PA 06-187—HB 5846

Emergency Certification

AN ACT CONCERNING GENERAL BUDGET AND REVENUE IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS

SUMMARY:

This act makes many unrelated statutory changes, most of which implement the changes made to the state budget for FYs 06 and 07.

The act requires more people to register as sex offenders, changes the duration of registration for some, establishes a Risk Assessment Board to determine sex offenders' likelihood of reoffending, mandates changes to make registration requirements uniform and to keep registrations updated, and allows courts to require certain criminal defendants to submit to monitoring by a global positioning system (GPS) (§§ 28 – 42).

It creates an Office of Ombudsman for Property Rights to develop expertise in eminent domain law, assist public agencies and property owners, inform the public, mediate disputes about eminent domain and relocation assistance, and recommend changes to the legislature (§§ 3-9, 11). It also requires a public agency, before starting an eminent domain action, to (1) make a reasonable effort to negotiate with the property owner to buy the property and (2) provide the property owner with certain information (§ 10).

The act makes a number of changes regarding taxes, economic development, and jobs, including:

1. reinstating for 13 months a sales tax exemption for residential weatherization products and energy efficient heating equipment (§ 18);

2. allowing certain businesses that are not corporations to pass through to their corporate general or limited partners or members any corporation tax credits for which they would qualify if they were corporations (§ 19);

3. allowing projects redeveloping clean, uncontaminated sites in more towns to qualify for Urban and Industrial Sites Reinvestment tax credits (§ 12);

4. requiring the Office of Workforce Competitiveness (OWC) to study the feasibility of developing a center for nanoscale sciences and permitting OWC to fund nanotechnology research collaborations between academia and industry (§§ 27, 91);

5. requiring the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to prepare a plan for fuel cell economic development (§§ 63-64); and

6. requiring the labor commissioner, in consultation with the education and DECD commissioners, to establish a Twenty-First Century Skills Training Program (§ 14).

It makes several changes to the responsibilities of the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP).

1. It requires homemaker-companion agencies to register annually with DCP. It also requires new employees hired by these agencies on or after October 1, 2006 to undergo comprehensive background checks and answer questions in writing about their criminal convictions or certain disciplinary actions against them (§§ 52-62).

2. It requires anyone practicing hypnosis, or holding himself out to be a hypnotist, to register with DCP. It also makes it sexual assault for a hypnotist to have consensual sexual intercourse or contact with a client or former client under the same circumstances that the law applies to people performing or purporting to perform psychotherapy (§§ 44-45).

3. It requires DCP to study the feasibility of establishing a registry in which Connecticut residents could register email and Internet messaging addresses and fax, wireless telephone, and pager numbers on which they do not want to receive unsolicited electronic messages (§ 22).

4. It transfers boxing regulation from DCP to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), requires DPS to regulate sparring, and terminates the regulation of professional wrestling (§§ 25-26, 99).

Among the act's other changes, it:

1. creates a juvenile jurisdiction planning and implementation team that must plan for the implementation of any changes needed to extend juvenile court jurisdiction over delinquency matters to 16- and 17-year-olds (§ 16);

2. (a) establishes a lobster trap (pot) allocation buy-back program, an economic assistance program for resident commercial lobster fishermen, and a Lobster Restoration Advisory Committee to advise the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on a lobster v-notch conservation program to enhance the lobster stock in Long Island Sound and (b) allows seafood dealers, wholesalers, or shippers to possess and sell lobsters less than a certain length under certain conditions (§§ 46-51);

3. authorizes the Board of Pardons and Paroles to issue provisional pardons to remove certain barriers to offenders' obtaining employment or occupational licenses due to criminal convictions and provides certain employment protections for those given a provisional pardon (§§ 84-87);

4. replaces DPS' State-Wide Cooperative Crime Control Task Force with the State Urban Violence and Cooperative Crime Control Task Force (§ 17);

5. requires certain state facility construction projects funded on or after January 1, 2007 to meet specified energy and environmental standards (§ 70);

6. permits the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to disclose otherwise-confidential records relating to abused and neglected children to employees of the Commission on Child Protection (§§ 75-76); and

7. requires the agriculture commissioner to implement a marketing and advertising campaign promoting the availability and advantages of purchasing Connecticut-grown farm products (§§ 65-66).

It changes funding provisions and makes a number of other changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Various (see below).

PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF TAXES TO VOLUNTOWN AND NEW LONDON (§§ 1 & 2)

The act entitles Voluntown to an additional $60,000 annually to offset property tax revenue lost due to the tax-exempt status of any state-owned forest in the town. It also doubles New London's annual grant to offset lost tax revenue for the U. S. Coast Guard Academy from $500,000 to $1 million.

Funding for the grants must come from the annual General Fund appropriation for reimbursements to towns for taxes lost on private tax-exempt property. As is already the case for New London, the act (1) requires the state to make the payment to Voluntown by September 30th each year and (2) exempts Voluntown from the statutory requirement to file the property's assessed value with the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) as other towns must do in order to be reimbursed for lost tax revenues for state-owned real property or for hospitals and colleges.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

OFFICE OF OMBUDSMAN FOR PROPERTY RIGHTS (§§ 3-9, 11)

The act creates an Office of Ombudsman for Property Rights to:

1. develop expertise in the law regarding taking private property;

2. assist public agencies in applying eminent domain law and analyzing actions with potential eminent domain implications, on request;

3. assist property owners, on request, concerning eminent domain procedures;

4. identify government actions with potential eminent domain implications and advise agencies, as appropriate;

5. inform the public about eminent domain laws and their rights;

6. mediate disputes between private property owners and public agencies concerning eminent domain or relocation assistance and hire an independent real estate appraiser to assist in mediation, within available appropriations; and

7. recommend changes in eminent domain laws to the legislature.

The office is within OPM for administrative purposes only.

The act requires public agencies to (1) comply with the office's reasonable requests for information and assistance and (2) participate in mediation if requested to do so by the office.

The act's provisions apply to a broad range of public agencies including state and local agencies with the power to acquire property by eminent domain and entities authorized to use eminent domain on their behalf.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

Ombudsman and Office Employees

Under the act, the ombudsman for property rights directs the office. He is appointed by the governor with the consent of either house of the General Assembly. He is designated a department head and serves at the governor's pleasure for up to four years, unless reappointed. He must be an elector who is an attorney admitted in Connecticut with expertise or experience in real estate law or land use regulation.

The act prohibits office employees from:

1. holding a position or employment in any other public agency;

2. receiving or having the right to receive, directly or indirectly, remuneration under a compensation arrangement with respect to an eminent domain procedure; and

3. knowingly accepting employment with a public agency with eminent domain powers or entities authorized to use eminent domain on their behalf for one year after leaving the office.

Mediation

The act requires the ombudsman to adopt regulations for mediation procedures, including criteria to determine whether to accept or reject a request to mediate eminent domain or relocation assistance disputes.

The act allows the court to stay a court action related to a taking or relocation assistance if a party to the dispute asked the ombudsman for mediation and the ombudsman is either mediating the dispute or deciding whether to do so. The court must stay the action for cause and provide that the stay terminates on motion of either party or when (1) mediation resolves the dispute, (2) the time period for conducting the mediation expires, or (3) the ombudsman denies the request for mediation, whichever is sooner.

Office Account

The act allows the office to apply for and accept grants, gifts, and bequests of funds from states, federal and interstate agencies and independent authorities, private firms, individuals, and foundations to carry out its responsibilities. It creates an ombudsman for property rights account as a separate nonlapsing account in the General Fund and any funds received are credited to that account for the office's use in performing its duties.

Background—Uniform Relocation Assistance Acts

There are separate state and federal relocation assistance laws. The federal law applies to a state project if federal funding is involved. The acts provide similar benefits, for example, moving costs and, for specified periods, a payment towards the higher rent or mortgage that a relocated person must pay following relocation.

AGENCY NEGOTIATIONS AS A CONDITION OF CONDEMNATION (§ 10)

The act requires a public agency seeking to acquire property by eminent domain to make a reasonable effort to negotiate with the property owner to buy the property before starting an eminent domain action.

The agency must also provide the property owner with (1) information about the ombudsman's services and the act's mediation provisions including the ombudsman's name, address, and phone number and (2) a written statement explaining that oral representations or promises during negotiations are not binding on the agency. This information must be on a form prescribed by the ombudsman and given to the owner as early as practicable in the negotiation process but at least 14 days before filing the eminent domain action (unless the court allows a shorter period for good cause).

The act's provisions apply to a broad range of public agencies including state and local agencies with the power to acquire property by eminent domain and entities authorized to use eminent domain on their behalf.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

URBAN AND INDUSTRIAL SITES REINVESTMENT PROGRAM (§12)

The act narrowly expands the conditions under which projects developing clean, uncontaminated sites qualify for urban and industrial sites reinvestment tax credits. By law, a project located in 31 designated towns qualifies for credits regardless of the site's condition. These are the state designated distressed municipalities and targeted investment communities and the five cities with populations of more than 100,000. A project located in other towns qualified for credits under prior law only if it developed or redeveloped a contaminated property.

The act exempts a project from this rule if (1) the DECD commissioner determines that it is connected to an operation relocating from another state or (2) it involves the expansion of an existing facility requiring a minimum $50 million investment.

This investment threshold is higher than the ones the law sets for other projects. A business that invests directly in a project qualifies for tax credits if it invests at least $5 million. But that threshold drops to $2 million if the project seeks to preserve or redevelop a historic property. A business that invests in projects through a state registered fund manager can invest any amount as long as the fund's total asset value is at least $60 million in the year the business claims the credit.

PA 06-184 makes identical changes to the program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

EFFECTIVE DATE FOR FY 06 SURPLUS APPROPRIATIONS (§ 13)

The act changes the effective date of a budget act (PA 06-186) section that appropriates money from the FY 06 anticipated surplus for various purposes, making it effective upon passage, rather than July 1, 2006.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

21ST CENTURY SKILLS TRAINING PROGRAM (§ 14)

The act requires the labor commissioner, in consultation with the education and DECD commissioners, to establish a job skills training program to (1) sustain high growth occupations and economically vital industries the commissioners identify and (2) assist workers in obtaining skills to start or move up the career ladder. Employers requesting training must pay at least 50% of its cost.

The act (1) names the program the Twenty-First Century Skills Training Program, (2) requires it be established within available appropriations, and (3) prohibits using more than 5% of the appropriation for administrative expenses.

The program can include training to increase the basic skills of employees, including, but not limited to, training in written and oral communication, mathematics or science, technical and technological skills, and other training the commissioners determine is necessary to meet the needs of the employer. The act authorizes the labor commissioner to adopt implementing regulations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT (§ 15)

The act provides that General Fund appropriations to the Labor Department for the federal Workforce Investment Act do not lapse at the end of a fiscal year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

JUVENILE JURISDICTION PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION TEAM (§ 16)

The act creates a juvenile jurisdiction planning and implementation team. It must plan for the implementation of any changes needed to extend juvenile court jurisdiction over delinquency matters to 16- and 17-year-olds. Existing law limits delinquency jurisdiction to youth age 15 and under.

The team must submit a report to the Appropriations and Judiciary committees by February 1, 2007 containing (1) its findings and (2) recommendations for appropriate legislation.

The team comprises:

1. six legislative members, one each appointed by the top six House and Senate leaders;

2. chairpersons and ranking members of the Judiciary and Human Services committees;

3. the chief court administrator, OPM secretary, chief public defender, child advocate, chief state's attorney, and departments of Children and Families and Correction commissioners, or their designees;

4. a juvenile court judge, appointed by the chief justice; and

5. four members of the advocacy community, two each appointed by the co-chairs of the Juvenile Court Jurisdiction Committee.

All appointments must be made not later than 30 days after the act passes. The appointing authority fills vacancies.

The House speaker and Senate president pro tempore's appointees are the committee co-chairs. They must schedule the first meeting not later than 60 days after the act passes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

STATE URBAN VIOLENCE AND COOPERATIVE CRIME CONTROL TASK FORCE (§ 17)

The act replaces DPS' State-Wide Cooperative Crime Control Task Force with the State Urban Violence and Cooperative Crime Control Task Force. (But it does not eliminate (1) the State-Wide Cooperative Crime Control Task Force Policy Board, which coordinated the task force policies with law enforcement agencies (CGS § 29-179i) or (2) related statutes that deal with (a) task force appointments, powers, and duties and (b) personnel immunities, remuneration, and indemnification (CGS §§ 29-179g and 179h. )

The act defines the task force charge and task force personnel issues.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

State Urban Violence and Cooperative Crime Control Task Force

Prior law authorized the State-Wide Cooperative Crime Control Task Force to conduct any investigations statewide, as it deemed necessary, subject to specified protocols. The act (1) specifically requires the new task force to conduct and coordinate investigations of violent crimes and other crimes that local authorities cannot contain and (2) allows it, like its predecessor, to conduct its investigations statewide, as it deems necessary. The act additionally requires that any task force investigation be made under agreements between the DPS commissioner and municipal chief elected official or police chief and under the direction of the commissioner or his designee.

As was the case with the State-Wide Cooperative Crime Control Task Force, the new task force may (1) request and get help from federal, state, or local agencies to perform its duties, including temporary assignment of personnel; (2) enter into mutual aid agreements with states on interstate law enforcement matters; and (3) exchange information and personnel with other states pertaining to mutual law enforcement problems.

Task Force Deployment

Under prior law, towns requested task force services by submitting a petition to the commissioner outlining plans for continuing community programs, including enforcement of housing and health codes and graffiti removal. The act, instead, requires that petitions to use the new task force describe the problem, identify efforts local authorities made to solve or contain it, and ask that the task force be deployed to address specific problems or investigations. The act requires municipalities participating in the task force to assign local resources and personnel to the extent they are able.

Personnel Assignments

The act requires the commissioner to appoint a commanding officer and other personnel as he deems necessary for task force duties, within available appropriations, as was the case with the previous task force. It also allows the commissioner, as he deems necessary, to select personnel from any town to act as temporary special state police officers to carry out task force duties.

Powers, Duties, and Immunities of Task Force Personnel

Under the act, municipal police officers on the task force, acting within the scope of their authority and under the direction of the commissioner or his designee, have the same powers, duties, privileges, and immunities as state police officers.

Remuneration

The act requires each municipality to pay the full compensation of its personnel temporarily assigned to the task force and pay their salaries while they are on task force duty.

Indemnification

The act deems municipal personnel assigned to the task force as state employees for purpose of indemnifying them and the municipalities for damages, losses, or liabilities arising out of their task force service.

SALES TAX EXEMPTION FOR RESIDENTIAL WEATHERIZATION PRODUCTS (§ 18)

The act exempts certain residential weatherization products and energy efficient heating equipment from the sales tax for 13 months, from June 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007. A previous exemption for these items expired on April 1, 2006.

The exemption applies to:

1. insulation, programmable thermostats, water heater blankets, window film, window and door weather strips, and caulking;

2. water heaters, gas and propane furnaces and boilers, and windows and doors that meet federal Energy Star standards;

3. oil furnaces and boilers that are at least 85% efficient; and

4. ground-based heat pumps that meet the minimum federal energy efficiency standards.

EFFECTIVE DATE: June 1, 2006

CORPORATION TAX CREDIT PASS-THROUGH (§ 19)

The act allows a partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, or other type of pass-through business in which one or more corporations have or had an interest as general or limited partners, members, or otherwise, and that sponsors a qualifying “employment expansion project,” to pass through to these constituent corporations any corporation tax credits for which the “sponsor” would qualify if it were a corporation.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage and applicable to projects with commencement dates on or after September 1, 2005.

Employment Expansion Project

An employment expansion project under the act is one that (1) will create at least 400 permanent, full-time jobs new to Connecticut over a maximum of five income years starting on or after a commencement date approved by the DECD commissioner in an eligibility certification; (2) needs the corporation tax credit pass-through to attract it to Connecticut; (3) will be economically viable and provide direct and indirect economic benefits to the state; and (4) is, in the commissioner's judgment, consistent with the state's strategic economic development priorities and those of any town where the jobs are to be created.

New Jobs

Under the act, a new job is one that is full-time and that did not exist in the state before the sponsor's application for an eligibility certificate. (PA 06-189 changes the definition to jobs that did not exist before the project commencement date. ) To qualify as full-time, a job must provide at least 35 hours of work per week and not be temporary or seasonal. The job must be filled by someone hired by either the project's sponsor or one of its constituent corporations. Jobs shifted from a sponsor's or constituent corporation's other Connecticut locations, and any employees who worked for a person related to the sponsor (“related person”) during the previous 12 months, do not count.

Under the act, two entities are “related persons” if (1) one controls the other, (2) one of the two is a business or trust controlled by another person or entity that the other controls, or (3) they are members of the same controlled group as the taxpayer. A corporation is considered to be “controlled” by an entity if that entity directly or indirectly owns more than 50% of the combined voting power of all classes of its stock or of its capital or profits interests. In the case of a trust, control means owning 50% or more of the beneficial interest of the trust's principal or income. Ownership is defined as it is in federal income tax law.

Annual Job Targets

To be eligible for pass-through credits in any particular year, the project must meet annual job targets. The number of new jobs the project creates must be determined at the end of each of the five full income years after its commencement date by subtracting the aggregate number of people employed on the project commencement date from the number employed at the end of the income year. New jobs at the sponsor and all its constituent corporations are counted.

Although the act requires the aggregate five-year job increase to be at least 400, the sponsor may qualify to pass through credits for any given income year if the project creates at least 90% of the annual number of new jobs called for in the DECD eligibility certificate for that year. If the project misses this target, the sponsor cannot pass through any credits attributable to its activities for that year, but is still eligible to pass through credits for prior or subsequent years for which it meets the annual targets.

By the first day of the fourth month of each income year, the sponsor must certify the aggregate number of new jobs created as of the end of the preceding year to the DECD commissioner. By the first day of the seventh month, the commissioner must review the certification and issue a continuing eligibility certificate for that year, if the sponsor has met at least 90% of its annual target.

Application Procedure

Sponsors must apply to the DECD commissioner to approve an employment expansion project. The application must have enough information about the project to show that it meets the act's requirements, as well as information about (1) where the new jobs will be located; (2) the number of new jobs the project will create in each of the five years covered by the eligibility certificate; (3) any physical infrastructure the project might create, renovate, or expand; (4) feasibility studies or business plans; and (5) whatever other information the commissioner needs to judge the project's financial viability. The commissioner can charge an appropriate application fee. The sponsor must reimburse the commissioner for some or all of his due diligence costs of reviewing the application.

The commissioner must act on the application within 90 days of receiving it. If he rejects it, he must explain why and identify its defects. The commissioner may combine approval of the application with the exercise of his other powers, including providing other financial assistance. Upon approval, the commissioner must issue an eligibility certificate that includes a project commencement date and any other requirements he considers appropriate.

Credit Allocation Among Constituent Corporations

If the sponsor qualifies, its constituent corporations are entitled to share the corporation tax credits attributable to its activities on a pro rata basis according to their distributive shares of the sponsor's profit or loss for the income year. Pass-through credits are subject to the aggregate corporation tax credit limit of 70% of tax liability without credits. They can be used by companies joining a combined corporate return. One constituent corporation may assign its share of pass-through credits to another corporate constituent of the same sponsor. But the assignee can use the credits only in the same income year that the assigning corporation could have used them and cannot assign them further.

If a corporation assigns its credits, it and the assignee must jointly submit a written notification to the DECD commissioner within 30 days after the transaction. (PA 06-189 eliminates the 30-day deadline for notifying the commissioner. ) The notice must include the credit certificate number, assignment date, amount of the credit assigned, assignor and assignee's tax identification numbers, and any other information the commissioner requires. If the parties fail to comply with the notice requirement, the tax credit is disallowed until they do. The DECD commissioner must give the Division of Revenue Services (DRS) commissioner a copy of the assignment notice if she requests it.

Each constituent corporation that claims pass-through credits for any income year must retain copies of the overall and annual continuing eligibility certificates for the project for as long as its return is subject to audit.

PETROLEUM PRODUCTS GROSS RECEIPTS TAX REVENUE TRANSFERS TO SPECIAL TRANSPORTATION FUND (§§ 20 – 21)

PA 06-136 increases the amounts of the petroleum products gross receipts tax subject to quarterly transfer to the Special Transportation Fund. Previously, the petroleum products tax receipts subject to transfer were those attributable to sale of motor vehicle fuel. This act eliminates this limitation on the source of the tax receipts and makes technical changes to PA 06-136.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

ELECTRONIC MESSAGE REGISTRY STUDY (§ 22)

The act requires the DCP commissioner to study the feasibility of establishing a registry in which Connecticut residents could register email and Internet messaging addresses and fax, wireless telephone, and pager numbers that they do not want to receive unsolicited electronic messages.

The commissioner must consult with the attorney general and submit a report to the Judiciary, General Law, and Children's committees by January 1, 2007.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Study Contents

The act requires the DCP study and report to describe how the registry would be established and maintained, including procedures for adding, removing, and verifying registrants' information. It must also address:

1. whether a registry would unduly burden interstate or foreign commerce,

2. how it could be implemented without violating the U. S. Constitution or federal law,

3. whether it should be limited (a) to registrants under age 18 or (b) based on the message's content,

4. how much it would cost and potential funding sources,

5. whether criminal or civil liability should attach to unsolicited messages sent either intentionally or inadvertently,

6. the feasibility of identifying violators, and

7. other states' experience with similar registries.

CHIEF CHILD PROTECTION ATTORNEY (§§ 23 – 24)

The law requires that the chief child protection attorney (CCPA), by July 1, 2006, establish a system to deliver (1) legal services to indigent respondents in family contempt and paternity matters and (2) legal services and guardians ad litem to children and indigent parents in civil juvenile matters before the Superior Court. (A guardian ad litem is a person the court appoints to protect a party's best interests in a legal proceeding. )

The act expands her duties to include providing, when ordered by the court:

1. guardians ad litem to children and indigent respondents in family matters;

2. legal services to indigent respondents in any family matter, instead of only contempt and paternity matters; and

3. legal services and guardians ad litem in juvenile matters to indigent parties, instead of only indigent parents in juvenile matters.

It also requires the CCPA to provide initial and in-service training for guardians ad litem provided under the act and makes conforming technical changes.

The act also makes clear that the judge appoints the CCPA to provide legal representation, and that the CCPA assigns the case to an attorney under contract with him.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2006

Background—Family Relations Matters

By law, “family relations matters” include, among other things, proceedings related to: (1) child abuse and neglect, including foster care placements and terminations of parental rights; (2) child custody and support; (3) emancipation of minors; and (4) paternity. (CGS § 46b-1 and § 46b-121)).

BOXING, SPARRING, AND WRESTLING (§§ 25 - 26, 99)

The act transfers boxing regulation from the DCP commissioner to the DPS commissioner. It transfers to the DPS commissioner all the DCP commissioner's authority pertaining to boxing except subpoena powers. It also transfers the Connecticut Boxing Promotion Commission to DPS and changes its name to the Connecticut Boxing Commission.  The members and appointment procedures remain the same.

The act requires DPS to regulate sparring, and it gives the DPS commissioner sole jurisdiction over sparring matches. It requires organizations, gymnasiums, or independent clubs hosting sparring matches to register with DPS and pay a $50 fee.

The act terminates the regulation of professional wrestling, the only form regulated under prior law.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2006

Boxing Promotion Commission

The act transfers this commission to DPS. Under prior law, the commission was in DCP for administrative purposes only.

The act expands the specified recommendations that the commission must make in its required reports to include the health and safety of boxers. By law, it must recommend ways to encourage, develop, and promote boxing to the governor, the legislature, the DCP commissioner, and the DECD commissioner. The recommendations must, at a minimum, identify (1) legal or administrative impediments to boxing development, (2) ways to improve state and local boxing support and promotion services, (3) ways to develop young boxers through amateur clubs and other programs, and (4) strategies to help promoters of small professional boxing events and create a market for large professional events.

Sports Subject to Regulation

Prior law gave the DCP commissioner sole jurisdiction over boxing and wrestling, except for amateur school-based matches and matches held under the auspices of amateur athletic associations that the commissioner determined capable of ensuring participants' health and safety.

The act (1) eliminates wrestling from state regulation, (2) transfers the DCP commissioner's jurisdiction over boxing to the DPS commissioner, (3) specifies that jurisdiction over nonexempt boxing applies to both professional and amateur boxing, and (4) subjects sparring to DPS regulation. It exempts from regulation amateur school-based sparring matches and matches held under the auspices of amateur athletic associations that the commissioner determines capable of ensuring participants' health and safety.

Boxing Regulations

Prior law required the DCP commissioner to adopt boxing regulations necessary for the conduct, supervision, and safety of boxing. The act requires the DPS commissioner to adopt such regulations in consultation with the commission.  

Sparring

The act requires organizations, gymnasiums, or independent clubs hosting sparring matches to register with DPS. The DPS commissioner must register applicants he deems qualified to host matches. The registration fee is $50, and the applicant must include it with the DPS application. The commissioner or a designee may inspect the applicant's facility to enforce the law.

Injury Reports

The act requires the owner of any location where a serious physical injury or death from boxing or sparring occurs to report it to the commissioner or his designee within four hours after it happens. The DPS commissioner or his designee must investigate the incident within four hours of receiving the report to determine the cause. He or his designee may enter any registered or licensed premises to further his investigation or inspection.

Enforcement Activities

The act allows the DPS commissioner or his designee to (1) investigate the location, paraphernalia, equipment, and other related matters for boxing or sparring matches; (2) determine whether the match will be reasonably safe for participants and spectators; and  (3) make reasonable orders for altering or improving the equipment or paraphernalia and addressing seating, exits, lighting, firefighting appliances, fire and police protection, and such other provisions to make matches reasonably safe from fire and casualty hazards.

The act eliminates the authority that the DCP commissioner or his designee had under prior law to (1) issue subpoenas to anyone involved in a wrestling or boxing investigation, (2) subpoena documents pertinent to the investigation, (3) administer oaths or affirmations, (4) conduct investigatory hearings, and (5) apply to the Superior Court to enforce the subpoenas.

Violations

When asked by DPS, the attorney general may apply to the Superior Court for a temporary or permanent order to restrain any entity from violating the laws pertaining to boxing or sparring, or regulations pertaining to registration. The commissioner, in consultation with the commission, must adopt necessary regulations for the conduct, supervision, and safety of sparring matches.

Background—Boxing Promotion Commission

Three of the commission's nine members are appointed by the governor. One member each is appointed by the House speaker, Senate president pro tempore, and majority and minority leaders of both chambers.   Members are not compensated.

NANOTECHNOLOGY (§§ 27 & 91)

The act adds various nanotechnology development initiatives to the grant programs PA 05-198 required the Office of Workforce Competitiveness (OWC) to establish to promote research collaborations between academia and industry. It provides for matching grants to support students working on nanotechnology projects and university teams working with businesses to apply research and create product prototypes. All grants must be made within available appropriations.

The act calls for OWC to study the feasibility of developing a center for nanoscale sciences and development. And it requires OWC to provide technical assistance to help businesses apply for nanotechnology-related Small Business Innovation Research funds.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

University-Business Collaboration Grants

As part of OWC's research funding grant program, the act establishes three types of grants that may be used to establish a Connecticut Nanotechnology Collaboration Initiative. The grants can go to colleges, universities, and technology-focused organizations.

1. Discovery grants, up to $50,000, support graduate or post-doctoral students working with industry under faculty supervision. The grants must be matched equally by money or in-kind services from business.

2. Collaborative grants, up to $150,000, support university research teams collaborating with industry on research focused on specific application development. These grants must be matched equally by industry funds.

3. Prototype grants, up to $250,000, enable universities and businesses to demonstrate (a) whether a prototype is functional and can be manufactured and (b) the cost-effectiveness of the nanotechnology application. Industry must provide $2 for each state dollar.

The act transfers $50,000 from the FY 07 appropriation to OWC to establish a Nanotechnology Collaboration Initiative to the Department of Higher Education to identify model nanotechnology curriculum and assess its application to Connecticut colleges and universities.

Nanoscale Sciences and Development Center.

As part of OWC's grant program to promote collaborative research applications between industry and academia, the act authorizes grants to colleges and universities, technology-focused organizations, and businesses to develop a Connecticut Center for Nanoscale Sciences and Development. The center is to provide (1) a shared-use laboratory to advance academic research, industry application development, and education involving the synthesis, characterization, and fabrication of nanoscale materials, intermediates, and devices and (2) related activities. The laboratory may be located in more than one site.

The act requires OWC to conduct a feasibility study and business planning model leading to the center's creation. The study must include strategies for obtaining investments from federal and private sources. OWC must report its findings to the Commerce and Higher Education committees by January 1, 2007.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Assistance

As part of OWC's grant program to promote commercialization of academic research, the act authorizes grants to colleges, universities, and businesses for specialized technical assistance to advance nanotechnology awards to businesses and the Small Business Innovation Research Program. The grants go through the state's Small Business Innovation Research Office, which is operated by the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology. The technical assistance can include workshops, seminars, grant preparation and marketing help, services related to matching grants, and other assistance to help business make nanotechnology-related applications for SBIR funds.

SBIR is a federally funded program to assist small, technology-based business research, develop, and commercialize new products. The program has two phases. Phase one provides up to $100,000 for a small business to determine the feasibility of an innovative technology. Phase two provides up to $750,000 for prototype development.

Education Grants

The act authorizes OWC to make grants to higher education institutions to establish a nanotechnology post-secondary education program and clearinghouse for curriculum development, scholarships, and student outreach.

Grant Priorities

The law requires OWC to award its existing grants and the ones the act establishes in the following order. Grants must:

1. focus on key technology areas to give Connecticut a competitive advantage in the knowledge economy;

2. create certificate and degree programs to encourage talent generation;

3. promote collaboration between public and private colleges and universities;

4. involve multiple activities, enhance research capabilities, promote applied research collaboration, and find commercial uses for academic research; and

5. match funds from businesses, technology-focused organizations, or colleges and universities.

Background—Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is cross-disciplinary science that combines chemistry and engineering to manipulate individual atoms and molecules to produce a desired structure. It can be applied to organic and inorganic matter. Nanotechnology is potentially applicable to material, manufacturing processes, alternate energy production, electronics, and health care products and processes.

SEX OFFENDERS (§§ 28 – 42)

The act reduces, from life to 10 years, the mandatory registration period for violators of several statutory rape offenses. It requires additional offenders to register for 10 years by including them in the definition of “nonviolent offender. ” It corrects a disparity in registration terms for offenders released before and after October 1, 1998 (the date the current registration law took effect).

It establishes a Risk Assessment Board and requires it to develop a scale using various factors to determine a sex offender's likelihood of reoffending. It requires an annual report on registrants' supervision.

The act requires the court to give DPS a written summary whenever someone is convicted or found not guilty by reason of mental defect or disease of a sex crime that requires registration. The summary must include a specific description of each offense and the age and sex of the crime victim. DPS must add the summary to the sex offender registry information available to the public on the Internet.

It adds activities that trigger a registrant's obligation to update his registry information and requires the Department of Correction (DOC) commissioner to ensure that sex offenders in her custody are registered before she releases them. It changes the timeframe for out-of-state offenders to register and for reporting changes to reported information. It requires DPS to establish a protocol for notifying state agencies and local police of such changes.

The act specifies that courts may order criminal defendants on probation or conditional discharge to submit to monitoring by a global positioning system.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006, but PA 06-196 changes the effective date to (1) July 1, 2007, for the requirement that courts give DPS a written summary when someone is convicted or found not guilty by reason of mental defect or disease of a sex crime that requires registration and (2) October 1, 2006, for the provisions on reporting and registration requirements, nonviolent sexual offense classifications, photographs and notification protocol, and probation and conditional discharge.

Crimes Against Minors (§§ 31 & 33)

The act makes statutory rape offenses involving coaches, mentors, and custodians in positions of trust or power who engage in sexual intercourse with underage victims “criminal offenses against a victim who is a minor,” requiring perpetrators to comply with sex offender registry laws for 10 years. Previously, they were “violent sexual offenses,” which required lifetime registration. This change makes the registration period for these offenses consistent with that for other similar offenses (e. g. , a statutory rape offense committed by a teacher).

“Nonviolent Sexual Offense” Classification and Voyeurism (§§ 32, 35, & 42)

The act expands the criminal activities that trigger the 10-year registration requirement. It does this by expanding the definition of “nonviolent sexual offense” to include (1) voyeurism committed for the offender's or a third person's sexual gratification or arousal and (2) an attempt to commit, conspiring to commit, and aiding and abetting the commitment of voyeurism or fourth-degree sexual assault. Under prior law, voyeurism did not trigger registration unless one of the reasons for the voyeuristic act was to engage in nonconsensual sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person. And only the principal actor had to register for fourth-degree sexual assault violations.

The act allows a court to exempt a voyeur from the registration requirement if it finds that registration is not necessary for public safety.

By law, a person is guilty of voyeurism if he knowingly photographs, films, videotapes, or otherwise records the image of another person with malice or for his or a third person's sexual gratification or arousal and (1) without the subject's knowledge or consent, (2) while the subject is not in plain view, and (3) under circumstances where the subject has a reasonable expectation of privacy. It is these voyeurs whom the act requires to register. Voyeurism is a class D felony (see Table on Penalties).

Registration of Offenders Released Before 10/1/98 (§ 37)

Under PA 97-183, sexual offenders released into the community after incarceration or probation were required to register for 10 years. PA 98-111 required these same offenders to comply with its provisions and register for life; however offenders convicted of the same crimes now classified as “criminal offenses against a victim who is a minor” and released after the passage of PA 98-111 were required to register for only 10 years.

The act corrects the disparity in registration terms by requiring the pre-1998 registrants to register for 10 years, rather than life.

Risk Assessment Board (§ 30)

Members. The act establishes an 18-member board consisting of a forensic psychiatrist experienced in sex offender treatment appointed by the governor; a person trained in the identification, assessment, and treatment of sex offenders appointed by the governor; and the following state officials or their designees:

1. correction, mental health and addiction services, and public safety commissioners;

2. chief state's attorney;

3. chief public defender;

4. chairperson of the Board of Pardons and Parole;

5. victim advocate;

6. executive director of the Judicial Department's Court Support Services Division; and

7. chairmen and ranking members of the Judiciary and Public Safety committees.

Duties. The board must develop a risk assessment scale and use it to assign a risk level of high, medium, or low to each sex offender required to register based on his likelihood to reoffend. The board must include the assessment, and assign a risk level for, incarcerated offenders within one year of their release date.

The risk assessment scale must assign weights to various risk factors, including:

1. the seriousness of the offense;

2. the offender's prior criminal history and characteristics;

3. the availability of community supports;

4. whether the offender, or credible evidence in his record, indicates that he will reoffend if released into the community; and

5. whether the offender demonstrates a physical condition that minimizes his risk of reoffending.

By February 1, 2007, the board must submit recommendations to the Judiciary Committee regarding:

1. information about sex offenders that should be available to the public through the Internet, including (a) their names, residential addresses, physical descriptions, and photographs; (b) the crime they committed; (c) a brief description of the facts and circumstances of each crime; (d) any history of prior sex offenses that would require registration; and (e) the names of their supervising correctional, probation, or parole officers and the officers' contact information;

2. the level assigned to offenders whose information should be available to the public through the Internet;

3. the need for additional restrictions on registrants, such as curfews and intensive monitoring on holidays; the need to require high-risk offenders to register regardless of when they were convicted or released into the community; and

4. any high-risk offenders who meet the criteria for civil commitment.

Existing law permits the involuntary commitment of people with psychiatric disabilities who are either dangerous to themselves or others or gravely disabled.

Registrant Supervision (§ 41)

The act requires DOC, the Board of Pardons and Parole, and the Judicial Department's Court Support Services Division to each submit an annual report, by January 15th, on the number of registered sex offenders they supervise who are electronically monitored and any additional resources they need to ensure that registrants are supervised.

Registry Information Updates and Penalties (§§ 34 & 36-40)

The law, unchanged by the act, requires residents to register in this state if they were convicted of crimes in another jurisdiction that if committed in Connecticut would require registration. The act also requires these offenders to register if they are subject to a registration requirement in the other jurisdiction. The law subjects these foreign registrants to the registration periods applicable to offenders convicted under Connecticut law. The act specifies that the registration period is that of the jurisdiction that convicted the offender.

The act adds name changes to the events triggering updated reports to the Sex Offender Registry Unit. Registered offenders must register their new names without undue delay after the change is finalized. It changes the time period for reporting changes in address and status and for registering as an out-of-state offender from five and 10 days, respectively, to without delay.

By law, people who violate sex offender registration laws are guilty of a class D felony. The act specifies that a person who fails to register as an out-of-state offender or report a change in name, address, status, or other reportable event is subject to the penalty only if the failure continues for five business days.

Photographs and Notification Protocol (§ 40)

By law, DPS must retake pictures of registrants at least once every five years. The act requires the department to include the most recent photograph of each registrant in the registry taken by DOC, DPS, a law enforcement agency, or the Judicial Department's Court Services Division.

The act requires the DPS commissioner to develop a protocol for notifying other state agencies, the Judicial Department, and local police departments when a registrant registers a name change or the commissioner determines that a registrant has changed his name.

Probation and Conditional Discharge (§ 29)

The act specifies that courts may order that a defendant be electronically monitored by a GPS as a condition of probation or conditional discharge.

The act raises the maximum daily cost of electronic monitoring services from $5 to $6 plus inflation. By law, courts may require offenders subject to monitoring to pay for it.

MAINTENANCE OF FINGERPRINT DATA (§ 43)

The act gives the State Police Bureau of Identification (SPBI) the option of maintaining fingerprints in either electronic or paper format. It applies to fingerprints (1) SPBI receives from police departments for people convicted of crimes of moral turpitude and (2) from people who submit to criminal history record checks required by law.

The act allows the bureau to destroy paper copies of fingerprints in its files when it converts the fingerprints to an electronic format.

PA 06-111 contains these identical provisions.

EFFECTIVE DATE:   July 1, 2006

HYPNOTIST REGISTRATION REQUIRED (§ 44)

The act requires anyone practicing hypnosis, or holding himself out to be a hypnotist, to register with DCP. It defines “hypnosis” as an artificially induced altered state of consciousness characterized by heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction.

The act requires a registration applicant to state that he is not required to register as a sex offender and requires the DCP commissioner to revoke, after notice and hearing, the registration of anyone required to register as one. It sets application, complaint handling, and disciplinary procedures. It authorizes the DCP commissioner to impose a civil penalty of up to $100 for practicing hypnosis without being registered and to adopt regulations in consultation with the public health commissioner.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2006

Applications

The application must be on a DCP-provided form with information and attestation required by the DCP commissioner that must include the applicant's full name, business and residential addresses, and a written representation that the applicant is not a sex offender under Connecticut law. The act requires registrants to notify the commissioner of any change in these facts within 30 days after they occur. The application and annual renewal fees are $50.

Complaints and Discipline

Under the act, DCP receives and investigates complaints about hypnotists and may cause a prosecution to begin based on its investigation. Grounds for complaints include physical or sexual abuse; misappropriation of property; and fraud or deceit in obtaining, or attempting to obtain, a registration as a hypnotist. The act requires DCP to give a hypnotist written notice of a complaint by certified mail. A hypnotist who wants to appeal must file a request for a hearing within 30 days after DCP mails its notice. Hearings must be conducted in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act. The DCP commissioner must make a finding on the complaint and enter it in the registry. He may do so regardless of whether the individual is already on the registry or has obtained a registration as a hypnotist.

The act gives the DCP commissioner the authority to deny a registration to, but not revoke the registration of, a hypnotist who has been the subject of a finding. The act requires the registry to include information about anyone denied a registration and a brief statement by the individual, if any, disputing the denial.

A hypnotist may ask the commissioner to have a finding removed from the registry if the commissioner determines that the hypnotist's employment and personal history does not reflect a pattern of abusive, deceitful, or fraudulent behavior, and the conduct involved in the original finding was a singular occurrence. The act prohibits removing a finding less than one year after it was added to the registry.

Exemptions

The act exempts anyone licensed in this state to provide medical, dental, nursing, counseling, or other health care, substance abuse, or mental health services from its hypnotist registration provisions.

SEXUAL ASSAULT BY A HYPNOTIST (§ 45)

The act makes it sexual assault for a hypnotist to have consensual sexual intercourse or contact with a client or former client under the same circumstances that the law applies to people performing or purporting to perform psychotherapy.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2006

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault by a hypnotist is 2nd-degree sexual assault when it involves sexual intercourse:

1. with a client during a treatment session for a mental or emotional illness, symptom, or condition;

2. the hypnotist represents to be for legitimate treatment purposes; or

3. with a client or former client the hypnotist has reason to know is unable to withhold consent because of her emotional dependence on him.

By law, people convicted of this crime are subject to 10-year sex offender registration.

The act also makes it 4th-degree sexual assault to have sexual contact with a client or former client under the circumstances listed above. By law, people convicted of this crime are subject to 10-year sex offender registration.

The table below lists penalties and fines for 2nd- and 4th-degree sexual assault.

Offense

Classification

Range of Sanctions

2nd-degree sexual assault; victim under age 16

Class B felony

At least 9 months and up to 20 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $20,000, or both

2nd-degree sexual assault; victim at least age 16

Class C felony

At least 9 months and up to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both

4th-degree sexual assault; victim under age 16

Class D felony

Up to 5 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000, or both

4th-degree sexual assault; victim at least age 16

Class A misdemeanor

Up to 1 year imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,000, or both

LOBSTER RESTORATION EFFORTS (§§ 46-51)

The act establishes a lobster trap (pot) allocation buy-back program and an economic assistance program for resident commercial lobster fishermen. It bases funding for these programs on whether the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission establishes a v-notch program with equivalent conservation value to existing or future requirements for Long Island Sound by November 1, 2006.

The act establishes a Lobster Restoration Advisory Committee to advise the DEP commissioner on the development of a lobster v-notch conservation program to enhance recovery and rebuilding of lobster stock in Long Island Sound.

The act allows seafood dealers, wholesalers, or shippers to possess and sell lobsters less than a certain length under certain conditions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

V-Notch Program (§ 47)

Under the act, if the Lobster Management Board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approves a lobster v-notch restoration program with conservation values equivalent to current or future requirements for Long Island Sound (known as “management Area 6”) by November 1, 2006, 100% of any appropriations made for FY 2007 for lobster stock recovery and conservation goes to implement the v-notch program.

If the board does not approve a lobster restoration program by November 1, 2006, 60% of the appropriation goes to implement the lobster pot buy-back program and 40% to fund the economic assistance program for resident commercial lobster fishermen, both of which the act establishes. (Connecticut's v-notch program, under PA 05-281, requires the tails of mature female lobsters that licensed commercial fishermen land be marked with a V-shaped notch and then released in order to increase lobster egg production. As of June 2006, it was unfunded and had not been implemented. )

Lobster Pot Allocation Buy-Back Program (§§ 48-49)

The act requires the DEP commissioner to establish a lobster pot allocation buy-back program, within available appropriations, to permanently retire lobster pots from the lobster fishery. It also requires the program to provide a $15 payment for each lobster pot allocation permanently retired.

By law, to conserve and manage American lobster populations, the DEP commissioner must adopt regulations governing (1) lobster taking in state waters and (2) lobster possession in the state regardless of where taken. The act additionally allows the commissioner to adopt regulations by April 1, 2007, to implement the lobster pot allocation buy-back program.

The regulations must include provisions for the $15 lobster pot buy-back. They must stipulate that the buy-back program is limited to the buy-back of lobster pots of resident commercial lobster fishermen holding lobster trap allocations issued by the commissioner who (1) reported lobster landings between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2005, as determined by the commissioner, based on required reports or (2) received license transfers with trap allocations. The act stipulates that the buy-back program is voluntary.

Economic Assistance Program (§ 50)

Under the act, the DEP commissioner must establish an economic assistance program for resident commercial lobster fishermen. She may adopt regulations by April 1, 2007 to implement the program. The program is for any resident commercial lobster fisherman who (1) held a Connecticut license to take lobsters in 2006 and a lobster trap allocation issued by the commissioner or (2) received a license transfer with a trap allocation, and who, not later than January 24, 2006, reported the landing of lobsters between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2005, as determined by the commissioner, based on reports the law required.

The regulations must include provisions for direct payment to such lobstermen based on the contribution his lobster catch made to the total qualifying catch of all qualifying lobster fishermen from Long Island Sound with any gear between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2005. In cases in which more than one fisherman has reported on the same catch report form, catches must be attributed and payments made to the lead license holder indicated on the form.

Lobster Restoration Advisory Committee (§ 46)

The 11-member Lobster Restoration Advisory Committee includes:

1. the DEP and Agriculture commissioners or their designees;

2. the state's administrative, legislative, and governor-appointed commissioners, to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission; and

3. one representative each from the (a) Southern New England Fishermen's and Lobsterman's Association, (b) Connecticut Commercial Lobstermen's Association, (c) Long Island Western End Lobstermen's Association, (d) state vocational aquaculture school known as the Sound School in New Haven, (e) state vocational aquaculture school in Bridgeport, and (f) Connecticut Seafood Council.

The DEP and agriculture commissioners jointly appoint committee members, after receiving nominations from the above listed groups. They must do so no later than 30 days after the acts passage, which was May 26, 2006. The committee elects its own chairman and any other officers and adopts procedural rules, as necessary. Committee members are not compensated for their services, but are reimbursed for necessary expenses while performing their duties.

Possessing Lobster Below Certain Size (§ 51)

Prior law prohibited anyone from buying, selling, giving away, offering for sale, or possessing, regardless of where taken, any lobster with a body shell (carapace) length less than 3 and 9/32 inches. Under the act, a seafood dealer, wholesaler, or shipper may possess and sell lobsters less than the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's American Lobster Fishery Management Plan for Long Island Sound minimum legal length, as defined in regulation, provided:

1. the lobsters are not taken from Long Island Sound waters or landed in this state, regardless of where such lobsters were taken;

2. the lobsters are (a) not less than the minimum legal length in effect in the waters of the Lobster Management Area or nation of origin where taken and not less than three and one-quarter inches carapace length regardless of where taken, and (b) not bartered, exchanged, sold, or offered for sale to retail consumers in this state; and

3. the seafood dealer, wholesaler, or shipper in possession of such lobsters possesses written documentation identifying the state, Lobster Management Area, or nation of origin, as applicable, where such lobsters were received; the number of such lobsters received that are less than Long Island Sound minimum legal length; and the date such lobsters were received.

The seafood dealer, wholesaler, or shipper must keep this documentation for a period of six months from the date the lobsters were received and must make it available to law enforcement officers upon request.

REGISTRATION OF HOMEMAKER-COMPANION AGENCIES (§§ 52 – 62)

The act requires homemaker-companion agencies to register annually with DCP for a $300 fee. The agencies must (1) maintain a surety bond, (2) require employees hired on or after October 1, 2006 to undergo comprehensive background checks, and (3) require these employees to provide information about their criminal convictions or certain disciplinary actions against them. They must provide their clients with written individualized contracts or service plans and make their records accessible to DCP. The act imposes penalties on agencies that provide such services without registering or make certain misrepresentations.

The act requires the DCP commissioner to adopt implementing regulations and to report on the implementation to the Aging Committee and the governor by January 1, 2008.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2006

Homemaker- Companion Agencies

The act defines a “homemaker-companion agency” as any public or private organization with one or more employees engaged in the business of providing companion or homemaker services. Under the act, “companion services” means nonmedical, basic supervision services to ensure a person's well-being and safety in his home. “Homemaker services” means nonmedical, supportive services that ensure a safe and healthy environment for an individual in his home, including assistance with personal hygiene, cooking, household cleaning, laundry, and other household chores. The act defines “employee” as anyone employed by, or who enters into a contract to perform services for, a homemaker-companion agency, including temporary employees, pool employees, and independent contractors.

The act excludes home health care agencies and homemaker-home health aide agencies from the definition of “homemaker-companion agency”; both of these types of agencies must already be licensed by the Department of Public Health (DPH) and consequently are exempt from this act's DCP registration requirement. As defined under the public health statutes, a “home health care agency” is a public or private organization that provides professional nursing services as well as homemaker-home health aide services, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, or medical social services available 24 hours a day, in the patient's home or an equivalent environment. A “homemaker-home health aide agency” is a public or private organization, other than a home health care agency, that, under the supervision of a registered nurse, provides supportive services such as assistance with personal hygiene, dressing, feeding, and incidental household tasks essential to achieving adequate household and family management in the patient's home or in an equivalent environment.

Registration Requirements

The act prohibits anyone acting individually or jointly with another person from establishing, conducting, operating, or maintaining a homemaker-companion agency in the state without first obtaining a DCP registration certificate. Anyone seeking registration must complete and submit a DCP application to the commissioner. The application must include the applicant's name, residence and business addresses, business telephone number, and other information the commissioner requires. Each application must be accompanied by a $300 fee, which must be deposited in the General Fund.

The applicant must also certify under oath that the agency:

1. complies with the act's employee comprehensive background check requirements;

2. maintains a surety bond (but the act does not specify a minimum amount);

3. will keep its records open for DCP inspection, copying, or audit at all reasonable hours; and

4. provides all clients receiving homemaker or companion services with a written individualized contract or “service plan” that specifically identifies the services' anticipated scope, type, frequency, and duration.

The Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders currently requires such a written service plan for its clients who receive Medicaid or state assistance.

If an agency fails to comply with the act's registration requirements, the act authorizes the attorney general, at the DCP commissioner's request, to apply to the Superior Court for a temporary or permanent order to stop the agency from continuing to do business in the state.

Registration Issuance and Denial Procedures

After receiving a completed application and the registration fee, the commissioner must either issue and deliver the certificate of registration or deny it. The certificate cannot be transferred or assigned to someone else. It is valid for one year and renewable annually for a $300 fee, which is the same as for the original certificate. Failure to receive an expiration notice or a renewal application does not exempt an agency from the obligation to renew the registration.

The act allows the commissioner to suspend, revoke, or deny certificates; place registrants on probation; or issue letters of reprimand. He can take any of these actions for (1) agency conduct (or that of an agency employee in the course of employment) likely to mislead, deceive, or defraud the public or the commissioner or (2) untruthful or misleading advertising.

If the commissioner denies a certificate, he must notify the applicant of the denial and his right to request a hearing within 10 days after receiving the denial notice. If the applicant requests a hearing within the 10 days, the commissioner must give notice of the grounds for his denial and conduct the hearing in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act (UAPA). If the denial is sustained after the hearing, the applicant must wait one year after the date the denial was sustained before he can reapply.

The act also prohibits the commissioner from revoking or suspending a certificate of registration except on notice and hearing consistent with the UAPA. And it prohibits the commissioner from accepting an application to reinstate a revoked certificate within one year after the revocation date.

Commissioner's Inspection Authority

The act gives the DCP commissioner the right to inspect, copy, or audit all of the agency's records at all reasonable hours. It allows the commissioner to conduct investigations and hold hearings on any matter under act and to issue subpoenas, administer oaths, compel testimony, and order the agency to produce books, records, and documents. If anyone refuses to appear or otherwise comply with the commissioner's orders, a Superior Court judge, on the commissioner's application, may make an order appropriate to help enforce the act. The attorney general, at the commissioner's request, may apply to the Superior Court for a temporary or permanent order restraining and enjoining anyone from violating the act.

Registrant's Duties

The act requires anyone obtaining a certificate of registration to (1) show it at the request of any interested party, (2) state the fact that the agency is registered and (3) disclose the registration number in advertising.

The act also prohibits anyone from:

1. presenting or trying to present someone else's certificate as his own;

2. knowingly giving the commissioner false evidence of a material nature in order to procure a certificate;

3. falsely representing himself as, or impersonating, a registered homemaker-companion agency;

4. using or trying to use an expired, suspended, or revoked certificate;

5. offering to provide homemaker or companion services without having a current certificate of registration; or

6. representing that registration constitutes the commissioner's endorsement of the quality of services the person provides.

Anyone who violates these specific provisions is subject to up to six months in prison, up to a $1,000 fine, or both, in addition to the act's other remedies.

Employee Background Checks and Statement on Criminal Convictions and Disciplinary Actions

The act mandates that a homemaker-companion agency must require any employee hired on or after October 1, 2006 (including temporary and pool employees and independent contractors) to submit to a comprehensive background check, but it specifies no particular procedures for them nor identifies who would do them. The term “comprehensive background check” is not defined in the act or in statute. (In practice, background checks vary in terms of their scope, complexity, and the years covered, among other things. They may include checks of any or all of the following, for example: criminal history, credit, professional license, employment, and education records. )

In addition, under the act, each agency must require that employees hired on or after October 1, 2006 complete and sign a form answering questions about whether they were convicted of a crime involving violence or dishonesty in any state or federal court in any state or were subject to any decision imposing disciplinary action by a licensing agency in any state, the District of Columbia, a U. S. possession or territory, or a foreign jurisdiction. If an employee makes a false written statement about his prior criminal convictions or disciplinary action, the act makes him guilty of a Class A misdemeanor (see Table on Penalties).

Individualized Contract or Service Plan Required

The act requires that, within seven days after a homemaker-companion agency begins providing services to anyone, it must give the client or his authorized representative a written contract or service plan that describes the services' anticipated scope, type, frequency, duration, and cost. The act also requires the contract or service plan to provide notice of (1) the individual's right to request changes to it or to review it, (2) the agency's employees who must submit to a comprehensive background check, and (3) the availability of the agency's records for DCP inspection or audit.

Under the act, no such contract or service plan is valid against the person who receives the services or his authorized representative unless the contract or service plan has been signed by the agency's authorized representative and the person who receives the services or his authorized representative.

The act exempts from its contract and service plan requirements homemaker or companion services provided under the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders administered by the Department of Social Services (the program already provides its own service plans).

Regulations

The act requires the DCP commissioner to adopt regulations to carry out the act. But it allows him to implement policies and procedures needed to administer the act while in the process of adopting such policies and procedures as regulations, as long as he prints notice of the intent to adopt regulations in the Connecticut Law Journal within 20 days after implementing the policy and procedures. Such policies and procedures are valid until the time final regulations are adopted.

DCP Implementation Report Required

By January 1, 2008, the act requires the DCP commissioner to report on its implementation to the Aging Committee and the governor. The report may include recommended revisions to the statutes or other changes the commissioner deems necessary or advisable to enhance the act's implementation.

CONNECTICUT HYDROGEN-FUEL CELL COALITION (§ 63)

The act requires DECD to establish a Connecticut Hydrogen-Fuel Cell Coalition. DECD must do this in consultation with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, a federally funded nonprofit organization focused on developing the next generation of technological systems for military and civilian applications.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

FUEL CELL ECONOMY PLAN (§ 64)

The act requires DECD to contract with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology to prepare a plan for fuel cell economic development. DECD must do this in consultation with the Connecticut Hydrogen-Fuel Cell Coalition, the Renewable Energy Investment Fund, and other appropriate state agencies.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Plan Elements

The plan must include a strategy to:

1. help commercialize fuel cells and hydrogen-based technologies;

2. enhance energy reliability and security;

3. promote ways to make transportation and electric generation systems more efficient, reduce their effects on the environment, and increase their use of renewable and sustainable fuels;

4. facilitate the installation of infrastructure for hydrogen production, storage, transportation, and fueling capability;

5. disseminate information about the benefits of hydrogen-based technologies and fuel cells; and

6. develop ways to retain and expand the state's hydrogen and fuel cell industries.

The strategy must also identify how hydrogen-based and fuel cell technologies could benefit the state's transportation and electric and natural gas distribution systems. DECD must consult with the Department of Transportation to identify areas where the state could integrate hydrogen or natural gas and hydrogen mixture refueling stations with mass transit and fleet locations.

Lastly, the strategy must identify areas in the electric and natural gas distribution system where hydrogen and fuel cell technology could be used to generate energy distribution. The strategy must show how the technology could reliably be used to control voltage, secure the grid, make the system more reliable, or provide uninterruptible service at customer sites. DECD must develop this part of the strategy in consultation with electric and natural gas service providers.

Report

DECD must report to the Commerce Committee about the plan. It must submit a progress report to the committee by January 1, 2007 and a final report by January 1, 2008.

Background—Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology

Universities, businesses, and state and federal agencies established the center in 2002 with a $1. 5 million grant from the U. S. Air Force. The center focuses on developing the next generation of technological systems for military and civilian applications. Its initiatives include creating a center to (1) develop and deploy advanced technologies; (2) help entrepreneurs launch new, technology-based businesses; and (3) encourage colleges and universities to train students for advanced technology fields.

Background—Renewable Energy Investment Fund

The quasi-public Connecticut Innovations, Inc. administers the fund, whose purpose is to promote investments in renewable energy resources, stimulate demand for them, and encourage their deployment.

PROMOTION OF CONNECTICUT AGRICULTURE (§§ 65-66)

By law, the agriculture commissioner must establish and administer a program to market farm products grown and produced in Connecticut to encourage state agricultural development. The commissioner may provide grants to anyone who promotes and markets these farm products, provided the words “Connecticut-Grown” are clearly incorporated in such promotional and marketing activities. The act allows use of “CT-Grown. ”

Under the act, the commissioner must also design, plan, and implement a multiyear, statewide marketing and advertising campaign, which must include television and radio advertisements promoting the availability and advantages of purchasing Connecticut-grown farm products.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

Website

The act requires the commissioner to establish and continuously update a website connected with the advertising campaign. It must include a comprehensive listing of Connecticut farmers' markets, pick-your-own farms, roadside and farm markets, farm wineries, garden centers, and nurseries selling predominantly Connecticut-grown horticultural products, and agri-tourism events and attractions.

Additional Duties

Under the act, the commissioner must promote business relationships and interaction between farmers and restaurants, grocery stores, institutional cafeterias, and other potential institutional purchasers of Connecticut-grown farm products. This includes (1) linking farmers and potential purchasers through a separate feature of the web site the act establishes and (2) inviting farmers and potential institutional customers to participate in statewide or regional events promoting Connecticut-grown farm products.

The commissioner must, to the best of his ability, solicit cooperation and participation from the farm, corporate, retail, wholesale, and grocery communities in advertising, Internet-related, and event planning efforts, including soliciting private-sector matching funds.

Funding

Under the act, the agriculture commissioner must annually use $100,000 for marketing from the funds collected from the $30 document-recording fee established by PA 05-228. Under prior law, the commissioner had to use those funds to encourage the sale of Connecticut-Grown food to schools, restaurants, retailers, and other state businesses and institutions.

The act requires the commissioner to deposit the money into the expand and grow Connecticut agriculture account. It is a separate, nonlapsing account within the General Fund already funded from 75% of an annual fee of 40 cents per linear foot the commissioner imposes on the owner of certain facilities that cross any grounds of the Sound within Connecticut's jurisdiction.

Under prior law, the commissioner could make payments from the expand and grow Connecticut agriculture account for programs that certify that grocery stores, schools, and restaurants use certain percentages of Connecticut-grown or produced farm products. Under the act, the commissioner must make payments from the account to fund these programs and the act's marketing, advertising campaign, and other requirements. He also must seek private matching funds.

Report

The act requires the commissioner to report annually to the Environment Committee with respect to the act's requirements, including the amount of private matching funds received and expended by the department. By law, the commissioner may adopt regulations as necessary to carry out the Connecticut-Grown program.

Background—Connecticut-Grown

By law, only farm products grown and eggs produced in Connecticut can be advertised or sold in Connecticut as “Connecticut-Grown. ” Farm products grown and eggs produced in Connecticut may also be advertised or sold in Connecticut as “Native,” “Native-Grown,” “Local,” or “Locally-Grown” (CGS § 22-38).

MEMBERS OF THE STATE ELECTIONS ENFORCEMENT COMMISSION, THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, AND THE CITIZEN'S ETHICS ADVISORY BOARD (§§ 67 – 69)

The act increases, from $50 to $200, the per diem payable to Freedom of Information Commission, State Elections Enforcement Commission, and Office of State Citizens' Ethics Advisory Board members for attending a commission or board meeting or hearing. Members continue to be reimbursed for necessary or reasonable expenses associated with discharging their duties.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

ENERGY EFFICIENCY (§ 70)

The act requires state facility construction projects funded on or after January 1, 2007 to meet specified energy and environmental standards. The requirement applies to new facilities costing $5 million or more, other than school construction projects, salt sheds, parking garages, or maintenance facilities.

By January 1, 2007, the OPM secretary, in consultation with the public works, environmental protection, and public safety commissioners, must adopt regulations adopting construction standards that meet or exceed the silver building rating of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design's (LEED) rating system for new commercial construction and major renovation projects or an equivalent standard. The alternative standard must at least include a two globe rating under the Green Globes USA design program. The secretary must update the regulations as he considers necessary. The secretary, in consultation with the public works commissioner and the Institute for Sustainable Energy, must exempt a facility from the regulations if the Institute for Sustainable Energy finds, in a written analysis, that the cost of compliance significantly outweighs the benefits of compliance.

Both rating systems give projects points for their environmental characteristics, such as energy and water efficiency, and use of recycled materials and renewable energy. Based on the number of points a project receives, it can be given a silver, gold, or platinum award under the LEED system and one to four globes under the Green Globes system.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2006

GENERAL ASSEMBLY STAFF COMPENSATION (§§ 71 - 72, 97)

The act increases the salaries received for each regular session for:

1. Senate and House clerks, from $18,000 to $25,000;

2. Senate and House assistant clerks, from $16,800 to $23,350;

3. Senate and House chaplains, from $7,200 to $10,000; and

4. Senate and House messengers, from $3,900 to $5,425.

These officials also receive per diem payments that are unchanged by the act when the General Assembly convenes for special session days.

The act also increases the rate for earning compensatory time for permanent, full-time legislative employees to one hour of compensatory time for every one hour, rather than two hours, of overtime an employee works. Such an employee must receive one hour of compensatory time for each hour of overtime worked after January 1, 2006.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage for the compensation provisions; January 3, 2007 for the salary change.

STATE-WIDE TOURISM MARKETING ACCOUNT (§§ 73 – 74)

The act establishes an account within the General Fund to fund the implementation of the state-wide tourism marketing plan and makes a conforming technical change. The account must contain any funds appropriated to it by law, and any year-end fund balances must be carried forward to the next fiscal year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

DISCLOSURE TO COMMISSION ON CHILD PROTECTION (§§ 75 – 76)

The act permits DCF to disclose otherwise-confidential records relating to abused and neglected children to employees of the Commission on Child Protection. Disclosure of copies of court, service provider, and law enforcement records and medical, psychological, psychiatric, and social welfare studies and reports is authorized to those who need access to perform their jobs. The act also allows the chief child protection attorney or his designee to obtain copies of DCF records without the subject's consent to ensure competent representation and accurate billing records of attorneys he contracts with to provide legal and guardian ad litem services for abused and neglected children.

Delinquency records are not subject to disclosure under existing law or the act.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2006

INCREASED FUNDING FOR CTN (§ 77)

Under prior law, the revenue services commissioner had to set-aside $2 million of the cable television companies tax each fiscal year for the Office of Legislative Management (OLM) to defray the costs of providing Connecticut Television Network (CTN) coverage of state government deliberations and public policy events. The act raises the set-aside to $2. 5 million annually, beginning FY 07. The act requires the comptroller, rather than the commissioner, to deposit the funds with the treasurer, who makes them available to OLM.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

START-UP FINANCING (§ 78)

The act makes a technical change to the criteria a company must meet to receive start-up financing from the quasi-public Connecticut Innovations, Inc.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING TAX CREDITS FOR MOVIE AND DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION (§ 79)

PA 06-83 authorizes corporate tax credits for eligible companies that produce qualified films and other types of television, video, or digital entertainment in Connecticut, and requires the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism (CCCT) to administer them. In doing so, it allows CCCT to adopt implementing regulations after consulting with the revenue services commissioner.

This act duplicates a change already made in § 83 of the budget act (PA 06-186), which shifts the responsibility for administering the credits from CCCT to the commissioner. As part of that shift, both acts require the revenue services commissioner, in consultation with CCCT, to adopt implementing regulations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

SALES TAX EXEMPTION FOR SERVICES PROVIDED BY PARTICIPANTS IN CERTAIN JOINT VENTURES (§ 80)

The act expands eligibility for, and extends the duration of, a sales tax exemption for specified business services rendered between participants in certain kinds of joint ventures under a joint venture agreement. The exemption applies to personnel; commercial or industrial marketing, development, testing, and research; and business analysis and management services. To qualify, (1) a joint venture's purpose must relate directly to producing or developing new or experimental products or systems and supporting and marketing them and (2) one of its corporate participants must have been actively engaged in business in Connecticut for at least 10 years. The company providing the service must own at least 25% of the joint venture.

Under prior law, to be tax-exempt, the entity receiving services had to be either a corporation or partnership and the one giving services had to be its corporate shareholder or partner, respectively. The act also allows a limited liability company to receive exempt services from a corporate member.

In addition, the act extends the exemption's duration from 10 to 20 consecutive years and specifies that it starts from the date the joint venture is formed, incorporated, or organized. An existing 30-year exemption term for aircraft industry joint ventures that existed before January 1, 1986 remains unchanged.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

SALES TAX EXEMPTIONS (§§ 81-82)

Yoga Instruction

The act exempts from the 6% sales tax, charges for yoga instruction provided at a yoga studio. Under prior law, such instruction was included in taxable health and athletic club services unless (1) it was provided by a municipality or a nonprofit organization or (2) charges for it were included in club dues or fees already subject to the dues tax.

Connecticut Center for Science and Exploration

The act extends to the Connecticut Center for Science and Exploration an existing sales and use tax exemption for items or service used, incorporated into, or otherwise consumed in building the Hartford convention center, Rentschler Field, and related parking facilities and infrastructure improvements.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

ADRIAEN'S LANDING SCIENCE CENTER FACILITY (§ 83)

The act specifies that the Connecticut Center for Science and Exploration refers to the science center facility constructed and operated in the Adriaen's Landing site. PA 98-179 authorized up to $300 million in bonds for the Adriaen's Landing project. The science center addresses that element of the original plan that called for a major but unspecified attraction.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

PROVISIONAL PARDONS (§§ 84-87)

The act authorizes the Board of Pardons and Paroles to issue provisional pardons to remove certain barriers or forfeitures to offenders obtaining employment or an occupational license due to the conviction of crimes named in the provisional pardon. The act allows the board to issue a provisional pardon, any time after sentencing to a person who applies for one or who is under the board's jurisdiction if (1) the person was convicted of a crime in Connecticut or another jurisdiction and resides in the state and (2) the relief in the provisional pardon may promote the public policy of rehabilitating ex-offenders through employment and is consistent with the public's interest in safety and protecting property.

The act prohibits employers from denying employment to a prospective employee or discharging or discriminating against an employee solely on the basis of a conviction that occurred before his employment for which the person received a provisional pardon. By law, these prohibitions already apply to prior arrests, criminal charges, or legally erased records of convictions (for delinquencies, families with service needs, youthful offenders, criminal charges that were dismissed or nolled, criminal charges resulting in not guilty verdicts, and pardoned convictions).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2006

Barriers and Forfeitures

Under the act, a provisional pardon can apply to all of the eligible barriers or forfeitures or it can specify particular ones. It can limit the provisional pardon to specific types of employment or licenses for which the offender is otherwise qualified.

A “barrier” is the denial of employment or a license because of a criminal conviction without considering whether the nature of the crime bears a direct relationship to the employment or license. A “forfeiture” is a disqualification or ineligibility for employment or a license by reason of law based on the offender's criminal conviction.

“Employment” is any remunerative work, occupation, vocation, or any form of vocational training, but not employment with law enforcement.

A “license” is any license, permit, certificate, or registration the state or any of its agencies require to pursue, practice, or engage in an occupation, trade, vocation, profession, or business.

The provisional pardon cannot apply to eligibility for or the right to retain public office.

Issuing Provisional Pardons

Under the act, the board creates the forms and prescribes the contents for provisional pardons and their applications, investigative reports, and revocations. The board must verify the person's application. Board staff can investigate an applicant and submit a report. If written, the report is confidential and cannot be disclosed except as required or permitted by statute or on the board's specific authorization.

When it grants a provisional pardon, the act requires the board to provide written notice to the clerk of the court where the person was convicted. This does not erase the conviction record and the person must disclose the conviction if required.

The act authorizes the board to enlarge the relief granted to a person in a provisional pardon by issuing a new one under the same procedures as for granting original provisional pardons.

A provisional pardon is considered temporary any time that the offender is on probation or parole, and the board can revoke it for a probation or parole violation.

SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYMENT FUNDING (§ 88)

The act transfers $4 million to the Labor Department for distribution to the state's five workforce investment boards. The funds come from OPM's FY 06 urban youth employment appropriation.

The act requires each board to allocate at least 75% of the amount it receives to at least one distressed municipality in its region and the rest to other towns in the region for summer youth employment programs. It allows the boards to allocate up to 25% of their appropriation, or any unspent money allocated for summer youth employment, for year-round workforce development programs for 14- to 19-year-olds whose family incomes make them eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.

The act requires the Labor Department to distribute the following amounts: $1. 3 million to Capital Workforce Partners; $900,000 to the Workforce Alliance; $900,000 to the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board, Inc. ; $500,000 to The Workplace, Inc. ; and $400,000 to the Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

CONNECTICUT UNITED FOR RESEARCH EXCELLENCE BIOBUS (§ 89)

The act requires Connecticut Innovations, Inc. to pay Connecticut United for Research Excellence $1. 5 million for the operation of its BioBus. The amount must be paid over five years from available appropriations beginning July 1, 2006. PA 06-196 eliminates this provision.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

IPM PROGRAM FUNDING AT UCONN (§ 90)

The act requires the Agriculture Experiment Station to transfer $300,000 during FY 07 from the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) account to UConn to develop and implement:

1. nonagricultural IPM programs, which must include programs for trees, shrubs, turf, and structural IPM applications and

2. agricultural IPM programs, including programs for vegetables, fruit, forage crops, and nurseries.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (§ 92 & 98)

The act repeals provisions of PA 06-43 that appropriated (1) $25,000 and $50,000 for FY 07 to the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and the Police Officer Standards and Training Council, respectively, to implement a training program on trafficking in persons and (2) $25,000 for FY 07 to the Judicial Department to use to contract with a community provider for shelter and other services for trafficking victims.

It transfers from the Judicial Department's Victim Security Account to the Criminal Justice Division $75,000 for FY 07 to the Criminal Justice Division for protective services for cooperative victims at risk of harm.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

CHILD PROTECTION COMMISSION (§ 93)

The act specifies that up to $234,000 in the Child Protection Commission account will not lapse at the end of FY 06 and may be used in FY 07.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

FUND TRANSFER FROM DPS TO DCP (§ 94)

The act requires DPS to transfer $50,000 of appropriated FY 07 “Other Expenses” funds to DCP for “Other Expenses. ”

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

DEP'S BEACH EROSION PILOT PROJECT FUNDING (§ 95)

The act moves a $450,000 FY 06 General Fund appropriation for the DEP's Beach Erosion Pilot Project from Payment to Local Governments to Other Current Expenses within the department for the project.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

MASHANTUCKET PEQUOT AND MOHEGAN FUND (§ 96)

For FY 08 and each fiscal year thereafter, the act distributes $1. 6 million of the appropriation to the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Fund to towns that are members of the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments and to distressed municipalities that are members of the Northeastern Connecticut Council of Governments or the Windham Area Council of Governments. The distribution must be proportional based on the payments each received in the previous fiscal year.

The above distribution (1) is in addition to the grants already paid to the municipalities from the fund, (2) is paid before other grants from the fund, and (3) must not be reduced proportionately if the total payable to each municipality is more than the amount appropriated for the grants that year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2006

Background — Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Fund

The fund is a separate, nonlapsing fund that receives revenue derived from casino gaming and provides grants to towns based on different criteria. It provides:

1. $20 million based on the criteria for making payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) for state-owned property,

2. $20. 1 million based on the PILOT criteria for private hospitals and colleges,

3. $35 million based on the formula for providing property tax relief grants, and

4. $5. 47 million to certain designated municipalities distributed according to the property tax relief fund.

These four types of grants and the impact grants the five towns currently receive must be proportionately reduced when the total grant for all towns exceeds the appropriated amount.

Background — Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments

The member towns are: Bozrah, Colchester, East Lyme, Franklin, Griswold, Groton, Ledyard, Lisbon, Montville, New London, North Stonington, Norwich, Preston, Salem, Sprague, Stonington, Voluntown, and Waterford.

Background — Distressed Municipalities

Killingly, Putnam, and Windham have been designated as distressed municipalities and are members of the Northeastern Connecticut Council of Governments or the Windham Area Council of Governments.

OLR Tracking: CR: Various: PF: ts