PA 07-171—sSB 1266

Commerce Committee

Joint Committee on Legislative Management

AN ACT CONCERNING DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

SUMMARY: This act consolidates all annual program reports the General Assembly requires from the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) into the department's annual report. DECD's annual report must be filed with the governor and General Assembly by February 1 each year and posted on the department's website within 30 days thereafter. It does not change the information that DECD must include in the reports.

The act retains a requirement that the Connecticut Development Authority (CDA) and Connecticut Innovations, Inc. (CII) report to the Commerce Committee, by August 1 annually, on the amount of bond funds they spend on the state's economic clusters.

The act also makes several technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

REPORTING DATES

The act specifically requires DECD to include the following separate annual reports in its February 1 annual report:

1. the amount of bond funds it spent in the previous fiscal year on each of the state's economic clusters, which DECD was formerly required to file by August 1 (CDA and CII must still file their reports on this topic by that date);

2. a summary of its efforts on the dry cleaning grant program, formerly filed on or after February 1;

3. in consultation with the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), an assessment of current and future needs for rental assistance for state-assisted housing projects for the elderly and disabled, formerly filed by April 1; and

4. information on the Housing Trust Fund and the Housing Trust Fund Program, formerly filed annually but not by any set date.

REPORT INFORMATION

Dry Cleaning Grant Program

The program provides grants to eligible dry cleaning businesses to prevent, contain, and remediate pollution from hazardous chemicals the businesses use. It is funded by a 1% surcharge on each dry cleaning business' gross receipts from retail dry cleaning services.

The act continues to require the DECD commissioner's annual report on the program to include (1) the number of grant applications received and the applicants' names; (2) the number and amounts of grants made since the program began; (3) the elapsed time between an application and a grant decision; (4) which applications were approved and which were denied, along with the reasons for any denials; and (5) a recommendation on whether the surcharge grant program should continue.

Prior law required DECD to submit the report to the Environment Committee. The act requires DECD to include it in its annual report to the full General Assembly.

Housing Trust Fund Program

This program seeks to expand affordable housing for low- and moderate-income people. It is funded by four annual bond authorizations of $20 million each, to be deposited in the Housing Trust Fund.

Under the act, DECD's overall annual report must continue to provide information on (1) activities for the prior fiscal year for both the Housing Trust Fund and the Housing Trust Fund Program and (2) DECD's efforts to obtain private support for the fund and the program. The act eliminates a requirement that copies of the report be filed with the chairpersons and ranking members of the Select Committee on Housing.

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