OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http://www.cga.ct.gov/ofa

HB-6123

AN ACT CONCERNING TREE REMOVAL ALONG LIMITED ACCESS HIGHWAYS.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 18 $

FY 19 $

Department of Transportation

TF - Cost

at least 88,449

at least 88,449

State Comptroller - Fringe Benefits1

TF - Cost

24,392

24,392

Note: TF=Transportation Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

SUMMARY

The bill requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop a plan for tree removal on all limited access highways which includes the environmental impact of the proposed tree removal, the impacts of erosion and the planting of noninvasive species. It is anticipated that the additional environmental obligations would require DOT to hire one transportation planner at a cost of $88,449 ($64,057 annual salary and $24,392 for fringe benefits).

Additionally, the bill requires DOT to plant noninvasive species at each tree removal location and it is anticipated that the agency would incur costs associated with this provision dependent on the type of species planted.

Lastly, the bill requires the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to consult with DOT on the environmental impact of certain trees scheduled for removal and to make recommendations regarding planting noninvasive species to replace the removed trees.  This is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact to DEEP as they currently employ 12 foresters with expertise in this area.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation.

1 The fringe benefit costs for most state employees are budgeted centrally in accounts administered by the Comptroller. The estimated active employee fringe benefit cost associated with most personnel changes is 38.08% of payroll in FY 18 and FY 19.