Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 29

Public Act No. 04-205

AN ACT CONCERNING TOURISM.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 216 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) For the fiscal years ending June 30, 2004, and June 30, 2005, the Commissioner of Revenue Services shall segregate twenty million dollars from the revenue attributable to the sales tax imposed under subparagraph (H) of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 12-407 on any hotel or lodging house. Said funds shall be deposited in the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film account, established under section 213 of [this act] public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session for the administration and operation of the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film. Such funds are in addition to [funds made available to the commission in subsection (b) of this section] funding provided to the commission in subsection (a) of section 243 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session. The commission shall allocate funds for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004, from said account as follows for, but not limited to, the purposes so specified:

(1) One hundred fifty thousand dollars to the Greater Hartford Arts Council;

(2) Six hundred thirty thousand dollars to the New Haven Coliseum Authority;

(3) One million seven hundred ten thousand dollars to the Stamford Center for the Arts;

(4) Fifty thousand dollars to the Stepping Stone Child Museum in Norwalk;

(5) Six hundred seventy-five thousand dollars to the Maritime Center Authority in Norwalk;

(6) Two million two hundred fifty thousand dollars for basic cultural resources grants;

(7) One million one hundred thousand dollars for the operation and administration of state historic preservation programs and the operation and administration of the four state museums;

(8) Four million seven hundred fifty thousand dollars to the regional tourism districts established under section 215 of [this act] public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, provided each district shall be allocated nine hundred fifty thousand dollars;

(9) One hundred twenty thousand dollars to the eastern regional tourism district, established under section 215 of [this act] public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, for promotion of tourism in the [Quinebaug-Schetucket] Quinebaug-Shetucket Heritage area in Connecticut;

(10) One hundred twenty thousand dollars to the northwestern regional tourism district, established under section 215 of [this act] public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, for promotion of tourism in the Litchfield Hills area;

(11) One million dollars to the Connecticut Humanities Council;

(12) Thirty thousand dollars for the Historical Resources Inventory;

(13) Fifty thousand dollars to the Amistad Committee for the Freedom Trail;

(14) One hundred thousand dollars for Amistad vessel;

(15) One million two hundred sixty thousand dollars to the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas;

(16) One hundred fifty thousand dollars for the New Haven Arts Council;

(17) One hundred twenty thousand dollars for the eastern regional tourism district, established under section 215 of [this act] public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session;

(18) One hundred twenty thousand dollars for the central regional tourism district, established under section 215 of [this act] public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session;

(19) Nine hundred thousand dollars for the Palace Theater in Waterbury, provided the entity designated to operate the theater is the Palace Theater Group, Incorporated;

(20) Four hundred ten thousand dollars to the Beardsley Zoo;

(21) Sixty-two thousand five hundred dollars to the Mark Twain House and sixty-two thousand five hundred dollars to the Harriet Beecher Stowe House;

(22) Three hundred sixty thousand dollars for film projects and film-related activities; and

(23) All other administrative, operating and personnel costs of the commission, including, but not limited to, those related to the promotion of culture, history, arts, tourism and film in the state.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 210 to 242, inclusive, of [this act] public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session and subsection (a) of section 243 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management is authorized to make adjustments to the allocations for the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film based on expenditures already made in the General Fund or other funds to support the predecessor agencies during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004, and any allocations of funding made through any intercept for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004. Any withholding of funds shall not be greater than the amount expended for such purposes and in no event shall the overall funding for the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film diminish from the aggregate allocated.

Sec. 2. Subsection (b) of section 210 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) The commission shall:

(1) Market and promote Connecticut as a destination for leisure and business travelers through the development and implementation of a strategic state-wide marketing plan and provision of visitor services to enhance the economic impact of the tourism industry;

(2) Promote the arts;

(3) Recognize, protect, preserve and promote historic resources;

(4) Interpret and present Connecticut's history and culture;

(5) Promote Connecticut as a location in which to conduct filming and to establish and conduct business related to the film and video industries to enhance these industries' economic impact in the state;

(6) Beginning with the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006, and each fiscal year thereafter, prepare and submit to [the General Assembly, in accordance with section 11-4a, and to] the Office of Policy and Management, in accordance with sections 4-77 and 4-77a, [a biennial] budget expenditure estimates and recommended adjustments for the next succeeding fiscal year or years and a detailed accounting of expenditures for the prior fiscal year, a copy of which shall be submitted to the General Assembly, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a;

(7) Establish a uniform financial reporting system and forms to be used by each regional tourism district, established under section 215 of [this act] public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, in the preparation of the annual budget submitted to the General Assembly;

(8) Integrate funding and programs whenever possible; and

(9) On or before January 1, 2005, and biennially thereafter, develop and submit to the Governor and the General Assembly, in accordance with section 11-4a, a strategic plan to implement subdivisions (1) to (5), inclusive, of this subsection.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) As used in this section:

(1) "Commission" means the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film created by section 210 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session;

(2) "Executive director" means the executive director of the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film appointed pursuant to section 211 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session;

(3) "Former tourism district" means the tourism districts, as defined in section 32-302 of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 2003; and

(4) "Regional tourism district" means one of the five regional tourism districts created by section 218 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session.

(b) Any former tourism district having a cash surplus, after accounting for all liabilities, may distribute such surplus to the regional tourism district or districts serving the towns formerly served by such district. Any distribution shall be divided among the new district or districts in accordance with the following schedule:

 

Former District

New District(s)

     
 

Northeastern

Eastern (100%)

 

Southeastern

Eastern (100%)

 

North Central

Central (100%)

 

Greater Hartford

Central (95%)

   

Northwestern (5%)

 

Central Connecticut

Central (80%)

   

South Central (20%)

 

Connecticut Valley

Central (60%)

   

South Central (40%)

 

Greater New Haven

South Central (67%)

   

Northwester (20%)

   

Southwestern (13%)

 

Litchfield Hills

Northwestern (100%)

 

Housatonic Valley

Northwestern (100%)

 

Greater Waterbury

Northwestern (100%)

 

Greater Fairfield

Southwestern (100%)

(c) Any former tourism district may, with the approval of the executive director, transfer noncash assets, including fixed assets and leases, to a regional tourism district or districts serving the towns formerly served by such district.

(d) Any regional tourism district may, by vote of its board of directors and with the approval of the commission, assume the liabilities of a former tourism district that served all or part of the area served by the new district. No such assumption shall be approved unless (1) the regional district's approved budget makes provision for the costs arising from the assumption of liability; and (2) the commission finds that the proposed assumption of liability is fair and equitable.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective from passage) Any tourism district in existence on July 1, 2003, that terminates operations prior to January 1, 2004, may file a single audit report for the period from July 1, 2002, until the termination of such district's operations. Such audit shall in all other respects comply with the provisions of chapter 55b of the general statutes.

Sec. 5. Subsection (e) of section 210 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(e) Wherever the words "State Commission on the Arts", "Connecticut Historical Commission", "Office of Tourism" [and] "Connecticut Film, Video and Media Office" and "Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film" are used in the following sections of the general statutes, or in any public or special act of the 2003 or 2004 session the words "Connecticut Commission on [Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film] Culture and Tourism" shall be substituted in lieu thereof: 3-110f, as amended, 3-110h, as amended, 3-110i, as amended, 4-9a, as amended, 4b-53, as amended, 4b-60, as amended, 4b-64, as amended, 4b-66a, as amended, 7-147a, as amended, 7-147b, as amended, 7-147c, as amended, 7-147j, as amended, 7-147p, as amended, 7-147q, as amended, 7-147y, as amended, 8-2j, as amended, 10-382, as amended, 10-384, as amended, 10-385, as amended, 10-386, as amended, 10-387, as amended, 10-388, as amended, 10-389, as amended, 10-391, as amended, 10a-111a, as amended, 10a-112, as amended, 10a-112b, as amended, 10a-112g, as amended, 10-384, as amended, 11-6a, as amended, 12-376d, as amended, 13a-252, as amended, 19a-315b, as amended, 19a-315c, as amended, 22a-1d, as amended, 22a-19b, as amended, 25-102qq, as amended, 25-109q, as amended, 29-259, as amended, and 32-6a, as amended.

Sec. 6. Section 32-306 of the general statutes, as amended by section 218 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

As used in this section and section 32-307, as amended: "Visitor welcome center" means the welcome centers, visitor centers and tourist information centers located in [Middletown, Southington, Wallingford,] West Willington, Greenwich, [Windsor Locks,] Danbury, Darien, North Stonington, [Plainfield,] and at Westbrook, [and at Bradley International Airport,] which have been established to distribute information to persons traveling in the state for the purpose of influencing such persons' level of satisfaction with the state and expenditures in the state and their planning for present and future trips to the state.

Sec. 7. Section 32-307 of the general statutes, as amended by section 219 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The following measures shall be implemented to enhance the operation of visitor welcome centers:

(1) Each center shall make available space for listing events and promoting attractions, by invitation to the Connecticut tourism industry, including tourism districts, chambers of commerce and any other tourism entities involved in Connecticut tourism promotion;

(2) The Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, established under section 210 of [this act] public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, in consultation with the Department of Transportation, shall develop plans for (A) consistent signage for the visitor welcome centers, and (B) highway signage regulations for privately operated centers;

(3) The Department of Transportation and the commission shall establish an "Adopt A Visitor Welcome Center" program, under which local civic organizations may provide maintenance, gardening, including wildflowers, and complimentary refreshments or any other type of service at a visitor welcome center to enhance the operation of the center;

(4) The commission shall place a full-time year-round supervisor and a part-time assistant supervisor at the Danbury, Darien, North Stonington and West Willington centers. The responsibilities of each supervisor shall include, but not be limited to: (A) Maintaining a sufficient inventory of up-to-date brochures for dissemination to visitors, (B) scheduling staff so as to assure coverage at all times, (C) training staff, (D) compiling and maintaining statistics on center usage, (E) serving as liaison between the commission, the Department of Transportation, the tourism district in which the center is located and businesses in such district, (F) maintaining quality tourism services, (G) rotating displays, (H) evaluating staff, (I) problem-solving, and (J) computing travel reimbursements for volunteer staff;

(5) Subject to available funds, the commission shall place a seasonal full-time supervisor and a seasonal part-time assistant supervisor at the Greenwich, [Southington,] and Westbrook [and Windsor Locks] centers. The commission shall discontinue staffing at the Middletown, Plainfield and Wallingford centers, and shall, in conjunction with the tourism industry, seek contract workers to provide tourism services at the [Middletown and Wallingford centers and at the Southington and] Westbrook [centers] center when not staffed by the state;

(6) Subject to available funds, the commission, in conjunction with the tourism industry, shall develop and implement initial staff training and conduct periodic training of full-time and part-time supervisors. [; ]

[(7) Each center shall have an electronic information system to highlight attractions and provide event, restaurant, museum and other information to visitors. Such systems shall be provided at no cost to the state and any revenue generated through the request for proposal process shall be deposited in the General Fund;

(8) Each center shall provide no-cost lodging reservation services; and

(9) The commission, in conjunction with the regional tourism districts and the private sector, shall establish a dedicated highway radio station which shall highlight ongoing tourism activities and encourage travelers to stop at visitor welcome centers. ]

Sec. 8. Section 10-370 of the general statutes, as amended by section 220 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

With respect to arts activities, the Connecticut Commission on Culture, Arts, Film and Tourism, established under section 210 of [this act] public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, as amended by this act, shall encourage, within the state or in association with other states, or both, participation in, and promotion, development, acceptance and appreciation of, artistic and cultural activities that shall include, but are not limited to, music, theater, dance, painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, films and allied arts and crafts and to this end shall have the following powers: (1) To join or contract with consultants, private patrons, individual artists and ensembles and with institutions, local sponsoring organizations and professional organizations; (2) to enter into contracts to provide grants, loans or advances to individuals, organizations, or institutions, public or private, that are engaged in or plan to engage in artistic and cultural programs or activities within the state, or that are engaged in or plan to engage in the promotion, development, or encouragement of artistic and cultural programs or activities within the state; (3) to accept, hold and administer, on behalf of the commission, in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-28, 4-31, 4-31a and 4b-22, real property, personal property, securities, other choses in action and moneys, or any interest therein, and income therefrom, either absolutely or in trust, for any purpose of the commission. The commission may acquire or receive such property or money for its purposes by the acceptance of state or federal or public or private loans, contributions, gifts, grants, donations, bequests or devises, and the commission shall deposit or credit the same in the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film Fund established under section 213 of [this act] public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session; (4) to establish a nonprofit foundation for the purpose of raising funds from private sources to encourage, within the state or in association with other states, or both, participation in, and promotion, development, acceptance and appreciation of, artistic and cultural activities that shall include, but are not limited to, music, theater, dance, painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, films, heritage, historic preservation, humanities and allied arts and crafts. All funds received by the foundation shall be held in the manner prescribed by sections 4-37e to 4-37j, inclusive; and (5) to perform such other acts as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the objectives and purposes of the commission. The General Assembly declares that all activities undertaken in carrying out the policies set forth in this chapter shall be directed toward encouraging and assisting, rather than in any way limiting, the freedom of artistic expression that is essential for the well-being of the arts. Said commission shall maintain a survey of public and private facilities engaged within the state in artistic and cultural activities and determine the needs of the citizens of this state and the methods by which existing resources may be utilized, or new resources developed, to fulfill these needs. The commission shall maintain a register of Connecticut artists. The name, town of residence and artistic medium of any such artist residing in Connecticut shall be entered in the register by the commission upon the artist's request.

Sec. 9. Section 10-320e of the general statutes, as amended by section 228 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The commission may provide an appropriate plaque or marker at a cost, to be determined by the commission, to the recipient for attachment to an historic structure or landmark identifying it as a Connecticut historical landmark within the criteria adopted by the commission and as identified through the state register of historic places, if the owner agrees to display such plaque or marker in a manner satisfactory to the commission. Any such plaque or marker may be repossessed by the commission if the historic structure or landmark is not maintained in a manner satisfactory to the commission.

(b) The Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, established under section 210 of [this act] public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, as amended by this act, in conjunction with the Amistad Committee, Inc. , New Haven, shall establish a Freedom Trail [for the state of Connecticut which marks, with plaques, the sites related to minority history] and a program to recognize, document and mark sites in this state that are associated with the history and movement towards freedom of its African-American citizens, the Underground Railroad and the abolition of slavery. The commission and the Amistad Committee, Incorporated, of New Haven shall designate and mark the sites of the Freedom Trail. The commission shall establish a program to publicize the existence of the Freedom Trail and shall publish a brochure which indicates the location and history of the sites.

Approved June 3, 2004