PA 15-1—SB 384

Government Administration and Elections Committee

AN ACT PERMITTING THE WAIVER OF STATE AGENCY ELECTRONIC FILING REQUIREMENTS AND CONCERNING SPECIAL ELECTIONS FOR MAYORAL VACANCIES

SUMMARY: This act creates an exception to the special election calendar in a municipality with a population of more than 60,000 and in which a mayoral vacancy occurred between April 15 and April 18, 2015. It (1) requires such a municipality to hold a special election to fill the vacancy within 45 days after the vacancy occurs and (2) establishes procedures for nominating candidates.

The act also authorizes executive branch state agencies to waive certain electronic correspondence and filing requirements for their clients and other members of the public with whom they conduct business. The law requires executive branch state agencies to (1) use e-mail to notify and correspond with clients whenever possible and when not in conflict with state law and (2) explore the feasibility of converting all applications and forms used by the public to electronic format.

Under the act, an executive branch state agency that uses e-mail to notify and correspond with clients may waive the requirement, for good cause, upon a client's request. Similarly, an agency that requires electronic applications or forms may waive the requirement, for good cause, upon request by an applicant, individual, or business.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage for the special election calendar provisions; October 1, 2015 for the electronic filing provisions.

CERTAIN MUNICIPAL OFFICE VACANCIES

The law generally requires that municipal office vacancies be filled under a special election calendar that provides for (1) notice to the party chairpersons at least three weeks before the time for party endorsements; (2) party endorsements, due 49 days before the primary; and (3) a primary, held 56 days before the election (CGS 9-164)

For a municipality with a population of more than 60,000 people where a vacancy in the office of mayor occurred between April 15 and April 18, 2015, the act instead requires that the election occur within 45 days after the date of the vacancy. The legislative body must determine the election date, and notice of that date must be filed with the town clerk.

Procedures

Under the act, as soon as the vacancy occurs, the town clerk must file a notice of the office to be filled with the secretary of the state and the chairperson of each major and minor party town committee in the municipality. Parties may not hold primaries; they must nominate candidates and certify the nominations to the town clerk in accordance with their party rules by the 36th day before the election. Similarly, the act allows petitioning candidates to submit petitions to the town clerk by the 36th day before the election. The petitions must be filed with the secretary of the state no more than two days after the filing with the town clerk. The town clerk must provide notice of the special election under the procedures for regular municipal elections (e. g. , publish notice in a newspaper between five and 15 days before the election).

BACKGROUND

Related Act

PA 15-61 (also effective October 1, 2015) eliminates agencies' discretion to waive the use of electronic notice and correspondence requirements. Instead, it requires agencies to exempt a person from these requirements if the person requests an exemption and provides written notice to the agency of a hardship. These hardships may include (1) a lack of access to a device capable of electronic filing or (2) incompatibility of a specific filing with the electronic filing system.

OLR Tracking: KS: KD: PF: BA