OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 235

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE TRANSPORTATION STATUTES.

SUMMARY:

This bill (1) creates fare inspectors charged with enforcing fares on state-owned or controlled public buses and (2) reduces the penalty for intentionally riding a public bus without paying the fare. Current law classifies failure to pay for public or private bus service as larceny. Under the bill, failure to pay for public bus service is an infraction, for which a fare inspector may issue a citation.

The bill also exempts certain new or renovated state facilities from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design's (LEED) energy efficiency standards.

The bill requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to study chemical road treatments and report its findings and recommendations to the Transportation committee by October 1, 2014. The report must include (1) an analysis of the corrosive effects of road treatments on vehicles, infrastructure, and the environment; (2) the cost of corrosion created by road treatments; and (3) an evaluation of alternative techniques and products, such as rust inhibitors, with a comparison of cost and effectiveness.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2014, except for the sections regarding LEED standards and the road treatment study, which are effective upon passage.

FARE ENFORCEMENT ON PUBLIC BUSES

This bill authorizes fare inspectors to issue citations for deliberately riding a state-owned or controlled public bus without paying the required fare. Fare inspectors may be employees of either DOT or a third-party contractor. They are responsible, when all or part of the fare must be paid off the bus, for inspecting tickets, passes, or other documentation proving an individual paid the appropriate fare.

Under current law, intentionally obtaining bus service without payment is larceny and punishable, depending on the value of the service stolen, by fines and imprisonment. Theft of a service valued at $500 or less is larceny in the sixth degree, a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to three months imprisonment. For state-owned and controlled buses, this bill reduces the offense to an infraction, for which the penalty is a fine payable by mail (see BACKGROUND).

EXEMPTION OF CERTAIN FACILITIES FROM LEED STANDARDS

Under current law, any new construction or renovation of a state facility that meets certain cost and state funding criteria must comply with the silver building rating of the LEED rating system. The bill exempts salt sheds, parking garages, and other maintenance facilities from LEED requirements, provided they incorporate the best economically feasible energy standards.

BACKGROUND

Infractions

Infractions are punishable by fines, usually set by Superior Court judges, of between $35 and $90, plus a $20 or $35 surcharge and an additional fee based on the amount of the fine. There may be other added charges depending upon the type of infraction. With the various additional charges, the total amount due can be over $300 but often is less than $100. An infraction is not a crime; and violators can pay the fine by mail without making a court appearance.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Transportation Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

32

Nay

0

(03/14/2014)