OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT REQUIRING THE COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION TO WAIVE CERTAIN INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR BEAUTIFICATION EFFORTS ON STATE PROPERTY ALONG A HIGHWAY.
This bill prohibits the Department of Transportation (DOT) commissioner from requiring any applicant to obtain insurance as a condition of issuing a permit to engage in beautification efforts on state property along a highway.
The bill prohibits anyone injured in person or property while engaging in, or as a result of, a beautification effort from bringing a civil action for damages against the state or the commissioner.
By law, the DOT commissioner may issue encroachment permits, which allow holders certain non-travel-related uses of highway rights-of-way. The law typically requires permit applicants to obtain insurance. Generally, anyone may sue the commissioner for damages if he or she is injured as a result of a defective highway, bridge, or sidewalk the commissioner is responsible for maintaining. However, permittees must hold the state and its employees harmless in any suit for damages.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage
DOT Encroachment Permit
DOT regulations define any intrusion or use of a highway right-of-way for purposes other than traveling as an “encroachment” (Conn. Agencies Reg. § 13b-17-1). The transportation commissioner has statutory authority to allow certain non-travel related uses of the highway right-of-way through issuance of encroachment permits (CGS § 13b-17). The commissioner may issue such permits to individuals, businesses, utility companies, municipalities, or other state agencies when certain conditions are met, including obtaining insurance (Conn. Agencies Reg. § 13b-17-9).
Under the regulations, the insurance requirement may be waived for municipalities, public service companies, and churches when these entities actually perform the work.
Planning and Development Committee
Joint Favorable Substitute