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Substitute Senate Bill No. 937

Public Act No. 07-205

AN ACT ESTABLISHING AN OFFICE OF MILITARY AFFAIRS AND IMPLEMENTING RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE GOVERNOR'S COMMISSION FOR THE ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION OF SOUTHEASTERN CONNECTICUT.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2007) (a) There is established an Office of Military Affairs within the Department of Economic and Community Development for administrative purposes only. The Office of Military Affairs shall promote and coordinate state-wide activities that enhance the quality of life of all branches of military personnel and their families and to expand the military and homeland security presence in this state.

(b) The Governor, in consultation with the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, shall appoint an executive director to manage the daily activities and duties of the Office of Military Affairs. The executive director shall have the necessary qualifications to perform the duties of said office, including, but not limited to, having prior military experience, and having attained the rank of an officer within a branch of the armed forces. The Governor shall give preference to any person with the necessary training and experience who has served in the navy and who has knowledge or prior experience with the federal Base Realignment and Closure or "BRAC" process. Within available appropriations, the executive director shall: (1) Appoint, employ and remove such assistants, employees and personnel as deemed necessary for the efficient and effective administration of the activities of the office; (2) coordinate state and local efforts to prevent the closure or downsizing of Connecticut military facilities, particularly United States Naval Submarine Base-New London, located in Groton; (3) maximize the state's input into the federal Base Realignment and Closure or "BRAC" process, including, but not limited to, (A) acting as liaison to the state's congressional delegation on defense, military and BRAC issues, and (B) acting as liaison to consultant lobbyists hired by the state to assist in monitoring activities related to BRAC; (4) encourage the relocation of military missions to the state; (5) coordinate state and local efforts to enhance the quality of life of all branches of military personnel and their families living or working in Connecticut; (6) review and make recommendations for state policies that affect Connecticut's military facilities and defense and homeland security industries; (7) coordinate state, regional and local efforts to encourage the growth of Connecticut's defense and homeland security industry; (8) support the development of a Defense and Homeland Security Industry Cluster; (9) establish and coordinate a Connecticut Military and Defense Advisory Council to provide technical advice and assistance; (10) oversee the implementation of recommendations of the Governor's Commission for the Economic Diversification of Southeastern Connecticut; and (11) prepare and submit a report of activities, findings and recommendations annually to the Governor and the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to commerce and public safety, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes.

Sec. 2. Section 4-5 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

As used in sections 4-6, 4-7 and 4-8, the term "department head" means Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, Commissioner of Administrative Services, Commissioner of Revenue Services, Banking Commissioner, Commissioner of Children and Families, Commissioner of Consumer Protection, Commissioner of Correction, Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, State Board of Education, Commissioner of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Commissioner of Environmental Protection, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Public Health, Insurance Commissioner, Labor Commissioner, Liquor Control Commission, Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Commissioner of Public Safety, Commissioner of Social Services, Commissioner of Mental Retardation, Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, Commissioner of Transportation, Commissioner of Public Works, Commissioner of Veterans' Affairs, Commissioner of Health Care Access, Chief Information Officer, the chairperson of the Public Utilities Control Authority, the executive director of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind, the executive director of the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, [and] the Ombudsman for Property Rights and the executive director of the Office of Military Affairs.

Sec. 3. Subsection (b) of section 32-235 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2007):

(b) The proceeds of the sale of said bonds, to the extent of the amount stated in subsection (a) of this section, shall be used by the Department of Economic and Community Development for the purposes of sections 32-220 to 32-234, inclusive, including economic cluster-related programs and activities, and for the Connecticut job training finance demonstration program pursuant to sections 32-23uu and 32-23vv provided, (1) three million dollars shall be used by said department solely for the purposes of section 32-23uu and not more than five million two hundred fifty thousand dollars of the amount stated in said subsection (a) may be used by said department for the purposes of section 31-3u, (2) not less than one million dollars shall be used for an educational technology grant to the deployment center program and the nonprofit business consortium deployment center approved pursuant to section 32-41l, (3) not less than two million dollars shall be used by said department for the establishment of a pilot program to make grants to businesses in designated areas of the state for construction, renovation or improvement of small manufacturing facilities provided such grants are matched by the business, a municipality or another financing entity. The [commissioner] Commissioner of Economic and Community Development shall designate areas of the state where manufacturing is a substantial part of the local economy and shall make grants under such pilot program which are likely to produce a significant economic development benefit for the designated area, (4) five million dollars may be used by said department for the manufacturing competitiveness grants program, (5) one million dollars shall be used by said department for the purpose of a grant to the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, for the purposes of section 32-237, and (6) [ten] fifty million dollars shall be used by said department for [the purpose of grants to the United States Navy or eligible applicants for projects related to the enhancement of infrastructure for long-term, on-going naval operations at the United States Naval Submarine Base-New London, located in Groton, which will increase the military value of said base] infrastructure improvements to increase the military value of the United States Naval Submarine Base - New London, where such improvements may include, but need not be limited to, piers, drydocks or facilities for maintenance, operations, training, ordinance or electric or water utilities, provided, for any infrastructure improvement constructed, said commissioner shall negotiate a multiyear lease with the United States Department of the Navy, at the end of which lease ownership of such improvement may be transferred to said department or, if said department ceases operations at such submarine base prior to the end of such lease, said department shall reimburse the state for the full construction cost of such improvement.

Approved July 10, 2007