OLR Bill Analysis

HB07501, as amended by Senate Amendment “A”*

Emergency Certification

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE CONTINUED OPERATION OF ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS OF THE STATE.

Please note, due to time constraints some sections of this analysis are bulleted or brief, and some internal references have been removed where they could not be verified or corrected.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1-61 — BUDGET PROVISIONS AND REVENUE ESTIMATES

Please refer to the fiscal note for a summary of these sections

62 — REDEMPTION CENTER GRANTS

Appropriates $800,000 to DEEP to provide grants to redemption centers

63 & 64 — FIREFIGHTERS' CANCER RELIEF PROGRAM

Eliminates a requirement for the program to be funded through E-911 charges

65 — CONNECTICUT PENSION SUSTAINABILITY COMMISSION

Creates the Connecticut Pension Sustainability Commission

66 — AUTHORIZATION TO SHARE TAX ASSESSORS

Allows a COG or two or more municipalities to appoint shared tax assessors

67 — BODY-WORN RECORDING EQUIPMENT TASK FORCE

Specifies that the body-worn recording equipment task force must be within the legislative branch

68 — REIMBURSEMENT FOR DIGITAL DATA STORAGE DEVICES OR SERVICES

Allows municipalities, within available resources, to receive reimbursement for digital data storage devices or services they purchase during FY 18

69-71 — CREDIT REVENUE BOND PROGRAM

Authorizes the state treasurer to issue credit revenue bonds in place of general obligation bonds and directs the savings from the new bonding program to the Budget Reserve Fund; Requires bond premiums and the net earnings from investments of bond proceeds to be used to fund previously authorized capital projects

72 — CLASS NO. 3 BAZAAR PERMITS

Increases the number of days a “Class No. 3” permit holder can operate a bazaar

73 — TEACHERS' RETIREMENT BOARD (TRB) MEMBERSHIP

Requires a TRB member to be a municipal chief elected official

74-77 — JUDICIAL COMPENSATION

Rolls back a 3% salary increase for judges and certain other judicial officials that took effect July 1, 2017, and reinstitutes the increase (except for one per-diem rate) on July 1, 2019

78 — PRISON HEALTH CARE RFI PROGRESS REPORT

Requires DOC and OPM to submit a progress report to the legislature on a request for information to develop options for providing inmate medical services

79 — REDUCTIONS FOR MUNICIPAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS AND HEALTH DISTRICTS

Requires pro rata payment reductions to municipal and district health departments

80 — WOMEN'S BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

Requires Connecticut Innovations, Incorporated to provide the Women's Business Development Council in Stamford $350,000 grant-in-aid in both FY 18 and FY 19

81-92, 97 & 98 — OFFICE OF HEALTH CARE ACCESS AND CERTIFICATE OF NEED REQUIREMENTS

Makes various changes to the OHCA statutes, such as modifying the factors that OHCA must consider when evaluating a health care facility's CON application and exempting certain applications from the standard CON process

93 — ANNUAL REPORTING FOR HOSPITALS AND CERTAIN GROUP PRACTICES

Extends deadline for the start of certain annual reporting requirements for hospitals and physician group practices

94, 95 & 750 — DSS CERTIFICATE OF NEED

Makes changes to DSS CON requirements, such as requiring nursing homes, residential care homes, and ICF-IIDs to obtain a CON to relocate beds to a new or replacement facility and eliminating CON requirements for certain acquisitions of major medical equipment

96 — NURSING HOME BED MORATORIUM

Modifies exemptions to DSS' moratorium on accepting or approving CONs to add new nursing home beds and allows, rather than requires, the commissioner to adopt CON regulations

99 — HEALTH CARE CABINET STUDY

Allows the Health Care Cabinet to study provider referrals to facilities where the providers or their immediate family members own a beneficial interest or have a compensation arrangement

100-108 — EDUCATION GRANT CAPS

Extends the caps on certain education grants to school districts and regional education service centers

105 — CONNECTICUT AIRPORT AND AVIATION ACCOUNT

Diverts a portion of petroleum gross earnings tax revenue to a new airport account in order to comply with federal aviation law

109 — YOUTH SERVICE BUREAUS

Expands youth service bureau grant eligibility

110-122, 126 & 750 — HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

Transfers responsibilities for the all-payer claims database and consumer health information website from Access Health CT to the Health Information Technology officer and makes related changes

123 — HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

Requires the health information technology officer to designate and post on the exchange's website certain entities and programs that constitute the exchange

124 — HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS WITHOUT ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD SYSTEMS

Requires certain health care providers to be capable of transmitting secure messages that comply with national specifications published by the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

125 & 750 — STATE HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ADVISORY COUNCIL

Increases the State Health Information Technology Advisory Council's membership; expands the council's chairpersons' authority; changes who may appoint members to the All-Payer Claims Database Advisory Group and allows its members to appoint designees

127 — OFFICE OF HEALTH STRATEGY

Establishes an Office of Health Strategy within the Department of Public Health for administrative purposes only

128 — STATE-WIDE HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE

Requires the state to establish a program to expedite the development of the State-Wide Health Information Exchange

129 — SAFE DRINKING WATER PRIMACY ASSESSMENT

Requires water companies that own community water systems or non-transient non-community water systems to annually pay a safe drinking water primacy assessment through FY 19

130 — SAFE DRINKING WATER PRIMACY ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY

Requires DPH to develop a methodology for a safe drinking water primacy assessment on certain water systems, allows water companies to recover the assessment from customers, and makes related changes

131 & 132 — URGENT CARE CENTERS

Requires urgent care centers to be licensed as outpatient clinics starting April 1, 2018 and authorizes DSS to establish payment rates for these centers

133 — OUTPATIENT CLINIC LICENSE RENEWAL

Requires outpatient clinics to renew their license every three years, instead of every four years

134 & 135 — INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR MENTAL OR NERVOUS CONDITIONS

Repeals the requirement that health insurance policies cover specified services related to mental and nervous conditions

136 & 137 — BURIAL EXPENSES FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE RECIPIENTS AND INDIGENT INDIVIDUALS

Requires that life insurance deducted from DSS burial payments name the funeral home, cemetery, or crematory as a beneficiary and allows DSS to disclose information to such service providers in certain cases

138-140 — REMOVAL OF REQUIREMENT TO ADOPT REGULATIONS

Removes a requirement that the DSS commissioner adopt regulations for provisions related to long-term care facility audits, nursing home temporary managers, and state-appropriated weatherization assistance

141 — HOME CARE SERVICES NON-COMPETE AGREEMENTS

Prohibits non-compete agreements for providers of home care services

142 — TEMPORARY FAMILY ASSISTANCE (TFA) AND STATE ADMINISTERED GENERAL ASSISTANCE (SAGA) RATES

Freezes TFA and SAGA rates

143 — STATE SUPPLEMENT PROGRAM (SSP) RATES

Freezes SSP rates and eliminates unearned income disregard adjustment

144 & 184 — BOARDING HOME RATES

Freezes, with exceptions, rates for certain boarding homes

145-146 — RESIDENTIAL CARE HOMES, COMMUNITY LIVING ARRANGEMENTS, AND COMMUNITY COMPANION HOMES

Freezes rates for certain facilities through FY 19

147 — RESIDENTIAL CARE HOMES

Caps residential care home rates with certain exceptions

148 & 149 — NURSING HOME RATES

Limits nursing home Medicaid rates with certain exceptions and lowers the minimum occupancy for purposes of calculating rates

150 — INTERMEDIATE CARE FACILITIES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES (ICF-ID)

Freezes FY 18 and FY 19 rates for ICF-IDs, with certain exceptions

151 — DCF LICENSED PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT FACILITIES

Suspends daily and other rate adjustments for FYs 18 and 19 for DCF-licensed private residential treatment facilities

152 & 153 — MEDICAID PHARMACY REIMBURSEMENT

Eliminates statutory requirements; requires DSS to revise reimbursement methodology and professional dispensing fees; and requires DSS to submit revisions to legislative committees

154 — MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS TO TREAT HEMOPHILIA

Expands provisions on Factor VIII drugs to also apply to Factor VII, IX, and X drugs and eliminates authorization for DSS to specify suppliers

155 — CONNECTICUT HOME CARE PROGRAM FOR THE ELDERLY (CHCPE)

Limits eligibility and temporarily freezes enrollment for state-funded CHCPE

156 & 157 — DECREASE IN ELIGIBILITY FOR HUSKY A

Lowers the income limit for HUSKY A parents and caretakers from 150% to 138% FPL and requires DSS and Access Health CT to report to MAPOC on those who lose coverage

158 — LIMITS ON COST SHARING FOR HUSKY A PARENTS AND CARETAKERS

Prohibits cost-sharing requirements for preferred and medically necessary nonpreferred prescription drugs for HUSKY A parents and caretakers and limits cost-sharing for other Medicaid services for this group

159 & 160 — MEDICAID NONEMERGENCY DENTAL SERVICES FOR ADULTS

Limits Medicaid payments for nonemergency dental services to $1,000 per adult per calendar year, with some exceptions, and expands the definition of “medically necessary” to include dental services

161 — MEDICARE SAVINGS PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

Reduces income eligibility for the medicare savings program

162 — INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY PARTNERSHIP

Requires the Intellectual Disability Partnership to form an advisory committee and makes related changes

163 — NONPROFIT COLLABORATION INCENTIVE GRANT PROGRAM

Eliminates annual solicitation requirements for nonprofit grant program

164 — PAYMENT FOR BIRTH-TO-THREE SERVICES

Delays conversion of Birth-to-Three payment methodology to a fee-for-service system until November 1, 2017

165 — FAMILY PLANNING CLINICS AND SERVICES

Allows DSS to offset any reduction in federal funding for family planning services

166 — HOME HEALTH CARE ADD-ON PAYMENTS

Allows DSS to eliminate Medicaid add-on payments for FYs 18 and 19 to home health care agencies for certain services in higher risk settings or for patients with complex medical needs

167 — OVERTIME SLEEP-TIME EXEMPTION FOR DOMESTIC WORKERS

Expands the “sleep time” exemption from overtime pay requirements

168 — TWO-GENERATIONAL INITIATIVE

Makes the two-generational pilot program a permanent statewide initiative

169-181 — BEHAVIOR ANALYST LICENSURE

Requires behavior analysts to be licensed by DPH and establishes a General Fund account to contain such licensing fee revenue, to be spent to cover costs of collecting the fees

182-183 — TORRINGTON DSS PILOT PROJECT

Allows DSS to establish a pilot project involving relocating certain staff to the Torrington community action agency

185 — STATE EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECKS

Adds criminal background check requirements for state employees in positions involving exposure to federal tax information

186 — STATE ADMINISTERED GENERAL ASSISTANCE (SAGA) BENEFITS

Reduces SAGA cash assistance levels for unemployable and certain transitional individuals

187-190 — BOARDS OF EDUCATION AS MEDICAID PROVIDERS FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION PURPOSES

Requires all local and regional boards of education to participate in the Medicaid School Based Child Health Program as Medicaid providers

191-204 & 749 — DDS AS SUCCESSOR TO OPA'S INVESTIGATION OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT COMPLAINTS

Transfers to DDS, rather than the Department of Rehabilitation Services, oversight over claims of abuse or neglect of individuals with intellectual disability or clients of DSS's Division of Autism Spectrum Disorder Services and makes related changes

205 — SPECIAL TRANSPORTATION FUND (STF)

Eliminates requirement that remaining STF funds, after first being used for certain statutory obligations, pay for DSS' transportation to work program

206 — STATE EMPLOYEE WORKERS' COMPENSATION COSTS

Requires OPM and DAS to recommend ways to reduce workers' compensation costs

207 — MATERIALS INNOVATION AND RECYCLING AUTHORITY PAYMENT TO HARTFORD

Requires MIRA to make a $1 million payment in lieu of taxes to Hartford by December 1, 2017

208 — REGIONAL REVENUE SHARING AGREEMENTS

Authorizes COGs to enter into regional revenue sharing agreements with other COGs

209 & 210 — GRANTS TO COGS

Establishes, beginning in FY 18, a new type of annual grant for COGs

211-216 — CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION SYSTEM (CJIS) GOVERNING BOARD

Transfers the board from OPM to DESPP for administrative purposes; requires DESPP to staff and supply the board and to provide certain information to people who request it

217 & 218 — ADVISORY COMMISSION ON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (ACIR)

Changes the quadrennial deadline by which the ACIR must submit a report on state mandates

219-221 — COMPUTER PROGRAMMING INSTRUCTION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Requires the instruction to be age appropriate, given in grades K-12, and include coding; also allows for donations for equipment and requires revised teacher certification regulations for this subject area

222 — ELDERLY CIRCUIT BREAKER PROGRAM

With specified exceptions, authorizes OPM to reduce reimbursements to municipalities under the Elderly Circuit Breaker Program by up to 100%

223 — RENTERS REBATE PROGRAM

Eliminates extensions for rental rebate program application period

224 — DRS TAX INCIDENCE REPORT

Pushes back the deadline by which DRS must submit the first biennial tax incidence report to the Finance Committee

225 – ARBITRATOR FEES

Increases the fee an arbitrator receives for writing a decision from $175 to $500

226 — PARKING ON STATE PROPERTY

Expands who may establish and enforce policies and procedures for parking on state property

227 — CHRONIC GAMBLERS TREATMENT AND REHABILITATION ACCOUNT

Requires MMCT to contribute $300,000 to the chronic gamblers treatment and rehabilitation account instead of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling

228 – DAS CANDIDATE LISTS

Allows DAS to extend candidate lists through the end of 2018

229-234 & 750 — FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

Brings non-union state and municipal employees under private-sector FMLA; limits FMLA to non-union employees; allows for extended leave under certain circumstances

235-250 — CREATION OF THE CONNECTICUT MUNICIPAL REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

Creates MRDA as a new quasi-public agency responsible for, among other things, stimulating economic and transit-oriented development in larger municipalities and fiscally distressed municipalities

251 & 547 — UCONN CONSTRUCTION ASSURANCE OFFICE DIRECTOR

Removes the requirement that the director be a full-time position

252 — YOUTH SERVICES GRANTS

Appropriates $3.1 million, for FYs 18 and 19, to the Judicial Branch for specified youth services grants

253 — LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS' OFFICE (LCO) TECHNICAL FIXES

Requires LCO to make any necessary technical fixes during codification

254-268 — CRUMBLING CONCRETE FOUNDATIONS

Creates a framework to assist homeowners with crumbling concrete foundations

269 — EVALUATING TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS

Exempts from certain evaluation requirements certain projects that the DOT commissioner determines are necessary to maintain the state's infrastructure

270 — PLANS FOR INCREASING REGIONAL COLLABORATION

Requires each municipality and COG to develop a plan for regional collaboration, or service sharing, or both

271, 274-275 & 747— DIVERTING INCOME TAX REVENUE TO THE BUDGET RESERVE FUND

Diverts specified income tax revenue exceeding a $3.15 billion threshold to the Budget Reserve Fund

272 — CAP ON GENERAL FUND AND STF APPROPRIATIONS

Imposes a new cap on General Fund and STF appropriations for FYs 20 through 26, but allows the General Assembly to exceed it under certain circumstances

272 —STATUTORY SPENDING CAP DEFINITIONS

Modifies definitions used to calculate the state's statutory spending cap and requires a base adjustment under certain circumstances

273 — BOND COVENANT

Requires certain state bonds to include a pledge to bondholders that the state will comply with the BRF law and the bill's new spending cap on General and STF appropriations, except under limited circumstances

276 — STATE EMPLOYEE LABOR CONTRACT APPROVAL

Changes how state employee collective bargaining agreements and arbitration awards are approved by the legislature

277 — TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM VIABILITY COMMISSION

Establishes a commission to develop and implement a plan to maintain the financial viability of the Connecticut Teachers' Retirement System

278 — UCONN HEALTH CENTER PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

Requires UConn Health Center to seek to establish public-private partnerships and report to certain legislative committees on their status by April 1, 2018

279 — TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM (TRS) AND STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM (SERS) WORKING GROUP

Establishes a working group to report to the Appropriations and Labor committees on potential statutory changes to TRS and SERS

280 — FISCAL AND OPERATIONAL PLAN FOR THE STATE

Requires the Legislative Management Committee's executive director to contract with an advisor to assist the legislature in (1) advancing a long-term fiscal and operational plan for the state and (2) developing guidelines for authorizing general budget expenditures

281 — RETIREMENT SYSTEMS STRESS TEST REPORT

Requires OPM to annually report a stress test analyses for the teachers' and state employee retirement systems

282 — PROHIBITION ON REQUIRING CASH-ONLY BAIL

Bars courts from requiring cash-only bail for all crimes, not just certain crimes as under current law

283-288 — YOUTHFUL OFFENDER STATUS

Extends youthful offender status to certain offenders ages 18, 19, and 20

289 — JUVENILE JUSTICE POLICY AND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE (JJPOC) PLAN

Requires JJPOC to report to legislative committees its recommendations to remove individuals over age 18 from DOC custody

290 — OPM REPORT ON CHILD RECIDIVISM

Requires OPM to begin annually reporting child recidivism information to the Judiciary Committee

291 & 292 — DCF MENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PLAN AND ADVISORY BOARD

Adds to entities DCF must consult when developing the children's mental, emotional, and behavioral health plan; requires DCF to submit recommendations to legislative committees on addressing children's mental health needs attributed to increased risk of involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice systems

293, 294 & 296 — FWSN PETITIONS

As of July 1, 2019, eliminates provisions that allow a family to file a “family with service needs” (FWSN) petition with the court and makes conforming changes

295 & 297 — DETENTION SCREENING INFORMATION

Clarifies the purposes for which information obtained during a detention risk screening may be used

298-304 & 725 — CONSERVATION PASSPORT FUND

Establishes a fee on motor vehicle registrations to support a new Conservation Passport Fund, which must be used to operate state parks and campgrounds, fund soil and water conservation districts and environment review teams, and beginning with FY 19, fund the Council on Environmental Quality; transfers $1.7 million from the maintenance, repair, and improvement account to the General Fund for FY 18

305 — AGENCY PROGRAM INVENTORIES AND RESULTS FIRST PILOT PROGRAM

(1) Makes several changes concerning program inventories required of certain agencies and (2) requires the OPM secretary to create a pilot program that applies Pew-MacArthur Results First principles to at least 10 state-financed grant programs

306 — PERFORMANCE-INFORMED BUDGETING

Requires the governor and the legislature, in developing each biennial budget, to consider performance-informed analyses submitted by selected budgeted agencies

307-333 — MUNICIPAL ACCOUNTABILITY REVIEW BOARD AND TIER DESIGNATIONS

Provides an alternative process through which financially troubled municipalities may use statutory methods to issue deficit bonds and obtain funding from the Municipal Restructuring Fund; and establishes the Municipal Accountability Review Board

334-505 — BOND AUTHORIZATIONS, ADJUSTMENTS, AND CANCELLATIONS

Authorizes new GO bonds for state agency projects and grant programs; authorizes up to $820.3 million in new STO bonds in FY 18 and up to $824.6 million in FY 19 for DOT projects; increases bond authorization limits for various statutory grants and purposes and allocates new bonding for these purposes for FYs 18 and 19; makes permanent the school security infrastructure grant program, which under current law ends in FY 17; allocates no LoCIP funds in 2017 and $55 million in 2018; authorizes certain transportation funding agreements with the federal government and the issuance of “federal transportation bonds”

506-512 — EDUCATION COST SHARING (ECS) FORMULA REVISION

Revises ECS, the largest form of state aid to towns, by modifying the key factors used to determine a town's aid

513 — EDUCATION MINIMUM BUDGET REQUIREMENT (MBR)

Allows towns to reduce their MBR under most of the exceptions previously allowed under law, except for an ECS aid reduction

514 — DETERMINING EDUCATION AID INCREASES AND DECREASES

Renews for FYs 18 and 19 the method of determining increases in municipal ECS aid under current law

515 — SPECIAL EDUCATION COST MODEL TASK FORCE AND FEASIBILITY STUDY

Creates a task force to study the feasibility of forming a special education cost cooperative or other model to minimize volatility in municipal special education spending

516 — ACHIEVEMENT AND RESOURCE EQUITY IN SCHOOLS COMMISSION

Creates a 16-member commission to report recommendations on education funding to the Education Committee, the governor, and the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary

517 & 518 — CHARTER SCHOOL GRANTS

Increases the per pupil state charter school grant amount beginning with FY 19

519 — ALLIANCE DISTRICTS AND OTHER DISTRICT DESIGNATIONS

Makes changes to the alliance district law and creates new school designations

520 — STATE ACCOUNTABILITY LAW

Updates the state school district accountability law by inserting references to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

521-525 — CONFORMING CHANGES

Makes conforming changes regarding references to promise districts and other types of school districts

526-529 — EDUCATION GRANTS SPENDING CONTROL

Specifies that certain education grant expenditures, including bilingual education, adult education, and special education excess cost grants, are limited to within available appropriations

530 — PRIORITIZATION FOR MAGNET SCHOOL ENROLLMENT INCREASES

Reauthorizes mechanism to prioritize per-student grant payments for magnet school enrollment increases.

531 — BAN ON SHEFF HOST MAGNET SCHOOLS CHARGING TUITION TO SENDING DISTRICTS

Continues the existing ban on a Sheff host magnet school charging tuition

532-542 — TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND CAREER SYSTEM

Makes changes to the current process that transitions the technical education and career system into an independent agency

543-546 — BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR CHILD CARE PROVIDERS AND EMPLOYEES

Requires the Office of Early Childhood commissioner to require, within available appropriations, comprehensive background checks of all prospective employees of child care centers, group child care homes, family child care homes, and Care 4 Kids providers

548-557 — SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION AUTHORIZATIONS

Authorizes 49 new school construction projects totaling $485 million in grants and makes changes to the school construction program process

558 — THREE YEAR ROLLING AVERAGE FOR THE CALCULATION OF SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECT REIMBURSEMENT RATES

Requires three years, rather than one, of adjusted equalized net grand list per capita to be used to rank towns for reimbursement rates

559 — FREQUENCY OF FACILITY, AIR QUALITY, AND GREEN CLEANING REPORTS

Reduces frequency of certain required reports

560 — SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION APPROVAL PROCESS

Makes changes to the school construction project approval process

561 — EMERGENCY CONSTRUCTION GRANTS

Makes changes to the emergency school construction grant program

562 — CONFORMING CHANGE

Makes minor conforming change

563 — INCREASED GRANT WITHHOLDING PERCENTAGE

Increases to 11% the amount of a reimbursement grant that DAS can withhold pending the final audit

564 — REGIONAL BOARDS OF EDUCATION AND SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION OBLIGATIONS

Specifies that when a regional board of education dissolves, local member boards are still responsible for financial and other obligations

565 — ENDOWED ACADEMIES AND SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION

Makes endowed academies eligible for school construction grants

566 — CHANGES TO RENOVATION PROJECTS

Modifies the definition of a renovation project in school construction program

567-569 — STRANDED TAX CREDITS

Requires DECD to administer programs to allow businesses to use stranded R&D tax credits in exchange for undertaking certain capital projects or making certain venture capital investments

570 — HIGHER EDUCATION ENTREPRENEURSHIP ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Deems members of the advisory committee members of an advisory board under the state Code of Ethics

571 — MICROBIOME WORKING GROUP

Revamps the tasks of the 16-member working group charged with devising a plan to make Connecticut a national leader in microbiome and requires the governor to appoint its chairperson from among its members

572 – 575 & 578— CITIZENS' ELECTION PROGRAM (CEP)

Requires SEEC to adjust qualifying contributions for inflation and establishes a grant reduction schedule

576 — SEEC

Revises SEEC's process for reviewing complaints

577 — POST-ELECTION AUDITS

Changes the formula SEEC must use to audit legislative candidate committees following a primary or election

579-594 — CONNECTICUT TRANSPORTATION FINANCE AUTHORITY

Creates the Connecticut Transportation Finance Authority to (1) ensure the STF is sufficiently funded and (2) maintain the state's transportation infrastructure; empowers the authority to, among other things, authorize electronic tolling on limited access highways; authorizes state officials to enter into loan agreements with the U.S. Transportation Department; creates a Transportation Excess Surplus Account

588 — FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION LOAN PROGRAM ASSISTANCE AND STO BONDS

Authorizes state officials to enter into loan agreements with the U.S. Transportation Department

595 — FRESH START PROGRAM

Authorizes the DRS commissioner to establish a fresh start program for qualified taxpayers who owe Connecticut state taxes

596 & 597— INCOME TAX EXEMPTIONS

Beginning with the 2019 tax year, fully exempts Social Security benefits from state income tax; delays, by two years, the scheduled increase in the teacher pension income tax exemption; establishes a deduction for expenses related to donating an organ for transplants occurring on or after January 1, 2017

598 — STATE EMPLOYEE PAID LEAVE AFTER ORGAN DONATION

Allows state employees to, in addition to other authorized leave, take (1) seven days of paid leave for donating bone marrow and (2) 30 days of paid leave for organ donations

599 — PROPERTY TAX CREDIT AGAINST PERSONAL INCOME TAX

Reduces, from $200 to $100, the maximum property tax credit and limits eligibility to senior citizens and taxpayers with dependents

600 — STEM GRADUATE TAX CREDIT

Creates a refundable personal income tax credit for qualifying college graduates in STEM fields

601-603 — ROOM OCCUPANCY TAX

Imposes an extra 1.75% room occupancy tax to fund tourism promotion

601 & 602 — REGIONAL PLANNING INCENTIVE ACCOUNT

Eliminates the revenue diversion to the Regional Performance Incentive Account for FY 18

601 & 602 — MUNICIPAL REVENUE SHARING FUND (MRSA) DIVERSION

Eliminates the revenue diversion to MRSA for FYs 18 and 19

604 — SALES AND USE TAX EXEMPTION FOR SERVICES RENDERED BETWEEN PARENT MEDIA BUSINESSES AND SUBSIDIARIES

Allows more media-related businesses to qualify for the sales and use tax exemption on services between affiliates

605 — SALES AND USE TAX ON NONPRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND PALLIATIVE MARIJUANA

Limits the sales and use tax exemption for nonprescription drugs to palliative marijuana

606 — NEIGHBORHOOD ASSISTANCE ACT (NAA) TAX CREDIT CAP REDUCTION

Reduces, from $10 to $5 million, annual cap on NAA credits

607 — MUNICIPAL VIDEO COMPETITION TRUST ACCOUNT

Increases, from $3 million to $5 million, the annual transfer for FYs 18 and 19 from the municipal video competition trust account to the General Fund

608 — PUBLIC, EDUCATIONAL, AND GOVERNMENTAL PROGRAMMING AND EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENT ACCOUNT (PEGPETIA) TRANSFER

Requires $3.5 million to be transferred from PEGPETIA to the General Fund in FYs 18 and 19

609-613 — ESTATE AND GIFT TAX

Increases, starting January 1, 2019, the estate and gift tax threshold over three years; starting January 1, 2019, lowers, from $20 million to $15 million, the cap on the maximum estate and gift tax imposed

614-616 — INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX REDUCTION

Reduces the tax rate for insurance premium and health care centers taxes

617 — INSURANCE PREMIUMS TAX CREDIT CAP

Makes the tax credit cap for insurance premium taxpayers permanent

618 — FILM AND DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT

Makes permanent the moratorium on issuing film and digital media production tax credits to certain motion pictures and allows them to be claimed against the gross earnings tax on cable, satellite, and competitive video services, but at less than face value when transferred to another taxpayer

619-621— CIGARETTE TAXES

Increases the cigarette tax from $3.90 to $4.35 per pack

622 — TOBACCO PRODUCTS TAX ON SNUFF

Increases the tax on snuff tobacco products from $1 to $3 per ounce

623 — TAX EXPENDITURE EVALUATION

Requires OPM secretary to examine and report on state tax expenditures

624 — SURCHARGE AND FEES ON CAR AND TRUCK RENTALS

Eliminates the 3% rental surcharge on car and truck rentals and instead authorizes rental companies to charge lessees individually itemized charges or fees as part of a rental agreement

625 — MOBILE TELEPHONE SERVICE TAX

From November 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019, imposes a new $0.49 per month per line tax on mobile phone service, excluding prepaid services

626 — EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT (EITC)

Reduces the EITC from 30% to 27.5% for the 2017 and 2018 tax years

627 — REDUCING CONNECTICUT LOTTERY CORPORATION (CLC) EXPENSES

Requires CLC to reduce its expenses in FYs 18 & 19

628 — MMCT LOAN

Requires, under certain conditions, MMCT to provide a $30 million advance, which will be credited against required future casino payments to the state

629 & 751 — ELIMINATE NEWBORN SCREENING ACCOUNT

Eliminates the newborn screening account and transfers any money from it into the General Fund

630 — DOCUMENT RECORDING FEE

Increases, from $3 to $10, the document recording fee that is charged to generate revenue for preserving historic documents and directs the additional revenue to the General Fund

631 — CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECK FEE INCREASES

Increases fees for certain criminal history record-related searches

632 — GREEN BUILDING TAX CREDIT

Eliminates the Green Building Tax Credit as of October 1, 2017

633 — RIDESHARING FEE

Requires TNCs to pay a 25-cent per ride ridesharing fee each prearranged ride originating in Connecticut

634-635 — LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR INDIGENT INDIVIDUALS IN CERTAIN CIVIL PROCEEDINGS

Establishes a one year pilot program to provide legal representation to certain indigent individuals in civil restraining order proceedings.

636 — MUNICIPAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR TEACHER RETIREMENT SYSTEM (TRS) NORMAL COST

Annually charges municipalities for half the TRS normal cost

637 — SEAT BELT ACCOUNT

Annually transfers $2 million from the school bus seat belt account to the General Fund for FYs 18 and 19

638 — CLEAN ENERGY FUND

Transfers from the Clean Energy Fund to the General Fund $18.6 million for FY 18 and $13 million for FY 19

639 — BANKING FUND TRANSFER

Requires the transfer of $11.2 million in FY 18 and $9.2 million in FY 19 from the Banking Fund to the General Fund

640 — TRANSFER FROM THE EMISSIONS ENTERPRISE FUND

Transfers $1. 5 million from the Emissions Enterprise Fund to the General Fund in both FY 18 and FY 19.

641-686 — DOT AND DMV FEE INCREASES

Increases, by 12.5%, a number of DOT and DMV statutory fees, the revenue from which goes into the Special Transportation Fund, and requires that the revenue attributable to the increase be transmitted to the General Fund from November 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019; requires DMV to increase regulatory fees by 12.5% and similarly requires that the revenue attributable to the increase be transmitted to the General Fund from November 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019.

687 & 688 — TOBACCO SETTLEMENT FUND DISBURSEMENTS

Eliminates a $6 million required disbursement from the Tobacco Settlement Fund to the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund for FYs 18 and 19; eliminates the $10 million required annual disbursement from the Tobacco Settlement Fund to the Smart Start competitive grant account

689 — MUNICIPAL REVENUE SHARING FUND (MRSF) TRANSFER

Transfers funds from the General Fund to MRSF for FYs 18 and 19

690 — CONNECTICUT AIRPORT AND AVIATION ACCOUNT

Places certain revenue from the sale of aviation fuel into a new account

691 - STF REVENUE DESIGNATION

Designates $4.5 million in FY 18 STF resources as FY 19 STF revenue

692 & 693 — MOTOR VEHICLE MILL RATE CAP RAISED

Increases the cap on motor vehicle mill rates and authorizes municipalities that previously set their motor vehicle mill rate for the 2016 assessment year to change it

694 — LOCAL OPTION ADMISSIONS SURCHARGE

Exempts motion picture shows from the surcharge

695 — CLEAN ENERGY CHARGE

Increases the charge on electric bills used to fund the Clean Energy Fund

696 — LIMITED PARTNERSHIP'S ANNUAL REPORT FILING FEE INCREASE

Increases the annual report fee from $20 to $40

697 — JUDICIAL DATA PROCESSING REVOLVING FUND

Transfers $5,000,000 from this fund to the General Fund

698 — MOTOR VEHICLE TRADE-IN FEE

Requires new and used car dealers to pay DMV a $25 fee for each trade-in they accept on the sale of a new or used vehicle.

699 – 701 — REGISTRATION FEE INCREASES FOR BROKER-DEALERS AND INVESTMENT ADVISERS

Increases, by $25 each, specified registration fees for broker-dealers, investment advisers, and their agents

702-724 — STATEWIDE PROPERTY TAX ON SECOND HOMES

Imposes a locally collected statewide 2.75 mill tax on all secondary single-family homes, the revenue from which is remitted to the state

726-742 — HEALTH PROVIDER TAX SYSTEM

Beginning July 1, 2017, sunsets the current taxes on hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) and user fees on nursing homes and intermediate care facilities (ICFs) and reestablishes the taxes and fees as part of a comprehensive health provider tax system

743-745 — HOSPITAL SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS

Requires DSS to distribute supplemental Medicaid payments for FYs 18 and 19 based on criteria developed with the Connecticut Hospital Association and pay the total amount in accordance with the state budget; establishes a payment schedule and a process for payment advances for distressed hospitals; and prohibits the governor from reducing amounts to the Hospital Supplemental Payment account

746 — MUNICIPAL ASSISTANCE GRANTS

For FY 18, requires specified municipalities to receive a Municipal Assistance Grant and enumerates the grant amounts

748 — REPEALERS

Removes provisions related to adult rehabilitation services and authorizations and requirements for two unrelated pilot programs

1-61 — BUDGET PROVISIONS AND REVENUE ESTIMATES

Please refer to the fiscal note for a summary of these sections

62 — REDEMPTION CENTER GRANTS

Appropriates $800,000 to DEEP to provide grants to redemption centers

The bill appropriates to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), from the General Fund, $400,000 in both FYs 18 and 19 to provide equal grants to registered redemption centers. Under the state's beverage container redemption law (i.e., “bottle bill”), these centers redeem empty beverage containers from consumers or collect and sort empty beverage containers from retailers and prepare the containers for redemption by distributors.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

63 & 64 — FIREFIGHTERS' CANCER RELIEF PROGRAM

Eliminates a requirement for the program to be funded through E-911 charges

PA 16-10 created the firefighters cancer relief program to provide firefighters diagnosed with cancer with wage replacement benefits funded through a diversion of funds from the enhanced 9-1-1 program (E-911). The bill eliminates a requirement for the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to divert a portion of the E-911 program's funds to the cancer relief program.

By law, the E-911 program is funded through a monthly phone service subscriber fee imposed by PURA. The fees are used to develop and administer the E-911 system.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

65 — CONNECTICUT PENSION SUSTAINABILITY COMMISSION

Creates the Connecticut Pension Sustainability Commission

The bill establishes the Connecticut Pension Sustainability Commission to study the feasibility of placing state capital assets in a trust and maximizing them for the state pension system's sole benefit. The commission must:

1. perform a preliminary inventory of state capital assets to determine the extent and suitability of the assets for inclusion in the trust;

2. study the potential impact that including and maximizing the assets in a trust may have on the pension system's unfunded liability;

3. recommend whether it is appropriate to place state assets in a trust and maximize the assets solely to benefit the pension system; and

4. if the commission finds it appropriate, recommend legislative or administrative actions needed to (a) create and manage such a trust and (b) identify specific state capital assets to include in the trust.

The commission must submit a report of its findings to the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee by January 15, 2018. It terminates once it submits the report or on January 15, 2018, whichever is later.

Commission Membership

Under the bill, the 13-member commission consists of five ex officio members, or their designees, and eight appointed members. The ex officio members are: (1) the administrative services commissioner, (2) Office of Policy and Management secretary, (3) attorney general, (4) state comptroller, and (5) state treasurer. The seven legislative leaders and the governor each appoint one member to the commission. The appointed members' appointing authorities and required qualifications are shown in the below table.

Table: Appointed Commission Members

Appointing Authority

Appointee Qualifications

House Speaker

None specified (may be a legislator)

Senate president pro tempore

None specified (may be a legislator)

House majority leader

Experience in banking and private sector financial management

Senate majority leader

Represents a state employee collective bargaining unit that benefits from the state pension system

House minority leader

None specified (may be legislator)

Senate Republican president pro tempore

None specified (may be a legislator)

Senate Republican deputy president pro tempore

Experience in private sector real estate development

Governor

None specified

The bill requires all appointments to the commission to be made within 20 days after the bill becomes effective. Any vacancy must be filled by the appointing authority. The bill requires the House speaker and Senate president pro tempore to select the commission's chairpersons from among its members. The chairpersons must schedule and hold the commission's first meeting within 40 days after the bill becomes effective. The Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee's administrative staff must serve as the commission's administrative staff.

Under the bill, the commission must not be construed as a board or commission under the law that generally sets certain requirements for Executive Branch boards and commissions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

66 — AUTHORIZATION TO SHARE TAX ASSESSORS

Allows a COG or two or more municipalities to appoint shared tax assessors

The bill specifies that (1) a regional council of governments (COG) or (2) two or more municipalities acting jointly, may appoint one or more tax assessors. Under the bill, municipalities must make the joint appointments in the same manner as other tax assessor appointments: the town meeting or legislative body must vote to appoint the assessor.

This authorization applies regardless of any conflicting special act, municipal charter, or ordinance. “Municipalities” are towns, consolidated cities and towns, and consolidated towns and boroughs.

The bill also makes minor conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

67 — BODY-WORN RECORDING EQUIPMENT TASK FORCE

Specifies that the body-worn recording equipment task force must be within the legislative branch

PA 17-225 established a task force to examine the use of body-worn recording equipment by state and municipal police. The bill specifies that the task force must be within the legislative branch.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

68 — REIMBURSEMENT FOR DIGITAL DATA STORAGE DEVICES OR SERVICES

Allows municipalities, within available resources, to receive reimbursement for digital data storage devices or services they purchase during FY 18

Existing law requires OPM, within available resources, to administer a grant program to reimburse municipalities for, among other things, purchasing body cameras or electronic defense weapon recording equipment and digital data storage devices or services for use by sworn members of municipal police departments.

Currently, municipalities may receive, within available resources, up to 100% reimbursement through the grant program for digital data storage devices or services they purchased during FY 17. Under the bill, municipalities may additionally receive reimbursement for such devices or services purchased during FY 18. As under existing law, municipalities may not receive reimbursement for a digital data storage service period longer than one year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

69-71 — CREDIT REVENUE BOND PROGRAM

Authorizes the state treasurer to issue credit revenue bonds in place of general obligation bonds and directs the savings from the new bonding program to the Budget Reserve Fund; requires bond premiums and the net earnings from investments of bond proceeds to be used to fund previously authorized capital projects

Overview

The bill authorizes the state treasurer to issue “credit revenue bonds” in place of general obligation (GO) bonds and directs the savings from the new bonding program to the Budget Reserve Fund (BRF). Under the bill, the credit revenue bonds are backed by withholding taxes that are statutorily pledged for the repayment of the bonds. The bill establishes parameters for issuing the bonds, including a requirement that the withholding tax revenues pledged to pay the bonds be paid directly by taxpayers to collection accounts kept separate from other state funds. It subjects the bonds to the state's bond cap and State Bond Commission authorization.

The bill requires that for each year in which the bonds are outstanding, the aggregate savings from the bonds in that fiscal year will be automatically transferred from the General Fund to the BRF. It allows the state to reduce this transfer only if the governor declares an emergency or extraordinary circumstance and a supermajority of the legislature approves a reduction.

Beginning July 1, 2019, the bill also requires bond premiums and the net earnings from investments of bond proceeds to be used to fund previously authorized capital projects.

Authorization

The bill deems any GO bond authorization enacted before, on, or after the bill's effective date as authorizing such bonds to be issued as either GO bonds or credit revenue bonds, up to the amount authorized under the original bond authorization. Under the bill, the credit revenue bonds are subject to existing GO bond issuance procedures and requirements (i.e., the GO Bond Procedure Act), except for the requirement that the bonds be backed by the state's full faith and credit. The bill also subjects the credit revenue bonds to the state's bond cap.

Bond Payments

Under the bill, the bonds are special obligations of the state payable only from withholding taxes or other amounts statutorily pledged to repay the bonds and do not make the state or any of its political subdivisions liable except to the extent of pledged revenues. The bill defines withholding taxes as the state personal income taxes required to be deducted, withheld, and paid to the DRS commissioner by employers from the wages and salaries they pay to employees, including any penalty and interest charges on such taxes.

As part of the contract between the state and bondholders, the amount necessary to timely pay the principal and interest on the bonds is deemed appropriated and the treasurer must pay the amounts, as well as any redemption premium on the bonds, as they become due, but only from the pledged sources. Similar provisions apply to GO bonds under existing law.

Revenue Pledge

Under the bill, the state pledges all its right, title, and interest to the pledged revenues to secure the bonds. This pledge secures all of the credit revenue bonds equally and supersedes any other party's claim to the pledged revenues, including any holder of state GO bonds.

The bonds may also be secured by:

1. a pledge of reserves, sinking funds (i.e., a fund created to regularly set aside funds sufficient to pay the debt), and any other funds and accounts, including investment proceeds from these sources, authorized under the bill or by the State Bond Commission's proceedings authorizing the bond issuance and

2. moneys paid under a credit facility, including letters of credit or bond insurance policies issued by a financial institution under an agreement authorized by such proceedings.

Under the bill, the revenue pledge takes effect without any further action by the state and is valid and binding from the time it is made. The pledged revenues and amounts received by the state are immediately subject to the pledge's lien without physical delivery of the money or any further action. The lien is valid and binding against all parties with claims against the state, regardless of whether they received specific notice of the lien.

The bill provides that the issuance of credit revenue bonds does not directly, indirectly, or contingently obligate the state or any of its political subdivisions to (1) levy or pledge any tax, except for taxes included in the pledged revenues, or (2) make any additional appropriation for their payment. It requires each such bond and bond anticipation note to state plainly on its face that they are not a charge, lien, or encumbrance, legal or equitable, on any property owned by the state or its political subdivisions, other than the pledged revenues or other amounts.

Bond Indenture

The bill requires the credit revenue bonds to be secured by a trust indenture, approved by the State Bond Commission, made between the state and a corporate trustee. (A trust indenture is an agreement between a bond issuer and a trustee that represents the bondholder's interests by establishing the rules and responsibilities to which each party must adhere.) The trustee may be any trust company or bank having the powers of a trust company within or outside the state.

The trust indenture may include provisions for (1) protecting and enforcing bondholders' rights and remedies, including covenants that establish the state's duties in relation to the pledged revenues, and (2) paying and disbursing the pledged revenues with any safeguards and restrictions the state provides that are consistent with the bill's provisions.

The bill also establishes the terms and conditions that may be included in the credit revenue bonds' issuance proceedings, which the bill defines as (1) the Bond Commission's proceedings that authorize the issuance, (2) the provisions of certain documents incorporated into such proceedings (e.g., a resolution or trust indenture securing bonds), and (3) to the extent applicable, the treasurer's certificate of determination for the bonds. Under the bill, the proceedings may contain provisions:

1. concerning covenants that confirm the state's agreements, as part of the contract with bondholders;

2. for executing reimbursement agreements in connection with credit facilities (e.g., letters of credit or bond insurance policies);

3. for collecting, holding, investing, reinvesting, and using revenue pledged to repay the bonds;

4. for reserves, sinking funds, and other funds and accounts the State Bond Commission approves, including requirements that the funds be separate from other state funds;

5. for issuing additional bonds that have parity with earlier ones; and

6. regarding rights and remedies available to the bondholders or trustees in case of default.

The bond proceedings may also contain other provisions or covenants that are consistent with those described above and which the State Bond Commission considers necessary, convenient, or desirable to improve the bonds' security or marketability, and are in the state's best interest. These provisions may be replicated in any trust indenture that secures the bonds.

Collection Accounts for the Pledged Revenue

In the proceedings authorizing the credit revenue bonds, the state must direct the (1) trustee to establish one or more collection accounts with the “collection agent” to receive the pledged revenues and (2) payment of the pledged revenues into these collection accounts. Under the bill, the collection agent is the financial institution acting as trustee or agent that receives the pledged revenues directed by the state to be paid to it by taxpayers (i.e., those remitting withholding taxes to the state). Funds in the collection accounts must be kept separate from other state funds until they are disbursed.

The proceedings must also require that no funds from the collection accounts be disbursed to the state until all current claims of any trustee established in the proceedings have been satisfied.

The agreements with the depositaries establishing the collection accounts may provide for customary settlement terms for the collection of revenues. The expenses the state incurs in establishing the accounts and directing the deposits may be paid as part of the issuance costs for credit revenue bonds or GO bonds. These expenses include those the Department of Revenue Services and Office of the Comptroller incur in establishing mechanisms to verify, allocate, track, and audit the accounts and deposits made into them.

State Commitments to Bondholders

The bill makes certain commitments to bondholders concerning the credit revenue bonds' terms and authorizes the State Bond Commission to include this covenant in any credit revenue bondholder agreement.

The bill promises bondholders that as long as the credit revenue bonds are outstanding, or unless expressly permitted by the terms of its agreements with bondholders, the General Assembly will impose, charge, raise, levy, collect, and apply the pledge revenues as necessary to pay the annual “debt service requirements,” as defined below. It also promises that the state will perform, or cause to be performed, every promise, covenant, agreement, or contract with bondholders and will not:

1. limit or alter the duties imposed on the treasurer and other state officers with respect to the pledged revenues;

2. change the provisions (a) establishing collection accounts with the collection agent or the direction of pledged revenues to such accounts or (b) applying such pledged revenues to debt service;

3. issue any other bonds, notes, or other debt with any of the same rights as the credit revenue bonds or secured by the pledged revenues;

4. create or cause to be created any lien or charge on the pledged amounts; and

5. impair bondholders' rights, exemptions, or remedies.

Debt Service Requirements. Under the bill, debt service requirements means the:

1. principal and interest on bonds and unrefunded principal and interest on bond anticipation notes (BANs);

2. purchase price of bonds and BANs that are subject to purchase or redemption at the owner's option;

3. amounts, if any, (a) required to establish or maintain reserves, sinking funds, or other funds at the respective required levels or (b) due under a reimbursement agreement;

4. bond and BAN issuance and administrative costs, as determined by the treasurer;

5. additional costs the treasurer deems necessary to be paid in connection with the bonds or BANs.

Debt Service Coverage. With certain exceptions, the bill promises that the state will not alter the rights or obligations of state officers to impose, maintain, charge, or collect the taxes, fees, charges, or receipts constituting the pledged revenues as necessary to produce sufficient revenues to fulfill the bond proceedings' terms. But it allows the state to change the withholding tax rate and base, including exemptions and deductions, as long as any such change, had it been in effect, would not have reduced withholding taxes for any 12 consecutive months within the preceding 15 months to less than an amount three times the maximum debt service payable on credit revenue bonds issued and outstanding for the current or any future fiscal year.

Other Permissible State Debt. The bill specifies that its commitments to bondholders do not prevent the state from issuing debt:

1. secured by a pledge or lien subordinate and junior to the liens and pledges created under the bill;

2. backed by the state's full faith and credit and not by any specific lien or charge on the pledged amounts; or

3. secured by a pledge of or lien on amounts derived on or after the credit revenue bonds' pledges or liens are discharged and satisfied.

Calculating the Savings from Credit Revenue Bonds

The bill requires the state treasurer, each time she issues credit revenue bonds, to determine the amount of principal and interest the state will save by issuing credit revenue bonds instead of GO bonds in each fiscal year in which the bonds will be outstanding. She must state this estimated savings (“dedicated savings”) in a bond determination filed with the State Bond Commission at or before the credit revenue bond issuance.

She must calculate this savings as the difference between the (1) stated principal and interest payable with respect to the credit revenue bonds in each fiscal year during which they will be outstanding and (2) estimated principal and interest that would have been payable in each such year had the bonds been issued as GO bonds over the same period, based on a level principal debt service schedule. The treasurer has discretion to adjust this calculation to account for a specific bond issuance structure and must base the calculation on factors she deems relevant, including advice from financial advisors, historical trends, and spreads to common municipal bond indexes. If the treasurer determines there are no savings in a given fiscal year, the estimated savings for that year must be zero.

Transfer of Dedicated Savings to the BRF

For each year in which the bonds are outstanding, unless certain conditions are met, the bill automatically transfers from the General Fund to the Rainy Day Fund, at the beginning of the fiscal year, an amount equal to the aggregate dedicated savings from all the credit revenue bonds issued that fiscal year. Under the bill, the transfer may be reduced if the governor declares an emergency or the existence of extraordinary circumstances and at least three-fifths of the members of each house of the General Assembly approve a reduction. The bill prohibits the state from appropriating this transferred amount for any other purpose and limits its use to the purposes authorized under the existing BRF law.

Purchasing the Bonds on the Open Market

The bill authorizes the treasurer to purchase credit revenue bonds and, subject to bondholder agreements, hold, pledge, cancel, or resell them. Existing law authorizes the treasurer to do so with respect to other bonds, including special tax obligation bonds.

Investments

The bill includes standard bond provisions declaring the credit revenue bonds negotiable instruments under the Uniform Commercial Code subject only to registration requirements. It makes the bonds securities in which governments and private entities may invest.

It authorizes the treasurer and trustee to (1) invest and reinvest bond funds, including pledged revenues and bond proceeds, in the same obligations, securities, and other investments existing law allows for GO bonds and in the Short Term Investment Fund or (2) deposit or redeposit the funds in the bank or banks specified in the bond resolution, certificate of determination, or indenture. Investment proceeds, less any amounts required under the bonds' proceedings, must be credited to the General Fund.

Refunding Bonds

The bill authorizes the use of credit revenue bonds to refund previously issued GO bonds, and vice versa, subject to the existing conditions and procedures for refunding GO bonds.

Use of Bond Premium and Interest on Bond Proceed Investments

Until July 1, 2019, the bill requires the net earnings on investments of GO or credit revenue bond proceeds and accrued interest and premiums on such bond issuances to be deposited into the General Fund after payment of (1) the bond issuance costs or (2) interest on state debt. This conforms to existing state practice on the use of such funds. (Bond premium is the extra, up-front payment investors make in exchange for a higher interest rate on the bonds.)

Beginning July 1, 2019, the bill requires the treasurer to direct such earnings and premiums to an account or fund to pay for previously authorized capital projects. Under the bill, the treasurer must deposit in such an account or fund the net earnings on GO and credit revenue bond proceeds and premiums on such bonds, net of any original issue discount, after paying the issuance costs. The treasurer may use the deposited amounts to fund projects the State Bond Commission previously authorized, up to the amount authorized, as long as the bonds for such projects have not already been issued.

The bill requires the state treasurer to file a certificate of determination with the bond commission's secretary that establishes the amount of the deposit applied to fund each such project. Upon doing so, she must record bonds in the amount of the net premiums credited to each project as deemed issued and retired. Thereafter, she may not issue bonds in that amount for the project. Under the bill, the bonds recorded are deemed issued, retired, and no longer authorized for issuance in order to align the project's funding with the amounts generated by net premiums, but such bonds do not constitute an actual bond issuance or bond retirement for any other purpose, including financial reporting.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

72 — CLASS NO. 3 BAZAAR PERMITS

Increases the number of days a “Class No. 3” permit holder can operate a bazaar

The bill increases, from 10 consecutive days to 60 individual days, the number of days a “Class No. 3” permittee may operate a bazaar in a six month period following the permit's issuance. By law, a bazaar is a place maintained by a sponsoring organization to award merchandise by means of chance (CGS 7-170).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

73 — TEACHERS' RETIREMENT BOARD (TRB) MEMBERSHIP

Requires a TRB member to be a municipal chief elected official

By law, the governor must appoint five public members to the teachers' retirement board. The bill requires one of these five appointees to be either the mayor, first selectman, or chief elected official of a municipality. Additionally, it requires the governor to fill the next vacancy among his five appointments with such an individual.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, and applicable to appointments made on and after that date.

74-77 — JUDICIAL COMPENSATION

Rolls back a 3% salary increase for judges and certain other judicial officials that took effect July 1, 2017, and reinstitutes the increase (except for one per-diem rate) on July 1, 2019

Under current law, there was a 3% increase on July 1, 2017 in salaries for judges and family support magistrates and per diem rates for family support referees and judge trial referees. Under the bill, the increase is rolled back on October 1, 2017 and reinstituted on July 1, 2019 (except for family support referees' per-diem rates).

The bill similarly rolls back and later reinstitutes increases in the additional compensation that certain judges receive for performing administrative duties. The bill's changes also affect the salary or per diem rate of certain officials whose compensation, by law, is determined in relation to a Superior Court judge's salary or state referee's per-diem rate.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Judicial Salaries

The below table shows salaries and per diem rates affected by the bill.

Table: Judicial Salaries under the Bill

Position

Salary until September 30, 2017; starts again as of July 1, 2019

Salary from October 1, 2017 until June 30, 2019

Supreme Court chief justice

$206,617

$200,599

Chief court administrator (if a judge)

198,545

192,763

Supreme Court associate judge

191,178

185,610

Appellate Court chief judge

189,063

183,556

Appellate Court judge

179,552

174,323

Deputy chief court administrator (if a Superior Court judge)

176,277

171,143

Superior Court judge

172,663

167,634

Chief family support magistrate

150,314

145,936

Family support magistrate

143,060

138,893

Judge trial referee

259/ day*

251/ day*

*Plus expenses, mileage, and retirement pay

For family support referees, the current per-diem rate is $223 per day plus expenses, mileage, and retirement pay. The bill reduces the rate to $217 as of October 1, 2017.

Administrative Judges

In addition to their annual salaries, the law provides extra compensation to judges who take on certain administrative duties. Under current law, these amounts increased from $1,142 to $1,177 starting July 1, 2017. The bill rolls back this increase on October 1, 2017 and reinstitutes it on July 1, 2019.

The judges who receive this additional amount are (1) the appellate system's administrative judge; (2) each judicial district's administrative judge; and (3) each chief administrative judge for (a) facilities, administrative appeals, the judicial marshal service, or judge trial referees and (b) the Superior Court's Family, Juvenile, Criminal, or Civil divisions.

Related Delayed Increases

The bill's provisions also affect the salary or per-diem rates for other officials or judges whose compensation is tied to those of Superior Court judges or judge trial referees. Specifically:

1. the salaries of workers' compensation commissioners vary depending on experience and are tied to those of Superior Court judges (CGS 31-277);

2. the salaries of probate court judges vary depending on probate district classification, and range from 45% to 75% of a Superior Court judge's salary (CGS 45a-95a);

3. senior judges receive the same per-diem rates as judge trial referees (CGS 51-47b & 52-434b); and

4. the probate court administrator's salary is the same as that of a Superior Court judge (CGS 45a-75).

78 — PRISON HEALTH CARE RFI PROGRESS REPORT

Requires DOC and OPM to submit a progress report to the legislature on a request for information to develop options for providing inmate medical services

PA 15-1, December Special Session ( 20) required the Department of Correction (DOC) commissioner and the OPM secretary to issue a request for information (RFI) on inmate medical services options available to the state and the associated costs of such services. This bill requires DOC and the secretary, by February 1, 2018, to submit a progress report to the legislature on the RFI.

Currently, UConn's Correctional Managed Health Care division provides such services to inmates, under a memorandum of agreement with DOC.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

79 — REDUCTIONS FOR MUNICIPAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS AND HEALTH DISTRICTS

Requires pro rata payment reductions to municipal and district health departments

The bill requires the DPH commissioner to reduce, on a pro rata basis, payments to municipal and district health departments by $921,020 for FY 18.

To receive state funding, existing law requires that, among other things, (1) municipalities have a full-time health department and a population of at least 50,000 and (2) health districts have a total population of at least 50,000 or serve three or more municipalities, regardless of their combined total population.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

80 — WOMEN'S BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

Requires Connecticut Innovations, Incorporated to provide the Women's Business Development Council in Stamford $350,000 grant-in-aid in both FY 18 and FY 19

The bill requires Connecticut Innovations, Incorporated to provide the Women's Business Development Council in Stamford $350,000 grant-in-aid in both FY 18 and FY 19.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

81-92, 97 & 98 — OFFICE OF HEALTH CARE ACCESS AND CERTIFICATE OF NEED REQUIREMENTS

Makes various changes to the OHCA statutes, such as modifying the factors that OHCA must consider when evaluating a health care facility's CON application and exempting certain applications from the standard CON process

The bill makes various changes to the Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) statutes, including changes to OHCA's certificate of need (CON) program. For example, the bill:

1. modifies the factors that OHCA must consider when evaluating a CON application, such as no longer requiring the applicant to show that the proposal will not result in unnecessary duplication of services;

2. creates an expedited process for certain CON applications and modifies the list of activities that requires CON approval;

3. expands the actions OHCA may take when a purchaser breaches a condition of the approval for certain hospital sales;

4. adds to existing public notice requirements for CON applications;

5. requires hospitals and hospital systems to notify OHCA before reducing services in certain circumstances; and

6. expands the information that OHCA must include in the statewide health care facilities and services plan, within available appropriations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

Definitions for OHCA Law ( 81)

The bill defines several terms for purposes of the OHCA statutes and modifies certain current definitions.

For example, it defines “access” as the availability of services to a population that needs the services and the ability to obtain such services when considering the location, reasonable available public or private transportation options, hours of operation, ability to pay, and language of, or cultural considerations for, the population seeking the services.

It defines “health care services” as care and services of a medical, mental health, substance use disorder treatment, surgical, psychiatric, therapeutic, diagnostic, or rehabilitative nature, including inpatient and outpatient acute hospital care and services.

It defines “hospital” as a health care facility or institution licensed by DPH to provide both inpatient and outpatient services as (1) a general hospital (including UConn's John Dempsey Hospital) licensed as a short-term, acute care general or children's hospital or (2) a specialty hospital primarily or exclusively engaged in the care and treatment of patients with any specialized category of services, including inpatient, psychiatric, rehabilitation, hospice, children, surgery, cardiac, cancer, or maternity services.

The bill removes “central service facility” from the current definition of “health care facility.” It refers to “behavioral health facility” within that definition rather than referring separately to “mental health facility” and “substance abuse treatment facility.”

Thus, the bill defines “health care facility” to include hospitals; freestanding emergency departments; outpatient surgical facilities; state-operated facilities or institutions that provide services eligible for Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement; behavioral health facilities; and any other facilities requiring CON review by OHCA.

The bill defines “quality” as the degree to which health care services for individuals or populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with established professional knowledge, standards, and guidelines.

Certain other definitions are described below in context.

Health Care Facility Utilization Study and Facilities and Services Plan ( 82)

Plan Contents. Current law requires OHCA to (1) conduct a biennial statewide health care facility utilization study and (2) establish and maintain a statewide health care facilities and services plan. The bill incorporates the utilization study into the facilities and services plan within available appropriations and specifies that this study must include an assessment of the utilization of several categories of care. By law, OHCA must update the facilities and services plan at least every two years.

The bill requires OHCA, within available appropriations, to include specified information in the facilities and services plan, rather than allowing that information as under current law (such as information on unmet needs of persons at risk and a projection of future demands for services).

It requires the plan to include the following additional information within available appropriations:

1. the identification of geographic areas that may be underserved or have reduced access to health care services (current law requires this as part of the utilization study);

2. the identification of clinical best practices, as applicable to CON requirements; and

3. recommendations for (a) addressing identified unmet health care needs, (b) integrating and aligning clinical best practices into licensure requirements or other ongoing DPH monitoring efforts to enhance quality of care, and (c) any improvements or changes necessary to OHCA's programs, including the CON process, to promote health equity.

It eliminates a provision that allowed the plan to include recommendations for expanding, reducing, or modifying health care facilities or services.

Incorporating the Plan into Facility Long-Range Planning. Current law requires the DPH commissioner, in consultation with hospital representatives, to develop a process that encourages hospitals to incorporate the facilities and services plan into their long-range planning. The bill extends this consultation process and related provisions to hospital systems and other health care facilities.

Inventory and Questionnaire. Under current law, OHCA must establish and maintain an inventory of health care facilities and specified equipment, to use in preparing the utilization study and facilities and services plan. The bill continues to require the inventory for purposes of the plan.

The bill allows OHCA to use a questionnaire to obtain specified information for the inventory, rather than requiring OHCA to develop the questionnaire. It reduces the frequency with which facilities and providers must complete the inventory, from every two years to every three years.

Promotion of Quality Services ( 83)

Existing law requires OHCA to promote the provision of quality health care services to ensure that all state residents have access to cost effective services. The bill eliminates a requirement for OHCA to promote such services in a manner that avoids duplication of services.

Activities or Transactions Requiring CON Approval ( 84, 88 & 89)

Generally, current law requires a health care facility to obtain a CON from OHCA when proposing to (1) establish a new facility or provide certain new services, (2) change ownership, (3) purchase or acquire certain equipment, or (4) terminate certain services. In some circumstances, a facility must request a determination from OHCA as to whether a CON is required.

The bill makes various changes to when CON approval is required, as follows.

Establishment of New Facilities. The bill eliminates the requirement to obtain a CON to establish a central service facility. It continues to require CON approval to establish a new hospital, freestanding emergency department, outpatient surgical facility, or behavioral health facility, but creates an exception to the standard CON process in certain circumstances when establishing such a facility other than a hospital. The exception applies if the facility will be in an area identified in the statewide health care facilities and services plan as underserved or having reduced access to health care services.

In such a case, the person proposing to establish the facility must submit a determination request to OHCA no later than 60 days before the facility's proposed establishment. The request must describe the project and include the proposed date when the facility will be operational. It also must demonstrate that (1) the new facility will be located in an area that has been identified in the statewide plan as being underserved or having reduced access to health care services and (2) Medicaid recipients and indigent people will have access to the services provided. If these standards are not met, the requester must file a standard CON application. The bill allows OHCA to ask for additional information from the person as necessary to process the request.

The bill exempts from this determination request requirement any nonprofit behavioral health facility that has a contract with or is certified or licensed to provide a service for a state agency or department. (Presumably, such a facility is thus exempt from CON requirements.)

Under the bill, any person issued a favorable determination under these provisions must annually demonstrate, in a form or manner prescribed by the DPH commissioner, that the person maintained the criteria required for the favorable determination. The person must also notify OHCA, in writing, within five days of any change in conditions that affects eligibility under these provisions, to request a new determination. The bill allows the commissioner to impose civil penalties of up to $1,000 per day if the person negligently fails to maintain the criteria needed for the favorable determination or notify OHCA of such a change in conditions.

Service Terminations. Current law generally requires a CON to terminate inpatient or outpatient services offered by (1) a hospital or (2) a state-operated facility or institution that provides services eligible for Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. The bill extends this requirement to such terminations by hospital systems. It specifies that terminations do not include temporary suspensions of services lasting six months or less (see definitions section). It also creates an exception from the standard CON procedure for service terminations due to insufficient patient volume or lack of available practitioners to support the effective delivery of care.

Under the bill, any hospital, hospital system, or state-operated facility proposing to terminate services for the above reasons must submit a determination request to OHCA not later than 60 days before the proposed termination date. The request must include the date of the proposed termination and documentation that the hospital, hospital system, or facility is experiencing insufficient patient volume or lack of practitioners for the service, resulting in its inability to support effective delivery of care. If the hospital, hospital system, or facility is unable to demonstrate to OHCA's satisfaction that these criteria are met, it must file a standard CON application. OHCA may request additional information as necessary to process the request.

The bill eliminates the current requirement that health care facilities file a modification request with OHCA if seeking to terminate a service that was authorized by a CON but does not require a CON for its termination. The bill also eliminates a related requirement that OHCA hold a public hearing on such requests in certain circumstances.

Similar to current law, the bill provides that a CON is not required to terminate services for which DPH has requested a hospital to relinquish its license. The bill also eliminates the current requirement for CON approval for certain terminations of surgical services by outpatient surgical facilities. Such terminations are subject to the notice requirement described below.

Notification for Terminations Not Requiring a CON. Similar to current law, if a health care facility proposes to stop operating or terminate a service and a CON is not required for the termination, the bill requires the facility to notify OHCA at least 60 days before taking such action. The bill requires the notice to include:

1. the facility's name and location,

2. the reason for the termination,

3. other locations where patients may be able to obtain the services the facility provides, and

4. the termination date.

Ownership or Management Control Transfer. Existing law generally requires CON authorization to transfer ownership of a health care facility. The bill broadens the definition of “transfer of ownership” for this purpose to include a transfer that impacts or changes the governance or controlling body of the facility's parent entity.

Existing law requires a CON to transfer ownership of a large group practice (eight or more physicians) to any entity other than a (1) physician or (2) group of physicians not affiliated with a hospital or certain other entities. The bill also requires a CON to transfer management control of a large group practice under the same conditions. It defines “management control” as any person or entity that directly or indirectly has the power to direct or cause to be directed the management, control, or activities of the large group practice.

Scanners and Other Technology. Current law generally requires a CON to acquire various imaging scanners, including CT, MRI, PET, and PET-CT scanners. Among other exceptions, a CON is not required to replace a scanner that was previously acquired through CON approval.

The bill adds to the list of scanners that require CON approval single-photon emission CT scanners. It also requires CON approval for scanners that use other new advanced imaging technologies, as the DPH commissioner specifies, while eliminating the more general current requirement to obtain a CON for equipment utilizing technology that has not been previously used in the state.

The bill eliminates the current requirement to obtain a CON to acquire nonhospital linear accelerators (devices used for radiation therapy for cancer).

Increases in Bed Capacity or Operating Rooms. The bill eliminates the requirement to obtain a CON for:

1. an increase in a health care facility's licensed bed capacity or

2. an increase of two or more operating rooms within any three-year period by an outpatient surgical facility or a short-term acute care general hospital.

Facility Relocations. Under current law, a health care facility proposing to relocate must send a letter to OHCA describing the project and asking the office to determine if a CON is required. If the facility demonstrates to OHCA's satisfaction that the population the facility serves and the payer mix will not substantially change due to the relocation, then a CON is not required.

The bill makes a technical change by referring to this document as a “determination request” rather than a “letter.” As under current law, the bill requires the facility to obtain CON approval for a relocation if the above standard is not met.

CON Guidelines and Criteria ( 85)

By law, when considering a CON application, OHCA must consider and make written findings concerning specified principles and guidelines. The factors are currently the same for all types of CON applications, except certain additional factors apply to applications seeking to transfer ownership of a hospital.

The bill makes several changes to these provisions. Instead of applying the same factors to all CON applications as is generally the case under current law, it specifies factors for different types of CON applications. It also modifies some of the existing factors, eliminates certain factors, and adds new ones.

For example, the bill eliminates current requirements that OHCA consider whether:

1. there is a clear public need for the proposed facility or services and the population to be served has a need for the proposed services,

2. the applicant has shown that the proposal will not result in unnecessary duplication of services or facilities, and

3. the applicant has shown (a) how the proposal will impact the financial strength of the state's health care system or (b) that the proposal is financially feasible for the applicant.

The below tables list the factors that OHCA must consider under the bill when evaluating a standard CON application. The bill specifies that OHCA must consider these guidelines and principles as applicable. The bill also removes a provision that allows OHCA, as it deems necessary, to revise or supplement the guidelines and principles through regulation.

The below table lists the bill's guidelines for CON applications to:

1. establish a new hospital, freestanding emergency department, behavioral health facility, or outpatient surgical facility;

2. transfer ownership of health care facilities, other than certain hospital ownership transfers;

3. transfer ownership or management control of a large group practice to any entity other than a (a) physician or (b) group of physicians not affiliated with a hospital or certain other entities;

4. establish cardiac services; or

5. acquire various scanners.

Table: Guidelines for OHCA Consideration of CON Applications for Establishing New Facilities; Transferring Ownership or Control of Certain Facilities; Establishing Cardiac Services; or Acquiring Scanners

Guidelines Under the Bill

Whether the proposal is consistent with any applicable policies and standards in DPH regulations

Whether the proposal is aligned with the statewide health care facilities and services plan, including whether the proposal will serve individuals in underserved areas or areas with reduced access to health care services

Whether the applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated that the proposal will not adversely impact the health care market in the state and will improve the quality, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness of health care delivery in the region

The applicant's past and proposed provision of health care services to relevant patient populations and payer mix, including whether the applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated how the proposal will provide Medicaid recipients and indigent people with access to services

Whether the applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated that the proposal will not negatively impact patient choice of providers in the region

The below table lists the bill's guidelines for CON applications to:

1. terminate an emergency department or inpatient or outpatient services offered by a hospital, hospital system, or other state-operated facility or institution that provides services eligible for Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement or

2. relocate a health care facility.

Table: Guidelines for OHCA Consideration of CON Applications for Terminating Specified Services or Relocating a Facility

Guidelines Under the Bill

Whether the proposal is consistent with any applicable policies and standards in DPH regulations

Whether the proposal is aligned with the statewide health care facilities and services plan, including whether the proposal will affect individuals in underserved areas or areas with reduced access to health care services

Whether the applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated that the proposal will not adversely impact the quality, accessibility, and cost effectiveness of health care delivery in the region

The applicant's past provision of health care services to relevant patient populations and payer mix, including whether the applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated how the proposal will not adversely impact access to services by Medicaid recipients and indigent people

Whether the applicant has satisfactorily identified the population that currently utilizes a service proposed for termination or relocation and satisfactorily demonstrated that the identified population has access to alternative locations to obtain such services

The utilization of existing health care facilities and services in the applicant's service area

Whether the applicant has demonstrated good cause for a proposed termination or relocation that (1) will result in reduced access to services by Medicaid recipients or indigent people or (2) is located in an underserved area or area with reduced access to health care services (good cause may not be demonstrated solely on the basis of differences in reimbursement rates between Medicaid and other payers)

Whether the applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated that the proposal will not negatively impact patient choice of providers in the region

The below table lists the bill's guidelines for CON applications to transfer ownership of a hospital to another hospital, hospital system, or other entity.

Table: Guidelines for OHCA Consideration of CON Application to Transfer Ownership of Hospitals

Guidelines Under the Bill

Whether the applicant fairly considered alternative proposals or offers in light of maintaining provider diversity and consumer choice and access to affordable quality care for the affected community

Whether the applicant's service delivery plan shows, in a manner consistent with the OHCA statutes, how the new hospital will provide health care services for the first three years after the ownership transfer, including any new services or consolidation, reduction, elimination, or expansion of existing services

Whether the proposal is aligned with the statewide health care facilities and services plan, including whether the proposal will serve individuals in areas that are underserved or have reduced access to health care services

Whether the applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated that the proposal will improve the quality, accessibility, and cost effectiveness of health care delivery in the region and that any consolidation will not adversely affect health care costs or care accessibility

The applicant's past and proposed provision of health care services to relevant patient populations and payer mix, including whether the applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated how the proposal will not adversely impact access to services by Medicaid recipients and indigent people

Whether the applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated that the proposal will not negatively impact the patient choice of providers in the region

The bill retains provisions in current law that specify certain circumstances in which OHCA must or may deny a CON application seeking to transfer ownership of a hospital.

Post-Transfer Compliance Reporter for Certain Hospital Transfers; Breach of Conditions ( 85(g))

Under current law, if OHCA approves a CON for certain hospital ownership transfers, it must hire an independent consultant to serve as a post-transfer compliance reporter for three years following completion of the transfer. This applies if the purchaser is (1) a hospital or a hospital system that had net patient revenue exceeding $1.5 billion for FY 13 or (2) organized or operated for profit.

The bill provides that the compliance reporter must have no previous financial interest with the hospital or hospital system, or any of their affiliates; no previous sanctions; and no adverse decisions regarding monitoring activities.

Under current law, the purchaser must pay the cost of hiring the reporter in an amount OHCA determines, up to $200,000 annually. The bill instead requires the purchaser, upon filing the CON application, to establish an escrow account pursuant to a formal escrow agreement provided by OHCA for the purpose of paying for the reporter's services. The purchaser must initially fund the escrow account with $200,000. The escrow agent must pay the bills for the reporter's services out of the escrow account, directly to the reporter, no later than 30 days after the purchaser receives the bill.

Under existing law, if the reporter finds that the purchaser breached a condition of the CON approval, OHCA may implement a performance improvement plan. The bill also allows OHCA to:

1. bring an action to enjoin the purchaser from violating the CON;

2. impose a civil penalty; and

3. for a breach of conditions on cost or price limits, require partial or full refunding or repayment of the excess amount to the affected payer.

Conditions on CON Approval ( 85(h))

Subject to certain procedures, existing law allows OHCA to place conditions on its approval of a CON application involving a hospital ownership transfer. The bill extends these provisions to approvals of any CON application.

CON Regulations ( 84, 85, 87-89)

The bill allows the DPH commissioner to adopt regulations to implement the provisions on CON guidelines and related matters; the post-transfer compliance reporter; and conditions on CON approval and a breach of those conditions).

The bill also eliminates past deadlines for the DPH commissioner to adopt regulations on various matters related to the CON law.

CON Application Procedures ( 86)

Notice of CON Application. Existing law requires a CON applicant to publish notice of its application in a newspaper with substantial circulation in the project's area for three consecutive days, no later than 20 days before submitting the application. The bill additionally requires the applicant, within this same time frame, to request the publication of notice (1) in at least two sites in the affected community that are commonly accessed by the public (such as a town hall or library) and (2) on the town's or local health department's existing website, if any.

Existing law requires OHCA to post notice on its website when it determines that a CON application is complete. The bill requires OHCA to provide the link to the completed application to any entity that published notice of the application as described above for publication of the application.

Additional Information Required for Certain Applications. For CON applications involving a hospital ownership transfer, the bill requires the applicant to include in a single application all information related to supplemental transactions associated with the transfer that would otherwise require a separate CON application.

Public Hearings. Existing law requires OHCA to hold a public hearing on a CON application in certain circumstances; in other circumstances, OHCA may hold a public hearing.

The bill increases, from two to three weeks, the advance written notice that OHCA must provide to the applicant before the hearing. It requires the applicant, rather than OHCA as under current law, to provide two weeks' public notice in a newspaper having substantial circulation in the area to be served. It also requires the applicant to provide notice of the hearing by requesting publication in at least two sites within the affected community that are commonly accessed by the public and on the town's or local health department's existing website, if any.

Independent Consultant. The bill allows OHCA to retain an independent consultant with expertise in the specific area of health care that is the subject of a pending CON application if OHCA cannot reasonably review the application without the expertise of an industry analyst or other actuarial consultant.

Under the bill, if OHCA determines that it must retain a consultant, the applicant must establish an escrow account pursuant to a formal escrow agreement provided by OHCA for the purpose of paying the consultant. The applicant must initially fund the account in an amount OHCA determines, up to $20,000.

OHCA must submit bills for the consultant's services to the applicant, up to a maximum of $20,000 per application. The escrow agent must pay these bills out of the escrow account directly to the consultant no later than 30 days after the applicant receives the bill.

The bill specifies that any such agreement is not subject to the law's provisions on the Department of Administrative Services' personal services agreements and methods for awarding contracts by state contracting agencies.

Hospital Service Reductions ( 89)

Under certain conditions, the bill requires a hospital or hospital system to notify OHCA before reducing inpatient or outpatient services. This applies if (1) the hospital or hospital system is not otherwise required to file a CON application or determination request and (2) the service reduction is not due to insufficient patient volume or the lack of practitioners to support the effective delivery of care.

A hospital or hospital system must provide the notification no later than 60 days before the proposed date of reducing services. The notification must identify the hospital or hospital system, the location of the service being reduced, and the date of such reduction. It also must indicate the reason for the service reduction and list other locations where patients may be able to obtain such services.

The bill requires OHCA to hold a public hearing on the proposed reduction if three or more individuals, or an individual representing an entity with five or more people, submits a written request.

For these purposes, the bill defines “reduction” as any modification to a health care service by a hospital or hospital system that, independently or in combination with other changes, results in a 50% or greater decrease in the availability of the health care service offered by the hospital or hospital system, or reduces the service area covered by the hospital or hospital system.

Cost and Market Impact Review ( 90)

Consultant's Bills. Existing law requires OHCA, through an independent consultant, to conduct a cost and market impact review (CMIR) of CON applications that propose to transfer a hospital's ownership if the purchaser is (1) a hospital or a hospital system that had more than $1.5 billion in net patient revenue in FY 13 or (2) organized or operated for profit. The CMIR considers factors related to the transacting parties' businesses and relative market positions. In certain circumstances, OHCA must refer its final CMIR report to the attorney general for investigation.

Under existing law, the purchaser must pay for the services of the CMIR consultant, up to $200,000 per application. The bill requires the purchaser, upon filing the CON application, to establish an escrow account pursuant to a formal escrow agreement provided by OHCA for the purpose of paying the consultant. The applicant must initially fund the escrow account with $200,000. The escrow agent must pay the consultant's bills out of the escrow account directly to the consultant not later than 30 days after the purchaser receives the bill.

Definitions. The bill eliminates the current requirement that the DPH commissioner adopt regulations defining several terms concerning the CMIR provisions. The bill instead defines certain such terms as follows.

The bill defines “dispersed service area” as a geographic area in which a provider organization delivers health care services (1) based on the number of zip codes, towns, counties, or primary service areas in the geographic area and (2) the standards of which may vary based on the area's population density compared to other regions of the state.

“Health status adjusted total medical expense” is a measure of the total cost of care, adjusted by health status, for the patient population associated with a provider group, which may be (1) calculated based on allowed claims for all categories of medical expenses and all non-claims-related payments to providers and (2) expressed on a per member per month basis.

“Major service category” is a set of categories that may include (1) acute hospital inpatient services, by Medicare Severity-Diagnosis Related Groups; (2) outpatient and ambulatory services, by categories as defined by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); and (3) behavioral, substance use disorder, and mental health services, by CMS-defined categories.

“Relative prices” means a measure that (1) compares amounts paid to a provider relative to other providers for the same services and (2) may be calculated based on the contractually negotiated amounts paid by each private and public health carrier, including non-claims-related payments, and expressed in the aggregate relative to the payer's network-wide average amount paid to providers.

CON Penalties ( 91)

Under the bill, any person, facility, or institution required to file a CON with OHCA that negligently fails to seek a CON approval or to file information within prescribed time periods, is subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000 a day for each day activities are conducted without a CON or information is delayed. Current law imposes this penalty on people or entities who willfully commit these actions.

The bill also extends the civil penalty to people or entities who fail to

1. comply with any condition OHCA places on a CON application or

2. maintain the required criteria for submitting a determination request to establish a new freestanding emergency department, behavioral health facility, or outpatient surgical facility.

Under the bill, the penalty applies for each day the condition is not maintained to DPH's satisfaction.

Escrow Accounts for Experts Assisting with CON Review ( 92)

Current law allows the DPH commissioner to (1) contract with experts or consultants to help review a CON application that proposes to transfer a nonprofit hospital to a for-profit purchaser and (2) bill the purchaser up to $150,000 for these experts' services.

The bill requires the purchaser, when filing the CON application with DPH and the attorney general, to establish an escrow account to pay bills the DPH commissioner submits for the experts' services. DPH must provide the purchaser with a formal escrow agreement, and the purchaser must initially fund the escrow account with $150,000.

Under the bill, the escrow agent must pay the bills directly to the expert or consultant out of the escrow account within 30 days after receiving each bill. Current law requires the purchaser to pay these bills within the same time frame.

Technical and Conforming Changes ( 97 & 98)

These sections make technical and conforming changes related to certain CON changes.

93 — ANNUAL REPORTING FOR HOSPITALS AND CERTAIN GROUP PRACTICES

Extends deadline for the start of certain annual reporting requirements for hospitals and physician group practices

The bill extends, from December 31, 2014 to January 15, 2018, the date by which (1) hospitals and hospital systems with affiliated group practices and (2) unaffiliated group practices of 30 or more physicians must start annually reporting information about the group practices to the attorney general and DPH commissioner. The law specifies information the report must include, such as (1) the name and specialty of each physician practicing within the group practice and (2) a description of services at each location.

The bill also extends, from December 31, 2015 to January 15, 2018, the date by which hospitals and hospital systems must start annually filing written reports with the attorney general and DPH commissioner describing their affiliation with any other hospital or hospital system.

To conform to current DPH practice, the bill limits the above reporting requirements to short-term acute care general hospitals and children's hospitals, including UConn's John Dempsey Hospital.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

94, 95 & 750 — DSS CERTIFICATE OF NEED

Makes changes to DSS CON requirements, such as requiring nursing homes, residential care homes, and ICF-IIDs to obtain a CON to relocate beds to a new or replacement facility and eliminating CON requirements for certain acquisitions of major medical equipment

Bed Relocations

The bill requires nursing homes, residential care homes, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disability (hereinafter, “facilities”) to obtain a CON from the Department of Social Services (DSS) before relocating any of their licensed beds to a new or replacement facility. It specifies that the department is not required to hold a public hearing on these CON applications, as it must currently do for applications proposing to terminate or significantly reduce a facility's total bed capacity.

Existing law, unchanged by the bill, requires these facilities to obtain a CON when (1) transferring ownership before initial licensure, (2) adding or expanding functions or services, (3) terminating or substantially decreasing their total bed capacity, and (4) making certain capital improvements. (These facilities are exempt from DPH's CON requirements for health care facilities.)

Capital Expenditures

The bill eliminates the requirement that facilities obtain a CON from both DPH and DSS when acquiring major medical equipment that requires a capital expenditure over $400,000.

Existing law, unchanged by the bill, requires facilities to obtain a CON from DSS for capital expenditures exceeding (1) $1 million that increase the facility's square footage by the greater of 5% or 5,000 square feet or (2) $2 million.

Exemption

The bill exempts from DSS' CON requirements nursing homes that are associated with a continuing care facility (i.e., continuing care retirement facility) and do not participate in Medicaid.

The bill also makes related technical and conforming changes.

Repealer

The bill repeals (1) a provision allowing the DSS commissioner to approve Medicaid bed relocations from a nursing home to a continuing care facility, if the relocation meets certain criteria (CGS 17b-354b) and (2) an obsolete provision allowing certain nursing homes to convert beds from an intermediate to a nursing level of care under certain conditions (CGS 17b-354c).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

96 — NURSING HOME BED MORATORIUM

Modifies exemptions to DSS' moratorium on accepting or approving CONs to add new nursing home beds and allows, rather than requires, the commissioner to adopt CON regulations

Exemptions

The bill modifies exemptions to DSS' moratorium on accepting or approving CONs to add new nursing home beds. Current law exempts from the moratorium Medicaid beds relocated from one licensed facility to another provided at least one facility is closed in the transaction and the new facility's bed total is at least 10% lower than the number of relocated beds. The bill instead exempts Medicaid beds relocated from one nursing facility to a new nursing facility if:

1. no new Medicaid-certified beds are added;

2. at least one licensed facility is closed in the transaction as a result of the relocation;

3. the relocation is done within available appropriations;

4. the facility participates in the federal Money Follows the Person demonstration program; and

5. a CON is obtained for the new facility or facility relocation and associated capital expenditures.

As under current law, the relocation cannot increase state expenditures or adversely affect bed availability in the area of need. However, the bill removes this requirement for the relocation of Medicaid certified beds relocated from one licensed nursing facility to another to meet a priority need identified in the state's strategic plan to rebalance long-term care services and supports.

The bill also specifies that the exemption from the moratorium for non-Medicaid beds associated with a continuing care facility applies only if the ratio of proposed beds to the facility's independent living units is within applicable industry standards.

Regulations

The bill allows, rather than requires, the DSS commissioner to adopt CON regulations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

99 — HEALTH CARE CABINET STUDY

Allows the Health Care Cabinet to study provider referrals to facilities where the providers or their immediate family members own a beneficial interest or have a compensation arrangement

The bill allows the Health Care Cabinet, in collaboration with other state entities, to study the current status and regulation of health care providers who refer patients to health care facilities where the providers, or their immediate family members, own a beneficial interest or have a compensation arrangement. Any such study must include a review of trends in utilization of imaging equipment and the conditions under which referrals for imaging services are appropriate.

Under the bill, the cabinet may report to the Public Health Committee on the study, including any legislative recommendations for establishing a regulatory framework for such patient referrals.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

100-108 — EDUCATION GRANT CAPS

Extends the caps on certain education grants to school districts and regional education service centers

The bill caps eight state education grants to school districts and regional education service centers (RESCs) for two years, FYs 18 and 19. The caps, which expired under current law on June 30, 2017 (the end of FY 17), require that grants be proportionately reduced if the state budget appropriations do not cover the full amounts required by the statutory formulas. The caps apply to state grants for:

1. health services for private school students (CGS 10-217a);

2. adult education programs (CGS 10-71);

3. bilingual education programs (CGS 10-17g);

4. RESC operations (CGS 10-66j);

5. school districts' special education costs for public agency-placed students under an order of temporary custody (CGS 10-76d);

6. school districts' excess special education costs (CGS 10-76g);

7. excess regular education costs for state-placed children educated by private residential facilities (CGS 10-253); and

8. transportation costs for school districts (CGS 10-266m), including costs for transporting students to private schools within a district (CGS 10-281).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

105 — CONNECTICUT AIRPORT AND AVIATION ACCOUNT

Diverts a portion of petroleum gross earnings tax revenue to a new airport account in order to comply with federal aviation law

The bill establishes the “Connecticut Airport and Aviation Account” as a separate, nonlapsing account within the Grants and Restricted Accounts Fund. The account must contain any money required by law to be deposited in the account and must be spent by DOT, with OPM approval, for airport and aviation-related purposes.

Beginning September 1, 2017, the DRS commissioner must deposit in the account 75.3% of revenue received from the petroleum gross earnings tax on aviation fuel (equivalent to 6.1% of aviation fuel sales).

Under federal law and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, all airport revenue received by federally-supported airports must be used for the capital or operating expenses of (1) the airport, (2) the local airport system, or (3) other local air transportation facilities owned or operated by the airport owner or operator (49 U.S. Code 47107 (b)). Recent FAA policy guidance clarified that state revenue derived from taxes on aviation fuel is considered “airport revenue,” even if those taxes are of general applicability, and is therefore subject to such restrictions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2017

109 — YOUTH SERVICE BUREAUS

Expands youth service bureau grant eligibility

The bill extends youth service bureau (YSB) grant eligibility to those YSBs that applied for a state grant during FY 17, with prior approval of the town's contribution. By law, a town must contribute an amount equal to the state grant amount of $14,000. The bill also removes obsolete language from current law.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

110-122, 126 & 750 — HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

Transfers responsibilities for the all-payer claims database and consumer health information website from Access Health CT to the Health Information Technology officer and makes related changes

The bill transfers responsibilities for the all-payer claims database (APCD) and consumer health information website from the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange (“Access Health CT”) to the state's Health Information Technology officer.

The bill makes certain changes to reporting requirements related to the consumer health information website. It also makes various minor, technical, and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

All-payer Claims Database

Current law requires Access Health CT to seek funding for and oversee the planning, implementation, and development of policies and procedures for the administering the APCD. The bill transfers these functions and other related responsibilities from Access Health CT to the Health Information Technology Officer. For example, it requires the officer, in consultation with the Health Information Technology Advisory Council, to maintain written procedures for implementing and administering the APCD program.

Similar to current law, the bill requires the DSS commissioner to submit Medicaid data to the officer for inclusion in the APCD only for purposes related to administering the state Medicaid plan. The bill makes a corresponding change by allowing the officer to enter into a contract or take necessary action to obtain such data. For this purposes, Medicaid data includes Medicaid provider registry, health claims data, and Medicaid recipient data maintained by DSS.

The bill also provides that, unless expressly specified, its APCD provisions, and the Health Information Technology Officer's actions under such provisions, do not supersede or otherwise affect the insurance commissioner's authority to regulate the insurance industry in the state.

Consumer Health Information Website

Under current law, within available resources, Access Health CT must establish and maintain a consumer health information website designed to help consumers make informed decisions about health care and their choice of health care providers. The bill transfers oversight over the website from Access Health CT to the Health Information Technology Officer.

Current law requires the insurance and DPH commissioners to annually report to Access Health CT and make available on their departments' websites the following information on health procedures in the state, to the extent it is available:

1. the 50 most frequent inpatient primary diagnoses and procedures,

2. the 50 most frequent outpatient procedures,

3. the 25 most frequent surgical procedures, and

4. the 25 most frequent imaging procedures.

The consumer website must contain comparative price and cost information for the items on these lists.

The bill instead requires the Health Information Technology Officer to make such lists annually available on the consumer health information website. It also adds to the required lists the 25 most frequently used pharmaceutical products and medical devices in the state.

The bill allows such lists to be:

1. based upon those services and procedures that are most commonly performed by volume or that represent the greatest percentage of related health care expenditures or

2. designed to include those services and procedures most likely to result in out-of-pocket costs to consumers.

As under current law, the lists may include additional admissions and procedures.

The bill also makes the following changes to the required reporting related to the consumer website:

1. removes the requirement that health carriers annually report to Access Health CT on (a) the billed and allowed amounts for procedures on the above lists and (b) out of pocket costs for items on these lists and

1. requires the Health Information Technology Officer, to the extent practicable, to annually report such information.

123 — HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

Requires the health information technology officer to designate and post on the exchange's website certain entities and programs that constitute the exchange

By law, the Health Information Technology Officer (officer) has administrative authority over the State-wide Health Information Exchange. Under the bill, the officer is responsible for designating, and posting on the exchange's website, the list of systems, technologies, entities, and programs that constitute the exchange. Systems, technologies, entities, and programs not so designated are not considered part of the exchange.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

124 — HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS WITHOUT ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD SYSTEMS

Requires certain health care providers to be capable of transmitting secure messages that comply with national specifications published by the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

Existing law requires, no later than two years after the exchange begins operation, each health care provider with an electronic health record system capable of connecting to and participating in the exchange to begin doing so. The bill requires health care providers without an electronic health record system capable of connecting to and participating in the exchange to be capable of sending and receiving secure messages that comply with the Direct Project specifications published by the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology by the same deadline.

By law, an electronic health record system is a computer-based information system used to create, collect, store, manipulate, share, exchange, or make available electronic health records for the delivery of patient care.

The Direct Project, part of the Nationwide Health Information Network, was created to specify a simple, secure, scalable, standards-based way for participants to send authenticated, encrypted health information directly to known, trusted recipients over the Internet.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

125 & 750 — STATE HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ADVISORY COUNCIL

Increases the State Health Information Technology Advisory Council's membership; expands the council's chairpersons' authority; changes who may appoint members to the All-Payer Claims Database Advisory Group and allows its members to appoint designees

The bill increases the membership of the State Health Information Technology Advisory Council, by (1) adding the comptroller or his designee and (2) authorizing its chairpersons to appoint up to four members who must serve at the chairpersons' pleasure. By law, the council is charged with, among other things, developing priorities and policy recommendations for advancing the state's health information technology and health information exchange efforts and goals.

The bill also authorizes the council's chairpersons to (1) establish subcommittees and working groups and (2) appoint individuals who are not council members to serve as members of the subcommittees or working groups.

All-Payer Claims Database Advisory Group

The bill allows the members of the All-Payer Claims Database Advisory Group who are public officials to each appoint a designee. The advisory group's statutory purpose is, among other things, to develop a plan to implement a statewide multipayer data initiative to enhance the state's use of heath care data.

The bill also allows the Health Information Technology Officer, instead of the Exchange's chief executive officer, to appoint additional members to the advisory group.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

127 — OFFICE OF HEALTH STRATEGY

Establishes an Office of Health Strategy within the Department of Public Health for administrative purposes only

OHS Established

The bill establishes an Office of Health Strategy, headed by an executive director who serves at the pleasure of the governor. It places the office in DPH for administrative purposes only and makes it the successor to the:

1. Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange's responsibilities related to administering the all-payer claims database and

2. lieutenant governor's office related to (a) consulting with DPH to develop a statewide chronic disease plan; (b) housing, chairing, and staffing the Sustinet Health Care Cabinet; and (c) appointing the state's health information technology officer and overseeing his or her duties.

Any order or regulation of the above entities that is in force on July 1, 2018 continues in force and effect until amended, repealed, or superseded by law. (The bill does not make corresponding changes to remove these responsibilities from the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange and Office of the Lieutenant Governor statutes.)

Responsibilities

Under the bill, on or before July 1, 2018, the Office of Health Strategy is responsible for:

1. developing and implementing a comprehensive and cohesive health care vision for the state, including a coordinated state health care cost containment strategy;

2. directing and overseeing the (a) all-payers claim database program and (b) State Innovation Model Initiative and related successor initiatives;

3. coordinating the state's health information technology initiatives;

4. directing and overseeing the Office of Health Care Access and all of its duties and responsibilities; and

5. convening forums and meetings with state government and external stakeholders, including the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange, to discuss health care issues designed to develop effective health care cost and quality strategies.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018

128 — STATE-WIDE HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE

Requires the state to establish a program to expedite the development of the State-Wide Health Information Exchange

The bill requires the state, acting by and through the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary, in collaboration with the health information technology officer, and the lieutenant governor, to establish a program to expedite the development of the State-wide Health Information Exchange (“Exchange”) to assist the state, health care providers, insurance carriers, physicians, and all stakeholders in empowering consumers to make effective health care decisions; promote patient-centered care; improve the quality, safety, and value of health care; reduce waste and duplication of services; support clinical decision-making; keep confidential health information secure; and make progress toward the state's public health goals.

Program Purpose

Under the bill, the program's purpose must be to:

1. assist the Exchange in establishing and maintaining itself as a neutral and trusted entity that serves the public good for the benefit of all Connecticut residents, including Connecticut health care consumers, providers, and carriers;

2. perform, on behalf of the state, the role of intermediary between public and private stakeholders and customers of the Exchange; and

3. fulfill the responsibilities of the Office of Health Strategy.

Program Implementation

The health information technology officer must design, and the OPM secretary, in collaboration with such officer, may establish or incorporate an entity to implement the program. Such entity may be organized as a nonprofit entity and must be owned and governed, in whole or in part, by a party or parties other than the state.

Entity's Board Membership and Appointments

Under the bill, any entity established or incorporated to implement the program must have its powers vested in and exercised by a board of directors. The board of directors must be comprised of the following members who must each serve for a term of two years:

1. one with expertise as an advocate for consumers of health care, appointed by the Governor;

2. one with expertise as a clinical medical doctor, appointed by the Senate president pro tempore;

3. one with expertise in the area of hospital administration, appointed by the House speaker;

4. one with expertise in the area of corporate law or finance, appointed by the Senate minority leader;

5. one with expertise in group health insurance coverage, appointed by the House minority leader; and

6. the chief information officer, the OPM secretary, and the health information technology officer, or their designees, who serve as ex-officio, voting members of the board.

The health information technology officer, or his or her designee, must serve as chairperson of the board.

All initial appointments must be made by February 1, 2018 and any vacancy must be filled by the appointing authority for the remainder of the unexpired term. If an appointing authority fails to make an initial appointment within 60 days after the establishment of the entity, or fails to fill a vacancy in an appointment with 60 days after the date of the vacancy, the Governor must make the appointment or fill the vacancy.

Entity's Authority

The bill authorizes the entity to:

1. employ a staff and fix their duties, qualifications, and compensation;

1. solicit, receive, and accept aid or contributions, including money, property, labor, and other things of value from any source;

2. receive, and manage on behalf of the state, funding from the federal government and other public sources or private sources to cover costs associated with the planning, implementation, and administration of the Exchange;

3. collect and remit fees set by the health information technology officer charged to persons or entities for access to or interaction with the Exchange;

4. retain outside consultants and technical experts;

5. maintain an office in the state at a place or places as the entity designates;

6. procure insurance against loss in connection with the entity's property and other assets in amounts and from insurers as the entity deems desirable;

7. sue and be sued and plead and be impleaded;

8. borrow money to obtain working capital; and

9. do all acts and things necessary and convenient to carry out the bill's purposes subject to the powers, purposes, and restrictions of the uniform information and technology standards and regulations, the Exchange, the State Health Information Technology Advisory Council, and the health information technology officer.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

129 — SAFE DRINKING WATER PRIMACY ASSESSMENT

Requires water companies that own community water systems or non-transient non-community water systems to annually pay a safe drinking water primacy assessment through FY 19

The bill requires water companies that own community water systems or non-transient non-community water systems to annually pay to DPH, through FY 19, a safe drinking water primacy assessment. Under the bill, the assessment's purpose is to support DPH's ability to maintain primacy under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Under the SDWA, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delegates primary enforcement responsibility (“primacy”) for public water systems to states if they meet certain requirements.

Among other things, the bill (1) allows water companies that own community water systems to recover the assessment from customers, (2) exempts state agencies and transient non-community public water systems from the assessment, and (3) allows the DPH commissioner to adopt implementing regulations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage through June 30, 2019

Assessment Amount and Procedure

The following tables describe the assessment amounts and when the payments are due.

Table: Assessment Amounts

System Type

Amount

Community water system

If fewer than 50 service connections: $125

If 50 to 99 service connections: $150


If 100 or more service connections: An amount set by the DPH commissioner, up to $4 per connection

Non-transient non-community water system

$125

Table: Assessment Due Dates

System Type

Deadline for DPH Issuing Invoice

Deadline for Company to Pay Assessment

Community water system

October 1, 2018

January 1, 2019: of assessment due

May 31, 2019: remaining is due

Non-transient non-community water system

January 1, 2019

March 1, 2019

The bill provides that:

1. the total assessment for FY 19 must not exceed $2.5 million;

2. if one water company acquires another, the purchaser must pay the assessment;

3. if a company fails to pay the assessment within 30 days after the due date, DPH may impose a fee of 1.5% of the assessment for each month of nonpayment beyond that initial 30-day period.

By March 1, 2018 and annually until June 30, 2019, each water company that owns a community water system must report to DPH the number of service connections that such systems served in the preceding calendar year. DPH may audit that number. Under the bill, service connections do not include service pipes used for fire service purposes only.

The bill provides that the requirement for water companies to pay the assessment terminates if DPH no longer maintains primacy under the SDWA. This applies whether primacy is removed by the EPA or any other action by a state or federal authority.

If the assessment is terminated and not reinstated within 180 days, the water company must credit its customers any amounts collected from them for the amount that the company is no longer required to pay DPH.

Assessment Recovery

The bill allows water companies that own community water systems to collect the assessment from their customers, with the fee for each customer based on the customer's share of the assessment. The amount collected from customers may appear as a separate item on the customers' water bills. Water companies may charge such fees without needing to go through the standard process for seeking approval of rate changes. Such charges are subject to the company's past due and collection procedures, including interest charges, that apply to other authorized charges.

DPH Reporting

The bill requires DPH, in consultation with the OPM secretary, to post the following on DPH's website by July 1, 2018 and again by June 30, 2019:

1. the costs to support DPH's ability to maintain primacy under the SDWA (that amount must constitute the total assessment amount for that year) and

1. the assessment amount due, based on such costs, for each (a) service connection a community water system serves and (b) non-transient non-community water system.

Definitions

Under the bill, a “public water system” is a water company that supplies daily drinking water to 15 or more consumers (e.g., private dwellings or places of business) or 25 or more people at least 60 days per year.

A “community water system” is a public water system that regularly serves at least 25 residents. A “non-community water system” is a public water system that serves at least 25 people at least 60 days of the year and is not a community water system.

A “non-transient non-community public water system” is a public water system that is not a community water system and that regularly serves at least 25 of the same people for at least six months per year. A “transient non-community public water system” is a public water system that is not a community water system and does not serve at least 25 of the same people for at least six months per year.

130 — SAFE DRINKING WATER PRIMACY ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY

Requires DPH to develop a methodology for a safe drinking water primacy assessment on certain water systems, allows water companies to recover the assessment from customers, and makes related changes

The bill requires the DPH commissioner, by January 1, 2019 and in consultation with the OPM secretary and water company representatives, to develop a methodology for a safe drinking water primacy assessment on community water systems and transient and non-transient non-community water systems. The bill provides that the assessment's purpose is to meet federal requirements for DPH to maintain primacy for enforcing the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

Under the bill, the methodology must include how to calculate the fee to be assessed and procedures to implement the fee. In developing the methodology, the commissioner may consider the frequency and timing of customer billing and delinquency rates for customer payment. He must provide for a 30-day public comment period after developing the methodology. After that public comment period but no later than February 15, 2019, he must submit to the Public Health Committee his recommendations for legislation needed to implement the methodology he develops.

Definitions

Under the bill, a “community water system” is a public water system that regularly serves at least 25 residents. A “non-community water system” is a public water system that serves at least 25 people at least 60 days of the year and is not a community water system.

A “non-transient non-community public water system” is a public water system that is not a community water system and that regularly serves at least 25 of the same people for at least six months per year. A “transient non-community public water system” is a public water system that is not a community water system and does not serve at least 25 of the same people for at least six months per year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

131 & 132 — URGENT CARE CENTERS

Requires urgent care centers to be licensed as outpatient clinics starting April 1, 2018 and authorizes DSS to establish payment rates for these centers

License Requirement

Starting April 1, 2018, the bill requires a person who establishes, conducts, operates, or maintains an urgent care center to obtain an outpatient clinic license from DPH. The license must be renewed every three years. By law, outpatient clinics must pay a $1,000 license and inspection fee.

The bill also authorizes the DPH commissioner to implement policies and procedures about the licensure program while in the process of adopting them in regulations, provided he publishes notice of intent to adopt regulations on the state's eRegulations system.

Under current law, DPH licenses outpatient clinics, but does not have a separate licensure category for urgent care centers. Generally, if an urgent care center is part of a hospital, it is licensed as a satellite site of the hospital. If it is not part of a hospital and does not meet the definition of an outpatient clinic, it is considered a physician's office and DPH licenses the providers but not the center itself.

DSS Payment Rates

The bill allows the DSS commissioner to establish payment rates to providers practicing in urgent care centers. The commissioner may implement related policies and procedures while in the process of adopting them in regulations, provided he publishes notice of intent to adopt regulations within 20 days after the policy implementation date.

Definitions

The bill defines an “urgent care center” as a free-standing facility, separate from an emergency department, that (1) treats medical conditions that do not require critical or emergent intervention for life-threatening or potentially permanently disabling conditions; (2) treats these conditions without requiring an appointment; and (3) provides services during times when primary care provider offices are not customarily open.

Under existing law and the bill, an “outpatient clinic” is an organization operated by a municipality or corporation, other than a hospital that provides (1) ambulatory medical care, including preventive and health promotion services; (2) dental care; or (3) mental health services in conjunction with medical or dental care for the purpose of diagnosing or treating a health condition that does not require the patient's overnight care.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

133 — OUTPATIENT CLINIC LICENSE RENEWAL

Requires outpatient clinics to renew their license every three years, instead of every four years

The bill requires outpatient clinics to renew their license every three years, instead of every four years as under current law.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

134 & 135 — INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR MENTAL OR NERVOUS CONDITIONS

Repeals the requirement that health insurance policies cover specified services related to mental and nervous conditions

The bill eliminates the requirement that certain individual and group health insurance policies cover specified services related to mental and nervous conditions. (These services were new mandates imposed effective January 1, 2017 under PA 15-5, June Special Session. The state is required to pay for them under the Affordable Care Act because they exceed the federal essential health benefit requirements.)

Specifically, the bill eliminates a requirement that insurers provide coverage for evidence-based maternal, infant, and early childhood home visitation services designed to improve health outcomes for pregnant women, postpartum mothers, and newborns and children. Under current law, such coverage must include maternal substance use disorders or depression and relationship-focused interventions for children with mental or nervous conditions or substance use disorders.

The bill also repeals provisions requiring insurers to cover:

1. intensive, family- and community-based treatment programs that focus on environmental systems impacting chronic and violent juvenile offenders;

2. other home-based therapeutic interventions for children;

3. chemical maintenance treatment (i.e., when a person is admitted for the planned use of a prescribed substance under medical supervision); and

4. extended day treatment programs for children or youth with emotional disturbance, mental illness, behavior disorders, or multiple disabilities.

The bill applies to individual and group health insurance policies issued, delivered, renewed, amended, or continued in Connecticut that cover (1) basic hospital expenses; (2) basic medical-surgical expenses; (3) major medical expenses; or (4) hospital or medical services, including those provided through an HMO.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018

136 & 137 — BURIAL EXPENSES FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE RECIPIENTS AND INDIGENT INDIVIDUALS

Requires that life insurance deducted from DSS burial payments name the funeral home, cemetery, or crematory as a beneficiary and allows DSS to disclose information to such service providers in certain cases

By law, DSS must pay up to $1,200 toward funeral and burial expenses for State Administered General Assistance, Temporary Family Assistance, or State Supplement Program recipients. Current law requires DSS to reduce this payment by certain funds from other sources, including any prepaid funeral contract and the face value of any life insurance policy owned by the decedent. The bill prevents DSS from subtracting the face value of a life insurance policy unless that policy names a funeral home, cemetery, or crematory as a beneficiary.

When the payment is reduced due to liquid assets in the decedent's estate, the bill allows the DSS commissioner to disclose information on the assets to the funeral director, cemetery, or crematory providing services for the decedent.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

138-140 — REMOVAL OF REQUIREMENT TO ADOPT REGULATIONS

Removes a requirement that the DSS commissioner adopt regulations for provisions related to long-term care facility audits, nursing home temporary managers, and state-appropriated weatherization assistance

Long-Term Care Facility Audits ( 138)

Existing law, unchanged by the bill, requires the DSS commissioner to (1) establish and publish on the DSS website audit protocols for long-term care facilities (i.e., nursing homes, hospitals associated with nursing homes, rest homes with nursing supervision, residential care homes, and ICF-IDDs); (2) provide free training to facilities on cost report preparation; and (3) ensure that DSS or any entity conducting audits on its behalf has on staff or consults with certain health professionals.

The bill removes a requirement that the DSS commissioner adopt regulations to carry out these provisions and ensure the fairness of the audit process, including associated sampling methodologies.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Nursing Home Temporary Managers ( 139)

Existing law, unchanged by the bill, allows DSS to appoint a temporary manager to oversee operation of nursing homes that DPH finds noncompliant with certain federal laws. The bill allows, rather than requires, DSS to adopt regulations on temporary managers' required qualifications and selection procedure.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

State-funded Weatherization Assistance ( 140)

Existing law, unchanged by the bill, requires the DSS commissioner to administer a state-appropriated program to provide, within available appropriations, weatherization assistance and fuel assistance programs. The bill removes a requirement that DSS adopt regulations on prioritizing households, payback periods for conservation measures, and waiving requirements due to emergencies. The bill instead allows DSS to adopt regulations to implement and administer the programs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

141 — HOME CARE SERVICES NON-COMPETE AGREEMENTS

Prohibits non-compete agreements for providers of home care services

The bill prohibits a homemaker, companion, or home health services agency from enforcing a covenant not to compete in its employment agreements with caregiver staff members. The bill defines a “covenant not to compete” as any contract or agreement that restricts the right of an individual to provide these services (1) in any geographic area of the state for any period of time, or (2) to a specific individual. Under the bill, a contract that violates its provisions is void and unenforceable.

To the extent the bill applies to existing contracts, it may implicate the Contracts Clause of the U.S. Constitution (see BACKGROUND).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Background

The Contracts Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 10) bars states from passing laws that impair the obligation of contracts. When analyzing an alleged contracts clause violation, the threshold inquiry for a court is whether a state law has substantially impaired a contractual relationship. If so, in deciding whether to uphold the law at issue, the court must determine whether the (1) law has a legitimate and important public purpose and (2) adjustment of the rights of the parties to the contractual relationship was reasonable and appropriate in light of that purpose (Energy Reserves Group, Inc. v. Kansas Power &Light Co., 459 U.S. 400, 411-413 (1983)).

142 — TEMPORARY FAMILY ASSISTANCE (TFA) AND STATE ADMINISTERED GENERAL ASSISTANCE (SAGA) RATES

Freezes TFA and SAGA rates

The bill extends for the next two fiscal years a freeze on payment standards (i.e., benefits) for DSS's TFA and SAGA cash assistance programs at FY 15 rates.

TFA provides temporary cash assistance to families that meet certain income and asset limits. In general, SAGA provides cash assistance to single or married individuals without children, who have very low incomes, do not qualify for any other cash assistance program, and are considered “transitional” or “unemployable.”

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

143 — STATE SUPPLEMENT PROGRAM (SSP) RATES

Freezes SSP rates and eliminates unearned income disregard adjustment

Generally, low-income people who are aged, blind, or have a disability can receive federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits if they meet certain financial eligibility requirements. The state supplements SSI benefits with SSP benefits for those who are eligible. To calculate the benefit, DSS takes the income, subtracts any applicable disregards, and compares the difference to the program's payment standard. If the net income figure is less than the benefit, the person qualifies and the benefit equals the difference between them.

The law generally requires the DSS commissioner to annually increase SSP payment standards based on the consumer price index within certain parameters. The bill extends the current freeze on these payment standards for the next two fiscal years (FYs 18 and 19).

The bill also eliminates a requirement that the DSS commissioner annually increase the amount of unearned income he disregards when determining eligibility and benefits for SSP. Under current law, the DSS commissioner must increase the disregard by the amount of the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), if any, provided to SSI recipients.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

144 & 184 — BOARDING HOME RATES

Freezes, with exceptions, rates for certain boarding homes

For FY 18 and FY 19, the bill generally freezes rates paid by DSS at FY 17 levels for room and board at private residential facilities and similar facilities operated by regional educational service centers that provide vocational or functional services for individuals with certain disabilities (non-ICF-ID boarding homes). Within available appropriations, the bill allows these rates to exceed the FY 17 level only for capital improvements made in FY 18 or FY 19 for the health and safety of residents and approved by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in consultation with DSS. It also makes technical and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

145-146 — RESIDENTIAL CARE HOMES, COMMUNITY LIVING ARRANGEMENTS, AND COMMUNITY COMPANION HOMES

Freezes rates for certain facilities through FY 19

Under the bill, regardless of rate-setting laws or regulations to the contrary, the rates the state pays to residential care homes, community living arrangements, and community companion homes that receive the flat rate for residential services in FY 16 remain in effect through FY 19. State regulations permit these facilities to have their rates determined on a flat rate basis rather than on the basis of submitted cost reports (Conn. Agency Reg. 17-311-54).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

147 — RESIDENTIAL CARE HOMES

Caps residential care home rates with certain exceptions

For FYs 18 and 19, the bill caps rates at FY 17 and 18 levels, respectively, with an exception for homes that receive certain proportional fair rent increases. The bill allows the DSS commissioner to provide such increases within available appropriations to homes with documented fair rent additions (1) placed in service in the cost report years ending September 30, 2016 and September 30, 2017, respectively and (2) that are not otherwise included in the issued rates.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

148 & 149 — NURSING HOME RATES

Limits nursing home Medicaid rates with certain exceptions and lowers the minimum occupancy for purposes of calculating rates

By law, the DSS commissioner must issue lower rates to facilities that would have been issued a lower rate due to their interim rate status or an agreement with DSS were it not for any rate freeze or other provisions in effect. The bill eliminates a provision also requiring lower rates for facilities that experience a change in allowable fair rent.

For FY 18 and effective July 1, 2017, the bill also reverses a rate decrease for those facilities that received a rate decrease due to a 2015 fair rent asset expiring.

For FY 18, the bill requires DSS to determine nursing facility rates based on 2016 cost reports but also limits any change in rates to no higher than, and not more than 2% less than, rates in effect at the end of calendar year 2016.

For FY 19, the bill caps rates at FY 18 levels but allows the DSS commissioner to provide higher rates in the form of proportional fair rent increases, which may, at his discretion, include increases for facilities that have had a material change in circumstances related to fair rent additions or moveable equipment placed in service in the cost report year ending September 30, 2017 and not otherwise included in issued rates.

Generally, when DSS computes a facility's rates, it divides the facility's allowable costs by the facility occupancy at 95 percent of licensed capacity (i.e., the minimum occupancy) so that homes with more empty beds receive lower rates than higher occupancy homes. The bill lowers the licensed capacity used for this calculation from 95 to 90 percent for FY 14 and succeeding fiscal years.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

150 — INTERMEDIATE CARE FACILITIES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES (ICF-ID)

Freezes FY 18 and FY 19 rates for ICF-IDs, with certain exceptions

For FY 18 and FY 19, the bill caps rates for ICF-IDs at FY 17 levels, except that the state may pay a higher rate, within available appropriations, to facilities that have made a capital improvement, approved by DDS in consultation with DSS, for residents' health or safety during FY 18 or FY 19. The bill also extends through FY 18 and FY 19 a provision allowing the DSS commissioner to provide fair rent increases to facilities that have an approved certificate of need and undergo a material change in circumstances related to fair rent.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

151 — DCF LICENSED PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT FACILITIES

Suspends daily and other rate adjustments for FYs 18 and 19 for DCF-licensed private residential treatment facilities

The bill suspends daily and other rate adjustments for DCF-licensed private residential treatment facilities in FYs 18 and 19.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

152 & 153 — MEDICAID PHARMACY REIMBURSEMENT

Eliminates statutory requirements; requires DSS to revise reimbursement methodology and professional dispensing fees; and requires DSS to submit revisions to legislative committees

The bill eliminates statutory requirements and formulas for calculating DSS medical assistance (e.g., Medicaid) payments for prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and pharmacists' professional fees.

Effective April 1, 2017, the bill instead requires the DSS commissioner to revise the reimbursement methodology and professional dispensing fees for covered outpatient drugs under the Medicaid program to comply with federal regulations concerning Medicaid reimbursement for these drugs, in accordance with the legislative review process described below. Among other things, the federal regulations require states to reimburse providers for (1) certain drugs based on their actual acquisition cost and (2) pharmacists' professional services and costs with a professional dispensing fee. The bill requires the commissioner's revisions to (1) conform with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) procedures to reflect actual acquisition costs and (2) not adversely impact access to outpatient drugs.

The bill also eliminates requirements that the state reimburse for prescription drugs at the lower of (1) the federal acquisition cost, (2) the average wholesale price minus 16.5%, or (3) an equivalent percentage as established under the Medicaid state plan. It eliminates the requirement that the state pay a professional fee of $1.40 to licensed pharmacies for each prescription dispensed to individuals receiving benefits under DSS's medical assistance programs. It also eliminates authorization for DSS to provide enhanced dispensing fees to pharmacies participating in a drug discount program. The bill maintains a requirement that DSS pay a professional fee for each approved refill, changing the name of this fee from “professional license fee” to “professional dispensing fee,” but does not specify the amount.

Legislative Review ( 153)

Beginning on its effective date, the bill requires the DSS commissioner to submit proposed revisions to the Medicaid reimbursement methodology and dispensing fees for covered outpatient drugs to the Human Services and Appropriations committees before he implements them. Under the bill, and not later than 30 days before submitting a proposed revision to the committees, the DSS commissioner must publish a notice of his intention to seek a proposed revision in the Connecticut Law Journal and on the DSS website. The notice must include a summary of the proposed revision and a description of how individuals may submit comments. The bill requires the DSS commissioner to (1) allow 30 days for written comments on the proposed revision and (2) include all written comments in the submission to the Human Services and Appropriations committees.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

154 — MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS TO TREAT HEMOPHILIA

Expands provisions on Factor VIII drugs to also apply to Factor VII, IX, and X drugs and eliminates authorization for DSS to specify suppliers

Under current law, the maximum allowable cost paid under Medicaid for Factor VIII pharmaceuticals (drugs that treat hemophilia A) is their actual acquisition cost plus 8 percent. The bill specifies that the actual acquisition cost is the one reflected on the manufacturer's invoice and adds the outpatient drug professional dispensing fee to the calculation of the maximum cost. The bill also expands these provisions to apply to Factor VII, IX and X products (drugs to treat hemophilia A, B, and other bleeding disorders).

The bill eliminates authorization for the social services commissioner to (1) designate specific suppliers of Factor VIII drugs from which dispensing pharmacies must order and have the supplier bill DSS and (2) pay the dispensing pharmacy a handling fee of 8 percent of the actual acquisition cost for each prescription from a designated supplier.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

155 — CONNECTICUT HOME CARE PROGRAM FOR THE ELDERLY (CHCPE)

Limits eligibility and temporarily freezes enrollment for state-funded CHCPE

CHCPE provides home- and community-based services to frail elders as an alternative to nursing home care. The program has state- and Medicaid-funded components. By law, the state-funded component provides services to individuals who (1) are at least 65 years old, (2) are inappropriately institutionalized or at risk of inappropriate institutionalization, and (3) have income and assets within certain limits.

Current law limits eligibility for those who applied to the state-funded program in FY 16 and FY 17 to only those who (1) required a nursing home level of care or (2) lived in affordable housing under the state's assisted living demonstration programs. The bill makes this limitation permanent except for those enrolled in the program by June 30, 2017.

The bill also freezes enrollment for the state-funded portion of CHCPE at the FY 17 enrollment for FYs 18 and 19, except the freeze does not apply to the people in the state's assisted living demonstration project. Existing law limits the demonstration project to 300 subsidized dwelling units.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

156 & 157 — DECREASE IN ELIGIBILITY FOR HUSKY A

Lowers the income limit for HUSKY A parents and caretakers from 150% to 138% FPL and requires DSS and Access Health CT to report to MAPOC on those who lose coverage

By law, DSS provides Medicaid coverage to children younger than age 19 and their parents or caretaker relatives through HUSKY A. Under current law, the income limit for this program is 150% of the federal poverty level (FPL) ($30,630 for a family of three). The bill further limits HUSKY A eligibility by lowering the income limit for non-pregnant adults (i.e., parents or caretaker relatives) to 133% FPL ($27,158.60 for a family of three).

However, federal law requires state agencies to include a 5% income disregard when making certain Medicaid eligibility determinations. Thus, under the bill and including this disregard, the HUSKY A income limit for parents and caretaker relatives in a family of three is effectively 138% FPL.

The bill requires DSS to review whether those who lose eligibility under the bill qualify for Medicaid coverage under the same coverage group or a different coverage group before terminating their coverage.

The bill also requires the DSS commissioner and the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange (i.e., Access Health CT) to ensure that parents and caretakers who lose coverage under the bill have an opportunity to enroll in a qualified health plan without a gap in coverage. The bill requires Access Health CT to enlist help from health and social services community-based organizations to contact and advise those individuals of their health insurance options.

The bill requires the DSS commissioner and Access Health CT to report quarterly, from December 15, 2017 to January 1, 2020, to the Council on Medical Assistance Program Oversight (MAPOC). The report must include the number of parents and caretaker relatives who, due to the bill's changes in income eligibility:

1. were no longer eligible for Medicaid,

2. remained eligible after the DSS commissioner's review,

3. lost Medicaid coverage and enrolled in a qualified health plan without a gap in coverage,

4. lost Medicaid coverage and did not immediately enroll in a qualified health plan, and

5. enrolled in a qualified health plan but were unenrolled for failure to pay premiums.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2017

158 — LIMITS ON COST SHARING FOR HUSKY A PARENTS AND CARETAKERS

Prohibits cost-sharing requirements for preferred and medically necessary nonpreferred prescription drugs for HUSKY A parents and caretakers and limits cost-sharing for other Medicaid services for this group

The bill prohibits DSS from imposing cost-sharing requirements for prescription drugs on the preferred drug list on parents or needy caretaker relatives who receive Medicaid under HUSKY A.

If the commissioner determines a cost sharing requirement is necessary on a HUSKY A parent or caretaker for nonpreferred drugs or other Medicaid services, the bill requires him to notify the Human Services Committee and the parent or caretaker relative 30 days before imposing it. The bill prohibits DSS from (1) denying such a person a Medicaid service because they cannot meet the cost-sharing requirement and (2) imposing cost sharing for nonpreferred prescription drugs if a physician certifies that the nonpreferred drug is medically necessary. The bill also requires the commissioner to notify affected parents and caretakers that they will not be denied Medicaid service for inability to meet the cost sharing requirement.

If DSS imposes a cost-sharing requirement, the bill also requires the DSS commissioner to submit a quarterly report to the Human Services Committee on:

1. any decrease in the number of visits to Medicaid providers by a parent or caretaker relative compared to the same time period (presumably, quarter) before the cost-sharing requirement began and

2. any difference in the average number of visits to Medicaid providers made by a parent or caretaker with a cost-sharing requirement compared to other Medicaid recipients of comparable health who are not subject to a cost-sharing requirement.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

159 & 160 — MEDICAID NONEMERGENCY DENTAL SERVICES FOR ADULTS

Limits Medicaid payments for nonemergency dental services to $1,000 per adult per calendar year, with some exceptions, and expands the definition of “medically necessary” to include dental services

The bill limits Medicaid payment for nonemergency dental services for adults to $1,000 per calendar year for each adult, but excludes from this cap medically necessary services including dentures.

For purposes of administering Medicaid, current law generally defines “medically necessary” as health services (1) required to prevent, identify, diagnose, treat, rehabilitate, or ameliorate an individual's medical condition to attain or maintain his or her achievable health and independent functioning and (2) that meet certain other requirements (e.g., are consistent with generally accepted standards of medical practice). The bill expands the definition to apply to dental conditions and adds the recommendations of dental-specialty societies and the views of practicing dentists to the definition of generally accepted standards.

EFFECTIVE DATE:  January 1, 2018, except the change to the “medically necessary” definition is effective upon passage.

161 — MEDICARE SAVINGS PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

Reduces income eligibility for the Medicare savings program

The bill reduces eligibility, as of January 1, 2018, for each of the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) tiers (see below) by lowering the income limits as a percentage of the federal poverty level (FPL), as the below table shows. The bill also makes a conforming change to require that DSS post regulations on the department's website and on the eRegulations system rather than in the Connecticut Law Journal.

Table: MSP Income Limits

MSP

Program Tier

Cost-Sharing Payments Covered

Current Law

Under the Bill

Income Limit (% FPL)

FFY 17 Annual Income Limit (Individual)

Income Limit (% FPL)

FFY 17 Annual Income Limit (Individual)

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB)

Medicare Part B Premium

All Medicare deductibles

Co-insurance

Less than 211%

$25,447

Less than 100%

$12,060

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program (SLMB)

Medicare Part B Premium

211%-231%

$27,859

100% to 120%

$14,472

Qualified Individual (QI)

Medicare Part B Premium

231%-246%

$29,668

120% to 135%

$16,281

The federal MSP consists of three separate program tiers: the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB), and the Qualified Individual (QI). To qualify, individuals must be enrolled in Medicare Part A. Program participants get help from the state's Medicaid program with their Medicare cost sharing, including premiums and deductibles.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018

162 — INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY PARTNERSHIP

Requires the Intellectual Disability Partnership to form an advisory committee and makes related changes

PA 17-61 allowed the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) commissioner, in collaboration with the OPM secretary and DSS commissioner, to organize and participate in an Intellectual Disability Partnership. This bill specifies that the commissioners and secretary may designate others to do so in their place.

It also requires the partnership to form an advisory committee. It makes corresponding changes by requiring (1) the advisory committee, rather than the partnership, to include broad and diverse representation from families, providers, and advocates and (2) DDS to post online the meetings, agendas, and minutes of the advisory committee rather than the partnership.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

163 — NONPROFIT COLLABORATION INCENTIVE GRANT PROGRAM

Eliminates annual solicitation requirements for nonprofit grant program

The bill eliminates the annual requirement for the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary to publish a notice of funding availability and solicit proposals for funding under the nonprofit collaboration incentive grant program. Under existing law, unchanged by the bill, eligible nonprofit organizations may apply for such funding at times and in a manner as the OPM secretary prescribes.

By law, the Nonprofit Collaboration Incentive Grant Program provides grants to nonprofit organizations for infrastructure costs related to the consolidation of programs and services resulting from the collaborative efforts of two or more such organizations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

164 — PAYMENT FOR BIRTH-TO-THREE SERVICES

Delays conversion of Birth-to-Three payment methodology to a fee-for-service system until November 1, 2017

The bill prohibits the Office of Early Childhood and DSS commissioners from converting the payment methodology for Birth-to-Three services from a bundled rate to a fee-for-service system before November 1, 2017. By law, the Birth-to-Three program is a private, provider-based system that provides services to families with infants and toddlers who have developmental delays or disabilities.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

165 — FAMILY PLANNING CLINICS AND SERVICES

Allows DSS to offset any reduction in federal funding for family planning services

The bill allows the state to offset federal funding reductions for providers or recipients of family planning services otherwise covered by Medicaid. The providers must otherwise meet DSS's participation and enrollment requirements to receive state funding.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

166 — HOME HEALTH CARE ADD-ON PAYMENTS

Allows DSS to eliminate Medicaid add-on payments for FYs 18 and 19 to home health care agencies for certain services in higher risk settings or for patients with complex medical needs

The bill allows the DSS commissioner to eliminate home health care add-on payments for FYs 18 and 19. Existing law allows but does not require DSS to increase any fee payable to a home health care agency or homemaker-home health agency that applies to DSS and demonstrates extraordinary costs related to:

1. treating AIDS patients,

2. high risk maternal child health care,

3. escort security services, and

4. extended hour services.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

167 — OVERTIME SLEEP-TIME EXEMPTION FOR DOMESTIC WORKERS

Expands the “sleep time” exemption from overtime pay requirements

The bill expands the state's “sleep time” exemption from overtime pay requirements for certain employees of third-party providers (e.g., home care agencies). Current law allows employees providing “companionship services” and their third-party provider employers to agree to exclude a regularly scheduled sleep period from the work hours used to determine the employee's overtime pay if (1) the employee is required to be present at a worksite for at least 24 consecutive hours, (2) adequate on-site sleeping facilities are provided to the employee, and (3) the employee receives at least five hours of sleep time. The bill allows any of the provider's employees performing “domestic service employment,” as defined in federal regulations, and not just those providing companionship services, to enter into such an agreement. Federal regulations allow for the same exemption (29 CFR 785.22).

Under federal regulations, “domestic service employment” includes services of a household nature performed by a worker in or about a private home, including services performed by companions, cooks, waiters, housekeepers, home health aides, and personal care aides.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

168 — TWO-GENERATIONAL INITIATIVE

Makes the two-generational pilot program a permanent statewide initiative

The bill replaces the Two-Generational School Readiness and Workforce Development Pilot Program, which expired on June 30, 2017, with a permanent statewide initiative to foster family economic self-sufficiency in low-income households through a comprehensive two-generational service delivery approach. In doing so, it expands the pilot program's scope and replaces oversight by the interagency working group with an advisory council.

The bill designates the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) as the initiative's coordinating agency for the executive branch. It also establishes the initiative's components and required reporting.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Objectives

The bill requires the initiative to promote systemic change to create conditions across local and state public sector agencies and the private sector to support early childhood care and education, health and workforce readiness, and self-sufficiency across two generations in the same household. Areas the initiative may review and consider, within available appropriations, include the following:

1. Improvements to the coordination and delivery of early learning programs, adult education, child care, housing, job training, transportation, and financial literacy.

2. Alignment of existing state and local support systems around the household, including how to leverage Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant funds.

3. Development of a long-term plan to coordinate, align and optimize service delivery of relevant programs statewide.

4. Partnerships between state and philanthropic organizations, as available, to provide guidance and best practices to participating communities.

Components

Under the expired pilot program, sites were required in Bridgeport, Colchester, Greater Hartford (defined as Hartford, East Hartford, and West Hartford), Meriden, New Haven, and Norwalk. Under the bill, the initiative must be implemented in learning communities that include those that were specified for the pilot program, except for Colchester, as well as Enfield, Waterbury, and Windham. The bill does not require the initiative to include a workforce liaison, which was a pilot program requirement.

Advisory Council

The bill establishes an advisory council to oversee the initiative and to advise the state on how to foster family economic self-sufficiency in low-income households through a comprehensive two-generational service delivery approach for early care and education and workforce readiness. The council membership must include legislators, executive and judicial branch officials, representatives of the nonprofit and other sectors, and members of low-income households.

Under the bill, the council consists of the following members:

1. One member of the General Assembly appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall serve as co-chairperson;

2. One member of the State Senate appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, who shall serve as co-chairperson;

3. One member representing the interests of business or trade organizations, appointed by the majority leader of the Senate;

4. One member with expertise on issues concerning health and mental health, appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives;

5. One member on issues concerning children and families, appointed by the minority leader of the Senate;

6. One member of the General Assembly, appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;

7. A member of a low-income household selected by the Commissioner on Women, Children and Seniors;

8. Representatives of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations and scholars who are experts in two-generational programs and policies;

9. Other business and academic professionals as needed to achieve goals for two-generational systems planning, evaluations and outcomes selected by the co-chairpersons; and

10. The commissioners of Correction, Early Childhood, Education, Housing, Labor, Public Health, Social Services, and Transportation, or each commissioner's designee; and the Chief Court Administrator, or his or her designee, shall serve as ex-officio members of the advisory council.

Legislative Report

The bill requires the advisory council, by December 31, 2018, to report to the Appropriations, Education, Housing, Human Services, Public Health, and Transportation committees on the following:

1. the challenges and opportunities in working with a parent and child concurrently in a two-generational service delivery model;

2. recommendations to improve systems, policy, culture, program, budget, or communications issues among agencies and service providers at the local and state levels to achieve outcomes; and

3. recommendations on the elimination of barriers to promote two-generational success.

169-181 — BEHAVIOR ANALYST LICENSURE

Requires behavior analysts to be licensed by DPH and establishes a General Fund account to contain such licensing fee revenue, to be spent to cover costs of collecting the fees

Subject to certain exemptions, the bill requires behavior analysts to be licensed by DPH. To obtain a license, an applicant must be (1) certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (“board”) or (2) eligible for licensure by endorsement. The bill creates a separate General Fund account to contain behavior analyst licensing fees, with the account to be used for covering expenses of collecting the fees.

The bill eliminates current provisions on required qualifications for individuals providing applied behavior analysis as part of special education services for students with autism spectrum disorder. Under the bill, such individuals must be licensed or qualify under one of the bill's licensure exemptions, just like others providing behavioral analysis.

The bill specifies that (1) no new regulatory board is created for behavior analysts and (2) assistant behavior analysts must work under a licensed behavior analyst's supervision. (By law, assistant analysts must be board certified.) It also makes technical and conforming changes, such as replacing references to “certified” behavior analysts with “licensed” behavior analysts in certain insurance statutes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018

Behavior Analysis Definition ( 170)

Under the bill, “behavior analysis” is the design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental modifications, using behavior stimuli and consequences, to produce socially significant improvement in human behavior. This may include direct observation, measurement, and functional analysis of the relationship between the environment and behavior. The term does not include psychological testing, neuropsychology, cognitive therapy, sex therapy, psychoanalysis, hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, or long-term counseling.

Licensure Requirement and Exemptions ( 170 & 171)

Under current law, it is a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both, for someone not board-certified to represent himself or herself as a board certified behavior analyst. The bill removes the criminal penalty and instead generally prohibits anyone without a behavior analyst license from (1) practicing behavior analysis or (2) using the title “behavior analyst” or any title, words, letters, or abbreviations that may reasonably be confused with behavior analyst licensure.

These restrictions do not apply to:

1. individuals who provide behavior analysis or assist in the practice of behavior analysis while acting within the scope of practice of their license or certification and training, as long as they do not hold themselves out to the public as behavior analysts;

2. students enrolled in a board-accredited behavior analysis educational program or a graduate education program in which behavior analysis is an integral part of the course of study, if they are performing behavior analysis or assisting in such analysis under a licensed behavior analyst's direct supervision;

3. instructors in board-approved courses;

4. assistant behavior analysts working under a licensed behavior analyst's supervision in accordance with board standards;

5. individuals implementing an intervention based on behavior analysis under a licensee's supervision; or

6. family members, guardians, or caretakers implementing a behavior analysis treatment plan under a licensee's direction.

License Applications, Qualifications, and Renewals ( 172-174)

The bill requires the DPH commissioner to issue a behavior analyst license to any applicant who submits, on a DPH form, satisfactory evidence that he or she is board certified as a behavior analyst.

The bill also allows for licensure by endorsement for individuals who are not board certified. Such an applicant must provide DPH with satisfactory evidence that he or she is licensed or certified as a behavior analyst (or as someone entitled to perform similar services under a different title) in another state or jurisdiction. That jurisdiction's requirements for practicing must be substantially similar to or greater than Connecticut's, and there must be no pending disciplinary actions or unresolved complaints against the applicant.

The license application fee is $350, and the annual renewal fee is $175. To renew, licensees must provide satisfactory evidence that they are board certified. (Thus, individuals licensed by endorsement must become board certified if they seek to renew their license.)

Enforcement and Disciplinary Action ( 175)

The bill allows the DPH commissioner to take disciplinary action against a licensed behavior analyst for:

1. failing to conform to accepted professional standards;

1. a felony conviction;

2. fraud or deceit in obtaining or seeking reinstatement of a license or in the practice of behavior analysis;

3. negligence, incompetence, or wrongful conduct in professional activities;

4. an inability to conform to professional standards because of a physical, mental, or emotional illness;

5. alcohol or substance abuse; or

6. willfully falsifying entries in any hospital, patient, or other behavior analysis record.

By law, disciplinary actions available to DPH include (1) revoking or suspending a license, (2) censuring the violator, (3) issuing a letter of reprimand, (4) placing the violator on probation, or (5) imposing a civil penalty of up to $25,000 (CGS 19a-17). As under existing law for various other health professions, the bill allows the commissioner to order a licensee to undergo a reasonable physical or mental examination if his or her capacity to practice safely is under investigation.

The bill allows the commissioner to petition Hartford Superior Court to enforce such an examination order or any disciplinary action he takes. He must give the person notice and an opportunity to be heard before taking disciplinary action.

Behavior Analysis Services for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder ( 177)

By law, school districts must provide applied behavior analysis for students with autism spectrum disorder who require the services (1) according to a special education individualized education program or (2) under an educational plan established under section 504 of the 1973 federal Rehabilitation Act.

Under current law, to provide these services, a person generally must either be (1) licensed by DPH or certified by the State Department of Education (SDE) and the services must be within the scope of the license or certificate or (2) board certified as a behavior analyst or assistant behavior analyst. If the SDE commissioner determines that there are not enough such individuals as needed, current law allows her to authorize others with certain educational backgrounds to provide the services, under the supervision of a board-certified behavior analyst.

The bill eliminates these provisions and instead requires individuals providing behavior analysis to students with autism to either be licensed or exempt from licensure as specified above.

Separate Account ( 181)

The bill establishes the “behavior analyst licensing fee expense account” as a separate, nonlapsing General Fund account. The account must contain behavior analyst licensure fees, sufficient to cover costs of any staff and equipment necessary to collect the fees, as determined by the DPH commissioner. DPH must spend the account monies to fund such staff and equipment.

182 & 183 — TORRINGTON DSS PILOT PROJECT

Allows DSS to establish a pilot project involving relocating certain staff to the Torrington community action agency

The bill allows the Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioner to establish a 12-month pilot project in partnership with Torrington's community action agency (CAA) to provide streamlined social services to assist eligible, low-income persons to achieve economic independence. It requires that the project include locating, as determined by the department, certain DSS staff from the Torrington office at the Torrington CAA. The bill prohibits the DSS commissioner from reducing staff in this transfer.

The bill makes several requirements relating to the pilot project's objectives, reporting, and funding. It also prohibits the governor, with certain exceptions, from reducing any allotment for DSS that results in the early termination of the pilot project.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Objectives

The bill requires the pilot project to assist eligible, low-income persons to achieve economic independence. It requires that the project locate certain DSS staff from the department's Torrington office to the Torrington CAA in order to provide on-site eligibility determinations for DSS-administered assistance programs. In achieving the required transfer, the bill prohibits the DSS commissioner from reducing department staff.

Definitions

The bill defines an “eligible, low-income person” as a person who qualifies for assistance from DSS or a community action agency. Under the bill and existing law, a “community action agency” has been designated and authorized to accept funding from the state under the Community Services Block Grant.

Case Conference Meetings

The bill requires the Torrington CAA to coordinate community-wide case conference meetings of service providers to address systemic barriers to economic independence faced by eligible low-income people. In coordinating these meetings, the CAA must consult with service providers that may include the following:

1. the departments of Children and Families, Correction, Education, Housing, Labor, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Rehabilitation, and Social Services;

2. Torrington Housing Authority;

3. Northwestern Connecticut Transit District;

4. Northwestern Connecticut Community College;

5. Torrington Superior Court;

6. Office of Adult Probation serving Torrington; and

7. regional education service center serving western Connecticut.

Legislative Report

The bill requires the DSS commissioner, in consultation with the Torrington CAA, to report on the pilot project to the Human Services Committee by January 1, 2019, and requires the report to include (1) the number of persons served in the pilot program; (2) the services provided; and (3) the documented outcomes in jobs, housing, and education of persons served.

Pilot Project Funding

The bill appropriates $100,000 to DSS, for FY 18, for rental and overhead expenses associated with relocating DSS staff and for additional costs related to the pilot project. It prohibits the governor, with the exception of his rescission authority, from reducing any FY 18 allotment for DSS that results in the early termination of the pilot project.

185 — STATE EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECKS

Adds criminal background check requirements for state employees in positions involving exposure to federal tax information

The bill adds criminal background check requirements for state employees in positions involving exposure to federal tax information. Under existing law, unchanged by the bill, employers are prohibited from basing employment decisions on erased criminal records. The bill requires the employing agency to require each applicant for, each employee applying for transfer to, and, at least every 10 years, each current employee of such position to:

1. state in writing whether the applicant or employee has been convicted of a crime or has criminal charges pending against him or her at the time of application for employment or transfer and, if so, to identify the charges and the court in which the charges are pending and

2. be fingerprinted and submit to state and national criminal history records checks.

By law, state agencies requesting criminal history checks must reimburse the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection for the cost. The state agency is permitted to charge the person a fee equal to the amount charged for the background check.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

186 — STATE ADMINISTERED GENERAL ASSISTANCE (SAGA) BENEFITS

Reduces SAGA cash assistance levels for unemployable and certain transitional individuals

The bill reduces State-Administered General Assistance (SAGA) cash assistance levels, as of November 1, 2017, from $200 to $175 per month for eligible individuals who are determined to be unemployable or who are transitional and required to pay for his or her shelter.

The program, operated by the Department of Social Services (DSS), typically serves adults who are either permanently or temporarily unable to work due to a documented medical condition and whose income and assets are below allowable limits. Under current law, the amount of the SAGA cash assistance for those with no income and who have to pay for housing is generally $200 per month. For those with no income or housing costs (or who are residing in a shelter), the SAGA cash amount is generally $50 per month. However, for a person without shelter costs, the benefit can increase up to $200 per month if a DSS medical review concludes that the person is unemployable.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2017

187-190 — BOARDS OF EDUCATION AS MEDICAID PROVIDERS FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION PURPOSES

Requires all local and regional boards of education to participate in the Medicaid School Based Child Health Program as Medicaid providers

Current law allows local and regional boards of education to seek federal Medicaid reimbursement for certain special education services (e.g., speech and language services) provided to Medicaid-eligible students. DSS's School-Based Child Health (SBCH) program processes these reimbursement requests. The bill requires each board of education, by October 1, 2017, to (1) enroll as a Medicaid provider, (2) participate in the Medicaid SBCH program, and (3) submit billable service information electronically to DSS or its billing agent.

The bill allows boards of education to enter into an agreement with a third-party vendor or another local or regional board of education to comply with these requirements. This agreement may allow boards of education to pay for vendor services using grants received from DSS under existing law, contingent upon these grant amounts sufficiently covering the cost of these services. By law, DSS must give grants to local and regional boards of education for 50% of the federal portion, excluding enhanced percentages, of Medicaid claims the state processes for Medicaid-eligible special education and related services provided to the school district's Medicaid-eligible students.

The bill prohibits DSS from extrapolating overpayments in a Medicaid audit to any third-party service provider that contracts with the local or regional board of education to provide Medicaid services when DSS determines the error is caused by (1) a clerical error, (2) information the board of education provides, or (3) another third party vendor in the submission of billable service information.

The bill also requires, rather than allows, boards of education to determine a child's Medicaid enrollment status. It specifies that boards must comply with federal requirements on ensuring availability of education services before billing for services under DSS's Medicaid SBCH program.

The bill requires private schools, hospitals, and other institutions receiving payments for special education instruction from boards of education to submit all required documentation to the board so that the board may submit claims to DSS's Medicaid SBCH program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

191-204 & 749 — DDS AS SUCCESSOR TO OPA'S INVESTIGATION OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT COMPLAINTS

Transfers to DDS, rather than the Department of Rehabilitation Services, oversight over claims of abuse or neglect of individuals with intellectual disability or clients of DSS's Division of Autism Spectrum Disorder Services and makes related changes

By law, the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (OPA) was eliminated as of July 1, 2017. Most of its functions were transferred to a nonprofit entity (Disability Rights Connecticut, Inc.) (“DRCT”) designated by the governor to serve as the state's protection and advocacy system for individuals with disabilities.

Under current law, the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) is the successor agency to OPA regarding its investigatory responsibilities concerning alleged abuse or neglect of (1) individuals with intellectual disability or (2) individuals who receive funding or services under DSS's Division of Autism Spectrum Disorder Services. The bill removes this function from DORS and instead makes DDS the successor agency for such investigations. (In practice, DDS has been performing these functions since March 2017 under a memorandum of understanding with DORS).

The bill requires the DDS commissioner to receive and investigate complaints from such individuals, their legal representatives, or other interested persons. The bill makes various other conforming changes to the existing laws on such abuse investigations to effectuate the transfer of these responsibilities to DDS.

The bill allows the subject of such an investigation, his or her legal representatives, or other interested parties to contact DRCT with any concerns about the conduct of the investigation. It prohibits the DDS commissioner from taking any action, or threatening to take any action, against any such person who contacts DRCT with such concerns.

Under current law, if an investigation determines that a person with intellectual disability was abused, the matter must be referred to a prosecutor and in some cases, immediately to the police. The bill extends these provisions to investigations of persons receiving services under DSS's Division of Autism Spectrum Disorder services and requires the DDS commissioner to notify the DSS commissioner of any such referral involving a division client.

The bill makes other changes concerning the investigation process, including various minor and technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except a technical change is effective July 1, 2018

205 — SPECIAL TRANSPORTATION FUND (STF)

Eliminates requirement that remaining STF funds, after first being used for certain statutory obligations, pay for DSS' transportation to work program

The bill eliminates the requirement that remaining STF funds pay for the Transportation for Employment Independence Program administered by the Department of Social Services (DSS).

Current law requires STF funds to be used first for debt service on special tax obligation bonds and to pay for certain transportation projects. Remaining funds must be applied to: (1) general obligation bonds issued for transportation projects, (2) budget appropriations for DOT and DMV, (3) DESPP motor patrol work, (4) DEEP boating regulation and enforcement and (5) DSS' transportation to work program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

206 — STATE EMPLOYEE WORKERS' COMPENSATION COSTS

Requires OPM and DAS to recommend ways to reduce workers' compensation costs

The bill requires the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and administrative services commissioner, by February 1, 2018, to jointly develop and submit to the Labor and Public Employees and Appropriations committees a report with recommendations to reduce workers' compensation costs (presumably of state employees). The report must include:

1. methods to better manage contracts with third-party administrators,

2. guidelines for third-party administrators to use when informing employees about available benefits and programs,

3. plans for increased light duty work options,

4. recommendations for necessary or appropriate legislation, and

5. any other recommendations to implement workers' compensation cost reductions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

207 — MATERIALS INNOVATION AND RECYCLING AUTHORITY PAYMENT TO HARTFORD

Requires MIRA to make a $1 million payment in lieu of taxes to Hartford by December 1, 2017

The bill requires the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA), by December 1, 2017, to make a $1 million payment in lieu of taxes to Hartford.

By law, MIRA is a quasi-public agency that plans, designs, builds, and operates solid waste disposal, volume reduction, recycling, intermediate processing, and resources recovery facilities. It operates the Connecticut Solid Waste System which includes a recycling facility and a resource recovery facility in Hartford.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

208 — REGIONAL REVENUE SHARING AGREEMENTS

Authorizes COGs to enter into regional revenue sharing agreements with other COGs

The bill authorizes any regional council of government (COG) to enter into a regional sharing agreement with one or more other COGs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

209 & 210 — GRANTS TO COGS

Establishes, beginning in FY 18, a new type of annual grant for COGs

Beginning in FY 18, the bill makes regional councils of government (COGs) eligible for a “regional services grant.” (It is unclear whether this grant replaces the regional services grant for COGs under CGS 4-66l). The grants must be made within available appropriations and pursuant to a formula developed by the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary. In order to receive a grant, COGs must annually submit a grant spending plan by July 1, for the OPM secretary to approve. But for FY 18 grants, this plan must be submitted by November 1, 2017.

The bill also makes minor changes to a COG reporting requirement. Under existing law and the bill, COGs must annually report to the OPM secretary and the legislature on: expenditures; planned and existing regional programs, projects, and initiatives; program, project, and initiative outcomes; possibilities for regionalizing municipal services; and recommendations for legislative action.

The bill also makes a conforming change.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

211-216 — CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION SYSTEM (CJIS) GOVERNING BOARD

Transfers the board from OPM to DESPP for administrative purposes; requires DESPP to staff and supply the board and to provide certain information to people who request it

The bill transfers the CJIS Governing Board, which oversees criminal justice information systems, from OPM to DESPP for administrative purposes only. It requires DESPP, rather than OPM, to provide office space and such staff, supplies, and services as the board's executive director needs to perform his duties, such as overseeing the design and implementation of a comprehensive statewide information system to share criminal justice information according to law.

Existing law requires the public to have access under the Freedom of Information Act to certain data from criminal justice agency information systems. The bill requires the DESPP commissioner, rather than the OPM secretary, to provide anyone who submits a request for such information with the name and address of the agency where the date originated.

The bill also makes technical changes to the CJIS laws.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

217 & 218 — ADVISORY COMMISSION ON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (ACIR)

Changes the quadrennial deadline by which the ACIR must submit a report on state mandates

This bill delays, from the second Wednesday after the 2018 regular session convenes to October 1, 2019, the date by which the ACIR must submit its next report to the legislature analyzing the cost that each state mandate imposes on local governments. By law, unchanged by the bill, ACIR must submit this report quadrennially by the deadline.

Existing law requires the ACIR, following any regular or special section, to submit a separate report to the legislative leaders listing each state mandate enacted during the session. The report is due no later than 90 days after adjournment, or for a regular session, September 1, whichever is sooner.

The bill specifies that, on and after January 1, 2019, ACIR must submit this report to the legislative leaders. By law, after receiving the report, the Senate president and House speaker must submit it to OPM; the OPM secretary refers each mandate to the legislative committee of cognizance and notifies each municipality's chief elected official.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage for the sessional reporting requirement; October 1, 2017 for the quadrennial reporting requirement.

219-221 — COMPUTER PROGRAMMING INSTRUCTION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Requires the instruction to be age appropriate, given in grades K-12, and include coding; also allows for donations for equipment and requires revised teacher certification regulations for this subject area

By law, public schools must include computer programming instruction as part of their mandatory course of study. The bill specifies that, beginning in the 2017-18 school year, this instruction must be age appropriate; given in grades kindergarten through 12; and inclusive of all areas of computer science, including coding.

It also allows local and regional boards of education to accept gifts, grants, and donations, including in-kind donations, to purchase equipment or materials needed to provide computer programming instruction.

Additionally, the bill requires the State Board of Education to adopt revised regulations, by July 1, 2018, that establish teacher certification subject area endorsement requirements for computer programming instruction.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

222 — ELDERLY CIRCUIT BREAKER PROGRAM

With specified exceptions, authorizes OPM to reduce reimbursements to municipalities under the Elderly Circuit Breaker Program by up to 100%

The bill authorizes the Office of Policy and Management secretary to reduce reimbursements to municipalities pursuant to the Elderly Circuit Breaker Program by up to 100%. However, OPM can only do so if the municipality is not a distressed municipality, targeted investment community, enterprise zone, or municipality within an airport development zone.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

223 — RENTERS REBATE PROGRAM

Eliminates extensions for rental rebate program application period

The bill eliminates a provision that allows a renter to apply for, and OPM to approve, an extension of the application period for the rental rebate program, which serves the elderly and people with total and permanent disabilities. Under current law, the OPM secretary may approve an extension if he determines there is good cause or if renters have evidence of extenuating circumstances due to illness or incapacitation.

By law, (1) renters may apply for the program from April 1 through October 1 of each year and (2) the comptroller must draw an order on the state treasurer no later than 15 days after receiving the list of approved payments from OPM.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

224 — DRS TAX INCIDENCE REPORT

Pushes back the deadline by which DRS must submit the first biennial tax incidence report to the Finance Committee

The bill pushes back the deadline by two years, from February 15, 2018, to February 15, 2020, by which DRS must submit the first biennial tax incidence report to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and post on the department's website. By law, the report must indicate the extent to which groups of people and types of business bear the burden of different taxes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

225 – ARBITRATOR FEES

Increases the fee an arbitrator receives for writing a decision from $175 to $500

By law, members of the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration who preside over an arbitration proceeding as a three-member panel each receive $325 when the proceeding concludes and the member who writes the panel's decision receives an additional amount. The bill increases the writer's additional amount from $175 to $500.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

226 — PARKING ON STATE PROPERTY

Expands who may establish and enforce policies and procedures for parking on state property

With certain exceptions, the law allows the DAS commissioner to establish policies and procedures for using and maintaining order on parking areas on property owned by the state or under her supervision. The bill allows the commissioner to delegate this authority to any other executive branch agency commissioner with respect to parking areas under the designated commissioner's supervision.

The bill allows the DAS commissioner or her designee, including a third-party contractor she retains, to issue a citation to, or tow the vehicle of, any person violating the policies and procedures. It eliminates provisions (1) requiring that enforcement of the policies and procedures be by special policemen for state property and DAS's buildings and grounds patrol officers and (2) allowing only the special policemen to tow vehicles or cause them to be towed.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

227 — CHRONIC GAMBLERS TREATMENT AND REHABILITATION ACCOUNT

Requires MMCT to contribute $300,000 to the chronic gamblers treatment and rehabilitation account instead of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling

PA 17-89 gave MMCT, Venture LLC, a company jointly owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, the right to conduct authorized games at a new off-reservation commercial casino, once certain conditions are met (e.g., amending gaming agreements, with the amendments approved by the state legislature and federal Department of the Interior). Under PA 17-89, once the casino gaming facility is operational and annually thereafter, MMCT must contribute $300,000 to the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling. The bill instead requires MMCT to contribute this money to the chronic gamblers treatment and rehabilitation account.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

228 – DAS CANDIDATE LISTS

Allows DAS to extend candidate lists through the end of 2018

The bill allows the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) commissioner to continue or extend, through the end of 2018, any candidate lists scheduled to expire on or after June 7, 2017.

By law, positions in the state employee classified service must be filled from a list of qualified people, known as a candidate list. Under current law, candidate lists must generally remain in force for a period of at least three months, but not more than one year, unless the DAS commissioner grants an exception under certain circumstances.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

229-234 & 750 — FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

Brings non-union state and municipal employees under private-sector FMLA; limits FMLA to non-union employees; allows for extended leave under certain circumstances

The bill repeals the family and medical leave law for state employees and brings non-union state employees under the state's private-sector family and medical leave act (FMLA). In general, the current private-sector FMLA requires large employers to provide up to 16 weeks of unpaid leave over a 24-month period to eligible employees for various reasons related to their health or their family members' health.

The bill also makes several changes to the state's private-sector FMLA. Among other things, it:

1. brings under the law, non-union municipal employees, including board of education employees, and private or parochial school employees;

2. removes unionized private-sector employees from the law's coverage;

3. expands the family members for whom an employee can take leave; and

4. allows eligible employees to take an additional (a) 16 weeks of unpaid parental leave (for a son or daughter's birth, adoption, or foster care placement), and (b) with proper medical certification, 24 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave once they have used all of their accrued paid vacation, personal leave or sick time.

Covered Employees and Employers

State Employees. The bill repeals the family and medical leave law for state employees and brings under the state's private-sector FMLA non-union state employees, including confidential employees in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches; and state employees in state-aided institutions, the constituent units of higher education, and quasi-public agencies. (Unionized state employees are covered under the private-sector FMLA by reference through the 2017 SEBAC Agreement.) Among other things, this change (1) requires them to meet the FMLA's 12-month work and 1,000 work-hour eligibility thresholds rather than qualify as permanent state employees and (2) reduces their maximum leave time from 24 to 16 weeks over a 24-month period.

Municipal Employees. The bill brings non-union municipal employees, including board of education employees, under the private sector FMLA (under current law, these employees are only covered by the federal FMLA). This change (1) lowers their work-hour eligibility threshold from 1,200 (under the federal FMLA) to 1,000 and (2) changes their maximum leave time from 12 weeks over a 12-month period to 16 weeks over a 24-month period.

Private Sector Employees. The bill limits the FMLA to only non-union employees and thus excludes unionized private-sector employees who are covered under current law.

Covered Family Members

Current law allows eligible employees to take leave for themselves, or to care for their children under age 18 or who are unable to care for themselves, their spouses, and their parents (including in-laws). The bill expands the family members for whom an employee can take leave to include the employee's adult children, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren. All of these family members include those related by adoption. Siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren also include those related by marriage.

Leave Extensions

The bill also allows eligible employees, under certain circumstances, to extend their leaves beyond the maximum duration allowed under current law. It allows up to a 16-week extension for parental leave (i.e., upon the birth of the employee's son or daughter or upon the placement of the employee's son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care).

For employees whose accrued paid vacation, personal leave, or sick leave expired, the bill also allows up to a 24-week extension for any of the FMLA's currently allowed reasons, except military caregiver leave. To be eligible, employees must have proper medical certification.

The bill also specifies that an eligible employee's use of sick leave to care for a family member, him or herself, or to be an organ or bone marrow donor must not be deemed an incident or occurrence under an absence control policy.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

235-250 — CREATION OF THE CONNECTICUT MUNICIPAL REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

Creates MRDA as a new quasi-public agency responsible for, among other things, stimulating economic and transit-oriented development in larger municipalities and fiscally distressed municipalities

This bill creates the Connecticut Municipal Redevelopment Authority (MRDA) as a quasi-public agency to, among other things, stimulate economic and transit-oriented development in larger municipalities and fiscally distressed municipalities. Larger municipalities may opt to become members of the authority; certain fiscally distressed municipalities are automatically members. The bill authorizes MRDA to develop property and manage facilities in development districts encompassing the areas around transit stations and downtowns (i.e., “MRDA development districts”). Members must enter into an agreement with MRDA to designate at least one district. District boundaries are determined by a memorandum of agreement between MRDA and the chief executive officer of the member municipality.

The bill establishes an 13-member board to govern MRDA and gives it general powers to operate as a quasi-public agency and development-specific powers for projects within MRDA development districts. It authorizes MRDA to (1) issue bonds and other notes backed by its financial resources and (2) enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) for administrative support and services. It subjects MRDA to specific auditing and reporting requirements.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

Quasi-Public Agency

The bill establishes MRDA as a public instrumentality and political subdivision of the state, created to perform an essential public and government function. It is a quasi-public agency, not a state department, institution, or agency, and as such is subject to statutory procedural, operating, and reporting requirements for quasi-public agencies, including lobbying restrictions and the State Code of Ethics.

MRDA has perpetual succession as long as any of its obligations are outstanding or until it is terminated by law. Termination does not affect outstanding contractual obligations. Its rights and properties vest in the state when it lawfully terminates.

Purpose

Under the bill, MRDA must stimulate economic and transit-oriented development (TOD) in development districts. Under existing law and the bill, TOD means development within one-half mile or walking distance of public transportation facilities (including rail and bus rapid transit and services) that meets transit-supportive standards for land uses, built environment densities, and walkable environments in order to facilitate and encourage their use.

The bill also requires MRDA to:

1. encourage residential housing development in districts;

2. manage facilities through contractual agreements or other legal instruments;

3. stimulate new investment within the development district and provide support for the creation of a vibrant, multidimensional downtown;

4. assist municipalities in which a district is located, at the request of their legislative bodies, in development and redevelopment efforts to stimulate their economy;

5. enter into an agreement to facilitate development or redevelopment property within a development district, at the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary's request and with the approval of the municipality's chief executive officer;

6. encourage development and redevelopment of property within development districts;

7. engage residents of member municipalities and other stakeholders in development and redevelopment efforts; and

8. market and develop development districts as vibrant and multidimensional.

Member Municipalities

The bill specifies that member municipalities are those:

1. classified by the bill as a “designated tier III or IV” municipality (i.e., fiscally distressed municipalities, see 307) or

2. with a population of at least 70,000 (as of the last decennial census), if their legislative bodies opt to become member municipalities.

However, under the bill, Bloomfield, East Hartford, Hartford, Newington, South Windsor, Wethersfield, and West Hartford are not eligible to become member municipalities.

Tier III and IV municipalities are deemed members. Other municipalities opt to become members though a certified resolution of the local legislative body. Before adopting a resolution, the municipality must hold a public hearing.

Advisory Boards. Each member municipality's legislative body must appoint an advisory board to serve as a liaison to MRDA. The advisory board must include (1) three individuals representing the municipality; (2) the municipality's chief executive officer, who serves as the chairperson; and (3) one member of MRDA's board, chosen by the MRDA board's chairperson. The advisory board may include other individuals, such as a representative of a local human service organization. In making its appointments, the legislative body must, to the extent possible, appoint representatives of minority-owned businesses, advocates for walkable communities, and members who are diverse.

Delineating Development District Boundaries

MRDA must delineate development district boundaries through a memorandum of agreement with the municipality in which the district will be located. The development district must (1) be in a “downtown” area or (2) not extend beyond a half-mile radius from a transit station. “Downtown” means a central business district or other commercial neighborhood area of a community that serves as a center of socioeconomic interaction in the community, characterized by a cohesive core of commercial and mixed-use buildings, often interspersed with civic, religious, and residential buildings and public spaces, that are typically arranged along a main street and intersecting side streets and served by public infrastructure. “Transit stations” are those stations located in the member municipality's jurisdiction and include passenger railroad or bus rapid transit stations that (1) are operational, (2) the Department of Transportation (DOT) is planning, or (3) are included in DOT's statewide transportation investment program (a document, updated every four years, listing transportation projects expected to receive federal funding).

Prerequisite to Delineation. Before entering into an MOU to delineate boundaries, MRDA must review and approve the member municipality's economic development master plan, as it was approved by the local legislative body. In developing its local plan, a municipality must provide for community and stakeholder input and a public comment process. MRDA must offer support, upon request, to municipalities creating their plans.

In determining whether to approve the local plan, MRDA must consider whether it includes a clear and feasible path toward achieving as many of MRDA's purposes as practical and appropriate.

Powers

General Powers. The bill gives MRDA general powers to function as a quasi-public agency and specific powers related to projects occurring within a MRDA development district's boundaries (“authority development projects”). The general powers allow it to:

1. have perpetual succession as a corporate body;

2. adopt and alter a corporate seal;

3. adopt procedures for regulating and conducting its affairs;

4. maintain offices;

5. sue and be sued;

6. purchase insurance for its property, other assets, and employees;

7. enter into contracts and MOUs;

8. acquire, lease, manage, and dispose of personal property and enter into agreements with respect to such property;

9. engage consultants, attorneys, and appraisers;

10. invest funds that are not immediately needed in (a) U.S.- or state-issued or –guaranteed obligations, including the Short Term Investment Fund and Tax-Exempt Proceeds Fund; (b) legal investments for savings banks in Connecticut; and (c) time deposits, certificates of deposit, or similar arrangements; and

11. do all things necessary and convenient to carry out these powers.

The bill also authorizes MRDA to employ staff as necessary and specifies that they are not state employees, and MRDA is not an employer, under the state's collective bargaining law. However, for purposes of health and life insurance, MRDA employees and officers are considered state employees. MRDA may establish and modify personnel policies, including employee compensation, promotion, retirement, and collective bargaining.

Development District Powers

Under the bill, “projects” in a development district include: (1) the design and construction of transit-oriented development, (2) the creation of housing units through rehabilitation or new construction, (3) the demolition or redevelopment of vacant buildings, and (4) development and redevelopment. Projects that receive authority support must be consistent with the (1) member municipality's economic development master plan and plan of conservation and development and (2) applicable Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (these are prepared by regional economic development districts).

With respect to projects occurring in a MRDA development district's boundaries, MRDA may: (1) acquire property by gift, purchase, condemnation, lease, or transfer; (2) dispose of property; (3) receive money, property, and labor from any source, including government sources; (4) enter into common area maintenance, easement, access, support, and similar agreements with regard to property; and (5) own and operate facilities associated with authority development projects. In exercising these powers, MRDA must (1) provide an opportunity for public comment prior to any acquisition, transfer, or disposal and (2) comply with the state code of ethics for public employees when receiving any land, or right therein, aid, or contribution. Additionally, it appears that MRDA, when exercising eminent domain (condemnation) power, must (1) consult with the chief executive officer of the affected municipality, (2) condemn any property in conformity with statutes concerning eminent domain, and (3) provide an opportunity for public comment.

In addition, with respect to projects in a development district, MRDA may also:

1. plan for, acquire, finance, construct, develop, operate, market, and maintain facilities;

1. promote and market development projects;

2. collect fees and rents from the facilities it develops and adopt procedures for operating them;

3. enter into contracts;

4. borrow money, issue bonds, and enter into credit and other agreements to make the bonds more marketable;

5. engage independent professionals, such as lawyers, engineers, accountants, and architects; and

6. adopt and amend procurement procedures.

The bill specifies that its provisions do not limit MRDA from entering into agreements to facilitate the development or redevelopment of municipal property or facilities.

MOU with CRDA. The bill authorizes MRDA to enter into an MOU with CRDA under which CRDA (1) provides administrative support and services, including staff support, and (2) coordinates management and operational activities, including: (a) joint procurement and contracting, (b) sharing services and resources, (c) coordinating promotional activities, and (d) arrangements enhancing revenues, reducing operating costs, or achieving operating efficiencies. The MOU can specify the terms and conditions for these relationships, including reimbursement by MRDA to CRDA.

Bonding Authority. Under the bill, MRDA, by resolution of its board of directors, can issue bonds and other notes with terms of up to 30 years. The bonds are secured by MRDA's financial resources. The bill allows MRDA to determine how it will issue and repay the bonds and specifies the terms and conditions it may include in its agreement with bondholders.

Authority bonds are not backed by the state's full faith and credit or guaranteed by the state or any of its political subdivisions and must say so on their face. They do not count toward the state's bond cap.

The authority's pledge of its income, revenue, or other property is legally binding and subject to liens. The bill specifies that a lien on such a pledge is binding against all parties with a claim against MRDA, regardless of whether the parties received a notice of the lien.

The bill makes MRDA bonds fully negotiable and legal investments. It authorizes MRDA to buy insurance to cover debt service payments and allows the board to purchase, hold, and sell the authority's bonds in accordance with its agreements with bondholders. MRDA may make whatever representations or agreements are needed to exempt its bonds from federal income tax.

The bill exempts board directors and those executing bonds or notes from personal liability unless their conduct was wanton, reckless, willful, or malicious. However, it gives bondholders and their trustees the right, subject to the provisions of the bond resolution, to take legal action to force the board to perform its duties. The bill makes the bond proceeds and other revenue connected with the bonds trust funds, which must be used as the bond resolution specifies.

Under the bill, the state pledges not to limit or alter the authority's or its bondholders' or contractors' rights until the obligations are discharged, unless it adequately protects the bondholders and contractors. With respect to bondholders, the state's pledge applies to bonds for which the state has pledged “contract assistance.” (The bill does not define contract assistance or provide a mechanism for such assistance.) It authorizes MRDA to include this pledge in its bonds, other obligations, and contracts.

Authority to Provide Property Tax Incentives. The bill authorizes MRDA to negotiate, and with the OPM secretary's approval, enter into an agreement with a private developer, owner, or lessee of a building or improvement in a development district providing for a payment to the authority in lieu of real property taxes. Such agreements are required as a condition of any private right of development within a district, and must include a requirement that the private developer, owner, or lessee make good faith efforts to hire, or cause to be hired, qualified minority business enterprises to provide construction services and materials for improvements in the district, in an effort to achieve a minority business enterprise utilization goal of 10% of the total costs of construction services and materials for such improvements.

Any payments in lieu of taxes have the same lien, priority, and enforcement mechanisms as municipal property taxes. MRDA must use the payments to carry out its general purposes.

Duties

Coordinating Projects. The bill requires (1) MRDA to coordinate all state, municipal, and quasi-public agency planning and financial resources that are allocated for a development district project in which it is involved and (2) all state and quasi-public agencies to cooperate with MRDA.

Applicants requesting state funds for a MRDA development district project must submit a copy of their application, along with supporting documents, to the OPM secretary and MRDA. MRDA has 90 days to give the funding agency its written recommendations (called an “economic development statement”), which must include provisions regarding performance standards, including project timelines.

A state agency or agent cannot spend funds on such a project until it receives MRDA's recommendations or after 90 days, whichever is sooner. If it expends funds not consistent with the statement's recommendations, it must give MRDA a written explanation about this decision.

Utilizing Local Employees. MRDA and member municipalities must encourage businesses, as appropriate, to hire local employees. Any business that receives financial assistance from MRDA must enter into an agreement with the Workforce Training Authority (see PA 17-207) for assistance with training and recruiting workers.

Annual Report. Instead of the annual report quasi-public agencies must submit to the governor and state auditors, the board must annually report, within 90 days after MRDA's fiscal year begins, to the governor, state auditors, and the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee on MRDA's finances, procurement, and employment. This report must include:

1. a list of the bonds it issued in the preceding fiscal year and, for each issue, its face value and net proceeds, the names of financial advisors and underwriters, and whether it was competitive, negotiated, or privately placed;

2. the cumulative value of all bonds issued and outstanding;

3. the amount of the state's contingent liability;

4. a description of each project, its location, and the amount the authority spent on its construction;

5. a comprehensive financial report prepared according to generally accepted governmental accounting principles;

6. a list of individuals and firms, including principal and other major stockholders, who received more than $5,000 for services;

7. a statement of the authority's affirmative action policy, a description of its workforce by race, sex, and occupation, and a description of its affirmative action efforts; and

8. a description of the activities planned for the current fiscal year.

Independent Financial Audit. The bill requires the board to annually contract with a certified public accounting firm to undertake a financial audit, according to generally accepted auditing standards. It must submit it to the governor, state auditors, and the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee.

Compliance Reports. The board must annually contract with a person or firm for a compliance audit. It must submit it to the governor, state auditors, and the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee. The compliance audit must check MRDA's performance against its policies and procedures on personnel and affirmative action, procurement, and use of surplus funds.

The bill also requires MRDA to designate a contract compliance officer to monitor MRDA's facility operations for compliance with state law and contracting requirements relating to (1) set-asides for small contractors and minority business enterprises and (2) required efforts to hire available and qualified minorities. The compliance officer must file an annual written report, including findings and recommendations, with MRDA.

Governance

Board Membership. Under the bill, MRDA's 13-member board consists of eight appointed directors and five ex officio, voting directors: the OPM secretary, and the labor, transportation, housing, and Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) commissioners, or their designees. The below table lists the appointed directors, their appointing authority, and initial terms. All appointments must be made within 60 days of the bill's effective date.

Table: MRDA Appointed Board Directors

Appointing Authority

Number of Appointments

Governor

Two

House speaker and Senate president pro tempore (jointly)

Two, one of whom is the chief executive officer of a member municipality in New Haven County

House and Senate majority leader (jointly)

Two, one of whom is the chief executive officer of a member municipality in Hartford County

House and Senate minority leader (jointly)

Two, one of whom is the chief executive officer of a member municipality in Fairfield County

Directors serve four-year terms and may be reappointed. Vacancies must be filled for the unexpired term by the original appointing authority. Each must take the constitutional oath of office. Directors (1) may be removed by the appointing authority for malfeasance or willful neglect of duty and (2) if appointed, are deemed to have resigned if they miss three consecutive meetings or 50% of the meetings in a calendar year.

Chairperson and Executive Director. The governor appoints the board chairperson from among the board members. The board (1) annually elects a vice-chairperson, (2) elects other officers, and (3) appoints an executive committee. The chairperson, with the board's approval, must appoint MRDA's executive director, who cannot be a board director. The executive director is (1) a salaried employee, (2) the chief administrative officer of the authority, and (3) responsible for supervising the administrative affairs and technical activities of the authority, pursuant to the board's directives.

Duties. The board must adopt a budget and bylaws. It must report twice a year to the appointing authorities with respect to operations, finances, and achievement of its economic development objective. The board is accountable to the state and must cooperate with it when it audits MRDA's operations and projects, including granting the state reasonable access to MRDA projects and records.

MRDA's board must adopt written procedures to:

1. adopt an annual budget and plan of operations and require board approval before either can take effect;

1. hire, dismiss, promote, and pay authority employees, develop an affirmative action policy, and require board approval before a position may be created or a vacancy filled;

2. acquire real and personal property and personal services, and require board approval for any non-budgeted expenditure of more than $10,000;

3. contract for financial, legal, bond underwriting, and other professional services, and require the board to solicit proposals at least once every three years for these services;

4. issue and retire bonds and other authority obligations;

5. award loans, grants, and other financial assistance, including developing eligibility criteria, an application process, and determining the role played by employees and directors; and

6. use surplus funds.

MRDA must follow the same notice requirements quasi-public agencies follow before adopting its procedures.

Board Deliberations. A majority of the directors then in office constitutes a quorum, and a majority of those present can act. Vacancies do not prevent a quorum from acting. The board may act by adopting resolutions at regular or special meetings which take effect immediately unless the resolution specifies otherwise. The board must keep records of its proceedings in a form it chooses, indicating each director's attendance and votes cast.

The board may delegate any of its powers and duties to three or more directors, agents, or employees.

Surety and Compensation. The bill requires each director and the executive director to provide an individual surety bond for at least $100,000. Alternatively, the board chairperson may execute a blanket bond or equivalent insurance product that covers the directors, executive director, and employees. Board directors are not paid. They are reimbursed for expenses, except for mileage reimbursement or a travel reimbursement for traveling to a board meeting.

Conflict of Interest. The bill prohibits directors and their immediate family members from having a financial interest in:

1. an authority development project,

1. property included or planned for inclusion in any such project, or

2. a contract or proposed contract for material or services used in such projects.

Indemnification. MRDA directors, officers, and employees are not personally liable for bonds MRDA issues or for any damage or injury caused by performing duties within the scope of their employment or appointment, as long as the actions are not willful, wanton, reckless, or malicious.

MRDA must indemnify its directors, officers, and employees from financial loss and expense arising from certain specified claims, demands, suits, or judgments involving their actions. This protection applies to individuals performing their duties or acting within the scope of their employment, as long as the act or omission was not wanton, reckless, willful, or malicious.

The bill also requires the state to indemnify MRDA and its directors, officers, and employees from financial loss and expense resulting from a claim, demand, suit, or judgment connected to an act or omission related to a MRDA development district project. The protection applies to individuals performing their duties or acting within the scope of their employment, as long as the act or omission was not wanton, reckless, willful, or malicious.

251 & 547 — UCONN CONSTRUCTION ASSURANCE OFFICE DIRECTOR

Removes the requirement that the director be a full-time position

The bill removes the requirement that the position of director of UConn's construction assurance office be a full-time position. By law, the director is responsible for the review of construction performance of the UConn 2000 infrastructure improvement program and must report at least quarterly to (1) the construction management oversight committee established by law to review and approve policies and procedures developed for UConn 2000 and (2) UConn's president.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

252 — YOUTH SERVICES GRANTS

Appropriates $3.1 million, for FYs 18 and 19, to the Judicial Branch for specified youth services grants

The bill appropriates $3.1 million, for FYs 18 and 19, to the Judicial Branch for Youth Services Prevention. Under the bill, the appropriated amount must be made available for each fiscal year for grants to specified organizations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

253 — LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS' OFFICE (LCO) TECHNICAL FIXES

Requires LCO to make any necessary technical fixes during codification

The bill requires LCO to make any technical, grammatical, and punctuation changes necessary to carry out its purposes when it is codified.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

254-268 — CRUMBLING CONCRETE FOUNDATIONS

Creates a framework to assist homeowners with crumbling concrete foundations

Among other things, the bill provides a framework within which the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), the Department of Housing (DoH), the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), a captive insurance company, and donors and municipalities, among others, can assist owners of residential buildings (i.e., a one- to four-family dwelling, including condominium and planned development units) with concrete foundations damaged by the presence of pyrrhotite (“crumbling concrete foundations”).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, and the insurance surcharge provisions are applicable to policies issued, delivered or renewed on or after January 1, 2018; certain other insurance policy provisions are applicable to policies issued, renewed, or in effect on or after the bill's effective date; and the tax deduction provisions are applicable to taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2017.

Healthy Homes Fund ( 256)

Healthy Homes Fund. The bill creates the Healthy Homes Fund as a separate, nonlapsing General Fund account and which must contain any money required by law to be deposited into it (e.g., the homeowners insurance surcharge, see below).

DoH must use at least 85% of the money in the account to fund the captive insurance company created by the bill (see below), including providing financial assistance to owners of residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations.

DoH must spend the remaining 15% of the money in the account to fund:

1. after approval of the OPM secretary, certain activities that the bill requires DoH to undertake (see below);

2. grants-in-aid to homeowners with homes (a) in the immediate vicinity of the West River in the Westville section of New Haven and Woodbridge that are structurally damaged due to subsidence and (b) abutting the Yale Golf Course in the Westville section of New Haven that are damaged from water infiltration or subsidence; and

3. DoH lead, radon, and other contaminant abatement activities.

DoH Activities. The bill requires DoH, using money from the Healthy Homes Fund, to:

1. provide advice and assistance to owners of residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations;

2. coordinate state activities, excluding the captive insurance company created by the bill, related to crumbling concrete foundations;

3. work with the federal government to coordinate support for owners of residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations; and

4. post, on the DoH website, a description of all programs available to homeowners under the bill and any other information the department deems relevant.

The DoH commissioner must annually, beginning by January 1, 2019, report to the Housing, Planning and Development, and Appropriations committees on the status of the Healthy Homes Fund, including any money deposited into or expended from it and on DoH activities related to crumbling foundations.

Homeowners Insurance Surcharge ( 255)

The bill imposes an annual $12 surcharge on the named insured under each homeowners insurance policy delivered, issued, or renewed after January 1, 2018 that covers risks located in Connecticut. Each admitted insurer and licensee of a nonadmitted insurer, acting on behalf of and as a collection agent of the Healthy Homes Fund, must, by April 30 annually, collect and then remit to the insurance commissioner the surcharges on policies delivered, issued, or renewed since January 1 of that year. The remittance, which must be deposited into the Healthy Homes Fund, must include documentation substantiating the amount in a form and manner prescribed by the commissioner.

Under the bill, the surcharge (1) cannot be imposed after December 31, 2022; (2) is not considered premium for any purpose (e.g., does not contribute to an insurer's premium tax calculation); and (3) constitutes a special purpose assessment under state law (i.e., does not trigger certain tax reciprocity repercussions).

The bill authorizes the insurance commissioner to adopt implementing regulations.

Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund ( 257)

The bill establishes the Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund as a separate, nonlapsing account within the General Fund. It must contain any money required by law to be deposited into it and any donations. Money must be made available to incorporate the captive insurance company required by the bill and must be transferred to the captive upon its licensure.

Under the bill, donations to the fund are deemed to be given for the purpose of providing financial assistance to owners of residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations and to minimize the negative impact on municipalities in which the buildings are located. The bill prohibits the donor from restricting the funds. It prohibits the captive from returning any donations or using the money for any other purpose. Any bond proceeds deposited into the fund must be kept separate from any other funds in the account.

The bill also allows DoH to apply for, receive, and administer any federal funds, including funding made available by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 108 Loan Guarantee program. This money must be used to assist owners of residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations. Any money received with the intent of assisting owners of residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations must be deposited into the Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund.

Captive Insurance Company ( 258)

Incorporation. The bill requires a board of directors, presumably selected by “incorporators” and an organizing committee (see below), to establish a captive insurance company (“captive”). The captive must provide assistance to owners of residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations and ensure such foundations will be repaired or replaced. Under the bill, the assistance is intended to provide owners with structurally sound concrete foundations by arranging and approving a financial aid package that achieves full repair or replacement of a crumbling foundation with the lowest amount of borrowed funds.

The bill requires the appointment of three incorporators: one appointed by the governor, one appointed jointly by the House speaker and minority leader, and one appointed jointly by the Senate president pro tempore and Republican president pro tempore. The incorporators may, in their discretion, appoint other individuals to form an organizing committee. Incorporators and organizing committee members may not serve on the captive's board of directors for more than one year following the company's licensure.

The bill allows the governor to fill any vacant incorporator position 30 days after the bill's effective date.

Duties. Under the bill, the captive insurance company must:

1. upon request of the Planning and Development, Public Safety, or Housing committees or the governor, recommend expanding eligibility for financial assistance from the captive;

2. establish a voluntary board of directors that includes a real estate agent or broker; owner of a residential building with a crumbling concrete foundation, a chief executive of a municipality with residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations or his or her designee, a registered professional investment advisor, and representatives from the insurance and banking industries;

3. develop financial assistance eligibility requirements and underwriting guidelines for authorized repair or replacement of crumbling concrete foundations;

4. develop, with DoH, CHFA, and participating lenders in the Collapsing Foundations Credit Enhancement Program (see below), a single, unified application for owners of residential buildings to apply for financial assistance available under the bill;

5. provide financial assistance to claimants for the repair or replacement of crumbling concrete foundations, including financial reimbursement to homeowners who had repaired or replaced a foundation prior to the bill's effective date;

6. assist claimants to obtain additional financing necessary to fully fund the repair or replacement of a crumbling concrete foundation;

7. approve eligible contractors or other vendors to perform such foundation repairs or replacements;

8. disburse, on behalf of claimants, financial assistance to approved contractors or other vendors;

9. ensure that any financial assistance disbursed is used solely for the costs of repairing or replacing crumbling concrete foundations;

10. require disclosure of the amount of all financial compensation received by a homeowner, if any, arising out of a claim for coverage under the property coverage provisions of a homeowners policy for a crumbling concrete foundation and consider such amount when offering financial assistance;

11. when appropriate, apply, qualify for, and receive any federal funds made available for owners of residential buildings and residential condominium units with crumbling concrete foundations and, to the extent allowed by federal law, deposit such funds into the Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund; and

12. enter into agreements as necessary with CHFA and any participating lender (see below) to develop and implement additional loan programs or financial products to assist homeowners to repair or replace crumbling concrete foundations while using terms and conditions that are preferable to the open market.

The captive may do all things necessary and desirable in its discretion to accomplish its purposes, including hiring employees and contracting for administrative or operational services.

Applicability of Current Law and Waiver of Fees. The captive is subject to existing laws regulating captive insurance companies. However, the bill exempts the captive from having to pay either a license fee in its first year or a renewal fee thereafter.

Nonpublic Status. The bill specifies that the captive is not a state or public agency and that its employees and agents are not state employees.

Collapsing Foundations Credit Enhancements Program ( 259)

The bill creates the Collapsing Foundations Credit Enhancements Program, administered by CHFA, to assist eligible borrowers (i.e., owners of residential buildings) to obtain funding necessary to replace or repair crumbling concrete foundations. The program must make one or more financial products or credit enhancements available, including loan guarantees that may enable participating lenders to make qualifying loans with loan-to-value ratios in excess of regulatory standards.

Participating lenders must offer qualifying loans with interest rates at least 0.5% below the interest rate otherwise available to the borrower based on his or her creditworthiness.

Under the bill, a “participating lender” is a depository bank or credit union participating in the Collapsing Foundations Credit Enhancements Program. A “qualifying loan” is any loan provided to an eligible borrower for the purpose of repairing or replacing a crumbling concrete foundation and (1) is issued by a participating lender and subject to the lender's underwriting standards, (2) carries an interest rate in accordance with the bill (see above), and (3) is made subject to the Collapsing Foundations Credit Enhancements Program.

The bill requires CHFA to (1) seek banks' and credit unions' participation in the Collapsing Foundations Credit Enhancements Program and (2) develop, in consultation with the lieutenant governor and representatives from the banking and credit union industries, the terms, conditions, and standards for such program at least 30 days before the program or any phase of it is available to borrowers. The terms, conditions, and standards must identify the:

1. necessary inspection or testing to verify a borrower's foundation is crumbling due to pyrrhotite and

2. terms and conditions of any financial product or credit enhancement available under the program, taking into account the funding necessary to support such products or enhancements.

The program may be launched in phases and must allow a participating lender to make a qualifying loan with or without using any other financial products or credit enhancements developed under the program.

The bill requires CHFA to publish on its website a plain language summary of the program and borrower eligibility requirements at least 15 days before the program, or any phase of it, is made available to property owners.

Pyrrhotite Standards and Prohibition on Using Recycled Pyrrhotite ( 260 & 268)

Under the bill, if the State Building Inspector adopts a standard, established by the Federal Army Corps of Engineers, National Institute of Standards and Technology, ASTM International, or other nationally recognized standards bureau for the presence of pyrrhotite in concrete intended for use in residential building foundations, any person selling or offering such concrete must provide a purchaser or potential purchaser with written notice that the concrete complies with such standard.

The bill prohibits anyone from using any part of recycled material known to contain pyrrhotite to produce structural concrete for residential or commercial construction, unless such reuse meets the standards above. Under the bill, a violation of this section is an unfair or deceptive act or practice.

Building Permit Fee Waivers ( 261)

The bill requires municipalities to waive application and education fees for building permit applications to repair or replace crumbling concrete foundations. This waiver requirement applies regardless of conflicting municipal charters, home rule ordinances, or special acts.

(By law, the state-required education fee is used for building and fire code training and education programs for state and local officials and individuals in the construction industry (CGS 29-251c).)

Residential Disclosure Report ( 262)

The bill requires the DCP commissioner to include in the residential property condition disclosure report the following:

1. a recommendation that the prospective purchaser have any concrete foundation inspected by a state licensed structural engineer for deterioration and the presence of pyrrhotite,

1. a question as to whether the seller has knowledge of any testing or inspection related to the property's foundation, and

2. a question as to whether the seller has any knowledge of any repairs related to the property's foundation.

Generally, individuals offering a one- to four-family residential property for sale, exchange, or lease with the option to buy must provide the prospective purchaser with a residential property condition disclosure report. The DCP commissioner prescribes the report's form. Existing law requires the report to recommend that the prospective purchaser have the property inspected by a licensed home inspector. And under existing regulations, sellers must disclose in the report any known foundation, slab, or settling problems (Conn. Agencies Regs. 20-327b-1).

Contractual Limitations Period for Personal Risk Insurance Policies ( 263)

The bill requires personal risk insurance policies and certain condominium master and property insurance policies to allow suit against the insurer for up to one year after the date the insured receives a written denial for all or any part of a claim under a property coverage provision for a crumbling concrete foundation. Under existing law, a person who wants to sue a homeowners insurer over a claim denial has 24 months from the inception of loss to file suit (CGS 38a-307).

Under the bill, “personal risk insurance” means homeowners, tenants, mobile home, and other property and casualty insurance for personal, family, or household needs excluding workers' compensation and automobile insurance.

Personal Income Tax Deductions ( 264)

The bill allows taxpayers to reduce their Connecticut adjusted gross income by the amount of any financial assistance received from the Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund or paid to, or on behalf of, an owner of a residential building pursuant to the bill.

Municipal Joint Borrowing ( 265)

The bill specifies that two or more municipalities may, with the approval of their legislative bodies and subject to the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority statutes, jointly borrow funds from any source to pay for all or part of any project entered into to abate a deleterious condition caused by a crumbling concrete foundation that, if left unabated, would collapse and damage the municipalities' housing stock and economies.

The bill also authorizes any such municipalities who jointly borrow to enter into an agreement with the captive or any participating lender in the Collapsing Foundations Credit Enhancements Program to, jointly or otherwise, provide financial assistance to owners of residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations.

Municipal Bonding Authority ( 266)

The bill specifically authorizes municipalities to issue bonds, notes, or other obligations to fund all or part of a project undertaken to abate an actual or potential deleterious condition due to a crumbling concrete foundation that, if left unabated, would collapse and damage the municipality's housing stock and economy.

Municipalities issuing bonds under this provision must do so in conformity with the municipal bonding statutes (CGS 7-369 et seq.). Among other things, these provisions require that bonds mature within 20 years of the initial issuance. For purposes of this authorization, a “municipality” is any town, city, borough, consolidated town and city, consolidated town and borough, metropolitan district, special taxing district, or municipal corporation with the power to levy taxes and issue bonds, notes, or other obligations.

Quarry Quality Control Working Group ( 267)

The bill establishes an eight-member working group to develop a model quality control plan for quarries and to study the workforce of contractors engaged in repairing and replacing crumbling concrete foundations. The working group must submit its plan to the General Law Committee on or before December 31, 2018, at which point it terminates.

The working group consists of the following members:

1. two appointed by the House speaker, one with expertise in residential home building and one with expertise in the construction industry;

1. two appointed by the Senate president pro tempore, one of whom must be a Capitol Region Council of Governments member;

2. one each appointed by the House majority and minority leaders; and

3. one each appointed by the Senate majority and minority leaders.

The bill specifies that working group appointees may be legislators. It requires appointments be made within 30 days of the bill's effective date.

The working group's chairpersons must be selected by the House speaker and the Senate president pro tempore and schedule the first meeting within 60 days of the bill's effective date.

The bill requires the General Law Committee staff to serve as the working group's administrative staff.

269 — EVALUATING TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS

Exempts from certain evaluation requirements certain projects that the DOT commissioner determines are necessary to maintain the state's infrastructure

PA 17-192 requires, among other things, the Department of Transportation (DOT) commissioner to (1) develop, and get legislative approval for, a method to evaluate “transportation projects” and (2) use the method to evaluate the projects before requesting funding for the projects from the legislature. The act defines “transportation projects” as planning or capital projects, undertaken by the state on or after July 1, 2018, that (1) are estimated to cost more than $150 million or (2) expand capacity on a limited access highway, transit or railroad system or parking facility.

The bill excludes from the definition of “transportation project,” and therefore from the act's evaluation requirements, any project that (1) the DOT commissioner determines is necessary to maintain the state's infrastructure in good repair and (2) is estimated to cost less than $150 million.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

270 — PLANS FOR INCREASING REGIONAL COLLABORATION

Requires each municipality and COG to develop a plan for regional collaboration, or service sharing, or both

The bill requires each municipality and regional council of governments (COG) to develop a plan for regional collaboration or service sharing, or both. They must submit such plans to the Connecticut Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations for review. The commission must recommend approval of, or changes to the plan, to the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary. (The bill defines municipalities to include: towns, cities, boroughs, consolidated towns and cities, and consolidated towns and boroughs.)

Under the bill, plans eligible for approval may include, but are not limited to, plans for:

1. consolidation of public safety answering points, including training, service delivery, and performance evaluations;

2. special education services in collaboration with regional education service centers;

3. school transportation;

4. paratransit or dial-a-ride services;

5. regional library operations;

6. regional public health services, including service standards and performance evaluations;

7. collaborative purchasing; and

8. code enforcement functions.

The bill also eliminates an obsolete provision.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

271, 274-275 & 747— DIVERTING INCOME TAX REVENUE TO THE BUDGET RESERVE FUND

Diverts specified income tax revenue exceeding a $3.15 billion threshold to the Budget Reserve Fund

The bill requires the state treasurer to transfer, to the Budget Reserve Fund (BRF), revenue the state receives each fiscal year in excess of $3.15 billion from personal income tax estimated and final payments (i.e., the income tax revenue generated from taxpayers who make estimated income tax payments on a quarterly basis). It requires consensus revenue estimates, beginning with those due by November 10, 2017, to include a line item, designated as the volatility adjustment, reflecting this estimated transfer. (Consensus revenue estimates are the basis for the governor's proposed budget and the revenue statement included in the budget act the legislature passes.)

The bill requires, beginning in FY 18, that consensus revenue estimates and the revenue statement included in the state budget act itemize the withholding, estimated, and final payment components of personal income tax revenue. By law, a similar requirement applies beginning in FY 20 as part of a revenue volatility mechanism described below.

The bill also increases the BRF's maximum balance from 10% to 15% of net General Fund appropriations for the current fiscal year. A similar provision scheduled to take effect July 1, 2019, that increases the maximum balance to 15% or more of such appropriations. By law, once the BRF reaches the maximum, the treasurer may not transfer additional funds to it. 

The bill retains provisions in existing law, effective July 1, 2019, establishing a mechanism for diverting to the BRF projected surpluses in (1) corporation income tax and (2) personal income tax estimated and final payments. The mechanism requires mid-year diversions of these revenues, based on a threshold level calculated using the average revenue from these two sources over 10 years. In retaining these provisions, it appears that this existing mechanism would supersede the bill's changes beginning July 1, 2019. The bill repeals other provisions making minor and conforming changes to this mechanism.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

272 — CAP ON GENERAL FUND AND STF APPROPRIATIONS

Imposes a new cap on General Fund and STF appropriations for FYs 20 through 26, but allows the General Assembly to exceed it under certain circumstances

In addition to the existing statutory spending cap, the bill imposes a new cap on General Fund and STF appropriations for FYs 20 through 26 but allows the General Assembly to exceed it under certain circumstances. Beginning in FY 20, the bill bars the General Assembly from authorizing General Fund and STF appropriations for any fiscal year that, in the aggregate, exceed a specified percentage of the estimated revenues included in the budget act (i.e., the statement of estimated revenues, supplied by the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, that is based on the most recent consensus revenue estimates). The below table lists the specified percentages. For example, for FY 20, the bill caps the total amount of General Fund and STF appropriations at 99.5% of estimated General Fund and STF revenue.

Table: Cap on General Fund and STF Appropriations

FY

Percentage

of Estimated Revenue

20

99.5%

21

99.25

22

99.0

23

98.75

24

98.5

25

98.25

26

98.0

Under the bill, the General Assembly may authorize General Fund and STF appropriations for any fiscal year (presumably FYs 20 through 26) that, in the aggregate, exceed the percentage of estimated revenues specified above if the following conditions are met:

1. the governor declares an emergency or the existence of extraordinary circumstances, specifying the nature of the emergency or circumstances;

2. at least three-fifths of the members of each chamber of the General Assembly vote to exceed the percentage for the emergency or circumstances; and

3. the appropriation is limited to the fiscal year in progress.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

272 —STATUTORY SPENDING CAP DEFINITIONS

Modifies definitions used to calculate the state's statutory spending cap and requires a base adjustment under certain circumstances

The state's statutory spending cap bars the legislature from authorizing an increase in “general budget expenditures” for any fiscal year that exceeds the greater of the percentage “increase in personal income” or “increase in inflation,” unless (1) the governor declares an emergency or the existence of extraordinary circumstances and (2) at least three-fifths of each house of the legislature approves the extra expenditure for those purposes (CGS 2-33a).

Increase in Personal Income

Under current law, the “increase in personal income” is the state's average annual increase in personal income for the preceding five years, based on United States Bureau of Economic Analysis data. The bill instead defines it as the compound annual growth rate of the state's personal income over the preceding five calendar years.

Increase in Inflation

The bill also modifies the definition of “increase in inflation” to mean the increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U), other than food and energy, during the preceding calendar year, calculated on a December over December basis. Under current law, it is the increase in CPI-U for the preceding 12 months. As under existing law, the bill requires this increase to be calculated using U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

General Budget Expenditures

The bill expands the types of expenditures excluded from the spending cap to include certain appropriations for unfunded pension liabilities. Under the bill, beginning with FY 18, general budget expenditures exclude annual expenditures for the portion of the actuarially determined employer contribution representing the unfunded liability for that fiscal year of the state employees' and teachers' retirement systems (i.e., payments for unfunded liabilities in these systems).

The bill also eliminates an exclusion from the cap for statutory grants to distressed municipalities if the grants were in effect on July 1, 1991.

Base Adjustment

The bill requires that a base adjustment be made in any fiscal year in which an expenditure's funding source is converted, from the previous fiscal year, from an appropriation to (1) state bonding, (2) a revenue intercept, or (3) a nonappropriated source, or if it is converted from any of these three funding sources to an appropriation.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

273 — BOND COVENANT

Requires certain state bonds to include a pledge to bondholders that the state will comply with the BRF law and the bill's new spending cap on General and STF appropriations, except under limited circumstances

The bill expressly requires the state to comply with the BRF law (CGS 4-30a) and the bill's cap on General Fund and STF appropriations for each fiscal year during which state general obligation (GO) or credit revenue bonds issued from the bill's effective to June 30, 2020, are outstanding. (Other provisions in the bill authorize the treasurer to issue credit revenue bonds in lieu of GO bonds.)

The bill also requires, for such bonds issued during this timeframe, that the treasurer include a pledge to bondholders that the state will not enact any laws taking effect from the bill's passage to June 30, 2028, that change the state's obligation to comply with the BRF law, as of the bill's passage, and the bill's cap on General Fund and STF appropriations until the bonds are fully paid off, unless the following conditions are met:

1. bondholders are protected in another way or

1. (a) the governor declares an emergency or the existence of extraordinary circumstances in which he invokes the statute allowing him at his discretion, and requiring him whenever the comptroller projects a General Fund budget deficit greater than 1%, to reduce appropriated accounts by up to 5% and total fund appropriations by up to 3% (CGS 4-85), (b) at least three-fifths of the members of each house of the General Assembly approve the change in compliance, and (c) the change is limited to the fiscal year in progress.

Under the bill, the pledge must apply for 10 years from the bonds' first issuance date, but not to refunding bonds issued to pay the original bonds.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

276 — STATE EMPLOYEE LABOR CONTRACT APPROVAL

Changes how state employee collective bargaining agreements and arbitration awards are approved by the legislature

The bill changes how state employee collective bargaining agreements and arbitration awards are deemed approved by the General Assembly. Under current law, an agreement or award is deemed approved if the legislature does not vote to approve or reject it within 30 days (the start of the deadline may vary depending on when the agreement or award is submitted to the legislature). Under the bill, an agreement or award will be deemed disapproved by a legislative house if it fails to call a resolution to approve it for consideration within 30 days. However, an agreement or award will be deemed approved after 30 days if a house calls a resolution to approve it for consideration but then fails to vote to approve or reject it. (By law, unchanged by the bill, the legislature approves agreements by a majority vote of each house and rejects them by a majority vote of either house. It rejects arbitration awards by a two-thirds vote of either house if it determines that there are insufficient funds to fully implement the award.)

The bill also revises the process that occurs after the legislature rejects an award or agreement. Under current law, rejected awards and agreements are returned to the parties for further bargaining. The bill instead creates separate processes for rejected awards and agreements. Under the bill, rejected arbitration awards must be returned to the parties for further arbitration and any award issued in this second arbitration is deemed approved by the legislature.

When the legislature rejects an agreement under the bill, the parties must initiate arbitration under the law for state employee arbitrations. The parties may then submit the arbitrator's award to the legislature for approval in the same manner as the rejected agreement (the bill does not specify what would happen if the parties chose not to submit this award). If the legislature rejects this award, the matter must return to the parties for further arbitration. Any award issued in this further arbitration is deemed approved by the legislature.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

277 — TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM VIABILITY COMMISSION

Establishes a commission to develop and implement a plan to maintain the financial viability of the Connecticut Teachers' Retirement System

The bill establishes the Teachers' Retirement System Viability Commission and charges it with developing and implementing a plan to maintain the financial viability of the Connecticut teachers' retirement system (TRS).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Plan Development

The bill requires the commission, in developing the plan, to give significance to the state's financial capability, which includes the following:

1. the state's fiscal health;

2. the Budget Reserve Fund balance;

3. short- and long-term state liabilities, including the state's ability to meet minimum funding levels required by law, contract, or court order;

4. the state's initial budgeted revenue for the previous five fiscal years, compared with the actual revenue it received for these fiscal years;

5. state revenue projections for the fiscal years during the proposed plan's operation period;

6. the state's economic outlook; and

7. the state's access to capital markets.

Financial capability does not include the state's ability to raise revenue through new or increased taxes.

The bill requires the commission to hold at least one public hearing and solicit input from TRS members in developing the plan.

Commission Membership

Under the bill, the commission's membership consists of the Teachers' Retirement Board members (14 total), as well as a global consulting firm with significant experience and expertise in human resources; talent development; and health and retirement benefits and investments.

Consulting Firm Contract

Within 60 days after the bill's passage, the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary must contract with such a global consulting firm, within available appropriations. If the secretary has not contracted with a firm within this time period, then the Office of Legislative Management (OLM) must contract with such a firm.

Accordingly, either the OPM secretary or the OLM executive director must identify candidates with significant experience to perform the global consulting firm's duties outlined in the bill by soliciting qualifications and any other factor relevant to performance ability. The secretary or executive director must select and contract with the consulting firm by soliciting bids from at least four candidates. Each solicitation and any response must be made in writing. The bill specifies that the contract is not considered a personal service agreement under state law and is not subject state purchasing laws or laws under the State Contracting Standards Board's jurisdiction.

Under the bill, if the OPM secretary contracts with a firm, then the governor must transfer to OPM any funds appropriated to OLM for the purpose, with the approval of the Finance Advisory Committee. If, however, OLM contracts with a firm, then the funds appropriated to OLM for this purpose must be retained by OLM.

Additionally, the bill allows the state to accept gifts, grants, and donations for purposes of contracting with the consulting firm; however, it may not accept them from any candidate that also submits a bid for the contract.

Plan Submission

The bill requires the commission to submit the plan, along with any proposed legislation necessary for its implementation, to the Appropriations and Education committees within 90 days after a contract is entered into with the consulting firm. Under the bill, the commission terminates no later than one year after the date it submits its plan to the General Assembly committees.

278 — UCONN HEALTH CENTER PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

Requires UConn Health Center to seek to establish public-private partnerships and report to certain legislative committees on their status by April 1, 2018

The bill requires the UConn Health Center board of directors to seek to enter into public-private partnerships with hospitals or other private entities the board selects. It requires the board to report, by April 1, 2018, to the Higher Education, Public Health, and Appropriations committees on the status of the partnerships and any recommended legislation.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

279 — TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM (TRS) AND STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM (SERS) WORKING GROUP

Establishes a working group to report to the Appropriations and Labor committees on potential statutory changes to TRS and SERS

This bill establishes a working group to study potential statutory changes to TRS and SERS, the two major public employee retirement systems in the state.

The working group must examine the implications of enacting statutory changes to pension benefits for future retirees, including:

1. reducing or eliminating cost-of-living adjustments,

2. removing overtime from pension calculations, and

3. changing the current pension benefit formulas.

The examination must include, at a minimum, (1) the implication of possible changes on the long-term viability of the retirement systems' funds, (2) whether savings should be assumed prior to the expiration of the current agreement with the state employee bargaining unit coalition and risks associated with such assumptions, and (3) potential legal challenges to changes and any other legal considerations.

Working Group Membership

The working group shall consist of the following members:

1. two appointed by the governor,

1. one appointed by the Senate president pro tempore,

2. one appointed by the House speaker,

3. one appointed by the Senate minority leader,

4. one appointed by the House minority leader,

5. the comptroller,

6. the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary,

7. a state employee bargaining agent coalition representative,

8. a Connecticut Education Association representative, and

9. an American Federation of Teachers-Connecticut representative.

The governor appoints a member to serve as chairperson. The respective appointing authority fills any vacancy.

No later than January 1, 2019, the working group must report its findings and recommendations to the Appropriations and Labor committees. The working group terminates on the date that it submits the report or January 1, 2019, whichever is later.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

280 — FISCAL AND OPERATIONAL PLAN FOR THE STATE

Requires the Legislative Management Committee's executive director to contract with an advisor to assist the legislature in (1) advancing a long-term fiscal and operational plan for the state and (2) developing guidelines for authorizing general budget expenditures

The bill requires the Legislative Management Committee's executive director, within available appropriations, to contract with an independent financial and operational global professional services advisor to assist the legislature in (1) advancing a long-term fiscal and operational plan for the state and (2) developing guidelines for authorizing general budget expenditures.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Advisor Selection

The bill requires the executive director to identify candidates with significant experience and expertise in public and private sector restructuring work to perform the advisor's duties outlined in the bill by soliciting qualifications and any other factor relevant to performance ability.

The executive director must select and contract with the consulting firm by soliciting bids from at least four candidates. Each solicitation and any response must be made in writing. The bill specifies that the contract is not considered a personal service agreement under state law and is not subject state purchasing laws or laws under the State Contracting Standards Board's jurisdiction.

Additionally, the bill allows the state to accept gifts, grants, and donations for purposes of contracting with the consulting firm; however, it may not accept them from any candidate that also submits a bid for the contract.

Objectives

Under the bill, the objectives of the plan and guidelines must be to ensure the state's continued ability to provide essential services, promote economic growth, and meet long-term obligations. The plan must be based on five-year projections of state revenues and expenses under existing law and contractual commitments, including collective bargaining agreements. The advisor must consult with and use information from OPM's Office of Labor Relations, the state comptroller's and state treasurer's offices, and the Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA). The bill lists examples of publications that the advisor may consult (e.g., monthly financial reports).

In evaluating state assets, the bill requires the advisor to include information from (1) the UConn Health Center on its financial and operational plans and (2) OPM and other agencies, as the advisor requests.

Plan Submission

The advisor must submit the plan to the House and Senate clerks and the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees. The committees may schedule a public hearing on the plan and propose legislation to implement it.

The bill requires OPM and OFA, beginning in November 2018, to include in their annual fiscal accountability report the plan's implantation status and any recommendations for necessary legislation or funding.

281 — RETIREMENT SYSTEMS STRESS TEST REPORT

Requires OPM to annually report a stress test analyses for the teachers' and state employee retirement systems

Under the bill, the OPM secretary must develop and annually report to the Appropriations Committee on the sensitivity and stress test analyses for TRS and SERS. The report must include projections of benefit levels, pension costs, liabilities, and debt reduction under various economic and investment scenarios. The secretary must annually post and update the report on OPM's Internet website.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

282 — PROHIBITION ON REQUIRING CASH-ONLY BAIL

Bars courts from requiring cash-only bail for all crimes, not just certain crimes as under current law

PA 17-145 bars courts from prohibiting a bond from being posted by surety for certain crimes (in other words, it bars courts from requiring cash-only bail for such crimes). This provision did not apply to certain serious crimes.

The bill extends this provision to all crimes, thus prohibiting courts from requiring cash-only bail.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

283-288 — YOUTHFUL OFFENDER STATUS

Extends youthful offender status to certain offenders ages 18, 19, and 20

The bill extends youthful offender status to certain offenders ages 18, 19, and 20. By law, a person qualifies for this status if he or she does not have a prior felony conviction or certain juvenile adjudications and meets other criteria. Youthful offender cases are handled privately in adult court and separately from criminal matters, but the bill does not extend these protections to offenders age 18, 19, and 20. By law, courts can impose different penalties on youthful offenders than in either juvenile or adult court, and a youthful offender adjudication is not a criminal conviction.

Currently, youthful offender proceedings are private and held in a part of the court separate from adult criminal adjudications. Under the bill, these privacy protections extend only to those youthful offenders under age 18 (i.e., ages 16 or 17).

Currently, if the court places a youthful offender on probation, it may (1) refer him or her to services from youth service bureau or (2) order him or her to attend school on a regular basis. Under the bill, the court may impose these probation conditions only on youthful offenders under age 18.

Youthful offender records are generally confidential, but current law makes exceptions for records or other information pertaining to youths arrested for or charged with certain serious crimes (e.g., class A felonies). The bill eliminates the confidentiality exception for records of youths arrested for such crimes and preserves the exception for records of those charged with such crimes.

Currently, when a youthful offender is discharged from court supervision or institution or agency care, the police and court records are automatically erased when he or she turns 21. Under the bill, the records are instead erased four years after he or she was sentenced as a youthful offender. As under current law, the records are not automatically erased if the offender is subsequently convicted of a felony.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018

289 — JUVENILE JUSTICE POLICY AND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE (JJPOC) PLAN

Requires JJPOC to report to legislative committees its recommendations to remove individuals over age 18 from DOC custody

By March 1, 2018, the bill requires JJPOC to submit a plan to the Appropriations, Children's, and Judiciary committees and to the OPM secretary. The report must contain any recommendations to remove individuals under age 18 from Department of Correction custody.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

290 — OPM REPORT ON CHILD RECIDIVISM

Requires OPM to begin annually reporting child recidivism information to the Judiciary Committee

By law, the OPM secretary must track and analyze child recidivism rates in the state. Under the bill, OPM must begin annually reporting that information and analysis to the Judiciary Committee by August 15, 2018.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

291 & 292 — DCF MENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PLAN AND ADVISORY BOARD

Adds to entities DCF must consult when developing the children's mental, emotional, and behavioral health plan; requires DCF to submit recommendations to legislative committees on addressing children's mental health needs attributed to increased risk of involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice systems

Current law requires DCF, in consultation with various entities, to develop a comprehensive implementation plan to meet children's mental, emotional, and behavioral health needs. The bill adds to the entities with whom DCF must consult children at increased risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system. The law specifies strategies that must be included in the plan. The bill adds to those strategies identifying and addressing any increased risk of involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice system attributable to children's mental, emotional, and behavioral health needs.

By July 1, 2018, the bill requires DCF, in collaboration with the Children's Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Health Plan Implementation Advisory Board, to submit to the Appropriations and Children's committees recommendations addressing any unmet mental, emotional, and behavioral health needs of children that are attributed to an increased risk of involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

The bill also specifies that one of the DCF commissioner's four appointees to the Advisory Board must be a service provider to children involved with the juvenile justice system.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

293, 294 & 296 — FWSN PETITIONS

As of July 1, 2019, eliminates provisions that allow a family to file a “family with service needs” (FWSN) petition with the court and makes conforming changes

Currently, a party (e.g., a parent or police officer) may file a FWSN petition with the juvenile court for a child who commits certain status offenses (e.g., runs away from home) or is out of the control of his or her parents or guardian. As of July 1, 2019, the bill (1) eliminates provisions that allow a party to file a FWSN petition with the court and (2) makes conforming changes.

By law, if a court adjudicates a child as being from a FWSN, it may take various measures, such as referring the child to DCF for voluntary services or placing the child on probation.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2019

295 & 297 — DETENTION SCREENING INFORMATION

Clarifies the purposes for which information obtained during a detention risk screening may be used

Currently, any information (1) obtained during a detention screening of a child who allegedly committed a delinquent act may only be used for planning and treatment purposes and court ordered evaluation and treatment and (2) concerning a child obtained through the use of a detention risk assessment instrument may only be used to make a recommendation to the court regarding the child's detention.

The bill instead clarifies that (1) information concerning a child obtained during a detention risk screening may only be used to determine the child's risk to public safety and (2) the information obtained in the screening and its results may only be used to make a recommendation to the court regarding the child's detention. Although otherwise confidential, the information obtained in the screening and its results must be disclosed to any attorney of record upon motion and court order. Any material disclosed pursuant to the motion and order must be available to any attorney in the case and is not otherwise subject to subpoena or other court process for use in any other proceeding or purpose.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018

298-304 & 725 — CONSERVATION PASSPORT FUND

Establishes a fee on motor vehicle registrations to support a new Conservation Passport Fund, which must be used to operate state parks and campgrounds, fund soil and water conservation districts and environment review teams, and beginning with FY 19, fund the Council on Environmental Quality; transfers $1.7 million from the maintenance, repair, and improvement account to the General Fund for FY 18

● Charges a “conservation passport fee” on new and renewal motor vehicle registrations of (1) $6 for a biennial registration and (2) $3 for an annual registration for an individual age 65 and over

● Fee applies to the following registration types: passenger, motorcycle, motor home, combination, and antique

● Requires fees to be deposited into the Conservation Passport Fund, which the bill creates as a separate, nonlapsing fund

● Requires that the fund be used for the care, maintenance, operation, and improvement of state parks and campgrounds and for funding soil and water conservation districts; environmental review teams; and, beginning with FY 19, the Council on Environmental Quality

● Moneys in the fund may only be spent pursuant to a legislative appropriation

● Requires various revenue collected from state park operations, recreation-related services and facilities, and rentals to be deposited into the fund

● Requires DEEP to pay for state park operations, maintenance, and improvements from Conservation Passport Fund appropriations, as well as General Fund appropriations as under existing law

● Exempts individuals with a valid Connecticut motor vehicle license plate from paying a parking fee at any state park, forest, or recreational facility

● Transfers $1.7 million from the maintenance, repair, and improvement account to the General Fund for FY 18

● Transfers any unspent money in the maintenance, repair, and improvement account as of January 1, 2018 to the Conservation Passport Fund

● EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018, except the $1.7 million transfer from the maintenance, repair, and improvement account to the General Fund is effective upon passage

305 — AGENCY PROGRAM INVENTORIES AND RESULTS FIRST PILOT PROGRAM

(1) Makes several changes concerning program inventories required of certain agencies and (2) requires the OPM secretary to create a pilot program that applies Pew-MacArthur Results First principles to at least 10 state-financed grant programs

Agency Program Inventories

Current law requires the Judicial Branch's Court Support Services Division (CSSD) and the departments of Children and Families, Correction, and Mental Health and Addiction Services, by October 1 in each even-numbered year beginning in 2018, to each (1) compile complete lists of each of their criminal and juvenile justice programs and (2) categorize them as evidenced-based, research-based, promising, or lacking any evidence. CSSD and the departments must submit the program inventories to OPM's Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division; the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees; the Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA); and the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP) at Central Connecticut State University.

The bill makes the following changes to these requirements:

1. extends them to the Department of Social Services;

2. expands them to include all of the agencies' and division's programs, not just their criminal and juvenile justice programs;

3. makes the compilation and submission of the inventory an annual, rather than biennial, requirement (October 1, 2018, remains the first submission date);

4. requires submission to the OPM secretary, rather than the office's Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division; and

5. adds the Human Services Committee as a required recipient.

Additionally, current law requires IMRP to use the program inventory data to annually develop a cost-benefit analysis for each program and submit, by November 1, the report of its analyses to OPM's Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division; the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees; and OFA. The bill (1) suspends this requirement until November 1, 2018, and (2) requires submission to the OPM secretary, rather than the office's Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division.

Results First Pilot Program

The bill requires the OPM secretary, by January 1, 2018, to create a pilot program that applies the principles of the Pew-MacArthur Results First cost-benefit analysis model to at least 10 state-financed grant programs chosen by the secretary. His selections must include programs that provide services for families in the state, employment programs, and at least one contracting program provided by a state agency with an annual budget of more than $200 million. The pilot program must have an overall goal of promoting cost-effective policies and programming by the state.

The bill requires the secretary to submit a report to the Appropriations Committee by April 1, 2018. It must include the selected grant programs, the pilot program's status, and any recommendations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

306 — PERFORMANCE-INFORMED BUDGETING

Requires the governor and the legislature, in developing each biennial budget, to consider performance-informed analyses submitted by selected budgeted agencies

Budget Review

The bill requires the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary to identify two budgeted agencies, for the biennium beginning July 1, 2017, to transmit specified information and analyses (see below) for purposes of a performance-informed budget review for the next succeeding biennium. “Performance-informed budget review” means an analysis of a budgeted agency programs. Such review may involve a results-oriented approach to or other methods of planning, budgeting and performance measurement for programs that focus on the quality of life results the state desires for its citizens and that identify program performance measures and indicators of the progress the state makes in achieving such results. "Program" means any distinguishable service or group of services within a budgeted agency designed to accomplish a specific public goal and result in specific public benefits.

Program Information and Analyses

The review must include the following information and analyses for each program administered by the agency:

1. the program's statutory basis, or other basis, and its history;

2. a description of how the program fits into the agency's strategic plan and goals and an analysis of the program's quantified objectives;

3. (a) a description, with supporting cost and staffing data, of each program and the population it serves, and (b) the level of funding and staff required to accomplish the program's goals if different than the existing level;

4. indicators, performance measures, or data used to track progress toward achieving the program's goals;

5. an analysis of the major costs and benefits of operating the program and the rationale for specific expenditure and staffing levels;

6. an estimate of the program's administrative and other overhead costs;

7. an analysis of the levels of services the program provides;

8. where applicable, an analysis estimating the amount of funds or benefits that actually reach the program's intended recipients; and

9. recommendations for improving the program's performance.

Program Performance-Informed Analyses

By October 1, 2018, and by October first of each subsequent even-numbered year, the bill requires the administrative head of each budgeted agency identified in the biennial budget to transmit to the (1) OPM secretary; (2) Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA); (3) Appropriations and Finance committees; and (4) standing committee with cognizance over the budgeted agency, a performance-informed analysis which may include a results-based evaluation.

The bill requires the governor and legislature, in developing each biennial budget, to consider the information and analyses transmitted by the budgeted agencies. A public review of the reports transmitted from the agencies must be incorporated into the agency budget hearing process conducted by the relevant subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee.

Zero-Based Budgeting Implementation

The bill requires OPM and OFA, by November 15, 2018, to issue a report on the implementation of zero-based budgeting. The report must include implementation timelines; necessary revisions to executive and legislative budgetary documents, processes, and relevant statutes; and other measures required to implement zero-based budgeting.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

307-333 — MUNICIPAL ACCOUNTABILITY REVIEW BOARD AND TIER DESIGNATIONS

Provides an alternative process through which financially troubled municipalities may use statutory methods to issue deficit bonds and obtain funding from the Municipal Restructuring Fund; establishes the Municipal Accountability Review Board

Among other things, the bill:

1. allows municipalities to request state designation based on a four-tier system, reflecting degrees of fiscal distress and state oversight (Tiers I-IV, with IV being the most distressed);

2. imposes an annual limit on the amount of property tax revenue designated tier IV municipalities may raise from the property tax; and

3. establishes the Municipal Accountability Review Board to provide designated municipalities fiscal and managerial oversight and control

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

334-505 — BOND AUTHORIZATIONS, ADJUSTMENTS, AND CANCELLATIONS

Authorizes new GO bonds for state agency projects and grant programs; authorizes up to $820.3 million in new STO bonds in FY 18 and up to $824.6 million in FY 19 for DOT projects; increases bond authorization limits for various statutory grants and purposes and allocates new bonding for these purposes for FYs 18 and 19; makes permanent the school security infrastructure grant program, which under current law ends in FY 17; allocates no LoCIP funds in 2017 and $55 million in 2018; authorizes certain transportation funding agreements with the federal government and the issuance of “federal transportation bonds”

General Overview

The bill authorizes state general obligation (GO) bonds for FYs 18 and 19 to be used for state capital projects and grant programs, including school construction, economic development, municipal capital improvement grants, and housing development and rehabilitation programs. It also authorizes GO bonds for FYs 18 and 19 and beyond for grants to hospitals for capital improvements and for the Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund. And it cancels or reduces a number of GO bond authorizations (see fiscal note for totals).

The bill authorizes $820.3 million for FY 18 and $824.6 million for FY 19 in special tax obligation (STO) bonds for transportation projects, including $482.3 million over the two years for bus and rail facilities and equipment.

The bill also makes various other changes, including (1) deferring $185.8 million in bonds currently authorized under UConn 2000 and extending the program by three years; (2) authorizing the state to enter into loan or other credit agreements with the federal government to help finance transportation-related construction projects; and (3) authorizing the issuance of “federal transportation bonds” (i.e., STO bonds that are issued to evidence and secure certain federal transportation assistance.

Lastly, the bill makes various technical corrections related to provisions in the 2016 bond act (PA 16-4, May Special Session).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage for FY 18 bond authorizations and July 1, 2018 for FY 19 authorizations. Other sections are effective upon passage unless otherwise noted.

New Bond Authorizations for State Agency Projects and Grants

The bill authorizes new GO bonds for FYs 18 and 19 for the state projects and grant programs listed in the below table (see fiscal note for totals). It also authorizes new GO bonds for FYs 18 to 22 for hospital grants and for FYs 18 to 23 for the Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund (see 504 & 505, below). The bonds are subject to standard issuance procedures and have a maximum term of 20 years.

The bill includes a standard provision requiring that, as a condition of bond authorizations for grants to private entities, each granting agency (except OPM) include repayment provisions in its grant contract in case the facility for which the grant is made ceases to be used for the grant purposes within 10 years of the grantee receiving it. The required repayment is reduced by 10% for each full year that the facility is used for the grant purpose.

Table: GO Bond Authorizations for State Projects and Grant Programs

for FYs 18 and 19

Agency

Purpose

FY 18

FY 19

State Projects and Programs

335(a), 354(a)

Office of Policy and Management (OPM)

Transit-oriented development and predevelopment activities

$8,000,000

$8,000,000

Information technology capital investment program

50,000,000

25,000,000

335(b), 354(b)

Department of Administrative Services (DAS)

Alterations and improvements in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

0

1,000,000

Infrastructure repairs and improvements, including (1) fire, safety, and ADA compliance; (2) improvements to state-owned buildings and grounds, including energy conservation and off-site improvements; and (3) preservation of unoccupied buildings and grounds, including office development, acquisition, renovations for additional parking, and security

10,000,000

10,000,000

Removing or encapsulating asbestos and hazardous material in state buildings

5,000,000

10,000,000

Upgrade and replace technology infrastructure for the Connecticut Education Network

1,500,000

1,500,000

335(c)

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP)

Alternations and improvements to buildings and grounds, including utilities, mechanical systems, and energy conservation projects

2,000,000

0

Plan and design for a new Forensic Science Laboratory

6,000,000

0

Upgrades to the Statewide Monitoring and Notification System

4,000,000

0

335(d),

354(c)

Military Department

Alternations, renovations, and improvements to the drill shed at the William A. O'Neill Armory

1,000,000

0

Construction of a warehouse at Camp Hartwell in Windsor Locks

500,000

0

Acquiring property for development of readiness centers in Litchfield county

0

2,000,000

335(e), 354(d)

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)

Dam repairs, including state-owned dams

11,000,000

0

Flood control improvements, flood repair, erosion damage repairs, and municipal dam repairs

5,000,000

0

Energy service projects resulting in increased efficiency measures in state buildings or renewable energy or combined heat and power projects in state buildings

20,000,000

20,000,000

Water pollution control projects at state facilities

1,250,000

0

335(f), 354(e)

Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA)

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to the XL Center, including property acquisition

40,000,000

75,000,000

Alterations, renovations, and improvements at the CT Convention Center and Rentschler Field

1,500,000

1,500,000

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to Hartford parking garages

5,000,000

5,000,000

Infrastructure renovations and improvements to Hartford's Front Street district

3,000,000

7,000,000

335(g), 354(f)

Department of Developmental Services (DDS)

(1) Fire, safety, and environmental improvements to regional facilities and intermediate care facilities for client and staff needs, including compliance with current codes, and (2) site improvements, handicapped access improvements, utilities, repair or replacement of roofs, air conditioning, and other building renovations and additions at all state-owned facilities

5,000,000

5,000,000

335(h)

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS)

(1) Fire, safety, and environmental improvements to regional facilities and intermediate care facilities for client and staff needs, including compliance with current codes, and (2) site improvements, handicapped access improvements, utilities, repair or replacement of roofs, air conditioning, and other building renovations and additions at all state-owned facilities

9,000,000

0

335(i), 354(g)

Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU)

All colleges and universities: instruction, research, or laboratory equipment

6,000,000

6,000,000

All colleges and universities: system telecommunications infrastructure upgrades, improvements, and expansions

2,000,000

2,000,000

All colleges and universities: advanced manufacturing and emerging technology programs

2,750,000

2,875,000

All colleges and universities: security improvements

3,000,000

5,000,000

All community colleges: deferred maintenance, code compliance, and infrastructure improvements

14,000,000

14,000,000

All universities: deferred maintenance, code compliance, and infrastructure improvements

7,000,000

7,000,000

Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC): upgrades to mechanical systems

6,000,000

0

NVCC: ADA alterations and improvements

0

5,000,000

Norwalk Community College: alterations, renovations, and improvements to the B wing building

18,600,000

0

   

Quinebaug Valley Community College: new maintenance and office building

476,088

0

Northwestern Community College (NCC): alterations, renovations, and improvements to the White building

825,000

2,021,250

NCC: alterations, renovations, and improvements to Greenwoods Hall

2,685,817

0

354(i)

Department of Corrections

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to existing state-owned buildings for inmate housing, programming, staff training space, and additional inmate capacity; support facilities; and off-site improvements

0

10,000,000

335(j)

Department of Children and Families

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to buildings and grounds, including new or revised juvenile justice facilities

3,750,000

0

335(k), 354(h)

Judicial Department

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to buildings and grounds at state-owned and maintained facilities

7,500,000

7,500,000

Exterior renovations and improvements at New Haven's superior courthouse

2,000,000

0

ADA alterations and improvements

1,000,000

0

Security improvements at various state-owned and maintained facilities

2,000,000

0

Implementation of the Technology Strategic Plan Project

0

3,000,000

342, 361

Department of Housing (DOH)

Housing development and rehabilitation for various kinds of state-assisted affordable housing and housing-related financial assistance programs; authorizes DOH to use up to $30 million in each FY to revitalize moderate rental housing units in the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority's state housing portfolio

125,000,000

100,000,000

Grants

346(a), 365(a), 389

OPM

Grants to private, nonprofit health and human service organizations for alterations, renovations, improvements, additions, and construction related to ADA compliance, energy conservation, IT systems, technology, vehicle purchases, and property acquisition

25,000,000

25,000,000

Responsible Growth Incentive Fund

5,000,000

0

Grants to municipalities for the Town Aid Road program

60,000,000

60,000,000

346(b), 365(b)

DAS

Grants to alliance districts for general school building improvements

30,000,000

30,000,000

346(c)

DEEP

Program to establish energy microgrids to support critical municipal infrastructure

10,000,000

0

Grants to municipalities and state agencies to improve incinerators and landfills, including bulky waste landfills and landfills formerly operated by the CT Resources Recovery Authority

2,900,000

0

Grants for containment, removal, or mitigation of identified hazardous waste disposal sites

5,000,000

0

346(d), 365(c)

Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)

Small Business Express program

10,000,000

10,000,000

CT Manufacturing Innovation Fund, with $3.5 million in FY 18 and $1.5 million in FY 19 for grants to the CT Center for Advanced Technology for R&D to help the manufacturing supply chain

8,500,000

6,500,000

Brownfield Remediation and Revitalization program

25,000,000

15,000,000

Grants to nonprofits sponsoring cultural and historic sites

0

5,000,000

346(e), 365(d)

Connecticut Innovations (CI)

Recapitalization of CI's statutory programs

20,000,000

20,000,000

346(f), 365(e)

CRDA

Encouraging development according to CRDA's statutory purposes

40,000,000

40,000,000

Grant to East Hartford for general economic development, including infrastructure and improvements to the riverfront, creating housing units, demolishing or redeveloping vacant buildings, and redevelopment

10,000,000

10,000,000

346(g), 365(f)

State Department of Education (SDE)

Grants to assist targeted local and regional school districts for alterations, repairs, improvements, technology, and equipment in low-performing schools

10,000,000

5,000,000

365(g)

State Library

Grants to public libraries for construction, renovations, expansions, energy conservation, and handicapped access

0

5,000,000

346(h), 365(h)

Department of Transportation (DOT)

Grants to municipalities for the Town-Aid-Road program

30,000,000

30,000,000

346(i), 365(i)

Department of Labor

Workforce Training Authority Fund

10,000,000

20,000,000

Hospital Grants ( 504). The bill authorizes up to $20 million each year in new GO bonds in FYs 18 to 22 ($100 million total) for OPM to provide grants to hospitals for capital improvements.

Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund ( 505). The bill authorizes up to $10 million each year in new GO bonds in FYs 18 to 23 ($60 million total) for DOH's Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund. The fund's purpose is to assist homeowners with repairing or replacing concrete foundations that are deteriorating due to pyrrhotite.

Transportation Bonds ( 372-383)

The bill authorizes up to $820.3 million in new STO bonds in FY 18 and up to $824.6 million in FY 19 for DOT projects, as shown in the below table.

Table: STO Bond Authorizations for DOT Projects

Authorized Program Areas

FY 18

FY 19

Bureau of Engineering and Highway Operations

Interstate highway program

$13,000,000

$13,000,000

Urban systems projects

14,776,250

16,217,392

Intrastate highway program

44,000,000

44,000,000

Environmental compliance, soil and groundwater remediation, hazardous material abatement, demolition, salt shed construction and renovation, storage tank replacement, and environmental emergency response at or near state-owned properties or related to DOT operations

17,660,000

15,000,000

State bridge improvement, rehabilitation, and replacement

33,000,000

33,000,000

Capital resurfacing and related reconstruction

75,000,000

75,000,000

Fix-it-First bridge repair program (up to $10.9 million must be used in FY 18 for the Stratford Bridge carrying US1 over the Metro North Rail Line)

111,115,000

99,760,000

Fix-it-First road repair program

55,000,000

55,000,000

Local transportation capital program

62,000,000

64,000,000

Grants to municipalities for the Town Aid Road program

30,000,000

30,000,000

Highway and bridge renewal equipment

10,400,000

10,400,000

Local bridge program

0

24,000,000

Bureau of Public Transportation

Bus and rail facilities and equipment, including rights-of-way, other property acquisition, and related projects (In FYs 18 and 19, up to $10 million each year must be used for service and equipment improvements to the Danbury Rail Line. In FY 18 only, up to $250,000 must be used for a feasibility study to explore possibilities for a new passenger rail station at the Wall St. location on the Danbury Rail Line in Norwalk.)

236,250,000

246,000,000

Bureau of Administration

Department facilities

63,132,500

44,247,000

STO bonds: cost of issuance and debt service reserve

55,000,000

55,000,000

Bond Authorizations for Statutory Programs and Grants

The bill increases bond authorization limits for various statutory grants and purposes and allocates new bonding for these purposes for FYs 18 and 19, as shown in the below table.

Table: Statutory Bond Authorizations for FYs 18 and 19

Agency

Purpose/Fund

FY 18

FY 19

384

OPM

Urban Action (economic and community development project grants)

$50,000,000

$50,000,000

387

OPM

Capital Equipment Purchase Fund

15,000,000

0

388

OPM

Local Capital Improvement Program (LoCIP)

90,000,000

35,000,000

390

DOH

Housing Trust Fund

0

30,000,000

391

SDE

Charter school capital expenses

5,000,000

5,000,000

392

DAS

School construction projects

450,000,000

450,000,000

393

SDE

School construction interest subsidy grants

3,000,000

2,100,000

402

DEEP

Clean Water Fund grants

0

85,000,000

403

DEEP

Clean Water Fund loans (revenue bonds)

158,200,000

350,300,000

404

DEEP

Bikeway, pedestrian walkway, recreational trail, and greenway grants

3,000,000

0

410

DECD

Manufacturing Assistance Act

275,000,000

125,000,000

Changes to Current Bond Authorizations

GO Bond Cancellations and Reductions. The bill cancels or reduces all or part of current bond authorizations for the projects and grants shown in the below table.

Table: Cancellations and Reductions in Current GO Bond Authorizations

Agency

Purpose

Current Authorization

Amount Cancelled

385

OPM

Small Town Economic Assistance Program

280,000,000

9,000,000

386

OPM

Intertown Capital Equipment Purchase Incentive Program

5,000,000

62,851

400

DOT

Commercial rail freight line competitive grant program

10,000,000

2,500,000

401

CT Green Bank

Energy Conservation Loan Fund and Green Connecticut Loan Guaranty Fund(also eliminates a requirement that $5 million authorized for FY 11 be used for the guaranty fund)

5,000,000

4,000,000

405

DESPP

Buy-out program for storm-damaged properties

2,800,000

800,000

416

DMHAS

Alterations, renovations, additions, and improvements, including new construction, in accordance with the DMHAS master campus plan

886,593

722,090

418

DEEP

East Lyme: purchase Oswegatchie Hills for open space

2,000,000

1,800,000

419

DECD

Killingworth: Killingworth Old Town Hall restoration and renovations

250,000

250,000

421

DEEP

Stamford: Holly Pond Tidal Restoration project

500,000

500,000

422

DECD

University of New Haven: establish and construct Henry Lee Institute

1,500,000

1,500,000

424

DEEP

Norwalk: flood control system improvements

500,000

500,000

425

DEEP

Fairfield: Rooster River flood control project

2,030,000

2,000,000

427

DAS

Development and implementation of ITS for HIPAA compliance

6,310,500

2,652,975

429

Multiple agencies

Bridgeport economic development projects (for DECD or DEEP, as designated by the Bond Commission)

2,200,000

950,000

431

BOR

Establish or expand manufacturing technology programs at four community colleges

17,800,000

970,500

432

Judicial Department

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to buildings and grounds at state-owned and maintained facilities

5,000,000

223,817

434

DPH

Grants to community health centers, primary care organizations, and municipalities for the purchase of equipment, renovations, improvements, and expansion of facilities

2,000,000

1,750,000

435

DMHAS

Grants to nonprofits for community-based residential and outpatient facilities for purchases, repairs, alterations, and improvements

5,000,000

1,043,836

436

DCF

Grants for construction, alteration, repairs, and improvements to residential facilities, group homes, shelters, and permanent family residences

5,000,000

2,839,842

438

DDS

(1) Fire, safety, and environmental improvements to regional facilities and intermediate care facilities, including improvements in compliance with current codes and (2) site improvements, handicapped access improvements, utilities, repair or replacement of roofs, air conditioning, and other building renovations and additions at all state-owned facilities

5,000,000

428,000

440

DESPP

Design and construction of a firearms training facility and vehicle operations training center, including land acquisition

6,576,000

3,000,000

441

Judicial Department

Development of a juvenile court building in Meriden or Middletown

1,000,000

1,000,000

443

DOH

Grants to nursing homes for alterations, renovations, and improvements for converting to other uses

10,000,000

4,430,767

444

SDE

Grants for expanding the availability of high-quality school models and assisting in implementing common CORE state standards and assessments: alteration, repair, improvements, technology, equipment, acquisition, and capital start-up costs

24,888,946

6,334,200

447

BOR

Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC): parking and site improvements

2,189,622

225,275

448

BOR

QVCC: heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system improvements

1,750,000

145,000

449

Judicial Department

Development of a juvenile court building in Meriden or Middletown

2,000,000

2,000,000

450

Judicial Department

Mechanical upgrades and code-required improvements at New Haven's superior courthouse

1,000,000

200,000

452

DoAg

Farm Reinvestment Program

500,000

500,000

453

DEEP

Grants to municipalities for open space acquisition and development for conservation or recreational purposes

10,000,000

10,000,000

454

OEC

Grants to towns and tax-exempt organizations for facility improvements and minor capital repairs to school readiness programs and state-funded day care centers

11,500,000

5,641,832

456

DEEP

Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust Program for recreation, open space, resource protection, and resource management

8,000,000

8,000,000

457

CRDA

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to the Connecticut Convention Center and Rentschler Field

3,727,500

18,500

458

DDS

(1) Fire, safety, and environmental improvements to regional facilities and intermediate care facilities, including improvements in compliance with current codes and (2) site improvements, handicapped access improvements, utilities, repair or replacement of roofs, air conditioning, and other building renovations and additions at all state-owned facilities

5,000,000

253,248

459

SDE

Technical high school system: Alterations and improvements to buildings and grounds, including equipment, tools, and supplies necessary to update curricula, vehicles, and technology upgrades

15,500,000

11,000,000

460

BOR

Housatonic Community College: parking garage improvements

3,907,258

233,281

461

BOR

Middlesex Community College: new academic building planning, design, and construction

35,200,000

35,200,000

462

Judicial Department

Development of a juvenile court building in Meriden or Middletown

9,000,000

9,000,000

463

Judicial Department

Mechanical upgrades and code-required improvements at New Haven's superior courthouse

8,500,000

3,500,000

465

DoAg

Farm Reinvestment Program

500,000

500,000

466

SDE

Grants to towns and nonprofits for facility improvements and minor capital repairs to facilities that house school readiness programs and state-funded day care centers

5,000,000

5,000,000

469

Department of Veterans' Affairs

Planning and feasibility study for additional veterans' housing at the Rocky Hill campus, including vacant building demolition

500,000

500,000

470

DAS

Development and implementation of an electronic filing system

3,000,000

3,000,000

472

Office of State Comptroller

Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network: transmission, broadcast, production, and information technology equipment

1,300,000

1,300,000

473

DOH

Shoreline Resiliency Fund

8,000,000

5,000,000

474

Department of Rehabilitation Services

Grants for programs providing home modifications and assistive technology devices related to aging in place, which may be run by a nonprofit under contract with DORS

6,000,000

6,000,000

475

SDE

Technical high school system: pilot program to provide expanded educational opportunities, for academic enrichment and trades training for secondary and adult learners, by extending hours at technical high schools in Hamden, Hartford, New Britain, and Waterbury (see also 475 below)

3,500,000

3,066,000

477

DAS

Development and implementation of an electronic filing system

1,000,000

1,000,000

479

DESPP

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to the Forensic Science Laboratory in Meriden

2,500,000

2,500,000

480

BOR

Capital Community College: alterations, renovations, and improvements to optimize space utilizations

5,000,000

5,000,000

482

DEEP

Long Island Sound stewardship and resiliency program (1) to protect coastal marshes and other natural buffer areas and (2) for grants to increase the resiliency of wastewater treatment facilities

15,000,000

7,000,000

483

DEEP

Grants to municipalities, in consultation with OPM, to encourage low-impact design of green municipal infrastructure to reduce nonpoint source pollution

10,000,000

10,000,000

485

SDE

Grants for Sheff magnet school program capital start-up costs

20,000,000

5,000,000

486

SDE

American School for the Deaf: alterations, renovations, and improvements to buildings and grounds

5,000,000

2,507,950

488

Office of Governmental Accountability

Information technology improvements

500,000

500,000

491

DOH

Main Street Investment Fund

3,000,000

3,000,000

492

SDE

Grants for Sheff magnet school program capital start-up costs

5,750,000

5,750,000

493

CT Port Authority

Grants for port, harbor, and marina improvements, including dredging and navigational improvements

13,500,000

6,750,000

495

OPM

Regional dog pound grant program

10,000,000

10,000,000

497

OPM

West Harford: improvements to the Trout Brook Canal area

1,200,000

700,000

499

OPM

West Hartford: wireless fidelity and broadband network initiative for West Hartford Center

500,000

500,000

Adjustments and Technical Corrections to 2016 Bond Act. The bill restores several GO bond authorizations cancelled or reduced in the 2016 bond act (PA 16-4, May Special Session), as shown in the below table. It also makes technical corrections to various provisions in the act ( 411-412, 489 & 500-501).

Table: Restored Bond Authorizations

Agency

For

Current Authorization

Amount Cancelled in PA 16-4

Proposed Authorization

414

SDE

American School for the Deaf: alteration, renovation, and improvements to buildings and grounds, including new construction

4,405,709

5,000,000

9,405,709

467

CI

Regenerative Medicine Research Fund

0

10,000,000

10,000,000

478

DAS

Removal or encapsulation of asbestos and hazardous material in state-owned buildings

5,000,000

5,000,000

10,000,000

484

DECD

Brownfield Remediation and Revitalization program

16,000,000

4,000,000

20,000,000

Smart Start Competitive Grant Program ( 394). The bill cancels $36,480,851 in GO bonds authorized for FYs 16 through 19 ($6,480,851 in FY 16 and $10 million per year in FYs 17 to 19) for the Smart Start competitive grant program, which provides grants to local and regional boards of education for establishing or expanding preschool programs.

UConn 2000: Bond Schedule and Project Authorizations ( 395-398). The bill extends the UConn 2000 program by three years, from FY 24 to FY 27, and defers $185.8 million in bonds currently authorized for FYs 18 to 23 to FYs 24 to 27. It adjusts the annual bond caps for the program, as shown in the below table.

Table: UConn 2000 Annual Bond Limits (millions)

FY

Current Limit

Proposed Limit

Change

18

$295.5

$200.0

($95.5)

19

251.0

200.0

(51.0)

20

269

291.6

22.6

21

191.5

186.2

(5.3)

22

144

101.4

(42.6)

23

112

98

(14)

24

73.5

85

11.5

25

0

70.1

70.1

26

0

63.6

63.6

27

0

40.6

40.6

The bill expands two existing Phase III projects for deferred maintenance and other infrastructure improvements at the university and health center, respectively, to include utility, administrative, and support facilities. Under the bill, utility, infrastructure, administrative, and support facilities include any eligible UConn 2000 project at the Storrs or regional campuses or health center, including any building or structure that is essential, necessary, or useful for such facilities. It includes (1) new construction, expansion, extension, addition, renovation, restoration, replacement, repair, and deferred maintenance of such facilities; (2) accessories and facilities located on, above, or under the ground used in connection with such facilities; and (3) anything else that relates to or supports such facilities. It also makes a conforming change.

Connecticut Bioscience Innovation and Regenerative Medicine Funds – Bond Authorizations and Expanding the Funds' Purpose ( 406-409). Current law authorizes $200 million in bonds over 11 years, from FY 13 to FY 23, for the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund. The bill:

1. authorizes $4 million in new bonds for the program;

2. extends the program by one year to FY 24; and

3. cancels $20 million in bonds currently authorized for FYs 18 and 19, and defers them to FY 24 (see the below table).

Table: Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (millions)

Fiscal Year

Current

Authorization

Proposed

Authorization

Change

18

$25

$15

($10)

19

25

15

(10)

20

25

25

0

21

25

25

0

22

25

25

0

23

25

25

0

24

0

24

24

The bill earmarks $3 million each in FYs 18 through 20 for grants to the Yale Connecticut Precision Medicine Initiative.

The bill cancels $30 million in bonds authorized for FYs 17 through 19 for the Regenerative Medicine Research Fund and effective October 1, 2017, it eliminates the requirement that at least $10 million be available from the fund each year until FY 19 to provide financial assistance for conducting regenerative medicine research.

The bill allows Connecticut Innovations (CI), as of July 1, 2017, to use the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund to fund regenerative medicine research as the law allows (CGS 32-41jj to 32-41mm). Regenerative medicine research involves examining the process for creating living, functional tissue to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to aging, disease, damage, or congenital defects. The Bioscience Innovation Fund finances projects to improve the delivery of health care, lower health care costs, and create bioscience jobs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2017, except the temporary elimination of $10 million mandatory annual funding for regenerative medicine research takes effect October 1, 2017 and the $30 million cancellation is effective upon passage

Increase Authorization for Technical High Schools ( 475). The bill increases, by $3.066 million, an existing $5 million authorization for SDE (see 466 in the above table). SDE must use the funds to provide grants to technical high schools to provide evening training programs in skilled trades, including manufacturing, masonry, electrical, plumbing, and carpentry, that prepare participants to earn a credential or degree recognized by employers or trade associations.

School Security Infrastructure Competitive Grant Program ( 445)

The bill makes permanent the school security infrastructure grant program, which under current law ends in FY 17.  The program is jointly administered by DESPP, DAS, and SDE and provides grants to develop or improve security infrastructure in schools, based on the results of school building security assessments conducted under the supervision of local law enforcement agencies.

By law, if there is not enough money to reimburse every applicant for its full grant amount in FYs 15 through 17, first priority is given to applicants with schools that have the greatest need for security infrastructure. The bill does not extend these grant priority requirements beyond FY 17.

LoCIP ( 502)

Existing law requires the OPM secretary to allocate LoCIP funds to municipalities on February 1 of each year, up to the amount the legislature authorized for the fiscal year. For 2017 and 2018, the bill instead requires the OPM secretary to allocate no LoCIP funds on February 1, 2017, and $55 million to municipalities on February 1, 2018.

Under LoCIP, the OPM secretary allocates a share of available state funds to each municipality based on miles of road, population density, and population factors and credits the amount to each town's LoCIP account. A town may use its LoCIP credits to reimburse local spending for approved qualified projects.

Federal Transportation Loan Program Assistance and STO Bonds ( 503)

Federal Loan Program Agreements. The bill authorizes the state treasurer, OPM secretary, and DOT commissioner (i.e., “state officials”) to enter into loan agreements or other credit agreements with the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), including agreements under the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) programs (see BACKGROUND). The bill allows such loan agreements to be backed by STO bonds (see below).

Under the bill, the state officials:

1. may execute and deliver any documents, certificates, and instruments related to the agreements and obligations issued under them;

2. must determine the agreements' terms, conditions, covenants, and other provisions in the state's best interest; and

3. may take all other actions necessary to enter into these agreements or receive other financial assistance under any U.S. DOT program, including preparing, executing, and submitting applications.

Securing Federal Loans with STO Bonds. The bill authorizes the issuance of “federal transportation bonds,” which are state STO bonds that are issued to evidence and secure U.S. DOT loans or other financial assistance made to the state under federal programs, including TIFIA and RRIF. Federal law generally requires that U.S. DOT loans be backed by revenue sources, such as tolls, user fees, or other dedicated revenue sources that secure the financed project's other obligations (23 U.S.C. 602 (a)(6); 45 U.S.C. 822 (f)(3)). TIFIA and RRIF loans have longer repayment periods (35 years) than STO bonds (20 years) and flexible repayment schedules (e.g., repayment does not have to begin until five years after the financed project is complete).

Bond Procedures and Provisions. Under the bill, federal transportation bonds are generally subject to the requirements, covenants, and conditions that apply to STO bonds issued under the transportation STO bond program, and they may be secured by a trust indenture between the state and a corporate trustee under the same provisions that apply to the STO bond program under current law. Regardless of STO program provisions regarding tax exemption, the bill allows federal transportation bonds to be issued as taxable bonds.

Under the bill, federal transportation bonds' debt services requirements and other obligations must be secured by a lien on “pledged revenues,” which is the revenue that is credited to the Special Transportation Fund (STF) in any year (see BACKGROUND). The lien is subordinate and junior to every lien securing bonds issued under the STO bond program.

Authorization of Federal Transportation Bonds. Under the bill, whenever the General Assembly authorizes STO bonds, those authorizations are deemed to have authorized federal transportation bonds, including STO bond authorizations that are already in effect.

Background

TIFIA and RRIF. The TIFIA program provides credit assistance, including direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit, for qualified transportation projects of regional and national significance. In general, states may receive federal credit assistance in amounts up to 33% of total reasonably anticipated eligible project costs (23 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

 The RRIF program provides direct loans and loan guarantees to finance development of railroad infrastructure. Under the program, states can receive direct loans to fund up to 100% of a railroad project with repayment periods of up to 35 years (45 U.S.C. 821 et seq.).

STF. By law, the STF pays for state highway and public transportation projects. It is supported by a number of revenue streams, including the motor fuels tax, motor carrier road tax, petroleum products gross earnings tax, certain motor vehicle receipts and fees, (e.g., driver's license fees), and surcharges on motor vehicle related fines and penalties (CGS 13-59 et seq.).

By law, money in the fund must be used first for debt service on special tax obligation bonds and to pay for certain transportation projects. Among other things, remaining funds must be spent to pay general obligation bonds issued for transportation projects and budget appropriations for the departments of transportation and motor vehicles (CGS 13b-69).

506-512 — EDUCATION COST SHARING (ECS) FORMULA REVISION

Revises ECS, the largest form of state aid to towns, by modifying the key factors used to determine a town's aid

The bill revises the state education equalization formula, commonly referred to the education cost sharing (ECS) formula. (The state has not used the formula since FY 14; instead it has set a specific aid amount for each town in statute.) The bill makes changes to each of the three key factors in the formula and establishes a method to determine each town's aid amount for FYs 18 and 19.

The ECS formula has the following three key factors:

1. the foundation dollar amount;

2. the student count with weightings for high need students, referred to as total need students; and

3. the base aid ratio, which is a measure of town wealth.

Under the formula, the foundation is multiplied by the number of need students, and the result is multiplied by the aid ratio, to produce the grant amount. A small bonus is added for regional schools. For example, under current law, a school district with 1,000 need students that has a base aid ratio of .50 would receive a grant of $5.76 million (1,000 x .50 x $11,525 (the current foundation amount)).

Per-Student Foundation

For FY 18 the bill decreases the current per student foundation dollar amount from $11,525 to $11,000. It then increases the foundation for FY 19 from $11,000 to $12,570. The foundation is the amount of per-student spending that ECS grants help towns reach. All towns receive less than the full foundation amount per student with the town's tax revenue making up of the difference.

Total Need Students

By law, the ECS formula gives extra weighting to student counts for educational and economic need and this drives more funding to towns with higher need students. The bill eliminates the current poverty weighting of 30% for students eligible for free or reduced priced lunch and replaces it with 25% of the small area income and poverty estimate (SAIPE) student count for the school district, as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census calculates the percentage of the population ages 5 to 17 in poverty for each school district in the country.

The bill also adds a new 25% weighting for the number of students a local or regional board of education identifies as English language learners (ELL). The formula does not currently have a weighting for ELL students, but for schools years starting in 2007 to 2012, it had a 15% weighting for ELL students who were not required by law to be in a bilingual program.

Base Aid Ratio

The bill makes changes to the base aid ratio. The base aid ratio is a numerical representation of a town's wealth, primarily based on property wealth. Poorer towns have higher ratios than wealthier towns. The higher its ratio, the closer a town comes to receiving the maximum aid.

Minimum Base Aid Ratio. Current law includes one minimum base aid ratio for alliance districts (the 30 school districts the lowest academic performance) and a second for all other districts. The bill maintains the alliance district minimum base aid ratio at 10%; for all other towns it eliminates the 2% minimum. The minimum base aid ratio guarantees that the formula will produce a minimum level of aid for a school district even if other factors, such as high property wealth, would otherwise mean that the district would not receive funding.

Wealth Adjustment Factor (WAF). The bill modifies WAF, which is part of the base aid ratio, in two ways. One way affects the balance of weighting property wealth and income wealth in the formula. The other way changes the guaranteed wealth level, which establishes the town wealth level that formula funding helps a town to reach. Thus, under the bill, it is possible to have a zero percent aid ratio.

The WAF for each town is calculated by:

1. determining the property and income wealth measures, with each expressed as a ratio;

2. weighting each wealth measure; and

3. adding the ratios together.

The bill retains the overall method of determining the WAF, but changes the current weighting for the two wealth measures, as seen in the below table.

Table: Weighting of Property and Income Wealth

 

Current Law

Bill

Property Wealth*

90%

70%

Income Wealth**

10%

30%

* Town equalized net grand list adjustment factor

**Town median household income adjustment factor

Under the bill, the town income has more weight than it does under current law. For towns that have relatively high property value (in comparison to other towns) but relatively low household income, this could mean their new WAF results in more education aid. For towns with relatively low property value and relatively high household income, their new WAF could result in less education aid.

Under current law, the guaranteed town wealth level factor for (1) property wealth is a ratio of a town's property wealth to 1.5 times the town with the median equalized net grand list per capita of all towns in the state and (2) income wealth is a ratio of a town's household income to 1.5 times the household income of the town with the median household income of all towns in the state.

The bill lowers this factor to 1.25 for both aspects of the formula. This means that under the bill, the funding level that the adjusted formula helps towns achieve is that of a town lower in town wealth ranking than under current law.

AID FOR FYS 18 AND 19

Under the bill, each town maintaining public schools is entitled to ECS grants for FYs 18 and 19. There are several steps in determining the grant that require using the base grant and fully-funded grant.

Fully-Funded Grant

By law, a town's fully-funded grant is the following two items added together:

1. the product of the foundation dollar amount, the town's total need students, its base aid ratio and

1. its regional bonus, if any.

The regional bonus is a relatively small amount in the context of ECS funding.

Alliance District Minimum

For some towns, the new grants will be a reduction from what they previously received, but the bill prohibits alliance district towns from receiving anything less than the amount received in FY 17.

The bill eliminates the provision that per-student grants to state charter schools be counted as ECS grants.

Base Grant

The bill defines a town's base grant as the ECS amount a town was entitled to receive for FY 17 as stated in the 2016 budget act (PA 16-2, May Special Session, 20) minus any reduction authorized under the 2015 budget act (PA 15-244, 12) that gave the Office of Policy and Management the authority to recommend up to $20 million in ECS cuts.

Grant adjustment

The bill adds two new terms to use in determining a town's ECS grant, (1) “grant adjustment” means the absolute value of the difference between a town's base grant amount and its fully funded grant and (2) “grant adjustment quotient” means a town's grant adjustment divided by the number of resident students of the town for the school year.

Determining the FY 18 Grant

If a town's fully-funded grant is more than its FY 17 actual ECS grant (after the OPM reductions), then ECS aid for FY 18 is the FY 17 amount plus 20% of the difference between fully-funded grant and FY 17 actual ECS grant. This scenario applies when a town is below the fully-funded level.

If a town's fully-funded grant is less than its FY 17 actual ECS grant (after the OPM reductions), then its FY 18 amount is reduced in one of the two ways.

For those towns where the difference between the FY 17 actual and the fully-funded grant is more than $1,100 per pupil (i.e., if the fully-funded grant were given instead, the loss for the town would exceed $1,100 per pupil), then ECS aid for FY 18 equals FY 17 actual grant reduced by 33.3% of the difference between the FY 17 actual and the fully-funded grant. The grant adjustment quotient is used to determine the per pupil difference in amounts.

For towns where the difference between FY 17 actual and the fully funded grant is less than $1,100 per pupil, then ECS aid for FY 18 equals its fully-funded grant.

Determining the FY 19 Grant

The foundation increases to $12,570 for FY 19, which increases the fully-funded grant amount for all towns.

For FY 19, if the fully-funded grant is more than the FY 17 actual ECS grant, then ECS aid for FY 19 equals the FY 17 amount plus 40% of the difference between fully-funded grant FY 17 actual (i.e., another 20% increase on top of the previous year, but this increase is a different, higher amount because the fully-funded amount grew, due to the foundation increase).

If a town's fully-funded grant is less than its FY 17 actual ECS grant, then its FY 19 amount is reduced in one of the two ways, either: (1) if the difference between the FY 17 actual and the fully-funded grant is less than $1,100 per pupil, the town receives its fully funded grant or (2) if the difference between the FY 17 actual and the fully-funded grant is more than $1,100 per pupil then the FY 19 amount is less 66.6% of the difference between FY 17 actual and fully-funded grant (i.e., another third of the loss is experienced, but this is a different, higher amount due to the foundation increase).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

513 — EDUCATION MINIMUM BUDGET REQUIREMENT (MBR)

Allows towns to reduce their MBR under most of the exceptions previously allowed under law, except for an ECS aid reduction

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

514 — DETERMINING EDUCATION AID INCREASES AND DECREASES

Renews for FYs 18 and 19 the method of determining increases in municipal ECS aid under current law

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

515 — SPECIAL EDUCATION COST MODEL TASK FORCE AND FEASIBILITY STUDY

Creates a task force to study the feasibility of forming a special education cost cooperative or other model to minimize volatility in municipal special education spending

This bill establishes a 12-member task force to conduct a feasibility study regarding alternative methods of funding special education and addressing the factors impacting the increasing cost and predictability of special education services. The study must examine a state special education predictable cost cooperative model or other alternative model, including models used in other states. It must report back to the Education and Appropriations committees by January 1, 2019.

Cooperative Definition

The bill defines “special education predictable cost cooperative” as a special education funding model that:

1. aggregates special education costs at the state level to compensate for local level volatility by (a) providing predictability in special education costs to local and regional boards of education, (b) maintaining current state special education funding, (c) differentiating funding based on student needs, (d) equitably distributing special education funding, (e) providing boards with flexibility and encouraging innovation, and (f) limiting local financial responsibility for students with extraordinary needs;

2. is funded by (a) a community contribution from each school district, calculated based on the number of special education students enrolled in the district and the district's previous special education costs, with each town's community contribution reduced by an equity adjustment based on the town's ability to pay and (b) the state contribution, which is a reallocation of the special education portion of the education cost sharing grant and the excess cost grant;

3. ensures that a school district's community contribution will be lower than its actual per pupil special education cost;

4. provides all school districts with some state support for special education services; and

5. reimburses school districts for 100% of their actual special education costs for each fiscal year.

Study Requirements

The bill requires the study to, at a minimum, address a number of specific areas including:

1. state and municipal funding for the cooperative model and other alternative models, including how towns contribute to the cooperative and how they are compensated for special education costs by the cooperative;

2. an actuarial analysis of the cooperative model and other alternative models;

3. various models for legal status of the cooperative model and other alternative models (i.e., state agency, quasi-public agency, not-for-profit organization, or private entity);

4. governance structure including a process for nominating members for the board of directors, qualifications for an executive administrator, and the accountability of the board and administrator to the participating towns and boards of education, including a complaint process;

5. staffing and funding sources for the cost of staff;

6. funding sources analysis for necessary capital costs, including the impact on state special education funding if $50 million in state special education funding is used;

7. implementation timeline including prerequisites such as the number of voluntarily participating towns necessary for the cooperative model and other alternative models to function or whether participation should be mandatory;

8. legal analysis, including whether it is allowed under state law and the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC 1400, et seq.; and

9. accountability to the General Assembly.

Task Force Membership

The bill requires the task force to include the Office of Policy and Management secretary and the education commissioner, or their respective designees, plus the following members:

1. a Connecticut Association of School Business Officials representative,

1. a Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents representative,

2. a Connecticut Council of Administrators of Special Education representative,

3. a Connecticut Association of Boards of Education representative,

4. a Connecticut Captive Insurance Association representative,

5. a Connecticut Association of Schools representative,

6. a Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center representative,

7. a Connecticut Conference of Municipalities representative,

8. RESC (Regional Educational Service Centers) Alliance representative, and

9. a UConn Actuarial Science Program faculty member.

The first meeting of the task force must be held within 30 days after the section's effective date. The taskforce chairperson is elected from its members.

The bill requires the task force, when conducting the study, to not cause any state agency to incur costs of more than $1,000, exclusive of costs associated with reimbursing any agency staff person for mileage expenses. The task force may also receive funds from any not-for-profit organization or accept pro bono services from any public or private entity to conduct the feasibility study. The Office of Legislative Management will assist the task force in administering any funds or services it receives or seeks pursuant to this section.

The task force terminates on January 1, 2019.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

516 — ACHIEVEMENT AND RESOURCE EQUITY IN SCHOOLS COMMISSION

Creates a 16-member commission to report recommendations on education funding to the Education Committee, the governor, and the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary

The bill establishes the Connecticut Achievement and Resource Equity in Schools Commission to provide analysis and recommendations concerning state funding for education and resources necessary to ensure that all public school students have an opportunity to be successful. The commission must report on its findings and recommendations by January 1, 2018 to the Education Committee, the governor, and the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary.

Plan and Recommendations

The bill requires the commission to develop a plan that includes recommendations for implementing a system for distributing state public education funding that:

1. includes a funding formula that (a) addresses the issue of unequal local tax burdens and reduces the reliance on unequal local property taxation to fund services, (b) increases equity and fairness, and (c) reduces segregation;

2. depends on a stable, fair, reliable, and identifiable funding source;

3. addresses students' educational needs from preschool through grade 12; and

4. provides predictability and sustainability in grant allocations to towns and school districts.

Commission Members

The bill requires the commission to consist of 16 members who must reflect the state's geographic, population, socio-economic, racial, and ethnic diversity. The below table lists the appointing authorities of the members and the qualities required of each member.

Table: Appointing Authorities and Commission Appointments

Appointing authority

Number of appointments

Member qualifications

House speaker

Two

one who is a representative of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education

one who is a representative of the Connecticut Education Association

Senate president pro tem

Two

one who is a representative of the Regional Educational Service Centers Alliance

one who is an economist with expertise in measures of poverty

Senate Republican president pro tem

Two

one who is a representative of the Connecticut Federation of School Administrators

one who is a representative of a regional agricultural science and technology education center

House majority leader

Two

one who is a representative of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents

one who is a representative of the American Federation of Teachers-Connecticut

Senate majority leader

Two

one who is a representative of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities

one who is a representative of the Connecticut Council of Administrators of Special Education

Senate deputy Republican president pro tem

Two

one who is employed in SDE's School Choice Bureau

one who is a representative of the Connecticut PTA

House minority leader

Two

one who is a representative of the Connecticut Association of Schools

one who is a representative of the Connecticut Administrators of Programs for English Language Learners

Joint appointment by the House speaker and minority leader

One

one who is a representative of the Connecticut Association of School Business Officials

Joint appointment by the Senate president pro tem and the Republican Senate president pro tem

One

one who is a representative of the State Education Resource Center

Appointments must be made by 30 days after the section's effective date. Vacancies are filled by the appointing authorities, except for Senate chairpersons as described below.

Chairpersons and First Meeting

Under the bill, there are two chairpersons of the commission appointed as follows: (1) the House speaker selects a chairperson from among the members, and (2) the Senate president pro tempore and the Senate Republican president pro tempore must jointly select the other chairperson from among the members.

If the chairperson appointed by the Senate becomes vacant, the Senate president pro tempore and the Senate Republican president pro tempore, or the president pro tempore of the Senate, as the case may be, must fill the vacancy.

The chairpersons must schedule the first commission meeting to be held no more than 60 days after the section's effective date.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

517 & 518 — CHARTER SCHOOL GRANTS

Increases the per pupil state charter school grant amount beginning with FY 19

The bill increases the per pupil charter school grant amount that the state pays to state charter schools from $11,000 to $11,314 for FY 19 and from $11,314 to $11,628 for FY 20.

It also requires the state grant payments to go directly to the charter school fiscal authority (the school governing council for state charters and the local or regional board of education for local charters), rather than to the town which then sends the grant to the fiscal authority. The bill maintains the schedule of four payments over the school year.

The bill removes the provision that identifies the charter school grants as education equalization aid grants (i.e., ECS grants). It also removes obsolete language and makes other conforming and technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

519 — ALLIANCE DISTRICTS AND OTHER DISTRICT DESIGNATIONS

Makes changes to the alliance district law and creates new school designations

This bill makes several changes to the law regarding alliance districts, the 30 lowest performing school districts in the state as measured by the accountability index. When created, alliance districts received a larger education cost sharing (ECS) grant increase in FY 13 than nonalliance districts, and they were subject to greater state scrutiny regarding their spending of state education dollars.

The bill specifies that following the initial group of 30 alliance districts (originally designated for a five-year period starting in FY 13), SDE must designate, within available appropriations, up to 30 alliance districts for (1) a five-year period starting with FY 18 and (2) every fourth fiscal year thereafter.

The bill also creates the promise district designation, which is a school district that was an alliance district in the current fiscal year but is not designated as an alliance district in FYs 18 to 20. This designation, which is for districts that improve their accountability scores and are no longer in the bottom 30, lasts for three years and cannot be made twice consecutively.

Under the alliance district program, the comptroller holds the ECS grant increase (i.e., the amount above that town's FY 12 ECS baseline) until the district meets the program's requirements, which include gaining the education commissioner's approval of how the money will be spent. The bill extends this authority to FY 18, and makes applicable conforming changes.

The bill modifies the conditions under which either an alliance or promise district can receive alliance funds. Under current law, the funds must be expended in accordance with an alliance district plan (the options for which are spelled out in statute) approved by the education commissioner and must be used to improve student achievement and to offset any other local education costs the commissioner approves. The bill eliminates the requirement of spending the funds according to the plan and replaces it with spending in accordance with any requirements the commissioner may establish.

But the bill provides plan requirements for promise districts and opportunity districts.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Promise District Sustainability Plans

The bill requires promise districts to submit, as a condition of receiving funding, a sustainability plan to SDE to address the transition out of alliance district status, and later out of promise district status, including how they will sustain academic performance and provide adequate funding in the areas the commissioner may choose to identify.

Opportunity Districts

The bill renames “educational reform districts” as “opportunity districts” (i.e., the 10 lowest scoring districts when all districts are ranked based on their accountability index scores). These districts must submit an objectives and performance plan to SDE in order to apply for any ECS aid increase over FY 12 amounts. The bill applies the same plan requirement language, including the plan guidelines, to opportunity districts that apply under current law to all alliance districts.

Once the commissioner receives the opportunity applications, under the bill she may award funds to the town and the town must transfer all the funds to the local or regional board of education on the condition that they are spent in accordance with (1) the performance plan, (2) any commissioner requirements, and (3) any SBE guidelines. The funds must be expended to improve student achievement and offset any other local education costs.

Commissioner's Authority to Withhold Funds

The bill modifies the commissioner's existing authority to withhold funds from alliance districts to conform with the change that such districts do not have to submit a plan (mentioned above). Instead the commissioner can withhold funds if the district fails to meet the commissioner's requirements. The funds can be renewed if the district complies with the requirements.

For opportunity districts, funds can be withheld if they do not meet the plan requirements and they can be disbursed if the district begins achieving the objectives and performance targets in the approved plan.

The bill broadens the existing authority to require a district to repay the state if funds are not used as approved, so that it applies to alliance, promise, and opportunity districts.

520 — STATE ACCOUNTABILITY LAW

Updates the state school district accountability law by inserting references to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

This bill updates the state school district accountability law by inserting references to the federal ESSA (P.L. 114-95) and removing references to No Child Left Behind (NCLB), ESSA's predecessor.

Where current law refers to school districts in need of improvement (a NCLB term) being subject to intensified supervision and direction from the SBE, the bill instead places opportunity districts under this intensified supervision and direction. These districts were already under this level of supervision and direction under current law, as they met the qualifications for districts in need of improvement.

As under current law, the SBE can impose a number of measures on such low performing districts, including (1) requiring an operations and instructional audit, (2) requiring additional training for staff, (3) mandating training for all board of education members, (4) requiring the appointment of a superintendent approved by the education commissioner, or (5) any combination of these or other statutory measures.

The bill narrows one provision of the accountability law that currently applies to low-performing districts and schools so that it only applies to schools. The provision authorizes the education commissioner, after an evaluation if certain conditions are met, to require a school that has been low-performing for two or more years to provide: full-day kindergarten classes; summer school; extended school day; weekend classes; tutorial assistance to its students; or professional development to its administrators, principals, teachers and paraprofessionals. The law also prohibits the commissioner from ordering one of these measures if it costs more than that district's increase in ECS aid over the previous year.

The bill eliminates obsolete provisions related to NCLB, such as addressing districts in need of improvement and an obsolete requirement for SDE to conduct a study. It also makes other minor and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2017

521-525 — CONFORMING CHANGES

Makes conforming changes regarding references to promise districts and other types of school districts

The bill makes numerous conforming changes regarding promise districts and other types of school districts.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

526-529 — EDUCATION GRANTS SPENDING CONTROL

Specifies that certain education grant expenditures, including bilingual education, adult education, and special education excess cost grants, are limited to within available appropriations

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

530 — PRIORITIZATION FOR MAGNET SCHOOL ENROLLMENT INCREASES

Reauthorizes mechanism to prioritize per-student grant payments for magnet school enrollment increases

Current law allows SDE to limit the FY 17 per-student grant payments to a magnet school to an amount the school was eligible to receive based on its enrollment level on October 1, 2013 or October 1, 2015, whichever is lower. It permits SDE to prioritize funding for additional magnet school seats based on the following increases in enrollment for (1) a school adding planned new grade levels and (2) a school to ensure compliance with state magnet school law requirements for racial and economic diversity, special curriculum, and at least a half-time educational program.

The bill extends this authorization to FYs 18 and 19 with some modifications. For FY 18, the bill bases the magnet school grants on enrollment levels on October 1, 2016, as well as October 1, 2013 or October 1, 2015, whichever is lowest. For FY 19, it also includes the enrollment level as of October 1, 2017 and bases grants on the lowest of the four years.

The bill does not extend the prioritization consideration for increases in enrollment to ensure compliance with magnet school law requirements for racial and economic diversity, curriculum, and at least a half-time program.

For both FYs 18 and 19, the bill also extends a current provision under which magnet school programs that operate at less than full-time but more than half-time receive 65% of the normal grant.

The bill renews for FYs 18 and 19 the per student grant amounts, at the current level, for Sheff magnets operated by regional education service centers ($10,443) and for host Sheff magnets ($13,054).

The bill also changes references to the Sheff v. O'Neill desegregation 2013 order and stipulation (which has expired) to the Sheff v. O'Neill (238 Conn. 1 (1996)) decision and any related order or stipulation in effect.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2017

531 — BAN ON SHEFF HOST MAGNET SCHOOLS CHARGING TUITION TO SENDING DISTRICTS

Continues the existing ban on a Sheff host magnet school charging tuition

The bill continues, for the school years beginning July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018, the prohibition on a Sheff host magnet school operators charging tuition to the school districts whose students attend the magnet school. The prohibition does not apply to magnet schools operated in the Sheff region by a RESC or any magnet school operated outside of the Sheff region (greater Hartford area).

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2017

532-542 — TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND CAREER SYSTEM

Makes changes to the current process that transitions the technical education and career system into an independent agency

The bill makes various changes to the three-year process outlined in current law for the technical education and career system (hereinafter “the system”) to transition into an independent state agency. It also makes several technical and conforming changes, including 542 in its entirety.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except 533 and 534 take effect July 1, 2019.

System Educational Offerings ( 532 & 533)

The bill specifies that the system must offer full-time, comprehensive secondary education. The bill does not define “comprehensive secondary education.” It also removes the requirement that the system offer full-time programs in vocational, technical, technological, and postsecondary education and training, but it retains the option for the system to offer these programs on a part-time or evening basis.

Gifts, Grants, and Donations ( 532 & 534)

The bill prohibits system employees from accepting any gift, grant, or donation as an individual, or on the system's behalf, that is for personal use. It requires that acceptance of all gifts, grants, and donations on the system's behalf must follow the state code of ethics for public officials. It also requires both the system board and the system's executive director to report quarterly to the Office of Policy and Management about all gifts, grants, and donations received.

System Executive Director ( 534)

The bill specifies that any individual appointed by the governor to serve as the system's executive director must have experience with educational systems.

System Admissions Policy ( 535)

The bill requires the State Department of Education (SDE) to review all system admissions policies, rather than only those policies on enrollment of students with disabilities and students receiving special education services. This broader review must include consideration of the following:

1. applicable principles of state and federal law;

2. the system's purposes and public character;

3. the use of placement tests and wait lists;

4. the admissions policies relating to the enrollment of students with disabilities, students who are receiving or eligible to receive special education and related services, and students who are English language learners;

5. enrollment data on students receiving such service compared to statewide and district averages; and

6. diversity standards for the inclusion of minority students.

The bill also requires SDE to consult with the system's administrative and professional staff for the review and any subsequent revisions to the admissions policy.

Career Technical Education Standards and Curriculum ( 536 & 537)

By law, uniform standards and curriculum for all career technical education programs offered by local or regional boards of education must be aligned with professional certification requirements. The bill specifies that the professional certification requirements must be relevant.

Additionally, the law requires SDE to evaluate whether any existing career and technical education standards that the system uses are aligned with professional certification requirements. The bill specifies that these professional certification requirements must be ones that are already in existence.

Partnerships ( 538)

The bill requires the system superintendent to consult with the following entities for the purpose of fulfilling state workforce needs: each regional community-technical college and each local or regional board of education (1) whose town contains a system school and (2) that offers any career technical education programs.

System Consultant ( 539)

By law, the State Board of Education (SBE) must hire a consultant for FY 18 to (1) assist the system's board with developing a transition plan and (2) provide recommendations about services that the system could provide more efficiently in conjunction with another board of education, municipality, or state agency. The bill requires the consultant to consult with the system's administrative and professional staff when doing so.

The bill also requires the consultant to identify efficiencies, best practices, and cost savings in procurement, in addition to the above tasks.

SBE Inventory Account ( 540)

As a state agency, SBE is required by law to establish and keep an inventory account of real and personal state property with a value of $1,000 or more; secure such inventory to prevent theft or loss; and establish controls over the disposal of such inventory. The bill specifies that the inventory account that SBE must establish and keep is an inventory of all property owned by and in the custody of SDE.

SBE Representation ( 541)

The bill resolves an ambiguity in current law about who will represent the system on SBE. It requires the chairperson of the system board to serve as an ex-officio, nonvoting member of SBE. Current law has both the system superintendent and the system board chairperson serving simultaneously in the same seat (PA 17-237, 1 & 37).

543-546 — BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR CHILD CARE PROVIDERS AND EMPLOYEES

Requires the Office of Early Childhood commissioner to require, within available appropriations, comprehensive background checks of all prospective employees of child care centers, group child care homes, family child care homes, and Care 4 Kids providers

The bill requires the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) commissioner to require, within available appropriations, comprehensive background checks (that include state and national criminal history records checks already required by law) of all prospective employees of:

1. child care centers and group child care homes,

2. family child care homes (includes each household member who is 16 years of age or older), and

3. Care 4 Kids providers.

The bill specifies that an employee cannot have unsupervised access to children until the checks are completed and the OEC commissioner approves the hiring.

The bill does not define comprehensive background check, but elsewhere in state law it is defined (CGS 19a-491d). Presumably, the check required by the bill includes the additional steps enumerated in that law.

Further, the bill requires the comprehensive background checks to be:

1. done at least once every five years and

2. waived for any applicant who (a) is currently an employee or was an employee in the past 180 days at a Connecticut child care facility and (b) successfully completed such a check in the previous five years.

The bill gives the OEC commissioner the discretion to require an employee to submit to such a check more frequently than every five years.

The bill makes an additional change regarding background checks for Care 4 Kids providers. It eliminates the criminal background check exemption for relatives participating in Care 4 Kids and subjects them to the comprehensive background check. Care 4 Kids is the state's subsidized childcare program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

548-557 — SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION AUTHORIZATIONS

Authorizes 49 new school construction projects totaling $485 million in grants and makes changes to the school construction program process

The bill authorizes the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) commissioner to enter into grant commitments on behalf of the state for 49 new school construction projects. These grants total $485.3 million (total overall project costs of $808.9 million). It also reauthorizes and changes grant commitments, due to cost and scope changes, for three previously authorized local projects with a total increased grant commitment of $1.1 million.

The bill exempts specified school construction projects from various statutory and regulatory requirements. These exemptions are referred to as “notwithstanding” provisions.

Under the state school construction grant program, the state reimburses towns and local districts for a percentage of eligible school construction costs (with less wealthy towns receiving a higher reimbursement percentage).

New Authorizations and Changes for Previously Authorized Projects (1)

The below table shows the new school construction projects the bill authorizes.

Table: New School Construction Projects Authorized

District

School

Project

Estimated

Project Costs

Estimated

Grant

State Reimbursement %

Branford

Francis Walsh Intermediate School

Extension and alteration

$85,933,000

$30,385,909

35.36%

Fairfield

Stratfield School

Alteration

36,793

9,592

26.07%

Fairfield

North Stratfield School

Alteration

41,410

10,796

26.07%

Fairfield

Riverfield School

Alteration

48,970

12,766

26.07%

Fairfield

Jennings School

Alteration

55,639

14,505

26.07%

Fairfield

Tomlinson Middle School

Alteration

46,403

12,097

26.07%

Fairfield

Fairfield Woods Middle School

Alteration

86,168

22,464

26.07%

Fairfield

Sherman School

Alteration

30,394

7,708

25.36%

Fairfield

Osborn Hill School

Alteration

72,704

18,438

25.36%

Fairfield

Dwight Elementary School

Alteration

62,275

15,793

25.36%

Fairfield

McKinley Elementary School

Alteration

69,666

17,667

25.36%

Fairfield

Mill Hill School

Alteration

87,550

22,203

25.36%

Fairfield

Burr Elementary School

Alteration

133,776

33,926

25.36%

Fairfield

Roger Ludlowe Middle School

Alteration

171,640

43,528

25.36%

Hamden

West Woods Elementary School

New construction

26,180,000

15,147,748

57.86%

Ledyard

Ledyard Middle School

Renovation, extension, and alteration

35,652,092

22,410,905

62.86%

New Britain

Smalley Academy

Extension, alteration, and roof replacement

53,000,000

42,023,700

79.29%

New Canaan

Saxe Middle School

Extension, alteration, and code violation

18,600,000

3,786,960

20.36%

New London

New London High School - South Campus

Magnet school, alteration

49,462,274

39,569,819

80.00%

North Stonington

Wheeler High School

Extension, alteration, and roof replacement

23,820,500

10,974,104

46.07%

North Stonington

North Stonington Elementary School

Extension, alteration, and roof replacement

14,207,500

8,879,688

62.50%

West Hartford

Hall High School

Extension and alteration

12,800,000

5,393,920

42.14%

Regional District 1

Housatonic Valley Regional High School

Alteration and code violation

4,255,856

1,930,456

45.36%

Regional District 12

Shepaug Valley Regional Agriscience (STEM)

Vocational agricultural, new construction

29,957,408

23,965,926

80.00%

Groton

Cutler Elementary School (Carl C. Cutler Middle)

Diversity school and roof replacement

45,850,000

36,680,000

80.00%

Groton

Westside Elementary School (West Side Middle)

Extension, alteration, and roof replacement

48,480,000

27,876,000

57.50%

Groton

Consolidated Middle School

New construction and site purchase

90,090,000

42,792,750

47.50%

Hamden

Shepherd Glen School

Extension, alteration, and roof replacement

27,665,000

18,773,469

67.86%

Killingly

Killingly High School (Vo-Ag)

Vocational agricultural equipment

123,000

98,400

80.00%

Ledyard

Gallup Hill School

Renovation, extension, and alteration

28,612,104

17,985,569

62.86%

Manchester

Verplanck School

Extension, alteration, and roof replacement

29,172,000

19,691,100

67.50%

Newington

John Wallace Middle School

Alteration

1,300,000

742,820

57.14%

Rocky Hill

Rocky Hill Intermeditate School

New construction

48,345,097

16,577,534

34.29%

Shelton

Long Hill School

Alteration

382,060

150,111

39.29%

Shelton

Elizabeth Shelton School

Alteration

280,620

110,256

39.29%

Shelton

Mohegan School

Alteration

280,620

110,256

39.29%

Simsbury

Henry James Memorial School

Alteration and code violation

2,465,000

818,627

33.21%

Waterbury

Wendell L. Cross School

Extension, alteration, and roof replacement

46,213,083

36,309,619

78.57%

Regional District 12

Shepaug Valley High School

Alteration and energy conservation

2,914,565

957,726

32.86%

Regional District 14

Nonnewaug High School (Vo-Ag)

Vocational agricultural extension and alteration

662,000

529,600

80.00%

Regional District 14

Nonnewaug High School (Vo-Ag)

Vocational agricultural equipment

587,568

470,054

80.00%

Branford

Central Administration (Francis Walsh Intermediate)

Central administration, extension, and alteration

2,267,000

400,806

17.68%

Guilford

A. Baldwin Middle School

Energy conservation

2,351,115

713,799

30.36%

Milford

Harborside Middle School

Energy conservation

1,347,745

683,441

50.71%

Norwalk

West Rocks Middle School

Energy conservation

1,400,000

455,000

32.50%

Waterbury

Gilmartin School

Energy conservation

432,893

340,124

78.57%

West Haven

May V. Carrigan Middle School

Energy conservation

3,354,815

2,576,162

76.79%

Regional District 14

Region 14 Central Office (Nonnewaug High)

Central administration, alteration, and code violation

1,609,535

385,162

23.93%

Hartford

Martin Luther King School

Magnet school, alteration, roof replacement, code violation

68,000,000

54,400,000

80%

Total

49 projects

 

$808,997,838

$485,339,002

 

The below table lists changes in previously authorized school projects. In cases where the requested amount is the same, the new authorization is sought because of some change in the project scope, but the change does not result in a higher cost.

Table: Previously Authorized School Construction Projects With Substantial

Changes in Scope or Cost

District

School

Project

Previous Grant Authorization

Requested Grant Authorization

Change

Fairfield

Fairfield Ludlowe High School

Extension, alteration, energy conservation, and roof replacement

$3,073,994

$4,106,607

$1,032,613

Hartford

West Middle School

Extension, alteration, and roof replacement

43,680,000

43,680,000

0

New Fairfield

New Fairfield Middle/

High School

Alteration and code violation

132,300

155,274

22,974

Totals

Three projects

 

$46,886,294

$47,941,881

$1,055,587

School Construction Project Exemptions and Modifications ( 2-7)

The bill exempts specified school construction projects from various statutory and regulatory requirements to allow them to, among other things, qualify for state reimbursement grants or for a higher level of reimbursement grant. These exemptions are referred to as “notwithstanding” provisions. See the below table.

Table: School Construction Project Exemptions and Modifications

Bill

Municipality/ Grantee

School & Project

Exemption, Waiver, or Other Change

549

Groton

Carl Cutler Middle School, extension, alteration, and roof replacement

Changes project designation from extension, alteration, and roof replacement to diversity school and roof replacement, thus triggering a higher state reimbursement level, provided the education commissioner finds the diversity school will assist Groton in addressing the existing racial disparity among students in the district; also explicitly prohibits the Claude Chester School from qualifying as a diversity school as of the bill's effective date

550

Hartford

Martin Luther King School, alteration, roof replacement, and code violation

Changes project designation from alteration, roof replacement, and code violation to magnet school, alteration, roof replacement, and code violation, provided the education commissioner approves the school's magnet school plan

551

Brookfield

Brookfield High School, roof replacement

Waives the requirement that construction bid not be let out prior to DAS approval of the plans and specifications

552

New London

New London Magnet School for the Visual and Performing Arts, new magnet school construction approved in PA 14-90

Removes requirement that New London school board, the Garde Art Center board of directors, and the DAS and education commissioners enter into a memorandum of understanding establishing the parameters under which the interdistrict magnet school must operate

553

Region 8 (Regional Hebron, Andover, and Marlborough (RHAM))

RHAM Middle and High School (no project number or specifics yet available)

Waives the project application deadline of June 30, 2017 for eligibility for the 2017 priority list and commitment of the local funding share of the project, provided (1) local funding authorization referendum held and results are submitted by November 15, 2017 and (2) a completed grant application with authorization for the local share of the project is filed by September 30, 2017

554

Norwich

Kelly Middle School, extension and alteration

Makes the project grant reimbursement rate 80% for eligible expenditures

555

Colchester

William Johnston Middle School, extension, alteration, and roof replacement

Makes project exempt from standard space specifications for the purpose of calculating the reimbursement for the renovation project

556

Norwalk

Side by Side Charter School, new construction

Increases the maximum project cost from $2,500,000 to $2,607,674

557

New London

C.B. Jennings Elementary School, new construction

Makes project eligible for grant reimbursement for eligible costs not to exceed $703,653 provided the project meets all other requirements; waives the requirement for DAS to complete a final audit before the town receives final project reimbursement provided that New London:

submits documentation and evidence to DAS substantiating that the town incurred expenses relating to the eligible costs,

the costs do not exceed $5,255,211, and

the project meets all other requirements

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

558 — THREE YEAR ROLLING AVERAGE FOR THE CALCULATION OF SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECT REIMBURSEMENT RATES

Requires three years, rather than one, of adjusted equalized net grand list per capita to be used to rank towns for reimbursement rates

This bill requires the administrative services commissioner to use three years, rather than one, of adjusted equalized net grand list (AENGL) per capita when ranking all of the state's towns for school construction reimbursement rates. AENGL per capita is a measure of property wealth in a town. The bill (1) requires the administrative services commissioner to consider the AENGL per capita of the town two, three, and four years before the fiscal year in which the application is made and (2) applies to grant applications received on or after July 1, 2017.

Under school construction law and unchanged by the bill, towns are ranked in descending order from one to 169 according to each town's AENGL per capita to determine each town's reimbursement percentage for state school construction projects (see BACKGROUND).

559 — FREQUENCY OF FACILITY, AIR QUALITY, AND GREEN CLEANING REPORTS

Reduces frequency of certain required reports

The bill postpones and reduces the frequency of required reports by local and regional boards of education to the administrative services commissioner on the following required programs: (1) facilities and long-term building, (2) air quality, and (3) green cleaning.

Under current law, the boards must report to the commissioner triennially. The bill changes this to once every five years and sets July 1, 2021 as the first deadline for the requirement.

It also makes the conforming change that the commissioner use the boards' reports once every five years, rather than once every three, to prepare a report on the same topics to submit to the Education Committee.

560 — SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION APPROVAL PROCESS

Makes changes to the school construction project approval process

The bill makes several changes to the school construction project approval process. Under current law, the commissioner must provide a review of the student enrollment projections for each project on the school construction priority list she submits to the legislature every December. The bill requires her to include the following more extensive information for each project instead:

1. a substantiation of the estimated total project costs;

2. the readiness of the project to begin construction;

3. an enrollment projection and school capacity;

4. efforts made by the board of education to redistrict, reconfigure, merge, or close schools under the board's jurisdiction prior to submitting the school construction application date;

5. enrollment and capacity information for all of the board's schools for the five years prior to application and estimate enrollment and capacity information for all of the board's schools for the eight years following the application; and

6. the state's education priorities relating to reducing racial and economic isolation for the school district.

561 — EMERGENCY CONSTRUCTION GRANTS

Makes changes to the emergency school construction grant program

The bill changes the law that authorizes the DAS commissioner to provide emergency school construction grants. It expands the types of projects that can be funded and requires school districts to follow certain procedures in order to receive grants.

Project Types. By law, emergency grants can be made for correcting safety, health and other code violations, to replace roofs, and to make repairs due to fire damage or other catastrophe. The bill broadens the roof replacement provision to include replacement or installation of skylights. It adds new grants for (1) installation of insulation for exterior walls and attics and (2) limited use or limited access elevators, windows, photovoltaic panels, wind generation systems, building management systems, and public school administrative or service facilities.

Procedures. Under the bill, a superintendent must notify DAS of the need for an emergency grant in writing within seven calendar days of discovering a condition that could qualify for an emergency grant in order for the project to be eligible. The superintendent must submit a full application within six months of the notification in order to receive a grant.

562 — CONFORMING CHANGE

Makes minor conforming change

The bill makes a conforming change regarding the DAS commissioner's authority to withhold grant payments when a project is not in compliance with its approved conditions.

563 — INCREASED GRANT WITHHOLDING PERCENTAGE

Increases to 11% the amount of a reimbursement grant that DAS can withhold pending the final audit

The bill increases, from 5% to 11%, the amount of a project's reimbursement grant that DAS can withhold pending the completion of a final audit.

564 — REGIONAL BOARDS OF EDUCATION AND SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION OBLIGATIONS

Specifies that when a regional board of education dissolves, local member boards are still responsible for financial and other obligations

The bill specifies that when a regional board of education dissolves, the local boards of education or towns that participated in the regional board are not absolved from any school construction responsibilities or financial obligations incurred while part of the regional board. Further, it specifies that any agreements reached as part of the dissolution cannot relieve a withdrawing town from its financial obligations related to a school building project.

565 — ENDOWED ACADEMIES AND SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION

Makes endowed academies eligible for school construction grants

The bill makes endowed high schools or academies that are designated to act as the public high school for a town eligible for school construction grants if they comply with the provisions of the school construction law. Current law says they are eligible “pursuant” to the law.

566 — CHANGES TO RENOVATION PROJECTS

Modifies the definition of a renovation project in school construction program

The bill changes the definition of a renovation project by requiring the renovation to cover at least 55% of the square footage of the completed project and removing the requirement for “total” refurbishment. It also removes the language that permits a school district to submit an independent architect's feasibility study and cost analysis of the project to justify that the renovation will cost less than new construction.

Current law requires that at least 75% of the facility to be renovated be at least 30 years old. The bill lowers the facility age requirement to 20 years. It maintains the existing requirement that the completed project have a useful life comparable to that of new construction and the total project costs of the renovation be less than for new construction.

567-569 — STRANDED TAX CREDITS

Requires DECD to administer programs to allow businesses to use stranded R&D tax credits in exchange for undertaking certain capital projects or making certain venture capital investments

The bill requires DECD to (1) establish and administer a program that allows in-state businesses to use certain stranded tax credits for eligible in-state capital projects and (2) hold tax credit auctions, or enter into agreements, to allow taxpayers holding certain stranded tax credits to use the credits in exchange for making specified venture capital investments. Stranded tax credits are credits that a taxpayer has earned but not taken through the business's last complete income year.

Under the bill, the total amount of accumulated tax credits, at full value, used for capital projects and venture capital investments made through auction or agreement may not exceed $50 million.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Stranded Tax Credits and Capital Projects

The bill requires DECD to establish and administer a program that allows in-state businesses to use certain stranded tax credits (i.e., “accumulated credits”) for eligible in-state capital projects. The bill also allows the commissioner to adopt regulations to implement the program.

Under this program, “accumulated credits” are nonincremental R&D credits that have not been taken through the business's last complete income year prior to its program application date (therefore, the credits are “stranded”). The eligible projects may be planned or currently underway and must (1) expand the business's scale or scope, (2) increase employment at the business, or (3) generate a substantial return to the state's economy.

Application and Review. Under the bill, businesses must apply to DECD, on forms the commissioner provides, to use their stranded credits under the program. The application must include (1) a detailed plan of the capital project, (2) the project's term and estimated cost, and (3) the amount of stranded tax credits the business proposes to use.

The bill requires the DECD commissioner to (1) perform an econometric analysis of each proposed project and (2) approve only those projects that she determines will generate state revenue in excess of the amount of stranded tax credits proposed for use. Stranded tax credit amounts must be confirmed by DRS in consultation with the DECD commissioner.

Claiming Schedule. Under the bill, the DECD commissioner, in consultation with DRS and OPM, must determine when a business may claim its stranded tax credits. The bill prohibits her from approving a business's use of the credits before its capital project has generated enough revenue to cover the credits' cost to the state. Stranded credits may be claimed against the corporation business and sales and use taxes.

Reporting. Starting by February 1, 2019, DECD must include the following information in its annual report:

1. the number of applications received and approved under the program,

2. the status of approved capital projects,

3. the amount of stranded tax credits proposed for use under the program, and

4. for each approved project, the amount and type of state revenue (a) generated to date and (b) projected for the five years after the project's completion.

Stranded Tax Credits and Venture Capital Investments

The bill requires the DECD commissioner, in consultation with the DRS commissioner and Connecticut Innovations (CI) CEO, to hold tax credit auctions to allow taxpayers holding certain stranded tax credits (i.e., “accumulated credits”) to use the credits in exchange for making specified venture capital investments. With respect to such auctions, “accumulated credits” means nonincremental R&D tax credits and incremental R&D tax credits that have not been taken through the last complete income year prior to the auction's date.

The DECD commissioner must continue to hold auctions or seek agreements until at least two deals with different corporate venture funds are reached, after which she may hold additional auctions or seek additional agreements at her discretion. Auctions and agreements may be held or entered into for five years after the date the first auction is held or agreement entered into, whichever is earlier.

Auctions. Under the bill, the DECD commissioner must hold such auctions (termed “innovation investment fund tax credit auctions” in the bill) whenever and as often as she determines is appropriate and effective.

For each auction, the DECD commissioner, in consultation with the CI CEO, must specify the (1) information that a bid must include, (2) deadline for submitting a bid, and (3) the minimum number of centers for each dollar of accumulated credits that may be bid. Bidders must submit sealed bids, and the DECD commissioner, in consultation with the CI CEO, must select the winning bid or bids based on the amount the bidder proposes to invest and the amount of stranded tax credits the bidder proposes to exchange, as well as any other criteria the DECD commissioner and CI CEO deem appropriate.

Under the bill, the DECD commissioner must invest the amount received from the winning bidder or bidders in the winning bidder's corporate venture fund. All investments must be made under the advisement of a CI representative, who must be a member of the corporate venture fund's investment committee.

The bill additionally requires that:

1. the amount invested into a corporate venture fund under this program be between $5 million and $10 million;

2. all amounts invested be invested in (a) in-state startup businesses or (b) spin-off companies from the bidder's R&D department;

3. the portion of profits from such investments be divided evenly between the bidder and the state, which must deposit its portion into the General Fund; and

4. the bidder must agree to reinvest the profits attributable to such investments in the bidder's venture fund.

Agreements in Lieu of Auctions. In lieu of holding a tax credit auction, the DECD commissioner may, in consultation with the CI CEO, enter into an agreement with a taxpayer that has accumulated tax credits to allow the taxpayer to use the credits in exchange for making an investment in its corporate venture fund under the same conditions that apply to investments made through auctions.

Claiming Credits. Beginning July 1, 2020, the credits allowed for venture capital investments may be claimed against the (1) sales and use tax or (2) corporate business tax, regardless of any applicable tax credit caps. Taxpayers may not claim any credits until the second full income year after making the investment and must claim them according to a schedule agreed to by the commissioner and the taxpayer. The bill allows taxpayers to sell, assign, or transfer the tax credits.

570 — HIGHER EDUCATION ENTREPRENEURSHIP ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Deems members of the advisory committee to be members of an advisory board under the state Code of Ethics

The bill designates members of CTNext's Higher Education Advisory Committee as “members of an advisory board” under the state Code of Ethics rather than “public officials” as current law provides, thus removing them from the code's applicability. By law, members of advisory boards are not subject to the code's provisions.

By law, the advisory committee advises CTNext, a subsidiary of Connecticut Innovations, Inc., on applications it receives for entrepreneurial grants from higher education institutions. Under the Code of Ethics, a member of an advisory board is an individual who exercises no state power and receives or expends no state funds.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

571 — MICROBIOME WORKING GROUP

Revamps the tasks of the 16-member working group charged with devising a plan to make Connecticut a national leader in microbiome and requires the governor to appoint its chairperson from among its members

SA 17-16 established a 16-member working group to devise a roadmap for establishing Connecticut as a national leader in developing and commercializing microbiome-based treatments, products, and services. The bill makes changes to the working group's task, including requiring the group to assess the state's capacity to develop the workforce needed to achieve this goal and eliminates several tasks, including reducing the tax burden on microbiome businesses and creating a plan to market Connecticut to the microbiome sector.

The bill also requires the (1) governor to select the working group's chairperson from among the working group's members and (2) Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee's administrative staff to provide administrative support to the group. The group consists of state officials or their designees; the heads of institutions of higher education or their designees; and representatives of Connecticut-based bioscience and venture capital firms, independent institutions of higher education, and a representative of Connecticut hospitals, all appointed by the governor.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

572-575 & 578 — CITIZENS' ELECTION PROGRAM (CEP)

Requires SEEC to adjust qualifying contributions for inflation and establishes a grant reduction schedule

The bill makes changes affecting qualifying contributions (QCs) and grants under the CEP, the state's voluntary public campaign financing system available to legislative and statewide office candidates.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

Adjustments to QCs

By law, candidates qualify for the CEP by raising an aggregate amount of QCs, which under current law range from $5 to $100. QCs must come from individual donors, and the aggregate amount depends on the office sought, as shown in the below table.

Table: Current Aggregate QC Amounts

Candidates for

Aggregate QC Amount Required to Qualify

Governor

$250,000

(including $225,00 from state residents)*

Other statewide offices

75,000

(including $67,500 from state residents)*

State senator**

15,000

State representative**

5,000

* Required aggregate amount from state residents must also be adjusted for inflation.

**In a special election, legislative candidates must raise aggregate QCs totaling at least 75% of the aggregate required for that office during a regular election.

The bill increases the maximum individual QC amount from $100 $125, effective October 1, 2017, and leaves the $5 minimum unchanged. Beginning in 2018, the bill requires the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) to adjust the maximum amount, as well as the required aggregate QC amounts, for inflation.

Specifically, beginning in 2018 for legislative and statewide office candidates in a primary or general election, other than candidates for governor or lieutenant governor, the bill requires SEEC to adjust the QC amounts by January 15, 2018. The adjustment must be based on any change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) from January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017. After 2018, SEEC must adjust the amounts every two years by January 15 for legislative elections and every four years by January 15 for statewide elections, basing the adjustment on the prior two and four years' CPI-U change, respectively.

Beginning in 2022 for candidates for governor and lieutenant governor in a primary or general election, SEEC must adjust the QC amounts by January 15, 2022. The adjustment must be based on any change in the CPI-U from January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2021. After 2022, SEEC must adjust the amounts according to the same schedule it follows for other statewide office candidates (i.e., every four years by January 15, basing the adjustment on the prior four years' CPI-U change).

Under the bill, adjustments to the QC range must be rounded to the nearest multiple of $10, with exactly $5 rounded up. Similarly, adjustments to the aggregate amount must be rounded to the nearest multiple of $100, with exactly $50 rounded up.

Grant Reduction Schedule

The bill establishes a four-step grant reduction schedule under which candidate committees receive reduced grants, beginning 70 days before the election, the closer to the election that they submit their application.

The schedule applies to general election grants for major party candidates who are currently eligible for (1) a full grant when they are opposed by a major party candidate, (2) 60% of the applicable grant when they are opposed by a minor or petitioning party candidate, or (3) 30% of the applicable grant when they are unopposed.

It similarly applies to minor and petitioning party candidates. Currently, minor party candidates may receive a general election grant equal to the full grant for a major party candidate if the candidate for the same office representing the same minor party at the last regular election received at least 20% of the votes cast for that office. An eligible petitioning candidate may receive a full grant for the general election if his or her petition is signed by a number of qualified electors equal to at least 20% of the number of votes cast for the same office at the last regular election. Both receive a one-third grant by meeting a 10% threshold or a two-thirds grant by meeting a 15% threshold.

The below table shows the bill's grant reduction schedule.

Table: CEP Grant Reduction Schedule

Days Before Election When Application Received

% of Applicable Grant Received

70 through 57 days

75%

56 through 43 days

65%

42 through 29 days

55%

28 days through the last day that SEEC accepts applications

40%

By law, for a general election, SEEC accepts grant applications starting on the third Wednesday in May in the election year (e.g., May 18, 2016), and every subsequent Wednesday, through the fourth to last Friday before the election (e.g., October 14, 2016) (CGS 9-706(g)(1)).

576 — SEEC

Revises SEEC's process for reviewing complaints

By law, SEEC receives complaints from the secretary of the state, registrars of voters, town clerks, and individuals under oath concerning alleged election law violations. It investigates and holds hearings as it deems appropriate.

The bill revises SEEC's process for reviewing complaints before determining whether probable cause exists to believe that a violation occurred. It also requires SEEC to dismiss any complaint it receives on or after January 1, 2018, that it has not adjudicated within one year after receiving it.

Under existing law, unchanged by the bill, if the commission makes a probable cause determination, the case generally proceeds to a contested case hearing, which SEEC holds in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

Preliminary Examination

Under the bill, commission staff must conduct and complete a preliminary examination of a complaint within 14 days after receiving it. At that time, the bill requires commission staff to do one of the following:

1. dismiss a complaint that fails to allege, with supporting evidence, a substantial violation of state election law;

2. attempt to speedily resolve a complaint about a de minimus violation by engaging the respondent in discussions; or

3. investigate and docket the complaint for a probable cause determination by the commission.

The bill requires commission staff to provide a brief written statement setting forth the reasons for any complaint dismissal. It also requires staff to docket a complaint for a probable cause determination by the commission for any complaint it is unable to resolve within 45 days after receipt.

Deadlines

For complaints received on or after January 1, 2018, the bill requires SEEC to issue a final decision within one year after receipt or dismiss the complaint. Under the bill, if any of the following actions delays the issuance of a final decision, the length of the delay is added to the one-year deadline:

1. commission or commission staff granting a respondent any extension or continuance prior to issuance of the decision;

2. issuance of a subpoena in connection with the complaint;

3. litigation in state or federal court related to the complaint;

4. consultation with the chief state's attorney, attorney general, U.S. Department of Justice, or U.S. attorney for Connecticut.

Under existing law, unchanged by the bill, if SEEC has not either issued a decision or made a probable cause determination by 60 days after receiving a written complaint, the complainant or respondent may apply to Hartford Superior Court for an order to show cause why the commission has not acted and provide evidence that it has unreasonably delayed action. Complaints that the secretary of the state files must be disposed of more quickly.

577 — POST-ELECTION AUDITS

Changes the formula SEEC must use to audit legislative candidate committees following a primary or election

The bill changes the formula SEEC must use to audit legislative candidate committees following a primary or election. Currently, SEEC must randomly select these candidate committees by lottery.

The bill requires that the random lottery be weighted by taking into account the frequency with which a legislative district was audited during the last three regular elections for that office. The formula must increase or decrease the likelihood that a district will be selected for audit based on this frequency.

By law, SEEC must audit all statewide office candidate committees after a primary or election. It cannot audit more than 50% of legislative candidate committees and must notify those committees of the audit no later than May 31 of the year following the election.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

579-594 — CONNECTICUT TRANSPORTATION FINANCE AUTHORITY

Creates the Connecticut Transportation Finance Authority to (1) ensure the STF is sufficiently funded and (2) maintain the state's transportation infrastructure; empowers the authority to, among other things, authorize electronic tolling on limited access highways; authorizes state officials to enter into loan agreements with the U.S. Transportation Department; creates a Transportation Excess Surplus Account

The bill creates a Connecticut Transportation Finance Authority as a quasi-public agency, the purpose of which is to ensure there are sufficient levels of funding in the Special Transportation Fund (STF) to maintain the state's transportation infrastructure.

It gives the authority the power to authorize electronic tolling on limited access highways and to increase and decrease any fees, fines, rates, or charges that the law requires to be deposited in the STF.

A quasi-public agency is not a state department, institution, or agency. It is subject to statutory procedural, operating, and reporting requirements for quasi-public agencies, including lobbying restrictions and the State Code of Ethics. The authority is governed by a 15-member board of directors. The governor appoints five members, the legislative leaders six, and the OPM secretary and commissioners of DOT, DMV and DRS serve as ex officio voting members.

As a quasi-public, the authority has the power and duty to, among other things, enter into contracts; adopt an annual budget and plan of operations; hire staff; acquire, lease buy, own, and manage personal property; lease, convey, or enter into agreements with respect to real property; and borrow money. Its executive director and employees are not considered state employees for the purpose of collective bargaining, but are considered state employees for life and health insurance purposes.

It also authorizes state officials to enter into loan agreements with the U.S. Transportation Department, creates a Transportation Excess Surplus Account, and makes conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except the provisions on tolling are effective October 1, 2018.

Tolling Powers

The authority may authorize the use of electronic tolling system along limited access highways in the state, and set the specific geographic area to be tolled. Before doing so the authority must request and review recommendations from DOT and hold at least one public informational meeting to receive comments on the proposal, including the method for setting and changing toll rates and user classifications. The authority must provide written notice to the governor and chairs and ranking members of the Transportation, Finance, Revenue and Bonding, and Appropriations committees at least 10 days before an informational meeting.

Allowing a quasi-public authority to authorize tolling in the state may raise questions about an impermissible delegation of legislative authority. Generally, such a delegation is allowed if the statute declares a legislative policy, establishes primary standards for carrying it out, or lays down an intelligible principle to which the administrative officer or body must conform.

If the authority authorizes the use of tolls, DOT must build, maintain and operate the tolls or contract with a private entity to do so. With OPM approval, DOT may enter into tolling agreement with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and agreements with any other federal, state, or municipal entity or agency.

DOT may procure toll operators (private entities), vendors, suppliers, designers, engineers and other personnel, equipment, materials and services to help develop and implement electronic tolling.

The bill allows DOT to set toll rates and collect toll revenue, which must be deposited in the STF according to law and not commingled with other funds. The revenues must be spent only for the purposes allowed by, and subject to, federal law (23 USC 129 (a) (3)).

DOT must fix and change toll amounts, with the authority's approval, sufficient to (1) pay the costs of owning, maintaining, repairing, rebuilding, improving, using, and operating the tolled highways, (2) pay the principal and interest on notes or bonds related to the tolled roads, and (3) fund any reserves DOT establishes and maintains for its bridges, roads, and tolled highways. DOT may consider the availability of funds from other sources in setting the toll amounts.

DOT must notify motorists before they enter a tolled road highway that tolls will be charged and how to pay them. Tolls are not subject to, and are exempt from, any sales, use, excise, gross receipts, or similar takes.

Any tolling system must be interoperable with other tolling systems in bordering states and otherwise comply with state and federal interoperability requirements. The bill specifies that, for purposes of interoperability, state laws on state information and telecommunications systems and geospatial information systems do not apply to electronic tolling systems. 

DOT and DMV may enter into reciprocal agreements with other states and operators of toll facilities to (1) share information needed to collect unpaid tolls and fines for out-of-state vehicles, and (2) allow for additional enforcement mechanisms to efficiently collect tolls incurred by out-of-state residents.

DOT must develop and implement a privacy policy to protect and limit access to customer information and other data collected, received, maintained, archived, accessed, and disclosed by the department to a toll operator, which must appropriately limit access to the information and data. Neither the department nor the toll operator may sell or use any toll customer information or other data for commercial purposes, and such data and information is not considered a public record, but is subject to state contracting laws.

DOT must, with the authority's approval, adopt rules and procedures regarding the tolls, such as setting toll rates that vary according to the amount of traffic and type of vehicle on the tolled roads. Among other things, DOT may set reduced or discounted tolls for vehicles equipped with transponders (devices that allow tolls to be calculated electronically) and higher rates or surcharges for vehicles without them.

The bill requires the DOT commissioner to adopt implementing regulations, which may include due process procedures for challenging a toll or penalty, procedures for enforcement of any administrative decisions, establishment of invoice and payment requirements for tolling, and the circumstances in which DOT must notify DMV of nonpayment of any toll or penalty DOT establishes.

DMV must provide DOT with information needed to collect tolls and enforce penalties for nonpayment, toll evasion or other toll related violations. DOT must notify DMV of nonpayment of tolls. The bill prohibits the DMV commissioner from issuing a registration to a person with outstanding toll or penalty obligations until the toll or penalty obligation has been discharged. The commissioner is also prohibited from registering any other motor vehicle, snowmobile, ATV or vessel in the name of the person who has failed to pay.

DMV Fees

Regardless of other DOT and DMV laws, the bill authorizes the authority to increase or decrease certain fines, fees, rates, user fees, charges or surcharges that are required to be deposited in the STF. For such charges collected by DMV, the authority must notify DMV of a proposed increase at least 90 days before it takes effect and must review any DMV recommendations.

Reporting Requirements

The board must report annually, starting by September 1, 2018, to the governor and Transportation, Finance, Revenue and Bonding and Appropriations committees summarizing its activities, and disclosing its operating and financial statement. In the report, the board may include any request for additional funding and legislation to promote the authority's purposes.

Executive Director's Annual Report. By December 1, 2018, and annually thereafter, the executive director must report to the governor and Transportation, Appropriations, and Finance committees on the fiscal health and sustainability of the STF, including:

1. current and 10-year projected STF revenue, using the most recent consensus revenue estimate or revised consensus estimate;

2. current STF balance;

3. long-term projections of STF expenses, including the costs of (a) projects identified in DOT's five-year capital plan; (b) current and projected debt service estimated by OPM; (c) any STF-funded state agency's operating budget; (d) long range planning by DOT; (e) projects identified in the federally-required four-year Statewide Transportation Improvement Program; and (f) projects recommended by the governor;

4. a fiscal analysis of the sustainability of the STF based on current revenue and long term expenses; and

5. recommendations, including those of OPM, on short- and long-term measures to increase the sustainability of the STF.

The authority executive director must consult with OPM, DOT, and DMV in compiling the annual report.

OPM Memoranda of Understanding

OPM and the authority may enter into memoranda of understanding to coordinate (1) administrative support and services, including staff needed for authority operations, which OPM may provide, (2) the sharing of services and resources, (3) other arrangement to enhance revenue, reduce operating costs or achieve operating efficiencies, and (4) the authority's reimbursement of OPM for providing such services.

Authority Board of Directors

Members serve four year terms. The governor selects the chairperson, who serves a two year term, from among the board members. The board selects a vice-chair from among its members and other officers it deems necessary. Members must be appointed by December 1, 2017. The appointing authority fills any vacancy. If an appointing authority fails to make an initial appointment within 180 days of the act's effective date or to fill a vacancy within 180 days from the first day it occurs, the board may appoint a member by majority vote. Any board member previously appointed may be reappointed. An appointing authority may remove a board member for misfeasance, malfeasance or willful neglect of duty. Each board member must take a constitutional oath of office before beginning his or her duties, and the board must deposit a record of each oath with the secretary of the state.

Meetings must be held at least quarterly. Any appointed member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings or to attend half of all meetings held in a calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned from the board. No appointed member may designate someone else to perform his or her duties and any action the board takes may be authorized by resolution at any meeting and take effect immediately unless otherwise provided. Members serve without compensation but must be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses, excluding mileage and travel expenses. They may be privately employed, but are subject to state ethics and conflict of interest laws, rules and regulations.

The board may appoint an executive director as the chief administrative officer of the authority. The executive director directs and supervises administrative affairs and technical activities at the board's direction, serves at the board's pleasure, and receives compensation set by the board.

One of the governor's five appointees must have experience in transportation policy and planning and another must have experience in finance. The legislative appointees and their required experience are the following:

Appointing authority

Experience of appointed

House speaker

Economic development

House majority leader

Passenger rail industry

House minority leader

Local government

Senate President pro tem

Bus transit

Senate minority leader

Moving goods and services on highways

Senate majority leader

None specified

588 — FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION LOAN PROGRAM ASSISTANCE AND STO BONDS

Authorizes state officials to enter into loan agreements with the U.S. Transportation Department

Federal Loan Program Agreements

This bill authorizes the Treasurer, OPM secretary, and DOT commissioner (i.e., “state officials”) to enter into loan agreements or other credit agreements with the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), including agreements under the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) programs. The bill allows such loan agreements to be backed by STO bonds (see below).

Under the bill, the state officials:

1. may execute and deliver any documents, certificates, and instruments related to the agreements and obligations issued under them;

2. must determine the agreements' terms, conditions, covenants, and other provisions in the state's best interest; and

3. may take all other actions necessary to enter into these agreements or receive other financial assistance under any U.S. DOT program, including preparing, executing, and submitting applications.

589 — TRANSPORTATION EXCESS SURPLUS ACCOUNT

Creates a Transportation Excess Surplus Account

The bill establishes the “transportation excess surplus account” as a separate, nonlapsing account within STF. The DOT commissioner, with OPM approval, must use any money in the account to pay transportation costs as defined by law.

The bill requires the Comptroller to (1) determine the amount of unappropriated surplus in the STF at the end of each fiscal year and (2) transfer to the account the amount of the surplus that exceeds 15% of total STF expenditures for the most recently completed fiscal year.

595 — FRESH START PROGRAM

Authorizes the DRS commissioner to establish a fresh start program for qualified taxpayers who owe Connecticut state taxes

The bill authorizes the DRS commissioner to establish a fresh start program in which he may, at his discretion, enter into agreements with qualified taxpayers to (1) waive all of the penalties and half of the interest due on delinquent state taxes (other than motor carrier road taxes) and (2) for taxpayers who failed to file a tax return, provide a limited look-back period (i.e., limiting the scope of DRS's review of prior year returns). In exchange, taxpayers must, among other things, disclose certain tax information to the commissioner, file any required returns or documents, and pay their liabilities. The program runs from the bill's passage to November 30, 2018 and covers any tax returns due on or before December 31, 2016.

Qualified Taxpayers

Under the bill, the program is open to taxpayers who apply for a fresh start agreement, in the form and manner the commissioner prescribes, and who:

1. failed to file a tax return, or failed to report the full amount of tax properly due on a previously filed return, that was due by December 31, 2016;

2. voluntarily come forward before receiving a billing notice or notice that DRS is conducting an audit for the tax type and taxable period for which the taxpayer is seeking a fresh start agreement;

3. are not parties to a closing agreement with the DRS commissioner for such taxes;

4. have not made an offer of compromise that has been accepted by the commissioner for such taxes;

5. have not protested an audit determination for such taxes; and

6. are not parties to litigation against the commissioner for such taxes.

Conditions

As part of any fresh start agreement, qualified taxpayers must:

1. voluntarily and fully disclose on the application all material facts relevant to their tax liability;

1. file any tax returns or documents that the commissioner requires;

2. pay in full the tax and interest as stated in the agreement in the form and manner the commissioner prescribes;

3. agree that for the three years after the agreement is signed they will timely file any required tax returns and pay any associated state taxes; and

4. waive all administrative and judicial rights of appeal that have not run or expired for the tax period or periods subject to the penalty and interest waiver.

Under the bill, the commissioner is not bound by the penalty and interest waivers in the bill or any fresh start agreement if he finds that the qualified taxpayer:

1. misrepresented material facts in applying for or entering into the agreement;

1. failed to provide any information required for the applicable tax periods by the required due date;

2. failed to pay any tax, penalty, or interest due in the time, form, or manner prescribed;

3. understated by 10% or more the tax due for any taxable period covered by the agreement, including any amount shown on an amended tax return, and cannot demonstrate to the commissioner's satisfaction that a good faith effort was made to accurately compute the tax; or

4. failed to timely file any required tax returns or pay any associated state taxes in the three years following the agreement's signing.

The bill prohibits any payment made by a qualified taxpayer for a tax period covered by an agreement to be refunded to the taxpayer or credited to any other tax period other than the one for which the payment was made.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

596 & 597— INCOME TAX EXEMPTIONS

Beginning with the 2019 tax year, fully exempts Social Security benefits from state income tax; delays, by two years, the scheduled increase in the teacher pension income tax exemption; establishes a deduction for expenses related to donating an organ for transplants occurring on or after January 1, 2017

Social Security Benefits

Beginning with the 2019 tax year, the bill fully exempts Social Security benefits from state income tax. Under current law, the exemption is 100% or 75% of federally taxable Social Security benefits, depending on income.

Specifically, current law allows a (1) 100% exemption for single filers and married people filing separately that have federal adjusted gross incomes (AGI) of less than $50,000 and joint filers and heads of household that have federal AGIs of less than $60,000 and (2) 75% exemption if the filer's federal AGI equals or exceeds these income thresholds. For federal tax purposes, Social Security benefits are partially taxable for a recipient whose income exceeds a specified amount.

Teacher Pensions

The bill delays, by two years, the scheduled increase in the teacher pension income tax exemption. Under current law, the exemption is scheduled to increase from 25% to 50% for 2017 and subsequent tax years. The bill instead maintains it at 25% for 2017 and 2018 and increases it to 50% beginning in 2019.

Organ Donation Expenses

This bill establishes a personal income tax deduction for expenses related to donating an organ for transplants occurring on or after January 1, 2017. Specifically, it allows a taxpayer to deduct from Connecticut adjusted gross income for state income tax purposes up to $10,000 in lost wages and medical, travel, and housing expenses related to donating any part of the bone marrow, liver, pancreas, kidney, intestine, or lung.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage and applicable to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2017.

598 — STATE EMPLOYEE PAID LEAVE AFTER ORGAN DONATION

Allows state employees to, in addition to other authorized leave, take (1) seven days of paid leave for donating bone marrow and (2) 30 days of paid leave for organ donations

The bill allows state employees to take paid leave for recovery after donating bone marrow or any part of the liver, pancreas, kidney, intestine, or lung. This is in addition to other medical leave authorized by law. The bill allows up to (1) seven days of paid leave for donating bone marrow and (2) 30 days of paid leave for donating any such organs.

The bill applies to donations for transplants occurring on or after January 1, 2018.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Paid Leave after Organ or Bone Marrow Donations

The bill applies to full- or part-time employees in all three branches of state government, whether in the classified or unclassified service. Under the bill, “paid leave” includes compensatory time, vacation time, personal days off, or other paid time off.

The bill provides that the authorized paid leave as specified above:

1. is in addition to any medical leave authorized under law (see below) and

2. must not result in a pay reduction, the loss of any leave to which the employee is otherwise entitled, or a loss of credit for time or service, or affect the employee's rights to any other employee benefits under federal or state law.

State employees who take leave authorized by the bill must provide the employer with at least seven days' notice before the leave begins, when practicable. If a state employee requests such leave, the employer may require him or her to obtain a physician's verification of the purpose and length of the leave.

Under existing law, unchanged by the bill:

1. permanent state employees are entitled to medical leave, without pay, if the employee serves as an organ or bone marrow donor and

2. an employee who requests such leave must provide his or her employer, before the leave, with sufficient written certification from a physician or advanced practice registered nurse of the proposed donation and the probable duration of the employee's recovery period (CGS 5-248a).

599 — PROPERTY TAX CREDIT AGAINST PERSONAL INCOME TAX

Reduces, from $200 to $100, the maximum property tax credit and limits eligibility to senior citizens and taxpayers with dependents

The bill reduces, from $200 to $100, the maximum property tax credit against the personal income tax and limits eligibility for the credit to people who (1) are age 65 or older before the end of the tax year or (2) validly claim at least one dependent on their federal income tax return that year. By law, taxpayers earn the credit for property taxes paid on their primary residences or motor vehicles and the amount of property taxes paid that can be taken as a credit declines as adjusted gross income increases, until it completely phases out.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, and applicable to taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2017.

600 — STEM GRADUATE TAX CREDIT

Creates a refundable personal income tax credit for qualifying college graduates in STEM fields

The bill establishes a $500 personal income tax credit for qualifying college graduates in a science, technology, engineering, or math-related field. They may claim the credit in each of the five successive taxable years after they graduate. The credit is first available in taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2019.

An individual qualifies for a credit if he or she graduated, on or after January 1, 2019, from an in-state or out-of-state institution of higher education with a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in such a field and (1) works in the state and (2) either lives in the state or moved to it within two years after graduating.

Any individual who claims the credit must provide any documentation the DRS commissioner requires in the form and manner he prescribes.

Lastly, the bill requires the DRS commissioner to refund, without interest, any amount of the tax credit that exceeds an individual's liability, unless he retains the individual's income tax refund, which, by law, he may do if the individual (1) owes state or municipal taxes or other obligations or (2) is in default of a student loan made by the Connecticut Student Loan Foundation or the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CGS 12-739 and 12-742).

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2019

601-603 — ROOM OCCUPANCY TAX

Imposes an extra 1.75% room occupancy tax to fund tourism promotion

The bill imposes a new 1.75% room occupancy tax on charges hotels and lodging houses impose for short-term stays (30 consecutive calendar days or less). The new tax is in addition to the existing 15% tax on such charges.

The bill requires the Department of Revenue Services commissioner to deposit the revenue from the additional tax in the Culture and Tourism Fund, which the bill creates as a separate, nonlapsing fund that must contain any money required by the law. Under the bill, the Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner must use this fund to promote and develop tourism in the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2017, and the new tax is applicable to sales occurring on or after that date.

601 & 602 — REGIONAL PLANNING INCENTIVE ACCOUNT

Eliminates the revenue diversion to the Regional Performance Incentive Account for FY 18

For FY 18, the bill eliminates the revenue diversion to the regional performance incentive account, thus redirecting this revenue to the General Fund.

Current law requires the DRS commissioner to direct to the account 6.7% of the revenue generated by the room occupancy tax and 10.7% of the revenue generated by the rental car tax. (The bill does not extend the diversion to the new 1.75% room occupancy tax described above.) Under the bill, the required revenue diversion resumes to the account in FY 19.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2017, and applicable to sales occurring on or after that date.

601 & 602 — MUNICIPAL REVENUE SHARING FUND (MRSA) DIVERSION

Eliminates the revenue diversion to MRSA for FYs 18 and 19

For FYs 18 and 19, the bill eliminates the sales and use tax revenue diversion to MRSA, thus redirecting this revenue to the General Fund. Current law requires the DRS commissioner to direct to MRSA 7.9% of the sales and use tax revenue received by the state each calendar month. Under the bill, the required revenue diversion to MRSA resumes in FY 20.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2017, and applicable to sales occurring on or after that date.

604 — SALES AND USE TAX EXEMPTION FOR SERVICES RENDERED BETWEEN PARENT MEDIA BUSINESSES AND SUBSIDIARIES

Allows more media-related businesses to qualify for the sales and use tax exemption on services between affiliates

Under current law, affiliated businesses are exempt from paying the sales and use tax on services they provide to each other if (1) one business owns a 100% controlling interest in the other or (2) their parent company owns a 100% controlling interest in both.

Beginning July 1, 2019, the bill lowers the controlling interest threshold to 80% for corporations and single member limited liability companies engaged in the media business if their principal place of business is located in Connecticut.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

605 — SALES AND USE TAX ON NONPRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND PALLIATIVE MARIJUANA

Limits the sales and use tax exemption for nonprescription drugs to palliative marijuana

The bill limits the sales and use tax exemption for nonprescription drugs and medicines to sales of palliative marijuana by a licensed dispensary, thus subjecting other nonprescription drugs and medicine to the tax. Under current law, the nonprescription drug exemption applies to vitamin and mineral concentrates, dietary supplements, and natural or herbal drugs or medicine; cough, cold, asthma, allergy, or antihistamine products; antacids, laxatives, anthelmintics, emetics, and antiemetics; analgesics, antibiotic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antidiarrheal, and steroidal medicines; antiseptics, astringents, and anesthetics; and any eye, ear, or nose medication. It does not apply to cosmetics, dentifrices, mouthwash, shaving and hair care products, soaps, or deodorants.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2017, and applicable to sales occurring on or after that date.

606 — NEIGHBORHOOD ASSISTANCE ACT (NAA) TAX CREDIT CAP REDUCTION

Reduces, from $10 to $5 million, annual cap on NAA credits

The bill lowers the annual cap, from $10 million to $5 million, on NAA credits. (PA 15-5, June Special Session, 446 raised the cap to $10 million beginning in FY 18). By law, these credits are available to businesses that contribute to or invest in municipally approved community projects and programs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

607 — MUNICIPAL VIDEO COMPETITION TRUST ACCOUNT

Increases, from $3 million to $5 million, the annual transfer for FYs 18 and 19 from the municipal video competition trust account to the General Fund

For FYs 18 and 19, the bill increases, from $3 million to $5 million, the annual transfer from the municipal video competition trust account to the General Fund.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

608 — PUBLIC, EDUCATIONAL, AND GOVERNMENTAL PROGRAMMING AND EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENT ACCOUNT (PEGPETIA) TRANSFER

Requires $3.5 million to be transferred from PEGPETIA to the General Fund in FYs 18 and 19

For FYs 18 and 19, the bill requires $3.5 million to be transferred from PEGPETIA to the General Fund each fiscal year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

609-613 — ESTATE AND GIFT TAX

Increases, starting January 1, 2019, the estate and gift tax threshold over three years; starting January 1, 2019, lowers, from $20 million to $15 million, the cap on the maximum estate and gift tax imposed

Tax Threshold

Threshold Increases. Beginning in 2019, the bill increases the estate and gift tax threshold over three years, from $2 million to the federal estate tax threshold (i.e., the “federal basic exclusion amount,” which the bill defines as the amount published annually by the Internal Revenue Service (1) at which a decedent would be required to file a federal estate tax return based on the value of his or her gross estate and federal taxable gifts or, for the gift tax, (2) over which a donor would owe federal gift tax based on the value of the donor's lifetime federally taxable gifts). The federal gift and estate tax threshold is $5.49 million for 2017. The bill also modifies the marginal rate schedule for gifts and estates over $5.1 million, as shown in the below table.

Table: Estate and Gift Tax Rates

Value of Taxable Estate or Gift

Marginal Rates

Current Law

Bill

2019

2020

2021 and after

Up to $2,000,000

None

None

None

None

$2,000,001 to $2,600,000

7.2%

$2,600,001 to $3,600,000

7.2%

$3,600,001 to $4,100,000

7.8%

7.8%

7.8%

$4,100,001 to $5,100,000

8.4%

8.4%

8.4%

$5,100,001 to federal threshold

9.0%

10.0%

10.0%

Federal threshold to $6,100,000

10%

$6,100,001 to $7,100,000

9.6%

10.4%

10.4%

10.4%

$7,100,001 to $8,100,000

10.2%

10.8%

10.8%

10.8%

$8,100,001 to $9,100,000

10.8%

11.2%

11.2%

11.2%

$9,100,001 to $10,100,000

11.4%

11.6%

11.6%

11.6%

$10,100,001 and greater

12%

12%

12%

12%

Filing Estate Tax Returns. The bill makes conforming changes in requirements for filing tax returns with the probate court. By law, all estates, regardless of their gross value, must file an estate tax return. If the estate's value is more than the taxable threshold, the executor must file the return with DRS, with a copy to the probate court for the district where the decedent lived or, if the decedent was not a Connecticut resident, where the Connecticut property is located. If the estate's value is below the tax threshold, the return must be filed only with the appropriate probate court. The probate judge must review the return and issue a written opinion to the estate's representative if the judge determines it is not subject to the estate tax.

Under current law, the threshold for filing an estate tax return only with the probate court from someone who died on or after January 1, 2011 is $2 million. The bill increases that threshold to (1) $2.6 million for deaths on or after January 1, 2019, but prior to January 1, 2020; (2) $3.6 million for deaths on or after January 1, 2020, but prior to January 1, 2021; and (3) the federal estate tax threshold for deaths on or after January 1, 2021.

Release of Estate Tax Liens. The bill also makes a conforming change in requirements for releasing estate tax liens.

By law, a person who does not owe, or who has paid, the estate tax receives a certificate releasing the lien on his or her interest in real property in the estate. The probate court is required to issue all lien release certificates for estates below the estate tax threshold. Current law requires probate courts to issue all lien release certificates for estates of $2 million or less, starting with deaths on or after January 1, 2011. The bill instead requires the certificates to be issued either by the probate courts or the DRS commissioner, depending on to whom the tax return must be filed.

Tax Cap

The bill lowers, from $20 million to $15 million, the cap on the maximum (1) estate tax imposed on the estates of decedents dying on or after January 1, 2019 and (2) gift tax imposed on taxable gifts donors on or after January 1, 2019.

Person Responsible for Paying Estate Tax

By law, executors, administrators, trustees, grantees, donees, beneficiaries, and surviving joint owners are liable for the estate tax and any related interest and penalty on the tax, until it is paid, up to the value of the property they received from the estate. The bill provides that this liability for the tax applies regardless of any provision of state laws concerning decedents' estates.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage for the tax threshold and cap provisions; January 1, 2018, and applicable to estates of decedents dying on or after January 1, 2018, for the remaining provisions

614-616 — INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX REDUCTION

Reduces the tax rate for insurance premium and health care centers taxes

Beginning January 1, 2018, the bill reduces, from 1.75% to 1.50%, the tax on (1) subscriber charges that health care centers (i.e., HMOs) impose on contracts they enter into or renew during the calendar year and (2) total net direct insurance premiums paid to Connecticut insurers and out-of-state and foreign insurers doing business in Connecticut. By law, the tax on total net direct insurance premiums applies to certain policies an insurer wrote during the preceding calendar year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

617 — INSURANCE PREMIUMS TAX CREDIT CAP

Makes the tax credit cap for insurance premium taxpayers permanent

The bill restores and makes permanent the cap on the maximum amount of insurance premium tax liability that an insurer may reduce with tax credits. Under current law, the cap expired December 31, 2016. The credits are for cash investments an insurer makes in a state certified investment fund and those it acquires from another entity that was awarded credits for making specific entertainment industry expenditures in Connecticut.

The cap is part of a structure that (1) classifies the tax credits into three types based on their purpose, (2) specifies the order in which the insurers must apply each type to reduce their tax liability, and (3) establishes the maximum amount of liability that insurers can reduce by applying one or more of the types.

By law, (1) type one of credits are film and digital media production, entertainment infrastructure, and digital animation; (2) type two credits are insurance reinvestment credits; and (3) type three credits are all other credits. The below table shows the order and reduction schedule.

Table: Order and Reduction Schedule for Claiming Insurance Premium Tax Credits

Credit Types Claimed

Order of Applying Credits

Maximum Reduction in Tax Liability

Type 3

Not Applicable

30%

Types 1 & 3

1. Type 3

2. Type 1

Type 3 = 30%

Sum of both types = 55%

Types 2 & 3

1. Type 3

2. Type 2

Type 3 = 30%

Sum of both types = 70%

Types 1, 2, & 3

1. Type 3

2. Type 1

3. Type 2

Type 3 = 30%

Types 1 & 3 = 55%

Sum of all types = 70%

Type 1 & 2

1. Type 1

2. Type 2

Type 1= 55%

Sum of both types = 70%

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

618 — FILM AND DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT

Makes permanent the moratorium on issuing film and digital media production tax credits to certain motion pictures and allows them to be claimed against the gross earnings tax on cable, satellite, and competitive video services, but at less than face value when transferred to another taxpayer

Moratorium

The bill restores and makes permanent, with one exception, the moratorium on issuing film and digital media production tax credit vouchers for motion pictures that were not designated as state-certified qualified productions before July 1, 2013. Current law lifted, on July 1, 2017, the previous temporary moratorium on issuing these credits.

The exception is the same one that applied during the previous moratorium. It allows credit vouchers to be issued for motion pictures that (1) conduct at least 25% of their principal photography days in a Connecticut facility, (2) receive at least $25 million in private investment, and (3) opened for business on or after July 1, 2013.

As under existing law, other types of qualified productions continue to be eligible for tax credits, such as documentaries, specified television programming, relocated television productions, and video games.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Claiming Credits

Beginning with the 2018 income year, the bill allows eligible production companies to claim film and digital media production tax credits against the gross earnings tax on cable, satellite, and competitive video services, but at less than face value if sold, assigned, or otherwise transferred to another taxpayer.

Under the bill, a transferred credit applied to the gross earnings tax is valued at (1) 92% of its face value if there is at least 50% common ownership between the transferee and transferor and (2) 95% of its face value if it is sold, assigned, or otherwise transferred to another taxpayer.

As under existing law, film and digital media production tax credits may also be claimed against the corporation business and insurance premiums tax at full face value and may be sold, assigned, or otherwise transferred to other taxpayers up to three times.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

619-621— CIGARETTE TAXES

Increases the cigarette tax from $3.90 to $4.35 per pack

The bill increases the cigarette tax from $3.90 to $4.35 per pack (i.e., 20 cigarettes).

It also imposes a $0.45 excise tax (i.e., “floor tax”) on each pack of cigarettes that dealers and distributors have in their inventories at the earlier of the close of business or 11: 59 p. m. on October 31, 2017. By December 15, 2017, each dealer and distributor must report to the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) the number of cigarettes in inventory as of October 31, 2017 and pay the floor tax on that inventory. If a dealer or distributor does not report by the due date, the DRS commissioner must file the report, estimating the number of cigarettes in the dealer's or distributor's inventory using any information the commissioner has or obtains. If this occurs, the dealer or distributor is subject to a penalty of 10% of the tax due or $50, whichever is greater, plus interest of 1% per month (CGS 12-309).

Failure to file the report by the due date is grounds for DRS to revoke or not renew a cigarette dealer's or distributor's license and any other DRS-issued license or permit the person or entity holds. Willful failure to file subjects the dealer or distributor to a fine of up to $1,000, one year in prison, or both. A dealer or distributor who willfully files a false report is guilty of a class D felony, which is subject to a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment of one to five years, or both (CGS 12-306b). Late filers are also subject to the same interest and penalties as apply to other late cigarette tax payments, namely, 10% of the tax due or $50, whichever is greater, plus interest of 1% per month.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2017, and applicable to sales on or after that date, except that the floor tax provisions are effective upon passage

622 — TOBACCO PRODUCTS TAX ON SNUFF

Increases the tax on snuff tobacco products from $1 to $3 per ounce

The bill increases the tax on snuff tobacco products from $1 to $3 per ounce.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2017, and applicable to sales on or after that date.

623 — TAX EXPENDITURE EVALUATION

Requires OPM secretary to examine and report on state tax expenditures

The bill requires the Office of Policy and Management secretary, in consultation with the revenue services and economic and community development commissioners, to evaluate existing state tax expenditures and, by February 1, 2018, report their findings and recommendations to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. (Tax expenditures are tax revenues the state forgoes due to tax credits, exemptions, or deductions that benefit specific activities, such as preserving historic homes, or taxpayers, such as the elderly.)

The examination must, at a minimum, prioritize the tax expenditures and identify other revenue sources available to the state that can be used to pay for the expenditures. In conducting the examination, the secretary and the commissioners may consult with other individuals and entities they deem appropriate.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

624 — SURCHARGE AND FEES ON CAR AND TRUCK RENTALS

Eliminates the 3% rental surcharge on car and truck rentals and instead authorizes rental companies to charge lessees individually itemized charges or fees as part of a rental agreement

Under current law, the state imposes a surcharge on certain car, truck, and machinery rentals (3% for car and truck rentals and 1.5% for machinery rentals) and requires rental companies to remit the surcharge collected during the calendar year that exceeds the Connecticut property taxes and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) licensing and titling fees they paid on the vehicles and equipment.

The bill eliminates the 3% rental surcharge on car and truck rentals and the related remittance requirement. Instead, it authorizes rental companies to charge lessees (i.e., renters) individually itemized charges or fees as part of a rental agreement, including a vehicle cost recovery, airport access, or airport concession fee, subject to the requirements described below.

Current law requires rental companies to annually report by February 15 to the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) the aggregate amount of (1) personal property taxes paid to towns and registration and titling fees paid to DMV and (2) rental surcharges collected in the previous calendar year, along with any other information DRS requires. The bill terminates this requirement after February 15, 2018 for the 3% surcharge the bill eliminates, but retains it for the 1.5% surcharge on machinery rentals.

General Requirements for Rental Agreement Charges or Fees

The bill subjects the fees to requirements that currently apply to the 3% rental surcharge. Specifically, it requires that any such fees be:

1. imposed on the total amount the rental company charges for the rental;

2. in addition to any other applicable taxes;

3. subject to sales and use tax;

4. paid by the lessee to the rental company and collected in full by the rental company from the lessee;

5. a debt the rental company may recover from the lessee (when added to the original lease or rental price); and

6. separately stated in the rental contract.

Specific Requirements for Vehicle Cost Recovery Fees

Under the bill, if a rental company charges a vehicle cost recovery fee for car or truck rentals, the fee must:

1. represent the company's estimate of the annual cost of any required license, title, registration, tax, inspection, or number plates for the car or truck (i.e., vehicle costs), prorated to a daily rate, and

2. be described in the rental agreement's terms and conditions as the estimated average per day cost the company incurs in vehicle costs.

If the rental company collects more in total vehicle cost recovery fees in any calendar year than what it paid in vehicle costs on the cars and trucks, the bill requires the company to retain the excess amount and reduce its estimated vehicle costs for the following calendar year by the excess amount. The bill specifies that its provisions may not be construed to prohibit a rental company from adjusting the vehicle recovery fees charged during any calendar year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018

625 — MOBILE TELEPHONE SERVICE TAX

From November 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019, imposes a new $0.49 per month per line tax on mobile phone service, excluding prepaid services

From November 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019, the bill imposes a tax of $0.49 per month on each line of “wireless telecommunications service” capable of two-way interactive voice communication (i.e., mobile phone service), excluding prepaid wireless service. The bill defines “wireless telecommunication service” as a mobile service that is (1) provided for-profit, an interconnected service, and available to the public or (2) the functional equivalent of such a service, including a mobile broadband internet access service (i.e., a commercial mobile radio service (47 CFS 20.3)). The tax applies in addition to other required taxes, fees, or surcharges the law requires.

The bill requires service providers to collect and remit the tax to the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) commissioner in the form and manner the statutes prescribe for sales and use taxes.

Under the bill, unpaid taxes are subject to a penalty of 10% of the unpaid amount or $50, whichever is greater, plus 1% interest for each full or partial month that the tax remains unpaid. The bill allows DRS to use existing tax collection procedures to collect the required tax payments, interest, and penalties.

The bill applies the same enforcement, liability, and appeal process requirements established in statute for the admissions and dues taxes to the mobile telephone service tax and requires them to be adapted accordingly. Under these provisions, the DRS commissioner can, among other things, (1) assess tax deficiencies where necessary; (2) require taxpayers to keep certain records and examine all of their records; and (3) administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, and receive testimony. The taxpayers can file for a refund for tax overpayments, request a hearing on the amount of taxes they are required to pay, and appeal the hearing decision if aggrieved.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2017, and applicable to service rendered on or after November 1, 2017

626 — EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT (EITC)

Reduces the EITC from 30% to 27.5% for the 2017 and 2018 tax years

For the 2017 and 2018 tax years, the bill reduces the EITC from 30% to 25%. The credit was temporarily reduced to 27.5% for the 2014 through 2016 tax years, but under current law returns to 30% beginning with the 2017 tax year. Under the bill, the credit increases to 30% for the 2019 tax year and thereafter.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, and applicable to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2017.

627 — REDUCING CONNECTICUT LOTTERY CORPORATION (CLC) EXPENSES

Requires CLC to reduce its expenses in FYs 18 & 19

The bill requires the Connecticut Lottery Corporation to reduce its expenses from the amount of its FY 17 expenses by (1) $800,000 in FY 18 and (2) $1 million in FY 19.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

628 — MMCT LOAN

Requires, under certain conditions, MMCT to provide a $30 million advance, which will be credited against required future casino payments to the state

PA 17-89 gave MMCT Venture LLC, a company jointly owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, the right to conduct authorized games at a new off-reservation commercial casino, once certain conditions are met (e.g., amending gaming agreements, with the amendments approved by the state legislature and federal Department of the Interior).

The bill requires MMCT Venture, LLC, by June 30, 2018, to provide a $30 million advance to the state, which will be credited against required future monthly casino gross gaming revenue payments to the state. Such credit must be in an amount and manner as determined by an agreement between the OPM secretary and MMCT. The bill prohibits interest from being charged. PA 17-89 requires MMCT to pay the state 25% of its gross gaming revenue (e.g., slots and table games).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

629 & 751 — ELIMINATE NEWBORN SCREENING ACCOUNT

Eliminates the newborn screening account and transfers any money from it into the General Fund

The bill eliminates, on July 1, 2018, the newborn screening account, which the Department of Public Health (DPH) currently uses to pay for certain newborn health screening services. It also eliminates the associated annual $500,000 credit to the account from the General Fund. Any funds in the account as of June 30, 2017 must be credited to the General Fund for DPH to use for newborn health screening services in FY 18.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except the repeal of the account is effective July 1, 2018.

630 — DOCUMENT RECORDING FEE

Increases, from $3 to $10, the document recording fee that is charged to generate revenue for preserving historic documents and directs the additional revenue to the General Fund

The bill increases, from $3 to $10, the document recording fee that municipalities charge to generate revenue for preserving historic documents and requires the revenue attributed to this fee increase to be credited to the General Fund. Consequently, it changes the fee revenue distribution, as shown in the below table.

Table: Document Recording Fee Revenue Distribution Changes

Purpose

Share of Revenue Distribution

Current Law ($3 fee)

Bill ($10 fee)

State Historic Document Preservation

66% ($2)

20% ($2)

Municipal Historic Document Preservation

33% ($1)

10% ($1)

General Fund

0% ($0)

70% ($7)

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2017, and applicable to land record documents recorded on or after that date.

631 — CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECK FEE INCREASES

Increases fees for certain criminal history record-related searches

The bill increases, from $50 to $75, the fees for all of the following criminal history record searches: fingerprint, personal record, letters of good conduct, bar association, and criminal history record information. By law, federal, state, and municipal agencies do not pay these fees.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2017, and applicable to background check services requested on or after November 1, 2017.

632 — GREEN BUILDING TAX CREDIT

Eliminates the Green Building Tax Credit as of October 1, 2017

● Eliminates the Green Building Tax Credit starting on October 1, 2017

● The credit, which can be applied against the corporation business tax, is earned for certain costs related to the construction or renovation of projects that meet certain energy efficiency standards

● EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

633 — RIDESHARING FEE

Requires TNCs to pay a 25-cent per ride ridesharing fee on each prearranged ride originating in Connecticut

The bill requires transportation network companies (TNCs, e.g., Uber and Lyft) to pay a 25-cent fee on each prearranged ride originating in the state. By law, a “prearranged ride" means transport by a TNC driver of a TNC rider, (1) beginning when the driver accepts a request from the rider through a digital network, (2) continuing while the driver transports the rider, and (3) ending when the last rider exits the TNC vehicle (PA 17-140).

Under the bill, TNCs must pay the fees for each calendar quarter on or before the last day of the next month succeeding the quarter (e.g., they must pay the fees for the quarter ending March 31 by the last day of April). They must (1) file an electronic return for the preceding quarter with the revenue services commissioner on a form he may prescribe and (2) transfer the funds electronically according to law.

Under the bill, fees that are due and unpaid are subject to (1) a penalty of $50 or 10% of the amount due, whichever is greater and (2) interest at the rate of 1% per month from the due date. The bill authorizes the revenue services commissioner to use the same methods to collect delinquent fees that he uses to collect back taxes.

The bill applies the same enforcement, liability, registration certificate, and appeal process requirements established in statute for the admissions and dues taxes to the ridesharing fee, unless such a provision is inconsistent with the bill. Under these provisions, the DRS commissioner can, among other things, (1) assess tax deficiencies where necessary; (2) require taxpayers to keep certain records and examine all of their records; and (3) administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, and receive testimony. The taxpayers can file for a refund for tax overpayments, request a hearing on the amount of taxes they are required to pay, and appeal the hearing decision if aggrieved.

The bill authorizes the revenue services department to adopt regulations implementing its provisions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2017

634-635 — LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR INDIGENT INDIVIDUALS IN CERTAIN CIVIL PROCEEDINGS

Establishes a one-year pilot program to provide legal representation to certain indigent individuals in civil restraining order proceedings

The bill establishes a one-year pilot program, from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, in one judicial district to provide indigent individuals with access to legal counsel in civil proceedings involving an application for relief from abuse (i.e., civil restraining order).

The bill requires the attorney general, during FY 18, to transfer $200,000 each to the Judicial Branch and Division of Public Defender Services (DPDS). The funds must come from settlements the attorney general receives in connection with lawsuits to which the state is a party. If the funding is not available by July 1, 2018, DPDS and the Judicial Branch are not required to implement the pilot program.

The bill requires the Judicial Branch to use the funds it receives from the attorney general to contract with one or more nonprofit organizations that principally provide legal services to indigent individuals to provide legal counsel to applicants in civil restraining order proceedings. DPDS must use the funds it receives to provide legal counsel to respondents in such proceedings. The counsel provided through the program must be limited to (1) the program's duration and (2) the issue of whether the restraining order is granted or denied.

Additionally, by January 1, 2019, the chief court administrator must report to the Judiciary Committee on (1) the program's status and results and (2) whether a permanent program that provides similar services should be established in the state. The report may also include legislative recommendations on establishing a permanent program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018, except the funding provision is effective upon passage.

Program Requirements

The chief court administrator must select one judicial district in which to provide services through the program. The program is limited to individuals who (1) successfully demonstrate indigence to the Judicial Branch's contracted provider or DPDS, as appropriate, and (2) have civil restraining order proceedings pending in the participating district.

The bill establishes income guidelines for the program, as shown in the below table.

Table: Income Limits for Program Eligibility

Number of Dependents

Income Limit (Annual Gross Income)

0

$23,760

1

$32,040

2

$40,320

3

$48,600

More than 3

$48,600 + $8,320 for each additional dependent

Before legal counsel is assigned through the program, DPDS and the contracted nonprofit organizations must ensure that attorneys are assigned in a way that avoids conflicts of interest, as defined by the Rules of Professional Conduct.

636 — MUNICIPAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR TEACHER RETIREMENT SYSTEM (TRS) NORMAL COST

Annually charges municipalities for half the TRS normal cost

This bill requires each municipality to reimburse the state for 50% of its portion of the normal cost of the annual payment required to fund the TRS. The normal cost is the amount required to fully fund the expected benefits of the current active teachers when they retire (i.e., it does not include amounts needed to pay for unfunded liabilities). Currently the normal cost is partially funded by active teacher contributions and the state pays the remaining portion.

The bill requires the Office of Policy and Management secretary to annually calculate the amount due from each municipality and notify each municipality of the amount owed not later than November 30th. Each municipality must remit payment for the amount not later than December 31st annually. Any payments must be used exclusively to fund the cost of the TRS.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

637 — SEAT BELT ACCOUNT

Annually transfers $2 million from the school bus seat belt account to the General Fund for FYs 18 and 19

The bill annually transfers $2 million from the school bus seat belt account to the General Fund for FYs 18 and 19.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

638 — CLEAN ENERGY FUND

Transfers from the Clean Energy Fund to the General Fund $18.6 million for FY 18 and $13 million for FY 19

The bill transfers from the Clean Energy Fund to the General Fund $18.6 million for FY 18 and $13 million for FY 19.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

639 — BANKING FUND TRANSFER

Requires the transfer of $11.2 million in FY 18 and $9.2 million in FY 19 from the Banking Fund to the General Fund

The bill requires the transfer of funds from the Banking Fund to the General Fund as follows:

1. $11.2 million for FY 18

2. $9.2 million for FY 19

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

640 — TRANSFER FROM THE EMISSIONS ENTERPRISE FUND

Transfers $1.5 million from the Emissions Enterprise Fund to the General Fund in both FY 18 and FY 19.

The bill requires the transfer of $1.5 million from the Emissions Enterprise Fund to the General Fund in both FY 18 and FY 19.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

641-686 — DOT AND DMV FEE INCREASES

Increases, by 12.5%, a number of DOT and DMV statutory fees, the revenue from which goes into the Special Transportation Fund, and requires that the revenue attributable to the increase be transmitted to the General Fund from November 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019; requires DMV to increase regulatory fees by 12.5% and similarly requires that the revenue attributable to the increase be transmitted to the General Fund from November 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019

Fee Increases and Transfers

The bill increases, by 12.5% and starting November 1, 2017, a number of Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Department of Transportation (DOT) statutory fees, the revenue from which is deposited in the Special Transportation Fund (STF). It requires the DMV, DOT, and Revenue Services commissioners, as appropriate, to transmit to the General Fund, from November 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019, the portion of these statutory fees attributable to the increase.

It also requires the DMV commissioner to increase, by 12.5%, DMV regulatory fees, revenue from which goes to the STF, and to transmit to the General Fund, for the same time period as above, the portion of the regulatory fees attributable to the increase.

Statutory Fee Increase

The bill adds to the statutory fees that must be deposited in the STF the late fee for motor vehicle registration renewals and the fee for transferring ownership of a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle, which it subjects to the 12.5% increase and the transfer to the General Fund.

The following table includes some examples of the statutory fee increases:

Representative DOT and DMV Fee Increases

Bill Section

Description

Statutory Citation

Current Fee

Fee under the Bill

645

Taxi Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity

13b-97 (a)

$2,000

$2,250

657

Driver's License (six years)

14-41 (b)

72

81

659

Commercial Driver's License (per year for four year license)

14-44h (b)

17.50

19.69

663

Passenger vehicle registration (biennial)

14-49 (a)

80

90

663

Motorcycle registration (biennial)

14-49 (b)

42

47.25

663

Registration of service buses used by charitable, religious, educational, or community service groups with a capacity of 16 or less (biennial)

14-49 (p)

160

180

663

Registration of services buses used by charitable, religious, educational, or community service groups with a capacity of more than 16 (biennial)

14-49 (p)

533

599.63

666

New Motor Vehicle Dealer License (biennial)

14-52 (a)

700

787.50

666

Used Motor Vehicle Dealer License (biennial)

14-52 (a)

560

630

666

Motor Vehicle Repairer License (biennial)

14-52 (a)

340

382.50

672

Motor Vehicle Manufacturer License (biennial)

14-67a (a)

2,300

2,587.50

686

Marine Pilot's License

15-13 (c)

105.47

118.65

DMV Fees Established in Regulation

The bill requires DMV, starting November 1, 2017, to increase, by 12.5%, each fee in effect on that date that is set by regulation and from which revenue goes into the STF. It requires the DMV commissioner to transmit to the General Fund, from November 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019, that portion of the regulatory fees attributable to the increase.

It requires the DMV commissioner to implement policies and procedures concerning the increased fees at the same time he is adopting the policy or procedure in the form of regulations, provided he prints notice of intent to adopt the regulations on the DMV website and eRegulations System no later than 20 days after implementing them.

The policies and procedures must remain in effect for two years following the date of their posting on the System, unless the legislature provides otherwise. If the commissioner is unable to submit the proposed regulations before the two-year time period ends he must provide written notice to that effect, no later than 35 days before the end of the two-year period, to the Regulation Review and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees. He must include in the notice the reasons why the department is unable to submit the proposed regulations on time, and the date by which it will submit the proposed regulations.

Background: STF

By law, the STF pays for state highway and public transportation projects.  It is supported by a number of revenue streams, including the motor fuels tax; motor carrier road tax; petroleum products gross earnings tax; certain motor vehicle receipts and license, permit, and fee revenue (e. g. , driver's license fees); the sales tax on private motor vehicle sales; motor vehicle-related fines and penalties; and a portion of state sales tax revenue (CGS 13b-61, -61a, -61b, and 12-408(1)(L)).

By law, money in the fund must be used first for debt service on special tax obligation bonds and to pay for certain transportation projects.  Remaining funds must be used to pay for (1) general obligation bonds issued for transportation projects, (2) budget appropriations for DOT and DMV, (3) Department of Energy and Environmental Protection boating regulation and enforcement, and (4) the Department of Social Services' transportation for employment independence program (CGS 13b-69).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except for the specific statutory fee increases, which are effective November 1, 2017.

687 & 688 — TOBACCO SETTLEMENT FUND DISBURSEMENTS

Eliminates a $6 million required disbursement from the Tobacco Settlement Fund to the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund for FYs 18 and 19; eliminates the $10 million required annual disbursement from the Tobacco Settlement Fund to the Smart Start competitive grant account

For FYs 18 and 19, the bill eliminates a $6 million annual transfer from the Tobacco Settlement Fund to the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund.

The bill also eliminates the $10 million annual disbursement from the Tobacco Settlement Fund to the Smart Start competitive grant account. Current law requires this disbursement each year through FY 25.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

689 — MUNICIPAL REVENUE SHARING FUND (MRSF) TRANSFER

Transfers funds from the General Fund to MRSF for FYs 18 and 19

For FYs 18 and 19, the bill transfers from the General Fund to MRSF an amount equal to the appropriation from MRSF to the Office of Policy and Management (OPM). OPM must distribute the funds according to the municipal revenue sharing program laws.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

690 — CONNECTICUT AIRPORT AND AVIATION ACCOUNT

Places certain revenue from the sale of aviation fuel into a new account

The bill establishes the “Connecticut Airport and Aviation Account” as a separate, nonlapsing account within the Grants and Restricted Accounts Fund. The account must contain any money required by law to be deposited in the account and must be spent by the transportation commissioner, with the approval of the Office of Policy and Management secretary, for airport and aviation-related purposes.

Existing law requires revenue from the petroleum products gross earnings tax be deposited in the Special Transportation Fund. Regardless of this law, the bill requires the revenue services commissioner, on and after July 1, 2017, to deposit into the new account 75.3% of the revenue the state receives from the petroleum gross earnings tax from aviation fuel sources (equivalent to 6.1% of aviation fuel sales). 

Under federal law and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, all airport revenue must be used for the capital or operating expenses of (1) the airport, (2) the local airport system, or (3) other local air transportation facilities owned or operated by the airport owner or operator to qualify for certain federal funding (49 U.S. Code 47107 (b)). Recent FAA policy guidance clarified that state revenue derived from taxes on aviation fuel is considered “airport revenue,” even if those taxes are of general applicability, and is therefore subject to such restrictions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

691 — STF REVENUE DESIGNATION

Designates $4.5 million in FY 18 STF resources as FY 19 STF revenue

The bill requires the comptroller, by June 30, 2018, to designate up to $4,500,000 of Special Transportation Fund (STF) resources for FY 18 to be counted as STF revenue for FY 19.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

692 & 693 — MOTOR VEHICLE MILL RATE CAP RAISED

Increases the cap on motor vehicle mill rates and authorizes municipalities that previously set their motor vehicle mill rate for the 2016 assessment year to change it

The bill raises the motor vehicle mill rate cap from 32 mills to 37 mills for the 2016 assessment year and thereafter. Under current law, for the 2016 assessment year, combined municipal and district motor vehicle mill rates are capped at 32 mills. (Municipalities collect taxes for the 2016 assessment year in FY 18.)

Notwithstanding any contrary special acts, municipal charters, or home rule ordinances, the bill allows municipalities and special taxing districts, by November 1, 2017, to revise their 2016 assessment year motor vehicle mill rates if such rates were set before the bill's effective date. They must do so by vote of their legislative bodies (or in a municipality where the legislative body is a town meeting, by vote of the board of selectmen).

The bill also makes conforming changes to the motor vehicle property tax grant program, which provides grants to municipalities that impose a mill rate on real and personal property (other than motor vehicles) that is greater than the capped motor vehicle mill rate. Under existing law, the grant distributions begin in FY 18.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

694 — LOCAL OPTION ADMISSIONS SURCHARGE

Exempts motion picture shows from the surcharge

The bill exempts motion picture shows from the local option admissions surcharge. By law, municipalities may impose a surcharge (generally 5%) on admission charges to events held at a range of amusement, entertainment, or recreation facilities located within the municipalities.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

695 — CLEAN ENERGY CHARGE

Increases the charge on electric bills used to fund the Clean Energy Fund

Starting October 1, 2017, the bill increases, from one mill per kilowatt-hour to two mills per kilowatt-hour, the charge on electric bills used to fund the Clean Energy Fund.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

696 — LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS ANNUAL REPORT FILING FEE INCREASE

Increases the annual report fee from $20 to $40

By law, limited partnerships must file annual reports with the secretary of the state. The bill increases, from $20 to $40, the filing fee the secretary of the state must charge.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

697 — JUDICIAL DATA PROCESSING REVOLVING FUND

Transfers $5,000,000 from this fund to the General Fund

For FY 18, the bill transfers $5,000,000 from the Judicial Data Processing Revolving Fund to the General Fund.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

698 — MOTOR VEHICLE TRADE-IN FEE

Requires new and used car dealers to pay DMV a $25 fee for each trade-in they accept on the sale of a new or used vehicle

The bill requires licensed new and used car dealers to pay the Department of Motor Vehicles a $25 fee for each transaction in which they process a used vehicle traded in by the purchaser of a new or used vehicle. DMV must deposit the fee in the General Fund.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1, 2017

699-701 — REGISTRATION FEE INCREASES FOR BROKER-DEALERS AND INVESTMENT ADVISERS

Increases, by $25 each, specified registration fees for broker-dealers, investment advisers, and their agents

The bill increases, by $25, each of the registration fees for broker-dealers, investment advisers, and their agents, who transact business in Connecticut, as shown in the below table.

Table: Registration Fee Increases

Broker-Dealers and

Investment Advisers

Registration Fee

Under Current Law

Registration Fee

Under the Bill

Firm – initial registration

$315

$340

Firm – annual renewal of registration

190

215

Firm – mass transfers received

(fee per agent)

50

75

Branch Office – initial registration

100

125

Branch office – relocation or acquisition

100

125

Agent – initial registration

100

125

Agent – annual renewal of registration

100

125

Exempt investment adviser – notice of registration exemption

250

275

Exempt investment adviser – annual renewal of notice of registration exemption

150

175

Investment Advisers Exempt from Registration

The law exempts from the registration requirements an investment adviser who (1) is registered or required to be registered under federal law, (2) is exempt from the federal definition of investment adviser, or (3) has no place of business in Connecticut and, during the preceding 12 months, had no more than five clients who are Connecticut residents. Any investment adviser claiming an exemption must file a notice of exemption with the Banking commissioner and pay the applicable fees (shown in Table 1).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

702-724 — STATEWIDE PROPERTY TAX ON SECOND HOMES

Imposes a locally collected statewide 2.75 mill tax on all secondary single-family homes, the revenue from which is remitted to the state

1. The bill establishes a 2.75 mill statewide property tax on “secondary single-family properties,” which are dwellings (including condominiums) that are not the owner's primary residence. The new tax also applies to new construction completed after the assessment date (prorated) and partially completed new construction that meets this definition.

2. The tax is assessed and collected locally, but ultimately remitted to the Department of Revenue Services (DRS). The statewide tax applies in addition to local property taxes. Municipalities must add the levy to the property tax bill or in the case of installment bills. If municipalities issue tax bills before October 1, 2017 for the October 1, 2016 assessment year, they must send out supplemental tax bills by January 1, 2018 or include the statewide tax levy in remaining installments.

3. To determine the status of a property, each single-family property owner must annually inform the local tax collector whether (1) they are a resident of the municipality and (2) the property is the owner's primary residence. If an owner fails to submit the required attestation, his or her property is deemed to be a secondary home, and thus subject to the statewide tax.

4. Dwellings owned by an entity other than a natural person are generally presumed to be a “secondary home.”

5. Once a property owner attests to Connecticut residency for purposes of primary residence classification, the owner is presumed to be domiciled in the state for the year in which the attestation was made, for purposes of administering the state's tax statutes.

6. The bill makes conforming changes for purposes of administering the statewide property tax in conformity with local property taxes, including making delinquent statewide taxes subject to the same interest rate as local property taxes (18% per year). The bill specifies that any unpaid taxes can be collected by any method authorized by law. The bill also establishes a procedure for taxpayers to request a refund of overpaid taxes.

7. The bill makes other minor changes, such as increasing, from 9% to 18%, the interest rate on delinquent municipal payments (taxes, fees, and assessments) due to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017, and the tax on secondary single-family properties is applicable to assessment years beginning on or after October 1, 2016 and the tax on new construction is applicable to assessment years beginning on and after October 1, 2017.

726-742 — HEALTH PROVIDER TAX SYSTEM

Beginning July 1, 2017, sunsets the current taxes on hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) and user fees on nursing homes and intermediate care facilities (ICFs) and reestablishes the taxes and fees as part of a comprehensive health provider tax system

Overview

Beginning July 1, 2017, the bill sunsets the current taxes on hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) and user fees on nursing homes and intermediate care facilities (ICFs) and reestablishes the taxes and fees as part of a comprehensive health provider tax system.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Hospital and ASC Tax

Scope. Current law imposes separate taxes on hospital net revenue and ASC gross receipts. The bill instead imposes a net revenue tax on both types of facilities and establishes how hospital-owned ASCs must report their revenue for purposes of the tax.

Tax Base and Rate. Under current law, the hospital tax is based on a hospital's net patient revenue (defined as the amount of accrued payments earned by a hospital for the provision of inpatient and outpatient services) for a base year determined by the DSS commissioner in accordance with the adopted state budget. The ambulatory tax is based on an ASC's gross receipts for each quarter, excluding the first $1 million in the applicable fiscal year and any portion of a center's gross receipts that constitutes net patient revenue of a hospital subject to the hospital tax.

Beginning July 1, 2017, the bill instead bases the tax on the total net revenue hospitals and ASCs receive for each calendar quarter for providing inpatient and outpatient hospital services and ASC services, except for revenue from Medicaid payments for ASC services. It establishes definitions for these three service categories that align with definitions under federal Medicaid law, as described below.

Under current law, the ASC tax rate is 6% and the hospital tax rate must be set up to the maximum allowed by federal law (6% as of October 1, 2011) and in conformance with the adopted state budget. For ASC services, the bill sets the rate at 6%. For inpatient and outpatient hospital services, the bill establishes a formula for calculating tax rate, based on the amount of tax revenue specified for the fiscal year. The formula's numerator is the specified amount of tax revenue and the denominator is the total “FY 16 audited net revenue,” as described below, for all health care providers subject to the tax. For FYs 18 and 19, the bill requires $900 million in revenue. For FYs 20 and thereafter, it requires $384 million in revenue.

Hospital Tax Payment Requirements. For each fiscal year, beginning with FY 18, the bill requires hospitals to calculate the amount of tax due, on forms prescribed by the DRS commissioner, by multiplying the applicable rate described above by the hospital's audited net revenue for FY 16. With the exception of FY 18, hospitals must pay the total amount due in four quarterly payments according to the standard return filing and payment requirements the bill establishes (described further below).

For FY 18, the bill requires hospitals to make an estimated tax payment on October 31, 2017 that equals 133% of the tax that was due under the current hospital tax for FY 17. If a hospital was not required to pay the tax on either inpatient or outpatient hospital services, it must make its estimated payment based on its unaudited net patient revenue. Hospitals must pay the remaining balance due for FY 18 in two equal payments, due on April 30, 2018, and July 31, 2018, respectively.

The bill requires hospitals to make these required payments according to procedures established by the commissioner, on forms he provides.

Definition of Net Revenue. The bill defines net revenue as “gross receipts” minus “payer discounts,” “charity care,” and bad debts on which the taxpayer previously paid the tax. Under the bill, “gross receipts” means the amount “received” from patients, third-party payers, and others (cash or in-kind) for taxable health care items or services the taxpayer provides in the state. It includes retroactive adjustments under reimbursement agreements with third-party payers, with no deduction for expenses. Under the bill, “received” means received or accrued according to the taxpayer's customary accounting method.

“Payer discounts” is the difference between a provider's published charges and the actual payments it received under negotiated agreements with health care payers for a different or discounted rate or payment method. It excludes charity care and bad debts.

“Charity care” is free or discounted health care services provided to individuals who cannot afford to pay, including care to the uninsured patient or patients who are not expected to pay all or part of a provider's bill based on income guidelines and other financial criteria established in statute or in a provider's charity care policies on file at the provider's office. It excludes bad debts and payer discounts.

FY 16 Audited Net Revenue. The bill defines “FY 16 audited net revenue” as the amount of revenue the DRS commissioner determines, in accordance with federal law, that a health care provider received for providing inpatient and outpatient hospital services during federal fiscal year 2016, based on information provided by each health care provider subject to the tax. Under the bill, the total FY 16 audited net revenue is the sum of FY 16 audited net revenue for each health care provider subject to the tax.

The bill requires hospitals to submit to the commissioner any information he determines is required in order to calculate the FY 16 audited net revenue for all hospitals. They must provide this information by January 1, 2018. The commissioner may request additional information he needs to audit each hospital's net revenue. Once he has completed his examination, the commissioner must, by February 28, 2018, notify each hospital of its FY 16 audited net revenue.

Hospitals that fail to provide the requested information before January 1, 2018, or fail to comply with a request for additional information, are subject to a penalty of $1,000 per day for each day the hospital fails to provide the requested or additional information. The bill allows the commissioner to engage an independent auditor to assist him with these duties and responsibilities.

Hospitals Subject to the Tax. Under current law, the hospital tax applies to all short-term general hospitals except children's hospitals and hospitals operated exclusively by the state, other than those the state operates as a receiver (i.e., Connecticut Children's Medical Center and John Dempsey Hospital). The bill instead applies the net revenue tax to any health care facility that (1) is licensed by DPH as a short-term general hospital; (2) is maintained primarily for the care and treatment of patients with disorders other than mental diseases; (3) meets the requirements for participation in Medicare as a hospital; and (4) has a utilization review plan in effect, applicable to all Medicaid patients, that meets federal requirements or has been granted a federal waiver.

ASCs Subject to the Tax. Under current law, the ASC gross receipts tax applies to DPH-licensed outpatient surgical facilities and Medicare-certified ASCs that are included in the federal definition of an ASC (i.e., a distinct entity that operates exclusively to provide surgical services to patients not requiring hospitalization, where the services are not expected to take more than 24 hours). The bill applies the net revenue tax to ASCs that (1) meet the federal definition described above and (2) have an agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in Medicare as an ASC and meet federal requirements to do so.

Inpatient Hospital Services. Under the bill, “inpatient hospital services” are all services (1) ordinarily furnished in a hospital for the care and treatment of inpatients, (2) furnished under the direction of a physician or dentist, and (3) furnished in a hospital. They exclude skilled nursing facility and intermediate care facility services furnished by a hospital with swing bed approval. An “inpatient” is a patient admitted to a medical institution as an inpatient on a physician's or dentist's recommendation and who (1) receives room, board, and professional services in the institution for at least a 24-hour period or (2) is expected to do so by the institution, even if the patient does not actually stay for 24 hours.

Outpatient Hospital Services. The bill defines “outpatient hospital services” as preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, rehabilitative, or palliative services (1) furnished to outpatients, (2) furnished by or under the direction of a physician or dentist, and (3) furnished by a hospital. An “outpatient” is a patient of an organized medical facility, or a distinct part of such facility, who is expected by the facility to receive, and does receive, professional services for less than a 24-hour period, regardless of (1) when the patient is admitted, (2) whether a bed is used, or (3) whether the patient remains in the facility past midnight.

ASC services. Under the bill, “ASC services” are those services furnished in connection with covered surgical procedures performed in an ASC for which payment for the procedure is allowable under federal law. They include facility services only and exclude surgical procedures.

Hospital-Owned ASCs. Under the bill, net revenue derived from furnishing a health care item or service to a patient must be taxed only one time. Net revenue from each hospital-owned ASC must be (1) considered net revenue of the hospital and (2) reported as net revenue from inpatient or outpatient hospital services as applicable.

Under the bill, a hospital-owned ASC includes only those ASCs that (1) are considered departments of the owner-hospital and (2) have provider-based status according to federal law. (Provider-based status is a Medicare payment designation that allows qualifying health care facilities to bill Medicare as a hospital outpatient department and thereby receive higher payments.) If an ASC is owned by a hospital but is not considered to be a hospital department or does not have provider-based status, its net revenue must not be considered the owner-hospital's net revenue; rather, it must file and pay tax for any net revenue it receives from providing ASC services.

Request for Federal Waiver to Exempt Certain Hospitals. The bill requires the DSS commissioner to seek CMS approval to exempt from the tax (1) specialty hospitals; (2) children's general hospitals; and (3) hospitals operated exclusively by the state, other than those the state operates as a receiver (i.e., Connecticut Children's Medical Center and John Dempsey Hospital). It requires health care providers to, upon request, provide the DSS commissioner with information he needs to make any necessary calculations to seek approval for this exemption. (These same exemptions apply against the hospital tax under current law. Current law also exempts a hospital from the tax on payments earned from providing outpatient services based on financial hardship.)

The bill similarly requires the commissioner, before January 1, 2018 and every three years thereafter, to seek CMS approval to exempt financially distressed hospitals from the tax on outpatient hospital services. (These same exemptions apply against the hospital tax under current law.)

The bill defines a “financially distressed hospital” as one that has experienced, over a five-year period, an average net loss of more than 5% of aggregate revenue if the loss is reflected in the five most recent years of financial reports made available by the Office of Healthcare Access for such hospital as of July 1 of the year in which the waiver is requested.

Under the bill, any health care provider or hospital for which CMS grants an exemption is exempt from the net revenue tax and any provider or hospital denied an exemption must pay the tax.

The bill exempts these waivers from the statutes requiring the DSS commissioner to submit notice of any proposed amendment to the Medicaid state plan to the Human Services and Appropriations committees before submitting it to the federal government.

DRS Guidance on the Hospital Tax. The bill requires the DRS commissioner to issue guidance regarding the administration of the tax on inpatient and outpatient hospital services after completing a study of the applicable federal law governing the administration of health care provider taxes. The commissioner must conduct the study in collaboration with the DSS commissioner, the OPM secretary, the Connecticut Hospital Association, and the hospitals subject to the tax.

Nursing Home and ICF User Fees

Facilities Subject to the Fees. The bill imposes quarterly resident day user fees on nursing homes and ICFs that are generally the same as those imposed under current law. Under current law, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) are exempt from the nursing home fee pursuant to a federal Medicaid waiver. The bill instead imposes the fee on all nursing homes (i.e., any licensed chronic and convalescent nursing home or rest home with nursing supervision) but requires the DSS commissioner to seek a federal Medicaid waiver to exempt CCRCs from the fee (described further below).

The bill imposes the ICF user fee on the same facilities subject to the fee under current law (i.e., residential facilities for people with intellectual disabilities that are certified to meet federal requirements and, in the case of private facilities, state-licensed).

Fee Calculation. Under current law, DSS must calculate the fees every two years based on the facilities' net revenue (i.e., the amount billed for all services provided less contractual allowances, payer discounts, charity care, and bad debt) and a percentage set by the OPM secretary up to the maximum amount federal law allows (6%). The bill instead establishes the fees as the product of each facility's total resident days during the quarter multiplied by (1) $21.02 for nursing homes and (2) $27.26 for ICFs, which generally equal the current user fees set by DSS. (Currently, the nursing home resident user fee is $16.13 per resident day for municipally owned nursing homes and homes licensed for more than 230 beds.)

Under the bill, a nursing home or ICF resident day is the same as under current law, that is, a day a nursing home or ICF provides residential care to an individual, and includes a day (1) a resident is admitted, (2) for which the facility is eligible for payment for reserving the resident's bed due to hospitalization or temporary leave, or (3) a resident dies.  As under current law, a resident day does not include the day a resident is discharged or, in the case of nursing homes, a Medicare day (i.e., days of nursing home care service provided to someone eligible for Medicare payments).

Waiver. The bill requires the DSS commissioner to seek federal approval from CMS to (1) exempt CCRCs from the nursing home fee and (2) impose a lower fee of $16.13 for municipally owned homes and those homes licensed for more than 230 beds. Under the bill, the exemption and lower fee apply if CMS grants approval; if CMS denies the exemption or lower fee, the nursing home fee or higher user fee applies (i.e., CCRCs pay the nursing home fee or the higher fee applies to larger or municipally owned homes).

As with the hospital and ASC net revenue tax waivers, the bill exempts the nursing home and ICF user fee waivers from the statutes requiring the DSS commissioner to submit notice of any proposed amendment to the Medicaid state plan to the Human Services and Appropriations committees before submitting it to the federal government.

Tax Credits

The bill prohibits health care providers from using tax credits to reduce their health provider tax liabilities. Under current law, hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers may apply urban and industrial s