New Haven Democrat and former Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives Irving Stolberg passed away Sunday at the age of 72. Stolberg oversaw a transformation of the General Assembly from the ugly stepchild of the governor’s office into an equal partner in state government. Stolberg had complete control over the body during his two terms in the 1980s, shaping its legislation and mission, only to be toppled in 1989 by a coalition of moderate Democrats and Republicans who feared his power. Gov. M. Jodi Rell said in a statement Sunday that Stolberg’s imprint could still be felt in the General Assembly, “in both its physical offices and role in governing,” a reference to his part in expanding the role of legislators. “Connecticut is saddened by the loss of Speaker Stolberg, a man who served during a crucial transition period when our state legislature was redefining itself and reshaping its mission,” she said. “I extend my deepest condolences to Speaker Stolberg’s family and friends at this difficult time. I hope they will be comforted by knowing that so many people across our state are thinking of them.”