Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have on thing in common when it comes to receiving automated phone messages.
"They're annoying," said State Rep. Themis Klarides, the top Republican in the Connecticut House of Representatives.
State Rep. William Tong, a Democrat from Stamford who chairs the Judiciary Committee, agrees.
"They annoy me and I think we have to do something about it," said Tong.
With support from both Democrats and Republicans, the Judiciary Committee is backing a bill that would create a statewide "do-not-call" list for political robocalls.
Tong said his proposal has been brought in the past and hopes his comprehensive idea gains traction this year.
"We’ve got a requirement that before you start a robocall you’ve got to identify who you are and what the purpose of the call is and say that it’s a political robocall in support of a particular candidate or a particular action or advocacy issue" in addition to the do-not-call list, Tong said.
Klarides, who represents Derby, agrees with the proposal and said there need to be rules in place for the calls that seem to be never-ending during campaign season.
"You know, robocalls are just soliciting for another reason. They’re not trying to sell you something. They’re trying to sell you someone. I think it’s a reasonable extension," she said.
Tong conceded that the General Assembly can't outlaw all robocalls because they would likely be violating the First Amendment, but he did say there are ways lawmakers can act to try to limit them. He said candidates and advocacy groups do have the right to use phone calls to get their messages out.
"We want to make sure that people get the opportunity to make their case and to make political speech but you know but there’s line at which there’s privacy issues and it burdens people in their homes," Tong said.
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