Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Committee Bill No. 384

January Session, 2009

 

LCO No. 4123

 

*_____SB00384APP___050609____*

Referred to Committee on Planning and Development

 

Introduced by:

 

(PD)

 

AN ACT PROMOTING REGIONALISM IN THE STATE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) (a) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Municipality" means a town, city or consolidated town and borough;

(2) "Legislative body" means the board of selectmen, town council, city council, board of alderman, board of directors, board of representatives or board of the mayor and burgesses of a municipality; and

(3) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management or the designee of the secretary.

(b) There is established a municipal collaboration program that shall be administered by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. Any two or more municipalities may submit to said secretary a plan for active collaboration by the municipalities. A copy of said plan shall be sent to the legislators representing the collaborating municipalities.

(c) (1) Plans shall be in the form and manner the secretary prescribes and shall have provisions for joint activities for (A) capital improvements, including proposals for cooperatively bidding or contracting to build or purchase capital assets and the shared usage of buildings; (B) cooperative energy, including soliciting bids for the best prices for electricity, gasoline and heating fuel and collaboration on distributive generation and other sustainable energy projects; (C) shared services, including an analysis of whether savings could be obtained in-house or through joint bids; (D) health insurance through pooling of municipal employees; (E) highway maintenance; (F) transit- oriented development that identifies areas in all the municipalities participating in a plan for economic and residential growth based on existing commercial, industrial and transportation infrastructure; (G) cooperative revenue sharing from new economic development; (H) special education, in consultation with regional education service centers, including development of strategies for shared transportation, including proposals for more efficient special education services and a method for assessing the benefits of in-house regionalized services compared to regional bids; (I) consolidation of early childhood programs, including, but not limited to, Head Start, School Readiness and pre-kindergarten programs; (J) school construction; (K) regional water supply and natural resources protection; (L) arts and culture; (M) agriculture and food security; and (N) regional recreation. The plan shall establish procedures for amendment, termination and withdrawal from implementation of the plan. The municipalities that are collaborating in the plan shall hold a public hearing on the proposed plan. The plan shall be approved by each collaborating municipality by resolution of the legislative body.

(2) After approval of the plan by collaborating municipalities, such collaborating municipalities shall send a copy to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. Not more than thirty days after receipt of the plan, the secretary shall make a written determination as to whether or not the plan complies with the provisions of this section and regulations adopted thereunder. The secretary shall send a copy of the determination to each municipality collaborating in the plan.

(3) The secretary, on or before July 1, 2010, and annually thereafter, shall award grants for plans the secretary determines meet the requirements of this section. The amount of grants made to collaborating municipalities after January 1, 2011, shall be based on a priority system developed by the secretary that evaluates implementation of municipal collaboration plans. Any unencumbered funds in any fiscal year may be carried forward to the next fiscal year and used to provide additional funds to municipalities that receive the most priority points.

(d) The secretary shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes to implement the provisions of this section. Such regulations shall include a system for assigning a priority to evaluate implementation of municipal collaborative plans.

(e) The secretary shall submit to the Governor and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to planning and development a report on the grants provided pursuant to this section. Each such report shall include information on the amount of each grant and the activities performed by the municipalities pursuant to an approved plan. The secretary shall submit a report for the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2010, not later than February 1, 2011, and shall submit a report for each subsequent fiscal year not later than the first day of March in such fiscal year. Each report shall be submitted in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, within available appropriations, shall make grants to municipalities for the purpose of providing technical assistance in developing and implementing municipal collaboration plans to be submitted pursuant to section 1 of this act. The secretary may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to implement the provisions of this section.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2009

New section

Sec. 2

October 1, 2009

New section

PD

Joint Favorable

 

APP

Joint Favorable