Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Committee Bill No. 6954

January Session, 2017

 

LCO No. 5350

 

*05350HB06954PS_*

Referred to Committee on PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY

 

Introduced by:

 

(PS)

 

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A TASK FORCE TO STUDY INSPECTIONS OF RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS BY LOCAL FIRE MARSHALS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a task force to study inspections of residential buildings by local fire marshals provided for in section 29-305 of the general statutes. The task force shall examine the feasibility of: (1) Prioritizing the schedule of inspections for residential buildings based on the type and age of such buildings and the use of fire suppression systems in such buildings, (2) creating a new type of certified inspectors who inspect only residential buildings, (3) expanding options for municipalities to create programs to encourage landlords to schedule inspections for residential buildings owned by such landlords, and (4) improving enforcement of section 29-305 of the general statutes.

(b) The task force shall consist of the following members:

(1) Two appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, one of whom shall be a mayor of a city with a population exceeding one hundred thousand;

(2) Two appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, one of whom shall be a fire marshal of a city with a population exceeding one hundred thousand;

(3) One appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, who shall be a fire chief of a city with a population exceeding one hundred thousand;

(4) One appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, who shall be a member of the Connecticut Fire Marshals Association;

(5) One appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, who shall represent residential landlords;

(6) One appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, who shall be an attorney with experience representing municipalities;

(7) The Commissioner of Administrative Services, or the commissioner's designee; and

(8) The State Fire Marshal, or his or her designee.

(c) Any member of the task force appointed under subdivision (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) or (6) of subsection (b) of this section may be a member of the General Assembly.

(d) All appointments to the task force shall be made not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority.

(e) The speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate shall select the chairpersons of the task force from among the members of the task force. Such chairpersons shall schedule the first meeting of the task force, which shall be held not later than sixty days after the effective date of this section.

(f) The administrative staff of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public safety and security shall serve as administrative staff of the task force.

(g) Not later than February 1, 2018, the task force shall submit a report on its findings and recommendations to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public safety and security, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes. The task force shall terminate on the date that it submits such report or February 1, 2018, whichever is later.

Sec. 2. Subsection (b) of section 52-557n of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a political subdivision of the state or any employee, officer or agent acting within the scope of his or her employment or official duties shall not be liable for damages to person or property resulting from: (1) The condition of natural land or unimproved property; (2) the condition of a reservoir, dam, canal, conduit, drain or similar structure when used by a person in a manner which is not reasonably foreseeable; (3) the temporary condition of a road or bridge which results from weather, if the political subdivision has not received notice and has not had a reasonable opportunity to make the condition safe; (4) the condition of an unpaved road, trail or footpath, the purpose of which is to provide access to a recreational or scenic area, if the political subdivision has not received notice and has not had a reasonable opportunity to make the condition safe; (5) the initiation of a judicial or administrative proceeding, provided that such action is not determined to have been commenced or prosecuted without probable cause or with a malicious intent to vex or trouble, as provided in section 52-568; (6) the act or omission of someone other than an employee, officer or agent of the political subdivision; (7) the issuance, denial, suspension or revocation of, or failure or refusal to issue, deny, suspend or revoke any permit, license, certificate, approval, order or similar authorization, when such authority is a discretionary function by law, unless such issuance, denial, suspension or revocation or such failure or refusal constitutes a reckless and actually malicious disregard for health or safety; (8) failure to make an inspection or making an inadequate or negligent inspection of any property, other than property owned or leased by or leased to such political subdivision, to determine whether the property complies with or violates any law or contains a hazard to health or safety, unless [the political subdivision had] with respect to inspections by a local fire marshal required under section 29-305, the local fire marshal had written notice of such a violation of law or such a hazard, or unless such failure to inspect or such inadequate or negligent inspection constitutes a reckless and actually malicious disregard for health or safety under all the relevant circumstances; (9) failure to detect or prevent pollution of the environment, including groundwater, watercourses and wells, by individuals or entities other than the political subdivision; or (10) conditions on land sold or transferred to the political subdivision by the state when such conditions existed at the time the land was sold or transferred to the political subdivision.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

New section

Sec. 2

October 1, 2017

52-557n(b)

Statement of Purpose:

To (1) study ways to improve the inspections of residential buildings by local fire marshals, and (2) provide that municipalities shall not be liable for damages resulting from the failure of a local fire marshal to inspect a building under certain circumstances.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]

Co-Sponsors:

REP. REYES, 75th Dist.; REP. ROSARIO, 128th Dist.

REP. SANTIAGO, 130th Dist.; REP. CANDELARIA, 95th Dist.

REP. LEMAR, 96th Dist.

H.B. 6954