Planning and Development Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-384

Title:

AN ACT PROMOTING REGIONALISM IN THE STATE.

Vote Date:

3/20/2009

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/2/2009

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Sen. Williams, 29th District

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill creates a municipal collaboration program that encourages towns to work together. By working together towns and cities will save money becoming more efficient.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Ellen Blaschinski, Department of Public Health: We support regional solutions to public drinking water supply issues, and the development of regional water supply sources.

W. David LeVasseur, Office of Policy and Management: We would only ask that OPM's responsibilities be limited under section 1 to be within available appropriations, as it is so limited in section 2.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Ron Thomas, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities: We support this bill because the Office of Policy and Management would provide grants-in-aid to towns and cities for joint projects. Long term efforts at property tax reform must include ways to make government more efficient and harness the strength of regions.

Jessie Stratton, Deputy Director, Environment Northeast: We support this bill because buildings account for more than 40 percent of the green house gas emissions. We therefore propose that municipalities adopt the more energy efficient residential construction. This bill would offer them an option not currently available. To earn Energy Star certification, a home must meet guidelines for energy efficiency set by the US EPA.

Sen. Donald E. Williams 29th District: I support this bill because towns should be working together on development; our state is facing a budget crisis of historic proportion. If we work together we can preserve and enhance the quality of life. Promoting regionalism in the state is a step in the right direction.

Eric J. Brown, Associate Counsel, Connecticut Business & Industry Association: We support this bill because in our opinion, nearly all the proposals on Smart Growth merit advancement.

Sara C. Bronin, Associate Professor, University of Connecticut School of Law: I am in support of this bill because Connecticut could benefit by strengthening regional planning. This bill adds language that makes regionalism one of the states priorities.

Martin Mador, Legislative and political Chair, Sierra Club: I support this bill because Connecticut needs a commitment to smart growth. It especially needs regionalism to eliminate the competition for tax revenues which results in environmentally damaging decisions.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Connecticut Association of Boards of Education: We oppose this bill because we urge you to amend this bill to ensure that boards of education in those municipalities are specifically included in the planning process, since these are all issues under their jurisdiction.

Mary Glassman, First Selectman, Simsbury, Co-Chair Capitol Region Council of Governments: I am opposed to this bill because rather than establish a new program; I would prefer to work through the Regional Performance Incentive Grant Program. Administrative structures have already been put in place after considerable effort. House Bill 384 would require a great deal of start up effort.

Floyd Lapp, Executive Director, South Western Regional Planning Agency: We oppose this bill because in our opinion, this type of program can be successfully administered by all three forms of RPO's, especially since SWRPA has a very close working relationship with its Chief Elected Officials through its Metropolitan Planning Organization. We meet monthly and regularly address many of the same matters of regional interest as the aforementioned proposed legislation.

Reported by: Ronald Ferraiolo

Date: 04/03/09