CHAPTER 422a
AGRICULTURAL LANDS

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Sec. 22-26hh. State bonds authorized for purposes of this chapter.
Sec. 22-26ll. Farmland Preservation Advisory Board. Established. Membership meetings. Responsibilities.
Sec. 22-26mm. Municipal loan program. Account. Regulations.

      Sec. 22-26hh. State bonds authorized for purposes of this chapter. The State Bond Commission shall have power, from time to time, to authorize the issuance of bonds of the state in one or more series and in principal amounts not exceeding in the aggregate one hundred seventeen million seven hundred fifty thousand dollars, the proceeds of which shall be used for the purposes of section 22-26cc, provided not more than five million dollars of said authorization shall be effective July 1, 2008, and further provided not more than two million dollars shall be used for the purposes of section 22-26jj. All provisions of section 3-20, or the exercise of any right or power granted thereby which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this section are hereby adopted and shall apply to all bonds authorized by the State Bond Commission pursuant to this section, and temporary notes in anticipation of the money to be derived from the sale of any such bonds so authorized may be issued in accordance with said section 3-20 and from time to time renewed. Such bonds shall mature at such time or times not exceeding twenty years from their respective dates as may be provided in or pursuant to the resolution or resolutions of the State Bond Commission authorizing such bonds. None of said bonds shall be authorized except upon a finding by the State Bond Commission that there has been filed with it a request for such authorization, which is signed by or on behalf of the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and states such terms and conditions as said commission, in its discretion, may require. Said bonds issued pursuant to this section shall be general obligations of the state and the full faith and credit of the state of Connecticut are pledged for the payment of the principal of and interest on said bonds as the same become due, and accordingly and as part of the contract of the state with the holders of said bonds, appropriation of all amounts necessary for punctual payment of such principal and interest is hereby made, and the Treasurer shall pay such principal and interest as the same become due.

      (P.A. 78-232, S. 10, 11; P.A. 79-499; P.A. 80-441, S. 1, 4; P.A. 81-370, S. 6, 13; P.A. 82-369, S. 9, 28; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-33, S. 10, 17; P.A. 84-443, S. 11, 20; 84-546, S. 65, 173; P.A. 85-558, S. 13, 17; P.A. 86-396, S. 18, 25; P.A. 87-405, S. 18, 26; P.A. 88-343, S. 12, 32; P.A. 89-331, S. 19, 30; P.A. 90-297, S. 11, 24; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-7, S. 13, 36; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 93-1, S. 11, 45; P.A. 95-272, S. 10, 29; P.A. 96-181, S. 107, 121; P.A. 97-234, S. 7; June 5 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1, S. 14, 20; P.A. 98-259, S. 10, 17; P.A. 99-241, S. 12, 66; P.A. 00-203, S. 10, 11; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 00-1, S. 24, 46; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-7, S. 5, 28; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9, S. 94, 131; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-1, S. 19; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-5, S. 9; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-7, S. 49.)

      History: P.A. 79-499 increased bond authorization from $5,050,000 to $7,050,000; P.A. 80-441 increased bond authorization to $9,050,000; P.A. 81-370 increased the aggregate of bonds the bond commission may authorize for purposes of chapter 422a to $9,250,000; P.A. 82-369 increased bond authorization to $9,750,000; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-33 increased bond authorization to $14,750,000; P.A. 84-443 increased authorization limit to $19,750,000; P.A. 84-546 made technical change, substituting reference to Sec. 22-26dd for reference to Sec. 22-210dd; P.A. 85-558 increased the bond authorization limit to $22,750,000; P.A. 86-396 increased bond authorization to $28,750,000; P.A. 87-405 increased the bond authorization to $36,750,000; P.A. 88-343 increased the bond authorization to $44,750,000; P.A. 89-331 increased the bond authorization to $52,750,000; P.A. 90-297 increased the bond authorization to $62,750,000 and required that the secretary of office of policy and management rather than agriculture commissioner sign authorization request; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-7 increased the bond authorization to $66,250,000 and set forth a limit of $2,000,000 of that amount for Sec. 22-26jj; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 93-1 amended section to increase bond authorization to $76,250,000, effective July 1, 1993, provided $5,000,000 of said authorization shall be effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 95-272 increased authorization amount to $82,250,000, effective July 1, 1995, provided $3,000,000 shall be effective July 1, 1996; P.A. 96-181 decreased aggregate amount from $82,250,000 to $78,250,000 and removed proviso re amount effective July 1, 1996, effective July 1, 1996; P.A. 97-234 deleted reference to repealed Sec. 22-26ee; June 5 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1 increased bond authorization from $78,250,000 to $80,250,000 provided $1,000,000 is effective July 1, 1998, effective July 31, 1997; P.A. 98-259 increased authorization to $82,750,000 provided $3,500,000 of said authorization was effective July 1, 1998, deleted proviso re use for purposes of Sec. 22-26dd and made technical change, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 99-241 increased authorization to $83,750,000, effective July 1, 1999; P.A. 00-203 designated existing language as Subsec. (a) and added new Subsec. (b) requiring the State Bond Commission to authorize issuance of balance of bonds previously authorized but not allocated, effective June 7, 2000, and applicable to all open space land donations made on or after the income year commencing January 1, 1999; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 00-1 repealed said Subsec. (b), effective June 21, 2000; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-7 increased authorization from $83,750,000 to $87,750,000 provided $2,000,000 is effective July 1, 2002, effective July 1, 2001; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9 changed "section 22-26dd" to "section 22-26cc", effective July 1, 2001; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 04-1 increased bond authorization to $89,750,000 and made $2,000,000 of said authorization effective July 1, 2004, effective July 1, 2004; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-5 increased the aggregate authorization to $107,750,000, of which $10,000,000 is effective July 1, 2006, effective July 1, 2005; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-7 increased aggregate authorization from $107,750,000 to $117,750,000, of which $5,000,000 is effective July 1, 2008, effective November 2, 2007.

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      Sec. 22-26ll. Farmland Preservation Advisory Board. Established. Membership meetings. Responsibilities. (a) There is established a Farmland Preservation Advisory Board, within the Department of Agriculture for administrative purposes only, to assist and advise the Commissioner of Agriculture in carrying out the provisions of sections 22-26aa to 22-26kk, inclusive.

      (b) The advisory board shall consist of twelve members as follows: A representative from The University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension Service, appointed by the Governor to serve an initial term of two years; a representative from the Connecticut Farm Bureau, who may be an owner and operator of a Connecticut farm and shall be appointed by the Governor to serve an initial term of three years; five owners and operators of Connecticut farms, who shall be appointed as follows: One by the Governor, one by the president pro tempore of the Senate, one by the speaker of the House of Representatives, one by the majority leader of the Senate, and one by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, to serve initial terms of three years; a representative from the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station, appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, to serve an initial term of two years; a representative from the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, to serve an initial term of two years; a representative from an organization whose mission includes farmland preservation, who may be an owner and operator of a Connecticut farm and who shall be appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate to serve an initial term of two years; a representative from an organization whose mission includes food security, appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives to serve an initial term of two years; and a representative from a financial lending organization whose clients include owners and operators of Connecticut farms, appointed by the Governor to serve an initial term of two years. The members of the board shall select a chairperson from among the board members who are owners and operators of Connecticut farms. Upon the expiration of the terms of the initial members, the terms of such members shall be three years. A person appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve for the unexpired term of such vacancy. Any member may be eligible for reappointment.

      (c) Upon establishment of the advisory board and selection of a chairperson pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the board: (1) Shall meet publicly with said commissioner and the staff of the purchase of development rights for agricultural land program within the Department of Agriculture, not later than October 1, 2007, and at least quarterly thereafter to review the ongoing activities of the program, (2) shall evaluate and provide comments and recommendations on the purchase of development rights for agricultural land transaction process, including, but not limited to, methods for streamlining the process and appropriate levels of staffing and funding, methods for increased participation by municipalities and farmers, methods of planning for future acquisitions and identifying prime land for agricultural preservation, and outreach strategies to be conducted by program staff to the state-wide farming community, targeted towards attracting a greater number of quality applications, (3) may recommend any other changes to the program deemed appropriate by the board, including recommendations for future legislative action, and (4) shall evaluate and provide comments on the efficacy of the method of bond funding established pursuant to section 3-20f.

      (P.A. 07-162, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 07-162 effective July 1, 2007.

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      Sec. 22-26mm. Municipal loan program. Account. Regulations. (a) The Commissioner of Agriculture shall administer a program providing eligible municipalities with a loan for the purchasing of agricultural lands. Such loan shall be for a period not to exceed five years and shall not be subject to interest. Municipalities shall be eligible for such loan if they provide not less than twenty per cent of the purchase price of such lands and may apply for such loan on a form prescribed by the Commissioner of Agriculture.

      (b) There is established an account to be known as the "municipal purchasing of agricultural land account" which shall be a separate, nonlapsing account within the General Fund. The account may contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the account. Moneys in the account shall be expended by the Commissioner of Agriculture for the purposes of providing municipalities with loans for the purchase of agricultural lands in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.

      (c) The Commissioner of Agriculture may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, setting forth the criteria for loans granted under this section, and the terms governing such loans.

      (P.A. 07-131, S. 3.)

      History: P.A. 07-131 effective July 1, 2007.

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