OLR Bill Analysis

SB 1500

Emergency Certification

AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE PROVISIONS OF THE BUDGET CONCERNING GENERAL GOVERNMENT.

1 — OLD STATE HOUSE

The bill authorizes the City of Hartford to lease to the General Assembly, through the Joint Committee on Legislative Management, the building and all of the property known as the Old State House. Under the bill, the leases' term must be at least 99 years and have a rate of $ 1 or less per year.

Any such lease between Hartford and the General Assembly must require Legislative Management to (1) retain custody and control of the property, buildings, and improvements and (2) provide for their appropriate maintenance. The bill also requires Legislative Management to award contracts, through requests for proposals, for Old State House (1) educational and community programming and (2) maintenance and operation.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

2 — WATER PLANNING COUNCIL ADVISORY COUNCIL

By law, the Water Planning Council must address issues involving water companies, water resources, and state drinking water policies. The bill allows the council to establish an advisory council. The advisory council must be balanced between water consumers and other interests. It can include representatives of:

1. regional and municipal water utilities;

2. investor-owned water utilities;

3. a wastewater system;

4. agricultural interests;

5. electric power generation interests;

6. business and industry interests;

7. environmental land protection interests;

8. environmental river protection interests;

9. boating interests;

10. fisheries interests;

11. recreational interests;

12. endangered species protection interests; and

13. academics with expertise in stream flow, public health, and ecology.

Currently, the council consists of the Public Utility Control Authority chairperson (i. e. , the DPUC head), the Departments of Environmental Protection and Public Health (DEP and DPH) commissioners, and the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary, or their designees. It requires the members of the Water Planning Council, by July 1, 2007, (the section's effective date) and annually thereafter, to elect a chairperson from among themselves

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

3 — OPM RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING THE WATER PLANNING COUNCIL

The bill requires OPM to:

1. review and prioritize the recommendations and goals the Water Planning Council developed before October 1, 2007;

2. compile information from other reports or studies on water resources planning in the state;

3. establish a mechanism to perform an in-depth analysis of existing DEP, DPH, and DPUC statutes and regulations in areas of overlapping and conflicting or inefficient procedures;

4. review and summarize other states' regulatory programs and structure relating to water resource planning, including their approaches to water allocation;

5. identify processes and funding needs for the evaluation of existing water diversion data and approaches to basin planning projects,zs and coordinate water data collection from, and analysis among, the DEP, DPH, DPUC, OPM, and the U. S. Geological Survey, and recommend supplemental data collection, as appropriate;

6. evaluate existing water conservation programs and recommend ways to enhance them to promote a water conservation ethic and to provide for appropriate drought response and enforcement capabilities;

7. identify funding requirements and mechanisms for ongoing efforts in water resources planning in the state; and

8. transfer sufficient funds to DEP for data collection and analysis.

The bill requires OPM, by February 1 annually, to report the findings of this study, together with proposed legislative changes, to the council and the Appropriations and Energy and Technology committees.

4 — FUNDING LEVELS FOR GROTON SUBMARINE BASE

PA 07-205 (SB 937), January 2007 session, increased, from $ 10 million to $ 50 million, the amount of grant funding that the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) commissioner may award to increase the military value of the Groton submarine base and made related changes. The bill repeals these changes, thereby restoring current law.

The law allows the DECD commissioner to award funding to the U. S. Navy or eligible applicants for projects to increase the military value of the sub base. In addition to increasing the funding, SB 937 specified some of the infrastructure improvements that would qualify for funding. It also required the commissioner to negotiate a multiyear lease for any such improvements with the U. S. Navy, at the end of which ownership of the improvements may be transferred to the Navy. If the Navy stopped operating at the base before the lease ended, SB 937 required it to reimburse the state for the full cost of constructing the improvements. The bill eliminates these provisions, thereby restoring current law.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

5 — YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING FUNDS

Within available appropriations, the bill requires the Labor Department to establish a program to distribute youth employment and training funds to the state's five regional workforce development boards.

The bill sets the following allocation formula:

1. Capitol Workforce Partners – 32. 5%

2. The Workforce Alliance – 22. 5%

3. The Workforce, Inc. – 12. 5%

4. Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board, Inc. – 22. 5% and

5. Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board – 10%

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

6 — EXTENDED FAMILY GUARDIANSHIP

Within available appropriations, the bill directs the probate court administrator to establish an Extended Family Guardianship and Assisted Care Pilot Program in the New Haven regional children's probate court. The program's purpose is to reduce the number of abused or neglected children placed out of their communities and in foster care. . It must be designed to reach out to local family members and appoint them as guardians. Under the bill, each relative appointed guardian is eligible for a grant of up to $ 500 per child The program must also have a component for recruiting volunteers to act as guardians' assisted care providers.

The court administrator must establish eligibility criteria by adopting regulations under the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

7 — FIREFIGHTER TRAINING

The bill specifically allows money in the state fire school training and education extension account to be used to (1) reimburse municipalities and municipal fire departments for one-half the cost of Firefighter I certification and recruit training for paid and volunteer municipal fire service personnel and (2) reimburse state agencies one-half the cost of Firefighter I certification and recruit training for state agency fire service personnel. By law, the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control, which maintains this General Fund account, may already use the account for training and education programs and sessions, which, in practice, include Firefighter I certification programs.

The bill specifies that the account must contain any money required by law to be deposited into it. By law, firefighters pay a fee to participate in training and education programs and sessions. The account consists of proceeds from these programs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

8 – INVASIVE SPECIES ACCOUNT

The bill creates an Invasive Species Detection and Control Account as a separate, nonlapsing account in the Conservation Fund to contain any money the law requires. The DEP commissioner must use money from the account to control invasive species, including hiring an invasive species coordinator, developing an early detection and rapid response policy, educating the public about invasive species, funding agriculture department and Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station inspectors, and making grants to municipalities to control invasive species on publicly accessible land and waters.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

9 — URBAN VIOLENCE REDUCTION GRANTS

Within appropriations, the bill establishes a program to reduce urban violence by providing competitive grants to municipalities and agencies acting on their behalf. A municipality's chief elected official must endorse agency applications.

The Office of Policy and Management (OPM) must establish application procedures and selection criteria and administer the program. It may adopt implementing regulations.

The grants are for anti-violence programs and services targeting urban youth between ages 12 and 18. Grant funds may be used for:

1. training on topics designed to reduce youth violence, such as problem-solving, decision-making, conflict resolution, and peer counseling;

2. mentoring;

3. tutoring, enrichment, social, and cultural activities; and

4. athletics and recreation; and

5. implementing strategies to (a) address imminent violence, (b) collaborate to reduce street violence, and (c) improve police-community relations.

The bill requires grant recipients to involve parents and youth in program planning and operations on an ongoing basis.

The bill requires OPM to publish annual notices of grant availability beginning in FY 08 and to include its selection criteria in them. OPM decides which grant proposals to fund and at what levels.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

10 — NAMING RIGHTS FOR TRANSIT STATIONS AND PROPERTY

The bill changes the transportation commissioner's responsibility regarding leasing naming rights for transit stations and transit-owned property.

Under sHB 7367, enacted in the 2007 regular session, the commissioner must develop procedures, in accordance with the general statutes, and establish criteria for leasing the naming rights to private corporations and organizations. The commissioner must submit the criteria to the Transportation Committee by January 30, 2008 and, if the committee approves them, must do so by the close of the 2008 legislative session.

The bill instead requires the commissioner to develop and recommend procedures and criteria for leasing the naming rights and submit the recommendations to the Transportation Committee by January 30, 2008. It eliminates the requirement regarding the committee's approval.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

11 — CONNECTICUT ENERGY ADVISORY BOARD ANALYSIS OF ENERGY FACILITY ALTERNATIVES

By law, when a company files an application with the Connecticut Siting Council to build a power plant, transmission line, or electric substation, the Connecticut Energy Advisory Board must issue a request for proposals (RFP) to identify alternatives to the facility. The RFP process can substantially lengthen the amount of time it takes the Siting Council to act on an application. The bill specifies that such an application is considered to be a “pre-application” until the RFP process is completed. At the completion of the RFP process, the “pre-application” is considered an application. The pre-applications are treated the same way as applications under current law, and the bill does not affect the board's or Siting Council's deadlines.

Under federal law, if a siting agency does not act on an application to build a transmission line within one year of receiving it, the applicant can appeal to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to assume siting jurisdiction.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

12 — CONNECTICUT CENTER FOR ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY

The bill requires the Connecticut Center of Advanced Technology (CCAT) to extend the services it provides through its Center for Supply Chain Integration to more businesses. Those services include technical assistance and training programs for adopting the latest digital technologies and cost-cutting production techniques. Current law limits these services to small and medium-size manufacturers who are at risk of losing contracts with larger defense firms for supplying parts and services. The bill extends them to all small-and medium-size manufacturers.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2008

13, 14 — CONNECTICUT DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH AND ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE MATCHING GRANT PROGRAM

The bill (1) transfers authority for the research and economic assistance and micro business matching grant programs from Connecticut Innovations, Inc. (CII) to DECD; (2) allows DECD to establish the programs, rather than requiring CII to do so; and (3) makes conforming changes to reflect the transfers of authority. It also allows DECD to contract with another person, company, or entity to operate the programs.

By law, the research and economic assistance program provides financial aid to (1) small businesses seeking help to commercialize certain research, (2) Connecticut businesses participating in the federal technology support program, and (3) micro businesses conducting research and development. The micro business program provides financial aid to micro businesses that have received federal funds for Phase II proposals under the federal Small Business Technology Transfer and the Small Business Innovation Research programs.

The bill requires DECD to follow the same statutory procedures as CII in administering the programs. It eliminates:

1. use of the Connecticut Technology Partnership Assistance Program revolving loan account to fund the programs;

2. CII's authority to require a business to repay the assistance or pay a multiple of the assistance to it and a requirement that CII deposit all such payments in the revolving loan account; and

3. a requirement that CII adopt written procedures for the programs.

The bill requires DECD, in consultation with any program operator, to submit annual reports, starting January 15, 2008, on the program to the Commerce Committee chairpersons. The report must include a description of the projects supported and the type of financial aid provided.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

15 — SMALL BUSINESS INCUBATOR PROGRAM

Grant Program

The law requires the DECD commissioner to establish a grant program for small business incubator facilities, which are entities that provide research and other services to help small technology-based companies. The bill makes the requirement subject to the availability of funds. It also allows DECD to make an agreement with another entity to operate the program and requires that grants go to the small businesses operating within incubator facilities rather than to entities operating incubator facilities.

Program Regulations

The bill eliminates the requirement that the DECD adopt regulations to govern the grant program and instead requires DECD or any program operator to follow written guidelines for the program that DECD must develop.

Under current law, the regulations must:

1. describe the entities eligible for the grants,

2. describe how they must use the grant funds,

3. define the types of businesses entities that can be supported with the grants,

4. specify the form and content of grant applications,

5. specify the schedule for awarding the grants,

6. specify the standards the commissioner will use to award the grants, and

7. include any other provisions needed to implement the program.

The bill also eliminates requirements that regulatory standards for awarding grants include priorities based on the type of services an incubator facility provides; criteria for judging an applicant's background, experience, and the services the applicant offers; and any limits on the grant amount an entity may receive during a funding round.

Grant Account

Under current law and the bill, the DECD commissioner can use funds from a separate nonlapsing account within the General Fund for the grants. The bill also allows the commissioner to use the fund for the grant program's administrative expenses. It eliminates a requirement that the account contain any money the law requires to be deposited in it along with any investment earnings.

Advisory Board

The bill establishes a 12-member Small Business Incubator Advisory Board to evaluate and recommend changes in the program guidelines. The board consists of three non-voting ex-officio members, who are the DECD commissioner, the Connecticut Development Authority president, and CII executive director or their designees, and nine voting members appointed as follows:

Number

Qualification (s)

Appointing Authority

1

None specified

Governor

2

Experience in the field of technology transfer and commercialization

House speaker

2

Experience in new product and market development

Senate president pro tempore

1

Experience in seed and early stage capital investment

House minority leader

1

Experience in seed and early stage capital investment

Senate minority leader

1

None specified

House majority leader

1

None specified

Senate majority leader

Members must be appointed by September 1, 2007 and the DECD commissioner must schedule the board's first meeting by October 15, 2007. The board must meet at least annually in each subsequent year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

16 - 19 — SCHOOL BUS EMISSIONS

The bill requires towns and school boards to retrofit certain full-size school buses with emissions-reducing equipment by September 1, 2010, as long as the work can be done within the grant amounts the bill establishes. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) must provide the grants from available appropriations. It makes the retrofitting and registration requirements contingent on whether the state can develop contracts setting price levels for the purchase, installation and warranty of the equipment for less than the bill's grant amounts. However, the DEP commissioner must reimburse towns and school boards that retrofit their buses voluntarily, even if the state contracts do not cover all their costs. DEP also must develop an outreach plan to educate municipalities, school boards, and bus companies about the emission and procurement contract requirements and help them retrofit their buses.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007.

Pollution Reducing Equipment

The bill requires retrofitting certain full-sized school buses with (1) closed crankcase filtration systems (filtration systems) and (2) level 1, level 2, or level 3 devices. Under the bill, level 1, level 2, and level 3 devices reduce particulate matter (soot) emissions by 25% to 49%, 50% to 84 %, and at least 85%, respectively. Alternatively, a level 3 device must achieve a soot emission standard of 0. 01 grams per brake horsepower-hour. A filtration system separates oil and other contaminants from the blow-by gases and routes the gases into a diesel engine's intake system downstream of the air filter.

The bill requires, by September 1, 2010, that full-sized school buses transporting children meet one of four standards, depending on its model year, fuel type, or emissions level. Under the bill:

1. a bus with an engine model year of 1994 or later must have a filtration system and either a level 1, level 2, or level 3 device or

2. a bus with an engine model year of 2003 to 2006 must have a filtration system and a level 3 device, if it (a) has not been retrofitted with a level 1 or level 2 device before July 1, 2007 and (b) is capable of operating normally with a level 3 device that can be installed, together with a filtration system, for $ 5,000 or less.

Alternatively, a bus must meet U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) engine model year 2007 emissions standards, or use compressed natural gas or another alternative fuel certified either by the EPA or the California Air Resources Board to reduce soot emissions by at least 85% compared to ultra low sulfur diesel fuel.

Grant Levels

Retrofitting is required only if the procurement contracts the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) commissioner develops, after consulting with the DEP commissioner, set the price to buy, install, and warranty a filtration system and either a level 1, level 2, or level 3 device at a cost equal to or less than the following grant amounts set by the DEP commissioner, in consultation with the education commissioner:

1. up to $ 5,000 for each 2003-2006 model year bus equipped with a filtration system and a level 3 device;

2. up to $ 2,500 for each bus equipped with a filtration system and level 2 device; and

3. up to $ 1,250 for each bus equipped with a filtration system and level 1 device. To be eligible for these grants, a bus must be expected to be in operation on or after September 1, 2010.

The DAS commissioner must make the procurement contracts available to state agencies and its political subdivisions through the contracting portal section of the DAS website. DEP must provide the grants within available appropriations.

Reimbursement

The commissioner must reimburse the towns and boards from a “school bus emissions reduction account” the bill creates as a separate, nonlapsing account in the General Fund to hold any money the law requires.

The bill requires the DEP commissioner to reimburse towns and school boards that choose to retrofit their buses, regardless of whether the grant amounts for the filtration devices, and either a level 1, level 2, or level 3 devices are less than the amounts the procurement contracts specify for the devices. In such a case, however, retrofitting the buses is optional, not mandatory.

Towns and school boards seeking reimbursement under the grant program must submit a form the commissioner prescribes, containing (1) the school bus model and year, (2) the engine model and year, (3) the vehicle identification number, (4) the date of the retrofit, and (5) a receipt for the purchase and installation of the equipment. In addition, applicants must certify that buses equipped with a level 3 device will operate in the state for at least three years after the device's installation.

Application

The bill applies to school buses as defined by law (CGS 14-275), which are Type I diesel school buses, including spare buses operated by or under contract to a school district, but does not apply to emergency contingency or low usage vehicles. Emergency contingency vehicles are buses placed in a contingency fleet for local emergencies, after they have reached the end of their normal minimum useful life.

Outreach Plan and Assistance

The DEP commissioner must (1) develop an outreach plan and materials to educate and notify municipalities, school boards, and bus companies about the emissions requirements and procurement contracts and (2) help them retrofit their full-sized buses. The assistance must include guidance in whether to retrofit buses with the level 1, level 2, or level 3 devices. The commissioner cannot use more than 3% of funds in the account to administer the program.

20 — VICTIM IMPACT PANELS

The bill raises from, $ 25 to $ 75, the maximum fee participants may be charged to participate in victim impact panel programs. It requires the organization that runs the programs to waive the fee if it would pose an economic hardship on a participant.

By law, courts may order people convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to participate in such a program as a condition of probation or participation in the pretrial alcohol education program. The programs provide a nonconfrontational forum for offenders and victims of drug- and alcohol-related offenses to share the impact offenses have had on their lives. Mothers Against Drunk Driving currently runs the programs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

21 — ETHICS

The State Ethics Code restricts gifts to the state from (1) registered lobbyists, (2) people doing or seeking to do business with the agency that employs a public official or state employee, (3) people engaged in activities regulated by the official's or employee's employer, and (4) prequalified contractors. PA 07-1 allows them to give the state goods or services or donate the use of facilities to assist state or quasi-public agency functions or actions. “Goods and services” are things that (1) are for use on state property or to support an event or a public official's or state employee's participation at an event and (2) facilitate state action or functions.

The bill amends PA 07-1 by specifying that the code does not prohibit anyone from donating real property for use by a state or quasi-public agency.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

22 — APPOINTMENT OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MILITARY AFFAIRS

Public Act 07-205 establishes an Office of Military Affairs to promote and coordinate activities that enhance the quality of life of military personnel and their families and to expand the military and homeland security presence in this state. It requires that in appointing the executive director, the governor give preference to someone who has served in the Navy and has knowledge or prior experience with the federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. The bill allows the appointment if the person meets only one of these criteria.

23 — TILLMAN SETTLEMENT

HB 6673, SA 07-5, requires the comptroller to pay James Calvin Tillman $ 5 million as full and final settlement of all claims he has against the state and any political subdivision of the state, and any state or local officer, agent, employee or official arising out of, or in any way related to, his arrest, prosecution, conviction, and incarceration from 1988 to 2006 for the crimes of kidnapping and sexual assault, which he did not commit. It makes any payment he receives under the bill exempt from the state income tax.

The bill specifies that this settlement is also exempt from claims or liens for incarceration costs that the law authorizes the state to recover from inmates.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

24 — TOBACCO AND HEALTH TRUST FUND

The bill requires the 17-member board of trustees of the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund to meet at least biannually instead of bimonthly. This fund is a separate, nonlapsing fund that can accept transfers from the Tobacco Settlement Fund and apply for and accept gifts, grants, or donations from public or private sources in order to carry out its objectives. The trust fund's purpose is to create a continuing significant source of money to (1) support and encourage programs to reduce tobacco abuse through prevention, education and cessation; (2) support and encourage program development for substance abuse reduction; and (3) develop and implement programs to meet the state's unmet physical and mental health needs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

25 — CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION SYSTEM GOVERNING BOARD

The bill requires the Criminal Justice Information System Governing Board to oversee all criminal justice information systems, instead of just the offender based tracking system. It makes a parallel change in the board's responsibility to

1. develop plans, maintain policies, and provide direction for the efficient operation and integration of criminal justice information systems, whether they serve a single or multiple agencies; and

2. recommend legislation necessary to implement, operate, and maintain the criminal justice information systems.

The bill also requires the board to establish standards and procedures for use by agencies to assure the interoperability of such systems, authorized access to such systems, and their security.

The bill defines criminal justice information systems as the offender based tracking system and information systems among criminal justice agencies.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

26 — STORM SHUTTER REQUIREMENTS UNDER HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICIES

The bill changes the effective date of a provision in PA 07-77, which prohibits an insurer from refusing to issue or renew a homeowners insurance policy solely because a person has not installed permanent storm shutters on his or her home to mitigate loss from hurricanes and severe storms. Under PA 07-77, this provision is effective January 1, 2008. The bill instead makes it effective July 1, 2007.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

27 — CONNECTICUT VALLEY HOSPITAL RESERVOIR STUDY

The bill requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in consultation with among others, Connecticut Valley Hospital (CVH) and the city of Middletown, to study the permanent protection of the reservoirs, watershed, aquifers, and other water supply lands located on or abutting CVH's grounds and buildings. The study must review all available maps, records, title information, and land records, including records of conservation and other easements, to determine the owner of record of the reservoirs, watershed, aquifers, and other water supply lands. In the event the review does not result in a conclusive determination, DEP may conduct or contract for title searches and A-2 surveys to clarify ownership. DEP must submit a report on the study's findings to the Environment and Public Health committees by February 1, 2008.

Besides CVH and Middletown, DEP must consult with the departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Public Health, the Office of Policy and Management, and state community colleges, including Middlesex Community College.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

28 — COURT TRANSCRIPT FEES

The bill increases the fee court reporters and monitors charge state and municipal officials for the first copy of a transcript from $ 1. 50 to $ 2. 00 per page and for subsequent copies from $ . 50 to $ . 75 per page. By law, court reporters cannot charge a state's attorney for a copy when the transcript is requested by a party of record, and they cannot charge the court for a copy when the transcript is requested by a state's attorney or party of record.

By law, others pay $ 3. 00 per page for the first copy and $ 1. 75 per page for subsequent copies.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

29 — TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

The bill requires the Office of Victim Services, within appropriations, to contract with nongovernmental organizations to develop a coordinated response system to help victims of trafficking. The purpose of the contracts must be to:

1. develop a uniform curriculum to address victims' rights and services;

2. develop information and material on available resources and services for victims;

3. actively seek out quality training and other educational opportunities for identifying and helping victims, taking into consideration their culture and needs; and

4. promote and disseminate information on training and other educational opportunities that help victims to locate emergency medical services, faith-based communities, sexual assault service providers, domestic violence service providers, and state and local government agencies.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

30 - 32, 37 — FAMILIES WITH SERVICE NEEDS

The bill expands diversion services and court options for families with service needs (FWSN). Generally, these are families with children under age 16 who have engaged in behavior such as running away or truancy (i. e. , have committed status offenses). (Section 79 of the bill makes 16- and 17-year olds eligible for the FWSN program beginning January 1, 2010. )

The bill also authorizes the FWSN Advisory Board to monitor implementation progress for an additional six months, until July 1, 2008.

FWSN Complaints

The law authorizes various relatives and state and local officials to file court complaints when they believe a child's behavior meets FWSN criteria. The court, in turn, refers these complaints to juvenile probation officers who must promptly investigate and decide what, if any, action is appropriate. Currently, probation officers who determine that the complaint raises legitimate FWSN issues may either refer the child and family for services or file a petition asking a judge to declare the child a FWSN child.

The bill prohibits probation officers from filing FWSN petitions without (1) first conducting an initial assessment and referring the child for voluntary services and (2) being notified by the provider that the family can no longer benefit from the services. In addition to the existing referral option of community-based programs and other providers, the bill directs the Judicial Department's Court Support Services Division (CSSD) to establish a network of family support centers providing multiple services intended to prevent further court involvement.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Family Support Centers

The bill directs the CSSD to contract with at least one private provider or youth service bureau or both, to develop the network. It defines a family support center as a community-based service center for children and families against whom a FWSN complaint has been filed. Its purpose is to prevent the child and family from further involvement in FWSN proceedings.

Each center must provide, or ensure access to, appropriate services, including:

1. screening and assessment;

2. crisis intervention;

3. family mediation;

4. educational evaluations and advocacy;

5. mental health treatment and services, including gender-specific trauma treatment and services;

6. resiliency skill building; and

7. short-term respite care.

Each must also provide access to positive social activities and services available to children in the juvenile justice system.

CSSD must have each center independently evaluated to measure service quality and outcomes for children and families.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Repeat Probation Officer Assessments

The bill requires a probation officer, each time a service provider or family resource center head informs him or her that a referred family can no longer benefit from its services, to conduct an appropriate assessment and decide whether filing a FWSN petition is appropriate. A notice from a community based provider can trigger a referral to a family resource center.

As under existing law, the probation officer must notify the individual who filed the FWSN complaint of his or her action. The bill eliminates the ability of the complaining party to file a FWSN petition on his own within 30 days of receiving notice that the probation officer is not doing so.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Actions While FWSN Petitions Are Pending In Court

Currently, judges may suspend formal court proceedings involving FWSN petitions (i. e. , grant continuances) for up to three months when they determine that a service referral is in the child and family's best interests. The bill allows the court to grant continuances of up to six months and authorizes an additional three-month extension for cause. As under existing law, judges can dismiss the FWSN petition at the end of the continuance when it appears that the matter has been satisfactorily resolved.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Case Dispositions: DCF Commitments

The law authorizes courts to issue orders directing the future conduct of children and families it has found to be FWSNs. The bill entitles children to legal representation and an evidentiary hearing. Currently, one court option is to order the child committed to DCF custody for an indefinite period of up to 18 months. The bill allows these orders only when the court finds that there is no less restrictive alternative. Existing law permits courts to grant a DCF petition to extend a FWSN child's DCF commitment for another 18 months when it finds this is in the child's best interest. The bill prohibits the court from granting an extension unless it finds that there is no less restrictive alternative.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Sanctioning FWSN Order Violators

The bill authorizes probation officers to file court petitions alleging that the child has violated the terms of a FWSN order. It specifies that the child is entitled to legal representation and an evidentiary hearing on the petition's allegations. If the court grants the petition, the bill authorizes it to order the child to:

1. remain at home or in the custody of a suitable person, subject to a probation officer's supervision or

2. be committed to DCF's care and custody, and to cooperate with DCF, for up to 18 months.

These sanctions are already permissible under current law.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Placement in Staff-Secure Facilities

The bill also permits courts to enter orders directing or authorizing peace officers or other appropriate people to place the child in a staff-secure facility under the auspices of CSSD for up to 45 days. It specifies that children cannot be detained for more than 24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, while waiting for a court hearing on this issue.

The bill defines staff-secure facilities as residential facilities:

1. that do not include construction features designed to physically restrict the movements and activities of residents and

2. in which the movements and activities of individual juvenile residents may be restricted or subject to control for treatment purposes through the use of intensive staff supervision.

The bill authorizes staff-secure facilities to establish reasonable rules restricting entrance to and exit from the facility.

Courts must find that there is no less restrictive alternative appropriate to the needs of the child and community before they can order a FWSN violator to be placed in a staff-secure facility. They must review the appropriateness of continuing the placement every 15 days. The child must be returned to the community after the period of staff-secure placement ends and may be subject to probation officer supervision.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Emergency Staff-Secure Placements

The bill also allows probation officers to file a court petition alleging that a FWSN child is at risk of immediate physical harm from the child's surroundings or other circumstances. The petition must contain the facts on which the claim is based. If it appears from the specific allegations of the petition and other sworn statements accompanying it, or introduced later, that there is probable cause to believe that the child (1) is in imminent risk of physical harm from his or her surroundings, (2) as a result of such condition, the child's safety is endangered and immediate removal from the surroundings is necessary to ensure that safety, and (3) there is no less restrictive alternative available, the court must enter an order for the child's placement in a staff-secure CSSD facility. The bill specifies that these children have the same procedural protections as those afforded to delinquent children.

No child may be detained for more than 24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, without a court hearing. Placement can last for up to 45 days; the court must reconsider its appropriateness every 15 days. When the placement period ends, the court must either return the child to the community for appropriate services or commit the child to DCF for up to 18 months.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

33, 38-50 — HOUSING FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH PROGRAM

Incentive Housing zones

Incentive Housing Developments (IHDs). The bill provides incentives to towns that choose to zone land for developing housing mainly where transit facilities, infrastructure, and complementary uses already exist (IHZs). The regulations governing these zones must allow incentive housing developments (IHDs), which can consist entirely of residential units or a mix of these units and stores, offices, and other uses. In either case, the residential units can be single-family homes or multi-family dwellings containing at least three units. But at least 20% of the units must be affordable to low- and moderate-income people.

People fall in this bracket if they earn no more than 80% of the area's median household income, adjusted for family size, as determined by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A unit is affordable if it costs no more than 30% of a person's annual income to live there.

Affordable units must remain that way for at least 30 years. Developers must comply with this requirement by imposing deeds, covenants, or other restrictions requiring their owners them to sell or rent the units only to low-and moderate income people at prices they can afford. Developers must record these restrictions in its land records.

An IHD's sponsor may impose more stringent affordability requirements. The sponsor can increase the share of affordable units and target them to low-income people, such as those earning no more than 50% of the area median income. It can also require these units to remain affordable for more than 30 years. In any case, it must incorporate these requirements in the deeds, covenants, or other restrictions imposed on the affordable units. The commission cannot reject a project because the sponsor chooses to do this.

Establishing Zones. The town receives the incentives only for IHDs that are developed in a state-approved incentive housing zone. The town's zoning commission must establish the IHZ as an overlay zone. Overlay zones rest on top of existing zones and usually impose additional requirements or restrictions intended to protect the area's unique characteristics. Establishing an IHZ does not affect the commission's power to adopt or amend regulations under the statutes or a special act.

Under the bill, the IHZ's requirements apply only incentive housing developments proposed in the underlying zone. The IHZ regulations must designate these developments as permitted uses and allow them as a matter of right. As such, the zoning commission may deny them only if they do not meet the requirements specified in the regulations. (Zoning commissions usually have discretion about whether to allow a proposed use that is not expressly permitted in a zone. )

The commission may overlay the IHZ over an area: (1) near a mass transit facility; (2) where homes, stores, and offices are located close together (e. g. , village center); or (3) where existing, planned, or proposed infrastructure, access to transportation, or underutilized facilities or locations make the area suitable for IHDs. The zone must also be consistent with the State Plan of Conservation and Development.

The IHZ's regulations may allow projects that mix homes and apartments with stores, offices, and other nonresidential uses as long as they are compatible with the bill's minimum required housing densities and the overall zone satisfies the bill's requirements.

The IHZ may overlay a local historic district. Conversely, the town may create an historic district in the IHZ, but the district's regulations must be compatible with the IHZ's. In other words, those regulations must not be so restrictive as to preclude incentive housing developments.

The town may establish separate zones and subdivide them into subzones, but the bill limits the zones' size. Each zone may cover no more than 10% of the town's total land area, and all the zones and subzones together can cover no more than 25% of that area.

The bill specifies the minimum densities the zoning commission must incorporate in the IHZ regulations. It requires the commission to allow these densities only on land that can be feasibly developed into residential and mixed use property (i. e. , developable land). Developable land generally excludes parks, wetlands, dedicated open space land, public and privately owned property slated for public uses, and other land where restrictions prohibit development. It also excludes areas exceeding one-half or more acres of contiguous land where steep slopes or other topographic features make it unsuitable for development.

The minimum densities are:

1. six units per acre for single-family detached homes,

2. 10 units per acre for duplex or townhouses, and

3. 20 units per acre for multifamily housing.

The town can also ask the secretary to waive the density requirements, and he may do so if these conditions are met:

1. The town, one of its agencies, a land or housing trust, or a nonprofit housing organization owns or controls the land in the proposed IHZ.

2. The proposed regulations require all of the units to be affordable provide a mechanism to enforce that requirement.

3. The proposed IHZ satisfies the bill's other requirements

Even though the bill sets minimum densities, the commission may have to set higher ones, depending on permitted densities of the underlying zone. The IHZ's densities must be at least 25% greater than the minimum density of the underlying zone. In other words, the commission can adopt the bill's minimum density for single-family detached homes (i. e. , six units per acre) if the density for these structures in the underlying zone is three or fewer units per acre, but must set a higher minimum density if the density in the underlying zone is four or more units per acre.

The bill specifies lower minimum densities for towns with fewer than 5,000 people according to the most recent federal decennial census. But these towns cannot adopt these densities without the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary's approval. The reduced densities are four units per acre for single-family homes, six per acre for duplex or townhouses, and 10 units per acre for multifamily housing.

The secretary may approve these lower densities if the town can show that the proposed IHZ lacks the sewage disposal; water supply; road system; and other existing, substantial infrastructure needed to support housing at the higher minimum densities. The secretary must allow the lower densities if the proposed IHZ meets the bill's other requirements.

The zoning commission must treat the densities as objective criteria and use them to approve site plans or subdivisions. It cannot impose special conditions, requirements, and standards on projects meeting the minimum densities as it can on applications for special permits or exceptions.

Incentive Housing Sponsors. Several types of entities can sponsor an IHD. The sponsor can be the owner or developer who acquired or constructed the development, the one who operates it, any other appropriate entity, or a person who owns or occupies a unit in the IHD. The sponsor can also be the town acting as the trustee, agent, or representative of these entities.

Adopting Design Standards for the IHZ. The IHZ's regulations may include design standards, which the commission must submit to the OPM secretary for approval. The standards may insure that a proposed new development complements existing buildings and structures and the zone's housing plan. They may do so by addressing building scale and proportion; site coverage; street and sidewalk alignment, width, and grade; type and location of infrastructure; building locations and garage entrances; off-street parking; significant natural sites; location and design of open spaces; signage; and setbacks and buffering.

The standards cannot increase development costs to the point where low- and moderate-income people cannot afford the units reserved for them. As discussed below, the secretary may disapprove a proposed IHZ if the standards could have this effect. This is the only reason why he may disapprove the standards.

Existing Regulatory Standards. The IHZ's standards are in addition to those of the underlying zone, and a proposed IHD must comply with these as well. But the bill allows the commission to modify, waive, or delete those standards of the underlying zone that mainly govern where structures can be placed on a lot. These include building height limits, the minimum distances between structures and roads, the minimum amount of space a structure must cover on a lot, the number of parking spaces per structure, and road design standards.

An IHD that includes subdividing land for building detached single-family homes must comply with the town's subdivision regulations. In these cases, the bill requires the zoning commission to make a written finding that the subdivision regulations will not cancel out the economic benefits of building more units per acre than normally allowed.

The zoning commission must do its best to promote subdivision regulations that further the IHZ's purpose. But its ability to do so depends on whether the town placed the zoning and subdivision functions under one roof. If the zoning and planning commissions are separate, then the zoning commission must encourage the planning commission to adopt requirements that tend to reduce development costs and make housing more affordable. If the commissions are combined, then the combine commission must adopt these subdivision standards.

State Approval for Proposed IHZs. The town becomes eligible for the incentives only after the OPM secretary approves the proposed IHZ in a two-step process. The town must first apply to the secretary for a preliminary determination as to whether the proposed IHZ qualifies it for the zone adoption grants described below. The town must submit this application before July 1, 2017. The application must:

1. identify and describe the proposed IHZ's boundaries;

2. identify, describe, and calculate the amount of developable land in the zone;

3. identify and describe existing and potential residential development and potential reuse of existing or underutilized buildings in the zone; and

4. calculate the number of residential units that may be constructed on the developable land in the zone under the proposed implementing regulations and the bill's minimum as-of-right densities.

The application must include:

1. copies of the IHZ regulations and design standards and, if the zone includes unsubdivided parcels, the subdivision regulations;

2. a copy of the restrictions to be imposed on the affordable units in an IHD and the plan for administering and enforcing those restrictions;

3. a plan describing the zone if it were fully developed under those regulations (i. e. , build-out analysis).

The plan must describe the zone and how the town intends to develop it. Specifically, it must describe:

1. the infrastructure that already exists in the zone and the infrastructure the town plans to construct,

2. the extent to which the proposed IHZ is compatible with other proposed and existing uses, and

3. how the town will support and promote the type of residential development the zone's regulations allow.

The secretary must reply to the town within 60 days after receiving its application. The bill implicitly allows people and organizations to be notified when a town requests a preliminary determination of eligibility. A party can receive notice by submitting a written request to the secretary, along with its e-mail address. At least 30 days before responding to the town, he must electronically notify all parties that requested the notice.

The secretary must deny the town's application if it is incomplete or the proposed IHZ or its design standards fails to meet the bill's criteria. It also requires him to deny the application if the zone's regulations and design standards would make government funded projects, including those receiving rent subsidies, physically or economically infeasible. But he cannot reject an application on these grounds if a developer tells him in writing that the standards will not have this effect. The developer's statement counts only if he has submitted an IHD application to the commission or intends to do so.

If the secretary does not reply within the 60-day period, the application is rejected but the town may reapply for a preliminary determination. If the secretary determines that the application is incomplete or that the proposed IHZ does not satisfy the bill's criteria, he must explain why in his written reply to the town. The town can reapply, but only after it addresses the secretary's reasons for denying the previous application.

If the secretary approves the proposed regulations and design standards, he must send it a preliminary letter of eligibility. The second step occurs after the zoning commission adopts them. The town must notify the secretary to that effect and request final approval. Within 30 days after receiving the town's notice, the secretary must send a letter to the town granting that approval. But, if he does not respond with 30 days, he tacitly denies final approval, in which case the town must reapply for a final approval.

The zoning commission cannot amend the regulations and design standards without the secretary's approval. The secretary has 60 days to act on the amendment. If he does nothing, the amendment is tacitly disapproved, and the town may resubmit the amendment to him.

Appeals. Under the bill, parties can appeal to Superior Court the commission's decisions to (1) adopt or amend IHZ regulations and design standards and (2) approve the IHD site plan or subdivision applications. They may do so according to the same statutory procedures for appealing zoning and planning commission decisions, but the bill adds other procedural requirements.

Annual Compliance Certification. The town can approve projects under the IHZ and qualify for incentives only after the secretary grants final approval to the zone's regulations and design standards and any subsequent amendments. But the secretary must annually certify that the town remains eligible to receive the bill's incentives or avoid repaying those it already received. He must adopt procedures for obtaining that certification.

To obtain certification, the town must verify that:

1. the zoning commission did not amend or repeal the IHZ regulations or design standards without the secretary's approval;

2. the secretary did not revoke the zone's approval;

3. the town is making reasonable efforts to assist and promote IHDs and housing construction in the zone;

4. the commission did not unreasonably deny site plan, subdivision, or necessary coordinating permits and approval; and

5. it denied approval only when applicants failed to provide the information needed to approve a proposed development.

If the town verifies these facts within the time the secretary's procedures require, the secretary must issue a certificate of compliance by October 1. If the secretary finds that the town is not in compliance, he may revoke its certificate after holding a hearing on the issue. In doing so, he must follow the statutory procedures for conducting public hearings. The revocation affects only the town's eligibility for incentives; it does not invalidate the IHZ regulations or the way the commission has applied them to approved proposed projects.

Reviewing a Proposed IHD. The bill requires the zoning commission (or combined planning and zoning commission) to review and approve proposed IHDs under the same schedules and procedures for reviewing and approving proposed projects under the zoning and subdivision statutes. But the commission must prepare an application form specifically for reviewing and approving IHDs, and that form must be consistent with the bill's requirements.

The bill allows the commission to conduct planning meetings or workshops on IHZs or projects. In doing so, it must comply with the Freedom of Information Act's public meetings and information disclosure requirements.

The bill allows the commission to hold a public hearing on a site plan or subdivision application for an IHD. The law already allows commissions to decide whether to hold a hearing on these applications.

Consultant Fees. The IHZ's regulations may allow the commission to impose fees to hire outside consultants needed to review an application's technical aspects. The town must account for these fees separately from other revenue and use them only to pay the consultants. It must return any unspent funds, plus accrued interest, to the applicant within 45 days after the consultants complete their review.

Referrals. The regulations may also allow the commission to refer IHD site plan or subdivision applications to other agencies, boards, and commissions for comment. By law, the commission must refer any application that affects a wetlands to the inland wetlands agency (CGS 8-3(g) and 8-26), and the bill does not affect this or any other law requiring the commission to submit an application to another agency.

These entities must comment on these referrals under the same the statutory deadlines for commenting on site plans or subdivision applications referred to them. The deadline for an inland wetlands agency depends on whether it holds a hearing on the application. If the agency chooses to hold a hearing, it has up to 165 days from receiving the application to make decision. If the agency chooses not to hold a hearing, it must act within 65 days from when it received the application.

Approval. The bill limits the extent to which the commission can impose conditions on an IHD's approval. The commission may only impose conditions needed only to insure that the developer substantially complies with the zone's regulations; design standards; and, if applicable, subdivision regulations. It may also impose conditions needed to mitigate any of the IHD's extraordinary adverse effects on nearby properties.

The bill allows the commission to deny an IHD application only if:

1. it fails to meet the zone's regulations,

2. the applicant's failure to submit the required fees and information prevented the commission from adequately and timely reviewing the project's design and identifying its development impacts, and

3. it is impossible to adequately mitigate the project's adverse effects on nearby property in a way the applicant accepts.

The bill's requirements for completing an IHD or renewing its approval are the same as those subdivisions under the law. If the project involves fewer than 400 dwelling units, the developer has five years to finish the work. The commission may extend this deadline for up to 10 years from when it approved the site plan. If the project involves 400 or more units, the developer has 10 years to complete it.

Deadline Extensions. But the bill specifies conditions under which the commission must extend an IHD's completion deadline. If the developer appealed the commission's decision regarding the project, the commission must extend the deadline by the time needed to resolve the appeal. The commission must also extend the deadline if (1) the applicant is actively pursuing other required permits or cannot complete the work on time for good cause or (2) it allowed for this when it approved the project.

Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure. The bill prevents a developer from using the affordable housing land use appeals procedure when proposing an IHD. The procedure allows a developer to appeal a town's decision rejecting an affordable housing project to Superior Court under rules that require the town to defend its decision. The bill bans the developer from submitting an application under that procedure if he or she submitted it under the IHZ regulations. It also prohibits the developer from using the procedure to appeal the commission's decision regarding the proposed IHD.

Incentives

Planning Grants for Towns. If funds are available, the bill authorizes OPM to make grants to towns for planning IHZs, drafting implementing regulations and design standards, and reviewing and revising applicable subdivision regulations. Towns can also use the grants to prepare the information they must submit to the secretary when applying for preliminary or final eligibility. The secretary may adopt regulatory procedures and criteria for awarding the grants.

Zone Adoption Grants. If funds are available for this purpose, the bill authorizes OPM to make grants to towns where the zoning commission adopted IHZ regulations and design standards. The secretary must pay the grants after he confirms that the commission did so and verifies that no one appealed or challenged this.

The grant must equal $ 2,000 for each unit that can be built on developable land in the zone based on the bill's minimum as-of-right densities. Units developed specifically for older persons under federal or state law do not qualify for grants.

Building Permit Grants. If funds are available for this purpose, the bill authorizes OPM to make grants to towns for each building permit they issue in an IHD. The grant equals $ 2,000 for each multifamily, duplex, and townhouse unit and $ 5,000 for each single-family detached unit.

The OPM secretary must pay the grants after (1) a town submits proof that it issued the permits for the IHD within five years after it adopted the IHZ regulations and (2) verifies that no one appealed or challenged this. He must do so within 60 after making these determinations.

Units developed specifically for older persons under federal or state law do not qualify for grants.

Technical Assistance Grants for Nonprofit Housing or Development Organizations. If funds are available, the bill authorizes the DECD commissioner to make grants to nonprofit housing assistance or development organizations to develop the technical capacity to plan and implement IHDs. The commissioner must do this in consultation with the OPM secretary. She may adopt implementing regulations.

Other Benefits. The bill creates a mechanism through which the state must notify potential IHD developers about surplus state property. Current law requires the public works commissioner to notify the town where the state property is located and the legislators representing the town. To receive notice, a developer must register with the economic and community development commissioner.

Recapturing Incentive Payments. The bill allows the secretary to require a town to repay the grants it received if he finds that the town:

1. arbitrarily or unreasonably delayed IHDs;

2. discouraged them; or

3. imposed arbitrary or unreasonable standards, requirements, and barriers on proposed IHDs after he approved the zone.

The secretary may adopt implementing regulations, which must include notice and hearing requirements.

Annual Report

The secretary must administer, review, and report on the incentive housing zone program. These duties include reporting annually to the legislature on its accomplishments. The first report is due January 1, 2009. Each report must cover the prior fiscal year and:

1. identify and describe the towns actively seeking letters of eligibility for HZs;

2. identify the zones he approved and the schedule for paying the incentives associated with these zones;

3. summarize the amount of land zoned for different types of developments in the proposed and approved zones;

4. summarize the number and type of proposed residential units in the zones, the number of building permits issued for these units, and the number and type of completed units; and

5. indicate the type and amount of incentive payments made to each town; and,

The report also must, for the current and next fiscal years, estimate the number and size of proposed new zones, the number that may be approved during that period, the anticipated number of residential units allowed in these zones, and the projected number of units to be built during the period.

Towns must provide any data the secretary needs to prepare the report.

Blue Ribbon Commission on Housing and Economic Development

Membership. The bill establishes a 12-member commission to study how affordable housing needs and how they affect economic growth and development. The members include the OPM secretary, economic and community development commissioner, the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) chairman, the treasurer, and or their respective designees.

The governor appoints two members, one whom she must designate as the commission's chairperson. Each of the legislative leaders appoint one member. The members must include representatives of large and small towns, realtors, planners, developers, and housing policy and regional planning organizations. The appointing authorities must make their appointments within 30 days after the bill's passage. They must fill any subsequent vacancies.

Duties. The commission must study and report on the state's short- and long-term housing needs and they affect growth. Specifically, it must evaluate:

1. the amount of housing needed to support economic development and growth in the short and long-term;

2. the regulatory and economic barriers limiting the extent to which developers can produce affordable housing;

3. the regions where the affordable housing needs are greatest;

4. the number of IHZs needed to create enough single- and multi-family housing to accommodate the creation of at least 20,000 new jobs annually; and

5. ways to encourage towns to adopt IHZ; including compensating them for educating the school children residing the zones.

The study must also evaluate:

1. establishing uniform standards for financing multifamily housing,

2. expanding loan guarantees,

3. improving the use of the housing programs operated by state agencies and quasi-public authorities

4. using mortgage insurance and other credit enhancements provided by CHFA and others to significantly expand public and private housing financing,

5. enhancing the existing affordable housing and historic preservation tax credits to promote housing renovation, and

6. coordinating financing to increase the use of federal housing tax credits.

Lastly, the study must include a comprehensive review of the rental housing market and an assessment of the benefits of subsidizing rents for low-income people in new housing developments and ways to finance this assistance.

The commission must submit its findings and recommendations to the governor and the legislature. Its interim report is due February 1, 2008 and its final report, June 30, 2008. The commission terminates when it submits its final report or January 1, 2009, which is sooner.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007, except that the provisions establishing the commission take effect upon passage.

34, 35 — FUEL EFFICIENCY AND STATE VEHICLES

Under current law, the average fuel efficiency of cars and light duty trucks must be at least 40 miles per gallon. In addition, the state fleet must meet federal requirements for the proportion of vehicles that run on alternative fuel. Under federal law, at least 75% of vehicles bought by the state (with certain exceptions) must be alternative fuel (these include electric vehicles and vehicles capable of operating on ethanol, among others).

The bill modifies fuel efficiency requirements for state fleet vehicles. It requires, starting January 1, 2008, that

1. at least half the cars the state purchases or leases be alternative-fueled, hybrid electric or plug-in electric vehicles;

2. all alternative fueled vehicles purchased or leased be certified to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) II Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standard; and

3. all gasoline-powered light duty and hybrid vehicles purchased or leased must be certified, at least to the CARB's LEV II Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standard.

It requires that all state cars and light duty trucks be alternative-fueled, hybrid electric or plug in electric vehicles starting July 1, 2012. If the administrative services (DAS) commissioner determines that such vehicles are not available for purchase or lease, he must include an explanation of that determination in the annual reports the bill requires.

Under current law the alternative fuel requirements does not apply to vehicles purchased for law enforcement or other special purposes as designated by DAS. The bill instead exempts from the above requirements any Department of Public Safety vehicle the public safety commissioner designates as needed for DPS to carry out its mission, provided the DAS commissioner approves the designation, and, in consultation with the public safety commissioner, explains why the provisions should not apply to these vehicles.

It requires, by August 1, 2007, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) commissioner, in consultation with the DAS commissioner, to try to determine if (1) the state qualifies for a waiver from the alternative fuel acquisition requirements of the federal Energy Policy Act (EPACT) of 2005, and (2) it is in the state's best interest to apply for such a waiver. The DAS commissioner must immediately apply for a waiver if the DEP commissioner, in good faith, finds the state qualifies and that it is in the state's best interest to apply.

It requires, by September 1, 2007, the DEP commissioner, in consultation with the DAS commissioner, to develop plans to increase the use of existing ethanol and natural gas fueling stations and any other existing alternative fueling station the state, and to update the plan periodically. It requires the commissioners, by the same date, to develop a plan to use alternative fuel credits the state has under EPACT, including credits earned by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and DPS to buy hybrid electric vehicles.

It requires, by October 1, 2007, the DAS commissioner to report to the Government Administration and Elections (GAE), Environment and Energy and Technology committees on (1) details on the state fleet composition, including a listing of all vehicles owned, leased or used by DOT and DPS; the make, model and fuel type of vehicles that compose the state fleet and the amount of fuel, including alternative fuels, that each vehicle uses, and (2) a copy of the DEP commissioner's determination as to whether the state qualifies the waiver from EPACT's alternative fuel acquisition requirements. It requires DOT and DPS to submit all the data DAS requests in preparing the report.

It requires, by January 1, and annually thereafter, the DAS commissioner to report to the GAE, Environment and Energy and Technology committees the same information as above, plus (1) any changes in the DEP commissioner determination concerning the waiver application, (2) a listing of any vehicle exempt from the alternative fuel and electric vehicle requirement, together with the DAS commissioner's reasons for the exemptions, and (3) any changes or amendments to the fueling station and EPACT credit plans the DEP commissioner develops. It requires DOT and DPS to submit all the data DAS requests in preparing the report. It authorizes the DAS commissioner to enter into any agreement necessary to carry out the bill's report provisions.

The DAS and DEP commissioners must, when possible, consider the use of and impact on state companies in carrying out the bill.

Finally, the bill defines “hybrid” (but not hybrid vehicle).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

36 — PROBATION TRANSITION PROGRAM

Annually, beginning in FY 08, the bill requires the Department of Information Technologies (DOIT) to transfer residual revenue from its prison inmate pay phone service contract to the Judicial Department's Court Support Services Division (CSSD).

CSSD must use the funds for personal services, other expenses, and equipment for its Probation Transition Program and Technical Violation Unit expansions. The former targets inmates who have been sentenced to terms of probation following incarceration. The latter is intended to reduce the number of probationers sentenced to incarceration because of technical violations of their probation conditions.

Residual revenue is that remaining after DOIT deducts (1) the $ 350,000 it is required to transfer annually to the Correction Department for inmate educational services and reentry programs and (2) its costs for administering the criminal justice information system.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

51 - 61 — BIODIESEL PROGRAMS

The bill creates several grant programs to encourage the production and use of biodiesel fuel for transportation and heating. Specifically, it provides grants to biodiesel producers and distributors, and encourages the use of biodiesel in state buildings, requires creation a fuel diversification program for certain state institutions, and makes other changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Various, see below.

51, 52 & 57 — Connecticut Qualified Biodiesel Producer

Incentive Account. The bill creates the Connecticut Qualified Biodiesel Producer Incentive Account (incentive account) as a separate, non-lapsing General Fund account. The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) must use money from the account to (1) provide grants to qualified Connecticut biodiesel producers and distributors as the act provides, and (2) administer the grant program. To qualify, biodiesel producers must be actively engaged in the commercial production of biodiesel in Connecticut and be registered with, and domiciled in, the state. Distributors must be registered with, and domiciled in, the state and actively engaged in storing and distributing biodiesel in Connecticut for commercial purposes. The fuel produced and distributed must meet the standards for biodiesel specified by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) designation D6751

DECD may enter into a personal services agreement with a person, firm, corporation, or other entity to implement the grant. DECD in consultation with the selected entity, if applicable, must create guidelines to administer the grant program and submit an annual report to the Energy and Technology, Commerce, and Environment committees.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

53 - 56 — Incentive Account Grants

Qualified producers are eligible in any one fiscal year for grants in the following amounts: (1) 30 cents per gallon for the first five million gallons produced; (2) 20 cents per gallon for the second five million gallons produced; and (3) ten cents per gallon for the third five million gallons produced. Production over 15 million gallons in a fiscal year is not eligible for grants. DECD, after consulting with the person, firm, corporation, or other entity implementing the grant, must determine monthly grant amounts by calculating the estimated quantity of biodiesel produced in the preceding month, and multiplying that figure by the incentive credit. Qualified producers can receive up to 60 monthly grants.

Producers must apply for the grants no later than 15 days after the last day of the month for which the grant is sought. The application must include (1) the producer's location, (2) the number of Connecticut citizens it employed in the preceding month, (3) the number of gallons of biodiesel produced during the month for which the grant is sought; (4) a copy of the producer's Connecticut registration, (5) satisfactory documentation that the biodiesel has a net carbon energy benefit when compared to the fuel it will replace, and (6) any other information DECD deems necessary.

Other Producer Grants. Each producer is also eligible to receive one grant of up to $ 3 million plus 25% of its costs to buy equipment or build, modify or retrofit production facilities. A producer can get one grant, regardless of the number of facilities it owns.

Distributor Grants. A distributor is eligible for grants of up to $ 50,000 per distributor for each distribution site. These grants may be for the actual monthly costs of creating biodiesel storage and distribution capacity, but cannot be used to buy equipment or build, modify or retrofit facilities. DECD, in consultation with the entity it selects to implement the grant, must create an application process and adopt guidelines to administer this grant.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

58 — Connecticut Farm Link Program

By law, the Agriculture Department must encourage communication between farmers and farmland owners seeking to sell their farms and lands and those interested in starting or expanding an agricultural business. The bill specifically requires the department to encourage contact between parties interested in growing and processing feedstock crops for biodiesel. It requires the department to post educational information about such crops on its website.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

59 — Connecticut Biofuel Link Program

The bill requires the Institute for Sustainable Energy to (1) compile and distribute consumer education materials about biodiesel fuel to municipalities, local school boards, and private businesses and (2) establish and administer a Connecticut biodiesel link program to establish a database of schools, restaurants, institutional cafeterias, and other institutions and businesses in the state that produce waste vegetable oil or comparable food products suitable for conversion to biodiesel. The institute must maintain the database and make it publicly available on its website.

Businesses interested in selling their waste vegetable oil or similar food products to biodiesel producers may notify the institute and have their names, contact information and business objectives placed on the website. The institute must make reasonable efforts to encourage contact between parties with similar interests.

The institute must post educational material about this biofuel link program on its website. The information also must be posted as a link on websites of DECD, the Agriculture Department, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the UConn Biofuel Consortium, and UConn Cooperative Extension System. The educational material must include information about starting and conducting a waste vegetable oil business.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

60 — Use of Biodiesel Blends in State Buildings

The bill requires the Office of Policy and Management secretary, in consultation with each state department and state higher education system constituent unit, the judicial branch, and the Joint Committee on Legislative Management to establish a program to encourage the use of biodiesel heating oil blends in state buildings and facilities under the custody and control of the departments, units, branch, or committee. The blends must contain not more than 90% ultra low sulfur number 2 heating oil and at least 10% biodiesel

By January 1, 2008, the commissioner must prepare a plan to implement this program, including (1) identifying state buildings and facilities suitable for the use of biodiesel blended heating fuel, (2) evaluating energy efficiency and reliability of biodiesel blended fuel in such buildings, and (3) the availability and feasibility of exclusively using such fuels produced from Connecticut agricultural products or waste grease. The commissioner must adopt guidelines for the grant program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

61 — Fuel Diversification Grant Program

The bill requires DECD to establish a fuel diversification grant program for Connecticut colleges and universities or state agricultural research institutions. They may use the money to (1) research to promote biofuel production from agricultural products, algae and waste grease, and (b) biofuel quality testing. DECD may enter into a personal service agreement, as provided by law, with a person, firm, corporation, or other entity to administer the program. DECD, in consultation with such entity, must create guidelines needed to administer the program. Any entity that DECD selects must report to DECD on the program's status by January 1, 2008 and annually afterwards.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

62 — HOLD HARMLESS MUNICIPAL AID FOR FY 08

For FY 08, the bill entitles each town to receive at least the same level of state grants-in-aid as it was entitled to receive in FY 07. This requirement applies to total aid determined according to statutory formulae unless modified based on audits. To meet the requirement, the bill provides up to $ 100,000 from the FY 08 appropriation for state payment in lieu of taxes for new manufacturing machinery and equipment.

The Office of Policy and Management secretary must certify the payment amounts to the comptroller by May 1, 2008. The amount due to each town must be proportionately reduced if the total payments exceed $ 100,000. The comptroller must direct the treasurer to pay the amount within 15 days after the secretary's certification. The treasurer has up to 15 days to pay the grants.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

63 — AIR CONDITIONER REPLACEMENT PROGRAM

sHB 7432 requires ECMB to establish a program to provide rebates to people who replace their room or central residential air conditioners with ones that meet federal Energy Star standards. The bill requires that the program be cost effective. Under current law, the rebate for room air conditioners ranges from at least $ 25 to at least $ 100, depending on the air conditioner's cost. The bill allows ECMB to provide smaller rebates if these levels are not cost-effective.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

64 — RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS IN STATE BUILDINGS

sHB 7432 authorizes $ 30 million in bonds for Connecticut Innovations, Inc. to fund the net project costs of renewable energy and combined heat and power (cogeneration) projects in state buildings. Under that bill, to be eligible, the building must be certified in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program or in the process of being certified. The bill expands eligibility for this program to include buildings that (1) are becoming LEED silver rated (a more stringent standard than certified), (2) have a two-globe rating in the Green Globes USA design program (another rating system), or (3) are in the process of receiving this latter rating.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

65, 66 — STATE SET-ASIDE PROGRAM

Set-Aside Goals

The law requires state agencies and political subdivisions, other than municipalities, to set aside 25% of the contracts they let for construction, goods, and services each year to small contractors, including minority business enterprises. It excludes (1) any contract for which the set-aside conflicts with federal law or regulations and (2) goods and services not customarily available from or supplied by small contractors.

The bill eliminates obsolete language that created an alternative method for calculating the number of set-aside contracts at a time when the value of contracts to be set aside was a minimum of 15% and a maximum of 25% of the average of contracts awarded over three fiscal years.

The bill also requires agencies and political subdivisions, other than municipalities, to submit reports by August 30, rather than September 30, outlining their annual set-aside goals. By law, they must submit the report to DAS, CHRO, and the chairpersons and ranking members of the Planning and Development and Government Administration and Elections Committees.

Under the bill, any agency or political subdivision that does not achieve at least 50% of its goals by the end of the second reporting period in any 12 months beginning on July 1 must give DAS and CHRO a detailed written explanation of how it will achieve them in the final reporting period.

Eligibility

The bill makes changes to the definition of “small contractor,” thus increasing the number of firms that may be eligible under the set-aside program. Beginning July 1, 2007, it:

1. requires firms to have the same ownership or management, rather than both, for at least one year before applying, thereby allowing those that have gone through ownership transfers to be eligible; and

2. includes small contractors who are individuals with mental impairments, not just physical impairments, as qualified minority business enterprises.

Beginning January 1, 2008, it raises, from $ 10 million to $ 15 million, the annual gross revenue limit for eligible firms.

The bill also removes a prohibition against the DAS commissioner awarding a small contractor a contract or contracts totaling more than $ 10 million in a fiscal year.

Explanation for Contracts with Ineligible Subcontractors

The bill requires an awarding authority that awards a set-aside contract to obtain from that contractor, before any work begins, a written explanation detailing any subcontract it has with a firm that is not eligible under the set-aside program. By law, a contractor that is awarded a set-aside contract, together with set-aside-eligible subcontractors, must perform at least 25% of the work done under the contract.

Notice Requirements

The law permits awarding agencies, after notice and a hearing, to impose a civil penalty of up to $ 10,000 per violation on contractors or subcontractors who willfully violate the set-aside law. The bill requires, rather than allows, them to send notice to a contractor or subcontractor they suspect commits such a violation. It also requires the awarding authority to send a copy of the notice to CHRO. By law, the notice must inform the firm of the maximum civil penalty for the alleged violation, that there will be a hearing, and of its time and date, among other things.

Directory of Certified Firms

The bill removes a requirement for DAS to print a directory of certified small contractors and minority business enterprises and provide updated copies to state agencies on a quarterly basis. Instead, it requires the department to maintain the updated directory on its website.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007, except the increase in the gross revenues is effective January 1, 2008

67 — WOMAN-OWNED BUSINESS MONTH

The bill requires the governor to proclaim May as Woman-Owned Business Month to honor the contributions that these businesses make to our state. The bill requires suitable exercises and observances at the State Capitol and other locations that the governor designates.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

68 — MUNICIPAL SMALL AND MINORITY BUSINESS SET-ASIDES

The bill increases the number of contractors eligible to participate in municipal small and minority business set-aside programs by raising, from $ 3 million to $ 10 million, the annual gross revenue limit for eligible contractors. By law, an eligible business must also have (1) maintained its principal place of business in Connecticut for at least one year and (2) at least 51% of its ownership in the hands of people who have the power to direct its management and policies and who are active in its daily affairs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

69 - 71 — FILM INDUSTRY TAX CREDIT CHANGES

The bill makes two changes in the film production tax credit and the digital animation production tax as enacted in sHB 6500, as amended.

First, it restores a requirement, eliminated in sHB 6500, that the 30% credit for qualifying film production expenses apply only to expenses and costs incurred in Connecticut.

Second, it requires a film production or digital animation company applying for a production or digital animation tax credit voucher, respectively, to provide whatever independent certification of the amount of its production expenses and costs that the Commission on Culture and Tourism may require.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007. The change concerning the in-state expenses applies to income years starting on or after January 1, 2007.

72 — SALES TAX EXEMPTION FOR FUEL EFFICIENT VEHICLES

HB 7432 exempts passenger cars that get at least 40 miles per gallon (city or highway) from the sales tax from January 1, 2008 to July 1, 2010. The bill expands the exemption to apply to all motor vehicles that get this mileage.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2008 and applicable to sales on or after that date.

73 - 78, 81, 82, 84, 87, 88, 123 — RAISING THE AGE FOR JUVENILE COURT JURISDICTION

Beginning January 1, 2010, the bill permits most offenses involving 16- and 17-year olds to be adjudicated in juvenile court. The law currently requires them to be handled in criminal court. Existing law, unchanged by the bill, (1) requires juvenile cases involving serious felonies to automatically be transferred to adult court and (2) allows prosecutors to ask juvenile court judges to transfer other cases to adult court.

The bill also eliminates the Youth In Crisis program which currently provides limited intervention and services for 16- and 17-year olds who are truant, run away from home, or are beyond their parents' control (i. e. , are status offenders). It instead makes these youngsters eligible for the FWSN program. This program currently serves status offenders under age 16 and generally offers a wider range of services. (See 30-32 for changes the bill makes to the current FWSN program, effective July 1, 2007. )

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2010

Excluded Offenses

The bill specifies that juvenile courts cannot handle charges filed against 16- and 17-year olds involving (1) infractions and violations that are subject to the statutory mail-in fine procedure or (2) motor vehicle violations for which a prison term may be imposed. And they may not handle misconduct or manslaughter with a motor vehicle charges if the perpetrator was under age 16 when the offense occurred.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2010

Serious Juvenile Offenses

By law, children convicted of designated “serious juvenile offenses” are subject to longer dispositional sentences and court supervision. Current law includes in the definition of serious juvenile offense (1) misconduct with a motor vehicle and (2) manslaughter with a motor vehicle. The bill restricts this definition to charges involving children who were under age 16 when the offense was committed.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2010

79, 80, 81 — OTHER CHANGES IN DELINQUENCY STATUTES

79 — Mandatory Fines for Possessing Alcohol

The bill requires juvenile court judges to impose statutory fines on all children convicted as delinquent for possessing alcohol. Under existing law, the fine for a first offense is $ 136; repeat offenses carry fines of between $ 200 and $ 500.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2010

80 — Erasing Juvenile Arrest and Court Records

The law allows courts to grant petitions erasing a delinquent or FWSN child's arrest and court records when the child has not been charged with another crime or status offense within a specified period. The bill extends the erasure option to situations in which the child has signed a statement of responsibility admitting to having committed a delinquent act or status offense. Such statements are often prerequisites to participating in court diversion programs, which, if successfully completed, result in dismissal of the charges.

Children subject to erasure orders are deemed to have never been arrested or charged with a FWSN violation.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2010

81 — Use of Pretrial Detention

The bill prohibits judges from placing juveniles in pretrial detention unless this is necessary and is the least restrictive environment possible consistent with public safety. Current law does not contain these limitations on its use.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2010

83 — OPM ANALYSIS AND LEGISLATIVE REPORT

By January 15, 2008, the bill requires OPM to submit a report to the legislative committees analyzing the impact on budgeted state agencies of:

1. raising the delinquency and FWSN age and restructuring detention options for under-18 serious juvenile repeat offenders;

2. establishing and operating family support centers and staff secure facilities for FWSN children as provided in 31 and 32; and

3. implementing the (a) extended guardianship program, (b) court transcript fee increase, and (c) trafficking in person contracting provisions, as provided in 6, 28, and 29 of the bill.

The report must contain, for each affected agency, OPM's estimate of necessary expenditures.

OPM must submit its report to the Appropriations, Children's, Human Services, and Judiciary committees.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

84 — PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

The law requires the Judicial Department's Court Support Services Division (CSSD) to provide a continuum of services for juvenile offenders living in the community. The bill specifies that the system must include programs for juveniles classified as being eligible for release with and without structured supervision. It directs CSSD to coordinate these programs with the Children and Families and Mental Health and Addiction Services departments if appropriate.

Currently, these programs must be tailored to the juvenile's offense history, age, gender, mental health, and chemical dependency status. The bill specifies that they also be tailored to the juvenile's maturity, social development, and need for structured supervision. And they must be culturally appropriate, trauma informed, and provided in the least restrictive environment possible in a manner consistent with public safety.

Currently, CSSD must provide juveniles anger management and nonviolent conflict resolution training; substance abuse treatment; sexual offender treatment; and mental health screening, assessment, and treatment. The bill requires CSSD also to provide:

1. appropriate job training and employment opportunities,

2. counseling sessions in anger management and conflict resolution,

3. substance abuse prevention programs, and

4. services for the juvenile's family.

The bill also requires CSSD to include individualized remediation plans in each juvenile's general education program, rather than the individual educational plan currently required.

The bill requires CSSD to consult with the Commission of Racial and Ethnic Disparity in the Criminal Justice System to address the needs of minorities in the juvenile justice system.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

86 — HIRING FIVE NEW JUDGES

Beginning April 1, 2009, the bill increases, from 196 to 201, the number of superior, appellate, and supreme court judges.

EFFECTIVE DATE: April 1, 2009

87 — PROGRAM EVALUATIONS

By July 1, 2009, the bill requires the chief court administrator and CSSD executive director to evaluate its juvenile programs and services. The purpose of the evaluation is to ensure that they meet the needs of youth over age 16 in the juvenile justice system. Within appropriations, the department must make all necessary changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2008

88 — JUVENILE JURISDICTION POLICY AND OPERATIONS COORDINATING COUNCIL

The bill creates the Juvenile Jurisdiction Policy and Operations Coordinating Council to monitor the implementation of new and modified programs, procedures, and court operations associated with raising the delinquency age. It must study specified issues and make recommendations to legislative committees.

Council Members

The council is made up of 24 unpaid members who are entitled to reimbursement for their necessary expenses. Members and appointing authorities are as follows:

1. two legislators, one each appointed by the House speaker and Senate president pro tempore;

2. the chairpersons and ranking members of the Appropriations, Judiciary, and Human Services committees, or designees;

3. the chief court administrator, or designee;

4. one juvenile court judge appointed by the chief justice;

5. the executive directors of CSSD and the Superior Court Operations Division, or designees,

6. the chief public defender and chief state's attorney, or designees;

7. the commissioners of the Children and Families, Correction, Education, and Mental Health and Addiction Services Departments, or designees;

8. the president of the Connecticut Police Chief's Association, or designee;

9. two child or youth advocates, one each appointed by the chairpersons of the Juvenile Jurisdiction Planning and Implementation Committee;

10. two parents of children who have been involved in the juvenile justice system, one each appointed by the House and Senate minority leaders; and

11. the child advocate, or designee.

Council appointments must be made within 30 days of the bill's passage. The House speaker and Senate president pro tempore must select one chairperson from among the council members, and the OPM secretary, or designee, serves as the other. The chairpersons must hold the first meeting within 60 days of passage.

Council Responsibilities

The bill directs the council to monitor, until January 1, 2009, the implementation of the central components of the Juvenile Jurisdiction Planning and Implementation Committee's February 7, 2007 report. These include the development and implementation of a comprehensive system of community-based and residential services for juveniles.

The council must also, until January 1, 2009, study and make recommendations about unresolved issues to improve the juvenile justice system and prepare for its expansion to 16- and 17-year-olds, including:

1. the development of diversion programs;

2. existing short- and long-term placement and detention capacities, including pretrial detention, anticipated needs, and feasible alternatives to detention;

3. (a) needed juvenile services, including mental health, substance abuse, housing, education, and employment; (b) which state agencies will be responsible for providing them; and (c) how raising the age for juvenile jurisdiction will affect them;

4. whether to amend the laws governing mandatory school attendance and serious juvenile offenses;

5. the relationship between the juvenile justice system and emancipation of minors;

6. the delinquency or adult criminal court procedures most suitable for juveniles, including which should govern juvenile interrogations;

7. how motor vehicle infractions, violations, and offenses committed by 16- and 17-year olds should be prosecuted;

8. school-related interventions to reduce student suspension, expulsion, truancy, and arrest rates; and

9. the causes of disproportionate minority contact in the juvenile justice system and strategies to reduce it.

Between January 1, 2008 and January 1, 2009, the council must submit quarterly status reports to the governor and the Judiciary, Human Services, and Children's committees. Reports must include information on the (1) implementation of mandated changes and (2) the council's findings and recommendations with respect to unresolved issues.

The council must file its final report by January 1, 2009.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

89 — STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES

The bill allows violators of the six most serious sexual assault crimes to be prosecuted at any time, rather than within 20 years after the crime, if the perpetrator is identified by DNA and the victim notified the police or a prosecutor of the offense within five years of its commission.

The provision applies to first-degree sexual assault, aggravated first-degree sexual assault, sexual assault in a spousal or cohabiting relationship, second-degree sexual assault, and third-degree sexual assault, with or without a firearm.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

90 - 96, 98 — SEX OFFENDERS

Registration Requirements

The bill requires sex offenders who are required to register with Department of Public Safety (DPS) to register their e-mail and instant message addresses and any other similar Internet communication identifiers in the same way that they register their names, identifying factors, criminal history records, and residential addresses.

By law, anyone convicted or found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect of a criminal offense against a minor, nonviolent sexual offense, sexually violent offense, or felony committed for a sexual purpose must register with DPS within three days of his release into the community. He must go to a location designated by the DPS commissioner and register, on forms the commissioner has developed, his name, identifying factors, criminal history record, and residential address. Offenders convicted of a sexually violent offense must also document any treatment they received for mental abnormalities or personality disorders.

If the registrant moves, he or she must register the new address with the commissioner, in writing, without undue delay. Under the bill, the registrant must follow the same procedure for changes in e-mail and instant message addresses.

Court and State Agencies Duties Regarding Registration

The bill requires courts, the Department of Correction, and the Psychiatric Security Review Board to submit to the DPS Commissioner the e-mail and instant message addresses and any other similar Internet communication identifier of sex offenders who are released from custody without conditions and who refuse to submit their own registration. The court and agencies must submit the information in the same manner that they currently submit offenders' names, identifying factors, criminal history records, and residential addresses.

The court and these agencies must also inform offenders of their duties to update this information, including the duty to report if they establish or change any of these Internet communication identifiers.

Public Access to Sex Offenders' Internet Information

The bill specifies that sex offender registrants' e-mail and instant message addresses and any other similar Internet communication identifiers are not public records. However, DPS may release them for law enforcement or security purposes in accordance with regulations. The bill requires DPS to adopt regulations that specify when the information may be disclosed, to whom, and the procedure for doing so. Electronic communication and remote computing service providers and Internet web site operators must be included among potential recipients.

Law Enforcement Access to Offenders' Information from Providers

The bill requires the DPS commissioner to designate a sworn police officer to serve as a liaison between the department and electronic communication and remote computing service providers to facilitate the exchange of registrants' nonpersonally identifiable information. “Electronic communication service” and “remote computing service” have the same meaning as they do under the federal law on wire and electronic communications, as amended from time to time.

Whenever the liaison learns from this exchanged information that sex offenders are subscribers, customers, or users of the providers, he must initiate a criminal investigation to determine if their status as such violates a registration requirement or the terms and conditions of their parole or probation.

The liaison may request a judge to issue an ex parte order compelling a provider to disclose a sex offender's name; address; age or date of birth; e-mail address, instant message address, or other similar Internet communication identifier; and subscriber number or identity, including any assigned Internet protocol address (i. e. , basic subscriber information). The judge must grant the order if the liaison offers specific and articulable facts that constitute reasonable grounds for believing the basic subscriber information is relevant and material to the ongoing criminal investigation.

The order must state the investigation's case number, the name of the judge issuing the order, and the date and time of issuance. The judge must sign the order within 48 hours of its issuance or the next business day, whichever is earlier.

The provider must disclose the information to the liaison pursuant to the order. A provider that discloses the information in good faith pursuant to an order has the same protection he has under federal law (18 USC 3124) as amended from time to time. This means the provider cannot be sued for the disclosure and may use his or her good faith reliance on the court order as a complete defense against any civil or criminal action.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

97 — NEW CRIME INVOLVING ENTICEMENT OF A MINOR

The bill establishes a new crime of misrepresentation of age to entice a minor. A person commits this crime when he or she misrepresents his or her age to entice a minor in violation of the law. Misrepresentation of age to entice a minor is a class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $ 10,000 fine, or both.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

99 — RISK ASSESSMENT BOARD

By law, the Risk Assessment Board must develop a risk assessment scale and use it to assign a risk level of high, medium, or low to each registered sex offender based on his or her likelihood to reoffend. It must also submit a report to the Judiciary Committee on its findings and recommendations on (1) the sex offenders who should appear on the Internet and the detailed information that should accompany the posting and (2) the need for additional restrictions on this population, including civil commitment.

The bill requires the board to use the risk assessment scale to determine the sex offenders who should be prohibited from residing within 1,000 feet of the property comprising an elementary or secondary school or a licensed center- or home-based child day care facility.

It extends, from February 1, 2007 to October 1, 2007, the deadline for the board to submit its report. It expands the information the board must include in the report by requiring recommendations on whether a person found guilty of an offense in another state that would require registration in this state must register in Connecticut if final judgment was never entered in the other state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

100 — STREAMLINED SALES TAX COMMISSION

The bill establishes a 16-member commission to study the possibility of the state becoming a full member of the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board, an interstate body that overseeing efforts to design, test, and implement a simplified sales and use tax system. The commission must consist of the chairpersons and ranking members of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee or their designees, two members appointed by the governor, the revenue services commissioner and the Office of Policy and Management secretary or their designees, two members appointed by the House speaker, two members appointed by the Senate president pro tempore, one member appointed by the House majority leader, one member appointed by the Senate majority leader, one by the House minority leader, and one by the Senate minority leader. Appointments must be made by August 15, 2007 and any subsequent vacancies filled by the appointing authority.

The OPM secretary and a legislator selected jointly by the House speaker and Senate president pro tempore serve as co-chairs at the commission and convene its first meeting by September 1, 2007. The commission must study and evaluate the changes the state would have to make to become a full member of the governing board. It must study how doing so would benefit the state and retailers. The commission must report its findings and recommendations to the governor and the legislature by January 15, 2008.

101 — PROPERTY TAX CAP COMMISSION

The bill establishes a 16-member commission to evaluate how different methods to limit the growth rate of property taxes could affect taxpayers and municipalities. The commission consists of the chairpersons and ranking members of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee or their designees; three members appointed by the governor; the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary or his designee; two members appointed by the House speaker, two members appointed by the Senate president pro tempore, one member appointed by the House majority leader, one member appointed by the Senate majority leader, one by the House minority leader, and one by the Senate minority leader. Appointments must be made by August 15, 2007 and any subsequent vacancies filled by the appointing authority.

The secretary and a legislator selected jointly by the House speaker and Senate president pro tempore must co-chair the commission and convene its first meeting by September 1, 2007. The commission must submit a report to the governor and legislature by January 15, 2008. The report must contain the commission's findings and recommendations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

102 — CONNECTICUT ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

House bill 7432, January 2007 Session, requires the social services commissioner to implement a program to buy deliverable fuel for low-income households participating in the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program and the state-appropriated fuel assistance program. The bill eliminates a requirement for the commissioner to ensure that all fuel assistance recipients are treated the same way as any other similarly situated customer. It allows, rather than requires, the commissioner to take advantage of programs offered by fuel vendors that reduce the cost of fuel purchased.

HB 7432 requires the commissioner to ensure that all agencies administering the program pay fuel vendors in advance of the delivery “where vendor provided price-management strategies require payments in advance. ” The bill requires the commissioner to do this if funding allows.

HB 7432 requires community action agencies administering fuel assistance programs to begin accepting applications by September 1 each year. Under the bill, the commissioner, in consultation with the Office of Policy and Management secretary, must require them to do so if funding allows.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

103-107 HOUSING SUSTAINABILITY

State-Assisted Housing Sustainability Fund

The bill requires the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to establish and maintain a State-Assisted Housing Sustainability Fund to preserve eligible housing. DECD must do so in consultation with the State-Assisted Housing Sustainability Advisory Committee, which the bill creates.

The bill specifies that funds must be available to DECD to provide financial assistance to eligible housing owners for maintaining, repairing, rehabilitating, and modernizing eligible housing and for other activities consistent with its preservation. Other activities include:

1. emergency repairs to abate actual or imminent emergency conditions that would result in the loss of habitable housing units,

2. major system repairs or upgrades, including repairs or upgrades to roofs, windows, mechanical systems, and security and relocation costs, and alternative housing for no more than 60 days, needed because of the failure of a major building system;

3. vacant unit reduction;

4. remediation or abatement of hazardous material, including lead;

5. increases in development mobility and sensory-impaired accessibility in units, common areas, and accessible routes; and

6. a comprehensive physical needs assessment (see below).

DECD must award financial assistance to applicants consistent with the standards and criteria adopted in consultation with the recommendations of the State-Assisted Housing Sustainability Advisory Committee.

The bill authorizes DECD to expend no more than $ 750,000 annually in FY 08 and FY 09 from the fund for reasonable administrative expenses associated with maintaining the fund. This includes:

1. the sustainability advisory committee's expenses,

2. the development of analytic tools and research concerning the capital and operating needs of eligible housing, and

3. the study the bill requires.

As of FY 10, DECD must prepare an administrative budget that takes effect when the advisory committee approves it.

Written Procedures, Including for Emergency Repairs. DECD must adopt written procedures to implement the handling of the fund. The procedures must establish:

1. guidelines for grants and loans, including providing for deferred payment of principal and interest upon the committee's approval, and

2. a process for certifying an emergency condition within 48 hours and for committing emergency funds, including costs of relocating a resident, if necessary, not more than five business days after the eligible housing owner applies for emergency repair financial assistance.

Emergency Loan Viability Review. Under the bill, in reviewing applications and providing financial assistance, DECD, in consultation with the advisory committee, must consider the long-term viability of eligible housing and the likelihood that financial assistance will ensure long-term viability. The bill specifies that “viability” includes (1) continuous habitability and adequate operating cash flow to maintain the existing physical plant and any capital improvements and (2) providing basic services required under the lease and otherwise required by local codes and ordinances.

Comprehensive Physical Needs Assessments. DECD must design and administer a grant program for eligible housing owners to pay for comprehensive physical needs assessments for each eligible housing development. The final design of this program is subject to the advisory committee's review and approval. The assessment must be a 20-year life-cycle analysis covering all physical elements, adjusted for observed conditions, and must at least evaluate:

1. dwelling units, building interiors and envelopes, community buildings and amenities, site circulation and parking, site amenities such as lots and mechanical systems, including an analysis of technological options to reduce energy consumption and pay-back periods on new systems that produce heat and domestic hot water, and site conditions;

2. compliance with physical accessibility guidelines under Title II of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, (which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities); and

3. hazardous material abatement, including lead paint abatement.

A copy of each needs assessment must be submitted to DECD in a format it prescribes. DECD must design the format so that a baseline of existing and standardized conditions of eligible housing can be prepared and annually updated to reflect changes in the consumer price index and annual construction costs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

State-Assisted Housing Sustainability Advisory Committee

The bill requires the 12-member advisory committee to advise DECD and Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) on the fund's use for its various preservation and assessment purposes. The committee must also study and recommend modifications to the state's rental assistance program for the elderly and people with disabilities. In conducting the study, the committee must consider expanding the program to other eligible housing or replacing it with another program designed to assure the long-term viability of all eligible housing, as the bill defines it, with minimal impact on low- and moderate-income households. The committee must submit its report, by July 1, 2009, to the Housing Committee.

To advise DECD and CHFA on use of the sustainability fund, the bill establishes an advisory committee, which consists of the following members:

1. one each, appointed by the Senate president pro tempore and House speaker, who may be legislators;

2. one, appointed by the House majority leader, who represents a housing “authority” with between 100 and 250 eligible housing units;

3. one, appointed by the Senate majority leader, who represents a housing “authority” with fewer than 100 eligible housing units;

4. one, appointed by the House minority leader, who represents a housing “authority” with 250 or more eligible housing units;

5. one, appointed by the Senate minority leader, who represents a housing “authority” with fewer than 100 eligible housing units;

6. four appointed by the governor;

7. the state treasurer or her designee; and

8. the state comptroller or her designee.

The majority and minority leaders must select appointees from a list the Connecticut Chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials submits.

The committee must select the chairpersons from its members. The chairperson, or the vice-chairperson in the chairperson's absence, may establish subcommittees and working groups as needed by subcommittee chairpersons.

The initial terms of all of the appointed members are staggered by a lottery conducted by the committee. After the initial term, the members' terms are three years. Members may be reappointed for an unlimited number of terms.

The committee must meet at least quarterly and advise the DECD's commissioner and CHFA's executive director on the administration, management, procedures, and objectives of the bill's financial assistance, including the establishment criteria, priorities, and procedures for the sustainability fund.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

Report

The bill also requires DECD, in consultation with the advisory committee, to submit a report on the sustainability fund's operation for the previous year by February 1, 2009, and annually thereafter. The report must include an analysis of the sustainability fund's distribution and an evaluation of its performance. It may also include recommendations for program modifications.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

108—PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY COMMISSIONERS

By law, a commission that oversees a local housing authority must include at least one member who is a tenant of the authority. The number of tenant commissioners depends on the commission's size. Those with five or fewer members must include at least one tenant member; those with more than five must have at least two. In both cases, a tenant can serve as a commissioner if he or she resided in a unit owned or managed by the authority for at least one year.

The bill allows people receiving housing assistance administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development to serve as a commissioner regardless of whether they reside in authority-owned or –managed units. These people would include, for example, include those residing in privately owned units and whose rents are being subsidized by the authority.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

109-114 — AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER DIVISION

The bill creates the division of Autism Spectrum Services (division) in the Department of Mental Retardation (DMR). It requires DMR to adopt regulations to (1) define autism; (2) establish eligibility standards and criteria for any state residents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to receive services; and (3) data collection, maintenance and reporting procedures. The commissioner may implement policies and procedures to administer the bill's provisions before adopting these regulations, provided he publishes notice of intent to adopt them no later than 20 days after implementing the policies and procedures. The policies and procedures are valid until the regulations are adopted. The bill also requires an independent autism council to advise the DMR commissioner.

It authorizes the division, within available appropriations, to research, design, and implement the delivery of appropriate and necessary services and programs for all residents with ASD. The services and programs may include (1) creation of an autism-specific early intervention program to deliver services to children at risk of, or diagnosed with, ASD and who were previously placed in DMR's Birth-to-Three program; (2) support services for people between the ages of three and 21, including education, recreation, life and skill coaching, vocational, and transitional services; and (3) adult services, including those defined by DMR's ASD pilot program, and related services DMR deems necessary.

It specifies that up to $ 200,000 of the funds appropriated for the pilot program in FY 07 will not lapse and may be used in FY 08 to study the feasibility of amending the state Medicaid plan or obtaining a federal waiver to implement a Medicaid-financed program to provide home and community-based services for adults with ASD who are not mentally retarded. It authorizes the Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioner, in consultation with the DMR commissioner, to seek approval of such an amendment or a waiver from federal law, whichever is sufficient and most expeditious, to implement this program, including, if necessary, housing assistance. The DSS commissioner, in consultation with the DMR commissioner, must file annual status reports with the Public Health committee beginning January 1, 2008.

It also:

1. makes DMR the lead agency for the purpose of the federal Combating Autism Act, and for applying for and receiving funds and performing related responsibilities concerning ASD according to state and federal law;

2. requires DMR, beginning February 1, 2009, to make annual recommendations to the governor and Public Health Committee for required ASD legislation and funding;

3. requires the division to research and locate funding sources to develop and implement services for people with ASD who do not have mental retardation, and to coordinate with DSS to secure Medicaid reimbursement for home and community-based, individualized support services, including applying for a Medicaid waiver;

4. requires the division, within available appropriations, to (a) design and implement a training initiative to develop a workforce, and (b) develop an autism specific curriculum, together with the Department of Higher Education; and

5. requires the division, to the extent federal reimbursement permits, to develop an education and training initiative eligible for federal funding under the Combating Autism act.

It subjects the case records of autism spectrum services the division maintains for any purpose under the bill to the same confidentiality requirements, under state and federal law, that govern DMR client records.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

115 — VALIDATION OF DCF COMMISSIONER NOMINATION AND APPOINTMENT

The bill permits the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee and the House of Representatives to take action on the governor's nomination of a candidate for DCF commissioner during the June 2007 special Session, outside of statutorily mandated timeframes. The law:

1. requires the governor, with the advice and consent of either house of the General Assembly, to appoint department heads (e. g. , commissioners) before March 1 of the first year of her term (CGS Sec. 4-6) and

2. establishes confirmation procedures that depend on when a vacancy occurs (CGS Sec. 4-7). If a vacancy occurs while the General Assembly is in regular session, the governor must nominate a replacement within 30 days and the house to which the vacancy is submitted must immediately refer it to the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee, which must hold a hearing on the nomination and report a resolution within 10 legislative days.

Specifically, the bill authorizes the committee to hold a public hearing and report on the nomination by resolution. It allows the House of Representatives to consider the resolution by emergency certification. If it validly adopts the resolution, the bill validates and confirms its actions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

116 — SITING ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION LINES

The law establishes a presumption that a proposal to build an overhead electric transmission line of 345 kilovolts or more in residential areas or near certain facilities is inconsistent with the purposes of the Siting Council law. It allows that firm proposing to bid the line to rebut this presumption by showing that it is technically infeasible to bury the line. The bill requires the council, in determining whether it is infeasible to bury the line, to consider whether the cost of any contemplated technology or design configuration could result on an unreasonable economic burden on the state's ratepayers. Under federal law, a transmission line developer can appeal to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission if a state siting agency approves a transmission line, but imposes conditions that make the line uneconomic.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

117 — TECHNICAL

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

118— SAGA MEDICAL BENEFITS

HB 8002 14 makes an exception to a statutory prohibition on SAGA medical program ancillary or specialty services exceeding the services provided under the program on July 1, 2003. It allows nonemergency medical transportation and vision care services to be provided for a limited duration.

The bill instead allows SAGA to provide these nonemergency medical transportation and vision care services on a limited basis within available appropriations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

119 — SCHOOL DISTRICT ROLE IN HUSKY AWARENESS

Section 24 of HB 8002 requires local school boards to provide to all parents and guardians information on state-sponsored health insurance programs for children, regardless of their child's insurance status. The bill limits the districts' obligation to offer the information to parents and guardians whose children are identified as uninsured.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

120 — THIRD PARTY LIABILITY IN MEDICAID

The bill makes a technical, grammatical change.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

121 — SALES TAX EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN MEALS

The bill exempts meals sold from honor boxes and coin-operated vending machines from the 6% sales tax. “Food products” sold from a coin-operated vending machine are already exempt.

Although most food is not taxable, certain food products, such as soda, candy, cookies, and cakes are subject to sales tax unless they are sold from a vending machine. In addition, meals are currently taxable regardless of how they are sold. By law, a “meal” is food furnished, prepared, and served in a form and in a portion that is ready to eat, including take-out meals that are packaged and wrapped.

The bill does not define an “honor box,” but it is typically an unattended box where customers deposit money for items they buy.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007 and applicable to sales on or after that date.

122 — REPEALER

Environmental Review Account

The bill repeals a provision in PA 07-213 that establishes the “environmental review account” as a separate, nonlapsing account in the General Fund.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Occupational Licensing Law Violations

The bill repeals a provision in PA 07-206 that is substantially similar to a provision in PA 07-188.

Funding For Energy Efficiency Outreach Campaign

HB 7432 requires the Department of Public Utility Control to establish a state-wide energy efficiency and outreach marketing program.   It also establishes a separate, nonlapsing account in the General Fund to fund these programs, and appropriates $ 5 million into this account for these programs and another program established by HB 7432 that promotes the sale of compact fluorescent lights in schools. This bill eliminates the account and the appropriation.

EFFECTIVE DATE:   Upon passage