OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 1082 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT PERMITTING STATE AGENCIES TO ESTABLISH ELECTRONIC FILING SYSTEMS FOR AGENCY PROCEEDINGS.

SUMMARY:

This bill allows e-mail delivery by state agencies to certain recipients of copies of (1) final decisions made in a Uniform Administrative Procedure Act (UAPA) contested case, (2) rulings and actions in response to petitions for declaratory rulings, and (3) declaratory rulings. It does so by defining “personal delivery” under the UAPA as delivery directly to the intended recipient or his or her designated representative, including e-mail delivery to an address the recipient identifies as an acceptable means of communication. By law, copies of final decisions in contested cases, rulings and actions in response to petitions for declaratory rulings, and declaratory rulings must be either mailed or “personally delivered.”

The bill also allows an agency to suspend any requirements in its regulations governing its rules of practice for paper filing or document service for formal and informal agency proceedings. It instead allows the agency to establish an electronic filing system for the filings and service. Before establishing the system, the agency must give 30 days' notice on its website and in the Connecticut Law Journal, including instructions for using the system.

The bill requires agencies to exempt a person from electronic filing if the person requests an exemption and provides written notice to the agency of a hardship. Under the bill, such hardships include (1) a lack of access to a device capable of electronic filing or (2) incompatibility of a specific filing with the electronic filing system. It similarly requires agencies to exempt a person, under the circumstances stated above, from any requirements to electronically receive notification from or correspond with the agency.

The bill eliminates provisions, established in PA 15-1 (which is also effective October 1, 2015), that make waiving the use of electronic correspondence and filing discretionary for agencies. Under PA 15-1, an executive branch state agency that uses e-mail to notify and correspond with clients may waive the requirement, upon a client's request, for good cause. Similarly, an agency that requires electronic applications or forms may waive the requirement, upon request by an applicant, individual, or business, for good cause.

The bill also makes technical and conforming changes.

*House Amendment “A” eliminates provisions, established in PA 15-1, that allow agencies to waive the use of electronic correspondence and filing.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015

COMMITTEE ACTION

Government Administration and Elections Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

15

Nay

0

(03/25/2015)