OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http://www.cga.ct.gov/ofa

SB-1502

AN ACT IMPLEMENTING PROVISIONS OF THE STATE BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2017, CONCERNING GENERAL GOVERNMENT, EDUCATION, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AND BONDS OF THE STATE.

As Amended by Senate "A" (LCO 9706), Senate "B" (LCO 9729), Senate "C" (LCO 9746)


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

All

GF, STF - See Below

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

All Municipalities

See Below

Explanation

A section by section analysis of the bill is provided below.

Sections 1-39, Sections 519 and 523 of the bill: (1) repeals the current Connecticut Port Authority (the Authority), which is effective October 1, 2015, and reestablishes the Authority as of July 1, 2015, (2) expands the scope of the Authority and (3) gives the Executive Director of the Authority the authorization over regulations on ports, harbors, marine pilots and navigational waters as well as permission to acquire and operate on behalf of the state at all navigable waterways, land and harbors.

Senate “C” reduces the term of the chairperson on the board of the Connecticut Port Authority from four years to two years and does not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 1 establishes the Authority as of July 1, 2015, and has no state impact because (1) the Authority under the bill is a quasi-public agency financially autonomous from the state, and (2) the bill does not provide any state appropriation or bond authorization for the Authority. The bill allows the Authority to generate operating and capital funding through various sources. The Authority's ability to issue its own bonds is not anticipated to have a state fiscal impact because the bonds are not a statutory financial obligation of the state.

Section 8 allows the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and the Authority to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will allow DECD to provide administrative support to the Authority. The bill allows the MOU to include terms for reimbursement by the Authority to DECD for such services. Thus, there is no fiscal impact to DECD.

Section 9 requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Authority to enter into a MOU for the transfer of ownership, jurisdiction and control of the state's ports to the Authority. This may result in a savings to DOT dependent on the timing of the transfer of ownership to the Authority.

Section 11 requires DECD, in consultation with various state agencies, to develop a plan to transition the maritime functions of DOT to the Authority. This is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact. Pursuant to PA 14-222, DECD has participated in the Port Authority working group to develop recommendations regarding the establishment of the Port Authority.

Sections 12 and 18 require individual harbor masters to be responsible to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) instead of the DOT for the safe and efficient operation of harbors and navigable waterways. This requirement also does not result in a fiscal impact to the state as it would reallocate the salary ($88,112 in FY 16 and $92,077 in FY 17) and associated fringe benefits ($34,055 in FY 16 and $35,558 in FY 17) for the current Transportation Harbor Liaison Officer from DOT to DEEP for this purpose.

Sections 528 and 532 eliminate the Connecticut Maritime Commission and the state maritime office within DOT which will result in a savings to the Special Transportation Fund in FY 16 from the elimination of the Maritime Office. The Maritime Office has approximately 14 employees and operates the two Connecticut River ferries as well as the State Pier in New London. The Office also oversees the maritime portion of the Capital Program, encompassing capital improvements needed for the ferry fleet and support buildings and equipment, and maintenance and improvement of the State Pier.

The bill also permits the Connecticut Port Authority to issue bonds that are backed by a special capital reserve fund (SCRF). This is not expected to result in a General Fund impact because the Office of the State Treasurer is not expected to approve the issuance of SCRF-backed bonds unless the Authority can show that it will be able to generate sufficient revenue from its activities to pay the debt service on the bonds.

Lastly, the bill does not result in a fiscal impact to the Office of State Comptroller – Fringe Benefit accounts, as any fringe benefits extended to employees of the Authority in accordance with section 1 are reimbursed by the Authority to the state.  The fringe benefit impact to the Authority for fringe benefits for its employees will depend on the salary of its employees and which health plan they choose to enroll in.  The fringe benefit rate for state employees is approximately 82.91% of payroll, including health insurance.

Background

The Connecticut Port Authority will issue its own bonds to finance improvements at port facilities and use revenue derived from the fees it charges to pay debt service on the bonds. The state backs bonds with a special capital reserve fund (SCRF) so quasi-public agencies like the Authority can issue them at a lower interest rate. If the Authority did not have sufficient revenue to make debt service payments itself: (1) the SCRF would be used to make them, (2) the state would be required to refill the SCRF with General Fund resources if it fell below a certain level, and (3) the Port Authority would be required to repay the funds used from the General Fund at a future date, when sufficient revenue was available.

Section 40 requires payment from the Special Transportation Fund (STF) to DEEP for boating regulation and enforcement. PA 15-244 provides $750,000 in FY 16 and FY 17 for this purpose. Additionally, the section also requires payment from the STF to the Department of Social Services (DSS) for the Transportation for Employment Independence Program. PA 15-244 provides $2,244,195 in FY 16 and $2,370,629 in FY 17 for this program.

Section 41 increases annual funding for the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation through the Community Investment Account by $180,000. This increase is provided in lieu of General Fund appropriations. PA 15-244 eliminates General Fund appropriations of $175,517 in FY 16 and $180,389 in FY 17 for the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

Section 42 extends the First Five Program by one year. By extending the date, the bill permits up to three additional projects to participate in the program.

Under current law, the DECD may provide substantial financial assistance to up to fifteen companies by June 30, 2015. As of June 26th, twelve companies are participating in the program for a total of up to $310.6 million in assistance through loans and tax credits. See the table at the end of this section for more details.

Under this bill, the projects selected after June 30, 2015 would be exempt from legislative approval for proposed financial assistance amounts that exceed statutory limits. Assuming that these projects would have received legislative approval for the amounts exceeding the statutory threshold, there is no fiscal impact. To the extent that a project or projects receive funding that would otherwise have been disapproved by the legislature, there could be a potential impact to (1) the various funds supporting the Manufacturing Assistance Act program and (2) tax revenue associated with tax credits provided.

First Five Projects – 1/1/2011 through 6/26/15 (in millions)

Company

Total Assistance Available $

Tax Credits $

Loans/Grants (Bond Funded) $

Bond Funds Allocated to Date1

$

Remaining Allocation Anticipated $

Jobs Retained

Jobs Created (max)2

Created as of 6/30/2014

CIGNA

71,000,000

50,000,000

21,000,000

21,000,000

-

3,883

800

462

NBC Sports

26,000,000

-

26,000,000

26,000,000

-

116

716

450

ESPN

10,000,000

10,000,000

-

-

-

3,872

800

128

Sustainable Building Systems

19,100,000

-

19,100,000

19,100,000

-

-

408

-

CareCentrix

24,000,000

-

24,000,000

11,600,000

12,400,000

213

290

146

Alexion

51,000,000

25,000,000

26,000,000

26,000,000

-

368

300

294

Deloitte

14,500,000

-

14,500,000

9,000,000

5,500,000

1,153

500

54

Bridgewater Associates

TBD

TBD

TBD

-

TBD

TBD

TBD

TBD

Charter Communications

8,500,000

-

8,500,000

6,500,000

2,000,000

260

300

274

Navigators Group Inc.

11,500,000

-

11,500,000

11,500,000

-

-

200

133

Pitney Bowes

27,000,000

-

16,000,000

16,000,000

-

1,600

200

N/A

EDAC Technologies Corporation

48,000,000

-

48,000,000

23,000,000

25,000,000

349

200

N/A

Total

310,600,000

85,000,000

214,600,000

169,700,000

44,900,000

11,814

4,714

1,941

1The State Bond Commission (SBC) allocated $5.95 million to TicketNetwork and $18.7 million to ESPN. TicketNetwork has since withdrawn from the program while the agreement with ESPN has since been restructured. Those funds are available for reallocation by the State Bond Commission at a future meeting.

2The minimum required job creation is 200 for all companies.

Sections 43-46 delay from, January 1, 2016 to January 1, 2017, the requirement for health insurance policies to cover certain services for mental and nervous conditions. This will delay costs to the state employee and retiree health plan, municipalities, and the state pursuant to the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), related to expanding the scope of mental health services required to be covered until January 1, 2017. Section 515 repeals the requirement the insurance commissioner and healthcare advocate to convene a working group to study, among other things, the use of inpatient mental health and substance use disorder services. Repealing this provision is not anticipated to have a fiscal impact.

Section 47 makes a minor change to the language of the posting a tax collector must make when conducting a tax sale. This has no fiscal impact.

Sections 48-49 and 518 eliminate the Governor's contingency appropriation requirement and related processes and have no fiscal impact.

Section 50 phases out, over time, certain personal care products containing intentionally added microbeads. It also states that the commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shall accept applications on behalf of manufacturers to request a study to be performed by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) regarding the chemical compositions of microbeads. This results in no fiscal impact to the state as the study will be paid for by manufacturers.

CASE shall complete each requested study and issue a report to the commissioner of its' findings by December 15, 2017. The commissioner shall review and forward the recommendations contained in the study to the environment committee by February 1, 2018.

Any manufacturer who is found in violation of the results contained in the report is subject to fines of up to (1) $5,000 for a first violation and (2) $10,000 for subsequent violations. It is anticipated that less than five violations will occur, generating a potential revenue gain of less than $25,000 beginning in FY 18.

Sections 51-52 make a variety of changes to the statutes concerning the oversight of internationally active insurance groups. As these changes largely clarify the Insurance Department's existing authority, there is no fiscal impact.

Sections 53-55 restore a 5% reimbursement of the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (CBIF) to Connecticut Innovations for the administration of the CBIF. The bill does not include any additional bond authorizations toward the program for this purpose and therefore has no fiscal impact.

PA 13-239 established the CBIF to finance projects to improve the delivery of health care services, lower health care costs, and directly or indirectly create bioscience jobs. The Act capitalized the fund by authorizing up to $200 million in GO bonds over 10 years. The State Bond Commission allocated the funds in February 2014.

Section 56 requires public service companies to verify a potential customer's Social Security Number before opening an account, and prohibits said companies from holding customers liable for unpaid bills if the customer was a minor when the account was opened. This has no fiscal impact on the state or municipalities as ratepayers.

Section 57 requires certain landlords to include information in a rental agreement regarding the existence and maintenance history of fire sprinkler systems in a dwelling unit for rental. There is no fiscal impact arising from this requirement

Sections 58-71 apply contract set-aside requirements to certain municipal and quasi-public project expenditures that are partially or wholly funded by the state. The sections require the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) to administer the municipal set-aside program for such affected contracts.

This change increases the number of entities participating in the set-aside program by more than 175. Such an expansion may lead to an increase in the number of vendors applying for certification.

Expanding the set-aside program from approximately 60 current participants, and requiring CHRO to administer the municipal and quasi-public portion, is anticipated to have significant fiscal impacts to CHRO. CHRO's contract compliance and legal units are jointly anticipated to require approximately 11 additional staff members including: seven Human Rights and Opportunities Representatives; two Attorney 1s; one secretary; and one processing technician to perform the work. Salary for these positions is estimated at approximately $700,000 (plus approximately $270,000 for fringe benefits) beginning in FY 16.

Participant municipalities and quasi-public entities may incur additional costs to comply with the set-aside program. Such costs include, but are not limited to, contract development and administration. Such costs will be dependent upon the particular requirements of each affected municipality.

PA 15-244 appropriates $770,000 in both FY 16 and FY 17 to CHRO for this purpose while also adding 11 positions.

Sections 72-88 make minor and technical changes to statutes concerning the definitions, duties, and processes of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and has no fiscal impact.

Section 89 carries forward funding of up to $745,000 from various accounts within DEEP, including: (1) up to $100,000 in Other Expenses, (2) up to $205,000 in Solid Waste, (3) up to $200,000 in  Environmental Conservation; and (4) up to $200,000 in Environmental Quality for various grants in FY 16. 

Section 90 carries forward up to $40,000 of the unexpended balance within DEEP for Solid Waste and transfers this amount to the Dam Maintenance account for hydrology studies in FY 16.

Section 91 allows $250,000 to be carried forward from the Judicial Department Juvenile Alternative Incarceration account in FY 15 to be provided to the COMPASS Youth Collaborative, Inc. Peacebuilders program in FY 16.

Section 92 allows the Office of Policy and Management to carryforward up to $1.1 million in funds available in the Tax Relief for Elderly Renters account and to transfer such funding to the Litigation Settlement account.

Section 93 provides that $1,000,000 appropriated to the Department of Education, for Neighborhood Youth Centers, be made available in both FY 16 and FY 17 for grants to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America located within the state.

Section 94 specifies how the Judicial Department must distribute funds appropriated to the Youth Services Prevention account. PA 15-244 includes $3.6 million in both FY 16 and FY 17 for this purpose.

Senate “C” reallocates a portion of the grants, eliminating one grant and adding three new ones.

Section 95 specifies that DSS must distribute Fatherhood Initiative grants during the biennium to the same providers who received grants in FY 15. As this only specifies distribution of appropriated funds, there is no fiscal impact. PA 15-244 includes $509,991 in each year for the Fatherhood Initiative.

Section 96 specifies the grant distribution under the Cradle to Career program within the Department of Labor.  PA 15-244 provides funding of $200,000 in both FY 16 and FY 17 to the Department of Labor for this program.

Sections 97-98 remove the annual cap of $150,000 on the amount the Teachers' Retirement Board (TRB) may spend for outside professional fees from the Teachers' Health Insurance Premium account (also referred to as the Retiree Health Fund – a non-appropriated, non-lapsing account). This change allows the TRB greater flexibility to engage necessary healthcare consulting services. The TRB utilizes a healthcare consultant to maintain benefits and control plan costs. It is anticipated that the TRB will spend approximately $350,000 in FY 16 for outside professional fees from the account. This includes $150,000 for a health plan consultant and $200,000 for a prescription plan claims audit. This is an increase of $200,000 over the amount allowed under current law. In FY 17, the agency will only have the annual health plan consultant expense which may exceed the current $150,000 cap. The cost for healthcare consulting has been paid from the Retiree Health Fund since 2010. The FY 14 year end fund balance was approximately $109 million.

Sections 99-101 require that each contract awarded or service rendered after July 1, 2015 at the Legislative Office Building, the State Capitol, or the Old State House require that each contractor's, personal services contractor's, and subcontractor's employees be compensated at a wage of at least $15 an hour. This may result in a minimal revenue loss as the Office of Legislative Management (OLM) receives payment (estimated at less than $60,000 annually) to lease cafeteria operations to a vendor. When the cafeteria contract is put out to bid, OLM may receive lower bids as vendor employee wage costs are higher. The potential revenue loss is estimated at less than $15,000.

Senate “C” includes technical changes to clarify that only contracts or services rendered at the Legislative Office Building, the State Capitol, or the Old State House would be impacted. This will not result in a fiscal impact.

Sections 102 and 103 require each electric distribution company to submit a proposal to DEEP to build, own or operate grid-side enhancements such as energy storage systems. The bill requires the net costs of any such agreement to be recovered through a component of electric rates for all electric customers. Costs may be incurred in FY 16 and FY 17 for the state and municipalities as ratepayers. The process is not expected to have a fiscal impact as DEEP, the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) and Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) all have the staff and expertise to solicit the proposals and review them.

Sections 104 and 106 allow municipalities to: (1) abate up to 100% of the property taxes due for any public service company infrastructure installed or improved in the previous year; and (2) abate up to 100% of property taxes due for personal property owned by a gas company for up to 25 years.

A municipality that chooses to do this would experience a revenue loss that would vary based on the amount of taxes owed on such property and the amount of such taxes the municipality chose to abate.

Section 105 requires the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to adjust electric distribution companies' (EDCs) residential fixed charge to only recover the fixed costs and operation and maintenance expenses directly related to metering, billing, service connections and the provision of customer service. This has no impact to the state or municipalities as ratepayers.

Section 107 requires the Low-Income Energy Advisory Board to recommend, by January 1, 2016: (1) how DEEP, the Department of Social Services (DSS), community action agencies, EDCs and municipal electric utilities can securely share heating assistance program applicant data to improve coordination; (2) the costs and benefits of current energy assistance programs and how to maximize customer benefits; (3) how to streamline the application process; (4) how to make energy assistance more accessible and feasible for rental tenants; and (5) coordination efforts to best improve boiler and furnace replacement programs. There is no fiscal impact to DEEP.

Section 108 requires PURA to develop recommendations on what change to the generation services rate and to the terms and conditions of such service that customers may experience after the expiration of a fixed contract, when customers begin paying month-to-month. There is no fiscal impact to PURA.

Section 109 allows a deposit, required to cover the payment for gas or electricity for three months, to be made by cash, letter of credit or surety bond. The section also allows each member municipal electric utility of a municipal electric energy cooperative to return 50% of the deposit to a non-residential customer if the customer's account remains in good standing for two years. There is a potential cost to municipal electric companies associated with returning a portion of these deposits. It is anticipated that this cost would result in higher electric rates for both residential and non-residential customers.

Sections 110-111 allow the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) to determine the distribution of funding to regional councils of government from the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account (MRSA). The impact of this will vary for each council of government. There is no net fiscal impact to MRSA.

Section 112 may result in a cost to the state and municipalities, in the event the state fails to fully fund the state's annual required contributions (ARC) to the various retirement funds and the Other Post Employment Funds for retiree health benefits. Under current law, the state is required to pay 100% of the ARC for both the State Employees' and Teachers' Retirement Systems. The state requires the approval of the State Employees' Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) to pay anything less than the ARC, which if granted would eliminate a cause of action under the bill for employees' of the State Employee's Retirement System.

Section 113 has no direct fiscal impact by allowing the state to require certain labor contracts between hotel and concession area operation contractors and labor organizations to include a labor peace agreement.

Sections 114-115 require municipalities, and other operators of athletic activities, to annually provide a statement on concussions (including information such as signs and symptoms, proper medical treatment, etc.) to all youth participating in athletic activities, and their parents or legal guardians.

Municipalities that operate such athletic activities may incur costs as follows: 1) A municipality that provides such information electronically would not incur any costs; 2) A municipality that provides the information in person, upon registration would incur minimal printing costs; 3) A municipality that chooses to print and mail concussion-related information would likely incur costs of less than $5,000.

The bill also precludes a municipality from liability when it fails to make concussion-related information available. Municipalities that are currently liable in these situations may experience a savings to the extent that it reduces the number of lawsuits such municipalities are party to.

It also specifies that the information provided be consistent with the most recent information provided by the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This has no fiscal impact.

Sections 116-121 establish an Aquaculture Advisory Council which may result in costs of less than $1,000 annually to those agencies participating in the task force to reimburse legislators and agency staff for mileage expenses. These sections make other changes which do not result in a fiscal impact to the Department of Agriculture.

Sections 122-128 make various minor and technical changes to the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) statutes and procedures, which do not result in any fiscal impact.

Section 129 results in a revenue loss of approximately $800,000 to the General Fund from the elimination of a transfer from the Probate Court Administration Fund. Current law requires that any balance at the end of the fiscal year in excess of 15% of the next year's authorized budget be transferred to the General Fund. The fund balance at the end of FY 15 is approximately $7.3 million and 15% of the FY 16 budget is approximately $6.5 million, which, under current law, would result in a transfer of $800,000 to the General Fund. This section eliminates this provision for the FY 15 balance.

Section 130 precludes a revenue gain by exempting the first million dollars of gross receipts from the 6% ambulatory surgical center tax established under PA 15-244. The actual revenue loss is dependent upon the number of facilities which would be required to pay the 6% tax. Section 131 also makes a clarifying change which has no fiscal impact.

Senate “C” alters the original bill by exempting the first million dollars of gross receipts from the 6% ambulatory surgical center tax and results in the impact listed above.

Section 131 transfers $7.75 million from the Citizen's Election Fund (CEF) to the General Fund in FY 17 to help balance the budget. The CEF currently has a balance of approximately $10 million, which PA 15-244 reduces by $2.25 million by transferring this amount to the General Fund in order to reduce the projected FY 15 General Fund budget deficit.

Sections 132 and 516 preclude a revenue gain of $39.9 million in FY 16 and $83.1 million in FY 17 by maintaining the sales and use tax rate on computer and data processing services at the current 1% rate.

Section 132 delays scheduled (per PA 15-244) rate increases for the new Municipal Revenue Sharing Account and the Special Transportation Fund portions of the Sales and Use Tax. These delays reduce (relative to PA 15-244) the amounts to be diverted from the General Fund by $52.8 million in FY 16 (MRSA impact, only) and $71.3 million in FY 17 ($55 million MRSA impact and $16.3 million STF impact).

Due to the timing of deposits into, and payments out of, MRSA, this revenue loss does not impact payments to towns in FY 16 or FY 17. However, the end-of-the-year balance in FY 17, which will be carried forward to FY 18, will be reduced by $107.8 million.

To clarify further, PA 15-244 requires payments from the account of $10 million in FY 16 and $227.9 million in FY 17. Any additional revenue deposited into the account in FY 16 and FY 17 will be carried forward to FY 18. Section 132 reduces the amount of funding carried forward by $107.8 million.

Sections 133–134 preclude a revenue gain of $7.7 million in FY 16 and $21.6 million in FY 17 by lowering the sales tax rate of 2% and 3% in FY 16 and FY 17 respectively to 1% on services pertaining to the world wide web services.

Senate “C” alters the original bill by eliminating sections 493 and 494 which pertain to the taxation of world wide web services. This is a technical change that has no fiscal impact.

Section 135 precludes a revenue gain of $1.0 million in FY 16 and FY 17 by exempting employer provided parking from the sales and use tax.

Section 136 makes a conforming change related to the sales tax on car wash services that have no fiscal impact.

Section 137 moves the deadline for remitting monthly sales taxes and filing sales tax returns from the 20th day to the last day of the month following the month covered by the return. This may result in a potential minimal revenue loss to the extent any interest would be earned by collecting the revenue at an earlier date each month.

Section 138 makes a clarifying and procedural change that is not anticipated to have a fiscal impact.

Sections139-153 delay the provisions in PA 15-244 implementing mandatory unitary combined reporting under the Corporation Business Tax until January 1, 2016, and makes minor conforming changes. This precludes a revenue gain of $23.7 million in FY 16.

Section 154 establishes an annual registration renewal process for dry cleaning establishments subject to the Dry Cleaning Surcharge, and a $1,000 penalty for each registration violation, as well as $200 late payment penalty for renewals. It is anticipated that fewer than ten such violations would occur in any given year. As such, the bill results in a potential revenue gain of less than $10,000 annually to the Dry Cleaning Remediation Account beginning in FY 16.

There are currently approximately 460 dry cleaning establishments paying a total of $650,000 annually under the Dry Cleaning Surcharge.

Section 156 reduces General Fund appropriations by $14 million in FY 16 and $27 million in FY 17. It reduces Medicaid by $1.5 million in each fiscal year, the Reserve for Salary Adjustment account by $13 million in FY 17, and creates a new Targeted Savings lapse of $12.5 million in each fiscal year.

Section 156 identifies the General Fund accounts that the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management may recommend reductions to in order to achieve the Targeted Savings lapse of $12.5 million.

Section 157 expands the Department of Transportation's ability to use Federal funds on contract bids through the Department of Administrative Services' (DAS) process for competitively bid contracts. The fiscal impact will be dependent on (1) the type of project and (2) the level of federal funding associated with the project. It is anticipated that DOT would realize a reduction in the use of state bond funding associated with these projects that would subsequently be reallocated for other projects.

Section 158 reduces the length of time a homeowner can live rent-free on DOT condemned property from 120 days to 90 days, which may allow DOT to move forward with projects at an earlier timeframe.

Section 159 allows the Commissioner of DOT to use DOT personnel to perform design work for contracts under “construction manager at risk” (CMAR) rather than contract with an architect or engineer. The fiscal impact is uncertain because projects have not been identified as candidates. The future net fiscal impact will depend on: (1) the total cost to hire employees to perform the design work, and (2) the level of savings realized from the reduction in contracted service costs.

Section 160 allows the DOT commissioner to: (1) continue to use consultants until the governor notifies the Transportation Committee that they are no longer needed; and (2) to continue to use consultants to design a CMAR project if the Commissioner decides DOT lacks the technical expertise for the project. The fiscal impact is uncertain because projects have not been identified as candidates.

Section 161 allows DOT to: (1) indemnify Metro North for claims brought by Amtrak or other third parties for the operation of M-8 rail cars on the Shore Line East rail line (SLE); and (2) indemnify and hold harmless the operator of the new rail passenger service on the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield (NHHS) rail line. The bill would preclude future claims brought against Metro North or DOT on the SLE and the NHHS rail line.

Section 162 allows the Department of Transportation (DOT) to enter into an agreement with individual municipalities to: 1) share costs associated with the repair of certain rail structures; and 2) maintain and remove snow and ice from sidewalks located along such structures. It is not known how DOT would change cost sharing regulations currently in place as a result of the bill. The bill grants DOT the flexibility to require municipalities to share more of the cost, or less of the cost, of maintaining these structures.

Section 163 makes technical changes to statute regarding towing and does not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 164 requires DOT to report on an accident response plan and does not result in a fiscal impact as DOT has expertise in this area.

Sections 165 and 166 create an alternative path for applicants to get a marine pilot license and are not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Section 167 requires DOT to install an overhead sign spanning Rt. 529 (New Britain Avenue) and covering the bridge overpass. The bridge is currently owned by Amtrak and it is unclear if the state or Amtrak would be responsible for installing the sign. The cost of the sign could range from $100,000-$500,000 dependent on the type of sign.

Section 168 requires DOT to continue to plan improvements to the rail lines which does result in a fiscal impact as DOT already is actively improving the rail lines.

Section 169 requires DOT to study options for the operations of the state rail lines and does not result in a fiscal impact as it is anticipated DOT has the expertise in this area.

Sections 170-195 require DOT to assign names to certain roads and bridges and replace signs in various municipalities. This will result in a one-time cost in FY 16 of up to $50,000 to DOT for the cost of the signs.

Section 196 allows a person who is eligible for the driver training program for persons with disabilities to operate a motor vehicle while their license is withdrawn if they are driving with an instructor from the program and has no fiscal impact.

Sections 197-198 make technical changes to statutes regarding motor vehicle registration and do not result in a fiscal impact.

Sections 199 and 201 make technical changes to the license endorsement statutes and do not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 200 allows the commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue or renew a license, permit or identity card by any method that is secure and may result in a minimal cost to the DMV for postage if the licenses are mailed to the applicant.

Sections 202-204 require commercial driver license (CDL) applicants and renewals to conform to federal regulation and do not result in a fiscal impact to DMV.

Sections 205-207 expand the DMV Medical Advisory Board to include licensed physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses which have no fiscal impact.

Section 208 eliminates the registration of a tractor limited to pulling a heavy duty trailer which will result in a revenue loss of approximately $9,000 in FY 16. Currently there are 223 commercial trailers that are registered as a heavy duty trailer. The registration fee is $40.

Sections 209-212 clarify administrative fees for dealers which conform to current practice and have no fiscal impact.

Sections 213-214 reorganize the statute regarding the use of colored and flashing lights and eliminate the use of colored lights for certain vehicles which have no fiscal impact.

Section 215 makes a technical change to statute regarding motor vehicle registration and does not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 216 makes a technical change to statute regarding certificate of title for motor vehicles and does not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 217 provides additional regulations regarding vehicles operating near a horse. This is anticipated to result in a potential revenue gain to the General Fund of less than $1,000. Few infractions are anticipated.

Section 218 allows golf cart operators to carry a motor vehicle license from anywhere and does not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 219 requires DMV to conduct a review of the issuance of licenses and does not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 220 results in no fiscal impact as it allows 16 or 17 year old licensed drivers that are part of a fire department or EMS organization to transport passengers during an emergency.

Section 221 requires DMV to study the feasibility of the sale of license plate numbers through an online auction and will not result in a fiscal impact because DMV has already completed a study and made recommendations on developing this program under PA 12-81.

Sections 222-223 result in a revenue gain by providing an additional special permit for an individual with a suspended license. The revenue gain will be dependent on the number of applications.

Section 224 adds a fine for dumping snow in handicapped parking spaces which will result in a revenue gain of less than $10,000.

Section 225 makes a technical change to statute regarding handicapped motor vehicle operators and does not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 226 could result in a potential cost to local and regional school districts if the districts chose to place school bus monitors or cameras on the vehicles used for providing the transportation of certain school children. There is no cost to local and regional school districts to review the transportation arrangements of special needs students.

Section 227 eliminates a provision that authorizes an inspector or a law enforcement officer, at the DMV commissioner's direction, to seize possession of a license or registration that has been suspended for failing to show proof of financial responsibility and has no fiscal impact to the state or municipalities.

Section 228 creates a men's health commemorative number license plate and sets a $60 fee that DMV must charge for the plates. $15 of this fee is for DMV's administrative costs and the remainder is to be deposited into the Men's Health account in the Department of Public Health (DPH). This is anticipated to result in a revenue gain of less than $200 to DMV which will be used for the administrative costs of producing the plates, and in a potential revenue gain of less than $500 to the Men's Health account in the Department of Public Health (DPH), based on the agency's share of the plate fee ($45) for approximately 10 plates in FY 16 and FY 17. Funds available in the Men's Health account will be used by DPH to enhance public awareness of efforts to treat and cure prostate cancer and to support research for the treatment of prostate cancer.

Sections 229-232 require DMV to create an Online Insurance Database Verification System which will not result in a fiscal impact. DMV is already in the process of developing the system and has funding of $900,000 for the costs associated with vendor fees which was authorized by PA 13-239 and allocated during the January 2015 State Bond Commission meeting through the Information Technology Capital Investment Program.

Sections 233-235 make a technical change to statute regarding towing on commercial private property and do not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 236 requires motor vehicle licenses for the "drive only" program to indicate the license cannot be used for voting purposes which may result a cost of up to $50,000 to DMV for system reprogramming.

Section 237 requires the Hartford Parking Authority to mail parking tickets. There is a cost to the Authority associated with mailing parking tickets, which will vary based on the number of tickets issued annually.

Sections 238-241 make the following types of property subject to property taxation: 1) certain real property purchased by certain health systems after October 1, 2015 that was taxable at the time of purchase; 2) personal property associated with such real property; and 3) any real, residential property owned by nonprofit institutions of higher education and used as student housing.

As a result of the provisions, health systems will, beginning in FY 17, have to pay taxes on property purchased after October 1, 2015 that was taxable at the time of purchase. This precludes the revenue loss to municipalities (where such property is located) that could occur under current law when such organizations purchase any property.

The provisions also result in a potentially significant revenue gain to municipalities with private universities, as those organizations will have to pay taxes on real residential property used as student housing beginning in FY 17. This revenue gain would be partially offset in any impacted municipality that reduced its FY 17 mill rate below its current mill rate.

It is not known how much real, residential property is owned by private universities. Based on 2012 Grand List data, approximately 24 private colleges and universities own property in 31 towns.

By requiring certain colleges and hospitals to pay taxes on certain property, there is also a reduction in the cost to fully fund the state College & Hospital PILOT program, resulting in a savings to the Office of Policy and Management.

The provisions: 1) preclude any increase in payments to towns with impacted hospital property, by requiring such property to remain taxable; and 2) eliminate PILOT payments to towns for real, residential university property.

Municipalities with real, residential university property may experience a reduction in their College & Hospital PILOT grant beginning in FY 18. Any revenue loss minimally offsets the revenue gain associated with the requirement that universities pay taxes on such property.

The provisions also allow municipalities to fix the assessments of properties owned by health systems. This results in a revenue loss to municipalities that choose to do this, given a constant mill rate.

Section 242 requires each gas company in the state, on or after March of 2016, to develop an incentive program for the purpose of reducing natural gas demand. The bill caps the program's awards at $9 million in total. This ratepayer-funded program may increase costs to the state and municipalities as ratepayers.

Sections 243 and 244 establish a surrogate parent program, to be administered by the Department of Education (SDE) in consultation with the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Under the program SDE must appoint a surrogate parent for certain foster children residing in Region 3 of DCF. Each surrogate parent results in a cost of $1,015 per child, per year. Additionally, the new surrogates would require training. It is estimated that SDE would be able to facilitate the necessary training for $10,000, in FY 16. Lastly, SDE would require staff to administer the program. Actual staff cost would be dependent upon the actual number of children served. Serving all 340 potential children would require a full-time staffer at a cost of approximately $109,000 including fringe benefits. All of the cost components, except for the training, would occur in both FY 16 and FY 17. PA 15-244 appropriates $150,000 in FY 16 and FY 17 for this purpose.

Sections 245-252 and 306 extend the statutory caps on various education-related grants. This results in a savings of approximately $122.9 million in FY 16 and $134.4 million in FY 17.

Sections 253-254 specify that Vocational Agriculture grant eligibility is subject to available appropriations. This results in a potential savings to the state and a corresponding potential revenue loss to local and regional school districts, as the State Department of Education (SDE) will not be able to award additional dollars to eligible districts, outside of the appropriation. The FY 15 appropriation for the Vocational Agriculture grant was approximately $11 million.

Section 255 expands eligibility for the supplemental Open Choice program transportation grant, allowing local and regional boards of education to receive funding. This could result in a revenue gain to various local and regional school districts who would qualify for a supplemental grant and a potential corresponding revenue loss to Regional Educational Service Centers (RESCs) who could have otherwise wholly received the supplemental grants. In FY 14 SDE awarded approximately $4.6 million in supplemental transportation funding to RESCs.

Section 256 ensures that money appropriated for the Priority School District grant, in FY 16 and FY 17 is spent in the appropriate year, and through the appropriate sub-grant. This allows eligible school districts to receive funding.

Section 257 allows for the expansion of a new youth service bureau. PA 15-244 includes $95,000 in both FY 16 and FY 17 for a new youth service bureau.

Section 258 establishes that the Commissioner's Network program is within available appropriations, and allows SDE more flexibility in selecting the schools. This is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Sections 259 and 261 replace the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS) with the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) as the agency responsible for the administration of birth-to-three services. PA 15-244 transfers funding of $25.4 million and seven positions in each year from DDS to OEC associated with this change.

Section 262 requires parents of OEC's Birth to Three participants to be notified of the availability of hearing testing, which has no fiscal impact. Section 521 repeals PA 15-81 which required the Department of Developmental Services' (DDS) Birth to Three Program to provide information regarding hearing test. This has no fiscal impact as the Birth to Three Program has been transferred from DDS to the Office of Early Childhood.

Section 263 establishes a Planning Commission for Education to develop and ensure the implementation of a strategic master plan that states a clear vision and mission for developing a sustainable, equitable, and high-quality public education system for Connecticut. The bill specifies that the commission may retain consultants to assist in carrying out its duties. It should be noted that the bill requires that the development of a strategic master plan for public education be provided within available appropriations. It does not appear that this mandates that the agency perform the activity regardless of available funding, therefore the cost described above is potential. PA 15-244 appropriated $150,000 in FY 16 for this purpose.

Additionally, the bill results in a cost of less than $1,000 in FY 16 and in FY 17 to those agencies participating in the Commission to reimburse legislators and agency staff for mileage expenses.

Sections 264 and 265 of the bill do not result in a fiscal impact, as they require various state agencies to complete reports, and the agencies have both the staff and expertise necessary to do so.

Section 266 requires local and regional boards of education to distribute a fact sheet on transition resources. This could result in a cost of less than $1,000 per district to print and disseminate the appropriate information.

Sections 267, 269 and 270 address the development of a new individualized education program (IEP) form. This would be a state mandated form, used by all districts. It would allow for real time data collection and monitoring by the State Department of Education (SDE). In FY 16, the cost for this new system (piloting only selected districts) would total $1.6 million. This would include one-time costs of $1.0 million for system development and $600,000 for piloting the selected districts. Annual ongoing costs, beginning in FY 17, would total $2.0 million including one Associate Education Consultant ($99,500) and two Information Technology Analysts ($85,452), with corresponding fringe benefits ($104,511). The remainder of the funding is attributed to maintenance, updates and on-going support to users. Correspondingly, by developing a statewide individualized education program form, local and regional school districts could incur some minimal savings as most districts are currently purchasing some version of a computer-based IEP system.

Section 268 establishes an Individualized Education Program Advisory Council. There may be a cost of less than $1,000 in FY 16 and in FY 17 to those agencies participating in the council to reimburse legislators and agency staff for mileage expenses.

Sections 271-273 establish additional requirements for SDE, which are not anticipated to result in an additional fiscal impact, as SDE has the staff and expertise necessary to fulfill the requirements.

Section 274 establishes a regional educational service center special education funding working group. There may be a cost of less than $1,000 in FY 16 to those agencies participating in the group to reimburse legislators and agency staff for mileage expenses.

Section 275 requires regional educational service centers to develop a regional model for provisions related to special education services, and is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact as they have the staff and expertise necessary to do so.

Section 276 expands special education coursework requirements for teacher certification, which results in a cost of $15,000 per year to the University of Connecticut to add one additional special education course.

Section 277 requires the attendance of paraprofessionals at Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meetings. This will result in an additional cost to local and regional school districts, as it will require substitute time for paraprofessionals. It is estimated that the costs to districts will be less than $5,000 annually.

Sections 278-281 require the Auditors of Public Accounts to conduct compliance audits of certain private special education providers on a five year audit cycle basis. The agency would need four audit staff, totaling $263,644, plus fringe benefit costs of $101,899 annually to accommodate the additional workload. Each audit is estimated to be 500 audit hours per engagement. Currently there are 63 private special education programs approved by the State Department of Education, which translates into an average of 12 audits a year.

Section 282 establishes additional requirements for various state agencies, but does not result in a fiscal impact, as the agencies have both the staff and expertise necessary to do so.

Sections 283-285 require SDE to study the collection, assimilation, and reporting of longitudinal student data related to special education outcomes. This will result in a cost to SDE of approximately $20,000, as SDE would need to hire an external writer to meet the requirements of the study. The $20,000 cost is one-time in nature.

Sections 286-298 establish several new requirements for the State Department of Education (SDE) relating to bilingual education and English language learner services. SDE would require two additional staff to complete the requirements contained within the bill: (1) an Education Service Specialist (with an annual salary of $74,149) for the Academic Office to help coordinate with local and regional school districts, regional educational service centers (RESCs) and institutions of higher education; and (2) an Education Service Specialist (with an annual salary of $74,149) for the Bureau of Research to develop, monitor and maintain additional accountability measures for English language learner students. In addition to personal service costs of $148,298 in both FY 16 and FY 17, corresponding fringe benefit costs of $57,317 would also be incurred in FY 16 and FY 17.

The bill allows an eligible student to receive up to an additional thirty months of bilingual education. This will result in a cost to local and regional school districts that provide additional months of bilingual education. The cost to local and regional school districts is unknown, as the SDE does not currently collect this data. The change could also result in an increased cost to the state, associated with the Bilingual Education grant. Currently, the grant is capped at $1.9 million, and districts receive grant amounts varying from $2,000 per district to approximately $300,000 per district. If the grant were to be uncapped, the state would be responsible for reimbursing districts for a portion of their additional expenditures. Additionally, increasing the limit from 30 to up to 60 months could result in a redistribution of funds between municipalities.

The bill requires local and regional school districts to provide in–service training in second language acquisition. This could result in a cost of up to $1,000 to each local and regional school district.

The bill establishes an English language learner pilot program in four districts, and requires the regional educational resource center for the region to provide administrative support. It is estimated that each location would require $75,000 in funding to complete the pilot ($300,000 total). Additionally, the pilot must be evaluated by an independent evaluator. It is anticipated, based on the evaluation of similar pilot programs, the cost to contract for an evaluator would be approximately $50,000.

Beginning in FY 16, the bill allows scores for bilingual education students with less than twenty months of consecutive bilingual education to be excluded in the calculation of the district performance index. This could result in a fiscal impact to local and regional school districts, as the district performance index is used to determine which districts are classified as Alliance Districts. Alliance Districts receive funding in ECS.

The bill requires each of the six RESCs to conduct: (1) a survey of English language learner services and bilingual education programs provided in the region serviced by the RESC; and (2) a feasibility study of RESCs providing and administering English language learner services that are of equal or greater quality than those provided by local and regional boards of education. It is anticipated that this could result in a cost of up to $25,000 per RESC (total costs of $150,000) to complete the new requirements.

PA 15-244 includes an additional $1.25 million in FY 16 and $1.75 million in FY 17 for bilingual education.

Section 299 makes a procedural change to the taskforce contained in PA 15-237, AAC High School Graduation Requirements, which does not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 300 requires SDE to submit certain federal waiver applications to the General Assembly, which is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Section 301 results in a potential savings to local and regional school districts as they could be granted waivers from various state education statutes. Any such savings is anticipated to be minimal in nature.

The State Department of Education can develop and monitor the waiver process without a fiscal impact as they have the necessary expertise to do so.

Sections 302-305 require SDE to appoint a receiver for the school district of Winchester and create a board of advisors. It also establishes a repayment program and requires Winchester to participate in the Commissioner's Network. It is anticipated that the requirements of the receivership will result in a cost of up to $525,000. It is anticipated that these costs will be incurred by alliance district funding provided to Winchester.

Sections 307-322 make a number of conforming, technical and procedural changes to magnet schools, which implement the provisions of the Sheff court order.

Additionally, the bill requires that any magnet school (with the exception of a Hartford Host) offering a preschool program, charge eligible families an annual fee of $4,300 per student. This will result in a revenue increase to SDE, and a corresponding reduction of $3.0 million in both FY 16 and FY 17 to the Magnet School account.

The bill establishes a magnet school tuition cap for East Hartford. The town of East Hartford will not be financially responsible for any tuition amount in excess of seven percent of their resident student population. For FY 16 and FY 17 the amount of the grants payable to the East Hartford Board of Education shall be reduced proportionately if the total grant exceeds the amount appropriated. PA 15-244 includes $610,000 in both FY 16 and FY 17 for this purpose.

The bill allows various school construction projects to receive a ninety-five percent reimbursement rate. This could result in an additional cost to the state, and an additional cost to the municipality in which the school is located (for the local share). The ninety-five percent reimbursement rate applies to various magnet schools that help to meet with benchmarks identified in the Sheff court order.

Section 323 makes professional and managerial employees of the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) exempt from classified service, which is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Section 324 increases the maximum school readiness rate from $8,670 to $8,927. PA 15-244 provides funding of $2 million in both FY 16 and FY 17 associated with this change.

Section 325 specifies OEC's responsibilities related to Early Head Start services. This could result in Head Start program funding being used to support Early Head Start services in programs that serve both.

Sections 326-333 could result in a fiscal impact to local and regional school districts associated with changing how the State Department of Education (SDE) must calculate school or district performance. To the extent the new accountability index or performance index (PI) changes a local or regional school district's score, it could impact funding received on the basis of such score. As the bill does not specify how the PI should be calculated, the specific impact to schools cannot be determined.

The bill could also impact local charter schools associated with preventing them from holding an enrollment lottery if a school is among the bottom 5% of schools when ranked under the new accountability index.

Section 334 allows the Rogers International Magnet School in Stamford to expand enrollment. This will result in a cost to SDE as they will have to provide per-pupil magnet awards to the additional students. PA 15-244 includes $900,000 in FY 16 for this purpose.

Sections 335-336 allows Norwalk to carryforward $250,000 in priority school district funding that otherwise would have lapsed.

Section 337 allows various funds appropriated in PA 15-244 to be allocated to various charter schools (in both FY 16 and FY 17): up to $495,000 for Common Ground High School and up to $440,000 for Highville Charter School.

Section 338-340 makes several changes to the bilingual teacher certification and the international teacher permit laws, which are procedural in nature and not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Sections 341 and 342 make procedural changes that are not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Section 343 provides a grant in the amount of $220,818 to the town of East Hartford, through the Magnet School account. PA 15-244 included funding for this purpose (as part of the magnet school tuition cap, referenced above).

Section 344 provides a notwithstanding school construction provision for the town of Clinton. This will result in a significant future cost to the state and a significant future revenue gain to the town of Clinton.

Section 345 establishes a public health fee assessed by the Commissioner of Insurance on each domestic insurer or health care center conducting health insurance business in the state to fund the five accounts (Needle and Syringe Exchange, Aids Services, Breast and Cervical Cancer Detection and Treatment, X-Ray Screening and Tuberculosis Care, Venereal Disease Control) within the Department of Public Health (DPH). This implements the provision of PA 15-244, which transfers funding for two positions and five accounts totaling $8,808,007 in FY 16 and two positions and five accounts totaling $8,812,986 from the General Fund to the Insurance Fund.

Section 346 increases the newborn screening fee from $56 to $98 per infant. This implements a savings in PA 15-244 in DPH totaling $1,374,177 in both FY 16 and FY 17. The revenue generated from increasing the fee, in both FY 16 and FY 17, provides ongoing support to DPH of: (a) $775,000 to cover the cost of conducting newborn screening ($600,000 of which reflects Personal Services costs, and $175,000 of which reflects Other Expenses), and (b) $599,177 for grants to newborn regional and sickle cell disease treatment centers. Corresponding General Fund savings are recommended under the Personal Services, Other Expenses, and Genetic Diseases Programs accounts. Section 15 of PA 15-244 credits $3,109,177 from the aggregate newborn screening fee revenue to the Newborn Screening account. This represents an increase of $1,374,177 from the amount credited to the Newborn Screening account in FY 15 ($1,735,000).

Sections 347-353 will result in a cost to the state employee and retiree health plan and municipalities for providing coverage for autism services up to age 21. The total estimated cost to the state is approximately $187,000 in FY 16 and $374,000 in FY 17. The cost to fully insured municipalities in FY 16 and FY 17 is approximately $145,483 and $290,967 respectively. There is not an impact to the state or municipalities from removing the annual coverage limits because no limits are currently imposed in practice in accordance with the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Municipal Impact

As previously stated, the section will increase costs to certain fully insured municipal plans to provide coverage for autism services up to age 21. The coverage requirements may result in increased premium costs when municipalities enter into new health insurance contracts after January 1, 2016. In addition, many municipal health plans are recognized as “grandfathered” health plans under the ACA. It is unclear what effect the adoption of certain health mandates will have on the grandfathered status of certain municipal plans under ACA. Pursuant to federal law, self-insured health plans are exempt from state health mandates.

These sections also (1) conform coverage for autism services in individual health insurance policies to that of group policies, (2) eliminate annual benefit caps for autism services already implemented in accordance with the ACA, and (3) makes other technical and conforming changes.

Section 349 also eliminates the annual limits for Birth to Three services of $6,400 per child and $19,200 per child over the three year period. This does not result in a fiscal impact as this conforms to current practice.

Section 351 requires the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Commissioner, in consultation with the Autism Spectrum Advisory Council, to designate demonstrated effective autism spectrum services and interventions. This provision has no fiscal impact as the agency has expertise in this area.

Section 353 does not result in a cost to the Department of Insurance to convene a working group, including other state agencies, to develop recommendations for behavioral health utilization and data collection.

Section 354 makes changes to usage and reporting requirements under the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) in the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). PA 15-244 provides funding of $223,645 in FY 16 and $326,267 in FY 17 related to this purpose.

Sections 355 and 356 establish a grant program in the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to provide funds for acute care and emergency behavioral health services, and require DMHAS and DCF to study the current utilization of and need for acute psychiatric care beds. PA 15-244 provides funding of $1.5 million in FY 16 and $3 million in FY 17 related to this purpose.

Sections 357 and 358 change the name of the DDS Voluntary Services Program to the Behavioral Service Program and has no fiscal impact to DDS.

Section 359 requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) and DPH to conduct a study related to community-based health care services, which is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Sections 360–366 result in a cost of $18,075 in FY 16 and $27,799 in FY 17 to DPH from the establishment of a new “Genetic Counselor” licensure category. PA 15-244 provides the funding in the Personal Services and Other Expenses accounts for this cost.

Section 367 which allows the DPH commissioner to increase maximum allowable rates for each licensed and certified ambulance service, has no fiscal impact since DPH has the necessary expertise in this area. There would be a potential revenue gain for municipalities with affiliated ambulance services to the extent that maximum allowable rates are increased.

Section 368 specifies that the State Department on Aging's ombudsman program for home and community based clients should be operated within available appropriations. PA 15-244 assumed savings of $28,015 in FY 16 and $28,283 in FY 17 from the elimination of a part time program for home and community based ombudsman services.

Section 369 eliminates the provision that requires the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) to fund fringe benefits for teachers of the visually impaired. This implements the provision in PA 15-244 which consolidates funding for DORS' Children's Services in Education Aid for Blind and Visually Handicapped Children account and transfers fringe benefits cost to the Office of the state Comptroller. This results in a net general fund savings of $1,343,330 in FY 16 and $1,364,721 in FY 17.

Sections 370-374 make several changes to the HUSKY program. These sections eliminate eligibility for non-pregnant adults in the HUSKY “A” program with incomes in excess of 150% of the federal poverty level (FPL). This is anticipated to eliminate coverage for approximately 23,700 individuals when annualized. PA 15-244 reflects related savings of $2.4 million in FY 16 and $43.5 million in FY 17. These sections also make several changes conforming to current practices due to federal requirements.

Sections 375 and 376 eliminate cost-of-living-increases (COLAs) for the temporary family assistance, state administered general assistance (SAGA) and supplemental assistance programs. PA 15-244 reflects related savings of $2.7 million in FY 16 and $4.97 million in FY 17.

Sections 377 and 378 freeze current statutory long term care rate adjustments for the biennium. PA 15-244 reflects related savings of $6.9 million in FY 16 and $17.8 million in FY 17. PA 15-244 also includes $1 million in FY 16 and $2 million in FY 17 for fair rent increases.

Section 377 also requires DSS to provide a Medicaid rate increase to long term care facilities, effective July 1, 2015. This adjustment is to reflect the increased personnel costs for direct and indirect care workers. P.A. 15-244, as modified by this bill, includes $13 million in state Medicaid funds in both FY 16 and FY 17 to reflect this increase.

Sections 379 and 380 freeze statutory rate adjustments for boarding homes and residential care homes for the biennium. PA 15-244 reflects related savings of $2.4 million in FY 16 and $5.1 million in FY 17.

Section 381 reduces the Medicaid pharmacy dispensing fee from $1.70 to $1.40. PA 15-244 reflects related savings of $800,000 in FY 16 and $900,000 in FY 17. This section also reduces reimbursement for pharmaceuticals from the average wholesale price (AWP) minus 16% to AWP minus 16.5%. PA 15-244 reflects related savings of $1.4 million in both FY 16 and FY 17.

Section 382 makes the Medicaid supplemental inpatient pool for certain hospitals permissible. PA 15-244, as modified by this bill, provides $5 million in both FY 16 and FY 17 for a supplemental pool.

Section 383 freezes intake under the state-funded portion of the Connecticut Home Care Program (CHCP) for the biennium. PA 15-244 reflects related savings of $1.7 million in FY 16 and $5.3 million in FY 17. This section also increases the required co-payment under the program from 7% to 9%. PA 15-244 reflects related savings of $700,000 in FY 16 and $750,000 in FY 17.

Sections 384 and 385 reduce the burial benefit under the state administered general assistance (SAGA), state supplemental and temporary family assistance programs from $1,800 to $1,400. PA 15-244 reflects savings of $887,500 in FY 16 and FY 17 related to SAGA. Additional savings of $80,000 in both FY 16 and FY 17 will be realized associated with the supplemental and temporary family assistance programs.

Section 386 alters pharmaceutical co-pays for individuals who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. Currently, Medicaid pays for any co-pays totaling in excess of $15 per month. This section would require the individual to make these payments. PA 15-244 reflects related savings of $80,000 in FY 16 and $90,000 in FY 17.

Section 387 enables DSS to achieve savings in the Medicaid medication administration program. Current statute allows for several manners of nurse delegation as methods of reducing expenditures. This section allows DSS to reduce rates should the current efforts fail to meet the $10 million in annual savings assumed in PA 15-244. DSS must report certain information to the General Assembly prior to reducing these rates.

Sections 388 and 389 revise the rate methodology practices for ambulance services under the Medicaid program. PA 15-244 reflects related savings of $4.3 million in FY 16 and $5.1 million in FY 17.

Section 390 establishes limits on children's orthodontia coverage under the Medicaid program. PA 15-244 reflects related savings of $2.1 million in both FY 16 and FY 17.

Section 391 makes permanent the current nursing home bed moratorium. This is not anticipated to have an overall fiscal impact on Medicaid nursing home costs as the number of licensed beds in the state has been steadily declining in recent years.

Section 392 clarifies factors for determining interim Medicaid rates for certain long term care facilities that are closing, which is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Section 393 requires DSS, within available appropriations and at the Commissioner's discretion, to transition to state-wide, rather than hospital specific, diagnosis-related group based rates by peer group. As this transition is cost neutral to the state and clarifies current efforts, it is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Section 394 allows DSS to implement an acuity-based methodology for Medicaid reimbursement of nursing home services. This is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact to the state as it concerns this distribution methodology of funds rather than the overall amount of funds distributed.

Sections 395-398 make technical and conforming changes related to state contracts with an administrative services organization (ASO). This conforms statute to current practice and has no fiscal impact.

Section 399 allows DSS to pay for prescription refills for up to twelve months, rather than the current practice of six months. As this does not alter the benefit for which an individual is eligible, there is no fiscal impact.

Section 400 could result in a revenue loss associated with limiting when DSS can use extrapolation when auditing certain providers. It cannot be known in advance to what extent the changes in the bill may impact current auditing results. For purposes of context, DSS identified over $43 million in gross recoveries (a cost avoidance of about $21 million) due to audits for FY 15 as of March 2015. Depending upon the type of audit, recoupments are either returned to the department to offset expenditures or booked to the General Fund as revenue.

Section 401 results in a cost associated with establishing a two-year, two-generational school readiness and workforce development pilot program in the following six communities: New Haven, Greater Hartford, Norwalk, Meriden, Colchester and Bridgeport. Such pilot must include early learning programs, adult education, child care, housing, job training and other related support services offered in one location wherever possible. The bill specifies that the program must be overseen by an interagency work group, which may contract with a private or quasi-public organization to serve as the fiduciary for the program. However, the bill is unclear regarding the lead state agency for the program, and therefore which agency would incur related costs.

PA 15-244 provides funding of $1.5 million in both FY 16 and FY 17 to the Department of Labor for a two-generational approach pilot program.

Senate C modifies the underlying bill by requiring rather than allowing: 1) the two-generational pilot program to be located in the identified towns and cities, and 2) the program include various components. These changes have no fiscal impact.

Section 402(a) allows $517,500 in DSS Medicaid funding to be carried forward from FY 15 to FY 16. These funds are to be used for the Medicaid shared savings program with federally qualified health centers (FQHC's).

Section 402(b) implements the provision in PA 15-244 in the Community Health Services account for community health centers. It requires DPH to provide grants of $422,327 in both FY 16 and FY 17 to community health centers and the DPH may consider the following when establishing the grants: 1) the amount of funding received by such centers in grants disbursed by the Department of Health in fiscal 2015; and 2) the amount of uncompensated care provided by the centers.

Section 403 allows DSS to develop an encounter based reimbursement system for FQHC's. This is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact to the state as it concerns this distribution methodology of funds rather than the overall amount of funds distributed.

Section 404 requires notification to DSS when nursing facility residents are expected to become Medicaid eligible within 180 days, which is not expected to result in a fiscal impact.

Sections 405 and 517 clarify a definition of an above-ground swimming pool and do not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 406 allows manufacturers in Ansonia who missed the deadline to file for a certain property tax exemption to receive that exemption. As the exemption relates to past fiscal years, the bill results in either a revenue loss to the town, or a cost to reimburse the manufacturers for taxes paid on the exempt property.

Section 407 designates one percent of funding for the Small Business Express program to be dedicated to develop capacity for capital construction projects for minority business enterprises.

The bill does not authorize additional General Obligation (GO) bond funds for this purpose. However, future General Fund debt service costs may be incurred sooner under the bill to the degree that the bill causes authorized GO bond funds to be expended more rapidly than they otherwise would have been.

Section 408 increases, from $800 million to $950 million, the total amount of business tax credits available under the Urban and Industrial Sites Reinvestment program. To the extent these additional credits are utilized, this results in a revenue loss in the out years as the credit is claimed over a 10-year period beginning three years after the initial investment. As of September 2014, there were approximately $270 million in unallocated credits under the program.

Section 409 has no fiscal impact. It restricts eligibility for the New Markets tax credit program, which uses federal income tax credits to attract private capital for business projects in low-income areas. The use of these credits against federal income has no impact on state Adjusted Gross Income, which is the basis for the state Personal Income Tax.

Section 410 allows the Office of Policy and Management to use Urban Act bonds to provide grants for transit-oriented development. This has no fiscal impact, as these bonds can be used for such purposes under current law.

Section 411 transfers $2.1 million from the systems benefits charge, a non-appropriated account, to Operation Fuel, Inc. and allows up to $200,000 of the total to be used for administrative costs in both FY 16 and FY 17. The state and municipalities, as ratepayers, would incur increased costs to the extent the systems benefits charge is insufficient to cover these expenses.

Section 412 allows the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to establish fees for safe water skiing online courses, which may result in a minimal revenue gain to the general fund.

Section 413 requires the Department of Labor to establish procedures necessary to implement a paid family medical leave program, including contracting with a consultant and actuary to create an implementation plan. PA 15-244 provides funding of $140,000 in FY 16 to the Department of Labor for implementation of a paid family medical leave program study.

Section 414 allows the Governor to conduct certain background checks on appointees and nominees for various positions. The current fee for a statewide background check is $50 while the Federal Bureau of Investigation charges $14.75 for a national criminal history records check. Should the Governor require such background checks, certain agencies will incur the cost of performing them.

Section 415 delays the implementation of a statewide sexual abuse awareness and prevention program within the Department of Children and Families and State Department of Education and does not result in a fiscal impact.

Sections 416-417 make technical changes to implement the contract between UConn and the UConn Graduate Assistant Union. These technical changes have no fiscal impact to the state.

Sections 418-419 result in an annual cost of $2.5 million to the Department of Housing (DOH) and an equal savings to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) beginning in FY 18 by transferring the responsibility of administering the state's homeless youth program from DCF to DOH. The bill requires DOH to work in collaboration with DCF on this program.

DCF's FY 15 budget includes $2.5 million for a third party contractor to administer the homeless youth service program.

The bill also expands the program from homeless youth under the age of 21 to homeless youth under the age of 23 beginning in FY 18. There is no anticipated fiscal impact. The current third party contractor for the homeless youth program provides services to youth ages 16 – 24.

Section 420 establishes the Office of State Broadband within the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC). The Office of State Broadband would be required to facilitate the availability of broadband access and the adoption of ultra-high-speed gigabit capable broadband networks.

It is estimated that OCC would require a total of $407,250 in FY 16 and $307,250 in FY 17 to establish the Office of State Broadband. One new position, a Broadband Policy Coordinator, would be needed at a cost of $137,250 for both salary and fringe benefits. Other costs include $250,000 in FY 16 and $150,000 in FY 17 for consultant services and $20,000 for Other Expenses in both FY 16 and FY 17. Funding of $407,250 in FY 16 and $307,250 in FY 17 is provided in PA 15-244.

Sections 421 and 422 are expected to result in a gain to the General Fund of approximately $105,000 in FY 16 from revenue transferred from the Unclaimed Property Fund*. The revenue gain is the result of an Unclaimed Property Fund saving of same amount on the cost of biennially publishing a list of unclaimed property owners' names. The two sections change the method of contacting potential unclaimed property owners from: (1) publishing the list of names in general circulation newspapers to (2) posting the list electronically on the Office of the State Treasurer's (OST's) website. The $105,000 estimate is the difference between the projected cost of $230,000 for newspaper publication and the estimated $125,000 cost of outreach efforts through advertisements in major and specialty newspapers across the State, banner ads, public announcements and contracting with a public relations firm. There is no fiscal impact in FY 17 because the list is published biennially. (*OST is required by statute to transfer cash receipts received from unclaimed property escheated to the state to the General Fund.)

Section 423 requires the Office of Policy and Management to conduct a review of a report conducted by the Connecticut Regional Institute for the 21st Century and recommend action concerning such findings. This has no fiscal impact.

Section 424 exempts any Director of Commutations 1, Director of Communications 2, Legislative Program Manager, Communications and Legislative Program Manager or Director of Legislation, Regulation and Communication from unionization. Current employees with such a title will now be non-unionized state employees. PA 15-244 includes wage reductions in FY 16 for non-unionized state employees only. Therefore, moving select employees from unionized to non-unionized may result in a minimal savings to various state agencies.

Senate “C” added Director of Communications 1 to the list positions excluded from union eligibility. This may result in a minimal savings due to wage cuts to non-unionized employees that are not being levied on unionized employees.

Section 425 requires state agencies without interpreting staff to request interpreting services from the Department of Rehabilitation Services, is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact as it codifies current practice.

Sections 426-428 require dealers to separately state the dealer conveyance fee when quoting a selling price and require that such a fee be negotiable. There is no fiscal impact.

The bill requires the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee to compile information from new and used car dealerships with regards to their conveyance fee structure and issue a report by January 15, 2016. This is not expected to result in a fiscal impact as it is likely that the committee would rearrange its' project agenda to accommodate the report requirements.

Section 428 designates the driveway in front of the State Armory to be named “Chief Michael J. Fallon Memorial Way” will result in a cost of approximately $1,000 to The Office of Legislative Management to provide signage.

Section 430 makes a procedural change to the Private Occupations School Student Protection Account, which is anticipated to be revenue neutral and not result in a fiscal impact to the state.

Section 431 extends the carry forward period for film tax credits issued after July 1, 2015 from three to five years. To the extent this allows credits that otherwise would have expired to be utilized, this results in a revenue loss in the out years. A total of $68.7 million in film tax credits were issued in 2014.

Sections 432-433 clarify section 76 of public act 13-277, which requires the resources of the Special Transportation Fund (STF) to be used only for transportation purposes. This would preclude future transfers from the STF to other funds for non-transportation purposes. Section 514 repeals section 76 of PA 13-277, which was made obsolete by the new language.

Section 434 requires the Secretary of the State (SOTS) to contract with an individual to monitor the administration of elections in municipalities of a certain size until January 1, 2017.

Both SOTS and affected municipalities are anticipated to incur expenses as a result of this election administration monitoring. To fulfill the requirement of contracting with the elections monitor, SOTS is anticipated to incur costs of less than $100,000 in FY 16 and less than $50,000 in FY 17. Affected municipalities are anticipated to incur costs of less than $25,000 in both FY 16 and FY 17 to provide the office, equipment, and access required under the bill. The actual costs incurred by both SOTS and affected municipalities will be dependent upon the specific contract negotiated by SOTS and resource needs of the monitor.

PA 15-244 appropriates $50,000 in FY 17 to the SOTS for the election monitoring required under this section.

Section 435 eliminates interest penalties under the Personal Income Tax related to underpayments stemming from changes contained in PA 15-244. This does not result in any fiscal impact.

Sections 436–437 exempts certain products from the ban on nonemergency application of lawn care pesticide on the grounds of public or private preschools or schools with students in grade eight or lower and makes minor and technical changes, does not result in a fiscal impact to the state or municipalities as the changes are procedural or technical in nature.

Sections 438-440 require DEEP to amend regulations for state agencies, departments, or institutions applying certain pesticides or integrated pest management (IPM) practices under certain conditions. This does not result in a fiscal impact to DEEP, as the agency currently has expertise in this area.

Section 441 extends the duties of the family violence intervention units to include monitoring offenders who have been referred to pretrial services or programs. There is no fiscal impact as the intervention units can complete this additional task without additional resources.

Sections 442-445 establish a regional moderator within each regional council of governments to coordinate certain municipal election activities and trainings. To the extent that regional councils of government may incur costs associated with the regional moderator position and duties, certain member municipalities may potentially incur costs through increased membership dues. PA 15-244 appropriates $100,000 in both FY 16 and FY 17 to the Secretary of the State for grants to regional councils of government for this purpose.

These sections also modify certain responsibilities and actions of the Secretary of the State. These provisions have no fiscal impact.

Section 446 increases, from $5 million to $10 million, the annual aggregate cap on Neighborhood Assistance Act tax credits effective July 1, 2017. This results in an annual revenue loss of up to $5 million beginning in FY 18.

Sections 447-458 and 522 increases the probate estate fee and creates various new fees and results in a revenue gain of approximately $5 million in FY 16 and $11 million in FY 17. In FY 15, the Probate Court Administration Fund collected approximately $31.5 million in fees and will end the fiscal year with a fund balance of approximately $7.3 million.

Senate “C” changes the effective date of the estate fee changes, making it effective for deaths that occur after January 1, 2015, as opposed to estates that conclude after September 1, 2015. To the extent that estates are granted an extension past the 6 month estate tax return filing deadline, amendment precludes revenue gain in FY 16.

Section 459 requires that all disputes concerning liability for hospital services in workers' compensation cases be filed within one year from that date of initial payment. This section is not anticipated to have a state or municipal fiscal impact.

Sections 460-463 increase the salary for judges by 3% in FY 16 and FY 17. PA 15-244 provides funding of $1 million in FY 16 and $2.4 million in FY 17 for this purpose.

Section 464 allows for up to $375,250 to be carried forward for CASE to be used in FY 16 and FY 17 for a childhood discontinuity study.

Section 465 makes professional and managerial employees of the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) exempt from classified service, is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Section 466 makes technical changes that allow two or more utility commissioners to confer or communicate in private without such communication being considered a public meeting. To the extent that fewer public meetings are required, PURA may realize a minimal savings.

Section 467 makes various technical changes and also requires DEEP to administer a program for the identification, promotion and use of technology for energy conservation and efficiency. DEEP already administers such a program; thus there is no fiscal impact to the state.

Section 468 allows any electric company to defer any increase in tax expense, which is not currently authorized in such company's rates, for recovery in its next general rate case. To the extent electric companies have more recoverable costs, the state and municipalities will incur increased costs as ratepayers.

Sections 469-470 are not anticipated to result in a cost to the state employee health plan or fully insured municipalities. The sections: (1) expand the list of sources in which an off-label drug may be recognized as treatment for such conditions already covered under current law; (2) require coverage for medically necessary services associated with the administration of drugs for conditions and prescriptions already covered under current law; (3) prohibit the denial of coverage based on medical necessity for reasons unrelated to the legal status of the drug used; and (4) establish the types of research trial drugs that are exempt from coverage under the bill.

However, it is unclear if the provisions requiring coverage for medically necessary services associated with the administration of drugs already required to be covered under current law is a new mandate interpreted to require coverage of new services or a codification of current practice. If the bill is interpreted as a new mandate and requires additional services to be covered there is a potential cost to the state employee and retiree health plans, fully insured municipal plans, and the state pursuant to the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). The potential cost to the state and municipalities will depend on whether or not the provisions are considered a new mandate under the ACA and which, if any, additional services are required to be covered.

Municipal Impact

As previously stated, the provisions may result in a potential cost to certain fully insured, municipal plans if the bill is interpreted to require coverage for additional prescription administration services. The coverage requirements may result in increased premium costs when municipalities enter into new health insurance contracts after January 1, 2016. In addition, many municipal health plans are recognized as “grandfathered” health plans under the ACA. It is unclear what effect the adoption of certain health mandates will have on the grandfathered status of certain municipal plans under ACA. Pursuant to federal law, self-insured health plans are exempt from state health mandates.

The State and the federal ACA

Lastly, the ACA requires that, the state's health exchange's qualified health plans (QHPs), include a federally defined essential health benefits package (EHB). The federal government is allowing states to choose a benchmark plan to serve as the EHB until 2016 when the federal government is anticipated to revisit the EHB.

While states are allowed to mandate benefits in excess of the EHB, the federal law requires the state to defray the cost of any such additional mandated benefits for all plans sold in the exchange, by reimbursing the carrier or the insured for the excess coverage. State mandated benefits enacted after December 31, 2011 cannot be considered part of the EHB for 2014-2015 unless they are already part of the benchmark plan. However, neither the agency nor the mechanism for the state to pay these costs has been established.

Section 471 allows the Legislative Commissioners' Office to make technical, grammatical, and punctuation changes to the bill and has no fiscal impact.

Section 472 excludes conservation easements purchased entirely or partially with state funds from an open space allocation required by any municipal zoning or planning commission for final approval of a municipal land use application. This does not result in a fiscal impact to the state or municipalities.

Section 473 allows the Personal Care Attendant Workforce Council to contract for training and related services at cost with a non-profit labor management trust, which is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact to the state.

Section 474 - 479 change the effective date of the $5 increase in DPH license renewal fees established in PA 15-244 from July 1, 2015 to October 1, 2015. This results in estimated revenue of $450,000 in FY 16, a decrease of approximately $150,000.

Section 480 expands the reporting of impaired health care professionals to cover all licensed or permitted health care professionals. This is estimated to result in a cost to DPH of approximately $138,050 in FY 16 and $202,360 in FY 17 for necessary staff (two special investigators and one staff attorney) and Other Expenses to undertake increased investigations due to the expanded reporting of impaired health care professionals. The State Comptroller fringe benefit cost for the additional is approximately $51,600 in FY 16 and $78,200 in FY 17. No funding is provided in PA 15-244 for this provision.

Senate “C” eliminated section 489 which designated funding for this expansion from the professional assistance program account.

Section 481 has no fiscal impact. It makes a technical change to the State Comptroller's reporting requirement which would trigger a transfer of certain General Fund revenue to the Budget Reserve Fund in accordance with the statutory formula established in PA 15-244. The change conform the reporting requirement in PA 15-244 to existing statute governing the State Comptroller's cumulative monthly financial statements.

Section 482 establishes a one-time election for certain Corporation Business Tax filers to be exempt from the Net Operating Loss (NOL) limitations included in PA 15-244, under specified circumstances. To the extent such an election is made, this precludes a potential future revenue gain in the out years.

Section 483 precludes the deposit of $814,891 into the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account in FY 16 and distributes that funding to Branford, East Lyme, Farmington, Killingly, Plainfield, Norwich, and Stamford. This results in a FY 16 revenue gain to municipalities and minimally reduces the balance of the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account. It is not expected to impact grant payments from the account to towns in either FY 16 or FY 17, as it is anticipated that there will be sufficient funds available to make those payments.

Section 484 requires that a payment of $1.5 million be made from the Regional Planning Incentive Account in FY 17 to the City of Middletown.

House “C” specifies that a payment of $1.5 million be made from the Regional Planning Incentive Account in FY 17 to the City of Middletown.

Section 485 establishes a Connecticut Low Wage Employer Advisory Board to advise the departments of Labor, Social Services, and Developmental Services and Office of Early Childhood on various wage and employment-related issues. Board members serve without compensation but are eligible for reimbursement for travel and other necessary expenses. Thus, there may be a cost of less than $1,000 in FY 16 and in FY 17 to the Department of Labor to reimburse legislators and agency staff for mileage expenses.

Sections 486-489 require various criminal justice agencies to annually compile program inventories and submit them to the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division of the Office of Policy and Management (OPM). This has no fiscal impact. It also requires OPM to compile a report regarding these inventories and allows OPM to contract with the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP) to compile these reports.

PA 15-244 includes funding for the IMRP for various program evaluation initiatives. To the extent that OPM must contract with IMRP to complete this report, it is anticipated that such contractual cost could be covered with available funding.

Sections 490-493 make a number of changes to the composition of various boards, panels, and councils, and make a number of technical and procedural changes that are not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Section 494 makes several changes concerning funding from the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account (MRSA):

It: 1) requires that special taxing districts receive reimbursements for any revenue loss resulting from the motor vehicle cap established by PA 15-244; 2) changes the distribution of a portion of MRSA revenue (known as “additional sales tax revenue”); 3) specifies that towns will receive the same amount of additional sales tax revenue in FY 18 that they received in FY 17; and 4) makes technical and clarifying changes.

It is estimated that reimbursing special taxing districts will increase expenditures from the account by at least $1.4 million in FY 17 and $2.9 million in FY 18.

The changes in distribution of the additional sales tax revenue from MRSA reduce the amount of funding for Hartford, and increase the amount of funding for Stamford and Wethersfield. There is no net fiscal impact on the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account.

The bill also freezes a portion of each town's FY 18 payment from the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account at FY 17 levels. This precludes any formulaic changes that would have occurred regarding these payments to towns in FY 18.

Section 495 results in a municipal revenue loss in FY 16 by requiring municipalities to waive any payment required by housing authorities for moderate rental housing projects.

PA 15-244 eliminates $1.8 million for the Moderate Rental Payment-in-lieu-of-Taxes (MR PILOT) program. The MR PILOT program provides payments-in-lieu-of-taxes to local housing authorities in order to keep family rental units in the program affordable.

Sections 496-497 reflect revenue estimates adopted by the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee on 6/29/15. When matched against net appropriations as adjusted by the implementer, the balances below are generated.

Fund

FY 16 $

FY 17 $

Approp.

Revenue

Surplus / (Deficit)

Approp.

Revenue

Surplus / (Deficit)

General

18,161.6

18,162.4

0.8

18,711.2

18,713.6

2.5

Special Transportation

1,416.1

1,468.1

52.0

1,496.1

1,596.9

100.8

Other Appropriated

229.6

242.8

13.2

231.0

245.4

14.4

TOTAL

19,807.2

19,873.3

66.0

20,438.3

20,555.9

117.6

Senate “A” alters the original bill by including this provision and results in the impact described above.

Section 498 establishes a Commission on Economic Competitiveness to analyze the implications of state tax policy on state business and industry. It also requires the commission by January 1, 2017 and annually thereafter to submit an activity report to the finance and commerce committees on their findings. There may be a cost of less than $1,000 annually to those agencies participating in the commission to reimburse legislators and agency staff for mileage expenses.

Senate “B” alters the original bill by including this provision and results in the impact described above.

Section 499 requires the Department of Public Health (DPH) to provide $250,000 from the department's Other Expenses account to the Connecticut Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Board to deposit in the Umbilical Cord Blood Collection account in FY 16. This will require DPH to reduce budgeted Other Expenses by this amount.

Senate “C” alters the original bill by including this provision and results in the impact described above.

Section 500 allows taxpayers in Milford who missed the deadline to file for a certain property tax exemption to receive that exemption. As the exemption relates to a past fiscal year, the amendment results in either a revenue loss to the town, or a cost to reimburse the taxpayers for taxes paid on the exempt property.

Senate “C” alters the original bill by including this provision and results in the impact described above.

Section 501 renames the food service kiosk in the Legislative Office Building the “First in Flight Café”. This is anticipated to result in a cost of approximately $1,000 to the Office of Legislative Management of $1,000 for signs.

Senate “C” alters the original bill by including this provision and results in the impact described above.

Section 502 exempts an additional public housing project from requirements regarding the sale, lease, transfer, or destruction of projects owned by housing authorities that receive, or have received, state financial assistance. There is no fiscal impact.

Senate “C” alters the original bill by including this provision and results in the impact described above.

Sections 503-505 are not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact to the state as Connecticut's health insurance exchange, Access HealthCT, is a quasi-public state agency which does not currently receive state funding. There may be a fiscal impact to Access HealthCT, which is dependent on the financial relationship between the subsidiary and the exchange and the nature of the subsidiary's business. There is no fiscal impact to municipalities.

Senate “C” alters the original bill by including this provision and results in the impact described above.

Sections 506-507 require the commissioner of DPH to execute an agreement with the New York State DPH to conduct a screening test for newborns for adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) as well as the development of a quality testing methodology for such test. There are approximately 40,000 newborns annually in Connecticut who would require testing. The cost would be dependent on the terms of the agreement between DPH and the New York State DPH. The bill also requires DPH to provide $100,000 from the department's Other Expenses account in FY 16 for conducting a screening test of newborns for ALD. This will require DPH to reduce budgeted Other Expenses by this amount.

Senate “C” alters the original bill by including this provision and results in the impact described above.

Section 508 requires law enforcement agencies that hire a police officer within two years of obtaining certification at a different law enforcement agency to reimburse the certifying agency half of the cost of such certification. The cost of police officer certification, as defined in the section, is estimated to range between $70,000 and $120,000 depending on the salary, fringe benefit rate, and training method of the officer. Under the provisions of the section, law enforcement agencies that hire an officer from another such agency within two years of certification would incur a cost equal to half of the actual cost of the officer's certification. Law enforcement agencies that lose an officer to such a transfer would realize a corresponding revenue gain equal to half of the actual cost of certification.

Senate “C” alters the original by including this provision and results in the impact described above.

Section 509 carries forward funding of $100,000 in FY 15 from the Veteran's Service Bonuses account within the Military Department to be transferred to the Honor Guard account. In both FY 16 and FY 17, $50,000 will be used for the purpose of the honor guard at veteran's funerals.

Senate “C” alters the original bill by including this provision and results in the impact described above.

Section 510 amends the language in an existing General Obligation (GO) bond authorization that was changed in Section 230 of PA 15-1 of the June Special Session, “An Act Authorizing and Adjusting Bonds of the State for Capital Improvements, Transportation and Other Purposes.” The amended language makes: (a) $13 million available to Community Health Center, Incorporated and (b) $2 million available to either Community Health Center Association of Connecticut or Community Health Center, based on competitive bids submitted by each organization. There is no fiscal impact because this section does not authorize additional GO bonds. The unallocated balance for this authorization as of June 29, 2015 is $15.0 million.

Senate “C” adds a new section to the bill. The section has no fiscal impact.

Section 511 requires that districts both currently and formerly designated as alliance districts cannot reduce its budgeted appropriation for education purposes. This results in a potential cost to various districts that otherwise would have been able to reduce their budgeted appropriation.

Senate “C” alters the original bill by including this provision and results in the impact described above.

Section 512 results in an annual revenue loss of $600,000 starting in FY 18 by permanently exempting sales of tangible personal property and services to and by sole community hospitals from the sales and use tax. Current law sunsets this exemption through FY 17.  Sharon Hospital is currently the only hospital which is categorized as a “sole community hospital.”

Senate “C” alters the original bill by eliminating the sunset on this exemption and results in the impact described above.

Section 513 repeals the Motor Vehicle Theft Task Force which does not result in a fiscal impact as the task force is obsolete and does not currently exist.

Section 520 repeals state statute related to provisions for DSS medical assistance for chiropractic services and community health center funding in DPH. PA 15-244 reflects savings of $250,000 in both FY 16 and FY 17 associated with the elimination of chiropractic services, and transfers community health center funding of $1.6 million in both FY 16 and FY 17 from DPH to DSS.

Senate “C” also:

1. Eliminates sections 160 and 228 of the original bill and does not repeal CGS 14-154a, which does not result in a fiscal impact.

2. Eliminates sections 508-521 of the original bill, which precludes a revenue gain of less than $10,000 to the Palliative Marijuana Account associated with allowing minors to become qualifying patients under the Palliative Marijuana Program.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation.

The preceding Fiscal Impact statement is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for the purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.