Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 589

Public Act No. 04-222

AN ACT CONCERNING THE PRESERVATION OF THE FAMILY FARM AND LONG ISLAND SOUND.

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

Section 1. Section 8-37u of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (f) as follows (Effective July 1, 2004):

(NEW) (f) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall consult with the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection with regard to the policies, activities, plans and programs specified in this section and the impact on and degree of protection provided to agricultural land by such policies, activities, plans and programs.

Sec. 2. Section 4a-51 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2004):

(a) The Commissioner of Administrative Services shall: (1) Purchase, lease or contract for all supplies, materials, equipment and contractual services required by any state agency, except as provided in sections 4-98 and 4a-57; (2) enforce standard specifications established in accordance with section 4a-56; (3) establish store rooms and warehouses for the storage of the state's property in such locations as may best serve the requirements of the state agencies; (4) operate such trucks and garages as are necessary to deliver supplies, materials and equipment from such central store rooms and warehouses to any state agency; (5) establish and operate a central duplicating and mailing room for state agencies located in the city of Hartford and such other places as he deems practical, provided the State Library photostat and offset printing department and the duplicating facilities of the Department of Public Health shall remain as constituted; and (6) establish and operate or have supervisory control over central or regional bakeries, meat cutting establishments, laundries and other central supply services in such locations as may best serve the requirements of the state agencies.

(b) The Commissioner of Administrative Services, when purchasing or contracting for the purchase of dairy products, poultry, eggs, fruits or vegetables pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, shall give preference to dairy products, poultry, eggs, fruits or vegetables grown or produced in this state, when such products, poultry, eggs, fruits or vegetables are comparable in cost to other dairy products, poultry, eggs, fruits or vegetables being considered for purchase by the commissioner that have not been grown or produced in this state.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) For the purposes of this section, "grocery or food store" means a business that employs ten or more persons and is engaged in the retail sale of produce, such as fruits and vegetables, meats, poultry, seafood, nuts, dairy products, bakery products or eggs.

(b) No grocery or food store shall be eligible for any state grant, financial assistance, state loan or other state-funded incentive under title 32 of the general statutes, unless such store is certified as a "Connecticut Farm Fresh Market" by the Commissioner of Agriculture pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(c) The Commissioner of Agriculture shall establish and administer a program, within available resources, to certify grocery and food stores as "Connecticut Farm Fresh Markets". A grocery or food store may be certified by the commissioner as a Connecticut Farm Fresh Market if proof is submitted, to the satisfaction of the commissioner, that such store continuously stocks fifteen per cent or more of its shelf space for retail produce and dairy with farm products grown or produced in this state. Such products include, but are not limited to, dairy products, meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, eggs, fruits and vegetables. A grocery or food store certified as a Connecticut Farm Fresh Market may use the words "Connecticut Farm Fresh Market" for promotional and marketing activities. No store other than a store certified as a Connecticut Farm Fresh Market may use such words for promotional and marketing activities.

(d) The Commissioner of Agriculture shall establish and administer a program, within available resources, to promote restaurants in the state that serve farm products grown or produced in the state. The commissioner shall, upon receiving proof satisfactory to said commissioner that at least twenty per cent of food served by a restaurant consists of farm products grown and produced in the state, certify the restaurant to use the words "Connecticut Farm Fresh Restaurant" for promotional and marketing activities. No restaurant other than one certified as a Connecticut Farm Fresh Restaurant may use such words for promotional and marketing activities.

(e) The Commissioner of Agriculture shall establish and administer a program, within available resources, to promote schools in the state that serve farm products grown or produced in the state. The commissioner shall, upon receiving proof satisfactory to said commissioner that at least twenty per cent of food served by a school consists of farm products grown and produced in the state, certify the school to use the words "Connecticut Farm Fresh School" in any promotional materials or description of such school. No school other than one certified as a Connecticut Farm Fresh School may use such words for promotional activities. For purposes of this subsection, "school" includes any public or nonpublic school and any public or nonpublic institution of higher education.

(f) The Commissioner of Agriculture may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to carry out the purposes of this section.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2004) A municipality, town, city, borough or district, as defined in section 7-324 of the general statutes, that takes active agricultural land by eminent domain shall: (1) Purchase an agricultural conservation easement on an equivalent amount of active agricultural land of comparable or better soil quality in such municipality, town, city, borough or district, or (2) if no comparable active agricultural land is available for an agricultural conservation easement as provided in subdivision (1) of this section, pay a fee for the purchase of development rights to an equivalent amount of active agricultural land of comparable or better soil quality elsewhere in the state. Such purchase amount shall be paid to the General Fund and credited to the state program for the preservation of agricultural land established pursuant to chapter 422a of the general statutes. The municipality, town, city, borough or district shall notify the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection of its intent to comply with the provisions of subdivision (1) or (2) of this section. The Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection shall determine the amount of the payment to be made by such municipality, town, city, borough or district for the purchase of an agricultural conservation easement or the purchase of development rights pursuant to subdivisions (1) or (2) of this section. The municipality, town, city, borough or district shall not proceed unless the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection approves the purchase of agricultural conservation easements pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection. Such agricultural conservation easements shall be jointly and severally held by the municipality, town, city, borough or district and the state.

Sec. 5. Section 25-157 of the general statutes, as amended by section 6 of public act 03-123 and section 1 of public act 03-148, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes, no state agency, including, but not limited to, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Connecticut Siting Council, shall consider or render a final decision for any applications relating to electric power line crossings, gas pipeline crossings or telecommunications crossings of Long Island Sound that has required or will require a certificate issued pursuant to section 16-50k, as amended, or approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission including, but not limited to, electrical power line, gas pipeline or telecommunications applications that are pending or received after June 3, 2002, for a period of [two] three years after June 3, 2002. Such moratorium shall not apply to applications relating solely to the maintenance, repair or replacement necessary for repair of electrical power lines, gas pipelines or telecommunications facilities currently used to provide service to customers located on islands or peninsulas off the Connecticut coast or harbors, embayments, tidal rivers, streams or creeks. An applicant may seek a waiver of such moratorium by submitting a petition to the following: The chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy and the environment, the chairman of the Connecticut Siting Council, the chairperson of the Public Utilities Control Authority, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, and any other state agency head with jurisdiction over the subject of the petition. Such persons may grant a petition for a waiver by unanimous consent. Nothing in section 16-244j, this section or sections 25-157a to 25-157c, inclusive, as amended, shall be construed to affect the project in the corridor across Long Island Sound, from Norwalk to Northport, New York, to replace the existing electric cables that cross the sound.

Sec. 6. Section 26-194 of the general statutes, as amended by section 2 of public act 03-263 and section 146 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2004):

(a) The Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection may lease in the name of the state, under such regulations as he may prescribe and for a period not longer than ten years, all shellfish areas that have been conveyed to the state or placed under state jurisdiction by the town of West Haven and any undesignated grounds, within the exclusive jurisdiction of the state, for the purpose of planting and cultivating shellfish. The authority herein conferred shall include the Cormell Reef, Portchester, Great Captain's Island, Field Point and Greenwich Point natural beds as located and described in section 3295 of the general statutes, revision of 1918. Any person desiring to lease grounds for such purpose shall make application in writing to the commissioner and all grounds leased by authority of the provisions of this section shall be leased to the highest responsible bidder, for a minimum fee of two dollars per acre. Such lease or lease renewal shall require the lessee to make a good faith effort to cultivate and harvest shellfish from the leased area. Such lease or lease renewal shall prohibit the lessee from entering a contract whereby the lessee agrees not to cultivate and harvest shellfish for any period of time. No lessee may enter an agreement with a third party that will prevent the lessee from carrying out the lessee's obligations under the lease unless the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection and the Attorney General have approved such agreement. The form of such application and lease shall be approved by the Attorney General, and all such leases shall be recorded in the records of the commissioner. No lease shall be granted to a resident of a state which does not lease shellfish grounds to residents of this state, except that any nonresident who was granted a lease on or before October 1, 1985, may, upon the expiration of such lease, apply for a renewal or further lease as provided in this section. The commissioner shall grant any such lease to nonresidents upon the same terms and conditions as to residents of this state. Any lessee or holder of oyster ground, on the expiration of any lease thereof which has been or which may be granted, shall, upon application to the commissioner, have the preference in the reletting of such ground for a like term to that granted in the original lease, unless such applicant, at the time for granting such application, is in arrears for rent on the original lease of such ground. Such application for such renewal or further lease shall be granted without notice or advertisement of the pendency thereof; provided no renewal or further lease of such ground shall be granted when the commissioner, for cause, ceases to lease such ground for oyster culture. All assignments or transfers of leases shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner and shall be recorded in his records. Any person who interferes with, annoys or molests another in the enjoyment of any lease authorized by the provisions of this section shall be subject to the penalties provided in section 26-237. The provisions of sections 26-212, as amended, 26-215, as amended, and 26-232, as amended, shall not apply to any shellfish grounds leased pursuant to the provisions of this section.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any owner of a utility line or public use structure that impacts on a leased area shall pay to the lessee the costs of removing or relocating any shellfish. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the state or any lessee from recovering damages incurred by the state or the lessee caused by the installation, construction or presence of such utility line or public use structure.

(c) The Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection shall assess the owner of any facility that requires a certificate issued pursuant to section 16-50k, as amended, or that requires approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and that crosses any grounds of Long Island Sound within the jurisdiction of the state, including, but not limited to, any shellfish area or leased, designated or granted grounds, an annual host payment fee of forty cents per linear foot for the length of such facility within the jurisdiction of the state. The Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection shall deposit seventy-five per cent of the proceeds of such fee into the expand and grow Connecticut agriculture account established pursuant to section 8 of this act and shall transfer the remaining twenty-five per cent to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection for deposit into the Environment Quality Fund established pursuant to section 22a-27g, as amended by this act.

[(c)] (d) The [commissioner] Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection may designate an agent within the department to exercise the authority of said commissioner under this section.

Sec. 7. Subsection (b) of section 22a-27g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2004):

(b) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, [to the contrary,] on and after July 1, 1990, the amount of any fee received by the Department of Environmental Protection which is attributable to the provisions of sections 22a-6, as amended, 22a-6d, 22a-27i, 22a-134e, as amended, 22a-135, as amended, 22a-148, as amended, 22a-150, as amended, 22a-174, as amended, 22a-174a, as amended, 22a-208a, 22a-342, as amended, 22a-363c, as amended, 22a-372, as amended, 22a-379, as amended, 22a-409, as amended, 22a-430, as amended, 22a-449, as amended, 22a-454 to 22a-454c, inclusive, as amended, [and] 22a-361, as amended, and section 26-194, as amended by this act, or any regulation adopted or amended pursuant to section 22a-6, as amended, or pursuant to any other provision of this title, shall be deposited directly into the Environmental Quality Fund established by subsection (a) of this section and credited to the environmental quality account. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall annually certify to the Treasurer, with respect to each such fee received on and after July 1, 1990, the amount of such fee which shall be credited to the General Fund.

Sec. 8. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2004) There shall be an expand and grow Connecticut agriculture account, which shall be a separate, nonlapsing account within the General Fund. Funds received pursuant to section 26-194, as amended by this act, shall be deposited into said account. The Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection may make payments from said account to fund the programs established in section 3 of this act.

Approved on June 8, 2004