Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 5299

February Session, 2014

 

LCO No. 1359

 

*01359_______VA_*

Referred to Committee on VETERANS' AFFAIRS

 

Introduced by:

 

(VA)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING THE FINDINGS OF THE MILITARY OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY TASK FORCE.

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

Section 1. Subsection (b) of section 7-294d of the 2014 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):

(b) No person may be employed as a police officer by any law enforcement unit for a period exceeding one year unless such person has been certified under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section or has been granted an extension by the council. No person may serve as a police officer during any period when such person's certification has been cancelled or revoked pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section. In addition to the requirements of this subsection, the council may establish other qualifications for the employment of police officers and require evidence of fulfillment of these qualifications. The certification of any police officer who is not employed by a law enforcement unit for a period of time in excess of two years, unless such officer is on leave of absence, shall be considered lapsed. Upon reemployment as a police officer, such officer shall apply for recertification in a manner provided by the council. The council shall certify any applicant who presents evidence of satisfactory completion of a program or course of instruction in another state or as part of military training, that is equivalent in content and quality to that required in this state, provided such applicant passes an examination or evaluation as required by the council.

Sec. 2. Subsection (e) of section 14-36 of the 2014 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):

(e) (1) No motor vehicle operator's license shall be issued until (A) the applicant signs and files with the commissioner an application under oath, or made subject to penalties for false statement in accordance with section 53a-157b, and (B) the commissioner is satisfied that the applicant is sixteen years of age or older and is a suitable person to receive the license.

(2) An applicant for a new motor vehicle operator's license shall, in the discretion of the commissioner, file, with the application, a copy of such applicant's birth certificate or other prima facie evidence of date of birth and evidence of identity.

(3) Before granting a license to any applicant who has not previously held a Connecticut motor vehicle operator's license, or who has not operated a motor vehicle during the preceding two years, the commissioner shall require the applicant to demonstrate personally to the commissioner, a deputy or a motor vehicle inspector or an agent of the commissioner, in such manner as the commissioner directs, that the applicant is a proper person to operate motor vehicles of the class for which such applicant has applied, has sufficient knowledge of the mechanism of the motor vehicles to ensure their safe operation by him or her and has satisfactory knowledge of the laws concerning motor vehicles and the rules of the road. The knowledge test of an applicant for a class D motor vehicle operator's license may be administered in such form as the commissioner deems appropriate, including audio, electronic or written testing. Such knowledge test shall be administered in English, Spanish or any language spoken at home by at least one per cent of the state's population, according to statistics prepared by the United States Census Bureau, based on the most recent decennial census. Each such knowledge test shall include a question concerning highway work zone safety and the responsibilities of an operator of a motor vehicle under section 14-212d. Each such knowledge test shall include not less than one question concerning distracted driving, the use of mobile telephones and electronic devices by motor vehicle operators or the responsibilities of motor vehicle operators under section 14-296aa. If any such applicant has held a license from a state, territory or possession of the United States where a similar examination is required, [or if any such applicant is a person honorably separated from the United States armed forces who applies within two years following the separation and who, prior to the separation, held a military operator's license for motor vehicles of the same class as that for which such applicant has applied,] the commissioner may waive part or all of the examination. If any such applicant is a person honorably separated from the United States armed forces who applies not later than two years after the date of such separation and who, prior to the separation, held a military operator's license for motor vehicles of the same class as that for which such applicant has applied, the commissioner shall waive all of the examination. When the commissioner is satisfied as to the ability and competency of any applicant, the commissioner may issue to such applicant a license, either unlimited or containing such limitations as the commissioner deems advisable, and specifying the class of motor vehicles which the licensee is eligible to operate.

(4) If any applicant or operator license holder has any health problem which might affect such person's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, the commissioner may require the applicant or license holder to demonstrate personally or otherwise establish that, notwithstanding such problem, such applicant or license holder is a proper person to operate a motor vehicle, and the commissioner may further require a certificate of such applicant's condition, signed by a medical authority designated by the commissioner, which certificate shall in all cases be treated as confidential by the commissioner. A license, containing such limitation as the commissioner deems advisable, may be issued or renewed in any case, but nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the commissioner from refusing a license, either limited or unlimited, to any person or suspending a license of a person whom the commissioner determines to be incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle. Consistent with budgetary allotments, each motor vehicle operator's license issued to or renewed by a deaf or hearing impaired person shall, upon the request of such person, indicate such impairment. Such person shall submit a certificate stating such impairment, in such form as the commissioner may require and signed by a licensed health care practitioner.

(5) The issuance of a motor vehicle operator's license to any applicant who is the holder of a license issued by another state shall be subject to the provisions of sections 14-111c and 14-111k.

Sec. 3. Subsection (e) of section 14-36 of the 2014 supplement to the general statutes, as amended by section 2 of public act 13-89, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2015):

(e) (1) No motor vehicle operator's license shall be issued until (A) the applicant signs and files with the commissioner an application under oath, or made subject to penalties for false statement in accordance with section 53a-157b, and (B) the commissioner is satisfied that the applicant is sixteen years of age or older and is a suitable person to receive the license.

(2) Except any applicant described in section 14-36m, an applicant for a new motor vehicle operator's license shall, in the discretion of the commissioner, file, with the application, a copy of such applicant's birth certificate or other prima facie evidence of date of birth and evidence of identity.

(3) Before granting a license to any applicant who has not previously held a Connecticut motor vehicle operator's license, or who has not operated a motor vehicle during the preceding two years, the commissioner shall require the applicant to demonstrate personally to the commissioner, a deputy or a motor vehicle inspector or an agent of the commissioner, in such manner as the commissioner directs, that the applicant is a proper person to operate motor vehicles of the class for which such applicant has applied, has sufficient knowledge of the mechanism of the motor vehicles to ensure their safe operation by him or her and has satisfactory knowledge of the laws concerning motor vehicles and the rules of the road. The knowledge test of an applicant for a class D motor vehicle operator's license may be administered in such form as the commissioner deems appropriate, including audio, electronic or written testing. Such knowledge test shall be administered in English, Spanish or any language spoken at home by at least one per cent of the state's population, according to statistics prepared by the United States Census Bureau, based on the most recent decennial census. If any such applicant has held a license from a state, territory or possession of the United States where a similar examination is required, [or if any such applicant is a person honorably separated from the United States armed forces who applies within two years following the separation and who, prior to the separation, held a military operator's license for motor vehicles of the same class as that for which such applicant has applied,] the commissioner may waive part or all of the examination. If any such applicant is a person honorably separated from the United States armed forces who applies not later than two years after the date of such separation and who, prior to the separation, held a military operator's license for motor vehicles of the same class as that for which such applicant has applied, the commissioner shall waive all of the examination. When the commissioner is satisfied as to the ability and competency of any applicant, the commissioner may issue to such applicant a license, either unlimited or containing such limitations as the commissioner deems advisable, and specifying the class of motor vehicles which the licensee is eligible to operate.

(4) If any applicant or operator license holder has any health problem which might affect such person's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, the commissioner may require the applicant or license holder to demonstrate personally or otherwise establish that, notwithstanding such problem, such applicant or license holder is a proper person to operate a motor vehicle, and the commissioner may further require a certificate of such applicant's condition, signed by a medical authority designated by the commissioner, which certificate shall in all cases be treated as confidential by the commissioner. A license, containing such limitation as the commissioner deems advisable, may be issued or renewed in any case, but nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the commissioner from refusing a license, either limited or unlimited, to any person or suspending a license of a person whom the commissioner determines to be incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle. Consistent with budgetary allotments, each motor vehicle operator's license issued to or renewed by a deaf or hearing impaired person shall, upon the request of such person, indicate such impairment. Such person shall submit a certificate stating such impairment, in such form as the commissioner may require and signed by a licensed health care practitioner.

(5) The issuance of a motor vehicle operator's license to any applicant who is the holder of a license issued by another state shall be subject to the provisions of sections 14-111c and 14-111k.

Sec. 4. Section 20-333a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):

(a) The Commissioner of Consumer Protection may, upon the payment of the appropriate fee, as provided in section 20-335, grant a license or a card of registration provided for in this chapter, without an examination, to any currently practicing, competent person who holds a similar license or card of registration granted by any other state, licensure jurisdiction within another state, the District of Columbia or any territory or commonwealth of the United States having licensure or registration requirements substantially similar to, or higher than, those of this state, if the licensing authority in such other state, licensure jurisdiction within another state, the District of Columbia or any territory or commonwealth of the United States may grant such similar license or card of registration, without an examination, to any currently practicing, competent licensee or registrant from this state.

(b) The commissioner shall grant a license or a card of registration provided for in this chapter, without an examination, to any person who presents evidence of satisfactory completion of a program or course of instruction as part of military training that is equivalent in content and quality to that required in this state.

(c) The commissioner, with the advice and consent of the appropriate examining board, may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 in order to carry out the provisions of this section.

Sec. 5. Section 29-161q of the 2014 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):

(a) Any security service or business may employ as many security officers as such security service or business deems necessary for the conduct of the business, provided such security officers are of good moral character and at least eighteen years of age.

(b) No person hired or otherwise engaged to perform work as a security officer, as defined in section 29-152u, shall perform the duties of a security officer prior to being licensed as a security officer by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection. Each applicant for a license shall complete a minimum of eight hours training in the following areas: Basic first aid, search and seizure laws and regulations, use of force, basic criminal justice and public safety issues. The commissioner shall waive such training for any person who shows proof that such person has completed military training that is equivalent to the training required by this subsection. The training shall be approved by the commissioner in accordance with regulations adopted pursuant to section 29-161x.

(1) On and after October 1, 2008, no person or employee of an association, corporation or partnership shall conduct such training without the approval of the commissioner except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection. Application for such approval shall be submitted on forms prescribed by the commissioner and accompanied by a fee of forty dollars. Such application shall be made under oath and shall contain the applicant's name, address, date and place of birth, employment for the previous five years, education or training in the subjects required to be taught under this subsection, any convictions for violations of the law and such other information as the commissioner may require by regulation adopted pursuant to section 29-161x to properly investigate the character, competency and integrity of the applicant. No person shall be approved as an instructor for such training who has been convicted of a felony, a sexual offense or a crime of moral turpitude or who has been denied approval as a security service licensee, a security officer or instructor in the security industry by any licensing authority, or whose approval has been revoked or suspended. The term for such approval shall not exceed two years. Not later than two business days after a change of address, any person approved as an instructor in accordance with this section shall notify the commissioner of such change and such notification shall include both the old and new addresses.

(2) If a security officer training course described in this subsection is approved by the commissioner on or before September 30, 2008, the instructor of such course shall have until April 1, 2009, to apply for approval as an instructor in accordance with subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(3) Each person approved as an instructor in accordance with this section may apply for the renewal of such approval on a form approved by the commissioner, accompanied by a fee of forty dollars. Such form may require the disclosure of any information necessary for the commissioner to determine whether the instructor's suitability to serve as an instructor has changed since the issuance of the prior approval. The term of such renewed approval shall not exceed two years.

(c) Not later than two years after successful completion of the training required pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, or the waiver of such training, the applicant may submit an application for a license as a security officer on forms furnished by the commissioner and, under oath, shall give the applicant's name, address, date and place of birth, employment for the previous five years, experience in the position applied for, including military training and weapons qualifications, any convictions for violations of the law and such other information as the commissioner may require, by regulation, to properly investigate the character, competency and integrity of the applicant. Applicants shall submit with their application two sets of fingerprints of the employee and the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall require any applicant for a license under this section to submit to state and national criminal history records checks conducted in accordance with section 29-17a. Applicants shall submit with their application two sets of their fingerprints and two full-face photographs of them, two inches wide by two inches high, taken not earlier than six months prior to the date of application, and a one-hundred-dollar licensing fee, made payable to the state. Subject to the provisions of section 46a-80, no person shall be approved for a license who has been convicted of a felony, any sexual offense or any crime involving moral turpitude, or who has been refused a license under the provisions of sections 29-161g to 29-161x, inclusive, for any reason except minimum experience, or whose license, having been granted, has been revoked or is under suspension. Upon being satisfied of the suitability of the applicant for licensure, the commissioner may license the applicant as a security officer. Such license shall be renewed every five years for a one-hundred-dollar fee.

(d) Upon the security officer's successful completion of training and licensing by the commissioner, or immediately upon hiring a licensed security officer, the security service employing such security officer shall apply to register such security officer with the commissioner on forms provided by the commissioner. Such application shall be accompanied by payment of a forty-dollar application fee payable to the state. The Division of State Police within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall keep on file the completed registration form and all related material. An identification card with the name, date of birth, address, full-face photograph, physical descriptors and signature of the applicant shall be issued to the security officer, and shall be carried by the security officer at all times while performing the duties associated with the security officer's employment. Registered security officers, in the course of performing their duties, shall present such card for inspection upon the request of a law enforcement officer.

(e) The security service shall notify the commissioner not later than five days after the termination of employment of any registered employee.

(f) Any fee or portion of a fee paid pursuant to this section shall not be refundable.

(g) No person, firm or corporation shall employ or otherwise engage any person as a security officer, as defined in section 29-152u, unless such person is a licensed security officer.

(h) Any person, firm or corporation that violates any provision of subsection (b), (d), (e) or (g) of this section shall be fined seventy-five dollars for each offense. Each distinct violation of this section shall be a separate offense and, in the case of a continuing violation, each day thereof shall be deemed a separate offense.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2014) An institution of higher education may award college credit for military occupational specialty training to a veteran who enrolls at such institution and has experience in a military occupation recognized by such institution as substituting for or meeting the requirements of a particular course of study. Any institution of higher education that awards college credit for such training shall use course equivalency recommendations adopted by the American Council on Education when assigning college credit to a military occupation.

Sec. 7. Section 27-102l of the 2014 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):

(a) There shall be a Department of Veterans' Affairs. The Veterans' Home shall be within the department and shall be located in Rocky Hill. The department head shall be the Commissioner of Veterans' Affairs, who shall be appointed by the Governor in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-5 to 4-8, inclusive, with the powers and duties prescribed therein.

(b) The commissioner may appoint a unit head to administer a veterans' advocacy and assistance unit for the aid and benefit of veterans, their spouses and eligible dependents and family members. Such unit shall conduct an annual training course for any city or town employee designated a veterans' service contact person pursuant to subsection (b) of section 27-135. The unit shall have a staff of not less than eight men and women, including six service officers, and clerical personnel. The unit head and the service officers shall be veterans, as defined in section 27-103, or veterans who were awarded the armed forces expeditionary medal for service by the armed forces. At least one of the service officers shall be a woman having a demonstrated interest in the concerns of women veterans, who shall be responsible for addressing those concerns, and, effective upon the next opening of a service officer position occurring on or after July 1, 2010, at least two of the service officers shall be individuals having bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish, within existing authorized positions. Each service officer shall successfully complete a course in veterans' benefits within one year of commencement of employment and shall be assigned to one of the five congressional districts of the state.

(c) In addition to the powers and duties prescribed under section 4-8, the commissioner shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) To prepare studies and collect information concerning facilities and services available to members of the armed forces, veterans, their spouses or eligible dependents, including facilities and services for veterans who may have been exposed to a Vietnam herbicide during their periods of military service;

(2) To conduct interviews in the nursing homes or hospitals throughout the state to determine the number of veterans admitted and ascertaining which benefits such veterans are currently receiving and are entitled to receive;

(3) To cooperate with service agencies and organizations throughout the state in disseminating and furnishing counsel and assistance of benefit to residents of this state who are or have been members of the armed forces, their spouses or eligible dependents, which will indicate the availability of: (A) Educational training and retraining facilities; (B) health, medical, rehabilitation and housing services and facilities; (C) employment and reemployment services; (D) provisions of federal, state and local laws affording financial rights, privileges and benefits; and (E) other matters of similar nature;

(4) To assist veterans, their spouses and eligible dependents and family members in the preparation, presentation, proof and establishment of such claims, privileges, rights and other benefits accruing to them under federal, state and local laws;

(5) To take any steps necessary to ensure that state agencies recognize and accept military training and experience when a veteran applies for an occupational license, and that the spouses of veterans are provided with automatic temporary occupational licenses, including temporary certifications for teachers;

[(5)] (6) To cooperate with all national, state and local governmental and private agencies securing or offering services or any benefits to veterans, their spouses or dependents;

[(6)] (7) To develop and prepare a long-range plan and mission statement for the Veterans' Home and the veterans' advocacy and assistance unit; and

[(7)] (8) To review all appeals made by veterans, their spouses or eligible dependents or family members and render the final decision thereon regarding the denial of admission to any program or the refusal to render any service or benefit which is administered by the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the discharge or transfer from any such program or any disciplinary action taken while participating in any such program.

(d) The commissioner shall adopt, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, and enforce, such regulations and procedures for the operation, administration and management of the department and all programs and services under the jurisdiction of the department, including, but not limited to, procedures relating to admission and discharge or transfer of veterans in the Veterans' Home, a per diem fee schedule for programs, services and benefits provided by the Veterans' Home, and the participation of eligible family members in programs or services provided by the home.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2014

7-294d(b)

Sec. 2

October 1, 2014

14-36(e)

Sec. 3

January 1, 2015

14-36(e)

Sec. 4

October 1, 2014

20-333a

Sec. 5

October 1, 2014

29-161q

Sec. 6

July 1, 2014

New section

Sec. 7

October 1, 2014

27-102l

Statement of Purpose:

To address barriers to employment for military families by requiring that state licensing authorities accept military training and experience, where appropriate, as a substitute for additional training and by allowing spouses to gain streamlined occupational certifications.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]