Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 1061

    January Session, 2015

 

*_____SB01061TRA___042015____*

AN ACT CONCERNING THE FISCAL SUSTAINABILITY OF STATE PARKS.

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

Section 1. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 14-49 of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(a) For the registration of each passenger motor vehicle, other than an electric motor vehicle, the fee shall be [eighty] eighty-five dollars every two years, provided: (1) Any individual may, as prescribed by section 14-12, as amended by this act, or 14-22, as amended by this act, as applicable, affirmatively elect to not pay the five-dollar portion of such fee that constitutes a charitable donation to the State Parks Sustainability account established pursuant to section 5 of this act, and (2) any individual who is sixty-five years of age or older on or after January 1, 1981, may, at his discretion, renew the registration of such passenger motor vehicle owned by him for either a one-year or two-year period. The fee for one year shall be [forty] forty-five dollars, and the fee for two years shall be [eighty] eighty-five dollars, provided: (A) Any individual may, as prescribed by section 14-12, as amended by this act, or 14-22, as amended by this act, as applicable, affirmatively elect to not pay the five-dollar portion of any such one-year or two-year fee that constitutes a charitable donation to the State Parks Sustainability account established pursuant to section 5 of this act, and (B) the biennial fee for any motor vehicle for which special license plates have been issued under the provisions of section 14-20 shall be eighty dollars. The provisions of this subsection relative to the biennial fee charged for the registration of each antique, rare or special interest motor vehicle for which special license plates have been issued under section 14-20 shall not apply to an antique fire apparatus or transit bus owned by a nonprofit organization and maintained primarily for use in parades, exhibitions or other public events but not for purposes of general transportation.

(b) (1) For the registration of each motorcycle, the biennial fee shall be [forty-two] forty-seven dollars, subject to the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection and provided any individual may, as prescribed by section 14-12, as amended by this act, or 14-22, as amended by this act, as applicable, affirmatively elect to not pay the five-dollar portion of such fee that constitutes a charitable donation to the State Parks Sustainability account established pursuant to section 5 of this act. For the registration of each motorcycle with side car or box attached used for commercial purposes, the biennial fee shall be [sixty dollars] sixty-five dollars provided any individual may, as prescribed by section 14-12, as amended by this act, or 14-22, as amended by this act, as applicable, affirmatively elect to not pay the five-dollar portion of such fee that constitutes a charitable donation to the State Parks Sustainability account established pursuant to section 5 of this act. The commissioner may register a motorcycle with a side car under one registration which shall cover the use of such motorcycle with or without such side car. (2) Four dollars of the total fee with respect to the registration of each motorcycle shall, when entered upon the records of the Special Transportation Fund, be deemed to be appropriated to the Department of Transportation for purposes of continuing the program of motorcycle rider education formerly funded under the federal Highway Safety Act of 1978, 23 USC 402.

Sec. 2. Section 14-49 of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (bb) as follows (Effective July 1, 2015):

(NEW) (bb) Five dollars of any registration fee collected by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section, as amended by this act, shall constitute a charitable donation to the State Parks Sustainability account, as established in section 5 of this act and shall be deposited by the commissioner in such account unless such registrant affirmatively elected to not pay such five-dollar charitable donation, in accordance with section 14-12, as amended by this act, or 14-22, as amended by this act, in which case five dollars of such registration fee shall not be deposited in such account.

Sec. 3. Subsection (b) of section 14-12 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(b) To obtain a motor vehicle registration, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the owner shall file in the office of the commissioner an application signed by him and containing such information and proof of ownership as the commissioner may require. The application shall be made on blanks furnished by the commissioner. The blanks shall be in such form and contain such provisions and information as the commissioner may determine, provided any such blank used to register a passenger motor vehicle or a motorcycle shall contain information informing the owner that five dollars of the applicable registration fee for such passenger motor vehicle or motorcycle constitutes a charitable donation to the State Parks Sustainability account and such blank contains a check box that allows such owner to affirmatively elect to not pay such five-dollar charitable donation.

Sec. 4. Subsection (a) of section 14-22 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(a) A motor vehicle registration issued pursuant to this chapter shall expire in accordance with schedules established by the commissioner. If the expiration date of the registration of the motor vehicle, except the registration of a motor vehicle used to transport passengers for hire, falls on any day when offices of the commissioner are closed for business, the registration shall be deemed valid for the operation of the motor vehicle until midnight of the next day on which offices of the commissioner are open for business. The commissioner shall prescribe the date and manner of renewing registrations. Not less than forty-five days prior to the expiration of any valid registration, the department shall send or transmit, in such manner as the commissioner determines, an application for renewal to the registrant. In the case of a motor vehicle registered to a leasing company licensed pursuant to section 14-15, the department may send or transmit, in such manner as the commissioner determines, an application for renewal of a leased vehicle to the lessee of such vehicle. Any such application used to register a passenger motor vehicle or a motorcycle shall contain: (1) Information informing the owner that five dollars of the applicable registration fee for such passenger motor vehicle or motorcycle constitutes a charitable donation to the State Parks Sustainability account, and (2) a check box that allows such owner to affirmatively elect to not pay such five-dollar charitable donation. The commissioner shall not be required to send or transmit a registrant's or lessee's application by mail if the United States Postal Service has determined that mail is undeliverable to such person at the address for such person that is in the records of the department. Except for the processing of such application at an official emissions inspection station as provided in subsection (b) of this section or by telephone as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the commissioner may require that the application be returned electronically or by mail in order to be processed and approved, with only such exceptions, on a hardship basis, as shall be established by the commissioner in regulations adopted pursuant to chapter 54.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015) (a) There is established a State Parks Sustainability account which shall be a separate, nonlapsing account within the General Fund. Any moneys collected for donations to the State Parks Sustainability account pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of section 14-49 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, subsection (b) of section 14-12 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and section 9 of this act, shall be deposited by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, respectively, into such account. The account may also include moneys received from public and private sources, including the federal government. All moneys deposited in the account shall be used by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection or persons acting under a contract with such department, as follows: (1) To reimburse the Department of Motor Vehicles for incurred costs to include notice on applications for motor vehicle registrations and renewal motor vehicle registrations of the option to not pay the five-dollar charitable donation to such account and to collect such donations from applicants, provided the amount shall not exceed one hundred thousand dollars for each fiscal year and such reimbursement shall occur not later than July first of each year; and (2) to provide for the maintenance, operation and improvement of state parks that are under the custody, care or control of the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection.

(b) The State Parks Sustainability account shall be a perpetual fund, the resources of which shall be used solely for the purposes of subsection (a) of this section. All sources of moneys, funds and receipts of the state required to be credited, deposited or transferred to said fund by state law on or after the effective date of this section shall continue to be credited, deposited or transferred to said fund. No law shall be enacted authorizing the resources of said fund to be expended other than for the purposes of subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) Not later than December 1, 2015, and annually thereafter, any person who has a contractual agreement with the Department of Rehabilitation Services for the operation in any state park of any food service facility, vending machine or stand for the vending of goods shall report to the Department of Rehabilitation Services the amount of revenue that such person generated during the calendar year as a result of such contract. Not later than January 1, 2016, and each year thereafter, the Department of Rehabilitation Services shall compile any reports received pursuant to this subsection and transmit such reports to the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection.

(b) On or before January 30, 2016, and each year thereafter, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall compile the following information: (1) The number of food service facilities, vending machines and stands for the vending of goods that are located in the state parks and the location of the respective parks that have such facilities, machines or stands, (2) the amount of revenues generated from such food service facilities, vending machines and stands for the vending of goods, as reported to the commissioner by the Department of Rehabilitation Services pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, (3) the contractual agreement or provision of law that provides for the payment of any portion of such revenues to the state or that prohibits or limits the payment of such revenues to the state, (4) the amount of such revenues paid to the state in the subject calendar year, and (5) the manner in which such revenues were used by the state, if identifiable by the commissioner.

Sec. 7. (Effective from passage) Not later than July 31, 2015, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall develop a request for information concerning the operation of concessions, provision of services and offering of recreational amenities at state parks. The purpose of such request for information shall be to seek informational documentation for the operation of such concessions, provision of such services and offering of recreational amenities. Not later than August 15, 2015, such request for information shall be forwarded by the commissioner to the Department of Administrative Services for posting on the State Contracting Portal. Concomitantly, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall direct a copy of such request for information to any private vendor known by the commissioner to provide such operation, provision or offering. Not later than November 1, 2015, the commissioner shall forward, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the environment, a copy of any informational documentation received by the commissioner in response to such request for information and a written assessment and evaluation of such informational documentation, including, but not limited to, any recommendation for the offering at state parks of concessions, services and recreational amenities that are not offered at such state parks as of the effective date of this section.

Sec. 8. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015) Not later than July 31, 2015, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall establish the amount of rent paid by any resident or nonresident of this state for the use of state park property for any special event of limited duration, including, but not limited to, weddings and receptions, in an amount that is based on the number of persons attending such special event provided such amount is not less than one hundred thirty-five per cent of the amount charged for such rent by the commissioner as of July 1, 2015. The amount of any rent charged pursuant to this section shall reflect a higher fee for any event that will have a greater number of people in attendance.

Sec. 9. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015) Not later than July 31, 2015, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall amend the Adopt A Park program to additionally provide for the recognition of participants who elect to financially sponsor such park, through contribution of a charitable donation, by erecting a placard at such park that bears the name of any such sponsoring individual, individuals, organization or corporation and the nature of such financial sponsorship. The commissioner may establish multiple tiers for such financial sponsorship provided no level of charitable donation for such financial sponsorship shall be less than two thousand five hundred dollars. Any funds collected by the commissioner pursuant to this section shall be deposited by the commissioner in the State Parks Sustainability account established pursuant to section 5 of this act.

Sec. 10. (NEW) (Effective from passage) In addition to any fee collected pursuant to section 23-26 of the general statutes, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall provide for the daily collection of parking fees at any state park located on the shoreline throughout the month of September, at the applicable weekday or weekend rate.

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

Section 1

July 1, 2015

14-49(a) and (b)

Sec. 2

July 1, 2015

14-49

Sec. 3

July 1, 2015

14-12(b)

Sec. 4

July 1, 2015

14-22(a)

Sec. 5

July 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 6

from passage

New section

Sec. 7

from passage

New section

Sec. 8

July 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 9

July 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 10

from passage

New section

ENV

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

TRA

Joint Favorable