Substitute House Bill No. 5601
Public Act No. 16-144
AN ACT CONCERNING REGIONALISM.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Section 1. Section 7-148v of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):
(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any municipal charter or any special act to the contrary, any municipality may, by ordinance, establish requirements for competitive bidding for the award of any contract or the purchase of any real or personal property by the municipality. Such ordinance may provide that, except as otherwise required by any provision of the general statutes, sealed bidding shall not be required for contracts or purchases having a value less than or equal to an amount established in the ordinance, which amount shall not be greater than twenty-five thousand dollars. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to invalidate any ordinance enacted by a municipality prior to October 1, 1989. Nothing in this section and no ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall be construed to limit the ability of a municipality to enter into a contract pursuant to section 4a-53a.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of the general statutes or any municipal charter, special act or ordinance, any municipality may purchase equipment, supplies, materials or services from a person who has a contract to sell such goods or services to other state governments, political subdivisions of the state, nonprofit organizations or public purchasing consortia available through a regional educational service center or regional council of governments, in accordance with the provisions of such contract.
Sec. 2. Section 4-124s of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):
(a) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Regional council of governments" means any such council organized under the provisions of sections 4-124i to 4-124p, inclusive;
(2) "Municipality" means a town, city or consolidated town and borough;
(3) "Legislative body" means the board of selectmen, town council, city council, board of alderman, board of directors, board of representatives or board of the warden and burgesses of a municipality; [and]
(4) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management or the designee of the secretary; and
(5) "Regional educational service center" has the same meaning as provided in section 10-282.
(b) There is established a regional performance incentive program that shall be administered by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. On or before December 31, 2011, and annually thereafter, any regional council of governments, any two or more municipalities acting through a regional council of governments, any economic development district, any regional educational service center or any combination thereof may submit a proposal to the secretary for: (1) The joint provision of any service that one or more participating municipalities of such council, educational service center or agency currently provide but which is not provided on a regional basis, (2) a planning study regarding the joint provision of any service on a regional basis, or (3) shared information technology services. A copy of said proposal shall be sent to the legislators representing said participating municipalities. Any local or regional board of education or regional educational service center serving a population greater than one hundred thousand may submit a proposal to the secretary for a regional special education initiative.
(c) (1) A regional council of governments, [or] an economic development district, a regional educational service center or a local or regional board of education shall submit each proposal in the form and manner the secretary prescribes and shall, at a minimum, provide the following information for each proposal: (A) Service or initiative description; (B) the explanation of the need for such service or initiative; (C) the method of delivering such service or initiative on a regional basis; (D) the organization that would be responsible for regional service or initiative delivery; (E) a description of the population that would be served; (F) the manner in which regional service or initiative delivery will achieve economies of scale; (G) the amount by which participating municipalities will reduce their mill rates as a result of savings realized; (H) a cost benefit analysis for the provision of the service or initiative by each participating municipality and by the entity or board of education submitting the proposal; (I) a plan of implementation for delivery of the service or initiative on a regional basis; (J) a resolution endorsing such proposal approved by the legislative body of each participating municipality; and (K) an explanation of the potential legal obstacles, if any, to the regional provision of the service or initiative.
(2) The secretary shall review each proposal and shall award grants for proposals the secretary determines best meet the requirements of this section. In awarding such grants, the secretary shall give priority to a proposal submitted by (A) any entity specified in subsection (a) of this section that includes participation of all of the member municipalities of such entity, and which may increase the purchasing power of participating municipalities or provide a cost savings initiative resulting in a decrease in expenses of such municipalities, allowing such municipalities to lower property taxes, [and] (B) any economic development district, and (C) any local or regional board of education.
(d) On or before December 31, 2013, and annually thereafter until December 31, 2018, in addition to any proposal submitted pursuant to this section, any municipality or regional council of governments may apply to the secretary for a grant to fund: (1) Operating costs associated with connecting to the state-wide high speed, flexible network developed pursuant to section 4d-80, including the costs to connect at the same rate as other government entities served by such network; and (2) capital cost associated with connecting to such network, including expenses associated with building out the internal fiber network connections required to connect to such network, provided the secretary shall make any such grant available in accordance with the two-year schedule by which the Bureau of Enterprise Systems and Technology recommends connecting each municipality and regional council of governments to such network. Any municipality or regional council of governments shall submit each application in the form and manner the secretary prescribes.
(e) The secretary shall submit to the Governor and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to finance, revenue and bonding a report on the grants provided pursuant to this section. Each such report shall include information on the amount of each grant, and the potential of each grant for leveraging other public and private investments. The secretary shall submit a report for the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2011, not later than February 1, 2012, and shall submit a report for each subsequent fiscal year not later than the first day of March in such fiscal year. Such reports shall include the property tax reductions achieved by means of the program established pursuant to this section.
Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective from passage) Notwithstanding the provisions of the general statutes or any municipal charter or special act to the contrary, any municipality may enter into a partnership with one or more municipalities to share the services of one or more resident state troopers or other law enforcement personnel.
Sec. 4. (Effective from passage) The Department of Education shall conduct a study regarding methods and practices local school districts may utilize to reduce costs and increase efficiencies in the provision of student transportation. Such methods and practices shall include, but need not be limited to, the development of a statistical evaluation of efficiency model, using linear programming that considers distances, start times, end times, routes, population tiers, utilization and model contract provisions, for local school district student transportation operations. Not later than June 30, 2017, the Department of Education shall submit a report of the results of such study and any recommendations for the efficient transportation of students to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education and local governments, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes.
Sec. 5. Section 4-66n of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):
(a) There is established an account to be known as the "municipal reimbursement and revenue account" which shall be a separate, nonlapsing account within the General Fund. The account shall contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the account.
(b) Moneys transferred to the account in accordance with section 87 of public act 13-247 shall be expended by the Office of Policy and Management as follows: (1) For the Nutmeg Network, two million one hundred seventy-four thousand dollars; (2) for a tax incidence study, seven hundred thousand dollars; [and] (3) for the universal chart of accounts, four hundred fifty thousand dollars; (4) to audit private providers of special education services, in accordance with section 2-90 and sections 10-91g to 10-91i, inclusive, three hundred sixty-six thousand dollars; and (5) for the Department of Education, to conduct the study described in section 4 of this act, two hundred fifty thousand dollars. Such moneys for the universal chart of accounts may be used to reimburse expenses incurred on or after July 1, 2013.
Sec. 6. Subsection (d) of section 8-23 of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):
(d) In preparing such plan, the commission or any special committee shall consider the following: (1) The community development action plan of the municipality, if any, (2) the need for affordable housing, (3) the need for protection of existing and potential public surface and ground drinking water supplies, (4) the use of cluster development and other development patterns to the extent consistent with soil types, terrain and infrastructure capacity within the municipality, (5) the state plan of conservation and development adopted pursuant to chapter 297, (6) the regional plan of conservation and development adopted pursuant to section 8-35a, as amended by this act, (7) physical, social, economic and governmental conditions and trends, (8) the needs of the municipality including, but not limited to, human resources, education, health, housing, recreation, social services, public utilities, public protection, transportation and circulation and cultural and interpersonal communications, (9) the objectives of energy-efficient patterns of development, the use of solar and other renewable forms of energy and energy conservation, (10) protection and preservation of agriculture, [and] (11) sea level change scenarios published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Technical Report OAR CPO-1, and (12) the need for technology infrastructure in the municipality.
Sec. 7. Subsection (a) of section 8-35a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):
(a) At least once every ten years, each regional council of governments shall make a plan of conservation and development for its area of operation, showing its recommendations for the general use of the area including land use, housing, principal highways and freeways, bridges, airports, parks, playgrounds, recreational areas, schools, public institutions, public utilities, agriculture and such other matters as, in the opinion of the council, will be beneficial to the area. Any regional plan so developed shall be based on studies of physical, social, economic and governmental conditions and trends and shall be designed to promote with the greatest efficiency and economy the coordinated development of its area of operation and the general welfare and prosperity of its people. Such plan may encourage energy-efficient patterns of development, the use of solar and other renewable forms of energy, and energy conservation. Such plan shall be designed to promote abatement of the pollution of the waters and air of the region. Such plan shall consider the need for technology infrastructure in the region. The regional plan shall identify areas where it is feasible and prudent (1) to have compact, transit accessible, pedestrian-oriented mixed use development patterns and land reuse, and (2) to promote such development patterns and land reuse and shall note any inconsistencies with the following growth management principles: (A) Redevelopment and revitalization of regional centers and areas of mixed land uses with existing or planned physical infrastructure; (B) expansion of housing opportunities and design choices to accommodate a variety of household types and needs; (C) concentration of development around transportation nodes and along major transportation corridors to support the viability of transportation options and land reuse; (D) conservation and restoration of the natural environment, cultural and historical resources and traditional rural lands; (E) protection of environmental assets critical to public health and safety; and (F) integration of planning across all levels of government to address issues on a local, regional and state-wide basis. The plan of each region contiguous to Long Island Sound shall be designed to reduce hypoxia, pathogens, toxic contaminants and floatable debris in Long Island Sound.
Sec. 8. Section 16a-27 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):
(a) The secretary, after consultation with all appropriate state, regional and local agencies and other appropriate persons, shall, prior to March 1, 2012, complete a revision of the existing plan and enlarge it to include, but not be limited to, policies relating to transportation, energy and air. Any revision made after July 1, 1995, shall take into consideration the conservation and development of greenways that have been designated by municipalities and shall recommend that state agencies coordinate their efforts to support the development of a state-wide greenways system. The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall identify state-owned land for inclusion in the plan as potential components of a state greenways system.
(b) Any revision made after August 20, 2003, shall take into account (1) economic and community development needs and patterns of commerce, and (2) linkages of affordable housing objectives and land use objectives with transportation systems.
(c) Any revision made after March 1, 2006, shall (1) take into consideration risks associated with natural hazards, including, but not limited to, flooding, high winds and wildfires; (2) identify the potential impacts of natural hazards on infrastructure and property; and (3) make recommendations for the siting of future infrastructure and property development to minimize the use of areas prone to natural hazards, including, but not limited to, flooding, high winds and wildfires.
(d) Any revision made after July 1, 2005, shall describe the progress towards achievement of the goals and objectives established in the previously adopted state plan of conservation and development and shall identify (1) areas where it is prudent and feasible (A) to have compact, transit accessible, pedestrian-oriented mixed-use development patterns and land reuse, and (B) to promote such development patterns and land reuse, (2) priority funding areas designated under section 16a-35c, and (3) corridor management areas on either side of a limited access highway or a rail line. In designating corridor management areas, the secretary shall make recommendations that (A) promote land use and transportation options to reduce the growth of traffic congestion; (B) connect infrastructure and other development decisions; (C) promote development that minimizes the cost of new infrastructure facilities and maximizes the use of existing infrastructure facilities; and (D) increase intermunicipal and regional cooperation.
(e) Any revision made after October 1, 2008, shall (1) for each policy recommended (A) assign a priority; (B) estimate funding for implementation and identify potential funding sources; (C) identify each entity responsible for implementation; and (D) establish a schedule for implementation; and (2) for each growth management principle, determine three benchmarks to measure progress in implementation of the principles, one of which shall be a financial benchmark.
(f) Any revision made after October 1, 2009, shall take into consideration the protection and preservation of Connecticut Heritage Areas.
(g) Any revision made after December 1, 2011, shall take into consideration (1) the state water supply and resource policies established in sections 22a-380 and 25-33c, and (2) the list prepared by the Commissioner of Public Health pursuant to section 25-33q.
(h) Any revision made after October 1, 2013, shall (1) take into consideration risks associated with increased coastal erosion, depending on site topography, as anticipated in sea level change scenarios published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Technical Report OAR CPO-1, (2) identify the impacts of such increased erosion on infrastructure and natural resources, and (3) make recommendations for the siting of future infrastructure and property development to minimize the use of areas prone to such erosion.
(i) Any revision made after October 1, 2016, shall take into consideration the need for technology infrastructure in the municipality.
[(i)] (j) Thereafter on or before March first in each revision year the secretary shall complete a revision of the plan of conservation and development.
Approved June 9, 2016