Government Administration and Elections Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5618

Title:

AN ACT REQUIRING THE DEVELOPMENT OF A CARBON FOOTPRINT METHODOLOGY TO ANALYZE STATE PROCUREMENT CONTRACTS.

Vote Date:

3/21/2016

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/18/2016

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Government Administration and Elections Committee, on behalf of Representative Aresimowicz

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill requires the DAS commissioner, in meeting with other agencies selected by the DAS commissioner, to develop a carbon footprint procedure for examining individual state purchasing contracts. The procedure must focus on transportation-related environmental impact. The DAS commissioner must submit a report to the GAE committee with the procedure and legislative recommendations by January 1, 2017.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Representative Joe Aresimowicz:

Representative Aresimowicz is in favor of this bill. He presented in his written testimony that it is important to implement such a standard to protect taxpayer's dollars and protecting our environment. He also stated by moving forward, this bill would be an instrument requiring our state agencies to work with appropriate parties to come up with a carbon footprint methodology that would in turn come back to the legislatures for consideration to all parties involved.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Shannon Laun, Attorney Connecticut Fund for the Environment (CFE):

Shannon Laun is in support of HB 5618. In her testimony she states CFE recommends strengthening HB 5618 by defining carbon footprint and making clear what is meant by this term. Second, the carbon footprint methodology should remove the focus on transportation-related emissions. These emissions are a small particular part of the total emissions and should not be weighed more heavily than others.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Melody A. Currey, Commissioner, Department of Administrative Services:

The Department of Administrative Services (DAS) is opposed to HB 5618. Commissioner Currey stated in her testimony that DAS does not have the expertise required to develop a carbon footprint methodology nor does it have the in-depth knowledge of the contracts entered by other agencies as well as having the authority over other contracted agencies necessary to make a methodology to be implemented. In 2013, DAS was directed to study the feasibility of including a carbon footprint data as a factor in the award of state contracts which they reported they could not fulfill. There were challenges that had to be addressed before DAS could be responsible for the lead of this study.

Reported by: Carolyn Gaetano

Date: March 29, 2016