To say that this is being taken seriously would be an understatement," Ritter said. "There are lines you cannot cross, and if somebody ever left this building and injured somebody or themselves, I can't even begin to think about what those consequences would be."
Ritter said if this kind of behavior continues, lawmakers could lose valuable committee assignments.