PA 17-2, June 2017 Special Session—SB 1502

Emergency Certification

AN ACT CONCERNING THE STATE BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM ENDING JUNE 30, 2019, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS THEREFOR, AUTHORIZING AND ADJUSTING BONDS OF THE STATE AND IMPLEMENTING PROVISIONS OF THE BUDGET.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1-10 — FY 18 AND FY 19 APPROPRIATIONS

Appropriates money for state agency operations and programs for FYs 18 and 19

11 & 557 — PASSPORT TO PARKS ACCOUNT TRANSFERS

Earmarks funds from the account for specified environmental purposes

12-16 & 28 — SPENDING REDUCTIONS AND BUDGETED LAPSES

Authorizes the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary to reduce allotments for state agencies and funds in order to achieve specified savings and budgeted lapses

17 — APPROPRIATIONS FOR NONFUNCTIONAL – CHANGE TO ACCRUALS

Prohibits the OPM secretary from allotting funds to such line item accounts

18 — AUTHORITY TO TRANSFER FUNDS TO AND FROM THE RESERVE FOR SALARY ADJUSTMENTS ACCOUNT

Allows the OPM secretary to transfer specified funds to implement and account for adjustments to various personal services expenses

19 — COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT COSTS

Carries forward the unexpended portion of appropriated funds that relate to collective bargaining agreements and related costs and requires the funds to be used for the same purposes in FYs 18 and 19

20 & 21 — APPROPRIATION TRANSFERS AND ADJUSTMENTS TO MAXIMIZE FEDERAL MATCHING FUNDS

Authorizes the governor, subject to specified conditions, to transfer or adjust agency appropriations to maximize federal matching funds

22 & 24 — TRANSFERS TO MEDICAID ACCOUNT

Authorizes the OPM secretary to transfer certain funds to the Department of Social Services' Medicaid account to maximize federal reimbursement

23 — DSS PAYMENTS TO DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION SERVICES (DMHAS) HOSPITALS

Specifies how (1) DSS must spend appropriations for certain DMHAS hospital payments and (2) DMHAS hospitals must use the funds they receive from DMHAS

25 — BIRTH-TO-THREE PROGRAM

Requires SDE to transfer certain federal special education funds to OEC for the Birth-to-Three Program

26 — DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (DCF)-LICENSED PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT FACILITIES

Suspends rate adjustments for DCF-licensed private residential treatment facilities

27 — DDS AND DMHAS COST SETTLEMENTS WITH PRIVATE AND NONPROFIT PROVIDERS

Requires certain private and nonprofit providers to reimburse these agencies for the difference between actual costs and the amount received from the agencies

29 — XL CENTER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP)

Requires Hartford to issue an RFP for the purchase of the XL Center

30 & 31 — TOBACCO HEALTH AND TRUST FUND (THTF) TRANSFERS

Transfers funds from the THTF for various purposes

32 — EVEN START AND TWO-GENERATIONAL INITIATIVE

Specifies that it is intended that Even Start be integrated into OEC's two-generational initiative

33 — FAMILY RESOURCE CENTERS

Requires certain municipalities to close one family resource center and provides grants to those centers existing on January 1, 2018

34 & 35 — MUNICIPAL GAMING ACCOUNT AND GRANTS TO MUNICIPALITIES

Increases the amount of gaming revenue that must be deposited into the municipal gaming account and provides grants from the account to four additional towns

36 — INFORMATION ON APPROPRIATIONS FOR VARIOUS IMMUNIZATION-RELATED PURPOSES

Extends by two months the date by which the OPM secretary must provide certain information to the insurance commissioner

37 — RECONCILE APPROPRIATIONS WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER

Authorizes OPM to transfer funds to reconcile this act's appropriations with those in the governor's executive order

38 — FEDERAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR DSS, DCF, AND JUDICIAL BRANCH PROGRAMS

Allows DSS, DCF, and the Judicial Branch to establish receivables for anticipated reimbursement from approved projects in certain circumstances

39 — OUTPATIENT CLINIC LICENSE RENEWAL

Increases the frequency of outpatient clinic license renewal and makes a conforming change

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

Extends the TFA and SAGA freeze for an additional two years, FYs 18 and 19

41 — BOARDING HOME RATES

Freezes, with exceptions, rates paid by DSS to certain boarding homes

41, 42 & 43 — RESIDENTIAL CARE HOMES, COMMUNITY LIVING ARRANGEMENTS, AND COMMUNITY COMPANION HOMES

Freezes rates for residential services at certain facilities through FY 19

44 — CAP ON RESIDENTIAL CARE HOME RATES

Caps residential care home rates with certain exceptions

45 & 46 — MEDICAID NURSING HOME RATES

Limits nursing home Medicaid rates with certain exceptions, reverses a recent rate decrease for certain homes, and lowers the minimum occupancy for purpose of calculating rates

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

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

48 — DCF-LICENSED PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT FACILITIES

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

49 — LIMIT ON NONEMERGENCY ADULT DENTAL SERVICES

Caps payment for nonemergency dental services for adults at $1,000 per calendar year

50 — MEDICARE SAVINGS PROGRAM

Reduces income eligibility for the Medicare Savings Program

51-54 — MEDICAID AND SPECIAL EDUCATION

Requires boards of education to enroll as Medicaid providers, participate in DSS's Medicaid School Based Child Health Program, and submit billable service information to DSS

55 — SPECIAL TRANSPORTATION FUND (STF)

Removes the requirement that remaining STF funds, after first being used for other specified obligations, pay for DSS's transportation to work program

56 — DAS CANDIDATE LISTS

Allows DAS to extend candidate lists through the end of 2018

57 — TECHNICAL CHANGES BY THE LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS' OFFICE (LCO)

Requires that LCO, as part of its codification, make necessary technical, grammatical, and punctuation changes in the act's text

58 — EVALUATING TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS

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

59 — TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM (TRS) VIABILITY COMMISSION

Establishes a commission and requires the state to contract with a consulting firm to develop and implement a plan to maintain TRS's financial viability

60 — UCONN HEALTH CENTER PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

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

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

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

62-67, 83, 236 — CHANGES TO THE SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM

Makes numerous changes to the school construction grant program, including altering how reimbursement rates are determined, requiring additional application information, expanding the types of projects eligible for emergency grants, and increasing the amount the state must withhold pending a final audit

68 — TEACHERS' RETIREMENT BOARD (TRB) MEMBERSHIP

Requires one member of the TRB to be a municipal chief elected official

69 — YOUTH SERVICE BUREAU (YSB) GRANTS

Expands youth service bureau grant eligibility to those bureaus that applied in FY 17 and met town contribution requirements

70 — SPECIAL EDUCATION COST MODEL TASK FORCE AND FEASIBILITY STUDY

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

71 — ACHIEVEMENT AND RESOURCE EQUITY IN SCHOOLS COMMISSION

Creates a 16-member commission to report recommendations on education funding to the Appropriations and Education committees, governor, and OPM secretary

72-82 — TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND CAREER SYSTEM

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

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

Reduces frequency of certain required reports

85 — BODY-WORN RECORDING EQUIPMENT TASK FORCE

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

86-99 & 731 — DDS AS SUCCESSOR TO OPA'S INVESTIGATION OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT COMPLAINTS

Transfers to DDS, rather than the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), 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

100-105 — CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION SYSTEM (CJIS) GOVERNING BOARD

Transfers the board from OPM to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) for administrative purposes; requires DESPP to staff and supply the board and to provide certain information to people who request it

106 & 107 — ADVISORY COMMISSION ON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (ACIR) REPORT DEADLINES

Delays certain deadlines by which ACIR must submit reports on state mandates to the General Assembly

108 — DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SERVICES (DRS) TAX INCIDENCE REPORT

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

109 — RETIREMENT SYSTEMS STRESS TEST REPORT

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

110 — AUTHORIZATION TO SHARE TAX ASSESSORS

Allows a regional council of government (COG) or two or more municipalities to appoint shared tax assessors

111 — LOCAL OPTION ADMISSIONS SURCHARGE

Exempts motion pictures from the surcharge

112-125, 165 & 732 — HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

Transfers responsibilities for the all-payer claims (APCD) database and consumer health information website from Access Health CT to the health information technology officer and makes related changes

126 — 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

127 & 732 — 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 who are public officials to appoint designees

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 — STATE EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECKS

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

130 — STAMFORD WOMEN'S BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL GRANT

Provides an annual $350,000 grant to the Women's Business Development Council in Stamford in FYs 18 and 19

131 — 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

132 — MICROBIOME WORKING GROUP

Establishes a 16-member working group to devise a roadmap to make Connecticut a national leader in developing and commercializing microbiome-based treatments, products, and services

133 — UCONN CONSTRUCTION ASSURANCE OFFICE DIRECTOR

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

134 — 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

135-137 — REMOVAL OF REQUIREMENT TO ADOPT DSS REGULATIONS

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

138 & 139 — HUSKY A DECREASE

Lowers the income limit for HUSKY A parents and caretakers from 150% to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and requires DSS to review eligibility for those affected by the act

140 — NONPROFIT COLLABORATION INCENTIVE GRANT PROGRAM

Eliminates annual solicitation requirements for nonprofit grant program

141 & 568 — TWO-GENERATIONAL INITIATIVE

Makes the two-generational pilot program a permanent statewide initiative, including integration with a family literacy program

142 — OPM REPORT ON CHILD RECIDIVISM

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

143 & 144 — DCF MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PLAN AND ADVISORY BOARD

Expands who DCF must consult when developing the children's mental, emotional, and behavioral health plan; requires DCF to submit recommendations to legislative committees addressing children's unmet mental health needs due to increased risk of juvenile and criminal justice system involvement; and modifies advisory board membership

145, 146, 148 & 593 — FAMILY WITH SERVICE NEEDS (FWSN) PETITIONS

As of July 1, 2019, eliminates provisions that allow certain parties to file a FWSN petition with the court and makes conforming changes

147 & 149 — DETENTION SCREENING INFORMATION

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

150 & 151 — PILOT PROGRAM PROVIDING LEGAL REPRESENTATION TO 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

152 — SUPERINTENDENTS FOR SMALL TOWNS

Allows local boards of education that meet certain “small town” criteria to receive direction from another board of education's superintendent, rather than employ their own local superintendent

153 & 154 — COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS AND ARRANGEMENTS

Allows for cooperative agreements and arrangements for the provision of administrative and central office duties for boards of education and municipalities

155 — BOARD OF EDUCATION ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL HIRING

Requires a local board of education to notify the local legislative body upon the hiring of certain administrative personnel

156 — REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT FINANCE COMMITTEE

Allows a regional board of education to establish a finance committee

157 — EDUCATION ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL CONTRACTS

Requires boards of education to file administrative personnel contracts with town clerks, who must then post them online

158 — MUNICIPAL BUDGET RESERVES IN ARBITRATION

Establishes an irrebuttable presumption that 15% of a municipality's budget reserve cannot be used to pay for arbitration awards

159 — MEDICAID WAIVER AND AMENDMENT NOTIFICATION

Requires DSS to report annually on potential Medicaid waivers and changes to the Medicaid state plan that may result in cost savings, and narrows a legislative notification requirement

160 — MUNICIPAL CONSULTATION WITH BOARDS OF EDUCATION FOR PURCHASING INSURANCE

Requires municipalities, when possible, to consult with local boards of education about jointly purchasing property, casualty, and workers' compensation insurance

161 — CONTRACTING PROCEDURES FOR LOCAL BOARDS OF EDUCATION

Requires a local board of education to consult with its municipal legislative body to consider cooperative agreements for goods or services

162 — REGIONAL SHARING OF PAYROLL OR ACCOUNTS PAYABLE SOFTWARE

Requires a local board of education to consult with its municipal legislative body before purchasing payroll or accounts payable software systems

163 — BRIDGE RENAMING

Renames the “Detective Bruce Boisland Memorial Bridge” as the “Detective Bruce Boislard Memorial Bridge”

164 — OFFICE OF HEALTH STRATEGY

Establishes an Office of Health Strategy

166 — BIRTH-TO-THREE PROVIDER AUDITS

Temporarily prohibits DSS from extrapolating overpayments or assessing penalties against Birth-to-Three early intervention providers

167 — CRIMINAL JUSTICE DIVISION'S COLD CASE UNIT AND SHOOTING TASK FORCE APPROPRIATIONS

Prohibits the Division of Criminal Justice from comingling funds appropriated to the Cold Case Unit with those appropriated to the Shooting Task Force

168 & 169 — 7/7 BROWNFIELD AND UNDERUTILIZED PROPERTY REDEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Authorizes a package of state and local tax incentives available to eligible owners after remediating, redeveloping, and using formerly contaminated, abandoned, or underutilized properties

170-173 — CERTAIN EDUCATIONAL GRANTS WITHIN AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS

Makes certain educational grants within available appropriations

174-177 — BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR CHILD CARE PROVIDERS AND EMPLOYEES

Requires the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) 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

178 — PARKING ON STATE PROPERTY

Allows the DAS commissioner to delegate the authority to establish and enforce policies and procedures for parking on certain state property

179 — WORKERS' COMPENSATION COSTS

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

180 — PENSION SUSTAINABILITY COMMISSION

Creates the Connecticut Pension Sustainability Commission to study placing state capital assets in a trust for the state pension system's benefit

181 — ANNUAL REPORTING FOR HOSPITALS AND CERTAIN GROUP PRACTICES

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

184 — 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 certain regulations

185 & 186 — 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

187-199 — BEHAVIOR ANALYST LICENSURE

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

200 — MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT FOR HEMOPHILIA DRUGS

Applies Medicaid reimbursement formula for Factor VIII hemophilia drugs to Factor VII, IX, and X drugs and eliminates DSS's authority to designate Factor VIII drug suppliers dispensing pharmacies must order from

201 — HUSKY A COST-SHARING

Prohibits DSS from imposing cost-sharing requirements for preferred prescription drugs and medically necessary non-preferred drugs for HUSKY A parents and caretaker relatives; establishes notification requirements for cost-sharing imposed for other Medicaid services for this group

202 & 203 — INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR MENTAL OR NERVOUS CONDITIONS

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

204 — CLASS NO. 3 BAZAAR PERMITS

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

205 — PROHIBITION ON REQUIRING CASH-ONLY BAIL

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

206 — ELDERLY CIRCUIT BREAKER PROGRAM

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

207 — WAIVER OF PAYMENTS DUE FROM CERTAIN HOUSING AUTHORITIES

Extends by one year the requirement that certain municipalities waive payments due from certain state-financed housing authorities

208 — YOUTH SERVICES GRANTS

Specifies how funds appropriated in FYs 18 and 19 to the Judicial Branch for youth services grants must be distributed

209 — ARBITRATOR FEES

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

210 — LITCHFIELD COUNTY COURTHOUSE

Allows the state to retain use of the old Litchfield County Courthouse land and building unless certain conditions are met

211 — REGIONAL REVENUE SHARING AGREEMENTS

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

212 — PERFORMANCE-INFORMED BUDGETING

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

213 — MEDICAID AND FAMILY PLANNING

Allows DSS, with legislative approval, to offset any reduction in federal funding for family planning services

214 — ARTWORK IN STATE BUILDINGS

Prohibits, for two years, the State Bond Commission from allocating a portion of bond proceeds for artwork in state building projects

215 — COMPTROLLER REPORTS ON STATE EMPLOYEES BARGAINING AGENT COALITION (SEBAC) SAVINGS

Requires the comptroller to annually determine and report on the savings realized through the 2017 SEBAC Agreement and its related contracts

216 — PUBLIC HEARINGS ON AUDITS

Requires legislative committees to hold public hearings on auditor reports of agencies under their cognizance

217 — JUDGE SALARY WITHHOLDINGS

Increases, from 5% to 6%, the amount withheld from the salaries of judges, family support magistrates, and compensation commissioners appointed on or after January 1, 2018, for deposit in the Judge's Retirement Fund

218 — FOUR-YEAR TERM LIMIT ON FUTURE SEBAC AGREEMENTS

Limits future SEBAC agreements to four-year terms

219 & 220 — FIREFIGHTERS' CANCER RELIEF PROGRAM FUNDING

Eliminates a requirement for the Firefighters' Cancer Relief Program to be funded through E 9-1-1 charges

221 — IMPAIRMENT OF STATE CONTRACTS

Specifies the circumstances under which state legislation may impair state contracts

222 — INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY PARTNERSHIP

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

223 — PROTOTYPE SCHOOL DESIGN STUDY

Requires the School Building Projects Advisory Council to study prototype school designs

224 — ALLIANCE DISTRICT DESIGNATION

Requires the education commissioner to designate 33 school districts as alliance districts for a period of five years (designation expired under prior law)

225-230 — REVISIONS TO EDUCATION COST SHARING (ECS) FORMULA

Revises the ECS formula, the largest form of state aid to towns, by changing several major formula components including the base aid ratio and the weighting for need students; includes a phase-in for aid increases and decreases until FY 28

231-233 — NURSING HOME AND RESIDENTIAL CARE HOME CITATIONS

Makes changes to the process for certain citations issued against nursing home facilities or residential care homes, such as modifying various deadlines

234 & 235 — CIVIL PENALTIES FOR NURSING AND RESIDENTIAL CARE HOMES

Increases the maximum civil penalty that may be imposed on nursing homes that violate statutory or regulatory requirements and expands the definition of a class B violation for nursing homes and RCHs

237-246 — SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION GRANT AUTHORIZATIONS

Authorizes 50 new school construction projects totaling $517.9 million in grants, reauthorizes three previous projects due to cost or scope changes, and makes changes affecting six other projects

247 — AGENCY PROGRAM INVENTORIES AND RESULTS FIRST PILOT PROGRAM

Makes several changes to program inventories required of certain agencies and requires the OPM secretary to create a pilot program that applies Pew-MacArthur Results First principles to at least eight state-finance grant programs

248 — 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 medical services to inmates

249 — REDUCTIONS FOR MUNICIPAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS AND HEALTH DISTRICTS

Requires DPH to reduce payments to municipal and district health departments in FY 19

250 — FISCAL STABILITY AND ECONOMIC GROWTH COMMISSION

Establishes a 14-member commission to develop and recommend policies to achieve state government fiscal stability and promote economic growth and competitiveness within the state

251 — YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM FUNDS

Allocates Youth Employment Program funds

252 — MINIMUM BUDGET REQUIREMENT

Extends the current minimum budget requirement through FY 19, along with reduction allowances and exemptions

253 — CALCULATIONS FOR EDUCATION COST SHARING (ECS) GRANT INCREASES AND DECREASES

Revises the method for determining ECS increases and decreases for towns in FYs 18 and 19

254-257 — 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 on July 1, 2019

258 — 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

259 & 260 — GRANTS TO REGIONAL COUNCILS OF GOVERNMENT (COGS)

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

261 & 262 — TORRINGTON DSS PILOT PROJECT

Allows DSS, in partnership with Torrington's community action agency, to establish a 12-month pilot project to streamline social services to eligible, low-income individuals

263 — UNLOADING AND INSPECTING ALCOHOL SHIPMENTS

Generally codifies an existing regulatory requirement that alcohol manufacturers and wholesalers inventory and unload alcohol; gives DCP oversight to ensure compliance; and deems any violation a CUTPA violation

264 — DISTRICT HEATING SYSTEM

Requires an electric company to conduct a procurement for a combined heat and power system owned by a thermal energy transportation company and compatible with a district heating system; requires the company to recover costs of the procurement from ratepayers

265 — LOCAL BUDGET AND TAX ADJUSTMENTS DUE TO DECREASED AID

Allows municipalities to amend adopted budgets and adjust tax levies if they receive less state aid than projected

266 — LOCAL BUDGET AND TAX ADJUSTMENTS DUE TO INCREASED AID

Authorizes municipalities and regional boards of education to amend adopted budgets and adjust tax levies if they receive more state aid than projected

267 — SUPERINTENDENTS FOR MULTIPLE TOWNS

Allows boards of education that share a superintendent to hold regular joint meetings at least once every two months

268-273 & 276 — CITIZENS' ELECTION PROGRAM (CEP)

Makes changes to the CEP, including establishing a grant reduction schedule; increasing the maximum individual qualifying contribution (QC) amount; and adjusting QCs for inflation

274 — SEEC

Revises SEEC's process for reviewing complaints

275 — POST-ELECTION AUDIT

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

277 — TEACHERS' RETIREMENT FUND ACTUARIAL ASSUMPTIONS STUDY

Requires the Teachers' Retirement Board to (1) study the impact of potential changes in actuarial assumptions used in the Teachers' Retirement Fund's valuation and (2) report its findings and recommendations to the legislature

278-319 & 732 — STATE DEPARTMENT ON AGING CONSOLIDATION

Consolidates the state Department on Aging (SDA) within the Department of Social Services (DSS); transfers the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program from SDA to OPM

320 — PAYMENTS FOR RETIRED TEACHERS HEALTH INSURANCE

Authorizes a reduction in state payments for FYs 18 and 19 to the Teachers' Retirement Board (TRB) for costs of retiree health plans offered by (1) the TRB and (2) local or regional boards of education

321-323 – DELINQUENCY COMMITMENTS AND JUVENILE JUSTICE SERVICES

Starting July 1, 2018, prohibits courts from committing children adjudicated delinquent to DCF; establishes transition period during which the Judicial Branch may place such a child in DCF congregate care or order DCF services; allows court-ordered facility placement for delinquent child probationary sentences; and requires the Judicial Branch to expand its juvenile justice services

324 — TWEED-NEW HAVEN AIRPORT

Earmarks funds in FYs 18 and 19 to operate Tweed-New Haven Airport

325-331 — PASSPORT TO THE PARKS

Establishes a fee on motor vehicle registrations to support a new passport to the parks account, which must be used for (1) operating state parks and campgrounds; (2) funding soil and water conservation districts and environmental review teams; and (3) beginning with FY 19, paying the expenses of the Council on Environmental Quality; exempts Connecticut motor vehicles from parking fees at state parks, forests, and recreational facilities

332 — LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL OF STATE EMPLOYEE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS

Requires the legislature to affirmatively vote in order to approve state employee collective bargaining agreements and arbitration awards; establishes caps on the time allowed to debate approval; revises the process that occurs after the legislature rejects an agreement or award

333 — FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY REPORTS

Exempts OPM and OFA from submitting annual fiscal accountability reports in November 2017

334-348 — CRUMBLING CONCRETE FOUNDATIONS

Creates a framework to assist homeowners with crumbling concrete foundations

349-376 — MUNICIPAL ACCOUNTABILITY REVIEW BOARD

Establishes a process through which financially distressed municipalities may issue deficit financing bonds and obtain state financial assistance if they submit to state fiscal oversight by the Municipal Accountability Review Board, also established by the act

377-553 — BOND AUTHORIZATIONS, ADJUSTMENTS, AND CANCELLATIONS

Authorizes up to $1.723 billion for FY 18 and $1.621 billion for FY 19 in new GO bonds for state projects and grant programs; authorizes up to $200 million for FYs 18 to 22 in new GO bonds for hospital improvements and crumbling foundations; authorizes up to $820.3 million in FY 18 and up to $824.6 million in FY 19 in new STO bonds for DOT projects; restores, reduces, or cancels bond authorizations for various projects and grants; adjusts the annual bond caps under the CSCU 2020 program and UConn 2000 programs and extends both programs; expands the purposes of funds in the Bioscience Innovation Fund; makes permanent the school security infrastructure grant program; allocates no LoCIP funds in 2017 and $55 million in 2018; and authorizes certain transportation funding agreements with the federal government and the issuance of “federal transportation bonds”

554 — INTERRUPTIBLE GAS SERVICE FOR CERTAIN MANUFACTURING FACILITIES

Requires gas companies to propose a new rate for certain manufacturers that do not qualify for interruptible service rates

555 — CONSUMER DATA PRIVACY WORKING GROUP

Establishes an eight-member working group on consumer data privacy and requires the group to report its findings and recommendations to the legislature by January 15, 2018

556 — TAXES OWED ON MOTOR VEHICLES REGISTERED OUT OF STATE

Establishes a procedure by which local tax assessors receive information about motor vehicles registered in other states in order to add such vehicles to grand lists

558 & 572 — HOME HEALTH CARE ADD-ON PAYMENTS

Allows DSS to eliminate home health care add-on payments for FYs 18 and 19, conforming to current practice

559, 586 & 587 — TEACHER CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM (TRS)

Starting in 2018, increases teachers' regular contribution rate to TRS from 6% to 7%; requires the Teachers' Retirement Board (TRB) to recalculate the amount the state must contribute to TRS in FYs 18 and 19 due to this increase but assume the 6% contribution rate starting in FY 20

560-562 — 90-DAY TURNAROUND FOR CERTAIN PERMITS

Deems certain state agency permit applications approved if the relevant agency does not make a determination on them within 90 days after receiving them

563-565 — RENTERS' REBATE PROGRAM

Makes municipalities, instead of the state, responsible for grants under the Renters' Rebate Program

566 & 567 — PREVAILING WAGE

Increases prevailing wage thresholds for new public works projects; temporarily exempts certain projects in New Haven County from prevailing wage requirements; and applies prevailing wage requirements to certain DECD-funded projects

569 — STATE SUPPLEMENT PROGRAM (SSP)

Extends freeze on SSP rates and eliminates unearned income disregard for SSI COLAs

570 & 571 — MEDICAID PRESCRIPTION DRUG REIMBURSEMENT

Eliminates statutory requirements for calculating drug and fee payments; requires DSS to revise reimbursement methodology and professional dispensing fees; requires DSS to submit proposed revisions to legislative committees

573 — PRIORITY SCHOOL DISTRICT (PSD) GRANTS

Distributes PSD grants for FYs 18 and 19

574 — EDUCATION GRANT EARMARKS

Earmarks up to $1.6 million of SDE appropriations in FYs 18 & 19 for various education-related grants

575-582 — EDUCATION GRANT CAPS

Reinstates prior law's caps on certain education grants to school districts and regional education service centers through FY 19

583 & 584 — CHARTER SCHOOL GRANTS

Increases the per pupil grants for state charter schools by $250 beginning in FY 19 and requires state and local charter school grants to be paid directly to the schools' fiscal authorities, rather than the towns

585 — MAGNET SCHOOL GRANTS

Renews the prioritization for per-student grant payments for magnet school enrollment increases and allows RESC-operated magnets outside of the Sheff region to be eligible for a higher per-student grant

588 — MASHANTUCKET PEQUOT AND MOHEGAN FUND GRANTS

Allocates the total grant amounts paid to municipalities from the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Fund for FYs 18 and 19

589 — MUNICIPAL STABILIZATION GRANTS

Establishes a new municipal stabilization grant for FYs 18 and 19

590 — MUNICIPAL REVENUE SHARING GRANTS

Eliminates the municipal revenue sharing grants for all but five municipalities and specifies their amounts for FYs 18 and 19

591 & 592 —PAYMENT IN LIEU OF TAXES (PILOT) GRANTS

Allocates supplemental PILOT grant amounts for FYs 18 and 19

601-617 — HOSPITAL PROVIDER TAX AND USER FEES ON NURSING HOMES AND INTERMEDIATE CARE FACILITIES

Beginning July 1, 2017, sunsets the prior tax on hospitals and user fees on nursing homes and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and reestablishes them as a new tax and fee structure

618, 620 & 621 — HOSPITAL SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS

Establishes various supplemental pools for hospital Medicaid payments and a payment schedule; requires payments in the aggregate to be approximately $598 million in FY 18 and $496 million in FY 19; allows DSS to make advance payments to certain hospitals; and limits the governor's rescission authority for supplemental payments in FYs 18 and 19

619 — MEDICAID RATES FOR HOSPITALS

Requires DSS to (1) increase hospital Medicaid rates such that affected hospitals receive $140.1 million more for inpatient services and $35 million more for outpatient services and (2) establish the increased rates as a lower limit for FY 19 and subsequent years

622-625 — INSURANCE PREMIUMS TAX

Reduces, from 1.75% to 1.5%, the insurance premiums tax rate and makes the tax credit cap for insurance premiums taxpayers permanent

626 — FILM AND DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION TAX CREDITS

Permanently bars the issuance of film and digital media tax credits to certain motion pictures; allows the credits to be used against the gross receipts tax on cable, satellite, and competitive video services

627 — ADMISSIONS TAX

Eliminates certain admissions tax exemptions

628-630 — CIGARETTE TAX

Increases the cigarette tax from $3.90 to $4.35 per pack; reduces, by 50%, the cigarette tax on “modified risk tobacco products;” imposes a per pack $0.45 floor tax on unsold inventory

631 — TOBACCO PRODUCTS TAX

Increases the tax on snuff tobacco products from $1 to $3 per ounce; lowers, by 50%, the tobacco products tax on “modified risk tobacco products”

632-636 — ESTATE AND GIFT TAX

Increases the estate and gift tax threshold over three years; modifies the rate schedule for estates and gifts over $5.1 million; lowers, from $20 million to $15 million, the cap on the maximum estate and gift tax imposed; makes minor and technical changes to the estate tax

637 & 638 — REGIONAL PLANNING INCENTIVE ACCOUNT

Suspends the revenue diversion to the Regional Planning Incentive Account for FYs 18 and 19

637 & 638 — MUNICIPAL REVENUE SHARING ACCOUNT (MRSA) DIVERSION

Suspends the sales tax revenue diversion to MRSA for FYs 18 and 19

637 & 638 — SALES AND USE TAX REVENUE DIVERSION FROM CERTAIN MOTOR VEHICLE SALES

Beginning in FY 21, phases in, over five years, a revenue diversion to the STF of sales and use tax revenue from motor vehicle sales

637 & 639 — TOURISM FUND

Transfers 10% of room occupancy tax revenue to a new Tourism Fund

640 — SALES AND USE TAX ON SERVICES RENDERED BETWEEN PARENT COMPANIES AND SUBSIDIARIES

Expands the number of affiliated businesses that qualify for the sales and use tax exemption on sales of services between affiliates

641 & 642 — INCOME TAX DEDUCTIONS

Increases the income thresholds for the Social Security income tax exemption; delays, by two years, the scheduled increase in the teacher pension income tax exemption; phases out, from 2019 through 2025, the income tax on pension and annuity income for taxpayers with incomes below a specified threshold; establishes a deduction of up to $10,000 for expenses related to donating an organ for transplants occurring on or after January 1, 2017

643 — STATE EMPLOYEE PAID LEAVE AFTER ORGAN DONATION

Allows state employees to take, in addition to other authorized leave, (1) seven days of paid leave for donating bone marrow and (2) 15 days of paid leave for certain organ donations

644 — PROPERTY TAX CREDIT

Limits eligibility for the property tax credit against the personal income tax to seniors and taxpayers with dependents

645 — EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT

Reduces the earned income tax credit (EITC) from 30% to 23%

646 — REDUCTION OF THE ANNUAL AMOUNT OF TAX CREDITS AVAILABLE UNDER THE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSISTANCE ACT (NAA) PROGRAM

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

647 — GREEN BUILDING TAX CREDIT

Eliminates the green building tax credit beginning December 1, 2017

648 — STEM GRADUATE TAX CREDIT

Creates a refundable personal income tax credit for qualifying college graduates in STEM fields that live and work in Connecticut

649-652 — FANTASY CONTESTS

Specifically legalizes, once certain conditions are met, fantasy contests; requires fantasy contest operators to provide certain consumer protections to players and pay up to a $15,000 registration fee and 10.5% tax on fantasy games

653 — 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

654 — TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY (TNC) FEE

Requires TNCs to pay a 25-cent fee on each ride originating in Connecticut

655 — MMCT LOAN

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

656 — FRESH START PROGRAM

Authorizes the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) commissioner to establish a fresh start program for qualified taxpayers who owe Connecticut state taxes

657 — TRANSFERS FROM NONAPPROPRIATED ACCOUNTS

Allows OPM to transfer funds from certain nonappropriated accounts to the General Fund for FY 19

658 — TAX EXPENDITURE EVALUATION

Requires the OPM secretary to examine and report on state tax expenditures

659 — STATE AGENCIES TO REVIEW FEES

Requires (1) agency heads to determine whether the fees their agencies charge cover program administration costs and (2) OPM to recommend fee increases to the legislature

660 — REDUCING CONNECTICUT LOTTERY CORPORATION (CLC) EXPENSES

Requires CLC to reduce its expenses for the next two fiscal years

661 — CORPORATION INCOME TAX DEDUCTION FOR CERTAIN PUBLICLY-TRADED COMPANIES (FAS 109 DEDUCTION)

Extends, from seven to 30 years, the period over which certain publicly traded companies may claim the FAS 109 deduction

662 — CONNECTICUT TELEVISION NETWORK (CT-N) REDUCTION

Reduces by half the amount of specified tax revenue that must be reserved for CT-N

663 & 664 — TOBACCO SETTLEMENT FUND DISBURSEMENTS

Suspends, for FYs 18 and 19, disbursements from the Tobacco Settlement Fund to the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund and the Smart Start competitive operating grant account

665 — DOCUMENT RECORDING FEE

Increases, from $3 to $10, the document recording fee charged to generate revenue for preserving historic documents and modifies the fee revenue distribution

666 — RECORD CHECK FEE INCREASES

Increases, by $25, fees for certain record searches

 667 — MOTOR VEHICLE TRADE-IN FEE

Requires the DMV commissioner to charge new and used car dealers $35 for each motor vehicle they accept as a trade-in

668-670 — REGISTRATION FEE INCREASES FOR BROKER-DEALERS AND INVESTMENT ADVISERS

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

671 — EMISSIONS ENTERPRISE FUND

Reduces, by $250,000, the amount of money the comptroller must transfer quarterly from the Special Transportation Fund to the Emissions Enterprise Fund

672 — DIVERSION OF AVIATION FUEL TAX REVENUE

Diverts a portion of revenue from the petroleum products gross earnings tax (PGET) on aviation fuel to a new “Connecticut airport and aviation account” to be used for airport-related purposes

673 — HIGHWAY RIGHT-OF-WAY ENCROACHMENT PERMIT FEES

Requires the DOT commissioner, by January 1, 2018, to set fees for certain applications for highway right-of way encroachment permits to mirror the fees the Massachusetts DOT charges for similar permits; eliminates the commissioner's authority to adopt regulations setting fees for other highway right-of-way encroachment permit applications

674 & 675 — URGENT CARE CENTERS AND OUTPATIENT CLINICS

Requires urgent care centers to be licensed as outpatient clinics starting April 1, 2018 and authorizes DSS to establish payment rates for these centers; requires outpatient clinics to renew their license every three years instead of every four years

676 — SAFE DRINKING WATER PRIMACY ASSESSMENT FOR FY 19

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

677 — SAFE DRINKING WATER PRIMACY ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY

Requires DPH to develop a methodology for a safe drinking water primacy assessment on community water systems and transient and non-transient non-community water systems

678 & 728 — NEWBORN SCREENING ACCOUNT

Eliminates, on July 1, 2018, the newborn screening account and transfers any money from it into the General Fund for DPH to use for newborn health screening services in FY 18

679 — MUNICIPAL VIDEO COMPETITION TRUST ACCOUNT

Beginning in FY 18, increases by $2 million the annual transfer from the municipal video competition trust account to the General Fund

680 — PUBLIC, EDUCATIONAL, AND GOVERNMENTAL PROGRAMMING AND EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENT ACCOUNT

Beginning in FY 18, requires $3.5 million to be transferred to the General Fund each fiscal year from the Public, Educational, and Governmental Programming and Education Technology Investment Account (PEGPETIA)

681-698 — TRANSFERS TO GENERAL FUND

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

699 & 700 — MOTOR VEHICLE MILL RATE CAP AND PROPERTY TAX APPEALS

Increases the cap on motor vehicle mill rates and allows municipalities that previously set their motor vehicle mill rate for the 2016 assessment year to change it; requires boards to hear car tax appeals before December 15, 2017

701-703 — 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

704, 707, 708 & 729 — BUDGET RESERVE FUND (BRF)

Diverts specified income tax revenue exceeding a $3.15 billion threshold to the BRF; increases the BRF's maximum balance, from 10% to 15% of net General Fund appropriations and expands its allowable uses; and repeals provisions, previously scheduled to take effect July 1, 2019, establishing a mechanism for diverting to the BRF projected surpluses in certain revenue

705 — CAP ON GENERAL FUND AND SPECIAL TRANSPORTATION FUND (STF) APPROPRIATIONS

Beginning FY 20, imposes a new cap on General Fund and STF appropriations but allows the General Assembly to exceed it under certain circumstances

706 — BOND COVENANT TIED TO BRF, SPENDING CAP, AND GO BOND CAP LAWS

Requires certain state bonds to include a pledge to bondholders that the state will comply with the BRF law, spending caps, and GO and credit revenue bond caps, except under limited circumstances

709 — SPENDING CAP CALCULATION

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

710-712 — CAP ON GENERAL OBLIGATION (GO) AND CREDIT REVENUE BOND ALLOCATIONS, ISSUANCES, AND SPENDING

Imposes caps on GO and credit revenue bond allocations, issuances, and spending, with certain exclusions

713 — COMPTROLLER'S ANALYSIS OF OPM MONTHLY STATEMENTS

Requires the comptroller to analyze OPM's monthly revenue and expenditure statements

714-716 — CREDIT REVENUE BOND PROGRAM

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

717-726 — REVENUE ESTIMATES

Adopts revenue estimates for FYs 18 and 19 for appropriated state funds

727 — PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND

Requires that the fund's balance at the end of FY 17 remain in the fund

730 — REPEALING A BRIDGE NAME

Repeals a provision of PA 17-230 naming bridge number 01592 in Ansonia the “Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Bridge”

1-10 — FY 18 AND FY 19 APPROPRIATIONS

Appropriates money for state agency operations and programs for FYs 18 and 19

The act appropriates money for state agency operations and programs in FYs 18 and 19. Table 1 shows the net annual appropriations for each year from each appropriated fund.

Table 1: FY 18 and FY 19 Net Appropriations by Fund

Fund

Net Appropriation

FY 18

FY 19

1

General Fund*

$18,738,791,590

$18,907,409,174

2

Special Transportation Fund (STF)

1,510,906,625

1,628,068,939

3

Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Fund

57,649,850

49,942,796

4

Regional Market Operation Fund

1,067,306

1,067,306

5

Banking Fund

27,413,284

27,386,848

6

Insurance Fund**

87,299,099

92,100,163

7

Consumer Counsel and Public Utility Control Fund

25,571,954

25,571,954

8

Workers' Compensation Fund

24,652,430

24,940,502

9

Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund

2,934,088

2,934,088

10

Tourism Fund***

--

12,644,988

*PA 17-4, JSS ( 16) reduces total General Fund appropriations to $18,690,090,670 in FY 18 and $18,790,627,454 in FY 19.

**PA 17-4, JSS ( 17) increases total Insurance Fund appropriations to $90,234,868 in FY 18 and $95,035,932 in FY 19.

***Section 639 of this act establishes the Tourism Fund.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

11 & 557 — PASSPORT TO PARKS ACCOUNT TRANSFERS

Earmarks funds from the account for specified environmental purposes

For FYs 18 and 19, the act earmarks, from the Passport to the Parks account (established in 331), $400,000 for soil and water conservation districts and $253,000 for environmental review teams. (Section 557 contains an identical provision.)

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

12-16 & 28 — SPENDING REDUCTIONS AND BUDGETED LAPSES

Authorizes the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary to reduce allotments for state agencies and funds in order to achieve specified savings and budgeted lapses

Labor-Management Savings ( 12)

The act requires a General Fund lapse in each year of the biennium for achieved labor concessions ($700 million in FY 18 and $867.6 million in FY 19) (see 1). In order to achieve these savings, the act allows the OPM secretary to reduce allotments in any budgeted state agency and fund to reduce labor-management spending by these same amounts. In doing so, the act supersedes laws that, among other things:

1. require the state budget act to specify budgeted reductions by branch of government (CGS 2-35);

2. require OPM, when preparing the governor's budget recommendations for submission to the legislature, to include the expenditure estimates for the legislative branch, Judicial Department, and Public Defenders Services Division submitted by each respective agency ( 4-73); and

3. authorize the higher education constituent units to establish and administer operating funds ( 10a-77, 10a-99, 10a-105, and 10a-143).

Under the act, any allotment reductions applied to the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, UConn, or the UConn Health Center must be credited to the General Fund.

Unallocated Budgeted Lapses by Branch ( 13)

For FYs 18 and 19, the act authorizes the OPM secretary to reduce allotments for each branch of government in order to achieve unallocated lapses in the General Fund (see Table 2). Under the act, the legislative reductions must be determined by the top six legislative leaders, and judicial reductions must be determined by the chief justice and chief public defender.

Table 2: FY 18 and FY 19 General Fund Spending Reductions by Branch

Branch

FY 18

FY 19

Executive

$ 42,250,000

$ 45,000,000*

Judicial

3,000,000

8,000,000

Legislative

1,000,000

1,000,000

* The act includes an unallocated lapse of $51,765,570 in executive branch expenditures for FY 19 (see 1), but only authorizes $45 million in corresponding allotment reductions.

Budgeted Savings ( 14 & 28)

The act authorizes the OPM secretary to reduce spending in any budgeted state agency to achieve targeted budget savings in the General Fund. These amounts correspond to budgeted lapses designated as “Targeted Savings” and “Statewide Hiring Reduction” in 1 (see Table 3).

Table 3: FY 18 and FY 19 Budgeted Savings

Lapse

FY 18

FY 19

14

Targeted Savings

$111,814,090

$150,878,179

28

Hiring Reduction

6,500,000

7,000,000

Budget Savings to Reflect Delays in Policy Implementation ( 15)

The act authorizes the OPM secretary to reduce allotments in any budgeted agency to achieve $7.5 million in General Fund budget savings in FY 18. Under the act, any such reductions must be due to savings (1) achieved between July 1, 2017 and September 30, 2017 or (2) that result from the delay in implementing newly funded programs.

STF Unallocated Lapse ( 16)

For FYs 18 and 19, the act allows the OPM secretary to reduce allotments in any budgeted state agency to achieve STF savings of $12 million in each year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

17 — APPROPRIATIONS FOR NONFUNCTIONAL – CHANGE TO ACCRUALS

Prohibits the OPM secretary from allotting funds to such line item accounts

The act bars the OPM secretary from allotting funds for the Nonfunctional – Change to Accruals line item accounts in each of the state's 10 appropriated funds, regardless of the law requiring the governor, through OPM, to allot appropriations before they can be spent. These line items represent the change to accruals in agency budgets due to the conversion to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)-based budgeting.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

18 — AUTHORITY TO TRANSFER FUNDS TO AND FROM THE RESERVE FOR SALARY ADJUSTMENTS ACCOUNT

Allows the OPM secretary to transfer specified funds to implement and account for adjustments to various personal services expenses

The act authorizes the OPM secretary to transfer:

1. personal services appropriations in any appropriated fund from agencies to the Reserve for Salary Adjustments account to reflect more accurately collective bargaining and related costs and

2. General Fund appropriations for Reserve for Salary Adjustments to any agency in any appropriated fund to implement salary increases; other employee benefits; agency costs related to staff reductions, including accrual payments; or any other authorized personal service adjustment.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

19 — COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT COSTS

Carries forward the unexpended portion of appropriated funds that relate to collective bargaining agreements and related costs and requires the funds to be used for the same purposes in FYs 18 and 19

The act carries forward the unexpended funds appropriated for FY 17 that relate to collective bargaining agreements and related costs, as determined by the OPM secretary, and requires the funds to be used for the same purpose in FYs 18 and 19. It also carries forward the same unexpended funds appropriated for FY 18 and requires the funds to be used for the same purpose in FY 19.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

20 & 21 — APPROPRIATION TRANSFERS AND ADJUSTMENTS TO MAXIMIZE FEDERAL MATCHING FUNDS

Authorizes the governor, subject to specified conditions, to transfer or adjust agency appropriations to maximize federal matching funds

The act allows the governor, with the Finance Advisory Committee's (FAC) approval, to transfer all or part of an agency's appropriation at the agency's request to another agency to take advantage of federal matching funds. Under the act, both agencies must certify that the receiving agency will spend the transferred appropriation for its original purpose. Federal funds generated from such transfers can be used to reimburse General Fund spending, expand services, or both, as the governor, with FAC approval, determines.

The act also allows the governor, with FAC approval, to adjust agency appropriations to maximize federal funding to the state. The governor must report on any adjustment to the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

22 & 24 — TRANSFERS TO MEDICAID ACCOUNT

Authorizes the OPM secretary to transfer certain funds to the Department of Social Services' Medicaid account to maximize federal reimbursement

The act allows the OPM secretary to transfer all or part of any General Fund appropriation for the UConn Health Center or the Department of Veterans Affairs to DSS's Medicaid account to maximize federal reimbursement.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

23 — DSS PAYMENTS TO DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION SERVICES (DMHAS) HOSPITALS

Specifies how (1) DSS must spend appropriations for certain DMHAS hospital payments and (2) DMHAS hospitals must use the funds they receive from DMHAS

The act requires DSS to (1) spend money appropriated to it for FYs 18 and 19 for DMHAS – Disproportionate Share payments when and in the amounts OPM specifies and (2) make disproportionate share payments to DMHAS hospitals for operating expenses and related fringe benefits. It requires the hospitals to (1) use the funds they receive from DMHAS for fringe benefits to reimburse the comptroller and (2) deposit the other DMHAS funds they receive into “grants – other than federal accounts.” Unspent disproportionate share funds in these accounts lapse at the end of each fiscal year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

25 — BIRTH-TO-THREE PROGRAM

Requires SDE to transfer certain federal special education funds to OEC for the Birth-to-Three Program

For FYs 18 and 19, the act requires SDE to transfer $1 million of the federal special education funds it receives each year to the Office of Early Childhood for the Birth-To-Three Program to carry out federally required special education responsibilities. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

26 — DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (DCF)-LICENSED PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT FACILITIES

Suspends rate adjustments for DCF-licensed private residential treatment facilities

For FYs 18 and 19, the act suspends per diem and other rate adjustments for private residential treatment facilities licensed by DCF.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

27 — DDS AND DMHAS COST SETTLEMENTS WITH PRIVATE AND NONPROFIT PROVIDERS

Requires certain private and nonprofit providers to reimburse these agencies for the difference between actual costs and the amount received from the agencies

During FYs 18 and 19, the act requires private and nonprofit organizations providing services under contract with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) or DMHAS to reimburse these agencies at 100%, or an alternate amount identified by the DDS or DMHAS commissioners and approved by the OPM secretary, of the difference between the actual expenses incurred and the amount the organization received from these agencies under the contract.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

29 — XL CENTER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP)

Requires Hartford to issue an RFP for the purchase of the XL Center

By June 30, 2019, the act requires Hartford to issue an RFP for the purchase of the civic center and coliseum complex (i.e., XL Center) in Hartford.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

30 & 31 — TOBACCO HEALTH AND TRUST FUND (THTF) TRANSFERS

Transfers funds from the THTF for various purposes

The act transfers $750,000 in each of FY 18 and FY 19 from the THTF to DSS to implement recommendations from a study on enhancements and improvements to supports and services for individuals with autism and their families. It also transfers $1 million in each of FY 18 and FY 19 from the THTF to UConn to support the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

32 — EVEN START AND TWO-GENERATIONAL INITIATIVE

Specifies that it is intended that Even Start be integrated into OEC's two-generational initiative

The act specifies that it is intended that Even Start be integrated into the coordinated state planning and implementation of the Office of Early Childhood's (OEC) statewide, two-generational initiative.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

33 — FAMILY RESOURCE CENTERS

Requires certain municipalities to close one family resource center and provides grants to those centers existing on January 1, 2018

Closing Centers in Certain Municipalities

By December 31, 2017, the act requires any municipality with more than one family resource center in its public schools established under the state's family resource center program to close one of the centers.

Grants

Under the act, each center existing on January 1, 2018 must receive a $100,000 grant in each of FY 18 and FY 19 from the appropriation to SDE for family resource centers. The act establishes the “family resource center grant account” as a separate, nonlapsing General Fund account and requires the account to contain all funds required by law to be deposited into it.

Under the act, any amount remaining from SDE's family resource center appropriation after distributing grants to centers must be deposited into the account. SDE must use the account funds in FYs 18 and 19 to establish a competitive grant program for family resource centers. Under the act, centers may apply for a grant from the program in the manner and at a time determined by the education commissioner.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

34 & 35 — MUNICIPAL GAMING ACCOUNT AND GRANTS TO MUNICIPALITIES

Increases the amount of gaming revenue that must be deposited into the municipal gaming account and provides grants from the account to four additional towns

PA 17-89 establishes conditions under which MMCT Venture, LLC may operate an off-reservation commercial casino gaming facility in the state and requires it to pay the state 25% of the gross gaming revenue from video facsimile games once the casino is operational. The act increases, from $4.5 million to $7.5 million, the amount of such revenue that must be annually deposited in the municipal gaming account. The act also adds four towns, Bridgeport, New Haven, Norwalk, and Waterbury, to the list of towns receiving annual $750,000 grants from the account. PA 17-89 provides grants from the account to East Hartford, Ellington, Enfield, Hartford, South Windsor, and Windsor Locks. By law, the grants are reduced proportionately in any fiscal year that the total grant amount exceeds the available funds.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

36 — INFORMATION ON APPROPRIATIONS FOR VARIOUS IMMUNIZATION-RELATED PURPOSES

Extends by two months the date by which the OPM secretary must provide certain information to the insurance commissioner

For FY 18, the act extends, from September 1, 2018, to November 1, 2018, the date by which the OPM secretary must inform the insurance commissioner of the amounts appropriated for various immunization-related purposes. The commissioner uses the information to determine the health and welfare fee insurers must pay each year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

37 — RECONCILE APPROPRIATIONS WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER

Authorizes OPM to transfer funds to reconcile this act's appropriations with those in the governor's executive order

The act allows the OPM secretary, with FAC approval, to transfer appropriations between budgeted agencies in FY 18 in order to reconcile the act's appropriations with those made in Governor Malloy's Executive Order 58.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

38 — FEDERAL REIMBURSEMENT FOR DSS, DCF, AND JUDICIAL BRANCH PROGRAMS

Allows DSS, DCF, and the Judicial Branch to establish receivables for anticipated reimbursement from approved projects in certain circumstances

For FYs 18 and 19, the act allows DSS, DCF, and the Judicial Branch to establish receivables for anticipated reimbursement from approved projects, as long as they do so (1) with OPM's approval and (2) in compliance with any U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-approved advanced planning document. Generally, establishing receivables (i.e., an amount due from another source) allows the agencies to make payments before receiving the federal reimbursement.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

39 — OUTPATIENT CLINIC LICENSE RENEWAL

Increases the frequency of outpatient clinic license renewal and makes a conforming change

The act increases the frequency of license renewal for outpatient clinics from every four years to every three years. It specifies that the fee applies to outpatient clinics that provide urgent care services, conforming to another provision ( 674) that requires urgent care centers to be licensed as outpatient clinics starting April 1, 2018. (Section 675 contains the same provisions as section 39, effective December 1, 2017.)

As under prior law, there is a $1,000 licensing fee for outpatient clinics except those operated by municipal health departments or districts or licensed nonprofit nursing or community health agencies.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

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

Extends the TFA and SAGA freeze for an additional two years, FYs 18 and 19

The act extends for the next two fiscal years (FYs 18 and 19) a freeze on payment standards (i.e., benefits) for DSS's TFA and SAGA cash assistance programs at FY 15 rates. The law generally requires the DSS commissioner to raise the payment standards by the increase in the consumer price index for urban consumers (a measure of inflation) but changes to the law have frequently prohibited this increase.

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

41 — BOARDING HOME RATES

Freezes, with exceptions, rates paid by DSS to certain boarding homes

For FYs 18 and 19, the act 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 act allows these rates to exceed the FY 17 level only for capital improvements made in FY 18 or FY 19 and approved by DDS, in consultation with DSS, for residents' health and safety.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

41, 42 & 43 — RESIDENTIAL CARE HOMES, COMMUNITY LIVING ARRANGEMENTS, AND COMMUNITY COMPANION HOMES

Freezes rates for residential services at certain facilities through FY 19

Under the act, 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 received 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 based on a flat rate rather than submitted cost reports.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

44 — CAP ON RESIDENTIAL CARE HOME RATES

Caps residential care home rates with certain exceptions

For FYs 18 and 19, the act caps rates for residential care homes at FY 17 and 18 levels, respectively, with an exception for homes that receive certain proportional fair rent increases. The act 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 or September 30, 2017, respectively, and (2) that are not otherwise included in the issued rates.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

45 & 46 — MEDICAID NURSING HOME RATES

Limits nursing home Medicaid rates with certain exceptions, reverses a recent rate decrease for certain homes, and lowers the minimum occupancy for purpose 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 act 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 act also reverses a rate decrease for facilities that received a rate decrease due to a 2015 fair rent asset expiring.

For FY 18, the act 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 act 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% of licensed capacity so that homes with more empty beds receive lower rates than higher occupancy homes. The act lowers the licensed capacity used for this calculation from 95 to 90% for FY 14 and succeeding fiscal years. (In practice, DSS has used a 90% occupancy rate since FY 14.)

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

47 — 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 act caps Medicaid 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 act 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

48 — 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 act suspends rate adjustments, including adjustments to allowable daily payments, for DCF-licensed private residential treatment facilities in FYs 18 and 19.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

49 — LIMIT ON NONEMERGENCY ADULT DENTAL SERVICES

Caps payment for nonemergency dental services for adults at $1,000 per calendar year

The act caps DSS's Medicaid payments for nonemergency adult dental services at $1,000 per calendar year per individual, but excludes from this cap medically necessary services, including dentures.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018

50 — MEDICARE SAVINGS PROGRAM

Reduces income eligibility for the Medicare Savings Program

The act reduces eligibility for each of the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) tiers (see below) by lowering income limits as a percentage of the federal poverty level (FPL)(see Table 4). The act also makes a conforming change to require that DSS post regulations on its website and on the eRegulations system rather than in the Connecticut Law Journal.

Table 4: MSP Income Limits

MSP

Program Tier

Cost-Sharing Payments Covered

Prior Law

Under the Act

Income Limit (% FPL)

Annual Income Limit* (Individual)

Income Limit (% FPL)

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%-120%

14,472

Qualified Individual (QI)

Medicare Part B Premium

231%-246%

29,668

120%-135%

16,281


* Income limit calculations are based on 2017 FPL values. FPL values change annually.

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

51-54 — MEDICAID AND SPECIAL EDUCATION

Requires boards of education to enroll as Medicaid providers, participate in DSS's Medicaid School Based Child Health Program, and submit billable service information to DSS

The act requires each local and regional board of education, by December 1, 2017, to (1) enroll as a Medicaid provider, (2) participate in DSS's Medicaid School Based Child Health Program (SBCH), and (3) submit billable service information electronically to DSS or its billing agent. It also makes technical changes.

Third-Party Agreement

The act allows any local or regional board of education to contract with a third-party vendor or other local or regional board of education to comply with the above requirements. The contracts may require costs for the contracted services to be paid from, and contingent on sufficient receipt of, the grants DSS makes by law to boards of education based on their Medicaid claims for certain special education services.

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

SBCH Program

In Connecticut, the SBCH Program is the mechanism by which a school district may seek federal Medicaid reimbursement for many of the covered special education services (e.g. assessment and occupational therapy) that are provided to an eligible student with disabilities pursuant to his or her individualized education plan. The act requires, rather than allows, local and regional boards of education to determine a child's Medicaid enrollment status. It also requires planning and placement teams to comply with federal requirements (34 C.F.R. 300.154) (e.g., parental consent and written notification) prior to billing for services under the SBCH Program. In addition, the act requires private schools, hospitals, and other institutions that provide special education instruction under an agreement with a local or regional board of education to submit to the board all documentation required to submit claims to the SBCH Program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

55 — SPECIAL TRANSPORTATION FUND (STF)

Removes the requirement that remaining STF funds, after first being used for other specified obligations, pay for DSS's transportation to work program

By law, money in the STF must be used first for debt service on special tax obligation bonds and to pay for certain transportation projects. The act eliminates a requirement that remaining STF funds pay for DSS's transportation for employment independence program. Existing law, unchanged by the act, requires that such funds also be appropriated to pay for (1) general obligation bonds issued for transportation projects, (2) Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) budget appropriations, and (3) Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) boating regulation and enforcement.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

56 — DAS CANDIDATE LISTS

Allows DAS to extend candidate lists through the end of 2018

The act allows the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) commissioner to continue or extend, through December 31, 2018, any candidate list 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. The lists must generally remain in force for at least three months, but not more than one year, unless the commissioner grants an exception under certain circumstances.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

57 — TECHNICAL CHANGES BY THE LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS' OFFICE (LCO)

Requires that LCO, as part of its codification, make necessary technical, grammatical, and punctuation changes in the act's text

The act requires LCO, when codifying the act's provisions, to make the technical, grammatical, and punctuation changes necessary to carry out the act's purposes. Among other things, these changes may include correcting inaccurate internal references.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

58 — 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 the transportation commissioner to develop, and obtain legislative approval for, a method to evaluate “transportation projects” and use this method to evaluate these projects before seeking funding from the legislature for them.

Under PA 17-192, a transportation project included a transportation planning or capital project, begun by the state on or after July 1, 2018, that (1) is estimated to cost $150 million or more or (2) expands capacity on a limited access highway, transit or railroad system, or parking facility.

This act specifically excludes from the definition of “transportation project” and therefore from PA 17-192's evaluation requirements, any project begun on or after July 1, 2018 that (1) the commissioner finds necessary to maintain the state's infrastructure in good repair and (2) is estimated to cost less than $150 million.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

59 — TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM (TRS) VIABILITY COMMISSION

Establishes a commission and requires the state to contract with a consulting firm to develop and implement a plan to maintain TRS's financial viability

The act establishes the TRS Viability Commission, consisting of Teachers' Retirement Board members and a global consulting firm with significant experience and expertise in human resources, talent development, and health and retirement benefits and investments.

The commission must develop and implement a plan to maintain TRS's financial viability. In developing the plan, the commission must hold at least one public hearing and solicit the input of TRS members (i.e., participating Connecticut teachers). It must also consider the state's financial capability, including the state's:

1. fiscal health;

2. Budget Reserve Fund balance;

3. long- and short-term liabilities, including its ability to meet minimum funding levels required by law, contract, or court order;

4. initial budgeted revenue compared to actual revenue received for the previous five fiscal years;

5. revenue projections for the fiscal years during the proposed plan's term;

6. economic outlook; and

7. access to capital markets.

The act specifies that the state's financial capability does not include its ability to raise revenue through new or increased taxes.

The commission must submit the plan and any proposed legislation for implementing it to the Education and Appropriations committees within 90 days after contracting with a consulting firm (see below). The commission must terminate within one year after it submits the plan.

Contracting with a Consulting Firm

The act establishes a process for selecting and contracting with a consulting firm for the commission. Within 60 days after the act takes effect, the OPM secretary must, within available appropriations, contract with a global consulting firm with significant experience and expertise in human resources, talent development, and health and retirement benefits and investments. If he does not do so within 60 days, then the Office of Legislative Management (OLM) must do so.

The OPM secretary or OLM executive director, as applicable, must identify candidates with significant experience to undertake the act's required duties through the solicitation of qualifications and any other factors that may bear on the ability to perform the duties. Each solicitation and response must be written. The secretary or executive director must select a contractor from at least four eligible candidates. (The act does not specify what happens if fewer than four contractors respond to the solicitation.) Under the act, any resulting contract is not subject to (1) the state law on state consultants and personal services agreements and (2) state purchasing laws or laws under the State Contracting Standards Board's jurisdiction.

If the OPM secretary contracts with a firm, the act requires the governor, with the Finance Advisory Committee's approval, to transfer to OPM any funds appropriated to OLM for the contract. If OLM contracts with a firm, OLM must retain the funds appropriated for the contract. The act also allows the state to accept gifts, grants, and donations for purposes of contracting with the consulting firm. However, it may not accept these from any candidate that also submits a bid for the contract.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

60 — UCONN HEALTH CENTER PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

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

The act 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 Appropriations, Higher Education, and Public Health committees on the status of the partnerships and any recommended legislation.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

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

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

For the school years beginning July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018, the act prohibits Sheff host magnet school operators from charging school districts tuition for their students who attend the magnet school. The ban, which had been in place for years, expired at the end of the school year beginning July 1, 2016.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

62-67, 83, 236 — CHANGES TO THE SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM

Makes numerous changes to the school construction grant program, including altering how reimbursement rates are determined, requiring additional application information, expanding the types of projects eligible for emergency grants, and increasing the amount the state must withhold pending a final audit

The act makes numerous changes to the school construction grant program. This includes altering how school construction reimbursement rates are determined, requiring additional information with each application, expanding the types of projects eligible for emergency grants, increasing the amount of money the state must withhold pending a final audit, and changing the definition of a renovation project.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Three-Year Average for Determining School Construction Reimbursement Rates ( 83)

The act requires the DAS 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. She must do this for grant applications made on or after July 1, 2017. AENGL per capita is a measure of property wealth in a town.

School Construction Applications and DAS Report to the Legislature ( 236)

The act expands the information that must be provided to the legislature in the school construction project approval process. Under prior law, the DAS commissioner had to provide a review of the student enrollment projections for each project on the school construction priority list she submits to the legislature, governor, and OPM secretary every December. The act 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 before submitting the school construction application;

5. enrollment and capacity information for all of the board's schools for the five years prior to application and an enrollment projection 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.

Emergency Construction Grants ( 62)

The act expands the types of projects eligible for emergency construction grants and requires school districts to follow certain procedures in order to receive the grants. (Unlike priority list projects, these do not require legislative approval.)

Project Types. By law, emergency grants can be made for certain reasons, such as to correct safety, health, and other code violations; replace roofs; and make repairs due to fire damage or other catastrophe. The act broadens the roof replacement provision to include replacement or installation of skylights. It also allows such grants for (1) installation of exterior wall and attic insulation 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 act, a superintendent must notify DAS in writing of the need for an emergency grant 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.

Conforming and Technical Changes to the School Construction Program ( 63 & 66)

The act makes conforming and technical changes in these sections.

Increased Grant Withholding Percentage ( 64)

The act increases, from 5% to 11%, the amount of a project's reimbursement grant that DAS must withhold pending the completion of a final audit.

Regional Boards of Education and School Construction Obligations ( 65)

The act specifies that when a regional board of education dissolves, or a town withdraws from such a regional district, the local boards of education or towns that participated in the regional board are not absolved from any school construction responsibilities or related financial obligations incurred while part of the regional board. Under law, unchanged by the act, a town or district withdrawing from a regional district is not absolved from any indebtedness issued prior to the dissolution.

Further, the act specifies that any agreements reached as part of the dissolution or withdrawal cannot relieve a withdrawing town from its financial obligations related to a school building project.

Changes to Renovation Projects ( 67)

The act changes the definition of a renovation project by requiring the renovation 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 permitted a school district to submit an independent architect's feasibility study and project cost analysis to show that the renovation would cost less than new construction.

Under prior law, to qualify as a renovation, at least 75% of a facility being renovated had to be at least 30 years old. The act lowers this facility age requirement to 20 years. But the completed project must still have a useful life comparable to that of new construction, and the total project costs of the renovation must still be less than for new construction.

68 — TEACHERS' RETIREMENT BOARD (TRB) MEMBERSHIP

Requires one member of the TRB to be a municipal chief elected official

The act requires one of the governor's five appointees to the TRB to be a municipal mayor, first selectman, or chief elected official. The governor must fill the next vacancy among his five appointments with such an individual.

By law, the board administers the Teachers' Retirement System and consists of four active teacher members; two retired teacher members; five gubernatorial appointees; and the education commissioner, state treasurer, and OPM secretary, or their designees.

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

69 — YOUTH SERVICE BUREAU (YSB) GRANTS

Expands youth service bureau grant eligibility to those bureaus that applied in FY 17 and met town contribution requirements

The act extends YSB grant eligibility to those YSBs that applied for a state grant during FY 17, if the town approves its required contribution before making its application. By law, a town must contribute an amount equal to the state grant amount. YSBs are multipurpose youth-serving organizations that provide prevention and intervention programs for delinquent, pre-delinquent, pregnant, parenting, and troubled youths.

The act also specifies that the state grant amount of $14,000 is awarded to eligible YSBs within available appropriations, and it removes obsolete language from prior law.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

70 — SPECIAL EDUCATION COST MODEL TASK FORCE AND FEASIBILITY STUDY

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

The act establishes a 12-member task force to conduct a feasibility study of 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 and other alternative funding models used in other states. The task force must submit the study and any legislative recommendations to the Education and Appropriations committees by January 1, 2019.

Cooperative Definition

The act 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 act requires the study to, at a minimum, address a number of specific areas including:

1. an actuarial analysis of the cooperative model and other alternative models;

2. state and municipal funding for the cooperative model and other alternative models, including how towns contribute to the cooperative, how they are compensated for special education costs by the cooperative, and how such compensation would affect their contribution in the next fiscal year;

3. the possible legal status of the cooperative model and other alternative models (i.e., state agency, quasi-public agency, nonprofit organization, or private entity);

4. governance structure, including a process for nominating and selecting 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 levels and funding sources for hiring and employing necessary staff;

6. a funding sources analysis for necessary initial capital costs, including the impact on state special education funding if $50 million in state special education funding is used;

7. an 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. a legal analysis, including whether it is allowed under state law and the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act and the cooperative or alternative model's accountability to the General Assembly.

When conducting the study, the task force cannot 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 nonprofit organization or accept pro bono services from any public or private entity to conduct the feasibility study. The Office of Legislative Management must help the task force administer any funds or services it receives or seeks pursuant to the act.

Task Force Membership

The act requires the task force to include the OPM secretary and the education commissioner, or their respective designees, plus one representative from each of the following entities:

1. Connecticut Association of School Business Officials,

2. Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents,

3. Connecticut Council of Administrators of Special Education,

4. Connecticut Association of Boards of Education,

5. Connecticut Captive Insurance Association,

6. Connecticut Association of Schools,

7. Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center,

8. Connecticut Conference of Municipalities,

9. RESC (Regional Educational Service Centers) Alliance, and

10. UConn Actuarial Science Program faculty.

The task force must hold its first meeting within 30 days after the act's effective date. It must elect one of its members as chairperson of the task force.

The task force terminates on January 1, 2019.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

71 — ACHIEVEMENT AND RESOURCE EQUITY IN SCHOOLS COMMISSION

Creates a 16-member commission to report recommendations on education funding to the Appropriations and Education committees, governor, and OPM secretary

The act establishes the 16-member Connecticut Achievement and Resource Equity in Schools Commission to provide analysis and recommendations on state funding for education and resources needed to ensure that all public school students have an opportunity to succeed. The commission must report its findings and recommendations by April 1, 2018 to the Appropriations and Education committees, governor, and OPM secretary.

Plan and Recommendations

The act requires the commission to develop a strategic plan that includes recommendations for implementing a system for distributing state public education funding that:

1. includes a funding formula that (a) uses an appropriate foundation level, (b) addresses the issue of unequal local tax burdens, and reduces the reliance on unequal local property taxation to fund services, (c) increases equity and fairness, and (d) 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 commission members must reflect the state's geographic, population, socio-economic, racial, and ethnic diversity. Table 5 lists the appointing authorities and member qualifications.

Table 5: Appointing Authorities and Commission Appointments

Appointing Authority

Number of Appointments

Member Qualifications

House speaker

Two

One representative of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education

One representative of the Connecticut Education Association

Senate president pro tem

Two

One representative of the Regional Educational Service Centers Alliance

One economist with expertise in poverty measures

Senate Republican president pro tem

Two

One representative of the Connecticut Federation of School Administrators

One representative of a regional agricultural science and technology education center

House majority leader

Two

One representative of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents

One representative of the American Federation of Teachers-Connecticut

Senate majority leader

Two

One representative of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities

One representative of the Connecticut Council of Administrators of Special Education

Senate deputy Republican president pro tem

Two

One employee of SDE's School Choice Bureau

One representative of the Connecticut PTA

House minority leader

Two

One representative of the Connecticut Association of Schools

One representative of the Connecticut Administrators of Programs for English Language Learners

Joint appointment by the House speaker and minority leader

One

One 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 representative of the State Education Resource Center

Appointments must be made by 30 days after the act takes effect. Vacancies must be filled by the appointing authorities, except for Senate chairpersons as described below.

Chairpersons and First Meeting

Under the act, the commission has two chairpersons, 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 president pro tempore vacates the position, the Senate president pro tempore and the Senate Republican president pro tempore, or the Senate president pro tempore, 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 act's effective date.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

72-82 — TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND CAREER SYSTEM

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

The act makes various changes to the three-year process outlined in existing 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 82 in its entirety.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except provisions concerning the system's educational offerings ( 73) and executive director ( 74) take effect July 1, 2019.

System Educational Offerings ( 72 & 73)

By law, the system must offer full-time programs in vocational, technical, technological, and postsecondary education and training and may offer these programs on a part-time or evening basis. The act specifies that the full-time programs must be comprehensive secondary education programs, but it does not define “comprehensive secondary education.”

Gifts, Grants, and Donations ( 72 & 74)

The act prohibits system employees from accepting any gift, grant, or donation as an individual, or on the system's behalf, for personal use. It requires any gifts, grants, and donations accepted on the system's behalf to be subject to the State Code of Ethics for Public Officials (CGS 1-79 to 1-90). The act also requires both the system board and its executive director to report quarterly to OPM about all gifts, grants, and donations received.

System Executive Director ( 74)

The act requires anyone appointed by the governor to serve as the system's executive director to have experience with education systems.

System Admissions Policy ( 75)

The act requires the State Department of Education (SDE) to review all system admissions policies, rather than just those policies on enrollment of students with disabilities and students receiving special education services. Under prior law, the review had to include consideration of (1) applicable principles of state and federal law, (2) the system's purposes and public character, and (3) enrollment data on students receiving special education and related services compared to statewide and district averages. Under the act, the broader review must also include consideration of the following:

1. the use of placement tests and wait lists;

2. the admissions policies relating to the enrollment of students with disabilities, students receiving or eligible to receive special education and related services, and students who are English language learners; and

3. diversity standards for the inclusion of minority students.

The act 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 ( 76 & 77)

Existing law requires (1) SDE to develop and update as necessary, beginning with the 2018-19 school year, uniform standards and curricula for all career technical education programs offered by local or regional boards of education and (2) the standards and curriculum to be aligned with professional certification requirements. The act specifies that these standards and curriculum must be aligned with relevant professional certification requirements.

Existing law also requires SDE to evaluate, within available appropriations, any existing standards relating to career technical education used by the system and examine whether the standards are aligned with professional certification requirements and uniform across the system. The act specifies that this evaluation must examine whether the standards are aligned with professional certification requirements already in existence.

Partnerships ( 78)

Existing law requires the system superintendent to consult with the community colleges and certain local or regional school boards to establish partnerships, reduce redundancies, and consolidate programmatic offerings. The act additionally requires him or her to do so to fulfill state workforce needs.

System Consultant ( 79)

The law requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to hire a consultant for FY 18 to help the system board develop a transition plan to become an independent agency. The act requires the consultant to consult with the system's administrative and professional staff when (1) assisting the system's board with developing a transitional plan and (2) providing recommendations about services that the system could provide more efficiently in conjunction with another board of education, municipality, or state agency.

It also requires the consultant to identify deficiencies, best practices, and cost savings in procurement, in addition to the above tasks.

SBE Inventory Account ( 80)

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 the inventory to prevent theft or loss; and establish controls over the disposal of such inventory. The act specifies that this account must be an inventory of all property owned by and in the custody of SDE.

SBE Representation ( 81)

The act resolves an ambiguity in prior law about the system's representation on SBE by requiring the system board chairperson to serve as an ex-officio, nonvoting member of SBE. Under prior law, both the system superintendent and the system board chairperson served simultaneously on SBE in the same seat (PA 17-237, 1 & 37).

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

Reduces frequency of certain required reports

The act postpones the deadline for, and reduces the frequency of, reports local and regional boards of education must submit to the DAS commissioner on the following required programs: (1) facilities and long-term building, (2) air quality, and (3) green cleaning. Under prior law, the boards had to submit these reports triennially, beginning July 1, 2011. The act instead requires them to submit the reports once every five years and sets July 1, 2021 as the first reporting deadline.

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 and submit them to the Education Committee.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

85 — BODY-WORN RECORDING EQUIPMENT TASK FORCE

Specifies that the body-worn recording equipment task force is 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 act specifies that the task force is within the legislative branch.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

86-99 & 731 — DDS AS SUCCESSOR TO OPA'S INVESTIGATION OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT COMPLAINTS

Transfers to DDS, rather than the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), 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

PA 16-66 eliminated the Office of Protection and Advocacy (OPA) and the Board of Advocacy and Protection for Persons with Disabilities, effective July 1, 2017. It instead established a nonprofit entity (Disability Rights Connecticut, Inc. (DRCT)) to serve as the state's protection and advocacy system and client assistance program for people with disabilities.

This act transfers to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) OPA's investigatory responsibilities for alleged abuse or neglect of individuals (1) with intellectual disability or (2) who receive funding or services under DSS's Division of Autism Spectrum Disorder Services. Under prior law, these responsibilities were transferred to DORS. In practice, DDS has been performing them since March 2017 under a memorandum of understanding with DORS.

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

The act 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, or threatening to take, any action, against any such person who contacts DRCT with such concerns.

Under existing 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 act 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 act makes other changes to the laws on such abuse investigations. For example, it replaces various references to “guardian” with “legal representative” and defines this term to include conservators as well as guardians.

Prior law required the OPA director to maintain a statewide registry of the complaint reports and associated evaluations, findings, and recommended actions. The act requires the DDS commissioner to keep electronic copies of such documents (evaluation reports) but eliminates the reference to a statewide registry. Under the act, an “evaluation report” is the written documentation of an investigation of abuse or neglect conducted by DDS's Abuse Investigation Division and includes allegations of abuse or neglect, evaluations, findings, and recommended actions.

The act also makes related minor, technical, and conforming changes.

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

100-105 — CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION SYSTEM (CJIS) GOVERNING BOARD

Transfers the board from OPM to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) for administrative purposes; requires DESPP to staff and supply the board and to provide certain information to people who request it

The act transfers the CJIS Governing Board, which oversees criminal justice information systems, from OPM to DESPP for administrative purposes only.

It also requires DESPP, rather than OPM, to provide office space and such staff, supplies, and services as required by the board's executive director 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.

Additionally, it requires the DESPP commissioner, rather than the OPM secretary, to provide anyone who submits a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for data from criminal justice agency information systems with the name and address of the agency where the data originated. (Under existing law, the originating agency is responsible for providing requested data that is available to the public under FOIA.)

The act also makes technical changes to the CJIS laws.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

106 & 107 — ADVISORY COMMISSION ON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (ACIR) REPORT DEADLINES

Delays certain deadlines by which ACIR must submit reports on state mandates to the General Assembly

The act delays the date by which the ACIR must submit its quadrennial report to the legislature from the second Wednesday after the 2018 regular session convenes to October 1, 2019, and every four years thereafter. By law, the report must analyze, among other things, the cost that each state mandate imposes on local governments.

The act also suspends, until January 1, 2019, a requirement for the ACIR to submit to the legislative leaders a list of each state mandate enacted during a regular or special session. By law, the ACIR must otherwise submit this list within 90 days after the regular or special session adjourns or by September 1 immediately following the regular session adjournment, whichever is sooner.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

108 — DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SERVICES (DRS) TAX INCIDENCE REPORT

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

The act 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 it on the department's website. By law, the report must indicate the extent to which groups of people and types of businesses bear the burden of different taxes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

109 — RETIREMENT SYSTEMS STRESS TEST REPORT

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

The act requires the OPM secretary to develop sensitivity and stress test analyses for the Teachers' Retirement System and the State Employees' Retirement System and annually report on them to the Appropriations Committee. The report must include projections of benefit levels, pension costs, liabilities, and debt reduction under various economic and investment scenarios. The secretary must post and update the report on OPM's website at least annually.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

110 — AUTHORIZATION TO SHARE TAX ASSESSORS

Allows a regional council of government (COG) or two or more municipalities to appoint shared tax assessors

The act specifies that (1) a COG or (2) two or more municipalities acting jointly, may appoint one or more tax assessors. Under the act, 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 act also (1) eliminates prior law's cap on the number of assessors (five) a municipality may appoint and (2) makes conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

111 — LOCAL OPTION ADMISSIONS SURCHARGE

Exempts motion pictures from the surcharge

The act exempts motion picture shows from the local option admissions surcharge. By law, municipalities may impose the surcharge (generally up to 5%) on the admission charge for events held at a range of amusement, entertainment, or recreation facilities.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

112-125, 165 & 732 — HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

Transfers responsibilities for the all-payer claims (APCD) database and consumer health information website from Access Health CT to the health information technology officer and makes related changes

The act transfers responsibilities for the APCD and consumer health information website from the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange (“Access Health CT”) to the state's health information technology officer. It also eliminates the APCD Database Advisory Group.

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

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

All-payer Claims Database

Prior law required Access Health CT to seek funding for and oversee the planning, implementation, and development of policies and procedures for administering the APCD. The act 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 prior law, the act requires the DSS commissioner to submit Medicaid data to the officer for inclusion in the APCD only for purposes of administering the state Medicaid plan. The act makes a corresponding change by allowing the officer to enter into a contract or take necessary action to obtain such data. For this purpose, Medicaid data includes Medicaid provider registry, health claims data, and Medicaid recipient data maintained by DSS.

The act 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.

The act also requires the officer to designate and post on its website a list of systems, technologies, programs, and entities that constitute Access Health CT.

Consumer Health Information Website

Prior law required Access Health CT, within available resources, to 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 act transfers oversight of the website from Access Health CT to the health information technology officer.

Prior law required 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 was available:

1. the 50 most frequently occurring inpatient diagnoses and procedures,

2. the 50 most frequent outpatient procedures, and

3. the 25 most frequent surgical and imaging procedures.

The act instead requires the health information technology officer to make the following information annually available on the consumer health information website, to the extent it is available:

1. the 50 most frequently (a) occurring inpatient services or procedures and (b) provided outpatient services or procedures,

2. the 25 most frequent imaging and surgical services or procedures, and

3. the 25 most frequently used pharmaceutical products and medical devices.

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

The lists may be:

1. based upon those services and procedures most commonly performed by volume or representing 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 existing law, the lists may include additional admissions and procedures.

With regard to the required reporting related to the consumer website, the act:

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

2. requires the health information technology officer, to the extent practicable, to annually report such information for the lists required under the act.

126 — 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 each health care provider with an electronic health record system capable of connecting to and participating in the Statewide Health Information exchange to begin doing so no later than two years after the exchange begins operating.

The act requires, by the same deadline, 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. (The Direct Project was created to specify a simple, secure way to send authenticated, encrypted health information directly to known, trusted recipients over the internet.)

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.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

127 & 732 — 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 who are public officials to appoint designees

The act 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 act 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 act places the All-Payer Claims Database Advisory Group under the State Health Information Technology Advisory Council. The health information technology officer, in consultation with the council, must maintain written procedures for implementing and administering an all-payer claims database program established by the act ( 112 & 113). The act allows the members of the 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 act also allows the health information technology officer, instead of the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange's chief executive officer, to appoint additional members to the advisory group.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

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 act requires the state, acting by and through the 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. The program must:

1. assist the state, health care providers, insurance carriers, physicians, and all stakeholders in empowering consumers to make effective health care decisions;

2. promote patient-centered care;

3. improve the quality, safety, and value of health care;

4. reduce waste and duplication of services;

5. support clinical decision-making;

6. keep confidential health information secure; and

7. make progress toward the state's public health goals.

Program Purpose

The program's purpose is to:

1. help the State-wide Health Information Exchange establish and maintain itself as a neutral and trusted entity that serves the public good for the benefit of all state 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 State-wide Health Information 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 the officer, may establish or incorporate, an entity to implement the program. The 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 act, 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 consist 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 hospital administration, appointed by the House speaker;

4. one with expertise in 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 entity is established, 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 act authorizes the entity to:

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

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

3. 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 planning, implementing, and administering the State-wide Health Information Exchange;

4. collect and remit fees set by the health information technology officer and charged to persons or entities for access to, or interaction with, the State-wide Health Information Exchange;

5. retain outside consultants and technical experts;

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

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

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

9. borrow money to obtain working capital; and

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

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

129 — STATE EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECKS

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

The act adds criminal background check requirements for current and prospective state employees in positions involving exposure to federal tax information. The act 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 he or she has been convicted of a crime or has currently pending criminal charges 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 record checks (1) must reimburse DESPP for the cost and are permitted to charge the applicant or employee a fee equal to the amount charged for the check (CGS 29-17a). Under existing law, employers are prohibited from (1) basing employment decisions on erased criminal records and (2) asking about criminal history, unless required to do so by law (CGS 31-51i).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

130 — STAMFORD WOMEN'S BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL GRANT

Provides an annual $350,000 grant to the Women's Business Development Council in Stamford in FYs 18 and 19

The act requires Connecticut Innovations, Inc. (CI) to provide an annual $350,000 grant to the Women's Business Development Council in Stamford in FYs 18 and 19.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

131 — 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., amendment of gaming agreements and the state legislature's and federal Department of the Interior's approval of such amendments). 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 act instead requires MMCT to contribute this money to the chronic gamblers treatment and rehabilitation account.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

132 — MICROBIOME WORKING GROUP

Establishes a 16-member working group to devise a roadmap to make Connecticut a national leader in developing and commercializing microbiome-based treatments, products, and services

The act establishes a 16-member working group to devise a roadmap to make Connecticut a national leader in developing and commercializing microbiome-based treatments, products, and services. Microbiome refers to the DNA record of all the microbes that inhabit our bodies and support many of their functions, including digesting food and fighting disease. Microbiome research and commercialization seeks to improve these functions by understanding and manipulating the microbes' DNA. (SA 17-16 also creates a microbiome working group with identical members and reporting requirements, but different charges.)

Membership and Operations

The act specifies the task force's membership, which consists of state officials, leaders of state higher education institutions, and gubernatorially appointed academic, bioscience, and venture capital industry representatives (see Table 6).

Table 6: Microbiome Working Group Membership

State Officials

Leaders of State Institutions of Higher Education

Governor Appointments

Representative of State's Independent Institutions of Higher Education

Representatives of Connecticut Based Businesses and Hospitals

Commissioners of the following departments or their designees:

● Economic and community development

● Public health

● Revenue services

Chairperson of CTNext's board of directors, or his designee (CTNext is a subsidiary of the quasi-public Connecticut Innovations, Inc.)

Leaders of the following state higher education institutions or their designees:

● UConn president

● UConn School of Medicine dean

● Board of Regents for Higher Education president

● Independent institution of higher education

● Independent medical school

● Yale University or Yale University School of Medicine

● Two from a bioscience company in business for at least five years

● Two from a bioscience company in business for less than five years

● One from a venture capital firm

● One from a hospital

The governor must select the group's chairperson from among the group's members, and the chairperson must call the group's first meeting by December 30, 2017. The members are not reimbursed for mileage or given an allowance to cover their costs of traveling to and from a meeting. The Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee's administrative staff must provide administrative support to the group.

The act allows the group to consult with others it deems necessary or appropriate to learn about the microbiome sector. It specifically allows the working group to consult with industry stakeholders, microbiome company representatives, experts in the medical application of microbiome-based products and services, and representatives of educational and research institutions focused on the microbiome sector.

Working Group's Charge

In addition to devising a roadmap for establishing Connecticut as a national leader in the microbiome industry, the working group must examine specific factors that affect whether the state can achieve that goal. It must examine the relative importance of and interrelationship between pure microbiome research and commercialization activity and the best practices that stimulate both activities and assess the state's ability to develop and sustain that activity.

The working group must determine the type of workforce needed to develop and sustain a leading microbiome industry sector. It must determine (1) the talent pool and skills the sector needs, (2) the educational curricula and training levels necessary to meet those needs, and (3) whether the state's public and independent higher education institutions are reaching those levels.

The group must assess the current capacity of these institutions to support microbiome research. It must examine their strength and level of expertise in this field, including the extent to which their expertise is aligned with the working group's roadmap. In making this determination, the working group must consider the institutions' plans to grow and deepen their microbiome expertise and faculty efforts to commercialize microbiome technology.

The group must also determine the steps the state must take to develop microbiome talent and skills. It must (1) identify the types of skills and the number of skilled workers needed to make the state a national leader in the microbiome industry and (2) recommend how to strengthen the microbiome-related academic and practical training provided at the state's public and independent higher education institutions.

The group must also look beyond Connecticut, identifying and examining the best microbiome-related practices of nationally recognized states and institutions, including, without limitation, the UC San Diego's Center for Microbiome Innovation and its associated initiatives, partners, business networks, and connections. It must also assess the state's capacity to attract people outside the state with microbiome talent and skills.

Lastly, the working group must determine if it would be in the state's best interest to develop one or more specializations within the human, animal, or environmental microbiome fields or any of their subfields.

Reporting

By January 1, 2018, the working group must submit a report on the roadmap to the Commerce; Finance, Revenue and Bonding; and Public Health committees. The report must include recommendations for legislative and programmatic changes needed to implement the roadmap and, for each recommendation, a range of funding options, measurable and achievable goals, and a timeline for completing the recommended change. By February 1, 2018, the working group must present its report to the governor and at a joint meeting of these committees.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

133 — UCONN CONSTRUCTION ASSURANCE OFFICE DIRECTOR

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

The act removes the requirement that the position of director of UConn's construction assurance office be a full-time position. Under existing law, the director is responsible for reviewing the construction performance of the UConn 2000 infrastructure improvement program and reporting at least quarterly to (1) UConn's president and (2) the construction management oversight committee established by law to review and approve policies and procedures developed for UConn 2000.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

134 — 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 act designates members of CTNext's Higher Education Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee as “members of an advisory board” under the state Code of Ethics rather than “public officials” as prior law provided, thus removing them from the code's applicability. By law, members of advisory boards are not subject to the code'.

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

135-137 — REMOVAL OF REQUIREMENT TO ADOPT DSS REGULATIONS

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

The act permits, rather than requires, the DSS commissioner to adopt regulations on:

1. audit protocols for long-term care facilities (e.g., nursing homes and residential care homes), including requirements for related facility training, entities conducting the audits on the department's behalf, and ensuring the fairness of the audit process ( 135);

2. the selection and qualifications of temporary managers DSS appoints to oversee the operation of nursing homes found to be noncompliant with certain federal laws ( 136); and

3. implementing and administering the state's weatherization and fuel assistance programs ( 137).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

138 & 139 — HUSKY A DECREASE

Lowers the income limit for HUSKY A parents and caretakers from 150% to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and requires DSS to review eligibility for those affected by the act

By law, DSS provides Medicaid coverage to children under age 19 and their parents or caretaker relatives through HUSKY A. Under prior law, the income limit for this program was 150% FPL (e.g., $30,630 for a family of three for 2017). The act further limits HUSKY A eligibility by lowering the income limit for non-pregnant adults (i.e., parents or caretaker relatives) to 133% FPL (e.g., $27,158.60 for a family of three for 2017).

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

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

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018

140 — NONPROFIT COLLABORATION INCENTIVE GRANT PROGRAM

Eliminates annual solicitation requirements for nonprofit grant program

The act eliminates the annual requirement for the OPM secretary to publish a notice of funding availability and solicit proposals for funding under the nonprofit collaboration incentive grant program. By law, the 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. Eligible nonprofit organizations may apply for such funding at times and in a manner the OPM secretary prescribes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

141 & 568 — TWO-GENERATIONAL INITIATIVE

Makes the two-generational pilot program a permanent statewide initiative, including integration with a family literacy program

The act 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 act 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.

Objectives

The act 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, and other related support services;

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 and services to equip households with the tools and skills needed to overcome obstacles and engage opportunities;

3. development of a long-term plan to coordinate, align, and optimize service delivery of relevant programs statewide, which may include targeted use of TANF funds; state incentives for private entities that develop two-generational programming; streamlined resource, practice, and data sharing; and the development and assessment of two-generational programming outcomes;and

4. partnerships between state and philanthropic organizations, as available, to provide support, technical assistance, guidance, and best practices to participating communities and the initiative's advisory council.

The act also specifies the intention to integrate Even Start, OEC's family literacy program, into the initiative's coordinated state planning and implementation ( 568).

Components

The expired pilot program required sites to be in Bridgeport; Colchester; Greater Hartford (defined as Hartford, East Hartford, and West Hartford); Meriden; New Haven; and Norwalk. Under the act, the initiative must be implemented in learning communities that include the pilot program's sites, except for Colchester, as well as Enfield, Waterbury, and Windham. As with the pilot program, the initiative must be informed by members of low-income households within these communities and foster a peer-to-peer exchange and technical assistance in best practices that must be shared with the advisory council.

The act does not require the initiative to include a workforce liaison, which was a pilot program requirement; however it requires the staff of the Commission on Women, Children, and Seniors' (CWCS) to serve as the learning communities' organizing and administrative staff.

Advisory Council

The act 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 act, the council consists of the following members:

1. one legislator appointed by the House speaker, who must serve as co-chairperson;

2. one senator appointed by the Senate president pro tempore, who shall serve as co-chairperson;

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

4. one member with expertise in health and mental health issues, appointed by the House majority leader;

5. one member with expertise on issues concerning children and families, appointed by the Senate minority leader;

6. one legislator, appointed by the House minority leader;

7. a member of a low-income household, selected by CWCS;

8. representatives of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations and scholars who are experts in two-generational programs and policies (the act does not specify how these representatives must be selected or how many there must be); and

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

In addition, the chief court administrator and the commissioners of Correction, Early Childhood, Education, Housing, Labor, Public Health, Social Services, and Transportation, or any of their designees, must serve as ex-officio members of the advisory council. CWCS staff must also serve as the council's organizing and administrative staff.

Legislative Report

The act 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 communication 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.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

142 — 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. Starting in 2018, the act requires him to annually report by August 15 the rates and analysis to the Judiciary Committee.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

143 & 144 — DCF MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PLAN AND ADVISORY BOARD

Expands who DCF must consult when developing the children's mental, emotional, and behavioral health plan; requires DCF to submit recommendations to legislative committees addressing children's unmet mental health needs due to increased risk of juvenile and criminal justice system involvement; and modifies advisory board membership

Implementation Plan

By law, DCF must develop a comprehensive implementation plan to meet the mental, emotional, and behavioral health needs of Connecticut's children and prevent or reduce the long-term negative impact of mental, emotional, and behavioral health issues.

The act expands who the department must consult with when developing the plan to include representatives of children at risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system. The law already requires DCF to consult with specified stakeholders, advocates, and providers.

The act also adds to the plan's required strategies those that identify and address any increased risk of involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice system attributable to children's unmet mental, emotional, and behavioral health needs.

Additionally, the act requires DCF, by July 1, 2018, to submit to the Appropriations and Children's committees recommendations for addressing any children's unmet mental, emotional, and behavioral health needs attributable to an increased risk of involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The department must do this in collaboration with the Children's Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Health Plan Implementation Advisory Board.

Advisory Board Membership

The act requires that at least one of the DCF commissioner's four appointees to the 34-member Children's Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Health Plan Implementation Advisory Board be a service provider to children involved with the juvenile justice system.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

145, 146, 148 & 593 — FAMILY WITH SERVICE NEEDS (FWSN) PETITIONS

As of July 1, 2019, eliminates provisions that allow certain parties to file a FWSN petition with the court and makes conforming changes

Until July 1, 2019, a party (e.g., a parent or police officer) may file a FWSN petition with the juvenile court for a child who (1) commits certain status offenses, such as running away from home, or (2) is out of the control of his or her parent or guardian. It also makes related conforming changes.

Starting July 1, 2019, the act eliminates provisions that allow a party to file a FWSN petition with the court and makes conforming changes.

By law, a court that adjudicates a child as being from a FWSN can take various actions, such as referring the child to DCF for voluntary services or placing the child on probation.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2019

147 & 149 — DETENTION SCREENING INFORMATION

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

The act modifies the use of information obtained about a child during a detention risk screening. It specifies that such information may be used only to determine the child's public safety risk, instead of for planning and treatment purposes and court-ordered evaluation and treatment, as under prior law.

Under prior law, information obtained from a detention screening instrument could only be used to make a recommendation to the court about the child's detention. The act extends this requirement to any information obtained during the screening and the screening results.

As under prior law, information obtained during the screening and the screening results are otherwise confidential and must be retained by the person who performs the screening. But the act allows the information to be disclosed to any attorney of record upon motion and court order. Any material subsequently disclosed must be available to any attorney on the case and is not otherwise subject to subpoena or other court process for use in another proceeding or for another purpose.

The act also makes a technical change.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

150 & 151 — PILOT PROGRAM PROVIDING LEGAL REPRESENTATION TO 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 act establishes a one-year pilot program to provide indigent individuals with access to legal counsel in civil proceedings on applications for relief from abuse (i.e., civil restraining orders).

Under the pilot program, the Division of Public Defender Services (DPDS) will provide legal counsel to respondents in these proceedings, and nonprofit organizations with which the Judicial Branch contracts will provide such counsel to applicants. The pilot program will operate from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 in one judicial district selected by the chief court administrator.

The act requires the chief court administrator, by January 1, 2019, to report to the Judiciary Committee on (1) the pilot program's status and results and (2) whether a similar, permanent program should be established in the state. The report may also include any legislative recommendations for establishing a permanent program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018, except the funding provision takes effect upon passage

Program Eligibility

The act limits program eligibility to individuals who (1) have civil restraining order proceedings pending in the participating judicial district and (2) successfully demonstrate indigence to the contracted nonprofit organizations, if an applicant in these proceedings, or DPDS if a respondent. The act establishes the program's income eligibility requirements (see Table 7).

Table 7: 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

Program Funding

In FYs 18 and 19, the act requires the attorney general to transfer $200,000 each to the judicial branch and DPDS. The attorney general must obtain the funds from settlements he receives from lawsuits to which the state is a party. If this funding is not made available by July 1, 2018, DPDS and the judicial branch are not required to implement the pilot program.

Under the act, the judicial branch must use these funds to contract with one or more nonprofit legal organizations that principally serve indigent individuals to provide legal counsel to applicants in civil restraining order proceedings. DPDS must use the funds to provide such legal counsel to respondents.

Legal Representation

The legal counsel provided by the program must be limited to (1) the program's duration and (2) whether the restraining order will be granted or denied.

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.

152 — SUPERINTENDENTS FOR SMALL TOWNS

Allows local boards of education that meet certain “small town” criteria to receive direction from another board of education's superintendent, rather than employ their own local superintendent

For local boards of education whose towns have fewer than (1) 10,000 residents, (2) 2,000 resident students, or (3) three public schools, the act gives them the option to either employ a local superintendent or receive direction from another board of education's superintendent. The other board of education must authorize the use of its superintendent.

The act limits the requirement to employ a superintendent to (1) local boards of education that do not meet the above criteria and (2) regional boards of education. Existing law, unchanged by the act, allows boards of education to jointly employ a superintendent.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

153 & 154 — COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS AND ARRANGEMENTS

Allows for cooperative agreements and arrangements for the provision of administrative and central office duties for boards of education and municipalities

The act allows a municipality and its board of education, upon joint approval, to enter into a cooperative agreement for performing administrative and central office duties.

Similarly, it allows two or more boards of education, upon written agreement, to enter into a cooperative arrangement to provide administrative and central office duties, just as they may already do for certain programs, services, and activities. By law, cooperative arrangements among boards of education may include the establishment of a supervisory committee whose membership is determined by the cooperating boards.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

155 — BOARD OF EDUCATION ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL HIRING

Requires a local board of education to notify the local legislative body upon the hiring of certain administrative personnel

The act requires a local board of education to notify the municipal legislative body before the start date of any person hired to fill a central office administrative personnel position (1) with an annual salary of $100,000 or more and (2) for which the proposed or approved education budget does not provide funding. It also specifies that this requirement does not apply to positions paid for with grants, gifts, or donations to the board.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

156 — REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT FINANCE COMMITTEE

Allows a regional board of education to establish a finance committee

The act allows a regional board of education to establish a finance committee for the regional school district to inform the board about member towns' local budget issues and help prepare the district's budget proposal upon request. It requires each member town's local board of education, or the legislative body in a town without a local board, to appoint two representatives to the committee.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

157 — EDUCATION ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL CONTRACTS

Requires boards of education to file administrative personnel contracts with town clerks, who must then post them online

The act requires local boards of education to immediately file with their town clerks a signed copy of any contract for administrative personnel. It also requires regional boards of education to file copies of such contracts with the town clerk in each member town. In both instances, the clerk must post a copy of the contracts on the town's website.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

158 — MUNICIPAL BUDGET RESERVES IN ARBITRATION

Establishes an irrebuttable presumption that 15% of a municipality's budget reserve cannot be used to pay for arbitration awards

The act establishes an irrebuttable presumption that 15% of a municipality's budget reserve is not available to pay the costs of any item subject to municipal employee contract arbitration.

Under the municipal employee arbitration law, arbitrators must prioritize the public interest and the municipal employer's financial capacity, including other financial demands on the employer, when considering a union contract case. In effect, the act requires the panel to ignore 15% of the municipality's budget reserve when considering the municipal employer's ability to pay an arbitration award (e.g., a town with a $1 million reserve would be treated as if it had an $850,000 reserve for arbitration purposes). The act does not change the other factors a panel must also consider (e.g., changes in the cost of living).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

159 — MEDICAID WAIVER AND AMENDMENT NOTIFICATION

Requires DSS to report annually on potential Medicaid waivers and changes to the Medicaid state plan that may result in cost savings, and narrows a legislative notification requirement

The act requires the DSS commissioner, annually by December 15, to notify the Appropriations and Human Services committees of potential Medicaid waivers and amendments to the Medicaid state plan that may result in state cost savings. Under prior law, the commissioner had to notify these committees if, in developing the next fiscal year's budget, the commissioner considered applying for a federal waiver for any assistance program or submitting a proposed Medicaid state plan amendment to the federal government. Existing law, unchanged by the act, requires the commissioner to submit applications for waivers and waiver renewals to the committees for approval before submitting them to the federal government.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

160 — MUNICIPAL CONSULTATION WITH BOARDS OF EDUCATION FOR PURCHASING INSURANCE

Requires municipalities, when possible, to consult with local boards of education about jointly purchasing property, casualty, and workers' compensation insurance

The act requires municipal legislative bodies to consult with their local boards of education, when possible, about jointly purchasing property, casualty, and workers' compensation insurance. It applies to any town, city, borough, consolidated town and city, or consolidated town and borough.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

161 — CONTRACTING PROCEDURES FOR LOCAL BOARDS OF EDUCATION

Requires a local board of education to consult with its municipal legislative body to consider cooperative agreements for goods or services

The act requires a local board of education, after receiving bids for a good or service, to consult with its municipal legislative body to determine whether the municipality provides or uses the good or service. If so, and it is provided equivalently by the municipality or through a municipal contract at a lower cost than the lowest qualified bid received by the board, the act requires the board to consider a cooperative agreement with its host municipality for the good or service.

Under the act, a “good” or “service” includes portable classrooms; motor vehicles; and materials and equipment, such as telephone systems, computers, and copy machines.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

162 — REGIONAL SHARING OF PAYROLL OR ACCOUNTS PAYABLE SOFTWARE

Requires a local board of education to consult with its municipal legislative body before purchasing payroll or accounts payable software systems

The act requires a municipality's local board of education to consult with its legislative body before purchasing payroll processing or accounts payable software systems to determine whether they may be purchased or shared regionally.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

163 — BRIDGE RENAMING

Renames the “Detective Bruce Boisland Memorial Bridge” as the “Detective Bruce Boislard Memorial Bridge”

The act renames the “Detective Bruce Boisland Memorial Bridge” as the “Detective Bruce Boislard Memorial Bridge.” (PA 17-230 designated the bridge on Route 229 in Southington, passing over I-84, as the “Detective Bruce Boisland Memorial Bridge.”)

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

164 — OFFICE OF HEALTH STRATEGY

Establishes an Office of Health Strategy

The act establishes an Office of Health Strategy, headed by an executive director appointed by the governor with confirmation by the House or Senate. It places the office in the Department of Public Health (DPH) for administrative purposes only and makes it the successor to the:

1. Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange for the purpose of administering the all-payer claims database and

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

Any order or regulation of the above entities in force on July 1, 2018 continues in force and effect until amended, repealed, or superseded by law.

Responsibilities

Under the act, starting by July 1, 2018, the office 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

166 — BIRTH-TO-THREE PROVIDER AUDITS

Temporarily prohibits DSS from extrapolating overpayments or assessing penalties against Birth-to-Three early intervention providers

The act prohibits the DSS commissioner from extrapolating overpayments or assessing penalties against providers of Birth-to-Three early intervention services for errors made from November 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018 during the implementation of a fee-for-service payment methodology.

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

167 — CRIMINAL JUSTICE DIVISION'S COLD CASE UNIT AND SHOOTING TASK FORCE APPROPRIATIONS

Prohibits the Division of Criminal Justice from comingling funds appropriated to the Cold Case Unit with those appropriated to the Shooting Task Force

The act requires the Division of Criminal Justice to (1) maintain the Cold Case Unit's appropriated funds separate from those of the Shooting Task Force and (2) spend the funds only for the purposes appropriated.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

168 & 169 — 7/7 BROWNFIELD AND UNDERUTILIZED PROPERTY REDEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Authorizes a package of state and local tax incentives available to eligible owners after remediating, redeveloping, and using formerly contaminated, abandoned, or underutilized properties

The act provides a package of tax incentives to property owners after they remediate, redevelop, and use property that was contaminated, abandoned, or underutilized. Owners must apply to DECD for these incentives and provide certain information, including a commitment to hire students to work at the redeveloped property.

The incentives are available in two seven-year stages, with the second stage available only to contaminated and remediated properties (i.e., brownfields).

During the first seven years after an owner redevelops an approved property, the owner qualifies for (1) corporation, business, or personal income tax credits against the income attributed to business operations at the redeveloped property and (2) a sales and use tax exemption applicable to items purchased for use at the property. Also during this period, the owner may have the redeveloped property's tax assessment frozen for five years at its predevelopment assessed value.

If the property was a brownfield, the owner qualifies for an additional seven-year benefit beginning in the eighth year after the property's redevelopment. The benefit is a business or personal income tax deduction of up to 8.57% of the eligible expenses the owner incurred in remediating the property.

The act requires the DECD commissioner, in consultation with the DRS commissioner, to adopt regulations to implement the program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage and applicable to taxable years and income years beginning on or after January 1, 2017.

Eligibility

The act establishes the “7/7 program” and opens it to any person, firm, limited liability company, nonprofit or for-profit corporation, or other business entity that owns (1) an abandoned or underutilized property (i.e., problem property) or (2) property where actual or potential pollution has discouraged the owner or other parties from redeveloping, reusing, or expanding it (i.e., brownfield).

An abandoned or underutilized property qualifies for 7/7 program benefits if its host municipality certifies that the property has been in that condition for at least 10 years. A brownfield qualifies if its owner (1) is not responsible for pollution or a source of pollution on the property and (2) did not establish, create, or maintain a source that polluted the state's water.

DECD Application

Contents. Eligible property owners seeking 7/7 program tax incentives must submit an application to DECD, providing:

1. a description of the property and its proposed reuse,

2. a written certification that the property is a brownfield or has been abandoned or underutilized for at least 10 years,

3. a plan of anticipated workforce needs and a commitment to hire trained students to work at the redeveloped property (see below),

4. a written certification from the property's host municipality stating that it supports the property's approval for 7/7 program incentives, and

5. any other information the DECD commissioner requests.

Under the act, the owner provides the certification that the property is a brownfield. The host municipality must provide the certification if the property has been abandoned or underutilized for at least 10 years.

The commissioner must approve an owner's application if it includes all of the required information and notify the DRS commissioner when she does so.

Worker Training and Hiring Requirements. A property owner applying to be a 7/7 program participant must include in his or her application a plan outlining anticipated workforce needs and a commitment to hire trained students. The owner must submit the plan to the area's high schools and the regional technical community colleges identifying the (1) types of jobs to be performed at the redeveloped property and (2) training requirements for the jobs so that the schools and colleges can prepare students for them. The owner must also commit to hiring at least 30% of the workers at the property from among the enrollees of the educational programs developed to train workers for jobs at the redeveloped property.

7/7 Program Incentives: Timing

The owners of brownfields approved for 7/7 incentives qualify for them only after they remediate the property, file the necessary documents verifying remediation, and notify the host municipality and the DRS and DECD commissioners to that effect. Neither owners of a remediated brownfield or a redeveloped problem property approved for 7/7 incentives can claim the incentives until they begin business operations on the property.

Brownfield and problem property owners qualify for the same types of benefits during the first seven years after they begin operations on the property (i.e., Stage 1 incentives). Brownfield owners qualify for an additional incentive over the next seven years (i.e., Stage 2 incentives).

Table 8 summarizes the schedule of 7/7 Program incentives.

Table 8: 7/7 Program Incentive Schedule

Stage

Eligible Property

Time Period

Incentives

1

Remediated and redeveloped former brownfields

Redeveloped and reused previously abandoned and underutilized property

First seven years after business operations begin at redeveloped property

Personal income or corporation business tax credit equal to 100% of the taxes attributable to business operations at the redeveloped property

Sales and use tax exemption for items purchased for use at redeveloped property

Five-year property tax assessment freeze

2

Remediated and redeveloped former brownfields

Years eight to 14 after business operations begin at redeveloped property

Maximum 8.57% deduction against personal income or corporation business taxes for eligible remediation expenses

7/7 Program Incentives: Stage One Incentives

Business and Personal Income Tax Credits. Brownfield and problem property owners are eligible for a tax credit for seven years against their annual personal income or corporation business taxes equal to 100% of the taxes attributable to business operations at the property during the taxable year, after deducting any other available credits.

The credit against the personal income tax is available to owners organized as “S” corporations, limited liability partnerships, or limited liability companies. These business entities do not pay corporation business taxes, but the owners and partners pay personal income taxes on the income they derive from the entity. (These entities are commonly referred to as “pass-through entities,” meaning that the income flows from the business to the owner where it is taxed as personal income.) Consequently, the act allows these members, shareholders, and partners to claim a credit equal to their share of the taxes attributable to the property's operation during the taxable year.

Sales and Use Tax Exemptions. Brownfield and problem property owners qualify for sales and use tax exemptions for any item they purchase and use at the redeveloped property in the ordinary course of business. Like the personal and corporation business tax credit, the sales tax exemption is available for seven calendar years from when business operations start at the property.

Owners may claim this exemption by presenting a certificate indicating that the purchased item is exempt from the tax. The certificate must be substantially in a form the DRS commissioner prescribes and bear the purchaser's name, address, and signature. If the purchaser does not use the item in the ordinary course of business at the property, the purchaser must pay the sales and use tax.

Property Tax Assessment Freeze. Property owners also receive a property tax incentive. Under the act, municipalities must freeze, for five assessment years after the owner receives a building permit to begin construction, the assessed value a property had at the time the DECD commissioner approved it for the program.

7/7 Program Incentives: Stage Two Incentives

Brownfield owners receive an additional incentive, which is available for seven years, beginning in the eighth year after business operations began at a remediated program property. The incentive is a deduction against the personal income or corporation business tax for up to 8.57% of the eligible expenses the owner incurred to remediate the property.

Eligible expenditures are those the owner incurred to investigate and assess the nature and extent of the contamination and to remediate it. They include:

1. investigating soil, groundwater, and infrastructure;

2. assessing the property's condition;

3. remediating soil, sediments, groundwater, or surface water;

4. abating contamination;

5. removing and disposing of hazardous material or waste;

6. implementing long-term groundwater or natural attenuation monitoring;

7. implementing institutional controls, such as environmental land use restrictions or activity and use limitations;

8. paying reasonable attorneys' fees;

9. retaining planners, engineers, and environmental consultants; and

10. remediating building and structural issues, such as demolishing structures, abating asbestos, and removing PCBs, contaminated wood, or paint.

Expenditures funded under a DECD brownfield cleanup program do not qualify for the exemption.

170-173 — CERTAIN EDUCATIONAL GRANTS WITHIN AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS

Makes certain educational grants within available appropriations

The act extends the eligibility for boards of education that are required to provide bilingual education programs to apply for grants through FY 19, but it limits the grants to available appropriations. The act also limits certain other State Board of Education grants and aid to available appropriations. These include:

1. grants to boards of education for a percentage of eligible costs for adult education,

2. special education aid in excess of the basic contribution paid by the local or regional board, and

3. aid for public school feeding programs to ensure that nutrition standards are met.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

174-177 — BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR CHILD CARE PROVIDERS AND EMPLOYEES

Requires the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) 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 act requires the OEC commissioner to require, within available appropriations, comprehensive background checks (that include national and state criminal history record checks already required by existing law) of (1) prospective employees of child care centers and group child care homes, (2) initial applicants and prospective employees of family child care homes (including each household member age 16 or older), and (3) Care 4 Kids providers. It specifies that a prospective employee of a child care center or group child care home cannot have unsupervised access to children until the checks are completed and the OEC commissioner approves the hiring.

The act also requires the comprehensive background checks to be done at least once every five years and waived for any applicant who (1) is currently employed, or was employed in the past 180 days, at a Connecticut child care facility and (2) successfully completed such a check in the previous five years. It gives the OEC commissioner the discretion to require a child care facility employee to submit to such a check more frequently than every five years.

Additionally, the act eliminates the criminal history record check exemption for relatives participating in Care 4 Kids (the state's subsidized child care program) and subjects them to the comprehensive background check as well.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

178 — PARKING ON STATE PROPERTY

Allows the DAS commissioner to delegate the authority to establish and enforce policies and procedures for parking on certain state property

The act allows the DAS commissioner to delegate, to another executive branch agency commissioner, the authority to establish policies and procedures for using and maintaining order in parking areas on property under that commissioner's supervision. Prior law gave her sole authority to establish the policies and procedures for parking areas on executive branch property, excluding those on community-technical college, state college, and UConn property.

The act also eliminates provisions (1) requiring the policies and procedures to be enforced 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 have them towed. Instead, it allows the DAS commissioner or her designee, including a third-party contractor, to issue a citation to, or tow the vehicle of, anyone violating the established policies or procedures.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

179 — WORKERS' COMPENSATION COSTS

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

The act requires the OPM secretary and DAS commissioner to jointly develop recommendations to reduce workers' compensation costs (presumably of state employees). The recommendations must include:

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

2. guidelines for the 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.

The secretary and commissioner must submit a report of their recommendations to the Labor and Public Employees and Appropriations committees by February 1, 2018.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

180 — PENSION SUSTAINABILITY COMMISSION

Creates the Connecticut Pension Sustainability Commission to study placing state capital assets in a trust for the state pension system's benefit

The act 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 do the following:

1. perform a preliminary inventory of state capital assets to determine their suitability 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 placing state assets in a trust and maximizing them solely to benefit the pension system is appropriate;

4. examine the state facility plan and inventories of state real property; and

5. if appropriate, recommend any legislative or administrative actions needed to create and manage such a trust and identify specific capital assets to include in it.

The commission must report its findings to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee by January 1, 2019, and the committee's administrative staff must serve as the commission's administrative staff. The commission terminates when it submits its report or on January 1, 2019, whichever is later.

Commission Membership

The commission consists of (1) eight appointed members, one each appointed by the governor and seven legislative leaders (including the deputy Senate Republican president pro tempore) and (2) five ex officio members (the DAS commissioner, OPM secretary, attorney general, state comptroller, and state treasurer) or their respective designees. The House majority leader's appointee must have experience in banking and private sector financial management; the Senate majority leader's appointee must represent a state employee collective bargaining unit that benefits from the state pension system; and the deputy Senate Republican president pro tempore's appointee must have expertise in private sector real estate development. The act does not specify qualifications for the other appointees, but the House speaker, Senate president pro tempore, House minority leader, and Senate Republican president pro tempore may appoint state legislators. All appointments must be made by November 20, 2017. Any vacancy must be filled by the appointing authority.

The House speaker and Senate president pro tempore must select the commission's chairpersons from among the commission's members. The chairpersons must schedule and hold the commission's first meeting by December 10, 2017.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

181 — 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 act extends, from December 31 to January 15, the deadline by which (1) hospitals and hospital systems with affiliated group practices and (2) unaffiliated group practices of 30 or more physicians must annually report information about the group practices to the attorney general and DPH commissioner. Existing 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 provided at each location.

The act also extends, from December 31 to January 15, the deadline by which hospitals and hospital systems must annually file 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 act limits the above reporting requirements to short-term acute care general hospitals and children's hospitals, including UConn's John Dempsey Hospital.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

182, 183 & 732 — DSS CERTIFICATE OF NEED

Bed Relocations

The act requires nursing homes, residential care homes, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disability (hereinafter, “facilities”) to obtain a certificate of need (CON) from 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 do for applications proposing to terminate or significantly reduce a facility's total bed capacity.

Existing law, unchanged by the act, 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 act eliminates the requirement that facilities obtain a CON from (1) DSS when acquiring major medical equipment that requires a capital expenditure over $400,000 and (2) both DPH and DSS when acquiring imaging equipment that requires a capital expenditure over $400,000.

Existing law, unchanged by the act, 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 act exempts from DSS's 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 act also makes related technical and conforming changes.

Repealer

The act 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: Upon passage

184 — 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 certain regulations

The act modifies exemptions to DSS' moratorium on accepting or approving certificate of need (CON) applications to add new nursing home beds. Prior law exempted 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 act 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 prior law, the relocation cannot increase state expenditures or adversely affect bed availability in the area of need. However, the act 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 act 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.

Lastly, the act allows, rather than requires, the DSS commissioner to adopt CON regulations. EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

185 & 186 — 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 and certain other indigent individuals. Prior law required 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 act bars 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 act allows the DSS commissioner to disclose information on the liquid assets to the funeral director, cemetery, or crematory providing services for the decedent.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

187-199 — BEHAVIOR ANALYST LICENSURE

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

Subject to certain exemptions, the act requires behavior analysts to be licensed by DPH. To obtain a license, an applicant must be either certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (“board”) or eligible for licensure by endorsement. The act 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 act eliminates prior provisions on required qualifications for individuals providing applied behavior analysis as part of special education services for students with autism spectrum disorder. Under the act, such individuals must be licensed or qualify under one of the act's licensure exemptions, just like others providing behavioral analysis.

The act specifies that (1) no new regulatory board is created for behavior analysts ( 187) and (2) assistant behavior analysts must work under a licensed behavior analyst's supervision ( 188). (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 ( 197 & 198).

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018

Behavior Analysis Definition ( 188)

Under the act, “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 ( 188 & 189)

Under prior law, it was a class D felony for someone not board certified to represent himself or herself as a board certified behavior analyst. The act 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 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 ( 190-192)

The act 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 act 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.

Enforcement and Disciplinary Action ( 193)

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

1. failing to conform to accepted professional standards;

2. a felony conviction;

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

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

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

6. alcohol or substance abuse; or

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

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

The act 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 ( 195)

By law, unchanged by the act, 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 prior law, to provide these services, a person generally had to either be (1) licensed by DPH or certified by the State Department of Education (SDE) (with the services within the scope of the person's license or certificate) or (2) board-certified as a behavior analyst or assistant behavior analyst. If the SDE commissioner determined that there were not enough such individuals to provide the needed services, prior law allowed her to authorize others with certain educational backgrounds to provide the services, under the supervision of a board-certified analyst.

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

Separate Account ( 199)

The act 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 money in the account to fund such staff and equipment.

200 — MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT FOR HEMOPHILIA DRUGS

Applies Medicaid reimbursement formula for Factor VIII hemophilia drugs to Factor VII, IX, and X drugs and eliminates DSS's authority to designate Factor VIII drug suppliers dispensing pharmacies must order from

Under prior law, the maximum allowable cost Medicaid paid for Factor VIII pharmaceuticals (i.e., hemophilia A drugs) was the actual acquisition cost plus eight percent. The act (1) specifies that the actual acquisition cost is the one reflected on the manufacturer's invoice and (2) adds the outpatient drug professional dispensing fee to the calculation of the maximum allowable cost. The act also applies the maximum allowable cost formula to Factor VII, IX and X products (i.e., drugs that treat hemophilia A, B, and other bleeding disorders).

Additionally, the act eliminates the social services commissioner's authority to (1) designate specific Factor VIII drugs suppliers a dispensing pharmacy must order from and (2) pay the dispensing pharmacy a handling fee of eight percent of the actual acquisition cost for each prescription from a designated supplier.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

201 — HUSKY A COST-SHARING

Prohibits DSS from imposing cost-sharing requirements for preferred prescription drugs and medically necessary non-preferred drugs for HUSKY A parents and caretaker relatives; establishes notification requirements for cost-sharing imposed for other Medicaid services for this group

The act prohibits the DSS commissioner from imposing cost-sharing requirements for prescription drugs on the department's preferred drug list on parents or needy caretaker relatives enrolled in HUSKY A.

Under the act, the commissioner may impose cost-sharing requirements for nonpreferred drugs or other Medicaid services if he determines it is necessary and notifies the Human Services Committee and the affected parent or caretaker relative 30 days before imposing them. But he cannot impose such a requirement for a nonpreferred drug that a physician certifies as medically necessary. The act requires the notification to parents and caretaker relatives to specify that they will not be denied Medicaid coverage due to their inability to meet these cost-sharing requirements.

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

1. any decrease in the number of Medicaid provider visits by these parents or caretaker relatives compared to the same time period (presumably, quarter) before the cost-sharing requirement began and

2. any difference in the average number of Medicaid provider visits made by parents or caretaker relatives 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

202 & 203 — INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR MENTAL OR NERVOUS CONDITIONS

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

The act eliminates the requirement that certain individual and group health insurance policies cover specified services related to mental and nervous conditions and, therefore, the state's requirement to pay for them. These services were new mandates imposed effective January 1, 2017 under PA 15-5, JSS. The state is required to pay for these mandated benefits under the federal Affordable Care Act because they exceed that act's essential health benefit requirements.

Specifically, the act repeals provisions requiring insurers to cover the following benefits:

1. evidence-based maternal, infant, and early childhood home visitation services designed to improve health outcomes for pregnant women, postpartum mothers, and newborns and children, including maternal substance use disorders or depression and relationship-focused interventions for children with mental or nervous conditions or substance use disorders;

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

3. other home-based therapeutic interventions for children;

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

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

The act 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 hospital or medical services, including those provided through an HMO.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018

204 — CLASS NO. 3 BAZAAR PERMITS

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

The act 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

205 — PROHIBITION ON REQUIRING CASH-ONLY BAIL

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

Under PA 17-145, courts may not prohibit a bond from being posted by surety for certain crimes (thus, courts may not require cash-only bail for such crimes). This provision did not apply to certain serious crimes.

This act extends this provision to all crimes, thus prohibiting courts from requiring cash-only bail.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

206 — ELDERLY CIRCUIT BREAKER PROGRAM

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

Under the Elderly/Disabled Circuit Breaker Program, municipalities reduce property taxes owed by certain elderly or totally disabled homeowners and may be reimbursed for lost revenue by OPM (CGS 12-170aa et seq.; Conn. Agencies Regs. 12-170aa-1 et seq.). The act, with specified exceptions, allows the OPM secretary to reduce reimbursements to municipalities by up to 100%.

The act prohibits OPM from reducing reimbursements to a municipality that is eligible for a certain payment in lieu of taxes grant for manufacturing facilities because it is (1) a distressed municipality, (2) a targeted investment community (i.e., contains an enterprise zone), or (3) part of an airport development zone. However, it is unclear whether these municipalities will receive reimbursements because:

1. the legislature did not appropriate any money for the Circuit Breaker Program in FYs 18 and 19 and

2. existing law, unchanged by the act, requires OPM to proportionately reduce grants to municipalities if appropriations are insufficient to fully reimburse them.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

207 — WAIVER OF PAYMENTS DUE FROM CERTAIN HOUSING AUTHORITIES

Extends by one year the requirement that certain municipalities waive payments due from certain state-financed housing authorities

The act extends by one year, from FY 18 to FY 19, a requirement that certain municipalities waive payments due from certain state-financed housing authorities.

Existing law (1) requires state-financed housing authorities for moderate rental housing projects to make payments to the municipalities in which the project is located instead of paying property taxes, special benefit assessments, and sewer system use charges and (2) authorizes the Department of Housing (DOH) to make payments on the authorities' behalf as part of its Payment in Lieu of Taxes Subsidy Program. Prior law required municipalities to which DOH made a payment on a housing authority's behalf in FY 15 to waive such payments in FYs 16-18. The act extends this requirement by one year, through FY 19.

Under both existing law and the act, no waiver is required if federal funds are made available for the payment.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

208 — YOUTH SERVICES GRANTS

Specifies how funds appropriated in FYs 18 and 19 to the Judicial Branch for youth services grants must be distributed

The act appropriates $3,187,174 in both FYs 18 and 19 to the Judicial Branch for Youth Services Prevention ( 1). It also specifies the grant amount for certain organizations, totaling $3,079,996.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

209 — ARBITRATOR FEES

Increases the fee a state arbitrator receives for writing a panel 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 fee. The act increases the writer's additional fee from $175 to $500. Under existing law, unchanged by the act, if the proceeding lasts more than one day, each panel member also receives $150 for each additional day.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

210 — LITCHFIELD COUNTY COURTHOUSE

Allows the state to retain use of the old Litchfield County Courthouse land and building unless certain conditions are met

The act allows the state to retain use of the old Litchfield County Courthouse and associated land, unless the holder of the reversionary interest (i.e., heir of the lease holders) preserved that interest by recording certain documents in the Litchfield land records within the last 40 years. The act specifies that the reversionary interest is terminated unless the holder recorded a notice, deed, probate certificate, or other instrument of conveyance describing the interest within that time frame.

Previously, because the land is not being used as a courthouse, ownership of the property would revert to the holder of the reversionary interest (based on deeds from the early 19th century).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

211 — REGIONAL REVENUE SHARING AGREEMENTS

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

The act authorizes any regional council of government (COG) to establish a regional sharing agreement with one or more COGs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

212 — PERFORMANCE-INFORMED BUDGETING

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

The act requires the legislature, starting in the FY 18-19 biennium, to identify for each biennium at least one budgeted agency (see Background) to transmit specified information and analyses for a performance-informed budget review for the next biennium. The Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA) must provide technical support in identifying the agency or agencies.

Under the act, “performance-informed budget review” means that the legislature and governor, when developing a budget, must consider specified information and analyses prepared by the agency for each program it administers. For the purposes of the act, a “program” is a distinguishable service or group of services within budgeted agencies designed to accomplish a specific public goal and result in specific public benefits.

By October 1, 2018, and by October 1 of each even-numbered year afterwards, the administrative head of the selected agency or agencies must transmit the required information and analyses to the (1) OPM secretary; (2) Appropriations Committee (through OFA); (3) Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee; and (4) relevant committee of cognizance. He or she must do so using the results-based report format developed by the Appropriations Committee's accountability subcommittee.

The governor and legislature must consider this information and analysis in developing each biennial budget, and a public review of the reports transmitted by each agency must be incorporated in the budget hearing process conducted by the relevant Appropriations Committee subcommittee.

The act also creates a joint bipartisan subcommittee on performance-informed budgeting consisting of seven members each from the Finance and Appropriations committees.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Information and Analyses

The performance-informed budget review must involve a results-oriented approach to planning, budgeting, and performance measurement of programs designed to improve recipients' quality of life. Specifically, selected agencies must include the following information and analyses for such program they administer:

1. any basis, in statute or otherwise;

2. its history;

3. a description of how it fits within the agency's strategic plan and goals;

4. an analysis of its quantified objectives;

5. a description of its goals, fiscal and staffing data, the populations served, and levels of funding and staff needed to achieve its goals if these are different than the actual maintenance level;

6. data demonstrating the amount of service it provided, its effectiveness, and the measurable impact it has on recipients' quality of life;

7. an analysis of factors affecting changes in quality of life outcomes over time;

8. its administrative and other overhead costs;

9. where applicable, the amount of funds or benefits that actually reach the program's intended recipients; and

10. any recommendations to improve program performance.

Bipartisan Subcommittee

The act creates a 14-member subcommittee on performance-informed budgeting. Under the act, the chairpersons of the Finance and Appropriations committees must each appoint to the subcommittee six members from their respective committees, at least two of whom are members of the minority party. The ranking member of each committee must appoint one member each to the subcommittee.

The Finance and Appropriations chairpersons must each choose one member they appoint to serve as one of the two subcommittee chairpersons.

The initial members of the subcommittee must be appointed by February 1, 2018; their terms end on December 31, 2018. Members appointed on or after January 1, 2019 serve two-year terms, beginning on the date of appointment.

Members continue to serve until a successor is appointed, except that a member's term expires when he or she no longer serves in the legislature. A vacancy is filled by the appointing authority.

Background

By law, a budgeted agency means:

1. every department, board, council, commission, institution, or other agency of the executive branch, provided each such entity included by law within any given department is deemed a division of that department;

2. every court, council, division, and other agency of the Judicial Branch financed in whole or in part by the state, including those agencies, officers, employees, and services for which, or for the payment of whose salaries, appropriations are spent on the direction, taxation, or approval of any state court or judge, and all such courts, councils, divisions, agencies, officers, employees, and services are one or more budgeted agency or agencies as the OPM secretary may prescribe;

3. every full-time permanent department or agency of the legislative branch; and

4. every public and private institution, organization, association, or other agency receiving financial aid from the state (CGS 4-69).

213 — MEDICAID AND FAMILY PLANNING

Allows DSS, with legislative approval, to offset any reduction in federal funding for family planning services

The act allows the DSS commissioner, with legislative approval, to offset federal funding reductions for providers or recipients of family planning services otherwise covered by Medicaid. To do so, the legislature must vote to approve such use of funds within 90 days after the commissioner notifies it of a decrease in federal funding for the services. Under the act, eligible services are those otherwise covered by the state's medical assistance program and the providers must otherwise meet DSS participation and enrollment requirements to receive state funding.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

214 — ARTWORK IN STATE BUILDINGS

Prohibits, for two years, the State Bond Commission from allocating a portion of bond proceeds for artwork in state building projects

The act prohibits the State Bond Commission, when allocating bond proceeds from January 1, 2018 to January 1, 2020 for constructing, reconstructing, or remodeling of any state building, from allocating any such proceeds for works of art.

The law usually requires the State Bond Commission to allocate, for artwork, at least 1% of the bond proceeds in state building projects (CGS 4b-53).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, but applies to projects commenced on or after January 1, 2018 to January 1, 2020.

215 — COMPTROLLER REPORTS ON STATE EMPLOYEES BARGAINING AGENT COALITION (SEBAC) SAVINGS

Requires the comptroller to annually determine and report on the savings realized through the 2017 SEBAC Agreement and its related contracts

The act requires the comptroller, for each fiscal year from 2018 through 2027, to determine the amount of labor-management savings realized by the state under the following:

1. the 2017 SEBAC Agreement, including all of its attachments and appended agreements and any agreement reached through negotiations between the state and SEBAC over wages, hours, and other conditions of employment and

2. any other agreements between the state and the individual state employee collective bargaining units to achieve labor-management savings specified in (a) the state budget act for FYs 18 and 19; (b) adjustments or revisions made to the budget act for FY 19; and (c) each successive state budget act thereafter and any even-numbered year adjustments or revisions made to them, through FYs 26 and 27.

Starting by December 1, 2018, and by each December 1 after that through 2027, the comptroller must report to the governor and the legislature the amount of labor-management savings realized for the previous fiscal year under the above agreements.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

216 — PUBLIC HEARINGS ON AUDITS

Requires legislative committees to hold public hearings on auditor reports of agencies under their cognizance

The act generally requires each legislative joint standing committee with cognizance over a state agency that is subject to a state auditors' report to hold a joint public hearing with the Government Administration and Elections Committee on the report within 180 days after the auditors submit it to the legislature.

But committee chairpersons may choose not to hold a hearing if (1) the report contains no statutory or regulatory violations by the agency, (2) the report has only minor or technical recommendations, or (3) they determine the report does not otherwise need a hearing.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

217 — JUDGE SALARY WITHHOLDINGS

Increases, from 5% to 6%, the amount withheld from the salaries of judges, family support magistrates, and compensation commissioners appointed on or after January 1, 2018, for deposit in the Judge's Retirement Fund

The act increases, from 5% to 6%, the amount deducted and withheld from salaries of judges, family support magistrates who elect to be covered by the judicial retirement system, and compensation commissioners. The increase applies only to those individuals appointed on or after January 1, 2018.

As under existing law, the deducted funds must be deposited in the Judge's Retirement Fund.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

218 — FOUR-YEAR TERM LIMIT ON FUTURE SEBAC AGREEMENTS

Limits future SEBAC agreements to four-year terms

By law, the state must negotiate state employee pension and healthcare benefits with a coalition committee that represents all unionized state employees (i.e., SEBAC). Starting June 30, 2027 (when the current SEBAC agreement expires), the act caps at four years the duration of any agreement negotiated under this requirement.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

219 & 220 — FIREFIGHTERS' CANCER RELIEF PROGRAM FUNDING

Eliminates a requirement for the Firefighters' Cancer Relief Program to be funded through E 9-1-1 charges

The act eliminates a requirement for the Firefighters' Cancer Relief Program to be funded with a portion of the fees used to support the enhanced 9-1-1 (E 9-1-1) program. By law, the E 9-1-1 program is funded through a monthly phone service subscriber fee imposed by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA). PA 16-10 established the cancer relief program to provide wage replacement benefits to certain firefighters diagnosed with cancer.

More specifically, the act eliminates requirements for (1) PURA to include the cancer relief program when it annually determines the amount of the E 9-1-1 fee and (2) one cent per access line to be diverted from the E 9-1-1 fee to the cancer relief program each month.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

221 — IMPAIRMENT OF STATE CONTRACTS

Specifies the circumstances under which state legislation may impair state contracts

The act specifies that the state may modify its contracts through legislation if the impairment to the contract is not substantial or if the impairment is substantial, the legislation serves a legitimate public purpose, such as remedying a general social or economic problem, and the means to accomplish the purpose are reasonable and necessary. The act further specifies that the impairment may be considered reasonable and necessary if the state did not (1) consider the impairment on par with other policy alternatives, (2) impose a drastic impairment when an evident and more moderate course of action would serve its purpose equally well, and (3) act unreasonably in light of the surrounding circumstances.

Section 22 of PA 17-4, JSS specifies that these provisions do not apply to (1) investments by, or administered by, the state treasurer, or any related contracts, or (2) bonds, notes, evidences of indebtedness, or other direct or contingent state obligations for borrowed money, or any related contracts.

(It appears that the above provisions have no legal effect. Although they broadly codify federal court decisions regarding when a state may enact laws impairing its contracts, these decisions are based on the federal courts' interpretations of the U.S. Constitution's Contracts Clause and state statute cannot dictate how courts must interpret the U.S. Constitution.)

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

222 — INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY PARTNERSHIP

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

PA 17-61 allows the DDS commissioner, in collaboration with the OPM secretary and social services commissioner, to organize and participate in an Intellectual Disability Partnership. The act specifies that the commissioners and secretary may designate others to do so in their place.

The act 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

223 — PROTOTYPE SCHOOL DESIGN STUDY

Requires the School Building Projects Advisory Council to study prototype school designs

The act requires the School Building Projects Advisory Council to conduct a study on developing and implementing blueprints for prototype school designs for new construction projects and submit it, by January 1, 2019, to the Education and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees.

The study must analyze:

1. the costs for creating blueprints for elementary, middle, and high schools;

2. the feasibility of boards of education using the blueprints as part of the school building project grant program; and

3. any cost savings from using them.

It must also include recommendations on implementing the blueprints and address whether using them should be related to reimbursement percentages for school building projects.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

224 — ALLIANCE DISTRICT DESIGNATION

Requires the education commissioner to designate 33 school districts as alliance districts for a period of five years (designation expired under prior law)

The act reauthorizes the alliance district program by requiring the education commissioner to designate 33 school districts as alliance districts for a period of five years starting with FY 18. Under prior law, the designation expired on June 30, 2017.

Under the act, the new designation applies to the 30 districts with the lowest accountability index scores and any district previously designated as an alliance district when the program began in FY 13 (of which there are three). The accountability index ranks school districts by combining various measures of student performance, primarily standardized assessment scores, into a single score.

As under the program's prior authorization, the act requires the education commissioner to withhold any Education Cost Sharing (ECS) aid increase over an alliance district's FY 12 base amount until she approves the district's plan to improve academic performance. According to the State Department of Education, the alliance districts serve more than 200,000 students in 410 schools.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

225-230 — REVISIONS TO EDUCATION COST SHARING (ECS) FORMULA

Revises the ECS formula, the largest form of state aid to towns, by changing several major formula components including the base aid ratio and the weighting for need students; includes a phase-in for aid increases and decreases until FY 28

The act revises the state education equalization formula, commonly referred to as the ECS formula. (The state has not used the formula since FY 14; instead it has set a specific aid amount in statute for each town.) The act makes changes to key factors in the formula and establishes a method to determine each town's aid amount for FY 18 and the following years. For FY 18, alliance district towns receive the same ECS grant they received in FY 17; non-alliance district towns receive 5% less than they received in FY 17.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Formula Factors

The ECS formula has the following three key factors:

1. the foundation dollar amount ($11,525);

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 base aid ratio, to produce the grant amount. A small bonus is added for regional schools (if applicable), and this results in a town's fully-funded grant. For example, under prior law, a school district with no regional bonus and 1,000 need students that has a base aid ratio of .50 would receive a grant of $5.76 million (1,000 x $11,525 x .50).

The act modifies the student count and the base aid ratio but leaves the foundation dollar amount unchanged.

Student Count

Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, the act modifies two aspects of student need weightings. Specifically, it:

1. changes the student poverty weighting from 30% of students eligible for free or reduced priced meals or free milk (FRPM) to 30% of FRPM-eligible students plus an additional 5% of any FRPM-eligible students above 75% of the total number of resident students and

2. adds a new 15% weighting for the number of students who are English language learners, as identified by the school district.

Base Aid Ratio

The base aid ratio (also known as the aid percentage) is a measure of a town's property and income wealth in relation to a median town wealth level set in the formula. Poorer towns have higher ratios than wealthier towns. The higher a town's ratio, the closer the town comes to receiving the maximum aid.

Wealth Adjustment Factor. By law, in calculating a town's base aid ratio, town wealth is compared to the wealth adjustment factor (WAF) (formerly called the guaranteed wealth level). The WAF is determined by a three-step process: (1) determining the property and income wealth measures with each expressed in a ratio, (2) applying weights to each, and (3) adding the ratios together.

The act alters the way the WAF is determined by lowering the multiplier from 1.5 to 1.35. By lowering the multiplier, this part of the formula decreases the state's share of total education funding.

The property wealth measure is the ratio of (1) a town's equalized net grand list (ENGL) per capita to (2) the ENGL per capita of the town with the state's median ENGL multiplied by 1.35. The income wealth measure is the ratio of (1) a town's median household income to (2) the state's median town household income multiplied by 1.35.

Balance of Property Wealth and Income Wealth. The act also modifies the proportion of property to income wealth in the WAF. Under prior law, WAF was calculated using 90% property wealth and 10% income wealth. Under the act, it is calculated using 70% property and 30% income, thus increasing the weight for income wealth in the aid ratio part of the formula.

Minimum Aid Ratios. The act maintains the minimum aid ratio for alliance districts at 10% and reduces the minimum aid ratio for all other districts from 2% to 1%. The minimum aid ratio guarantees that wealthier towns receive at least a minimum amount of ECS aid.

New Factor: Base Aid Ratio Adjustment

The act creates the base aid ratio adjustment factor, which is a bonus added to a town's base aid ratio if the town is ranked in the top 19 Connecticut towns based on points awarded through the eligibility index for public investment communities (PIC) (i.e., towns with the lowest relative wealth).

The PIC eligibility index measures towns' relative wealth and need by ranking them in descending order by their cumulative point allocations for five categories: (1) per capita income, (2) adjusted equalized net grand list per capita, (3) equalized mill rate, (4) per capita temporary family assistance, and (5) unemployment rate (CGS 7-545).

Under the act, the adjustment factor gives towns anywhere from three to six percentage points bonus in their base aid ratio if they rank in the top 19 of all towns in total eligibility index points (see Table 9).

Table 9: Base Aid Ratio Adjustment Factor Bonus

Town Rank Based on PIC Eligibility Index

Bonus % Points Added to Base Aid Ratio

1-5

6

6-10

5

11-15

4

16-19

3

Town Aid Determination for FYs 18 and 19

The act establishes a new “base grant amount” for each town from which future aid is based. The base grant amount is the ECS grant amount a town was entitled to for FY 17 under the 2016 budget act (PA 16-2, May Special Session), minus authorized cuts implemented during FY 17.

For FY 18, the act entitles a town to receive an ECS grant in an amount determined by its alliance district status:

1. an alliance district town receives the same ECS grant amount it received in FY 17 (i.e., the “base grant amount”), and

2. a non-alliance district town receives the ECS amount it received in FY 17, reduced by 5%.

For FY 19, the act compares a town's new base grant amount to its fully funded grant. For some towns the fully funded grant is an amount greater than the aid they had received in the past. For other towns, especially those with declining student enrollments, the fully funded grant may be less than the town is receiving. (This is primarily due to the past practice of keeping ECS aid at least level for all towns, even if student enrollment dropped.)

The act entitles a town to receive, for FY 19, an ECS grant as follows:

1. If a town's fully funded ECS grant is greater than the amount received in FY 17, then the town is entitled to its base grant amount, plus 4.1% of the difference.

2. If a town's fully funded ECS grant is less than the amount received in FY 17, then the town is entitled to its base grant amount, minus 25% of the difference; however, if this town is an alliance district, it is entitled to the amount received in FY 17 with no reduction.

Town Aid Determination for FYs 20 to 27 and Out Years

The act entitles a town to receive, for FYs 20 through 27, an ECS grant in an amount determined by comparing its base grant amount to its fully funded grant, with an exception for alliance districts:

1. If a town's fully funded ECS grant is greater than the base grant amount, then the town is entitled to the prior year's amount, plus 10.66% of the difference.

2. If a town's fully funded ECS grant is less than the base grant amount, then the town is entitled to the prior year's amount, minus 8.33% of the difference; however, if the town is an alliance district, it is entitled to the base grant amount with no reduction.

For FY 28 and all years following, towns will receive their fully funded amount, except alliance districts continue to receive their base grant amount if that is higher than the fully funded grant.

231-233 — NURSING HOME AND RESIDENTIAL CARE HOME CITATIONS

Makes changes to the process for certain citations issued against nursing home facilities or residential care homes, such as modifying various deadlines

Issuance of Citation

The act allows, rather than requires, the DPH commissioner to immediately issue a citation if a review or an inspection or investigation reveals that a nursing home facility or residential care home (RCH) has violated certain statutes or regulations. This applies to violations classified as Class A violations (an immediate danger of death or serious harm to a patient) and Class B violations (a probability of death or serious harm in the reasonably foreseeable future). (Sections 234 & 235 redefine Class B violations as a potential, rather than a probability, of such harm; see below.)

As under prior law, the citation must provide notice of the nature and scope of the alleged violation. The act also requires the citation to include a notice of noncompliance.

Contesting the Citation

The act extends the time the nursing home or RCH licensee has to contest the citation, from three to five business days after receipt.

Under prior law, if the licensee contested the violation, the DPH commissioner had to hold an informal conference with the licensee within five business days. The act specifies that the commissioner may designate someone to appear in his place at the conference and eliminates the deadline for holding the conference.

The act also requires the commissioner, within five business days after the informal conference concludes, to notify the licensee of his determination, which may include (1) vacating the citation or (2) sustaining the final determination for the citation with or without modification.

Under prior law, if the parties failed to reach an agreement at the conference, the commissioner had to set the matter for a hearing as a contested case under the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act (UAPA). Under the act, this applies only if the licensee requests the hearing within five business days after the commissioner's decision. The act eliminates certain deadlines for such cases in prior law and instead specifies that the commissioner must issue a final order after the hearing in accordance with the UAPA.

Finally, the act allows, rather than requires, the commissioner to file the final order and citation in the Hartford judicial district of the Superior Court.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

234 & 235 — CIVIL PENALTIES FOR NURSING AND RESIDENTIAL CARE HOMES

Increases the maximum civil penalty that may be imposed on nursing homes that violate statutory or regulatory requirements and expands the definition of a class B violation for nursing homes and RCHs

The act increases the maximum civil penalties for nursing home facilities that violate statutory or regulatory requirements from $5,000 to $20,000 for a Class A violation and from $3,000 to $10,000 for a Class B violation.

The act also changes the definition of Class B violations for nursing homes and residential care homes to actions that present a potential, instead of a probability, for death or serious harm to a patient in the reasonably foreseeable future. By law, unchanged by the act, Class A violations are actions that present an immediate danger of death or serious harm to a patient.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

237-246 — SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION GRANT AUTHORIZATIONS

Authorizes 50 new school construction projects totaling $517.9 million in grants, reauthorizes three previous projects due to cost or scope changes, and makes changes affecting six other projects

The act authorizes the DAS commissioner to enter into grant commitments totaling $517.9 million on behalf of the state for 50 new school construction projects.

It also:

1. reauthorizes and changes grant commitments, due to cost or scope changes, for three previously authorized local projects with a total increased grant commitment of $1.1 million and

2. exempts nine school construction projects from various statutory and regulatory requirements (referred to as “notwithstanding” provisions).

New Authorizations and Changes for Previously Authorized Projects ( 237)

Table 10 shows the new school construction projects the act authorizes. The projects have an aggregate cost of $846.3 million, a percentage of which is reimbursed by the state school construction grant program with less wealthy towns receiving a higher reimbursement percentage.

Table 10: 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

Greenwich

New Lebanon School

Diversity school, new construction

37,309,000

29,847,200

80

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

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

8,120,000

63.44

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

Groton

Cutler Elementary School (Carl C. Cutler Middle)

Diversity school and roof replacement

45,850,000

36,680,000

80

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

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

Regional District 14

Nonnewaug High School (Vo-Ag)

Vocational agricultural equipment

587,568

470,054

80

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, and code violation

68,000,000

54,400,000

80

Total

50 projects

 

$846,306,848

$517,912,283

 

Table 11 lists changes to previously authorized school projects. In the case of Hartford's West Middle School, the new authorization is sought because of a change in the project scope, but does not result in a higher cost.

Table 11: 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

Total

Three projects

 

$46,886,294

$47,941,881

$1,055,587

School Construction Project Exemptions and Modifications ( 238-246)

The act exempts nine 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, as provided in Table 12 below.

Table 12: School Construction Project Exemptions and Modifications

Act

Municipality/ Grantee

School & Project

Exemption, Waiver, or Other Change

238

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 act's effective date

239

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

240

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

241

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 Arts 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

242

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 priority list considered in the 2018 legislative session and commitment of the local funding share of the project, provided a (1) local funding authorization referendum is held and results are submitted by November 15, 2017 and (2) completed grant application with authorization for the local share of the project is filed by September 30, 2017

243

Norwich

Kelly Middle School, renovation

Waives the standard method of calculating the town's reimbursement rate; provides an 80% reimbursement rate

244

Colchester

William J. Johnston Middle School, extension, alteration, and roof replacement

Waives the state standard space specifications

245

Norwalk

Side by Side Charter School, new construction

Increases the project costs, and consequently the grant amount, from $2.5 million to $4.2 million (project has a reimbursement rate of 100% under existing law)

246

New London

C.B. Jennings Elementary School, new construction

Waives rules regarding ineligible costs to allow for up to $703,653 in additional costs; waives the requirement that an audit be completed before receiving final state reimbursement, provided the (1) town submits documentation proving the expenses; (2) costs do not exceed $5,255,211; and (3) project meets all other requirements of the school construction program

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

247 — AGENCY PROGRAM INVENTORIES AND RESULTS FIRST PILOT PROGRAM

Makes several changes to program inventories required of certain agencies and requires the OPM secretary to create a pilot program that applies Pew-MacArthur Results First principles to at least eight state-finance grant programs

Agency Program Inventories

Prior law required 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 biennially 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 had to submit the program inventories to OPM's Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division (CJPPD); the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees; OFA; and the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP) at Central Connecticut State University.

The act makes the following changes to these requirements:

1. extends them to DSS;

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 CJPPD; and

5. adds the Human Services Committee as a required recipient.

Additionally, prior law required IMRP to use the program inventory data to annually develop a cost-benefit analysis for each program and submit the report of its analyses to CJPPD; the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees; and OFA. The act requires submission to the OPM secretary, rather than CJPPD. As under prior law, the report is due annually by November 1.

Results First Pilot Program

The act requires the OPM secretary, by January 1, 2019, to create a pilot program that applies the principles of the Pew-MacArthur Results First cost-benefit analysis model to at least eight 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 state policies and programming.

The act requires the secretary to submit a report to the Appropriations Committee by April 1, 2019. It must include a description of the selected grant programs, the pilot program's status, and any recommendations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

248 — 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 medical services to inmates

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. The act 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

249 — REDUCTIONS FOR MUNICIPAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS AND HEALTH DISTRICTS

Requires DPH to reduce payments to municipal and district health departments in FY 19

The act requires the DPH commissioner to reduce, on a pro rata basis, payments to municipal and district health departments by a total of $504,218 for FY 19.

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

250 — FISCAL STABILITY AND ECONOMIC GROWTH COMMISSION

Establishes a 14-member commission to develop and recommend policies to achieve state government fiscal stability and promote economic growth and competitiveness within the state

The act establishes a 14-member Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth.

Commission's Charge

The commission must (1) develop and recommend policies to achieve state government fiscal stability and promote economic growth and competitiveness within the state and (2) study and make recommendations regarding state revenues, tax structures, spending, debt, administrative and organizational actions, and related activities. Under the act, related activities include relevant municipal activities to (1) achieve consistently balanced and timely budgets that are supportive of the interests of families and businesses and the revitalization of the state's major cities and (2) materially improve the state's attractiveness for existing and future businesses and residents.

Membership and Appointment

The commission must consist of the following 14 appointed members:

1. one appointed by the House speaker,

2. one appointed by the Senate president pro tempore,

3. one appointed by the House majority leader,

4. one appointed by the Senate majority leader,

5. one appointed by the House minority leader,

6. one appointed by the Senate Republican president pro tempore, and

7. eight appointed by the governor.

All appointments must be made within 30 days after the act passes, and any vacancy must be filled by the appointing authority. The act requires the appointing authorities to try to coordinate their appointments to achieve policy balance and diversity, including by appointing members who are representative of the state population's diversity in gender, age, ethnicity, race, and geography.

The governor must select the commission's chairpersons from among its members. The chairpersons must schedule the commission's first meeting, which must be held within 40 days after the act passes.

Members' Expertise, Compensation, and Code of Ethics

The commission members must (1) have expertise in public finance, economic growth and development, job creation, or public administration and (2) not receive compensation for their services.

Current public officials must not serve as members of the commission. Under the act, "public official" means a statewide or municipal elected officer, General Assembly member or member-elect, executive or judicial branch employee or official, or legislative branch employee. The act does not consider an advisory board member to be a public official.

Under the act, it is not a conflict of interest for a trustee, director, partner, or officer of any person, firm, or corporation, or any individual having a financial interest in a person, firm, or corporation, to serve as a member of the commission, provided such trustee, director, partner, officer, or individual complies with all applicable provisions of the code of ethics for public officials. The act deems all commission members to be public officials for purposes of the code of ethics and requires that they adhere to the provisions of the code of ethics for public officials.

Staff Support

The OPM secretary and the Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner must provide staff support for the commission and must each designate at least one staff member to attend the commission's meetings.

Each of the four caucuses of the legislative branch, the treasurer, the comptroller, and the attorney general must each appoint a staff member to (1) attend the commission meetings upon the commission's request and (2) communicate with the member's agency about the commission's activities.

The commission may request any office, department, board, commission, or other state agency to supply information and assistance necessary or appropriate to carry out its duties and requirements.

Public Comment, Reporting, and Termination

The act requires the commission to solicit public comment by holding one or more public hearings on its proposals. By March 1, 2018, the commission must report its findings and recommendations to the governor, the General Assembly, and the Appropriations; Commerce; Finance, Revenue and Bonding; and Planning and Development committees.

The commission terminates on the date that it submits its report or March 1, 2018, whichever is later.

2018 Regular Session

The act requires the Appropriations; Commerce; Finance, Revenue and Bonding; and Planning and Development committees, by March 30, 2018, to hold either one joint public hearing or individual public hearings on the commission's report. It also requires one or more of the committees mentioned above, during the 2018 regular session, to originate and, following an additional public hearing, report at least one bill with the commission's recommendations relevant to the committee's cognizance. The act also requires the General Assembly to vote on any such bill.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

251 — YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM FUNDS

Allocates Youth Employment Program funds

For FY 18, the act allocates funds from the Youth Employment Program administered by the Connecticut Department of Labor as follows:

1. $150,000 to the City of Hartford Department of Families, Children, Youth, and Recreation;

2. $350,000 to the Capital Region Workforce Investment Board; and

3. $500,000 to the Wilson-Gray YMCA.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

252 — MINIMUM BUDGET REQUIREMENT

Extends the current minimum budget requirement through FY 19, along with reduction allowances and exemptions

The act extends, through FY 19, the prohibition in existing law against a town budgeting less for education than it did in the previous FY unless it can demonstrate specific achievements or changes within its school district. This prohibition is commonly referred to as the minimum budget requirement (MBR).

MBR Reduction Allowances

The act allows a town to reduce its MBR in FYs 18 and 19 if it experiences an ECS decrease during those years. The MBR reduction must be equal to the education cost sharing (ECS) grant decrease as calculated under the act and described below (see 253 below).

Also, the act extends other MBR reduction allowances in existing law, which are based upon the following factors, through FY 19:

1. experiencing declining enrollment as evidenced by the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced price lunch;

2. paying tuition for students to attend high school out of town due to lack of a local public high school;

3. demonstrating savings through increased efficiencies or regional collaboration; or

4. ceasing school district operations permanently or closing one or more schools through FY 18 due to declining enrollment.

Through FY 19, the act extends the prohibition on an alliance district reducing its MBR.

MBR Exemptions

The act continues exemptions from the MBR through FY 19 for the following entities: (1) any district among the top 10% of districts in the State Department of Education's accountability index and (2) member towns of a newly formed regional school district during the first full FY following its establishment.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

253 — CALCULATIONS FOR EDUCATION COST SHARING (ECS) GRANT INCREASES AND DECREASES

Revises the method for determining ECS increases and decreases for towns in FYs 18 and 19

The act calculates towns' ECS grant increases and decreases for FY 18 as follows:

1. an increase is the difference between the (a) ECS grant amount to which the town is entitled by law in FY 18 and (b) town's lower “base grant amount” (i.e., the amount to which the town was entitled by law in FY 17 under the 2016 budget act, minus authorized cuts implemented later that year; see 229 above) and

2. a decrease is the difference between the (a) ECS grant amount to which the town is entitled by law in FY 18 and (b) town's higher base grant amount.

The act calculates towns' ECS grant increases and decreases for FY 19 as follows:

1. an increase is the difference between the (a) ECS grant amount to which the town is entitled by law in FY 19 and (b) lower ECS grant amount to which the town was entitled by law in FY 18 and

2. a decrease is the difference between the (a) ECS grant amount to which the town is entitled by law in FY 19 and (b) higher ECS grant amount to which the town was entitled by law in FY 18.

The act removes calculations for FY 17 ECS grant increases and decreases from prior law that were described as follows:

1. an increase is the difference between the (a) ECS grant amount received in FY 17 and (b) lesser ECS grant amount received in FY 16 and

2. a decrease is the difference between the (a) ECS grant amount received in FY 16 and (b) lesser ECS grant amount received in FY 17.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

254-257 — 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 on July 1, 2019

Under prior law, there was a 3% increase on July 1, 2017 in (1) salaries for judges and family support magistrates and (2) per diem rates for family support referees and judge trial referees. Under the act, this increase is rolled back upon the act's passage and reinstituted effective July 1, 2019.

The act similarly rolls back and later reinstitutes increases in the additional compensation that certain judges receive for performing administrative duties. The act'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

Table 13 shows salaries and per diem rates affected by the act.

Table 13: Judicial Salaries and Rates under the Act

Position

Salary from July 1, 2017 until October 30, 2017; starts again effective July 1, 2019

Salary from October 31, 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 justice

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*

Family support referee

223/ day*

217/ day*

*Plus expenses, mileage, and retirement pay

Administrative Judges

The law provides judges extra compensation in addition to their annual salaries for taking on certain administrative duties. Under prior law, these amounts increased from $1,142 to $1,177 starting July 1, 2017. The act rolls back this increase on October 31, 2017 and reinstitutes it effective 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.

Other Compensation Affected

The act's provisions similarly 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).

258 — 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 act 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 resource 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

259 & 260 — GRANTS TO REGIONAL COUNCILS OF GOVERNMENT (COGS)

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

Beginning in FY 18 and annually thereafter, the act makes COGs eligible for a “regional services grant.” The grant must be:

1. used to achieve efficiencies in delivering municipal services without diminishing the quality of such services,

2. made within available appropriations, and

3. based on a formula the OPM secretary determines.

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.

Under the act, COGs that receive one of the new regional services grants must annually submit a report by October 1 to the OPM secretary and Planning and Development and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees describing:

1. grant fund expenditures;

2. regional programs, projects, and initiatives provided or planned by such COG;

3. the performance of existing programs, projects, and initiatives relative to their initial goals and objectives;

4. existing services provided by a member municipality or the state that, in the COG's opinion, could be more effectively or efficiently provided on a regional basis; and

5. recommendations for legislative action related to potential impediments to the regionalization of services.

The act also eliminates prior law's requirement that all COGs annually submit by January 1 a report to the OPM secretary and the Planning and Development Committee describing:

1. regional programs, projects, and initiatives provided or planned by such COG;

2. expenditures for programs, projects, and initiatives, including funding source and a cost-benefit analysis for each expenditure;

3. specific annual goals and objectives and quantifiable outcome measures for each program, project, and initiative that the COG administers or provides;

4. the performance of each program, project, and initiative, including any recommendations for legislative action; and

5. existing services provided by a municipality or state that, in the COG's opinion, could be transferred to such COG and any efficiency associated with such transfer.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

261 & 262 — TORRINGTON DSS PILOT PROJECT

Allows DSS, in partnership with Torrington's community action agency, to establish a 12-month pilot project to streamline social services to eligible, low-income individuals

The act allows the Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioner, in partnership with Torrington's community action agency, to establish a 12-month pilot project to provide streamlined social services to assist individuals who qualify for assistance from DSS or a community action agency (i.e., “eligible, low-income individuals”) with achieving economic independence. Under the act and existing law, a “community action agency” (CAA) is one that has been designated and authorized to accept funding from the state under the Community Services Block Grant.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Pilot Project Objectives

Under the act, the pilot project must assist eligible, low-income persons with achieving economic independence. The project must also include the transfer of 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 act prohibits the DSS commissioner from reducing department staff.

Pilot Project Funding

The act 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 from reducing any FY 18 allotment for DSS that results in the early termination of the pilot project.

Case Conference Meetings

The act 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 individuals. In coordinating these meetings, the CAA must consult with service providers that may include the:

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

263 — UNLOADING AND INSPECTING ALCOHOL SHIPMENTS

Generally codifies an existing regulatory requirement that alcohol manufacturers and wholesalers inventory and unload alcohol; gives DCP oversight to ensure compliance; and deems any violation a CUTPA violation

The act generally codifies an existing regulation that prohibits wholesaler and manufacturer permittees from selling or delivering alcoholic liquor unless they first receive, inventory, and unload the product into their warehouse facility before shipping to a retailer (Conn. Agencies Regs., 30-6-B9). Under the act, the DCP commissioner or her authorized agent may inspect such wholesaler's or manufacturer's permit premises, books, and records to ensure compliance. Violators are deemed to have committed a CUTPA violation.

The act's unloading and inspection requirements do not apply to the sale, delivery, or shipment of wine delivered by an out-of-state (1) shipper's permittee for alcoholic liquors that operates a farm winery or (2) small winery shipper's permittee for wine. By law, such out-of-state permittees must not produce more than 100,000 gallons of wine annually.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

264 — DISTRICT HEATING SYSTEM

Requires an electric company to conduct a procurement for a combined heat and power system owned by a thermal energy transportation company and compatible with a district heating system; requires the company to recover costs of the procurement from ratepayers

The act requires an electric distribution company (EDC, e.g., United Illuminating) to conduct a procurement by January 1, 2018, for electricity and renewable energy credits from a combined heat and power (CHP) system located in a distressed municipality with a population over 127,000. The act requires the CHP system to:

1. have a nameplate capacity of no more than 10 megawatts,

2. be compatible for use with a district heating system,

3. be procured and owned by a thermal energy transportation company through a competitive bidding process, and

4. be installed at a location that will maximize the efficient use of thermal energy from the CHP system by a thermal energy transportation company.

The act allows the CHP system to include fuel cells.

Under the act, the procurement is in furtherance of the state's Comprehensive Energy Strategy as it relates to the evaluation of district heating and thermal loops in high-density areas. By law, district heating systems and thermal loops are generally operated by thermal energy transportation companies (CGS 16-1(a)(44)). CHP systems produce electric power and thermal energy from a single source. Thus, under the act, the EDC procures electric power from a CHP connected to a district heating system that can be fueled by the CHP's heat.

The act allows the EDC to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) after reviewing any proposals submitted in response to the procurement. Under the act, the PPA is with the thermal energy distribution company (presumably, a thermal energy transportation company) for the purchase of electricity and renewable energy credits and is for a term of up to 20 years.

The act requires the CHP's thermal energy to be subject to firm customer commitments to subscribe to thermal energy services from the thermal energy transportation company for the PPA's term.

Under the act, the EDC must submit the PPA to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) no later than 15 days after entering into it. The act requires PURA to evaluate the PPA and allows PURA to approve the PPA if it finds that the agreement complies with the act's requirements and serves the long-term interests of ratepayers. The act prohibits PURA from approving a PPA supported in any form of cross subsidization by entities affiliated with the EDC.

The act requires the EDC to recover the net costs of any approved PPA (including the EDC's costs under the PPA and its reasonable costs incurred in connection with it) on a timely basis through a reconciling component of electric rates as determined by PURA that cannot be bypassed when switching electric suppliers. The act prohibits the EDC from recovering from ratepayers more than the PPA's full cost as approved by PURA.

Under the act, the EDC must credit to customers any net revenues from the sales of products purchased in accordance with the PPA through the same rate component used for cost recovery. The EDC must decide whether to sell or retain Class I and Class III renewable energy certificates by determining which option is in the ratepayers' best interest and consistent with the procurement plan for standard service.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

265 — LOCAL BUDGET AND TAX ADJUSTMENTS DUE TO DECREASED AID

Allows municipalities to amend adopted budgets and adjust tax levies if they receive less state aid than projected

For FYs 18 and 19, the act allows municipalities that adopt, adjust, or modify a budget; make budget-related transfers; or levy taxes before the state adopts its FY 18 or FY 19 budget; to amend their budgets and levies if the state's budget provides less in state aid than projected in the municipality's budget.

Amending Education and Noneducation Budgets and Making Transfers

The act allows municipalities to amend their:

1. education budgets in the same manner the budget was originally adopted, adjusted, or modified as long as the amendment does not exceed the educational cost sharing (ECS) grant decrease and

2. noneducation budgets in the same manner the noneducation budget was originally adopted, adjusted, or modified as long as amendment does not exceed the state aid decrease (excluding ECS grant decreases).

The act also authorizes municipalities to make transfers between accounts without following their normal budget processes as long as the transfers are approved by a majority of the legislative body.

The act specifies that budget amendments or account transfers, except those made by an alliance district, will not impact future ECS grant or minimum budget requirement calculations.

Adjusting Levies Following Budget Adjustment

Under the act, by February 1, 2018 for FY 18 and January 1, 2019 for FY 19, municipalities may adjust tax levies and any remaining tax installments or issue supplemental bills.

Applicability

The act's authorization applies regardless of conflicting (1) statutes affecting municipalities, property tax levy and collection, and the minimum budget requirement; (2) special acts; or (3) municipal charters or home rule ordinances.

“Municipalities” covered by the authorization are any towns, cities, boroughs, consolidated towns and cities, and consolidated towns and boroughs. Under the act, “legislative body” means town or city council or board of selectmen, aldermen, directors, representatives, or the warden and burgesses.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

266 — LOCAL BUDGET AND TAX ADJUSTMENTS DUE TO INCREASED AID

Authorizes municipalities and regional boards of education to amend adopted budgets and adjust tax levies if they receive more state aid than projected

The act allows municipalities and regional boards of education that adopted a budget or levied taxes for FY 18 before the state adopted its FY 18 budget to change their budgets and levies if the state's budget provides over $100,000 more in state aid than the board or municipality projected.

PA 17-4, JSS ( 20 & 28) repeals this provision and replaces it with a similar authorization. Please see the Public Act summary for PA 17-4 for a summary of these changes.

Budget and Levy Adjustments

Under the act, municipalities and boards may (1) amend their budget in the same manner that it was originally adopted, in an amount not exceeding the increase in state aid to the board or municipality, and (2) by January 1, 2018, adjust tax levies and any remaining tax installments.

Under the act, municipalities that collect taxes in a single installment may issue supplemental bills reflecting the repeal of the motor vehicle mill rate cap (the act does not repeal the cap).

Applicability

The act's provisions apply regardless of conflicting (1) statutes affecting education and boards of education, municipalities, and property tax levy and collection (including the provisions concerning installments); (2) special acts; or (3) municipal charters or home rule ordinances. “Municipalities” covered by the act's authorization are any towns, cities, boroughs, consolidated towns and cities, and consolidated towns and boroughs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

267 — SUPERINTENDENTS FOR MULTIPLE TOWNS

Allows boards of education that share a superintendent to hold regular joint meetings at least once every two months

Notwithstanding any state or local law, the act allows boards of education that jointly employ the same superintendent to hold regular joint meetings, at least once every two months, in order to reduce expenses and align their provision of education.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

268-273 & 276 — CITIZENS' ELECTION PROGRAM (CEP)

Makes changes to the CEP, including establishing a grant reduction schedule; increasing the maximum individual qualifying contribution (QC) amount; and adjusting QCs for inflation

The act makes changes affecting QCs and grants under the CEP, the state's voluntary public campaign financing system available to legislative and statewide office candidates.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

QC Increase and Adjustments

By law, candidates qualify for the CEP by raising an aggregate amount of QCs, which under prior law ranged from $5 to $100. QCs must come from individual donors, and the required aggregate amount depends on the office sought.

The act (1) increases the individual QC limit from $100 to $250, effective December 1, 2017, and January 1, 2019, for legislative and statewide office candidates, respectively. It also requires the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) to adjust the maximum individual amount, as well as the aggregate QC amounts required to qualify, for inflation. It leaves the $5 minimum unchanged.

Under the act, 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.

By increasing the required aggregate QC amounts, the act also increases the CEP spending limits. Generally, under the program candidates must limit spending to the amount of allowable QCs; grants from the Citizens' Election Fund; and allowable personal funds (CGS 9-702(c)).

The table below shows when the changes to the QC amounts occur.

Table 14: QC Increase and Inflationary Adjustments

Candidates For

Maximum Individual QC Amount Increases from $100 to $250

First Inflationary Adjustment to Maximum Individual QC Amount of $250

First Inflationary Adjustment to Aggregate QC Amount

Governor and lieutenant governor

January 1, 2019

January 15, 2022

January 15, 2022

Other statewide offices

January 1, 2019

January 15, 2022

January 15, 2018

State senator

December 1, 2017

January 15, 2020

January 15, 2018

State representative

December 1, 2017

January 15, 2020

January 15, 2018

Adjustments to Maximum QC Amount. Beginning with primaries and elections held in 2020 for legislative office candidates, the act requires SEEC to adjust the maximum individual QC amount by January 15, 2020. 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, 2019. After 2020, SEEC must adjust the amounts every two years by January 15, basing the adjustment on the CPI-U change from January 1, 2017 through December 31 in the year before the election.

Beginning with primaries and elections held in 2022 for statewide office candidates, the act requires SEEC to adjust the QC amount 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 amount every four years by January 15, basing the adjustment on the CPI-U change from January 1, 2017 through December 31 in the year before the election.

Adjustments to Aggregate QC Amounts. Beginning with primaries and elections held in 2018 for legislative and statewide office candidates, other than candidates for governor or lieutenant governor, the act requires SEEC to adjust the aggregate QC amounts, by January 15, 2018, based on CPI-U changes. As with the adjustments to the maximum QC amounts, SEEC must adjust the aggregate amounts every two years for legislative office candidates and every four years for statewide offices candidates, using the same methodology described above (i.e., using CPI-U changes from January 1, 2017).

Beginning in 2022, SEEC must adjust the aggregate QC amounts, by January 15, 2022, for candidates for governor and lieutenant governor. SEEC must adjust the amount every four years by January 15, basing the adjustment on the CPI-U change from January 1, 2017 through December 31 in the year before the election.

Grants for the 2018 Election Cycle

By law, SEEC must adjust CEP grant amounts for inflation before each regular election for statewide or legislative office candidates. SEEC last adjusted these amounts in 2014 and 2016, respectively. The act eliminates the requirement that SEEC adjust the CEP grants for the 2018 election cycle.

Grant Reduction Schedule

The act 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, minor, and petitioning party candidates. (PA 17-4, JSS ( 27) limits the grant reduction schedule to regular election grants.)

Table 15 below shows the act's grant reduction schedule.

Table 15: 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%

*Applies to major, minor, and petitioning party candidates.

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)).

274 — 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 about alleged election law violations. It investigates and holds hearings as it deems appropriate.

The act 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 act, 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: Upon passage

Preliminary Examination

Under the act, commission staff must conduct and complete a preliminary examination of a complaint within 14 days after receiving it. At that time, the act 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 act 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 act requires SEEC to issue a final decision within one year after receipt or dismiss the complaint. Under the act, 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 grants a respondent an extension or continuance before issuing the decision;

2. a subpoena is issued in connection with the complaint;

3. litigation in state or federal court is related to the complaint; or

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 act, 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.

275 — POST-ELECTION AUDIT

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

The act changes the formula SEEC must use to audit legislative candidate committees following a primary or election. Under prior law, SEEC had to randomly select these candidate committees by lottery.

The act 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

277 — TEACHERS' RETIREMENT FUND ACTUARIAL ASSUMPTIONS STUDY

Requires the Teachers' Retirement Board to (1) study the impact of potential changes in actuarial assumptions used in the Teachers' Retirement Fund's valuation and (2) report its findings and recommendations to the legislature

The act requires the Teachers' Retirement Board, by June 30, 2018, to study the impact of potential changes in actuarial assumptions used in the Teachers' Retirement Fund's valuation, including the assumed annual investment rate of return and the period and methodology for amortizing unfunded liabilities on the following:

1. annual actuarially determined employer contributions,

2. funded and unfunded liabilities, and

3. funding ratio estimated over a period of at least 30 years.

By December 1, 2018, the act requires the board to submit a summary of the study's results and any recommendations for changes to the actuarial assumptions to the Appropriations and Education committees.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

278-319 & 732 — STATE DEPARTMENT ON AGING CONSOLIDATION

Consolidates the state Department on Aging (SDA) within the Department of Social Services (DSS); transfers the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program from SDA to OPM

The act consolidates the State Department on Aging (SDA) within DSS and authorizes the governor, with the Finance Advisory Committee's approval, to transfer funds between the departments in FY 18. Additionally, the act transfers to DSS all SDA functions, powers, duties, and personnel. Specifically, it transfers to DSS authority over the following functions, among others:

1. serving as the designated “state unit on aging” under the federal Older Americans Act (OAA) and administering related programs;

2. allocating OAA funding to the state's five area agencies on aging;

3. overseeing municipal agents for the elderly;

4. awarding state grants for elderly community services and programs and using up to 5% of funds appropriated for these grants for related administrative expenses;

5. establishing and overseeing a fall prevention program, within available appropriations;

6. operating the CHOICES Medicare counseling, Statewide Respite, Community Choices, and elderly nutrition programs;

7. establishing an outreach program to educate consumers on long-term care, including financing, asset protection, and insurance; and

8. providing information to help people choose appropriate long-term care insurance.

Under the act, SDA orders and regulations continue in force as DSS orders and regulations until amended, repealed, or superseded.

Additionally, the act transfers the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Office from SDA to OPM.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

320 — PAYMENTS FOR RETIRED TEACHERS HEALTH INSURANCE

Authorizes a reduction in state payments for FYs 18 and 19 to the Teachers' Retirement Board (TRB) for costs of retiree health plans offered by (1) the TRB and (2) local or regional boards of education

The act authorizes a reduction, for FYs 18 and 19, in state payments to the Teachers' Retirement Board (TRB) for costs of retiree health plans offered by (1) the TRB and (2) local or regional boards of education.

The act supersedes the law that requires the state to pay one-third of the premium for the basic TRB health plan for retired teachers enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and instead requires the state to pay only the amount appropriated for FYs 18 and 19. Also, it supersedes the law that requires the state to pay one-third of the subsidy to local boards of education that provide retiree health insurance to those who are not enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and instead requires the state to pay only the amount appropriated for FYs 18 and 19.

Under the superseded law, the annual premiums for the basic TRB health plan are split equally among the General Fund, the retired teacher, and the retired teachers' health insurance premium account (CGS 10-183t). As for the plans offered by local boards of education, the superseded law requires the TRB to provide a subsidy to local school boards to offset retired teachers' local plan premiums (for the subsidy, one-third comes from the General Fund and the rest is paid by the retired teachers' health insurance premium account (CGS 10-183t).

The act requires the retired teachers' health insurance premium account to make up the difference for both of these health plans for FYs 18 and 19.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

321-323 – DELINQUENCY COMMITMENTS AND JUVENILE JUSTICE SERVICES

Starting July 1, 2018, prohibits courts from committing children adjudicated delinquent to DCF; establishes transition period during which the Judicial Branch may place such a child in DCF congregate care or order DCF services; allows court-ordered facility placement for delinquent child probationary sentences; and requires the Judicial Branch to expand its juvenile justice services

Delinquency Commitments

By law, when a child is convicted as delinquent, the juvenile court may take certain actions, such as placing the child on probation. Starting July 1, 2018, the act prohibits the court from committing a child to DCF as a result of such a conviction.

But the act establishes a transitional period, from July 1, 2018 to January 1, 2019, during which the Judicial Branch may place a child convicted as delinquent in a DCF-operated congregate care setting or order the child to receive community-based DCF services. The Judicial Branch may do so only if DCF operated the setting or provided the services to delinquent children before July 1, 2018. The act requires the agencies to enter into an agreement that allows the Judicial Branch to use the settings and services and requires it to pay DCF for their use.

The act defines a child as a person who is (1) under age 18 or (2) over age 18 and allegedly committed a delinquent act while under age 18.

Probationary Sentences

When sentencing a delinquent child to probation, the act allows the juvenile court to order a period of placement in a secure, limited secure, or nonsecure residential facility. Existing law already allows the court to include certain orders and conditions on these probationary sentences, such as community service or drug testing.

Expanded Juvenile Justice Services

The act requires the Judicial Branch to expand its contracted juvenile justice services to include a comprehensive system of graduated responses with an array of services, sanctions, and secure placements available for the court, juvenile probation officers, and other Court Support Services Division (CSSD) staff. Services must be used to provide individualized supervision, care, accountability, and treatment to any child convicted as delinquent.

Under the act, the court, probation officers, and CSSD staff must apply the services and sanctions and make the placements in a manner that ensures public safety and deters future delinquency.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

324 — TWEED-NEW HAVEN AIRPORT

Earmarks funds in FYs 18 and 19 to operate Tweed-New Haven Airport

The act earmarks $1.5 million from the Connecticut Airport and Aviation account (see 672) in each of FYs 18 and 19 for Tweed-New Haven Airport operations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

325-331 — PASSPORT TO THE PARKS

Establishes a fee on motor vehicle registrations to support a new passport to the parks account, which must be used for (1) operating state parks and campgrounds; (2) funding soil and water conservation districts and environmental review teams; and (3) beginning with FY 19, paying the expenses of the Council on Environmental Quality; exempts Connecticut motor vehicles from parking fees at state parks, forests, and recreational facilities

The act establishes a supplemental, nonrefundable “passport to the parks fee” on new and renewal motor vehicle registrations. The fee is (1) $10 for a biennial registration or (2) $5 per year for an individual age 65 or over who chooses to renew his or her registration annually. The act requires the motor vehicles commissioner to collect the fee from the individual registering the vehicle. The fee, which must be identified on registration forms, applies to the following registration types: passenger, motorcycle, motor home, combination, and antique.

Beginning January 1, 2018, the act exempts individuals with a valid Connecticut motor vehicle license plate from paying a parking fee at any state park, forest, or recreational facility. It requires the energy and environmental protection commissioner to establish fees for and sell annual, nontransferable parking passes to nonresidents for parking throughout the calendar year at state parks, forests, boat launches, or other state recreational facilities. Under existing law, parking fees for nonresidents cannot be more than 150% of the fees charged as of April 1, 2009.

Under the act, collected passport to the parks fees must be deposited in the passport to the parks account, which the act establishes as a separate, nonlapsing General Fund account. The account must be used for the care, maintenance, operation, and improvement of state parks and campgrounds; funding soil and water conservation districts and environmental review teams; and, beginning with FY 19, paying the expenses of the Council on Environmental Quality. Money in the account may only be spent pursuant to a legislative appropriation. The account must contain all money required by law to be deposited in it and may also receive funds from private or public sources. It must contain subaccounts for funds collected from state park property for any special event of limited duration (e.g., weddings and receptions) attributable to the state park from which the funds are collected.

The act also requires certain revenue to be deposited to the passport to the parks account instead of any other fund or account as under prior law. Specifically, the act shifts to the passport to the parks account the revenue derived from the following:

1. parking, admission, boat launching, and other uses of state parks, forests, boat launches, and other state recreational facilities;

2. providing services at state parks, forests, and facilities;

3. entering into contracts with concession operators;

4. operating state parks;

5. leasing camping sites and buildings on state parks; and

6. renting state property for any special event of limited duration.

Lastly, the act makes various minor, technical, and conforming changes. For example, it specifies that the federal Clean Air Act fee required by law is nonrefundable.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018

332 — LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL OF STATE EMPLOYEE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS

Requires the legislature to affirmatively vote in order to approve state employee collective bargaining agreements and arbitration awards; establishes caps on the time allowed to debate approval; revises the process that occurs after the legislature rejects an agreement or award

Legislative Approval Process

The act requires the legislature to affirmatively vote in order to approve state employee collective bargaining agreements and arbitration awards. Under prior law, such agreements and awards were automatically deemed approved if the legislature failed to vote to approve or reject them within 30 days after they were filed or submitted to the legislature. Under the act, they will instead be deemed rejected if the legislature fails to approve or reject them within the same time frame.

The act also imposes limits on the time allowed to debate a resolution to approve or reject an agreement or award, depending on when the debate occurs. If the debate occurs during the first 27 days of the 30-day deadline, each chamber may allow no more than six total hours of debate, with those in favor and those opposed each allocated up to three hours to speak. If the debate occurs during the last three days of the 30-day deadline, each chamber may allow up to four total hours of debate, with those in favor and those opposed each allocated up to two hours to speak. A vote must be taken at the end of the debate.

Revised Process for Rejected Agreements and Awards

The act revises the process that occurs after the legislature rejects an arbitration award or collective bargaining agreement. Under prior law, when an award or agreement was rejected the matter was returned to the parties for further negotiating. The act instead establishes separate processes for rejected awards and agreements. Rejected arbitration awards must return to arbitration with the award from this subsequent arbitration automatically deemed approved by the legislature. Rejected collective bargaining agreements must go to arbitration under the state employee arbitration law and the subsequent arbitration award must be submitted to the legislature for approval. If the legislature rejects this award, the matter must return for further arbitration and the subsequent award from the further arbitration is automatically deemed approved by the legislature.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

333 — FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY REPORTS

Exempts OPM and OFA from submitting annual fiscal accountability reports in November 2017

Existing law requires (1) the OPM secretary and the director of OFA to each submit annual fiscal accountability reports to the legislature's fiscal committees in November and (2) the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees to meet to consider these reports by November 30 each year (CGS 2-36b). For 2017, the act exempts (1) OPM and OFA from submitting their annual fiscal accountability reports and (2) the committees from meeting to consider them.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

334-348 — CRUMBLING CONCRETE FOUNDATIONS

Creates a framework to assist homeowners with crumbling concrete foundations

The act provides a framework to assist owners of residential buildings (i.e., one- to four-family dwellings, including condominium and planned development units) with concrete foundations damaged by the presence of pyrrhotite (“crumbling concrete foundations”). Among other things, the act:

1. creates a captive insurance company to distribute grants and organize assistance programs, and authorizes the State Bond Commission to issue bonds of up to $20 million per year for five years (see 553) to capitalize and fund the captive's activities;

2. creates a Collapsing Foundations Credit Enhancement Program (CFCEP) to help homeowners obtain additional funding necessary to replace or repair crumbling concrete foundations;

3. allows taxpayers to reduce their Connecticut adjusted gross income by the amount of certain financial assistance received to repair or replace crumbling concrete foundations;

4. waives certain building permit fees for repairing or replacing crumbling concrete foundations;

5. allows an insured to sue his or her homeowners insurer for up to one year after the insurer denies a claim for coverage of a crumbling concrete foundation; and

6. prohibits, unless certain standards are adopted, using recycled material containing pyrrhotite to produce structural concrete for residential or commercial construction.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Captive Insurance Company ( 336)

The act requires five “incorporators” (see below) to establish a not-for-profit captive insurance company (“captive”) for the public purpose of providing assistance to owners of residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations. Under the act, such 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 act sunsets the captive on June 30, 2022, or earlier if its existence is terminated by law, and vests all of its rights and properties to the state at that time.

Financial Assistance. The captive must:

1. provide financial assistance to owners of residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations, including financial reimbursement to owners that repaired or replaced a foundation prior to the act's effective date;

2. ensure that the financial assistance is used solely to repair or replace crumbling concrete foundations; and

3. help owners obtain additional financing if needed to fully repair or replace a crumbling concrete foundation.

The captive must also:

1. develop, in coordination with the DOH, Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), and participating CFCEP lenders, a single, unified financial assistance application for owners of residential buildings to apply for all financial assistance available for crumbling concrete foundations under the act;

2. develop financial assistance eligibility requirements and underwriting guidelines and publish them on the captive's website at least 30 days before their adoption, amendment, or modification;

3. (a) require owners to disclose any amount they receive under a homeowner's insurance policy for crumbing concrete foundations and (b) consider this amount when determining how much financial assistance to offer homeowners; and

4. approve eligible contractors and vendors and disburse funds to them on behalf of claimants for repairing or replacing foundations.

The captive must issue a decision on a homeowner's application for assistance in writing and include any information it relied upon in reaching its decision, including the relevant eligibility and underwriting criteria. A homeowner may request a review of the decision within 30 days. A final determination must be made within 30 days of receiving the homeowner's request for a review unless he or she agrees to an extension. Final determinations are subject to the board of directors' approval, and homeowners have no right to appeal.

Operations. The captive must also:

1. enter into agreements, as necessary, with CHFA or lenders participating in the CFCEP to develop additional financial products or loan programs that have terms and conditions more favorable than those available on the open market and

2. apply for any federal funds available to owners of residential buildings and condominiums with crumbling concrete foundations. (Any money received must, to the extent possible by federal law, be deposited into the Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund.)

The act authorizes the captive to do all things necessary and desirable to accomplish its purposes, including hiring employees and contracting for administrative and operational services. It prohibits the captive from using more than 10% of funding allocated or available to it in a given calendar year for administrative or operation costs. Captive employees and agents are not state employees, but the act subjects the captive's employees, directors, agents, consultants, and contractors to certain state ethics provisions (e.g., conflict of interest) and grants the Office of State Ethics the authority to enforce these provisions.

Incorporation and Organization. The act requires five incorporators, one appointed by each of the four legislative leaders (the House speaker and minority leader and the Senate president pro tempore and Republican president pro tempore) and one by the governor, to incorporate the captive.

The four legislative leaders must also each appoint a General Assembly member as a nonvoting, ex-officio member of an organizing committee. The incorporators may appoint others to the organizing committee at their discretion. Presumably, the organizing committee assists the incorporators in establishing the captive.

Under the act, if the legislative leaders do not make their appointments within thirty days after the act's effective date, the governor must do so.

The captive must establish a volunteer board of directors that includes a real estate agent or broker; two owners of residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations; the chief executive, or his or her designee, of a municipality with residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations; an experienced, registered investment advisor; the executive directors of the Capitol Region Council of Governments and the Eastern Region Council of Governments, or their designees; and insurance and banking industry representatives who do not have professional relationships with any bank or insurance company that has a financial interest in buildings receiving assistance covered by the act.

The four legislative leaders must also each appoint a member of the General Assembly as a nonvoting, ex-officio member of the board of directors.

Reporting and Disclosure Requirements. The captive must, upon request of the Planning and Development, Public Safety, and Housing committees or the governor, make recommendations to improve the captive's efficiency and operation and expand eligibility for financial assistance.

It must also, in addition to any reports required of nonprofits by the IRS, submit quarterly reports to the Insurance and Real Estate; Finance, Revenue and Bonding; Planning and Development; Housing; and Public Safety committees. The reports must include information about:

1. any funding allocated or made available to the captive;

2. the total amount of financial assistance provided, by town and in aggregate;

3. the total number of assistance applications received and granted for the quarter, by town and in aggregate;

4. the total number of pending applications, including the amounts of the claims, by town and in aggregate;

5. the average application processing time; and

6. the captive's administrative and operational expenses.

These committees must also, at least annually, hold a joint public hearing on the captive's operation and financial condition.

Licensure. The act subjects the captive to existing laws regulating captive insurance companies but exempts it from having to pay a license fee in its first year or a renewal fee thereafter.

Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund ( 335)

The act establishes the Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund as a separate, nonlapsing General Fund account. The account contains donations and any money required by law to be deposited into it. Money in the account must be (1) used to incorporate the act's captive insurance company and (2) transferred to the captive upon its licensure.

Under the act, donations to the fund are for helping homeowners repair or replace crumbling concrete foundations and to minimize such homes' negative municipal impact. Donations cannot be further restricted by the donor or used by the captive for any other purpose. The act (1) prohibits the captive from returning any contributions and (2) requires it to keep bond proceeds separate from all other funds in the account.

Department of Housing Requirements. The act allows DOH to apply for, receive, and administer any federal funds intended to assist owners of residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations, including any funds available by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 108 Loan Guarantee program. All funds received in this way must be deposited into the Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund.

Collapsing Foundations Credit Enhancements Program ( 337)

The act creates the CFCEP, administered by CHFA, to assist eligible borrowers (i.e., residential building owners) with obtaining 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 act, a “participating lender” is a depository bank or credit union participating in the program. A “qualifying loan” is any loan provided to an eligible borrower to repair or replace a crumbling concrete foundation that (1) is issued by a participating lender and subject to the lender's underwriting standards, (2) carries an interest rate in accordance with the act (see above), and (3) is made subject to the program.

The act requires CHFA to (1) seek banks' and credit unions' participation in the CFCEP and (2) develop, in consultation with the lieutenant governor and representatives from the banking and credit union industries, the program's terms, conditions, and standards 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. inspection or testing needed 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 them.

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 act 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 ( 338 & 346)

Under the act, 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, then 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 act 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 act, a violation of this prohibition is an unfair or deceptive act or practice.

Building Permit Fee Waivers ( 339)

The act requires municipalities to waive the 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 ( 340)

The act requires the DCP commissioner to include the following in the residential property condition disclosure report:

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,

2. a question on whether the seller knows of any testing or inspection related to the property's foundation, and

3. a question on whether the seller knows 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 ( 341)

The act 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. The requirement applies to policies issued, renewed, or in effect on or after the act's effective date. 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 act, “personal risk insurance” means homeowners, tenants, mobile home, and other property and casualty insurance for personal, family, or household needs, but not workers' compensation and automobile insurance.

Personal Income Tax Deductions ( 342)

The act allows taxpayers, beginning in the 2017 tax year, 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 under the act's CFCEP or municipal joint borrowing provisions. The deduction applies to the extent that the financial assistance was properly included in the taxpayer's federal gross income.

Municipal Joint Borrowing ( 343)

The act 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 jointly 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 act also authorizes any such municipalities who jointly borrow to enter into an agreement with the captive or any participating lender in the CFCEP to, jointly or otherwise, provide financial assistance to owners of residential buildings with crumbling concrete foundations.

Municipal Bonding Authority ( 344)

The act 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 ( 345)

The act 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 the group 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;

2. two appointed by the Senate president pro tempore, one of whom must be a Capitol Region Council of Governments member;

3. one each appointed by the House majority and minority leaders; and

4. one each appointed by the Senate majority and minority leaders.

The act specifies that working group appointees may be legislators. It requires appointments to be made within 30 days after the act's effective date and any vacancies to be filled by the appointing authority.

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 after the act's effective date.

The act requires the General Law Committee's administrative staff to also serve as the working group's administrative staff.

Homeowner Advocate ( 347)

The act establishes a special homeowner advocate within DOH responsible for:

1. coordinating state efforts to assist homeowners with crumbling concrete foundations;

2. working with the federal government on federal support for such homeowners;

3. advising and assisting such homeowners in making claims for financial assistance from the captive insurance company and accessing any other available assistance or support;

4. referring eligible homeowners to any entities providing support or assistance;

5. helping to resolve complaints against the captive; and

6. reporting, at least annually, to the Insurance and Real Estate; Finance, Revenue, and Bonding; Planning and Development; Housing; and Public Safety committees on these complaints and testifying at any associated hearings held by these committees.

Contractor Training Program ( 348)

The act requires the consumer protection commissioner, in consultation with the labor commissioner and within available appropriations, to establish a training program for contractors repairing or replacing crumbling concrete foundations.

349-376 — MUNICIPAL ACCOUNTABILITY REVIEW BOARD

Establishes a process through which financially distressed municipalities may issue deficit financing bonds and obtain state financial assistance if they submit to state fiscal oversight by the Municipal Accountability Review Board, also established by the act

The act provides a process through which financially distressed municipalities may issue deficit financing bonds and obtain state financial assistance if they agree to state fiscal oversight and control. The process classifies municipalities based on financial distress criteria and assigns them to one of four tiers, each subjecting a municipality to an increasingly higher degree of state fiscal oversight and control.

The act establishes an 11-member Municipal Accountability Review Board (MARB) to provide this oversight and control. For municipalities that receive the most distressed designation, tier IV, the MARB (1) assumes control of the town budget, (2) may reject proposed collective bargaining agreements, and (3) may impose binding arbitration on parties negotiating employee contracts. The board consists of state officials and members with municipal government, labor, and business expertise appointed by the governor or legislative leaders.

The act's four-tier designation process is an alternative to the existing two-tier certification process, which allows certified municipalities to issue deficit financing bonds if they agree to state fiscal oversight and control by the Municipal Finance Advisory Commission (MFAC), a state body authorized to oversee the finances and administration of financially distressed municipalities (see background).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Certified and Designated Municipalities

The act adds an alternative to the existing process through which financially distressed municipalities can use certain deficit-financing methods to secure their bonds.

Certified Municipalities. Under the existing process, a municipality may access these methods based on statutory criteria that classifies municipalities into two tiers, which the act labels certified tier I and certified tier II, with each tier subjecting a municipality's finances to MFAC's oversight.

Table 16 shows the certification criteria, which reflect a municipality's bond rating.

Table 16: Criteria for Certified Tier I and Tier II Municipalities

Under Existing Law

Certified Tier I

Certified Tier II

Has a long-term investment grade or higher bond rating

Unable to obtain bond insurance on reasonable terms and conditions

Meets other Office of Policy and Management (OPM) standards

Has a long-term investment grade or higher bond rating

Unable to obtain bond insurance on reasonable terms and conditions

Has not issued a deficit obligation within the last five years

Has no outstanding deficit obligations

Meets other standards established by OPM

The act eliminates the requirement that the OPM secretary establish other standards for tier I and II certification in regulations and instead requires him to do so only in writing and post the standards on OPM's website ( 362).

By law, certified tier II municipalities are subject to more state fiscal oversight and control than certified tier I municipalities. The MFAC exercises the oversight and control.

Designated Municipalities. The act's alternative process allows municipalities to request classification as a designated tier I, II, III, or IV municipality based on criteria the act establishes. Designated tier I municipalities, like certified tier I and certified tier II municipalities, are subject to oversight by MFAC. Designated tier II, III, and IV municipalities are subject to increasingly greater degrees of state fiscal oversight and control as exercised by MARB.

The increase in state oversight and control corresponds to a municipality's overall fiscal condition, as reflected in the designation criteria. The criteria include the capacity to issue bonds based on standard industry ratings, the degree to which a municipality depends on state aid to fund its budget (i.e., state aid as a percentage of total revenue), the ability to operate efficiently and generate fund balances, percentage of year to year revenue increases, and equalized mill rate.

As explained below, municipalities initiate the process by requesting the OPM secretary to assess their fiscal condition and assign a designation based on the act's criteria. But the act also specifies other criteria under which the secretary must assign a municipality a specified tier designation. For example, he must designate any municipality that issues a bond to finance a general fund deficit as tier III municipality.

Designated Tier I Municipalities ( 360)

Designation Criteria. Under the act, a municipality's chief elected official (CEO) may apply to the secretary to have the municipality designated as a tier I municipality if it meets one of the three sets of criteria for each measure shown in Table 16.

Table 16: Tier I Designation Criteria

Measures

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Bond rating

No rating or its highest rating is A or above, as long as all of its ratings are investment grade

No rating or its highest rating is A, as long as all of its ratings are investment grade

Bond rating is AA or above, as long as all of its ratings are investment grade

State municipal aid as percentage of current year general fund budget

Less than 30%

Less than 30%

30% or more of current year general fund

Fund balance

Positive

Positive fund balance of less than 5%

Positive

FY 18 municipal revenue increase as a percentage of revenue

At least 2%

Not applicable

At least 2%

Equalized mill rate

Not applicable

Not applicable

Equalized mill rate less than 30 mills

Besides “bonding capacity,” the criteria include the following budgetary and taxing terms:

1. “State municipal aid” is the funding a municipality receives from the state that is used to fund its municipal general fund and education budgets. It includes grants, formula grants, payments in lieu of taxes, reimbursements, payments, and other funding.

2. “Fund balance” refers to whether a municipality's general fund is in the black at the end of the fiscal year, as reflected in the municipality's most recent audited statements that were prepared according to generally accepted accounting principles. The balance is the amount by which the fund's assets and deferred outflows exceed its liabilities and deferred inflows. (Deferred inflows and outflows refer to revenues and expenses, respectively, that have been incurred or received, but not yet recognized as such.)

3. “Fund balance percentage” is the ratio of a municipality's year end general fund balance to the total of general fund revenues and operating transfers to the fund for that fiscal year.

4. “Municipal revenue increase” measures the extent to which municipal revenue grew between FY 17 and FY 18 as a share of a municipality's total FY 16 general fund revenues and operating transfers to the fund.

5. “Equalized mill rate” is the tax rate derived by dividing a municipality's most recent grand levy by the municipality's equalized net grand list.

State Oversight and Control. The OPM secretary must refer any municipality that requests a tier I designation to the MFAC, and the municipality must prepare and present a three-year financial plan to the commission for its review and approval.

The act also places the municipality on the same footing as those the secretary refers to the commission under existing law. Thus, among other things, the commission can make recommendations to improve the municipality's financial conditions, and the municipality's chief executive officer must submit a report on the status of those recommendations or any other remedial measures to improve those conditions (CGS 7-394b).

If the chief executive officer fails to provide information or submit the report within 30 days, the MFAC may impose a civil penalty of between $1,000 and $10,000 on the municipality. Upon the chief executive officer 's request, the OPM secretary may waive some or all of the penalty if he determines the chief executive official had reasonable cause not to comply with the commission's request (CGS 7-394b).

Designated Tier II Municipalities ( 363 & 370)

Designation Criteria. Under the act, a municipality's CEO may apply to the OPM secretary to have the municipality designated as a tier II municipality if it meets one of the five sets of criteria for each measure shown in Table 17.

Table 17: Tier II Designation Criteria

Measures

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Set 4

Set 5

Bond Rating

No rating from a bond rating agency or its highest rating is A, as long as all of its ratings are investment grade

No rating from a bond rating agency or its highest rating is A, as long as all of its ratings are investment grade

Highest bond rating is AA or higher, as long as all of its ratings are investment grade

Highest bond rating is AA or higher, as long as all of its ratings are investment grade

Highest rating is Baa or BBB, as long as all of its ratings are investment grade

State aid as percent of prior or current fiscal year general fund budget

30% or more

30% or more

30% or more

Not applicable

Not applicable

Fund balance

Positive fund balance of at least 5%

Positive fund balance of less than 5%

Not applicable

Negative

Positive

FY 18 municipal revenue increase as a percentage of revenue

At least 2%

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Equalized mill rate

Less than 30 mills

Less than 30 mills

30 or more mills

Not applicable

Less than 30 mills

State Oversight and Control. The act requires the OPM secretary to refer any municipality that requests a tier II designation to MARB. And it gives MARB the same authority and responsibilities with respect to these municipalities that the law gives MFAC with respect to certified tier II municipalities. That authority includes the power to require designated tier II municipalities to prepare three-year financial plans and monthly financial reports and submit them to MARB for its review and approval in the manner its specifies.

The tier II designation also imposes certain conditions and restraints on the municipality's fiscal practices. In preparing and adopting its budget, the municipality must include only MARB-approved assumptions about state and property tax revenue. MARB must approve or disapprove all of a tier II municipality's debt obligations and approve them only if they improve the municipality's financial condition.

If the municipality applies for and receives funding from the Municipal Restructuring Fund described below, it must submit its annual budget to MARB for approval ( 370).

Designated Tier III Municipalities ( 366)

The act specifies two avenues through which a municipality may be designated as tier III: (1) the municipality requests designation by the OPM secretary, which he must grant if it meets the act's distress criteria, or (2) the secretary designates it as tier III based on its bonding capacity regardless of whether it requested the designation.

Municipal Request. The act allows a municipality's CEO or legislative body, by majority vote, to apply to the OPM secretary to designate the municipality as a tier III municipality if it meets one of the following criteria:

1. the municipality has at least one bond rating from a bond rating agency that is below investment grade or

2. the municipality has no bond rating from a bond rating agency or its highest bond rating is A, Baa, or BBB, as long as all of its ratings are investment grade, and it has either (A) a negative fund balance percentage or (B) an equalized mill rate of 30 or more and it receives 30% or more of its current or prior fiscal year general fund budget revenues in state municipal aid.

The municipality's CEO may submit the application for tier III designation only after notifying the legislative body that he or she intends to do so and giving it the time the act requires to approve or reject the CEO's request. Under the act, the legislative body has up to 30 days from the day it received the CEO's notice to act. If the legislative body neither approves nor disapproves the CEO's decision within the 30-day period, it is deemed to have approved the decision.

The OPM secretary must designate a municipality as tier III if it meets the above designation criteria and he finds that its fiscal condition warrants a tier III designation, based on MFAC's reports and findings.

OPM Designation. Beginning July 1, 2018, the act requires the OPM secretary to designate any municipality as tier III, regardless of whether it applied for such designation, if it issues:

1. a deficit funding bond or has issued one since July 1, 2012, or

2. refunding bonds with over 25-year terms that fail to achieve net present value savings as the law requires (CGS 7-370c, as amended by PA 17-147) and its total annual debt obligations, including the refunding bonds, exceed the obligations for the refunding bonds for the first full year after they were issued.

The act also creates an exception to the above criteria, applicable before July 1, 2018, that allows a town with a population of 120,000 or more and a bond rating of Caa1 or less to be designated.

State Oversight and Control. The OPM secretary must refer any municipality designated as tier III to MARB, whose oversight authorities and responsibilities with respect to designated tier III municipalities are described below.

Designated Tier IV Municipalities ( 368)

While the option to request a tier I-III designation is available to all municipalities that meet the statutory financial distress criteria, the option to designate a municipality as tier IV is limited to designated tier III municipalities and signals a worsening of their financial condition. A designated tier III municipality may request a tier IV designation or MARB may, after April 1, 2018, recommend such designation based on the act's criteria. The tier IV designation subjects the municipality to more MARB fiscal oversight and control, including requiring MARB's approval for any municipal budget or tax levy.

Municipality Requested Tier IV Designation. A designated tier III municipality's CEO or legislative body may, by majority vote, apply to the OPM secretary to designate the municipality as a tier IV municipality. As with designated tier III municipalities, the CEO may submit the application only after notifying the legislative body that he or she intends to do so, and it must have up to 30 days from the notice to act. If the legislative body neither approves nor disapproves the CEO's decision after the 30 days, it is deemed to have approved the decision.

The secretary may approve the request if he determines that (1) the designation is necessary to ensure the municipality's fiscal sustainability and (2) it is in the state's best interest.

MARB Recommended Designation. The act allows the MARB, on its own initiative, to recommend changing the designation of a tier III municipality to tier IV. It allows MARB to do so based on an evaluation of the municipality's:

1. reserve fund balance;

2. short- and long-term liabilities, including the municipality's ability to meet statutorily, judicially, or contractually mandated minimum funding levels;

3. initial budgeted revenues for the previous five years compared to the actual revenue for those years;

4. budget projections for the three subsequent fiscal years;

5. economic outlook; and

6. access to capital markets.

To decide whether the municipality's fiscal condition warrants a tier IV designation, the act expands MARB's 11-member board (see below) to include the municipality's CEO, treasurer, and a legislative body member selected by that body, but it prohibits the treasurer from voting on whether to change the designation to tier IV.

MARB must submit its findings and recommendation to the OPM secretary, who must notify the public and give it 30 days to comment. (The act does not indicate how the public comment notice must be implemented.) After the 30-day comment period, the secretary must submit MARB's findings and recommendations, along with a report on the public comments, to the governor, who must decide whether to approve or disapprove the tier IV designation.

If the OPM secretary or MARB approves the tier IV designation, and the municipality subsequently issues a deficit obligation, the municipality must retain the tier IV designation.

Designation Changes ( 369 & 371)

Tier I and Tier II. Under the act, a municipality designated as tier I or II must generally retain such designation regardless of any positive changes in the factors that led to its current designation until, in the fiscal years after its designation:

1. there have been no annual operating deficits in the municipality's general fund for two consecutive fiscal years;

2. the municipality's bond rating has either improved or remained unchanged since its most current designation;

3. the municipality has presented, and the commission or board has approved, a financial plan that projects a positive unreserved fund for the three succeeding consecutive fiscal years; and

4. the municipality's audits for such consecutive fiscal years have been completed and contain no general fund deficit.

Under the act, a municipality whose designation was removed must remain undesignated unless a change in circumstances requires it to be designated in a higher tier than its most recent designation.

Tier III and Tier IV. Under the act, a municipality designated as a tier III or tier IV municipality retains its designation regardless of any positive changes in the factors that led to its current designation or until, in the fiscal years following that designation:

1. there have been no annual operating deficits in the municipality's general fund for three consecutive fiscal years, but MARB may set a longer or shorter term based on the fiscal year before the municipality's designation;

2. the municipality's bond rating has either improved or remained unchanged since its most current designation, provided it has no bond ratings that are below investment grade;

3. the municipality has presented and the board has approved a financial plan that projects a positive, unreserved fund balance for three succeeding consecutive fiscal years covered by the financial plan; and

4. the audits for these fiscal years have been completed and contain no general fund deficit.

But a tier IV municipality that meets these criteria must still retain its designation if it issues bonds or other debt to fund a general fund deficit, as permitted under CGS 7-568.

A municipality whose tier III or tier IV designation was removed must remain undesignated unless it:

1. has an annual operating deficit in its general fund equal to 1% or more of its completed annual general fund budget,

2. experiences an annual operating deficit in its general fund in consecutive years of any amount, and

3. has one or more bond ratings that are below investment grade.

The municipality must meet these conditions regardless of whether it issued debt secured by certain statutory mechanisms, such as the property intercept procedure, or meets the conditions for tier I-IV designation.

MARB ( 367)

Membership. The act establishes MARB to oversee designated tier II, III, and IV municipalities, exercising the powers and performing responsibilities the act authorizes. It places MARB within OPM for administrative purposes only. Table 18 identifies the board members, their respective appointing authorities, and terms.

Table 18: MARB Membership

Member

Appointing Authority

Term

OPM secretary or designee (also serves as co-chairperson)

Per the act

Not applicable

Treasurer or designee (also serves co-chairperson)

Per the act

Municipal finance director

Governor

Six years, until successor appointed, but two of the governor's initial appointments serve three-year terms and all subsequent appointments serve six-year terms

Persons appointed to fill a vacancy serve for the balance of the member's term

Municipal bond or bankruptcy attorney

Governor

Town manager

Governor

Person with organized labor experience

Governor, chosen from three recommendations by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Person with experience as a teacher or representing a teachers organization

Governor, chosen from three joint recommendations by the Connecticut Education Association and American Federation of Teachers—Connecticut

One person with business, finance, or municipal management experience

Senate president pro tempore

One person with business, finance, or municipal management experience

House speaker

One person with business, finance, or municipal management experience

Senate minority leader

One person with business, finance, or municipal management experience

House minority leader

Alternates for gubernatorially appointed members, each with the same experience as the appointed member

Governor may appoint one or more alternates for his appointments if there are two or more designated tier II, III, or IV municipalities

Same term as the regular member

Limited Membership Related to Tier III or IV Municipality

Municipal representatives from the town under consideration

For determining whether to designate a tier III as a tier IV, CEO, treasurer (nonvoting), and legislative body member are added to board

Limited to time it takes to make designation decision

For designated tier IV, the following added to board as ex officio: municipality's CEO or designee, legislative body member or designee, treasurer or official responsible for issuing bonds, and minority party member of legislative body

 

As noted above, the act expands the board's membership when a tier III municipality is redesignated as a tier IV municipality. The board members are not compensated for their service, but they are reimbursed for expenses incurred while performing their duties.

Operation Costs. The board may charge designated tier III and IV municipalities for expenses it incurs for work related to them, including staff and consultant costs, and the municipalities may pay for these expenses with the proceeds of deficit obligation or restructuring bonds.

Municipal Reporting Requirements. Under the act, any municipality, including its administrative units and board of education, must supply MARB with any financial reports, data, audits, statements, and any other records or documentation it needs to exercise its powers and perform its duties and functions. These reports may include:

1. proposed budgets,

2. monthly reports of the municipality's financial condition,

3. the status of the municipality's current annual budget and progress under its financial plan for the current fiscal year,

4. estimates of the operating results for all funds or accounts to the end of the fiscal year,

5. pension plan and debt projections,

6. statements and projects of general fund cash flow reserves,

7. the number of employees on the municipal payroll, and

8. debt service requirements on all of the municipality's bonds and notes for the following month.

The board must establish written procedures it deems necessary to carry out its responsibilities and meet the act's purposes.

MARB Powers and TIER III Municipalities ( 367)

Under the act, each designated tier III municipality must work with the board and report to it. In overseeing tier III municipalities, MARB has the same powers that it has with respect to designated or certified tier II municipalities (although the act does not give MARB oversight authority over certified tier II municipalities) plus many additional responsibilities and authorities described below.

Budgetary. Under the act, when preparing their annual budgets, designated tier III municipalities must include only the assumptions MARB approved regarding state revenue and local property tax revenue and the mill rate.

Furthermore, with respect to municipal budgets, MARB must:

1. review and comment on the municipality's annual budget before the municipality's legislative body adopts it;

2. monitor compliance with the municipality's three-year financial plan and annual budget and recommend that the municipality make any changes necessary to ensure budgetary balance; and

3. obtain information on the municipality's and board of education's financial conditions and needs.

If the municipality applies for and receives state municipal restructuring funds, as described below, it must submit its annual budget to MARB for approval.

In addition to reviewing and commenting on municipal budgets, MARB may review and comment on any pending municipal or board of education contract that exceeds certain thresholds, depending on the municipality's population: $50,000 for municipalities with populations under 70,000, and $100,000 for those with populations of 70,000 or more. To effectuate this power, MARB may require the municipality or board of education to notify it at least 30 days before executing a contract. But first it must establish, in consultation with the municipality and board, applicable policies and procedures.

Bonding. With respect to debt obligations, MARB must approve certain obligations and review and comment on others. It must approve:

1. debt obligations issued by a designated tier III municipality that is eligible to issue bonds supported by a special capital reserve fund (SCRF), including general obligation bonds to fund a deficit, and

2. bonds issued to refund existing debt.

In both cases, MARB approves the issuance if at least five of its members approve and, in its judgement, the debt is needed to improve the municipality's financial condition. MARB may set up to 40-year terms for repaying the debt.

Collective Bargaining Agreements. The act gives MARB authority to approve or reject any municipal or board of education collective bargaining agreement or amendment negotiated under the statutes. Under the act, MARB has the same opportunity and authority to act on these agreements and amendments as the municipality's legislative body and can exercise that authority on no more than two occasions.

Binding Arbitration Awards. The act similarly gives MARB power to reject arbitration awards affecting municipal employees or board of education administrators. MARB has the same opportunity and authority as the municipality's legislative body or board of education to reject an award and can exercise that authority on no more than two occasions. When MARB votes to reject an award, it must provide a written statement to that effect to the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration or the education commissioner and the administrators' union. MARB's authority does not extend to teachers' union awards.

Efficiency Improvements. The act authorizes MARB to assess how a designated tier III municipality and its board of education operate and to recommend the appropriate steps they can take to reduce costs, improve services, and advance the act's purposes by operating and managing more efficiently and productively. The recommendations may include policies and procedures to ensure that employees responsibly use municipal and board of education vehicles, credit and purchasing cards, and other property and resources.

MARB may also require the municipality or board of education to apply specific practices and principles intended to maximize the value of the service they provide while minimizing waste the service generates. MARB may also require them to take certain steps to improve the municipality's fiscal sustainability and vitality. These include efforts to establish common strategies and goals and organizational changes based on how the municipal agencies and the board of education affects the municipality, its residents, businesses, and employees.

Staff and Consultants. MARB may, in consultation with designated tier III municipalities, retain staff and hire consultants experienced in municipal finance, municipal law, governmental operations and administration, or municipal accounting as the board deems necessary or desirable for achieving its purposes. It may also consult with federal, state, quasi-public, and nongovernmental agencies to accomplish these purposes.

Mandated Collective Bargaining Mediation Assistance for Designated Tier III Municipalities with Populations of At Least 100,000 ( 367)

Under the act, a tier III municipality with 100,000 or more people must request mediation assistance when negotiating employee contracts. The municipality's legislative body must designate one of its members to provide the assistance, and the parties to the negotiations must ask the OPM secretary to designate a staff member for that purpose. These mediators must meet with the parties negotiating the contract and may help them resolve differences with respect to their proposals' benefits and costs. The mediators may assist the parties for no more than 60 days.

MARB's Powers and Tier IV Municipalities ( 368)

Overview. Since the tier IV designation represents the highest degree of financial distress, the act increases MARB's authorities and responsibilities with respect to designated tier IV municipalities. MARB has the same authorities and responsibilities that it has with respect to designated tier III municipalities, plus the following additional or superseding authorities and responsibilities:

1. review and approve or disapprove the municipality's annual budget, certain funds and fees (see below), bond ordinances, and bond resolutions;

2. monitor compliance with the municipality's three-year financial plan and annual budget and require the municipality to make any changes necessary to ensure budgetary balance in the plan and budget;

3. approve or reject certain collective bargaining agreements to be entered into by the municipality or any of its agencies or administrative units (see below);

4. impose binding arbitration on the parties negotiating collective bargaining agreements;

5. require MARB approval of proposed budget transfers and contracts exceeding specified amounts;

6. exercise certain powers with respect to the board of education's budget (see below);

7. appoint the municipality's financial manager (see below); and

8. approve and authorize the issuance of general obligations, including designated tier IV municipalities that are otherwise ineligible to issue such bonds (see below).

Annual Municipal Budget. MARB has the authority and responsibility to review and approve or disapprove the municipality's annual budget, including the general fund, other governmental funds, enterprise funds, and internal service funds. A municipality's annual budget, annual tax levy, or user fee does not become operative until MARB approves it. The act also requires MARB's approval if the municipality applied for and received state municipal restructuring funds, as described below.

If MARB disapproves any annual budget for the next fiscal year, the act sets deadlines by which MARB and the municipality's legislative body must act before that year begins (July 1). MARB has until May 21 to specify its reasons for disapproving the budget, and the legislative body has until June 15 to resubmit the budget. If the legislative body does not adopt a budget by that date, MARB must adopt an interim budget and set a tax rate and user fees. The interim budget remains in effect until the municipality submits, and MARB approves, a modified budget. The act waives any deadlines for doing so set in state law or in a local law, charter, ordinance, or resolution.

Once adopted, MARB may require its approval of any proposed budget transfers that exceed $50,000 according to policies and procedures it must establish in consultation with the municipality.

Board of Education Annual Budget. Under the act, MARB may require (1) that it review, approve, disapprove, or modify the board of education's annual budget on a line item basis and (2) the submission of any budget transfers. MARB must consult with the board on establishing policies and procedures to meet these requirements.

Contracts. The act allows MARB to require its review and approval of municipal and board of education contracts that exceed (1) $50,000 for designated tier IV municipalities with populations under 70,000 and (2) $100,000 for those with populations of 70,000 or more. A municipality or board must notify MARB about these contracts and submit them to it at least 30 days before executing them. MARB must establish, in consultation with the municipality and board, policies and procedures for meeting this requirement.

Collective Bargaining Agreements. The act authorizes MARB to approve or reject proposed municipal or board of education collective bargaining agreements for a new term and any modifications, amendments, or reopeners to existing agreements. In doing so, MARB may indicate the total cost impact or savings that are acceptable in a new agreement or modification, amendment, or reopener to any existing one. The parties negotiating these provisions may, by mutual consent, request MARB's guidance regarding the area and level of savings acceptable to it, which they may do at any time during the negotiation and before reaching an agreement.

If the MARB rejects an agreement or a modification, amendment, or reopener, it must specify the reasons for its decision, citing the provisions, present or missing, that are at issue. The negotiating parties then have 10 days from the rejection date to consider MARB's concerns and propose a modified agreement. After the 10-day period, MARB must approve or reject the parties' modifications.

However, if the parties cannot agree on a modification or MARB rejects their proposed modification, MARB must impose binding arbitration on them as specified below. The arbitration must address the issues MARB identified as preventing the parties from reaching agreement or causing it to reject the agreement. In specifying the issues that must be arbitrated, as well as deciding whether to reject a proposed agreement, MARB may consider or include matters the parties did not raise or negotiate. Before acting on a modification, amendment, or reopener, MARB must give the parties an opportunity to make a presentation.

Binding Arbitration. The act authorizes MARB to:

1. impose binding arbitration on municipal or board of education collective bargaining agreements that are in or subject to binding arbitration on the 75th day after negotiations begin or

2. reject an arbitration award pending potential municipal or board of education action on the day MARB is established.

The act specifies MARB's authorities and responsibilities if it imposes binding arbitration or rejects an arbitration award. In both cases, these authorities and responsibilities apply only after MARB rejects an agreement or award, as the act allows. For agreements and arbitration awards under the education collective bargaining law, this authority only applies to school administrator contracts after the board has rejected an award on two occasions. It must recommend a list of three potential arbitrators to the governor and use the arbitrator he selects. The list must include former state and federal judges and other people who have experience with arbitration or similar proceedings. Before the governor makes his selections, the parties negotiating the collective bargaining agreement may recommend potential arbitrators to MARB, which may recommend these and others to the governor. MARB may reduce by one-half any statutory time limit applicable to the binding arbitration process.

The act also sets conditions under which MARB must replace an existing binding arbitration panel. MARB must immediately replace any panel that exists on the date the municipality is designated as a tier IV municipality with an arbitrator in the same manner described above. It must also do the same if it rejects a pending arbitration award.

If MARB imposes binding arbitration or replaces an arbitration panel, it may consider and include in the collective bargaining agreement other offers and matters besides the last best offers or the matters the parties raised or negotiated in the agreement, but, if it does so, it must state its reasons for considering and including them.

Arbitrator. The act also specifies the arbitrator's authorities and responsibilities and the timeline for making decisions. The arbitrator must allow MARB to make a presentation. Besides any statutory factors the arbitrator must consider when acting on a municipal or board of education collective bargaining agreement, it must give the highest priority to the short- and long-term fiscal exigencies that resulted in the municipality's tier IV designation.

The act also specifies the steps and timeline for making an arbitration decision:

1. Within 10 days of the arbitrator's decision, MARB may request the arbitrator to reconsider it, stating MARB's position on how the decision affects the municipality's short- and long-term fiscal sustainability.

2. Within five days after MARB's request, the negotiating parties may submit comments responding to MARB's stated position.

3. Within 30 days of MARB's request, the arbitrator may, based on the arbitration record, modify or maintain his or her original decision.

Municipality's Financial Manager. MARB may appoint a financial manager and delegate to him or her, in writing, certain review, comment, and investigatory powers it deems necessary or appropriate for managing the municipality's financial and administrative affairs while the municipality is subject to the board's powers. But MARB may override any action the manager takes at the time.

MARB may specifically delegate to the manager the power to monitor compliance with the municipality's three-year financial plan and annual budget and require the municipality to make any changes necessary to ensure budgetary balance in the plan and budget. But it may not delegate any of the other powers or superseding authority it has with respect to designated tier IV municipalities.

The act also allows MARB to delegate to the financial managers the following responsibilities and authorities it has with respect to designated tier III municipalities:

1. review and comment on the municipality's annual budget prior to its adoption by the legislative body,

2. review and comment on proposed multi-year debt obligations that are not backed by a SCRF prior to their issuance,

3. monitor a designated tier IV municipality's compliance with the three-year financial plan and annual budget and recommend changes needed to ensure budgetary balance in the plan and budget,

4. recommend that the municipality implement efficiency and productivity measures, and

5. obtain information on the municipality's financial condition and needs.

Issuance of Obligations and Bonds. MARB may approve and authorize the issuance of obligations for deficit financing, addressing pension liabilities, restructuring debt, and other statutorily authorized purposes. Its power to do so extends to designated tier IV municipalities that are otherwise ineligible to issue such obligations.

MARB may authorize a designated tier IV municipality to issue refunding bonds regardless of the law's limitations on the forms of municipal bonds and any statutory net present value savings requirement. MARB must approve the issue of such refunding bonds only if it determines that, in its judgment, the bonds will improve the municipality's financial condition.

MARB may authorize a designated tier IV municipality to issue bonds for which the last installment of any series must mature, or the last sinking fund payment for such series of bonds must be due, within 40 years after the issuance of such bonds. MARB must approve the issuance of such bonds only if it determines that they will improve the municipality's financial condition.

Property Tax Cap ( 372)

The act prohibits designated tier IV municipalities from adopting budgets that would increase the property tax levy by more than 3% of the levy for the prior fiscal year's budget. The OPM secretary must adopt any procedures and guidelines necessary to implement the cap.

The act allows a designated tier IV municipality to apply to MARB for an exception from the cap. In deciding whether to grant the exception, MARB must consider whether it is needed to:

1. address critical matters impacting citizens' health and welfare,

2. provide necessary funding to reduce the municipality's long-term obligations, and

3. implement court orders.

The act also allows designated tier II and III municipalities to apply for an exception, although the act does not appear to impose the property tax cap on them.

Court Action ( 373)

The act authorizes the attorney general to apply for a writ of mandamus on MARB's behalf for the same reasons the law allows him to do so on MFAC's behalf. These include requiring a (1) municipal official or agent to implement the board's orders and (2) municipality to repay the state any funds it paid into the municipality's SCRF and comply with the agreement's or indenture's terms pertaining to fund and other statutorily authorized methods for securing bonds. With respect to the MFAC, the act eliminates the requirement that, when the attorney general applies for a writ of mandamus on its behalf, he does so with the commission acting through its chairperson.

The act also authorizes the Hartford judicial district, upon MARB's application, to enforce the board's statutory powers, an authorization that already applied to the OPM secretary, MFAC, and the attorney general with respect to the municipal deficit financing statutes.

Municipal Restructuring Fund ( 370)

The act implicitly establishes the nonlapsing Municipal Restructuring Fund to provide financial assistance to designated tier II, III, and IV municipalities. To receive assistance, an eligible municipality must submit a plan for approval to the OPM secretary that details the municipality's overall restructuring plan, including the local actions it will take and how it will use the funds. The municipality, in consultation with its board of education, may include in the plan a reduction in the statutorily required minimum budget amount related to its education budget (i.e., the minimum budget requirement (MBR)).

In deciding whether to fund the plan, the secretary must consult with the (1) education commissioner about approving or rejecting a proposed reduction in the MBR and (2) MARB about the amount and timing of the fund distributions and the conditions on how the funds can be used.

The secretary may approve all, none, or a portion of the funds a municipality requests, basing the distribution on the municipality's relative fiscal needs. In attaching conditions to the distribution, he must consider how they affect the ability of the municipality to meet its legal and other obligations. MARB must monitor and report to the secretary on how the municipality is using the funds and whether it is adhering to the conditions.

The secretary must develop and issue a guidance document on the fund's administration, criteria municipalities must meet to participate in the fund, requirements for submitting restructuring plans, and how the secretary will rank funding requests.

Although the fund is generally available only to designated tier II, III, and IV municipalities and administered by OPM, the act requires MARB, when making distributions from the fund, to give immediate consideration to any designated or undesignated municipality that could default on its obligations by January 1, 2018 unless it immediately receives a distribution.

State Debt Service Assistance for Designated Tier III and IV Municipalities ( 376)

The act authorizes the OPM secretary and treasurer to help designated tier III and IV municipalities pay the annual debt service on their bonds and their issuance cost (i.e., contract assistance). The secretary and the treasurer may do so by entering into a contract with an eligible municipality for an amount limited to the:

1. annual debt service on outstanding refunding bonds or other bonds the municipality issued and

2. cost to issue these bonds and any other expenses, including tax payments that result from refunding the debt.

The act specifies that the municipality may use the contract assistance to pay the debt on refunding or other bonds the municipality issued to pay, fund, refund, redeem, replace, or substitute for bonds, notes, or other obligations it previously issued.

To receive contract assistance, an eligible municipality must file a certificate with the secretary and treasurer specifying the projected debt service amount and issuance costs for the refunding bonds the contract will secure. In making a finding or determination needed to enter into or execute the contract, the secretary and treasurer may rely on any reports or estimates prepared by experts that evaluate whether it is feasible to refund the debt.

The contract through which the state provides the assistance may require that the debt service payments for the refunding or other outstanding bonds go directly to the municipality or the holder, trustee, or paying agent of those bonds. Under the act, any provision of the contract constitutes the state's full faith and credit obligation. As such, the appropriation of all amounts needed to comply with contract are made, and the treasurer must pay the amounts as they become due to the municipality, trustee, paying agent, or bond holder, as applicable. The municipality may also pledge the contract assistance as security for paying the refunding bonds.

In lieu of contract assistance, the act allows the secretary and treasurer to provide other forms of credit support up to the amount an eligible municipality would receive if the state were to provide contract assistance. The credit support can be an assumption of all or a portion of any of the municipality's bonds, notes, or other obligations or the issuance of new state obligations to replace the municipality's outstanding obligations.

Lastly, the act

1. specifies that its contract assistance does not limit the total amount of funds available to a designated tier III or IV municipality that is also a state designated distressed municipality and

2. prohibits the secretary and treasurer from providing contract assistance to any municipality that files for bankruptcy.

Deficit Financing ( 355-359, 361, 362, 364 & 365)

As discussed below, the law authorizes several methods certified tier I and II municipalities may use to secure bonds issued to finance deficits. The act extends this authorization to designated tier I-IV municipalities.

Deficit Financing ( 355)

Existing law provides a process any municipality may use to issue bonds to finance general fund deficits. The act requires the OPM secretary to designate any municipality that uses such process a designated tier III municipality, subject to the state oversight and control described above. It also requires him to impose the designation on any municipality that issued a deficit financing bond between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2017.

By law, the process is available only to a municipality that has not issued a deficit-funding bond within the previous five years and has no outstanding debt obligations. Before the municipality can issue the bond, it must notify the OPM secretary of its intent to do so, provide the documents he requires, and establish a procedure to intercept and deposit property tax payments in a fund dedicated only to repay the bond (i.e., property intercept procedure (CGS 7-561)).

The act eliminates the requirement that the secretary refer the municipality to the Municipal Finance Advisory Commission.

Special Capital Reserve Fund (SCRF) ( 356-359, 361, 362, 364 & 365)

A SCRF is a fiscal tool designed to ensure that funds are available when necessary to repay bondholders. Prior law allowed only certified tier I and tier II municipalities to issue bonds to capitalize a SCRF established to cover the cost of issuing these bonds, and fund the outstanding bonds. The act also allows designated tier I – IV municipalities to issue bonds supported by a SCRF.

Local Approvals. Under the act, designated tier I – IV municipalities must follow the same local approval process certified tier I and II municipalities must follow if they issue additional bonds to capitalize a SCRF. That process supersedes all other state and local laws pertaining to bond issuances, including those for holding public hearings and referenda and sale of bonds. A majority of the members of a municipality's legislative body must approve a resolution authorizing these SCRF capitalization bonds. The state treasurer determines the terms and conditions under which the bonds are sold (CGS 7-570).

State Supported SCRF. SCRFs may be backed by the state, but if they are, the municipality must first comply with specific statutory requirements, including the treasurer's approval of the indenture agreement creating the SCRF (CGS 7-571). The act allows designated tier I-IV municipalities to establish SCRFs under the same procedural rules that apply to certified tier I and II municipalities.

Designated tier I-IV municipalities must also comply with the statutory requirements for establishing and maintaining SCRFs. By law, a SCRF must contain the greatest amount of principal and interest payments due in any succeeding fiscal year, excluding sinking fund installments payable in the preceding fiscal year. Every December 1, the state must, if necessary, pay into the fund enough to ensure that the succeeding fiscal year's total debt service can be paid from it.

By law, that amount must be certified by the CEO of a certified municipality to the OPM secretary, treasurer, and MFAC. The act requires (1) the CEO of a designated tier I municipality to certify the amount to these officials and the commission and (2) MARB to certify the amounts for designated tier II, III, and IV municipalities. By law, the municipalities establishing state-backed SCRFs must repay the state as soon as possible.

As she must by law for certified municipalities, the treasurer must, under the act, approve the agreement created between a designated municipality and the bondholders' trustee (i.e., indenture of trust) for any SCRF that is backed by the state. Among other things, she must base her approval on whether:

1. the municipality is current on its bond repayments,

2. it has funded or made arrangements to fund the SCRF,

3. the bonds issued to fund the SCRF are in the public interest, and

4. she and the OPM secretary approved the municipality's property tax intercept procedure.

Under prior law, she also had to base her approval on whether the OPM secretary certified the municipality and the MFAC approved the bond. The act changes these requirements to reflect the municipality's tier designation. Consequently, the treasurer must base her approval on whether the municipality requested the OPM secretary to classify it as a designated tier I, II, or III municipality or whether he classified it as a designated tier III or IV municipality when the act requires him to do so.

The treasurer must also base her approval on whether the bond authorization was approved by the (1) MFAC for a designated tier I or certified tier I or II municipality and (2) MARB for a designated tier III or IV municipality.

Limitations on Designated Tier I Municipalities. The act allows designated tier I municipalities to issue SCRF-backed general obligation bonds under some of the conditions that currently apply to certified tier I municipalities. Specifically, the municipality must (1) have a long-term investment grade or higher bond rating, (2) be unable to obtain bond insurance on reasonable terms and conditions, and (3) meet the secretary's other standards. As under existing law, a designated tier I municipality may not issue these bonds to finance a projected budget deficit.

Before issuing a SCRF-backed bond, a municipality must notify the OPM secretary that it intends to issue bonds, provide him with any documentation the law requires to issue such bonds, establish a property tax intercept procedure and debt service payment plan, and comply with the laws for issuing SCRF-backed deficit-financing bonds.

Limitations on Designated Tier II, III, and IV Municipalities. The act allows designated tier II, III, and IV municipalities to issue SCRF-backed bonds, including bonds issued to fund a deficit, if they meet the eligibility criteria for certified tier II municipalities. The term of these bonds can be for more than one year, except for those issued to finance a projected fiscal year deficit.

Under the act, designated tier II, III, and IV municipalities may issue SCRF-backed bonds if they:

1. have a long-term bond rating that is investment grade or higher,

2. are unable to obtain bond insurance,

3. have not issued a deficit obligation bond within the past five years,

4. have no outstanding deficit obligations, and

5. meet other standards the OPM secretary prescribes.

A designated tier IV municipality that does not meet these criteria may also issue the bond if the MARB approves the issuance.

Designated tier II, III, and IV municipalities that meet these criteria and plan to issue SCRF-backed bonds must first consult with the treasurer and, before issuing the bonds, complete the following tasks:

1. notify the OPM secretary that they intend to issue bonds and provide him with any documentation they must, by law, prepare;

2. establish a property intercept procedure and debt service payment plan; and

3. comply with the laws for issuing SCRF-backed bonds.

The act automatically designates as tier III a tier II or IV municipality that issues these bonds.

Background

MFAC. The commission is the entity that oversees the two-tier certification system that predates the act's four-tier designation system (CGS 7-394b). It oversees certified tier I and II municipalities, and under the act, also oversees designated tier I municipalities.

The commission's oversight is tied to the OPM secretary's statutory duty to review municipal audit reports. By law, he must refer any municipality to the commission if the audit report was not prepared as the statute requires or contains evidence of unsound or irregular practices based on commonly accepted municipal finance standards. He must also refer certified tier I and II municipalities.

The commission's powers apply to all referred municipalities. It may require a municipality's CEO to report on the status of any remedial actions it recommended and assess a civil penalty if the municipality fails to provide information or submit the required status report.

Certified tier II municipalities must prepare a three-year financial plan and monthly financial reports for the commission's approval. These municipalities must also use the commission's assumptions about state and local tax revenue when they prepare and adopt their budgets. The commission must also approve all of the municipality's bond issuances, but only if it determines that they will improve the municipality's fiscal condition.

377-553 — BOND AUTHORIZATIONS, ADJUSTMENTS, AND CANCELLATIONS

Authorizes up to $1.723 billion for FY 18 and $1.621 billion for FY 19 in new GO bonds for state projects and grant programs; authorizes up to $200 million for FYs 18 to 22 in new GO bonds for hospital improvements and crumbling foundations; authorizes up to $820.3 million in FY 18 and up to $824.6 million in FY 19 in new STO bonds for DOT projects; restores, reduces, or cancels bond authorizations for various projects and grants; adjusts the annual bond caps under the CSCU 2020 program and UConn 2000 programs and extends both programs; expands the purposes of funds in the Bioscience Innovation Fund; makes permanent the school security infrastructure grant program; allocates no LoCIP funds in 2017 and $55 million in 2018; and authorizes certain transportation funding agreements with the federal government and the issuance of “federal transportation bonds”

The act authorizes up to $1.723 billion for FY 18 and $1.621 billion for FY 19 in state general obligation (GO) bonds for state capital projects and grant programs, including school construction, economic development, municipal capital improvement grants, and housing development and rehabilitation programs. The act also authorizes $200 million in GO bonds for FYs 18 through 22 for grants to hospitals for capital improvements and for the Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund ($20 million per year for each purpose). It cancels or reduces approximately $306.6 million in GO bond authorizations. And it restores $24 million in bonds cancelled or reduced in the 2016 bond act (PA 16-4, May Special Session).

The act 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 act also makes various other changes, including (1) adjusting the annual bond caps under the CSCU 2020 and UConn 2000 infrastructure programs and extending the programs, by one and three years respectively; (2) expanding the purposes of funds in the Bioscience Innovation Fund to include funding regenerative medicine research; (3) making the school security infrastructure competitive grant program permanent; and (4) authorizing the state to enter into loan or other credit agreements with the federal government to help finance transportation-related construction projects and the issuance of “federal transportation bonds.”

Lastly, the act makes various technical corrections related to provisions in 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.

New Bond Authorizations for State Agency Projects and Grants ( 377-414 & 432)

The act authorizes up to $676.8 million in new GO bonds for FY 18 and $523.4 million for FY 19 for the state projects and grant programs listed in Table 19 below. The bonds are subject to standard issuance procedures and have a maximum term of 20 years.

The act 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 19: GO Bond Authorizations for State Projects and Grant Programs

for FYs 18 and 19

Agency

Purpose

FY 18

FY 19

State Projects and Programs

378(a), 397(a)

Office of Policy and Management (OPM)

Transit-oriented development and predevelopment activities

$6,000,000

$6,000,000

Information technology capital investment program

50,000,000

25,000,000

378(b), 397(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

5,000,000

Upgrade and replace technology infrastructure for the Connecticut Education Network

1,500,000

1,500,000

378(c)

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP)

Alterations and improvements to buildings and grounds, including utilities, mechanical systems, and energy conservation projects

2,000,000

0

Planning and design for a new Forensic Science Laboratory

6,000,000

0

Upgrade the Statewide Monitoring and Notification System

4,000,000

0

378(d),

397(c)

Military Department

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to the drill shed at the William A. O'Neill Armory in Hartford

1,000,000

0

Matching funds to construct a warehouse at Camp Hartell in Windsor Locks

500,000

0

Acquiring property to develop readiness centers in Litchfield county

0

2,000,000

378(e), 397(d)

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)

Dam repairs, including state-owned dams

5,500,000

5,500,000

Energy services 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

378(f), 397(e)

Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA)

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to the XL Center in Hartford, including capital improvements, acquiring abutting real estate and rights of way, tenant and fan amenities, and infrastructure connections

40,000,000

0

Alternations, renovations, and improvements to the Connecticut Convention Center and Rentschler Field

1,500,000

1,500,000

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to parking garages in Hartford

5,000,000

5,000,000

Infrastructure renovations and improvements to the Hartford Front Street district

3,000,000

7,000,000

378(g), 397(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

2,500,000

2,500,000

378(h), 397(g)

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

2,000,000

2,000,000

378(i), 397(h)

Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU)

All colleges and universities: new and replacement instruction, research, or laboratory equipment

3,000,000

0

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: alterations and improvements in compliance with the ADA

0

5,000,000

Norwalk Community College: alternations, 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 (NWCC): alterations, renovations, and improvements to the White building

825,000

2,021,250

NWCC: alterations, renovations, and improvements to Greenwoods Hall

2,685,817

0

378(j)

Department of Children and Families (DCF)

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to buildings and grounds, including new or revised juvenile justice facilities

3,750,000

0

378(k), 397(i)

Judicial Department

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to buildings and grounds at state-owned and maintained facilities

5,000,000

5,000,000

Implementation of the Technology Strategic Plan Project

0

3,000,000

Exterior renovations and improvements at the New Haven superior courthouse

2,000,000

0

Alterations and improvements in compliance with the ADA

1,000,000

0

Security improvements at various state-owned and maintained facilities

2,000,000

0

397(j)

Department of Corrections (DOC)

Renovations and improvements to state-owned buildings for inmate housing, programming and staff training space, and additional inmate capacity; support facilities; and off-site improvements

0

10,000,000

384, 403

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

389(a), 408(a), 432

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

2,000,000

2,000,000

Grants to municipalities for the Town-Aid-Road program

60,000,000

60,000,000

389(b), 408(b)

DAS

Grants to alliance districts for general improvements to school buildings

30,000,000

30,000,000

Grants to municipalities for a regional school district incentive grant

5,000,000

0

389(c)

DEEP

Program to establish energy microgrids to support critical municipal infrastructure

5,000,000

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

1,450,000

0

Grants for containment, removal, or mitigation of identified hazardous waste disposal sites

2,500,000

0

389(d), 408(c)

Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)

Small Business Express program

5,000,000

0

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

30,000,000

10,000,000

Grants to homeowners (1) near the West River in New Haven's Westville section and Woodbridge for structural home damage from subsidence and (2) abutting the Yale Golf Course in New Haven's Westville section for damage from water infiltration or structural damage from subsidence

4,000,000

0

Grants to nonprofits sponsoring cultural and historic sites

0

2,500,000

389(e), 408(d)

Connecticut Innovations, Inc. (CI)

Recapitalizing CI's statutory programs

20,000,000

20,000,000

389(f), 408(e)

CRDA

Encouraging development according to CRDA's statutory purposes

40,000,000

40,000,000

Grant to East Hartford for general economic development activities, including infrastructure development and improvements to the riverfront; creating housing through rehabilitation and new construction; demolishing or redeveloping vacant buildings; and redevelopment

10,000,000

10,000,000

389(g), 408(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

389(h), 408(g)

State Library

Grants to public libraries for construction, renovations, expansions, energy conservation, and handicapped access

2,500,000

2,500,000

389(i), 408(h)

Department of Transportation (DOT)

Grants to municipalities for the Town-Aid-Road program

30,000,000

30,000,000

389(j), 408(i)

Department of Labor (DOL)

Workforce Training Authority Fund

10,000,000

20,000,000

389(k), 408(j)

DOH

DOH and CT Children's Medical Center's Healthy Homes Program to abate lead in homes

10,000,000

10,000,000

Hospital Grants ( 552). The act 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 ( 553). The act also authorizes up to $20 million each year in new GO bonds for FYs 18 to 22 ($100 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 (see 335, above).

Transportation Bonds ( 415-426)

The act 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 Table 20 below.

Table 20: 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 transportation projects

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 ( 427, 430-431, 433-436, 447-448, & 454)

The act increases bond authorization limits for various statutory grants and purposes and allocates new bonds for these purposes for FYs 18 and 19, as shown in Table 21 below.

Table 21: Statutory Bond Authorizations for FYs 18 and 19

Agency

Purpose/Fund

FY 18

FY 19

427

OPM

Urban Action (economic and community development project grants)

$50,000,000

$50,000,000

430

OPM

Capital Equipment Purchase Fund

15,000,000

15,000,000

431

OPM

Local Capital Improvement Program (LoCIP)

90,000,000

35,000,000

433

DOH

Housing Trust Fund

0

30,000,000

434

SDE

Charter school capital expenses

5,000,000

5,000,000

435

DAS

School construction projects

450,000,000

450,000,000

436

SDE

School construction interest subsidy grants

3,000,000

2,100,000

447

DEEP

Clean Water Fund grants

0

85,000,000

448

DEEP

Clean Water Fund loans (revenue bonds)

158,200,000

350,300,000

454

DECD

Manufacturing Assistance Act

275,000,000

75,000,000

GO Bond Cancellations and Reductions ( 428-429, 437, 445-446, 449, 459-471, 473-489, 491-511, 513-522, 524-529, 531-535, 537-547)

The act cancels or reduces, by a total of approximately $240.1 million, all or part of prior bond authorizations for the projects and grants shown in Table 22 below. Authorizations are listed alphabetically by agency. The act also makes conforming changes to the bond supertotals that correspond to these authorizations.

Table 22: Cancellations and Reductions in GO Bond Authorizations

Purpose

Prior Authorization

Amount Cancelled

Board of Regents for Higher Education

475

Establish or expand manufacturing technology programs at four community colleges

17,800,000

970,500

492

Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC): parking and site improvements

2,189,622

225,275

493

QVCC: heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system improvements

1,750,000

145,000

505

Housatonic Community College: parking garage improvements

3,907,258

233,281

506

Middlesex Community College: new academic building planning, design, and construction

35,200,000

35,200,000

526

Capital Community College: alterations, renovations, and improvements to optimize space utilizations

5,000,000

5,000,000

Capital Region Development Authority

502

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to the Connecticut Convention Center and Rentschler Field

3,727,500

18,500

Connecticut Green Bank

446

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

Connecticut Port Authority

540

Grants for port, harbor, and marina improvements, including dredging and navigational improvements

13,500,000

6,750,000

Department of Administrative Services

471

Development and implementation of ITS for HIPAA compliance

6,310,500

2,652,975

516

Development and implementation of an electronic filing system for probate court offices

3,000,000

3,000,000

524

Development and implementation of an electronic filing system for probate court offices

1,000,000

1,000,000

Department of Agriculture

497

Farm Reinvestment Program

500,000

500,000

510

Farm Reinvestment Program

500,000

500,000

Department of Children and Families

481

Grants for construction, alteration, repairs, and improvements to residential facilities, group homes, shelters, and permanent family residences

5,000,000

2,839,842

Department of Developmental Services

483

(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, roof repair or replacement, air conditioning, and other building renovations and additions at all state-owned facilities

5,000,000

428,000

503

(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, roof repair or replacement, air conditioning, and other building renovations and additions at all state-owned facilities

5,000,000

253,248

Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)

463

Killingworth: Killingworth Old Town Hall restoration and renovations

250,000

250,000

466

University of New Haven: establishment and construction of Henry Lee Institute

1,500,000

1,500,000

488

Grants to nursing homes for alterations, renovations, and improvements to convert to other uses to support right-sizing; specifies that any funds allocated after the act's passage are for DOH

10,000,000

4,430,767

547

Program to offer payments to holders of tax credit eligibility certificates under the urban and industrial sites reinvestment program to replace allowable credits under the certificates

10,000,000

10,000,000

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP)

449

Buy-out program for storm-damaged properties

2,800,000

800,000

485

Design and construction of a firearms training facility and vehicle operations training center, including land acquisition

6,576,000

3,000,000

525

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to the Forensic Science Laboratory in Meriden

2,500,000

2,500,000

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)

462

East Lyme: purchase of Oswegatchie Hills for open space

2,000,000

1,800,000

465

Stamford: Holly Pond Tidal Restoration project

500,000

500,000

468

Norwalk: flood control system improvements

500,000

500,000

469

Fairfield: Rooster River flood control project

2,030,000

2,000,000

498

Grants to municipalities for open space acquisition and development for conservation or recreational purposes

10,000,000

10,000,000

501

Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust Program for recreation, open space, resource protection, and resource management

8,000,000

8,000,000

528

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

529

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

Department of Housing

519

Shoreline Resiliency Fund

8,000,000

5,000,000

531

Main Street Investment Fund

5,000,000

3,000,000

538

Main Street Investment Fund

3,000,000

3,000,000

541

Homelessness prevention and response fund

26,000,000

5,125,000

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS)

460

Alterations, renovations, additions, and improvements, including new construction, in accordance with the DMHAS master campus plan

886,593

722,090

480

Grants to nonprofits for community-based residential and outpatient facilities for purchases, repairs, alterations, and improvements

5,000,000

1,043,836

Department of Public Health

479

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

Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS)

520

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

Department of Transportation

445

Commercial rail freight line competitive grant program

10,000,000

2,500,000

Department of Veterans Affairs

515

Planning and feasibility study for additional veterans' housing at the Rocky Hill campus, including vacant building demolition

500,000

500,000

Judicial Department

477

Alterations, renovations, and improvements to buildings and grounds at state-owned and maintained facilities

5,000,000

223,817

486

Development of a juvenile court building in Meriden or Middletown

1,000,000

1,000,000

494

Development of a juvenile court building in Meriden or Middletown

2,000,000

2,000,000

495

Mechanical upgrades and code-required improvements at New Haven superior courthouse

1,000,000

200,000

507

Development of a juvenile court building in Meriden or Middletown

9,000,000

9,000,000

508

Mechanical upgrades and code-required improvements at New Haven superior courthouse

8,500,000

3,500,000

Multiple Agencies

474

Bridgeport economic development projects (for DECD or DEEP, as designated by the Bond Commission)

2,200,000

950,000

Office of Early Childhood

499

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

11,500,000

5,641,832

511

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

Office of Governmental Accountability

535

Information technology improvements

500,000

500,000

Office of Legislative Management

514

Production and studio equipment for the Connecticut Network

3,230,000

2,230,000

Office of Policy and Management

428

Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP)

280,000,000

9,000,000

429

Intertown Capital Equipment Purchase Incentive Program

5,000,000

62,851

542

Regional dog pound grant program

10,000,000

10,000,000

544

West Harford: improvements to the Trout Brook Canal area

1,200,000

700,000

546

West Hartford: wireless fidelity and broadband network initiative for West Hartford Center

500,000

500,000

State Comptroller

518

Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network: transmission, broadcast, production, and information technology equipment

1,300,000

1,300,000

State Department of Education

489

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

504

Technical high school system: alterations, renovations, and improvements to buildings and grounds, including equipment, tools, and supplies necessary to update curricula, vehicles, and technology

15,500,000

11,000,000

521

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 521 below)

3,500,000

3,066,000

532

Grants for Sheff magnet school program capital start-up costs

20,000,000

5,000,000

533

American School for the Deaf: alterations, renovations, and improvements to buildings and grounds

5,000,000

2,507,950

539

Grants for Sheff magnet school program capital start-up costs

5,750,000

5,750,000

Smart Start Competitive Grant Program ( 437). The act cancels $36,480,851 in GO bonds authorized for FYs 16 through 19 ($6,480,851 for FY 16 and $10 million each for 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.

Changes to CSCU 2020 Bond Program ( 438 & 439)

The act adjusts the annual bond caps under the CSCU 2020 program, as shown in Table 23 below, by (1) cancelling $110 million in bonds for FY 18 and reallocating them to FY 20 and (2) authorizing an additional $16 million in bonds for FY 20 for supplemental project funding. The act correspondingly extends Phase III of the program by one year, from FY 19 to FY 20.

Table 23: CSCU 2020 Annual Bond Limits (millions)

FY

Prior Limit

Act's Limit

Change

18

$150

$40

($110)

19

95

95

0

20

0

126

126

UConn 2000 ( 440-444)

Bond Schedule. The act extends the UConn 2000 program by three years, from 2024 to 2027, and defers $185.8 million in bonds currently authorized for FYs 18-23 to FYs 24-27. It adjusts the annual bond caps for the program, as shown in Table 24 below.

Table 24: UConn 2000 Annual Bond Limits (millions)

FY

Prior Limit

Act's Limit

Change

18

$295.5

$200

($95.5)

19

251

200

(51)

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

Project Authorizations. The act expands two existing Phase III projects for deferred maintenance and other infrastructure improvements at the university and health center, respectively, to include utility, infrastructure, administrative, and support facilities. Under the act 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 the facilities; and (3) anything else that relates to or supports the facilities.

Connecticut Bioscience Innovation and Regenerative Medicine Funds ( 450-453)

Bond Authorizations. Prior law authorized $200 million in bonds over 11 years, from FYs 13-23, for the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (CBIF). The act:

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 authorized for FYs 18 and 19, deferring them to FY 24 (see Table 25 below).

Table 25: CBIF Authorizations (millions)

Fiscal Year

Prior

Authorization

Act's

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 act earmarks $3 million each in FYs 18-20 for grants to the Yale Connecticut Precision Medicine Initiative.

The act also cancels $30 million in bonds authorized for FYs 17-19 for the Regenerative Medicine Research Fund (REGEN) and eliminates the requirement that at least $10 million be available each year until FY 19 to provide financial assistance for conducting regenerative medicine research.

CBIF's Purposes. The act allows CBIF resources to provide financial assistance to institutions eligible for funding under the existing REGEN program (CGS 32-41jj to 32-41mm). Such assistance must be provided pursuant to existing REGEN requirements. (Because the CBIF and REGEN programs are overseen by different committees and are awarded through different processes, it is unclear how this change will be applied in practice.)

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 health care delivery, lower health care costs, and create bioscience jobs.

Adjustments and Technical Corrections to 2016 Bond Act ( 455-458, 472, 512, 523, 530, 536, 548 & 549)

The act restores several GO bond authorizations cancelled or reduced in the 2016 bond act (PA 16-4, May Special Session) as shown in Table 26 below. The act also expands the purposes of $5.7 million in bonds authorized for BOR to make certain improvements at Three Rivers Community College to include other miscellaneous campus improvements ( 472). And it makes various technical corrections related to provisions in the 2016 act ( 455-456, 536, 548 & 549).

Table 26: Restored Bond Authorizations

Agency

For

Prior Authorization

Amount Cancelled in PA 16-4

Act's Authorization

458

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

512

CI

Regenerative Medicine Research Fund

0

10,000,000

10,000,000

523

DAS

Removal or encapsulation of asbestos and hazardous material in state-owned buildings

5,000,000

5,000,000

10,000,000

530

DECD

Brownfield Remediation and Revitalization program

16,000,000

4,000,000

20,000,000

Increase Authorization for Technical High Schools ( 521)

The act increases, by $3.066 million, an existing $5 million authorization for SDE (see 521 in Table 26 above). 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 ( 490)

The act makes permanent the school security infrastructure competitive grant program, which under prior law ended 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 15-17, first priority is given to applicants with schools that have the greatest need for security infrastructure. The act does not extend these priority requirements beyond FY 17.

LoCIP ( 550)

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 act 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 ( 551)

Federal Loan Program Agreements. The act 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. It allows such loan agreements to be backed by STO bonds (see below).

Under the act, 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 act 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 (i.e., repayment does not have to begin until five years after the financed project is complete).

Under the act, 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 existing law. Regardless of STO program provisions regarding tax exemption, the act allows federal transportation bonds to be issued as taxable bonds.

The act provides that the bonds' debt service 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. The lien is subordinate and junior to every lien securing bonds issued under the STO bond program.

And 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.

TIFIA and RRIF. Under federal law, 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 of 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.).

554 — INTERRUPTIBLE GAS SERVICE FOR CERTAIN MANUFACTURING FACILITIES

Requires gas companies to propose a new rate for certain manufacturers that do not qualify for interruptible service rates

The act requires each gas company, when it next applies to change its rates on or after October 1, 2017, to propose a new rate for certain manufacturers. These manufacturers are those who:

1. are described in the North American Industry Classification System Codes 324000 to 325999 (i.e., petroleum and coal products manufacturers or chemical manufacturers);

2. are firm service customers of the gas company on October 1, 2017; and

3. do not qualify for interruptible gas sales or transportation service under the gas company's interruptible service rates.

The new rate must be at least 70% of the delivery component in the company's firm gas service rate for large commercial or industrial customers.

The act prohibits the new rate from being used at a qualified manufacturer-owned manufacturing facility that used over 2.5 million centum cubic feet of natural gas in any calendar year since January 1, 2016, unless the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) grants approval. The manufacturer must petition PURA for approval, and PURA must determine that its use of the new rate (1) is in the public interest, (2) will provide economic benefits to the state, and (3) will not endanger the integrity of the gas company's distribution system.

Under the act, a gas company must recover any revenue that it loses due to the new rate through its decoupling mechanism or a monthly surcharge assessed to all of the company's firm service customers. Each company must file with PURA, as part of its annually required decoupling filing or in a separate proceeding, an annual revenue reconciliation of actual revenues to allowed revenues associated with implementing the new rate.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Background

“Firm” and “Interruptible” Gas Service. In general, customers who contract for “firm” service receive uninterrupted gas service. In contrast, customers who contract for “interruptible” service pay lower rates in return for allowing their gas service to be cut off if there is not enough pipeline capacity during peak demand periods. The gas companies' current interruptible tariffs limit interruptible service to customers with equipment that can operate on another fuel when service is interrupted.

“Decoupling.” Historically, a gas company's revenues have been directly linked to the amount of gas it sold, potentially giving it a disincentive to promote efficiency. “Decoupling” seeks to limit this linkage by separating a company's distribution revenue from its sales volume revenue. A “decoupling mechanism” is a billing charge that allows a company to make up any distribution revenue lost due to a lower than expected sales volume.

555 — CONSUMER DATA PRIVACY WORKING GROUP

Establishes an eight-member working group on consumer data privacy and requires the group to report its findings and recommendations to the legislature by January 15, 2018

The act establishes an eight-member working group to examine and make recommendations on:

1. broadband internet access service consumer data privacy,

2. broadband internet access service industry standards on consumer data protection,

3. definitions for “sensitive customer personal information” and “nonsensitive customer personal information,”

4. ways to notify customers of consumer data privacy provisions, and

5. ways of enforcing consumer data privacy laws.

Membership and Appointments

The eight-member working group must consist of:

1. the attorney general and consumer counsel, or their designees;

2. a Commerce Committee member, appointed by the Senate president pro tempore;

3. an Energy and Technology Committee member, appointed by the Senate Republican president pro tempore;

4. two representatives of a nonprofit organization with data privacy expertise, appointed one each by the House speaker and the House minority leader;

5. a member of the broadband internet service provider industry, appointed by the Senate majority leader; and

6. an attorney with consumer privacy expertise, appointed by the deputy Senate Republican president pro tempore.

All appointments must be made within 30 days after the act's passage, and appointing authorities must fill any vacancies. The House speaker and the Senate president pro tempore must select the working group's chairperson from among the group's members. The chairpersons must schedule the group's first meeting, which must take place within 60 days of the act's passage. The act requires the Energy and Technology Committee's administrative staff to serve as the working group's administrative staff.

The act specifies that working group members, including legislators, do not receive mileage reimbursement or a transportation allowance for traveling to working group meetings.

Reporting Requirement

The act requires the working group to report its findings and recommendations to the Commerce and Energy and Technology committees by January 15, 2018. The working group terminates on January 15, 2018 or when it submits its report, whichever is later.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

556 — TAXES OWED ON MOTOR VEHICLES REGISTERED OUT OF STATE

Establishes a procedure by which local tax assessors receive information about motor vehicles registered in other states in order to add such vehicles to grand lists

The act establishes a procedure by which local tax assessors may receive certain identifying information about certain motor vehicles registered in other states from the motor vehicles commissioner in order to add such vehicles to a municipality's grand list. The act requires municipalities to remit one percent of the property taxes collected for any such vehicles to the STF.

By law, a vehicle's owner is liable for property taxes in Connecticut if the vehicle, during its normal course of operation, most frequently leaves from, returns to, or remains (i.e., is garaged) in Connecticut. The tax applies whether or not the vehicle is registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (CGS 12-71 (f)).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Procedure for Taxing Certain Vehicles Registered Out-Of-State

Under the act, if a municipal tax assessor determines that a motor vehicle is taxable but registered out-of-state, he or she must make a reasonable effort to provide information on the vehicle's out-of-state registration to the motor vehicles commissioner. After receiving the information, the commissioner must make a reasonable effort to provide the assessor with information on the vehicle's make and model, model year, and identification number, and the registered owner's name and mailing address.

If the information provided is sufficient to determine the vehicle's value, the assessor must do so and add it to the grand list for the immediately preceding assessment year. Under the act, the tax due on the vehicle is collected, payable, and appealable in the same way as taxes for vehicles added to the grand list after the assessment year begins.

Remittance to STF

Municipalities must remit one percent of any property taxes collected for such vehicles to the STF to fund administrative costs associated with registering these out-of-state vehicles.

558 & 572 — HOME HEALTH CARE ADD-ON PAYMENTS

Allows DSS to eliminate home health care add-on payments for FYs 18 and 19, conforming to current practice

By law, the Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioner can provide payments to home health care agencies and homemaker-home health aide agencies that apply with evidence of extraordinary costs related to (1) serving people with AIDS, (2) high-risk maternal and child health care, (3) escort services, or (4) extended-hour services. The act allows the commissioner to eliminate such “add-on” payments for FYs 18 and 19. In practice, DSS has already done so.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

559, 586 & 587 — TEACHER CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM (TRS)

Starting in 2018, increases teachers' regular contribution rate to TRS from 6% to 7%; requires the Teachers' Retirement Board (TRB) to recalculate the amount the state must contribute to TRS in FYs 18 and 19 due to this increase but assume the 6% contribution rate starting in FY 20

Starting on January 1, 2018, the act increases teachers' regular contribution rate to TRS from 6% to 7% of their annual salary ( 586). By law, teachers' mandatory contributions to TRS consist of their regular contribution rate plus a 1.25% health contribution for retiree health insurance.

The act requires TRB, by December 1, 2017, to (1) request a revised actuarial valuation for FYs 18 and 19 based on the mandatory contribution percentage for those fiscal years and (2) based on the revised valuation, certify to the legislature the amount needed to maintain TRS on an actuarial reserve basis in those fiscal years ( 587). For FY 20 and each fiscal year after, the act requires the board to assume that teachers' regular contributions are 6%, rather than 7%, when actuarially determining the amount needed to maintain TRS on an actuarial reserve basis ( 559). The teachers' regular contribution rate remains at 7%; the act just changes how the board counts it in its determination.

In effect, these changes should lower the state's General Fund contribution to TRS in FYs 18 and 19 (due to the increased contributions from teachers), then have it resume in FY 20 and the following years as if teacher contributions had not increased.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

560-562 — 90-DAY TURNAROUND FOR CERTAIN PERMITS

Deems certain state agency permit applications approved if the relevant agency does not make a determination on them within 90 days after receiving them

The act requires DOT, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), and the Department of Agriculture (DoAg) to review and make final determinations on specified permit applications within 90 days after receiving them; otherwise, it deems the applications approved.

The act applies to the following DOT permit applications: encroachment, parkway, industrial truck, outdoor advertising, and specific information signs on limited access highways. It applies to DoAg's aquaculture permit applications and to the DEEP permit applications shown in Table 27.

Table 27: DEEP Permits with 90-Day Required Turnaround

Air permits for the temporary use of radiation DTX or RMI

Aquifer protection registrations

Aquifer protections

Certificates of permission

Coastal management consistency review forms for federal authorization

Emergency authorizations to discharge to groundwater to remediate pollution

Property transfers

Disposals of special waste

Marine terminals

Pesticide applications by aircraft

Pesticides in state waters

Waste transportation

E-waste: manufacturer

E-waste: covered recycler

Emergency discharge authorizations

Online sportsman licensing systems

State park passes and bus permits

State parks and forests special use licenses

Campground reservations

Other camping permits

Boating permits

Safe boating certifications

Marine event permits

Marine dealer certificates

Navigation marker permits

Regulatory marker permits

Water ski slalom course or jump permits

Fishing tournaments

Inland fishing licenses

Marine recreational and commercial licenses

Hunting and trapping

Non-shooting field trials

Private land shooting preserve permits

Regulated hunting dog training applications

Scientific collection permits for aquatic species, plants, and wildlife and educational mineral collection

Commercial arborists

Licensed environmental professionals

Pesticide certification licensing and registrations

Solid waste facility operators

Wastewater treatment facility operator certifications

Commercial fishing licenses and permits

Forest practitioners

Nuisance wildlife control operators

Taxidermists

Wildlife rehabilitators

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

563-565 — RENTERS' REBATE PROGRAM

Makes municipalities, instead of the state, responsible for grants under the Renters' Rebate Program

The state's Renters' Rebate Program provides rebates to older adult or totally disabled renters whose incomes do not exceed certain limits (CGS 12-170d et seq.). The act makes municipalities, instead of the state, responsible for (1) funding the grants under the program and (2) administering the program. But the act does not specify how the program must transition to municipal administration for purposes of 2016 rebates.

The act also:

1. appropriates $12,685,377 in FY 18 and $13,666,177 in FY 19 to the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) for the program (see 1) and

2. makes a number of conforming changes, including specifying that applicants can appeal a local assessor's decision on a rebate application to OPM.

(PA 17-4, JSS ( 23-26) returns administration of the program to OPM and establishes a mechanism for municipalities to contribute funding toward grants.)

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Background

To be eligible for a rebate, the recipient, or his or her spouse, must be (1) age 65 or older; (2) age 50 or older and the surviving spouse of a renter who at the time of the renter's death had qualified for and was entitled to tax relief, provided such spouse was domiciled with such renter at the time of the renter's death; or (3) age 18 or older with a total and permanent disability. The recipient also must have lived in the state for at least one year. Under prior law and the act, individuals apply annually to local assessors or their agents between April 1 and October 1 for reimbursement for payments made in the preceding calendar year. Rebate amount is based on a graduated income scale and the applicant's rent and utility payments.

566 & 567 — PREVAILING WAGE

Increases prevailing wage thresholds for new public works projects; temporarily exempts certain projects in New Haven County from prevailing wage requirements; and applies prevailing wage requirements to certain DECD-funded projects

The act makes several changes to the state's prevailing wage law. First, it increases the public works prevailing wage threshold for new construction projects from $400,000 to $1 million. It does not change the $100,000 threshold for public works renovation projects. By law, employers on public works projects of the state or its political subdivisions with total costs that exceed the thresholds must pay their construction workers the prevailing wage (i.e., wages and benefits equal to those that are customary or prevailing for the same work, in the same trade or occupation, in the same town). The act specifies that the public works prevailing wage thresholds apply to (1) a new construction project's total bond authorization and (2) any project's combined total costs.

Until July 1, 2019, the act also temporarily exempts from prevailing wage requirements any public works projects that are (1) for a New Haven County municipality that has a population between 12,000 and 13,000, as determined by the most recent Department of Public Health estimate, and (2) funded in whole or in part by a $9 million - $12 million private bequest.

Lastly, starting July 1, 2018, the act extends prevailing wage requirements to any business that receives a total of at least $1 million in financial assistance from the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) for any construction, remodeling, refinishing, refurbishing, rehabilitation, alteration, or repair of any property owned by the business (“covered projects”). Financial assistance for a project includes loans, cash payments, credit extensions, guarantees, equity investments, tax abatements, or any other financing.

Prevailing Wage for DECD-assisted Projects

Under the public works prevailing wage law, the contracts with contractors and subcontractors on covered public works projects must require the contractors and subcontractors to pay their construction workers the prevailing wage. Contractors who do not provide benefits at the rate required under the prevailing wage must make up the difference in hourly wages.

Starting July 1, 2018, the act requires a business that receives at least $1 million in DECD financial assistance for a covered project to include the same prevailing wage provision in its contracts for the project. DECD must impose this requirement as a condition of receiving assistance.

As under the public works prevailing wage law, the labor commissioner must determine the prevailing wage for each trade or occupation and location (in practice, the commissioner uses rates established by the U.S. Department of Labor). Unlike the public works prevailing wage law, the act does not require:

1. DECD to certify the total dollar amount of work to be done on the project,

2. the business to (a) obtain the applicable prevailing wage rates from the labor commissioner prior to advertising for the contracts or (b) include the prevailing wage rates in proposals for the contracts, or

3. contractors, upon award of a contract, to certify the pay scale that they and their subcontractors will use on the project.

Enforcement. Similar to the public works prevailing wage law, the act requires contractors or subcontractors on the business's covered project who knowingly or willfully fail to pay their employees the prevailing wage to be fined between $2,500 and $5,000 per offense. In addition, a first-time violator must fully repay back wages and cannot bid on other DECD covered projects until six months after it has done so. A contractor or subcontractor with subsequent violations must fully repay back wages and cannot bid on other covered projects until two years after it has done so.

Similar to the public works prevailing wage law, if a business finds that a contractor or subcontractor on its covered project is not paying the prevailing wages, the business can (1) by written or electronic notice terminate the contractor's right to continue working on the project and hold the contractor and its sureties liable for any excess costs to complete the work or (2) withhold payments to the contractor or subcontractor. If the business takes either of these steps, it must notify the labor commissioner, within two days, of the contractor's or subcontractor's name; the project and its location; the violations involved; the date the contract was terminated, if applicable; and steps taken to collect the required wages. The labor commissioner may file a complaint with the proper prosecuting authorities for violations.

Record Keeping Requirements. The act expands the public works prevailing wage law's record keeping requirements to include DECD's covered projects. Among other things, this requires contractors and subcontractors on a project to submit monthly certified payroll records to DECD. The records must contain the same information required under the public works prevailing wage law, including:

1. detailed payroll records for each employee and

2. a signed statement that, among other things, (a) the records are correct, (b) the employer met the prevailing wage law's requirements, and (c) the employer understands the penalties for knowingly filing false payroll records.

The penalties for failing to comply with the certified payroll records requirement or knowingly filing false payroll records are the same as under the public works prevailing wage law (class D felonies, see Table on Penalties).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

569 — STATE SUPPLEMENT PROGRAM (SSP)

Extends freeze on SSP rates and eliminates unearned income disregard for SSI COLAs

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 applicant's 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 act extends the freeze on these payment standards for the next two fiscal years (FYs 18 and 19).

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

Both changes reduce SSP benefits and may result in fewer people being eligible for benefits.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

570 & 571 — MEDICAID PRESCRIPTION DRUG REIMBURSEMENT

Eliminates statutory requirements for calculating drug and fee payments; requires DSS to revise reimbursement methodology and professional dispensing fees; requires DSS to submit proposed revisions to legislative committees

The act eliminates the statutory requirements and formulas for calculating DSS medical assistance (e.g., Medicaid) payments for prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and pharmacists' professional fees. It also eliminates a requirement that the state pay a $1.40 professional fee to licensed pharmacies for each prescription dispensed.

Effective April 1, 2017, the act 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 act 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.”

Legislative Review ( 571)

The act 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. The commissioner must publish a notice of his intention to seek a proposed revision in the Connecticut Law Journal and on the DSS website at least 30 days before submitting a proposed revision. The act requires the notice to summarize the proposed revision and describe how individuals may submit comment. Under the act, the commissioner must (1) provide 30 days for written comments on the proposed revision and (2) include all written comments in the submission to the committees.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

573 — PRIORITY SCHOOL DISTRICT (PSD) GRANTS

Distributes PSD grants for FYs 18 and 19

The act distributes PSD grants for FYs 18 and 19 across three categories, as shown in Table 28 below.

Table 28: PSD Grant Funding Distribution

Category

FY 18

FY 19

Priority school districts

$31,609,003

$31,609,003

Extended school building hours

2,994,752

2,994,752

School accountability

3,499,699

3,499,699

By law, the PSD program provides grants to districts with significant poverty for (1) early reading programs, (2) summer school, and (3) extended school building hours for enrichment and recreational activities.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

574 — EDUCATION GRANT EARMARKS

Earmarks up to $1.6 million of SDE appropriations in FYs 18 & 19 for various education-related grants

The act earmarks up to $1,623,479 per year of amounts appropriated to SDE for FYs 18 and 19 for grants to:

1. Bridge Family Center in West Hartford (up to $40,000 per year from the Bridges to Success appropriation);

2. New Haven Reads in New Haven (up to $80,000 per year from the K-3 Reading Assessment Pilot appropriation);

3. Career Pathways TECH Collaborative at Eli Whitney Technical High School, administered by the Justice Education Center, Inc. (up to $125,000 per year from the appropriation for Other Expenses);

4. East Hartford ($915,000 per year from the appropriation for Magnet Schools); and

5. Project Oceanology (up to $463,479 per year from the appropriation for Interdistrict Cooperation).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

575-582 — EDUCATION GRANT CAPS

Reinstates prior law's caps on certain education grants to school districts and regional education service centers through FY 19

The act caps eight state education grants to school districts and regional education service centers (RESCs) for FYs 18 and 19. The caps, which had expired under prior law on June 30, 2017, require that grants be proportionately reduced if the state budget appropriations do not cover the full amounts required by the respective statutory formulas.

The caps apply to grants for:

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. 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

583 & 584 — CHARTER SCHOOL GRANTS

Increases the per pupil grants for state charter schools by $250 beginning in FY 19 and requires state and local charter school grants to be paid directly to the schools' fiscal authorities, rather than the towns

Beginning in FY 19, the act increases the current per pupil grant for state charter schools from $11,000 to $11,250.

It also requires the state to pay per pupil grants for state and local charter schools directly to the schools' fiscal authorities. Prior law required these payments to be made to the towns where these schools are located, and the towns were required to subsequently transfer the funds to the schools' fiscal authorities.

The act makes various technical and conforming changes and removes obsolete language.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

585 — MAGNET SCHOOL GRANTS

Renews the prioritization for per-student grant payments for magnet school enrollment increases and allows RESC-operated magnets outside of the Sheff region to be eligible for a higher per-student grant

For FY 17, the law authorized SDE to consider a magnet school's enrollment as of October 1, 2013 or October 1, 2015, whichever was lower, as the base enrollment that SDE will fund. For that fiscal year, the law required SDE to prioritize funding for additional magnet school seats based on enrollment increases due to (1) certain planned additions of new grade levels or (2) compliance with magnet school law requirements (i.e., racial and economic diversity).

For FY 18, the act similarly authorizes SDE, within available appropriations, to consider a magnet school's enrollment as of October 1, 2013, October 1, 2015, or October 1, 2016, whichever is lower, as the base enrollment that SDE will fund. For FY 19, it authorizes SDE to consider a magnet school's enrollment as of the above dates, as well as October 1, 2017, whichever is lower, as the base enrollment for SDE funding. The act requires SDE to prioritize funding approval, subject to the SDE commissioner's approval, for additional magnet school seats, including increases in enrollment due to planned and approved new grade levels.

It also extends, for FYs 18 and 19, (1) the Sheff region host magnet school per-student grant ($13,054) and (2) an authorization under which magnet school programs operating at less than full-time, but more than half-time, receive 65% of the normal per-student grant.

For FYs 18 and 19 the act applies the Sheff region RESC magnet school per-student grant amount ($10,443) to any RESC magnet school in the state that enrolls more than 50%, but less than 60%, of its students from Hartford. Under prior law, these magnets were entitled to per-student grants ranging from $7,085 to $8,180, depending on enrollment and the date the school opened. Also, for a RESC magnet school that enrolls less than 50% of its students from Hartford the per-student grant will be $7,900 for half of the non-Hartford students who are over 50% of the total enrollment and $10,443 for all other students enrolled there.

The act also makes technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

588 — MASHANTUCKET PEQUOT AND MOHEGAN FUND GRANTS

Allocates the total grant amounts paid to municipalities from the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Fund for FYs 18 and 19

For FYs 18 and 19, the act specifies the total grant amounts paid to municipalities from the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Fund. In doing so, it overrides the statutory formulas and requirements for the grants.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

589 — MUNICIPAL STABILIZATION GRANTS

Establishes a new municipal stabilization grant for FYs 18 and 19

For FYs 18 and 19, the act establishes a new municipal stabilization grant for specified municipalities and lists the respective grant amounts. The act requires the grants to be paid by October 31 of each year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

590 — MUNICIPAL REVENUE SHARING GRANTS

Eliminates the municipal revenue sharing grants for all but five municipalities and specifies their amounts for FYs 18 and 19

For FYs 18 and 19, the act eliminates municipal revenue sharing grants for all but five municipalities (Bridgeport, Hartford, Mansfield, New Haven, and Waterbury) and specifies the amounts payable to each one by October 31 of each year. (However, the act overrides the statutory grant amounts for FY 17, rather than those for FYs 18 and 19.)

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

591 & 592 —PAYMENT IN LIEU OF TAXES (PILOT) GRANTS

Allocates supplemental PILOT grant amounts for FYs 18 and 19

The act overrides statutory requirements for PILOT grants in FYs 18 and 19 and instead lists the grant amounts payable to eligible municipalities for college and hospital property and state-owned property.

Prior law required PILOTs for FYs 18 and 19 to be proportionately reduced if the amount appropriated was not enough to fund the full amount to every municipality or special taxing district, except that (1) municipalities and districts had to receive PILOTs that equaled or exceeded the reimbursement rates they received in FY 15 and (2) 42 specified municipalities and districts received a supplemental PILOT grant according to amounts listed in statute.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

601-617 — HOSPITAL PROVIDER TAX AND USER FEES ON NURSING HOMES AND INTERMEDIATE CARE FACILITIES

Beginning July 1, 2017, sunsets the prior tax on hospitals and user fees on nursing homes and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and reestablishes them as a new tax and fee structure

Beginning July 1, 2017, the act sunsets the prior tax on hospitals and user fees on nursing homes and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF-IDs) and reestablishes them as a new tax and fee structure. It establishes administrative, record keeping, and penalty provisions for the tax and fees that generally parallel those in existing law for other taxes. It also authorizes the DRS commissioner to adopt implementing regulations.

Tax on Hospital Services ( 602, 611 & 612)

Overview. Under prior law, the hospital tax was 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 Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioner in accordance with the adopted state budget. The hospital tax rate was set up to the maximum allowed by federal law (6%) and in conformance with the adopted state budget.

Beginning July 1, 2017, the act sunsets prior law's tax and imposes a new tax based on the total net revenue hospitals received for FY 16 (defined below) for providing inpatient and outpatient hospital services. The act establishes a formula for calculating the tax rate, based on the amount of tax revenue specified for the given fiscal year. For FYs 18 and 19, the tax rate for (1) inpatient hospital services is $306 million divided by the total FY 16 audited net inpatient revenue for all hospitals subject to the tax and (2) outpatient hospital services is $594 million divided by the total FY 16 audited net outpatient revenue for all such hospitals. (PA 17-4, JSS ( 2) instead sets the tax rate for FYs 18 and 19 for (1) inpatient hospital services at 6% of each hospital's FY 16 audited net revenue attributable to such services and (2) outpatient hospital services at $900 million minus the total tax imposed on all hospitals for providing inpatient hospital services, divided by the total FY 16 audited net revenue attributable to outpatient hospital services for all hospitals subject to the tax.)

For FY 20 and thereafter, the tax rate for both inpatient and outpatient hospital services is $384 million divided by the total FY 16 audited net revenue for all hospitals subject to the tax.

Payment Requirements. For each fiscal year, with the exception of FY 18, the act requires hospitals to pay the total amount due in four quarterly payments according to the standard filing and payment requirements the act establishes (described further below).

For FY 18, the act requires hospitals to make an estimated tax payment on December 15, 2017 that equals 133% of the tax that was due for FY 17 under the prior hospital tax. 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. (PA 17-4, JSS (2) requires the DRS commissioner to apply any tax payments hospitals made for the prior hospital tax for the period ending September 30, 2017, as a partial payment of the hospital's estimated tax payment due December 15, 2017.) Hospitals must p ay the remaining balance due for FY 18 in two equal payments, due on April 30, 2018, and July 31, 2018, respectively.

The act requires hospitals to make these required payments according to procedures established by the commissioner on forms he provides. (PA 17-4, JSS ( 2) requires hospitals to calculate the amount of tax due on forms prescribed by the DRS commissioner by multiplying the applicable rate described above by its FY 16 audited net revenue.)

Hospitals Subject to the Tax. Under prior law, the hospital tax applied 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). Under the act, the tax applies to 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.

Request for Federal Waiver to Exempt Certain Hospitals. The act requires the DSS commissioner to seek CMS approval to exempt from the hospital 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. (However, specialty hospitals do not appear to be subject to the tax since they are not licensed by DPH as short-term general hospitals.) It requires hospitals to, upon request, provide the DSS commissioner with information he needs to make any necessary calculations to seek approval for this exemption. (The same exemption applied against the hospital tax under prior law.)

The act 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. It defines a “financially distressed hospital” as one that has experienced, over a five-year period, an average net loss of more than 1% of aggregate revenue. Under the act, a hospital has an average net loss of more than 1% 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. (The same exemption applied against the hospital tax under prior law.) (PA 17-4, JSS ( 2) increases the threshold at which a hospital is considered financially distressed to one that has experienced an average net loss of more than 5% of aggregate revenue over a five-year period, rather than more than 1%.)

Under the act, any hospital for which CMS grants an exemption is exempt from the net revenue tax and any hospital denied an exemption must pay the tax. (PA 17-4, JSS (2) specifies that any hospital for which CMS denies an exemption is deemed a hospital for purposes of the provider tax.)

The act 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.

Definition of Net Revenue. The act defines net revenue as “gross receipts” minus payer discounts, charity care, and bad debts on which the taxpayer previously paid the tax. Under the act, “gross receipts” means the amount received (cash or in-kind) from patients, third-party payers, and others 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 act, “received” means received or accrued according to the taxpayer's customary accounting method.

“Payer discounts” means the difference between a provider's published charges and the payments it received for a rate or payment method that is different than or discounted from the published charges. It excludes charity care and bad debts.

“Charity care” is free or discounted health care services provided to an individual who cannot afford to pay, including health care services provided to an uninsured patient who is 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.

Under the act, net revenue derived from providing a health care item or service to a patient must be taxed only one time.

FY 16 Audited Net Revenue. As discussed above, the tax on inpatient and outpatient hospital services is based on the provider's FY 16 audited net revenue.

The act defines “FY 16 audited net inpatient revenue” and “FY 16 audited net outpatient revenue” as the amount of revenue the DRS commissioner determines, in accordance with federal law, that a health care provider received for providing inpatient or outpatient hospital services, respectively, during federal fiscal year 2016, based on information provided by each health care provider subject to the tax. It defines “FY 16 audited net revenue” as the net revenue reported in each hospital's audited financial statement, minus the amount of revenue that the DRS commissioner determines, in accordance with federal law, that a hospital received from anything other than providing inpatient and outpatient hospital services. Under the act, the total FY 16 audited net revenue is the sum of FY 16 audited net revenue for each hospital subject to the tax.

The act requires hospitals to submit to the commissioner any information he requires in order to calculate the FY 16 audited net inpatient revenue, net outpatient revenue, and net revenue for all hospitals. They must provide this information by January 1, 2018. The commissioner must request additional information he needs to fully 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 inpatient revenue, net outpatient revenue, and 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 failure continues. The act allows the commissioner to engage an independent auditor to assist him with these duties and responsibilities.

Taxable Services. The tax applies to the revenues a health care provider receives for providing inpatient and outpatient hospital services. Under the act, “inpatient hospital services” are, in accordance with federal law, 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.

The act defines “outpatient hospital services” as preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, rehabilitative, or palliative services furnished (1) to an outpatient, (2) by or under the direction of a physician or dentist, and (3) 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.

DRS Guidance. The act requires the DRS commissioner to issue guidance regarding administering 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, OPM secretary, Connecticut Hospital Association, and hospitals subject to the tax.

Nursing Home and ICF-ID User Fees ( 603 & 613-617)

Facilities Subject to the Fees. The act imposes quarterly resident day user fees on nursing homes and ICF-IDs that are generally the same as those imposed under prior law. The act imposes the nursing home fee on all nursing homes (i.e., any licensed chronic and convalescent nursing home or rest home with nursing supervision) and requires the DSS commissioner to seek a federal Medicaid waiver to exempt continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) from the fee (described further below). CCRCs were similarly exempt from the nursing home fee under prior law.

The act imposes the ICF-ID user fee on the same facilities subject to the fee under prior 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 prior law, DSS was required to 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 allowed by federal law (6%). The act instead establishes the fees as the product of each facility's total resident days during the quarter multiplied by $21.02 for nursing homes and $27.26 for ICF-IDs, which generally are the user fees set by DSS applicable for 2017. (The nursing home resident user fee was previously $16.13 per resident day for municipally-owned nursing homes and homes licensed for more than 230 beds.)

Under the act, a nursing home or ICF-ID resident day is the same as under prior law, that is, a day a nursing home or ICF-ID 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 prior 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 and Fee Reduction. The act 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. (PA 17-4, JSS ( 3), establishes specified criteria for determining the CCRCs for which DSS must seek the waiver.) Under the act, 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 waivers discussed above, the act exempts the nursing home and ICF-ID user fee waivers from the statutes requiring the DSS commissioner to submit notice of any proposed amendment to the Medicaid state plan to the Appropriations and Human Services committees before submitting it to the federal government.

Tax Credits

The act prohibits health care providers from using tax credits to reduce their hospital tax or nursing home or ICF-ID user fee liability. Under prior law, hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) could apply urban and industrial site reinvestment (UISR) tax credits against their hospital or ASC taxes. Prior law did not allow any tax credits against the nursing home or ICF-ID user fees.

Under the act, any provider assigned UISR tax credits that apply against the prior hospital or existing ASC tax may further assign the credits to another taxpayer or taxpayers one time, but these taxpayers may (1) claim the credits only for the tax year for which the provider would have been eligible to claim them and (2) not further assign the credits. The assigning health care provider must file with the DRS commissioner information he requests on such assignments, including the current credit holders as of the end of the preceding calendar year. (PA 17-4, JSS ( 2), requires the DRS commissioner to return to a hospital any tax credit the hospital claimed related to the prior hospital tax for the period ending September 30, 2017, so that it may be assigned.)

Tax and Fee Administration ( 604-609)

Filing Returns and Remitting Taxes and Fees. Under the act, taxpayers doing business in this state (i.e., health care providers subject to the tax or fee) must file quarterly returns and generally remit the tax and fee payments to the DRS commissioner by the last day of January, April, July, and October of each year on DRS-prescribed forms. (For FYs 18 and 19, 618 allows hospitals to delay their tax payments for any quarter in which DSS delays supplemental payments, without incurring penalties or interest, until 14 days after getting the supplemental payments due for that quarter. PA 17-4, JSS ( 4 & 11), eliminates this provision and instead allows taxpayers subject to the provider tax or fees to request a payment extension under certain circumstances.)

The returns must be signed by one of the taxpayer's principal officers and must state the (1) taxpayer's name and location, (2) amount of its net patient revenue or resident days during the respective quarter, and (3) other information the commissioner deems necessary to properly administer the health provider taxes and the state's Medicaid program.

Taxpayers must file the returns electronically and remit their payments by electronic funds transfer, regardless of whether they would have otherwise been required to do so electronically under existing law.

Failure to Pay Tax or Fee. Taxpayers that fail to pay the tax or fee they owe on time are subject to a penalty of 10% of the unpaid tax or fee or $50, whichever is greater, plus 1% interest for each full or partial month that the tax or fee remains unpaid.

If a taxpayer does not file a return within one month of its due date, the DRS commissioner may make the return based on the best information available and according to the prescribed form. In addition to the tax or fee due, the taxpayer must pay a penalty of 10% of the tax or fee due or $50, whichever is greater. Interest of 1% on the tax due accrues for each full or partial month that it remains unpaid.

The DRS commissioner must notify the DSS commissioner of any delinquent amount. Once the DSS commissioner receives the notice, he must deduct and withhold the amount due from any amount DSS would otherwise pay the taxpayer.

Penalty Waivers. The act authorizes the DRS commissioner to waive all or part of any penalty if the taxpayer proves that the failure to pay the tax or fee was due to reasonable cause and not intentional or due to neglect. By law, the Penalty Review Committee must approve penalty waivers of more than $1,000.

Willfully Failing to Pay the Taxes or Fees or Supplying False Information. In addition to other penalties provided by law, taxpayers that willfully fail to pay the taxes or fees, file returns, keep records, or supply information within the time allowed under the act are subject to a fine of up to $1,000, one year in prison, or both. The act allows DRS to prosecute taxpayers for these violations within three years after they were committed. (The act appears to incorrectly refer to violations committed on or after July 1, 1997.)

The act also provides that anyone who willfully delivers or discloses to the commissioner or his authorized agent any list, return, account, statement, or other document known to be fraudulent or false in any material matter is, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, guilty of a class D felony (see Table on Penalties). Taxpayers may not be charged with these two offenses (willfully failing to pay the taxes or fees, or supplying fraudulent or false information) for the same tax period, but they may be charged and prosecuted for both such offenses based on the same information.

Examination of Records and Deficiency Assessments. The act authorizes the DRS commissioner to examine the records of any taxpayer subject to the hospital tax or user fees as he deems necessary. If he determines there is a deficiency, he must assess the deficiency, give notice of the deficiency assessment to the taxpayer, and make demand for payment. Interest of 1% per month on the amount due accrues from the date when the original tax or fee was due. An additional penalty of (1) 10% of the deficiency or $50, whichever is greater, applies when it appears that the deficiency is due to negligence or intentional disregard for the act or regulations and (2) 25% of the deficiency applies when it appears that the deficiency is due to fraud or intent to evade the act or regulations. A taxpayer cannot be subject to more than one penalty in relation to the same tax period. Taxpayers must pay the tax, penalty, and interest due within 30 days after the notice's mailing.

The commissioner must mail notice of a deficiency assessment to the taxpayer within three years after the return is filed or was originally due, whichever is later. But there is no time limit when a willfully false or fraudulent return is filed with intent to evade the tax or fee. In cases where the taxpayer consents, in writing, to an extension of the period for assessing an additional tax or fee, the amount of the additional tax due may be determined at any time within the extended period. The extended period may be further extended by additional written consents before the period expires.

The DRS commissioner may require taxpayers to (1) keep certain records and (2) produce books, papers, documents, and other data to provide or secure information relevant to the determination of the taxes or fees and their enforcement and collection. The commissioner, or any person he authorizes, may examine such books, papers, records, and equipment and may investigate the business's character to verify the accuracy of a tax return or determine the amount due.

Agreements with the DSS Commissioner. The act authorizes the DRS commissioner to enter into an agreement with the DSS commissioner delegating to the DSS commissioner the authority to examine health provider taxpayer records and returns and determine whether the correct amount has been paid. Under a delegated authority agreement, these examinations and determinations have the same effect as those made by DRS.

The act also authorizes the DRS commissioner to enter into an agreement with the DSS commissioner to facilitate the exchange of return or return information necessary for the DSS commissioner to perform his responsibilities and ensure compliance with the state's Medicaid program.

The DSS commissioner may engage an independent auditor to assist him in performing these duties and responsibilities. Any reports the independent auditor generates must be provided simultaneously to DRS and DSS.

Claims for Overpayment. A taxpayer who has overpaid has three years from the date the tax or fee was due to file a written claim for a refund stating the specific grounds for the claim. Failure to file a claim within the three-year period constitutes a waiver of the right to an overpayment refund. Within a reasonable time, as the commissioner determines, the commissioner must decide the claim's validity and, if valid, have the comptroller pay a refund. If the commissioner disallows the claim, in whole or in part, his notice must be mailed to the taxpayer briefly setting forth his factual findings and the reasons for the disallowances. His action becomes final 60 days after being mailed unless the taxpayer has filed a written protest with the commissioner as described below.

Written Protest. Within 60 days after the mailing of a proposed disallowance for an overpayment claim, the taxpayer may file a written protest with the commissioner indicating the grounds on which it is based. The commissioner must reconsider the proposed disallowance and may grant or deny a hearing if the taxpayer or its authorized representative requests one. Notice of the commissioner's determination must be mailed to the taxpayer and briefly indicate the commissioner's findings and the basis of his decision. The commissioner's decision on the protest is considered final one month from the date he mails the notice, unless the taxpayer appeals to court during this period as described below.

Appeals of Commissioner's Decisions. The act allows a taxpayer aggrieved by the DRS or DSS commissioner's action, or that of an authorized agent, in setting the amount of any health provider tax, penalty, interest, or fee to apply in writing for a hearing and correction to the DRS commissioner within 60 days after notice of the action is delivered or mailed to the taxpayer. The application must indicate the reasons why the hearing should be granted and the amount by which the tax, penalty, interest, or fee should be reduced. The commissioner must promptly consider the application and may grant or deny the hearing request. He must immediately notify the taxpayer if the hearing request is denied. If the hearing request is granted, he must notify the applicant of the hearing's date, time, and place. After the hearing, the commissioner may issue an order that appears just and lawful and provide a copy to the taxpayer. The commissioner may order a hearing on his own initiative and require the taxpayer or any individual he believes has relevant information to appear with any specified documents for examination under oath.

Court Appeal. Any taxpayer aggrieved by an order, decision, determination, or disallowance of the commissioner can appeal for relief to the Superior Court for the judicial district of New Britain. (PA 17-4, JSS (7), extends this authorization to include appeals of the commissioner's decisions with respect to taxpayer requests for a hearing and correction on the amount of any health provider tax, penalty, interest, or fee.) The appeal must be made within one month after notice is served of the commissioner's action. It must be accompanied by a citation for the commissioner to appear in court. The citation and appeal must be handled like other civil actions, and the authority filing the appeal must provide a bond to assure prosecution of the appeal and compliance with court orders. These appeals become preferred cases, which must be heard at the first court session unless there is cause to do otherwise.

The court is authorized to grant equitable relief. If the tax or charge has already been paid, relief may include interest at a rate of 0.67% per month. If the taxpayer has appealed without probable cause, the court may charge double or triple costs; and when an appeal is denied, the court can impose costs against the taxpayer bringing the appeal. But the court cannot charge costs against the state.

Enforcement. The act authorizes the DRS commissioner, and any duly authorized agent, to conduct inquiries, investigations, or hearings as the act or the existing hospital tax and user fee law provides and administer oaths and take testimony under oath related to the matter being investigated. (PA 17-4, JSS ( 8), authorizes the commissioner to do so only as authorized by the act.)

At any hearing the commissioner orders, he or his agent may subpoena witnesses and pertinent books, papers, and documents. Individuals subject to subpoena cannot use the self-incrimination protection of the Constitution to refuse subpoenas, but information gathered through these processes cannot be used in criminal proceedings. If a person refuses to respond to the commissioner's subpoena, the commissioner can ask the Superior Court to enforce it and, in the face of continued lack of cooperation, the court can order the recalcitrant party imprisoned for up to 60 days. In such cases the commissioner is authorized to continue the i