PA 07-4, June Special Session—SB 1500

Emergency Certification

AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE PROVISIONS OF THE BUDGET CONCERNING GENERAL GOVERNMENT

SUMMARY: This act makes many unrelated changes covering topics such as juvenile justice, families with service needs, school bus emissions, housing for economic growth, housing sustainability, sex offenders, biodiesel programs, and autism. It also makes technical changes. Below is a section-by-section analysis.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Various, see below.

1 — OLD STATE HOUSE

The act authorizes the City of Hartford to lease to the General Assembly, through the Joint Committee on Legislative Management, the buildings, land, and improvements that comprise the “Old State House. ” Under the act, the lease must run for at least 99 years and cost $1 or less per year.

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

The council consists of the Public Utility Control Authority chairperson (i. e. , the Department of Public Utility Control (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. The act 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 act 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 for 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, 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, as determined by OPM, for data collection and analysis.

The act 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.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

4GROTON SUBMARINE BASE FUNDING

Public Act 07-205 increased, from $10 million to $50 million, the amount of Manufacturing Assistance Act bond funds that the economic and community development commissioner had to use for grants to the US. Navy to make improvements that would increase the value of the Groton submarine base. It specified some of the improvements that would qualify. It required the commissioner to negotiate a multiyear lease with the U. S. Navy for any such improvements, at the end of which lease ownership of the improvements could be transferred to the Navy. If the Navy stopped operating at the base before the lease ended, the act required it to reimburse the state for the cost of constructing the improvements.

This act removes the additional funding, the examples of the projects that would qualify for funding, and the lease provisions. PA 07-7, JSS, restores the additional funding.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

5 — YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING FUNDS

Within available appropriations, the act 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 act sets the following allocation formula:

1. Capitol Workforce Partners – 32. 5%

2. The Workforce Alliance – 22. 5%

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

4. The Workplace, Inc. – 12. 5% and

5. Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board – 10%.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

6 — EXTENDED FAMILY GUARDIANSHIP

Within available appropriations, the act directs the probate court administrator to establish the 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 act, 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 assist guardians caring for the children.

The court administrator must adopt implementing regulations, including eligibility criteria. He must report to the Judiciary and Children's committees on the program's status and effectiveness by January 1, 2009.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

7—FIREFIGHTER TRAINING

The act 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 1 certification and recruit training for paid and volunteer municipal fire service personnel and (2) reimburse state agencies one-half the cost of Firefighter 1 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 1 certification programs.

The act 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. The act also makes technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

8 – INVASIVE SPECIES ACCOUNT

The act 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

The act 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.

OPM must establish application procedures and selection criteria, prescribe application forms, and administer the program. It may adopt implementing regulations.

The grants are for programs and services targeting urban youth between the ages of 12 and 18. Among other things, grant funds may be used for:

1. training on topics such as problem-solving, decision-making, conflict resolution, and peer counseling;

2. mentoring;

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

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

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

Under PA 07-232, the commissioner must develop procedures 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. If the committee approves them, it must do so by the close of the 2008 legislative session.

The act 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 act 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 existing law, and the act 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 act requires the Connecticut Center of Advanced Technology's Supply Chain Integration Center to offer its services to all of the state's small and medium-size manufacturers, not just those at risk of losing contracts with larger defense firms for parts and services. The center's services include technical assistance and training programs for adopting the latest digital technologies and cost-cutting production techniques.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2008 (PA 07-5, June Special Session makes this section effective on October 6, 2007, the date of passage of PA 07-5, June Special Session)

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

The act transfers the responsibility for establishing and operating two matching grant programs from Connecticut Innovations, Inc. (CII) to the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and makes conforming technical changes. The transfer affects the (1) research and economic assistance and (2) development, research, and economic assistance for micro business programs. Prior law required CII to establish the programs. In transferring the programs to DECD, the act allows DECD to establish and operate the programs and contract with another person, company, or entity to operate them, including determining grant recipients.

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. A separate 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.

If DECD choose to establish and operate these programs, it must follow the same statutory procedures that applied to CII. Additionally, DECD must submit annual status reports on the development, research and economic assistance matching grant program to the Commerce Committee chairpersons, starting January 15, 2008. DECD must do this in consultation with any entity it contracts with to run the program. 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 Programs

The act requires the DECD commissioner, within available funds, to provide grants to small businesses operating in incubator facilities, which provide low-cost space and business services to newly formed technology-based small businesses. The commissioner may provide these grants directly or contract with a person, firm, corporation, or other third party to do so. Incubators can use the grants to provide operating funds and related services, including preparing business plans, obtaining financing, and providing management counseling.

The act allows the commissioner to provide these grants under the existing incubator program, which provides grants to the entities operating the incubators. The act allows her to provide these grants directly or under a contract with a third party.

Program Regulations

The act eliminates the requirement that DECD adopt implementing regulations and instead requires DECD to adopt written guidelines for awarding the grants, whether by DECD or a third party. Under prior law, the regulations had to describe the process and criteria for awarding grants.

Grant Account

By law, the commissioner can provide the grants from a separate nonlapsing General Fund account. The act also allows her to tap the account to cover the 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 act establishes a 12-member Small Business Incubator Advisory Board to evaluate and recommend changes in the program guidelines. The board includes the Connecticut Development Authority president and CII executive director or their designees, who serve as non voting ex officio members; the DECD commissioner, who serves as a voting ex officio member; 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 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 act 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 act establishes. However, the DEP commissioner must reimburse towns and school boards that retrofit their buses voluntarily, even if the grant amounts are not enough to cover the retrofitting costs. DEP must provide the grants from available appropriations. 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 act requires retrofitting certain full-size school buses with closed crankcase filtration systems (filtration system). Under the act, a filtration system separates oil and other contaminants from blow-by gases and routes the gases into a diesel engine's intake system downstream of the air filter. These buses also must have either a Level 1, level 2, or level 3 device. These 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.

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

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 political subdivisions of the state and state agencies through the contracting portal section of the DAS website. DEP must provide the grants within available appropriations.

Reimbursement

The DEP commissioner must reimburse the towns and boards from a “school bus emissions reduction account” the act creates as a separate, nonlapsing account in the General Fund to hold any money the law requires. The commissioner cannot use more than 3% of the funds in the account to administer the program.

The act requires the commissioner to reimburse towns and school boards that choose to retrofit their buses, regardless of whether the grant amounts for the filtration systems, 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.

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-size buses. The assistance must include guidance on whether to retrofit buses with the level 1, level 2, or level 3 devices.

Application

The act applies to school buses as defined by law (CGS 14-275), which are Type I (full-size) diesel school buses, including spare buses operated by or under contract to a school district. It does not apply to buses (1) placed in a contingency fleet for local emergencies, after they have reached the end of their normal minimum useful life, or (2) that operate for no more than 1,000 miles annually.

20 — VICTIM IMPACT PANELS

The act raises, from $25 to $75, the maximum fee participants may be charged to participate in victim impact panel programs. It requires the organization running 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 the programs as a condition of (1) probation or (2) 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 the 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 prohibits public officials and state employees from knowingly accepting gifts to the state from anyone prohibited from giving gifts to them. The officials and employees cannot receive gifts from (1) registered lobbyists, (2) people doing or seeking to do business with the agency that employs the public official or state employee, (3) people engaged in activities regulated by the official's or employee's employer, or (4) prequalified contractors. PA 07-1 lifts this absolute ban and allows these donors 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 or quasi-public agency property or support an event and (2) facilitate state or quasi-public agency action or functions.

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

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

22—OFFICE OF MILITARY AFFAIRS

Public Act 07-205 established this office, headed by an executive director appointed by the governor. It required the governor to give preference to someone who has the necessary training and experience, served in the Navy, and knows about or has had experience with the federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. This act requires the governor to appoint someone who either has the necessary training, experience, and Navy service or knows about the BRAC process, instead of someone who meets both criteria.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

23 — TILLMAN SETTLEMENT

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; 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 exempts any payment he receives under the act from the state income tax.

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

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

The act 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 act changes the effective date of a provision in PA 07-77 that 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 act instead makes it effective July 1, 2007.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

27 — CONNECTICUT VALLEY HOSPITAL RESERVOIR STUDY

The act requires the 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 report on its 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, OPM, and state community colleges, including Middlesex Community College.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

28 — COURT TRANSCRIPT FEES

The act 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 or 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 act requires the Office of Victim Services, within appropriations, to contract with nongovernmental organizations to develop a coordinated response system to help victims of trafficking. Allowable contract topics include:

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

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

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

4. promoting and disseminating 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 act 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 act makes 16- and 17-year olds eligible for the FWSN program beginning January 1, 2010. )

The act also authorizes the FWSN Advisory Board to monitor progress of this expansion 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 voluntary services or file a petition asking a judge to declare the child a FWSN child.

The act 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 act 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 act directs the CSSD to contract with at least one private provider or youth service bureau, or both, to develop a network of family support centers. 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 act 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 support center.

As under existing law, the probation officer must notify the individual who filed the FWSN complaint of his or her action. The act eliminates authorization for complaining parties to file FWSN petitions on their own after being notified that the probation officer is not doing so.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Actions While FWSN Petitions Are Pending In Court

Under prior law, judges could suspend formal court proceedings involving FWSN petitions (i. e. , grant continuances) for up to three months when they determined that a service referral is in the child and family's best interests. The act 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 act entitles children to legal representation and an evidentiary hearing. One disposition option is to order the child committed to DCF custody for an indefinite period up to 18 months. The act 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 act prohibits the court from granting an extension unless it finds that there is no suitable less restrictive alternative.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

Sanctioning FWSN Order Violators

The act 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 act 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,

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

3. be placed in a staff-secure facility under the auspices of CSSD for up to 45 days if there are no appropriate less restrictive alternatives.

The first two sanctions are already permissible under existing law.

If the court imposes the third sanction, children cannot be detained for more than 24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, while waiting for a court hearing on this issue. It 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 act 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 (1) the child 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 act specifies that these children have the same procedural protections as those afforded to delinquent children.

No child may be detained without a court hearing for more than 24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays. 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: October 1, 2007

Staff-Secure Facilities

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

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

33, 38-50 — HOUSING FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH PROGRAM

Incentive Housing Zones

Incentive Housing Developments (IHDs). The act provides grants to towns that choose to zone land for developing housing mainly where transit facilities, infrastructure, and complementary uses already exist or have been planned or proposed. As discussed below, a town receives the incentives only after it has established an incentive housing zone (IHZ) and approved incentive housing developments (IHDs) in the zone.

An IHD 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 people who 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 (HUD). HUD classifies families in this bracket as “low-income” when determining eligibility for rent subsidies (24 CFR 570. 603(b)). A unit is affordable if it costs no more than 30% of a household's annual income.

Affordable units must remain that way for at least 30 years. Developers and the units' subsequent owners must be held to this requirement under deeds, covenants, or land use restrictions requiring them to sell or rent the units only to low income people at prices they can afford. Developers must record these documents and restrictions in the town's 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.

(Besides meeting the zone location and affordable housing requirements, the act specifies that an IHD must also be eligible for its financial incentives. But, as discussed below, only towns qualify for the act's major incentives.

Establishing Zones. The town receives grants 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 act, the IHZ's requirements apply only to 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) consisting entirely of homes and apartments; (3) where homes, stores, and offices are located close together (e. g. , village center); or (4) 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 town may establish separate IHZs and subdivide them into subzones, but the act 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 IHZ may overlay a local historic district or one may be created in the IHZ. In either case, the district's regulations must be compatible with the IHZ's before the state can approve the IHZ and annually certify that the town has complied with the act's requirements (see below).

The IHZ's regulations may allow projects that combine residences with stores, offices, and other nonresidential uses or segregate them into sub zones. In either case, the various uses must be compatible with the act's minimum required housing densities, and the overall zone must satisfy the act's requirements.

The act 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 act 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 OPM secretary's approval. The reduced densities are four units per acre for single-family homes, six units 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; traffic safety; 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 act's other requirements.

Any town can also ask the secretary to waive the density requirements, and he may do so if the following 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 and provide a mechanism to enforce that requirement.

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

Even though the act sets minimum densities, the commission may have to set higher ones, depending on permitted densities of the underlying zone. Before the town can qualify for the act's grants, 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 act'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 four or fewer units per acre, but must set a higher minimum density if the density in the underlying zone is five or more units per acre.

The zoning commission cannot impose special conditions, requirements, and standards on projects meeting the minimum densities as it can on applications for special permits or exceptions. It can review the densities only as it would site plans or subdivisions.

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; protection of 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-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 act allows the commission to modify, waive, or delete those standards of the underlying zone that mainly govern structures' size and where they 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 act requires the zoning commission to make a written finding that the subdivision regulations will not increase development costs to the point where low-income people cannot afford the units reserved for them.

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 how the town organized its land use functions. 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 combined commission must adopt such 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 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 act's minimum as-of-right densities.

The application must include:

1. copies of the proposed 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; and

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 in writing within 60 days after receiving its application for preliminary eligibility. Before doing so, he must notify the people and organizations that asked to be notified anytime he receives an application for preliminary eligibility. Any person or organization can receive these notices by submitting a written request to the secretary, along with an e-mail address. The secretary must notify them electronically at least 30 days before responding to the town.

If the secretary determines that the application is incomplete or that the proposed IHZ does not satisfy the act'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 does not reply within the 60-day period, the application is rejected but the town may reapply for a preliminary determination.

If the secretary approves the proposed regulations and design standards, he must send the town 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.

The secretary cannot grant preliminary or final approval if a proposed IHZ's regulations and design standards would make government funded projects, including those receiving rent subsidies, physically or economically infeasible. Nor can he do so if the regulations and design standards suggest that the town intends to discriminate against these projects, deny them approval, excluded them from the IHZ, or have these effects. The secretary cannot approve an IHZ that includes an historic district if the district's regulations are so restrictive as to preclude incentive housing developments.

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. Existing law allows two types of parties to appeal a zoning commission's decisions. People who believe that a decision to adopt regulations or approve a developer's application adversely affects them (i. e. , “aggrieved parties”) can appeal to Superior Court. A developer can also appeal to court if the commission denies his or her application or approves it with conditions the developer believes are unfair.

The act specifies that this right to appeal extends to people who believe they were aggrieved by a commission's decisions to (1) adopt or amend IHZ regulations and design standards and (2) approve the IHD site plan or subdivision applications. These parties may appeal these decisions according to the same statutory procedures for appealing zoning and planning commission decisions. As discussed below, the act also allows applicants to appeal decisions affecting IHD applications.

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 act's incentives to 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 any part of its 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 act requires the 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 act 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 act requires the commission to hold a public hearing on a site plan or subdivision application for an IHD. Existing law already allows commissions to hold hearings on site plan and subdivision applications for other types of projects.

Consultant Fees. The IHZ's regulations may allow the commission to impose consultant fees on IHD applicants. The commission may use the money only 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 act 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 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 a decision. If the agency chooses not to hold a hearing, it must act within 65 days from when it received the application.

Approval. The act limits the extent to which the commission can impose conditions on an IHD's approval. The commission may impose only conditions needed 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 extraordinary adverse effects on nearby properties the IHD may create.

The act 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, or

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

The act's requirements for completing an IHD or renewing its approval are the same as those for site plans and subdivisions under the law. If a site plan project involves 400 or more units, the developer must complete the work within 10 years after the commission approved the plan. If it involves residences and a 400,000 square foot or greater business project, the commission must require the developer to complete the business project within five to 10 years after the commission approved it. If the commission sets the deadline for less than 10 years, it may extend it up to the 10th year after approval (CGS 8-3(j)).

The law's deadlines for completing subdivisions are similar to those for site plans. Developers must complete them within five years if they involve fewer than 400 units, and the commission may extend the deadline for up to 10 years from when it approved the subdivision plan (CGS 8-26c). Developers must complete a subdivision involving 400 or more units within 10 years after the commission approved the subdivision plan (CGS 8-26g).

The act explicitly allows the commission to extend a deadline when it allows a developer to complete an IHD in several distinct phases. In these cases, the commission can extend the deadline for each phase as existing law allows.

Deadline Extensions. But the act specifies conditions under which the commission must extend an IHD's completion deadline:

1. 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, or

2. The applicant is actively pursuing other required permits or cannot complete the work on time for good cause.

Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure. The act prohibits a developer from using the affordable housing land use appeals procedure when proposing an IHD. The procedure is available to developers proposing housing projects that meet statutory criteria similar to those for IHDs. If the town rejects the project or approves it with conditions the developer believes are unnecessarily stringent, the developer may appeal the town's decision to Superior Court under rules that force the town to defend its decision. The act implicitly 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 act 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 act requires OPM to make one-time 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 this action or that a court has upheld them.

The grant must equal $2,000 for each housing unit that can be built on developable land in the zone based on the act'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 act requires OPM to make one-time 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 building permit. He must pay the grant within 60 days 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 act allows the DECD commissioner to make grants to nonprofit housing assistance or development organizations to develop the technical capacity to plan and implement housing projects. The commissioner must do this in consultation with the OPM secretary. She may adopt implementing regulations.

Other Benefits. The act creates a mechanism through which the state must notify potential IHD developers about surplus state property. The law already 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 DECD commissioner.

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

1. amended or repealed IHZ designation without his approval;

2. discouraged IHZs; or

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

The secretary may adopt implementing regulations.

Annual Report

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

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

2. identify the zones he approved and the schedule for paying the related incentives;

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

4. summarize the number of IHDs zoning commissions reviewed, including 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.

The report also must, for the current and next fiscal years, estimate the number and size of proposed new zones, the number and size of those 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 act establishes a 12-member commission to study affordable housing needs and how they affect economic growth and development. The members include the OPM secretary, DECD commissioner, the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) chairman, the treasurer, or their designees.

The governor appoints two members, one whom she must designate as the commission's chairperson, and each of the legislative leaders appoint one member. The members should 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 act'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 how they affect economic growth and development. Specifically, it must evaluate:

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

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

3. the regions where 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 children residing the zones.

The study must also determine the best way to use the state's housing programs and coordinate its housing resources to preserve affordable housing and stimulate the production of new affordable and modest, market-rate housing. Specifically, it must 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, whichever is sooner.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage.

34, 35 — FUEL EFFICIENCY AND STATE VEHICLES

Under current law, cars and light-duty trucks the state purchases must have an average fuel efficiency of 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 act modifies fuel efficiency requirements for state fleet vehicles. It requires, starting January 1, 2008, that

1. at least half the cars and light-duty trucks 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 CARB's LEV II Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standard.

It requires 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 give his reasons in the annual reports the act requires.

Under prior law the alternative fuel requirements did not apply to vehicles purchased for law enforcement or other special purposes as designated by DAS. The act instead exempts from the above requirements any Department of Public Safety (DPS) vehicle the DPS commissioner says DPS needs 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 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 a plan to increase the use of existing ethanol and natural gas fueling stations and any other existing alternative fueling station in 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 in 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 on whether the state qualifies for a waiver from EPACT's alternative fuel acquisition requirements. It requires DOT and DPS to submit all the data DAS requests when preparing its report.

It requires, by January 1, 2008 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's 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 DEP commissioner's fueling station and EPACT credit plans. It requires DOT and DPS to submit all the data DAS requests when preparing the report. It authorizes the DAS commissioner to enter into any agreement necessary to carry out the act's reporting provisions.

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

Finally, the act defines “hybrid.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

36 — PROBATION TRANSITION PROGRAM

Annually, beginning in FY 08, the act requires the Department of Information Technologies (DOIT) to transfer residual revenue from its prison inmate pay phone service contract to the Judicial Department.

The Judicial Department must use the funds for staffing and services needed for its statewide expansion of the Probation Transition Program and Technical Violation Unit operations. 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 act encourages the production and use of biodiesel fuel for transportation and heating. Among other things, it provides grants to biodiesel producers and distributors and encourages the use of biodiesel in state buildings.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007, except the Institute for Sustainable Energy provisions takes effect October 1, 2007.

51, 52 — Connecticut Qualified Biodiesel Producer

Incentive Account. The act creates the Connecticut Qualified Biodiesel Producer Incentive Account (incentive account) as a separate, non-lapsing General Fund account. DECD must use money from the account to (1) provide grants to qualified Connecticut biodiesel producers and distributors, 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 be derived from vegetable oil or animal fats and meet the standards for B100 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 programs.

53 – 56, 57 — 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 amount of biodiesel produced in the preceding month, as certified by the DECD commissioner or his designee, 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 to ensure that grants are made only to qualified biodiesel producers.

Other Producer Grants. Each producer also is 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 only one grant, regardless of the number of facilities it owns.

Distributor Grants. Each distributor is eligible for a grant of up to $50,000 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. (PA 07-5, June Special Session, specifies that distributors are not eligible for grants for purposes other than helping them buy equipment or construct, modify, or retrofit biofuel facilities. )

DECD, in consultation with the entity selected to implement the grant program, if applicable, must (1) create guidelines to administer the above grant programs and (2) submit an annual report to the Energy and Technology, Commerce, and Environment committees.

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 act specifically requires the department to encourage contact between parties interested in growing and processing feedstock crops for biodiesel heating and transportation fuels. It requires the department to post educational information about growing and processing such crops on its website.

59 — Connecticut Biofuel Link Program

The act 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 heating and motor vehicle fuel 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.

60 — Use of Biodiesel Blends in State Buildings

The act requires the OPM secretary, within available appropriations and 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 their custody and control. 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 secretary must prepare a plan to implement this program, including (1) identifying state buildings and facilities suited to use biodiesel blended heating fuel, (2) evaluating energy efficiency and reliability of such fuel in these buildings and facilities, and (3) the availability and feasibility of exclusively using such fuels, including agricultural products or waste yellow grease, produced in Connecticut.

61 — Fuel Diversification Grant Program

The act requires DECD to administer a fuel diversification grant program for Connecticut colleges and universities or state agricultural research institutions. They may use the money for (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.

62 — HOLD HARMLESS MUNICIPAL AID FOR FY 08

The act sets a standard for determining the level of each town's total FY 08 state grants-in-aid. The standard is the total grants-in-aids calculated according to a statutory formula and that were included in the governor's FY 07 budget recommendations. Under the act, each town is entitled to receive no less than that total in FY 08, as modified by audit report. To meet this requirement, the act provides up to $100,000 from the FY 08 appropriation for state payment in lieu of taxes for new manufacturing machinery and equipment.

The OPM secretary must certify each town's total grant payment to the comptroller by May 1, 2008. The secretary may proportionately reduce those payments if the total amount due to all towns exceeds the appropriated amount. The comptroller must direct the treasurer to pay the amount due to each town 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

PA 07-242 requires the Energy Conservation Management Board (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 act requires that the program be cost effective. Under existing law, the rebate for room air conditioners ranges from at least $25 to at least $100, depending on the air conditioner's cost. The act allows ECMB to provide smaller rebates if these levels are not cost-effective.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

64 — RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS IN STATE BUILDINGS

PA 07-242 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 act, 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 act 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

By law, state agencies and political subdivisions, other than municipalities, must 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 act 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 act changes, from August 30 to September 30, the deadline for the agencies and political subdivisions to submit their annual set-aside goals to DAS, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), and the chairpersons and ranking members of the Planning and Development and Government Administration and Elections committees. It requires 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 to give DAS and CHRO a detailed written explanation of how it will achieve them in the final reporting period.

Eligibility

The act 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. expands the group of small contractors who qualify as minority business enterprises to include individuals with mental impairments, not just physical impairments.

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

The act 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 act requires any 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

Existing 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 act 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 its time and date, among other things.

Directory of Certified Firms

The act 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 act requires the governor to proclaim May as Woman-Owned Business Month to honor the contributions that these businesses make to our state. It 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 act 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 small 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. In addition to meeting these requirements, an eligible minority business must continue to be owned by a minority or person with a disability.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

69 - 71 — FILM INDUSTRY TAX CREDIT CHANGES

The act makes two changes in the film production tax credit amendments and the new digital animation production tax credit enacted in PA 07-236.

First, it restores a provision requiring that the 30% credit for qualifying film production expenses apply only to production expenses and costs that are incurred in Connecticut. (The change appears to conflict with another provision of PA 07-236 that, from January 1, 2009 to January 1, 2012, allows 50% of qualifying production expenses incurred outside the state to count towards the credit if they are used in the state. )

Second, the act allows the Commission on Culture and Tourism to require a film production or digital animation company to provide independent certification of the amount of its production expenses and costs when it applies for a production or digital animation tax credit voucher, respectively.

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 HIGH-MILEAGE VEHICLES (Revised)

The act expands a temporary sales tax exemption for passenger cars that get at least 40 miles per gallon (city or highway) enacted in PA 07-242 to include all passenger motor vehicles, such as trucks and vans, that get such mileage. The exemption runs from January 1, 2008 to July 1, 2010.

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 act permits most offenses involving 16- and 17-year olds to be adjudicated in juvenile court. Until that date, these cases will continue to be handled in criminal court. Existing law, unchanged by the act, (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 act also eliminates on January 1, 2010, the Youth In Crisis program which 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 than are provided to youth in crisis. (See 30-32 of the act for changes in the FWSN program, effective July 1, 2007. )

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2010

Excluded Offenses

The act 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. Prior law included in the definition of serious juvenile offense (1) misconduct with a motor vehicle and (2) 2nd degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle. The act restricts this definition to charges involving children who were under age 16 when the offense was committed.

The act also permits repeat felony offenders to qualify for treatment as serious juvenile repeat offenders when their first or second conviction occurred in criminal court. Under prior law, qualifying offenses had to be disposed of in juvenile court.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2010

79, 80, 85 — OTHER CHANGES IN DELINQUENCY STATUTES

79 — Mandatory Fines for Possessing Alcohol

The act 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

By law, courts may 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 act 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 a 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

85 — Use of Pretrial Detention

The act prohibits judges from placing juveniles in pretrial detention unless this is necessary and is the least restrictive environment possible consistent with public safety. Prior law did not contain these restrictions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2010

83 — OPM ANALYSIS AND LEGISLATIVE REPORT

By January 15, 2008, the act 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 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 act.

The report must contain, for each affected agency, OPM's estimate of necessary expenditures. (Section 6 of PA 07-5, June Special Session, eliminates the analysis and reporting requirements for the FWSN program and the programs listed in item 3 above. )

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 CSSD to provide a continuum of services for juvenile offenders living in the community. The act 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.

Under prior law, these programs were only tailored to the juvenile's offense history, age, gender, mental health, and chemical dependency status. The act 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.

Existing law requires CSSD to provide juveniles with anger management and nonviolent conflict resolution training; substance abuse treatment; sexual offender treatment; and mental health screening, assessment, and treatment. The act 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 act also requires CSSD to include individualized remediation plans in each juvenile's general education program, rather than the individual educational plan currently required.

The act requires CSSD to consult with the Commission on 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 act 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 act 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 the programs and services meet the needs of youth age 16 and older in the juvenile justice system. Within appropriations, the department must make all necessary programmatic and service changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2008

88 — JUVENILE JURISDICTION POLICY AND OPERATIONS COORDINATING COUNCIL

The act creates the Juvenile Jurisdiction Policy and Operations Coordinating Council to monitor the implementation of the central components 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 30 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 their designees;

3. the chief court administrator, or a designee;

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

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

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

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

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

9. two child or youth advocates, one appointed by each chairperson 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 a designee.

Council appointments must be made within 30 days of the act's passage, by July 29, 2007. The House speaker and Senate president pro tempore must select a legislator to co-chair the council with the OPM secretary, or his designee. The chairpersons must hold the first meeting by August 28, 2007.

The appointing authorities fill vacancies.

Council Responsibilities

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

8. 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 act removes the 20-year statute of limitations for prosecuting the six most serious sex assault crimes where the perpetrator is identified by DNA and the victim notified the police or a prosecutor of the offense within five years of its commission. Instead, the act allows the prosecutions at any time.

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 act requires sex offenders who are required to register with DPS to register their e-mail and instant message addresses and any other similar Internet communication identifiers at the same time and 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 (1) within three days of his release into the community or (2) at any time the Department of Correction (DOC) commissioner requires prior to release. Non-state resident sex offenders must register without undue delay after beginning work or school in this state. If the registrant moves, he or she must register the new address with the DPS commissioner, in writing, without undue delay. Under the act, the registrant must follow the same procedure for changes in e-mail and instant message addresses or other similar Internet communication identifiers.

Court and State Agencies Duties Regarding Registration

The act requires courts, the DOC, 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 courts and agencies must submit the information in the same manner that they currently submit offenders' names, release dates, criminal history records, known treatment histories, and anticipated residential addresses.

The court and these agencies must also inform offenders of their duties to update this information and any new, or changes to existing, Internet communication identifiers within five days of the change.

Public Access to Sex Offender Internet Information

The act 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 act requires DPS to adopt. The regulations must 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. “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.

Law Enforcement Access to Offenders' Information from Providers

The act 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. Whenever the liaison learns through the exchange of this information that sex offenders are subscribers, customers, or users of the providers, he or she 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 ask 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 the 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 act 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 and uses an interactive computer service to knowingly persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a person under age 16 to engage in prostitution or illegal sexual activity. Misrepresentation of age to entice a minor is a class C felony (see Table on Penalties).

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 the (1) sex offenders who should appear on the Internet and the detailed information that should accompany the posting and (2) need for additional restrictions on this population, including civil commitment.

The act 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: Upon passage

100 — STREAMLINED SALES TAX COMMISSION

The act 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 oversees efforts to design, test, and implement a simplified sales and use tax system. The commission must study and evaluate the changes the state would have to make in its sales and use tax laws to become a full member of the governing board. It must also study how doing so would benefit the state and retailers.

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 OPM secretary or their designees, two members each appointed by the House speaker and Senate president pro tempore, and one member each appointed by the House and Senate majority and minority leaders. 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-chairpersons and must convene the commission's first meeting by September 1, 2007. The commission must report its findings and recommendations to the governor and the legislature by January 15, 2008.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

101 — PROPERTY TAX CAP COMMISSION

The act establishes a 16-member commission to study and evaluate how different methods to limit local property tax growth rates could affect taxpayers and municipalities. The commission consists of the chairpersons and ranking members of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee or their designees; two members appointed by the governor; the OPM secretary or his designee; two members each appointed by the House speaker and Senate president pro tempore; and one member each appointed by the House and Senate majority and minority leaders. 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 are the commission's co-chairpersons and must convene its first meeting by September 1, 2007. The commission must submit a final report with its findings and recommendations to the governor and legislature by January 15, 2008.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

102 — CONNECTICUT ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

PA 07-242 expands the requirement that the Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioner 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 act eliminates a requirement that the commissioner ensure that all fuel assistance recipients are treated the same 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.

PA 07-242 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 act requires the commissioner to do this if funding allows.

PA 07-242 requires community action agencies administering fuel assistance programs to begin accepting applications by September 1 each year. Under the act, the commissioner, in consultation with the OPM 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 act requires DECD to establish and maintain a State-Assisted Housing Sustainability Fund to preserve eligible housing. DECD must do so in consultation with a committee the act creates, the State-Assisted Housing Sustainability Advisory Committee.

Under the act, “eligible housing” means the approximately 412 developments that are part of the state-financed affordable rental housing portfolio formerly under DECD's control and transferred to the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) in 2003.

Fund money 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 preserving this housing. Other activities include:

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

2. performing major system repairs or upgrades, including repairs or upgrades to roofs, windows, mechanical systems, and security;

3. reducing the number of vacant units;

4. remediating or abating hazardous material, including lead;

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

6. providing relocation assistance and alternative housing for up to 60 days due to a major building system failure; and

7. conducting a comprehensive physical needs assessment (see below).

DECD must award financial assistance to applicants according to standards and criteria it adopts in consultation with the advisory committee's recommendations. (PA 07-5, June Special Session, requires DECD to adopt regulations by 2009 based on the standards and procedures it develops. )

The act authorizes DECD to spend up to $750,000 annually in FY 08 and FY 09 from the fund for reasonable administrative expenses. These include the:

1. advisory committee's expenses,

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

3. study the act requires.

Beginning in 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 its 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, not more than five business days after the eligible housing owner applies for emergency repair financial assistance.

Loan Viability Review. Under the act, 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 that viability. The act 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.

Physical Needs Assessment Grant Program. 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 may be a 20-year life-cycle analysis covering all physical elements, adjusted for observed conditions, and must at a minimum evaluate:

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

2. compliance with physical accessibility guidelines under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, (which prohibits public entities from disability discrimination); 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.

State-Assisted Housing Sustainability Advisory Committee

To advise DECD and CHFA on the sustainability fund's use, the act establishes a 12-member advisory committee consisting 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 each, appointed by the Senate majority and minority leaders, each representing 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. four appointed by the governor;

6. the state treasurer or her designee; and

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

The initial terms of the members, other than those the speaker and Senate president appoint, are staggered as determined by a lottery the committee conducts. 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 DECD and CHFA on the administration, management, procedures, and objectives of the act's financial assistance, including the establishment of criteria, priorities, and procedures for the sustainability fund.

Sustainability Fund Report

The act 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.

Elderly and Disabled Rental Program Study

The advisory 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 a program designed to assure the long-term viability of all eligible housing, as the act defines it, with minimal effects on low- and moderate-income households. The committee must submit its report to the Housing Committee by July 1, 2009.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage for creation of the fund, establishment of fund procedures, and needs assessment grant program; all other provisions are effective 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 act allows a person to serve as a commissioner if he or she formerly lived in an authority-owned or -managed unit for more than a year and currently receives DECD housing assistance. These people would include, for example, those residing in privately owned units who receive DECD assistance.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

109-114 — AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER DIVISION

The act creates the Autism Spectrum Services Division in the Department of Mental Retardation (DMR). It authorizes the division, within available appropriations, to research, design, and implement the delivery of appropriate and necessary services and programs for all state residents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The services and programs may include creation of (1) an autism-specific early intervention program for children at risk of, or diagnosed with, ASD who previously were placed in DMR's Birth-to-Three program; (2) support services for three- to 21-year olds, 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. The pilot program's adult services definition includes services such as life skills and job coaching; social skills groups; behavior management, speech and occupational therapy, and other consultants; and postsecondary education supports.

The act requires DMR to adopt regulations to (1) define autism; (2) establish eligibility standards and criteria for any state resident with ASD to receive services regardless of age (DMR currently serves only children with ASD under age three and some adults in the pilot program); and (3) data collection, maintenance, and reporting procedures. The commissioner may implement policies and procedures to administer the act'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 act also broadens the scope of the existing independent council created to advise the autism pilot program to include advising the DMR commissioner on all autism matters.

The act carries forward up to $200,000 of the funds appropriated for the pilot program in FY 07 for use in FY 08 to study the feasibility of amending the state Medicaid plan or obtaining a federal waiver to implement Medicaid-financed 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 waiver, whichever is sufficient and most expeditious, to implement this program, which can include housing assistance, if necessary. The commissioners must file annual status reports with the Public Health committee beginning January 1, 2008.

It also:

1. makes DMR the lead agency for purposes of the federal Combating Autism Act and for applying for and receiving funds and performing related responsibilities concerning ASD authorized by state and federal law;

2. requires DMR, beginning February 1, 2009, to make annual recommendations to the governor and Public Health Committee concerning legislation and funding needed to provide services to people with ASD;

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 the division maintains for any purpose the act authorizes to the same state and federal confidentiality requirements that govern other DMR client records.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

115 — VALIDATION OF DCF COMMISSIONER NOMINATION AND APPOINTMENT

The act 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 4-6) and

2. establishes confirmation procedures that depend on when a vacancy occurs (CGS 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 act 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 act 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 the firm proposing to bid the line to rebut this presumption by showing that it is technically infeasible to bury the line. The act 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 in 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 too costly.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

117 — TECHNICAL

The bill makes a technical change.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

118— SAGA MEDICAL BENEFITS

PA 07-2, June Special Session, makes an exception to a statutory prohibition on State-Administered General Assistance (SAGA) medical assistance 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 act 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

PA 07-2, June Special Session, 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 act 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 act makes a technical, grammatical change.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

121 — SALES TAX EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN MEALS

The act exempts meals sold from both honor boxes and coin-operated vending machines. The vending machine exemption previously covered “food products. ” 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 taxable. 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.

An “honor box” 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.

OLR Tracking: CR: Various: PF: TS