PA 17-243—sSB 991

Government Administration and Elections Committee

AN ACT MAKING REVISIONS TO STATUTES CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

SUMMARY: This act makes several changes with respect to statutes affecting the Department of Administrative Services (DAS). It does the following, among other things:

1. requires DAS to consider offering surplus state property to abutting landowners before offering it for general sale;

2. expands the types of state-owned vehicles exempt from fuel-efficiency requirements to include all emergency vehicles;

3. for design-bid-build contracts, increases, from $25,000 to $100,000, the threshold at which the contractor must include a separate section for specific sub-classes of work; and

4. expands the circumstances under which DAS may grant an easement on state land.

The act also requires the State Marshal Commission, which is within DAS, to consult with the Judicial Department when adopting rules for conducting the commission's internal affairs. By law, these rules must provide for, among other things, the provision of timely, consistent, and reliable access to a state marshal for people applying for certain restraining orders ( 1).

The act additionally delays, from August 1 to August 30, the annual deadline by which state agencies and political subdivisions, other than municipalities, must notify DAS and other parties of their small contractor and minority business enterprise contracting set-aside goals for the current fiscal year ( 5). (By law, municipalities are not subject to this reporting requirement.)

Lastly, the act makes technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except that the (1) State Marshal Commission provision is effective July 1, 2017, and (2) design-bid-build contracting provisions are effective October 1, 2017.

2 — SURPLUS STATE PROPERTY

Existing law establishes numerous requirements concerning the disposition of surplus state property. Among other things, it requires DAS to first offer a surplus property to the municipality in which the property is located if no state agencies express interest in it. If the municipality declines to acquire the property, DAS may offer it to other parties through a sale, lease, exchange, or other agreement. The act requires DAS to consider offering surplus property to abutting landowners before offering it for general sale.

3 — FUEL EFFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS

The act expands the types of state-owned vehicles exempt from state fuel-efficiency and emissions requirements to include all emergency vehicles. Prior law exempted only those vehicles used by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) that the DESPP commissioner, subject to the DAS commissioner's approval, designated as necessary for the department's mission.

Specifically, the act exempts vehicles from the following agencies if used for law enforcement or emergency purposes: Board of Pardons and Paroles, Board of Regents for Higher Education, Children and Families, Correction, Developmental Services, DESPP, Energy and Environmental Protection, Judicial Department, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Motor Vehicles, Social Services, State Capitol Police, Transportation, UConn, and the UConn Health Center. Unlike prior law, the act does not require the DAS commissioner to approve these designations or explain why the fuel-efficiency and emissions requirements should not apply.

Additionally, existing law requires the DAS commissioner to submit an annual report about the state vehicle fleet to the Energy and Technology, Environment, and Government Administration and Elections committees. The act eliminates a requirement that the report include a listing of vehicles exempt from state fuel-efficiency and emissions requirements and the commissioner's explanation for these exemptions.

4 — DESIGN-BID-BUILD CONTRACTS

Existing law requires that state public works contracts using the design-bid-build delivery method include plans and specifications detailing all labor and materials to be furnished under the contract. Under prior law, the specifications had to have separate sections for the following classes of work if the awarding authority estimated that they would exceed $25,000: (1) masonry; (2) electrical; (3) mechanical, other than heating, ventilating, and air conditioning; and (4) heating, ventilating, and air conditioning. The act increases this threshold to $100,000 and renames the third class “plumbing.”

6 — EASEMENTS

Under prior law, DAS could grant easements on state land, in connection with a department project, to public service companies, owners of district heating and cooling systems, and municipal water and sewer authorities. The act (1) eliminates the requirement that the easement be in connection with a DAS project and (2) allows the department to also grant easements to telecommunications companies.

Under existing law, the easements are subject to approval by the agency with control of the land and State Properties Review Board. The act additionally requires approval by the Office of Policy and Management.