JOURNAL OF THE SENATE

Monday, July 24, 2017

On Monday, the 24th of July, 2017, in accordance with the Constitution of the State of Connecticut and the Call of the Secretary of the State, the Senate reconvened at the State Capitol at 10: 46 a. m. , the President in the Chair.

The prayer was offered by Acting Chaplain, Tim Kehoe of East Hartford, Connecticut.

The following is the prayer:

Please bless us with an inner strength so that our lives and our work may be a blessing on others.

PLEDGE

Senator Witkos of the 8th led the Senate in the Pledge of Allegiance.

CALL

RECONVENING

2017 REGULAR SESSION OF

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Whereas, the 2017 Regular General Assembly adjourned on June 7, 2017; and

Whereas, the Governor has disapproved a bill passed by the 2017 Regular Session of the General Assembly and has transmitted same to the Secretary of the State with his objections; and

Whereas, said bill was not reconsidered by the General Assembly or was so disapproved by the Governor after said adjournment;

Now Therefore, as required by Article Third of the Amendments to the Constitution of Connecticut, I hereby call the 2017 Regular Session of the General Assembly to reconvene in session at Hartford on July 24th, 2017 at ten o'clock in the morning, for a period not to exceed three days following such reconvening, for the sole purpose of reconsidering and, if the General Assembly so desires, repassing said bill.

Given under my hand and the Seal of the State at the City of Hartford, this 13th day of July, 2017.

Denise W. Merrill

Secretary of the State

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE STATE

VETO MESSAGES FROM THE GOVERNOR

The following communications were received from the Honorable Denise W. Merrill Secretary of the State, on the dates indicated, read by the Clerk and ordered printed in the Journal.

July 7, 2017

The Honorable Denise W. Merrill

Secretary of the State

30 Trinity Street

Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Madam Secretary:

I hereby return, without my signature, House Bill 5886, An Act Establishing a Tax Credit for Donated Agricultural Food Commodities Produced or Grown by the Taxpayer. This bill allows taxpayers who donate home grown agricultural commodities to food banks to receive a tax credit against their personal income or corporation business tax.

The underlying purpose of this bill is certainly laudable. Nevertheless, by allowing for additional credits to be applied against personal income tax, there will be revenue loss to the General Fund and additional costs to the Department of Revenue Services. Additionally, this bill creates an entirely new category of credits against personal income tax, thus opening the door for other similar proposals and increasing the likelihood that the credits will result in a revenue loss to the state.

For this reason, I disapprove of House Bill 5886, An Act Establishing a Tax Credit for Donated Agricultural Food Commodities Produced or Grown by the Taxpayer. Pursuant to Section 15 of Article Fourth of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, I am returning House Bill 5886 without my signature.

 

Dannel P. Malloy

Governor

July 7, 2017

The Honorable Denise W. Merrill

Secretary of the State

30 Trinity Street

Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Madam Secretary:

I hereby return, without my signature, Substitute House Bill No. 6880, An Act Concerning the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure. This bill would change several portions of the Affordable Land Use Appeals Act, Section 8-30g of the General Statutes, enabling municipalities to more easily deny proposed affordable housing projects and shield themselves from an appeals process designed to overcome local resistance to fair and affordable housing. Currently, Section 8-30g allows these appeals if the proposed development reserves, by deed restriction or covenant, at least 30 percent of the housing units as affordable for residents with incomes below certain levels.

Every resident of Connecticut should have access to housing they can afford in the town where they work. So, too, should everyone be able to live affordably in the town that they choose, with access to good schools, safe neighborhoods, and basic services, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or income. However, for many lower-income residents who must work in areas of the state where the cost of housing is high, a long history of decisions and discriminatory policies has made securing that housing persistently difficult. Those decisions include the historical practice of redlining – denying mortgages to entire neighborhoods because of the residents' race or ethnicity – and passing restrictive zoning rules that make it nearly impossible to build multifamily housing, or that require home lots to be so large that only the wealthy can buy them. These kinds of rules effectively price people of limited means who work in such towns out of the market.

It is our responsibility as a state, and the responsibility of every city and town in Connecticut, to correct this injustice. It is also imperative for our state's economic vitality that we provide more housing for our workforce within a reasonable commuting distance of their jobs. We are far from attaining this goal.

Connecticut has the sixth highest gap in the nation between what renters earn and what it costs to rent a small family apartment. 1 About one third of Connecticut residents, or 446,000 families, rent their homes. Of these, the mean renter wage is $16. 97 per hour, which means a renter, perhaps an administrative assistant or a home care aide, can afford only $883 per month without spending more than 30 percent of their income, the national standard for housing affordability. Yet, the fair market rent in Connecticut, what it costs for rent and essential utilities for an adequate, safe two-bedroom apartment, about the smallest that is suitable for a young family with one or two small children, is $1,285 per month. That's a gap of $402 per month. A family needs an income of more than $51,400 to afford this rent. When you break it down by region, the gap gets worse. For example, the Milford-Ansonia-Seymour metropolitan area is one of the five most expensive areas in Connecticut to live. There, the mean renter's wage is even lower, but that young family, perhaps with only one parent, would need to earn $24. 90 per hour, the equivalent of almost two full-time jobs, to afford a two-bedroom apartment. That translates into an affordability gap of $569 per month.

After decades of underinvestment, or no investment, in affordable housing, the state is doing its part. Since 2011, my administration created a Department of Housing (DOH), and working with DOH, the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority and other partners, has helped finance nearly 21,000 units of housing. Of those, approximately 18,500 have deed restrictions requiring them to be affordable to working people – nurses, home health care workers, teachers, social workers, firefighters, office support staff and others. In Hartford, we have committed tens of millions to leverage private financing to build more than 1,000 mixed-income apartments. These urban housing options draw young professionals into the city but also reserve at least 20 percent of the homes for working people who make our cities hum by providing the services that residents and businesses want and need.

But the need is much greater, and the state cannot do it alone. Cities and towns must play a role in breaking down the historic barriers that were erected throughout the 20th century to workers of every race and income finding affordable housing in every community. Some have done so. When I was the mayor of Stamford, for example, we created a historic inclusionary zoning ordinance that required 10 percent of units in multifamily dwellings be reserved for those who make less than half the area median income. Darien and other communities have followed suit with fair and just affordable housing policies that protect property values and contribute to overall community vitality. Unfortunately, however, other communities have made little or no progress in boosting the availability of affordable housing, or even in developing affordable housing plans.

Often I hear that town residents fear that the affordable housing appeals law forces them to accept substandard developments built by fly-by-night developers who are sneaking in under the guise of affordable housing. That is the fear, but it is not the reality. In fact, this appeals process is not triggered on a regular basis. Most towns in Connecticut have never had an appeal filed under Section 8-30g, and only one town, Milford, has had as many as ten filed.

Any developer who seeks to use the affordable housing appeal procedure must include affordable units that meet the affordability, quality, and safety standards already in state statute. They must adhere to the building code and comply with reasonable conditions, such as setbacks from the road, sight lines, traffic and parking requirements, and landscaping conditions, imposed by the town's zoning authority. If an appeal is filed, a municipality can have its decision upheld, simply by proving to the court that its denial of a development application was based on legitimate public health and safety concerns, and not on the desire, for example, to keep lower income people out or keep less well-off families with children from entering the school system.

In addition, Connecticut's affordable housing law already offers towns a variety of ways to create their fair share of affordable housing and avoid the loss of control that they fear. First, if at least 10 percent of a town's housing stock is classified as affordable under various state and federal programs, then it is wholly exempt from the affordable housing appeals procedure. Even if it hasn't achieved the 10 percent affordability goal, a town can already get a four-year moratorium from the appeals procedure by making sufficient progress over time. All a community has to do is show that deed-restricted affordable units representing 2 percent of the town's housing stock have been built to achieve a moratorium. Despite this relaxed standard, some municipalities continue to avoid building sufficient affordable housing.

Each of the non-exempt towns could instead work to create more housing opportunities for those who provide the basic services that every town needs. They could offer incentives in their zoning codes to create affordable units. They could accept the help that the state has repeatedly offered to create effective affordable housing policies that protect and enhance their community character. They could also negotiate with owners of existing housing to guarantee long-term affordability for some of the units.

This legislation takes affordable housing policy in the wrong direction. Its passage would perpetuate the harmful effects of bad economic policy and institutional segregation, damaging our state's economy and its moral foundation. The state stands ready to help any community willing to work with us to address an affordable housing shortage that hurts our economy and stands in contrast to principals of fairness and justice. This bill does not advance that goal.

For this reason, I disapprove of Substitute House Bill No. 6880, An Act Concerning the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure. Pursuant to Section 15 of Article Fourth of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, I am returning Substitute House Bill No. 6880 without my signature.

 

Dannel P. Malloy

Governor

July 7, 2017

The Honorable Denise W. Merrill

Secretary of the State

30 Trinity Street

Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Madam Secretary:

I hereby return, without my signature, Senate Bill 821, An Act Concerning Roofing, Window and Siding Consumer Warranties and Post-Sale Warranty Work Reimbursement for Power Equipment Dealers. This bill, while intended to add additional layers of consumer protections to the warranty process, would instead harm consumers due to its detrimental impact to the marketplace.

Under current law, manufacturers of residential roofing, window and siding materials are permitted to establish their own timelines for their warranty processes, including claims processing
. This bill changes that by imposing a strict 30-day time period for manufacturers to make a determination on a warranty claim. The inherent difficulty created by putting this requirement upon manufacturers is that often a product will fail not because of a manufacturer's defect, but because of improper installation. As such, manufacturers regularly conduct field inspections to gather more information to determine whether the product failure falls within the ambit of the warranty. They also review a wide variety of records, and may perform audits of manufacturing and installation records. To require manufacturers to conduct all inspections, review all attendant documents and to make fully informed claims decisions within 30 days is simply unworkable.

My office has heard from manufacturers from across Connecticut, and across the country who have expressed significant concerns about this legislation. (See attached list. ) The detrimental impact of this bill would be very real to Connecticut consumers; businesses could decide to not offer their products in our state, or to tailor their warranties in Connecticut by adding in extra fees or adjustments in order to comply with the 30 day requirement.

For these reasons, I disapprove of Senate Bill 821, An Act Concerning Roofing, Window and Siding Consumer Warranties and Post-Sale Warranty Work Reimbursement for Power Equipment Dealers. Pursuant to Section 15 of Article Fourth of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, I am returning Senate Bill 821 without my signature.

 

Dannel P. Malloy

Governor

July 11, 2017

The Honorable Denise W. Merrill

Secretary of the State

30 Trinity Street

Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Madam Secretary:

I hereby return, without my signature, House Bill No. 6304, An Act Concerning the Use of Combined Heat and Power and District Heating Systems and Requiring a Study of the Viability of New District Heating Networks in the State as Part of the Comprehensive Energy Strategy. This bill would authorize the creation of a thermal heating loop in the City of Bridgeport that would be fully subsidized by all ratepayers of the local utility without proper consumer protections or appropriate regulatory oversight.

There is no doubt that Connecticut must continue its leadership role in promoting, developing and powering our state through clean energy, including the use of fuel cells, a technology where Connecticut is a clear leader. Connecticut has also led the way, through our first in the nation Green Bank, in developing innovative financing systems to leverage private capital for clean energy projects. The goal of this bill, to create electricity and heat using fuel cells to serve an energy district heating system in Bridgeport, is certainly commendable. Such a project, if properly planned and with the right consumer safeguards in place, could bring with it significant benefits. I am concerned, however, that this bill does not contain such necessary safeguards.

First, House Bill No. 6304 grants one developer in one municipality access to ratepayer funds to create a district thermal system without a competitive process to ensure that the best project is selected, with fair terms and at a reasonable price. While the utility would use what the bill calls a competitive process, there are no standards for that process in the bill and no authority for the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to ensure that one is followed. This project was proposed during a competitive clean energy procurement process conducted by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in 2016, but it failed to be selected because it would have cost ratepayers much more than competing proposals. Had this project been chosen, it would have cost ratepayers $8. 6 million more each year and $173 million more over the 20-year contract term than the average cost of other fuel cell projects proposed for that procurement.

Second, it places all the financial risk on ratepayers and none on the private developer. The legislation requires ratepayers to cover all the costs of the fuel cell plant while forfeiting all revenues from the project's capacity and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to the developer. I have never signed a bill that does not credit back to ratepayers the value of the electricity, capacity, or RECs produced by the clean energy facility. These asymmetric terms exacerbate the impact on ratepayers and create a bad precedent. In addition, while I have no doubt that the city is serious about developing a thermal loop, this bill requires that ratepayers finance the construction of the fuel cell plant with no guarantee that the thermal loop will be built or that a sufficient number of customers will be enrolled. Existing law requires enrollment of customers before ratepayer subsidies are awarded; this bill removes that protection. Bridgeport residents, whose rates will increase to finance this project because they are customers of the utility that would own it, also are guaranteed no other benefits under this bill.

Third, the bill deprives PURA of any ability to refine the technical or the financial details of the system proposed under this bill. Not only can PURA not specify the standards for the utility's selection process, it cannot recommend changes to any other details. This bill cedes all of the decisions to the utility, removing PURA from its proper role in evaluating and refining the proposal to require consumer protections or features that enhance the overall energy grid.

The state already has mechanisms for financing clean energy systems and creating local energy districts so that communities can share in the benefits of clean energy, while giving PURA appropriate power to ensure that all ratepayers are protected from undue risk. These include avenues for large-scale fuel cell procurement under Public Act 17-144, which my administration introduced and which I signed on June 28, and existing legislation to fund projects considered “Best of Class. ” Public Act 15-5, passed in June 2015, already provides customers of district thermal systems incentives to encourage their enrollment. The level of incentives provided through that Act is benchmarked to the value of incentives provided for all natural gas customers who reduce their gas usage. I respect the proponents of this bill and their sincerity in proposing it. I am willing to work with them to make sure that Bridgeport can develop a clean, efficient district energy system that includes sufficient protections for the public and ratepayers, and I look forward to discussing how to do so. This bill, however, is not the right approach.

For this reason, I disapprove of House Bill No. 6304, An Act Concerning the Use of Combined Heat and Power and District Heating Systems and Requiring a Study of the Viability of New District Heating Networks in the State as Part of the Comprehensive Energy Strategy. Pursuant to Section 15 of Article Fourth of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, I am returning House Bill No. 6304 without my signature.

Dannel P. Malloy

Governor

RECESS

On motion of Senator Duff of the 25th, the Senate at 10: 50 a. m. recessed.

AFTER RECESS

The Senate reconvened at 6: 35 p. m. , the President in the Chair.

INTRODUCTION OF

SENATE RESOLUTION

RESOLUTION ADOPTED

The following resolution was introduced, read and adopted.

S. R. No. 60 RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE RULES OF THE SENATE FOR THE RECONVENED SESSION OF THE 2017 GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

Senator Duff of the 25th explained the resolution and moved adoption.

On a voice vote, the Resolution was adopted.

The following is the Resolution:

Resolved by the Senate:

That the rules of the Senate at this reconvened session of the 2017 General Assembly shall be the same as the rules of the Senate in force at the 2017 regular session, except as such rules are amended, altered or repealed in this resolution and by the addition of the following rules, which additional rules are hereby made part of said Senate rules.

Strike out Rule 8 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 8. The clerk shall keep a journal of the Senate and shall enter therein a record of each day's proceedings.

Strike out Rule 9 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 9. The clerk shall keep a calendar on which he shall enter daily all Senate bills disapproved by the Governor and all bills and joint resolutions received from the House for action.

Strike out Rule 19 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 19. The order of business shall be as follows:

1. Reception of communications from the Governor and Secretary of the State.

2. Introduction of resolutions.

3. Introduction of bills disapproved by the Governor.

4. Reception of business from the House.

5. Business on the Calendar.

6. Introduction of guests.

Strike out Rule 20 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 20. Before any resolution is received, a brief statement of its object shall be made by the introducer.

Strike out Rule 23.

Strike out Rule 29 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 29. When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received except:

1. To adjourn.

2. To recess.

3. For the previous question.

4. To close the debate at a specified time.

5. To pass temporarily.

6. To pass retain.

7. To postpone to a certain time.

Said motions shall have precedence in the order listed in this rule.

Strike out Rule 30.

Add a new Rule 37 as follows:

Rule 37. No substantive resolutions shall be received except for resolutions concerning joint rule 33, and resolutions pertaining to the rules of this reconvened session, the printing of the journals of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the expenses of this reconvened session.

BUSINESS FROM THE HOUSE

INTRODUCTION OF HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTIONS

RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED

The following resolutions were introduced, read and adopted.

H. J. No. 201 RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE JOINT RULES OF THE RECONVENED SESSION OF THE 2017 GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

Senator Duff of the 25th explained the resolution and moved adoption.

On a voice vote the Resolution was adopted, in concurrence with the House.

The following is the Resolution:

Resolved by this Assembly:

That the joint rules of this reconvened session of the 2017 General Assembly shall be the same as the joint rules in force at the 2017 regular session, except as said rules are amended, altered or repealed in this resolution and by the addition of the following rules, which additional rules are hereby made a part of the joint rules of this reconvened session.

Strike out Rule 6.

Strike out Rule 7 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 7. The reconvened session of the 2017 General Assembly shall be for the sole purpose of reconsidering bills approved by the 2017 General Assembly and disapproved by the Governor. Except as provided in joint rule 33, no substantive resolutions shall be received other than those pertaining to the rules applicable to this reconvened session and the printing of the journals of the Senate and House of Representatives and the expenses of this reconvened session. The reconvened session shall adjourn sine die not later than midnight, July 27, 2017.

Strike out Rules 8, 9, 10 and 11.

Strike out Rule 12 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 12. No amendments shall be permitted to any disapproved bill submitted to the reconvened session.

Strike out Rule 13.

Strike out Rule 14 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 14. Each disapproved bill shall be submitted to the chamber of origin for reconsideration. If, after such reconsideration, that chamber shall again pass it, but by the approval of at least two-thirds of the membership, it shall be immediately transmitted with the veto message to the other chamber, which shall also reconsider it. The votes of each chamber shall be determined by the yeas and nays and the names of the members voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journals of each chamber respectively.

Strike out Rules 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20.

Strike out Rule 21 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 21. After the time has elapsed for the reconsideration of any vote upon any bill, no resolution or motion to recall such bill from the other chamber shall be allowed for the purposes of reconsideration, except when there has clearly been a mistake in the vote on such bill.

Strike out Rules 22, 23 and 24.

Strike out Rule 25 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 25. The respective clerks of the House and Senate shall immediately notify the Secretary of the State and the Legislative Commissioners of the final action taken on each disapproved bill and its engrossed copy shall bear the notation of such final action and if repassed, the date of final passage.

Strike out Rule 26.

Strike out Rule 27 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

Rule 27. The official copies of all disapproved bills repassed by the General Assembly shall be delivered to the Secretary of the State.

Strike out Rules 31 and 32.

H. J. No. 202 RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE EXPENSES OF THE RECONVENED SESSION OF THE 2017 GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

Senator Duff of the 25th explained the resolution and moved adoption.

On a voice vote the Resolution was adopted, in concurrence with the House.

The following is the Resolution:

Resolved by this Assembly:

That the Joint Committee on Legislative Management is authorized to pay the necessary expenses of this reconvened session of the 2017 General Assembly.

H. J. No. 203 RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE PRINTING OF THE JOURNALS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR THE RECONVENED SESSION OF THE 2017 GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

Senator Duff of the 25th explained the resolution and moved adoption.

On a voice vote the Resolution was adopted, in concurrence with the House.

The following is the Resolution:

Resolved by this Assembly:

That the journals of the proceedings of the Senate and House of Representatives at this reconvened session shall be printed as provided in section 2-49 of the general statutes with the journals of the January 2017 session of the General Assembly.

BUSINESS FROM THE HOUSE

BILL VETOED BY THE GOVERNOR

RECONSIDERATION UNDER ARTICLE IV, SECTION 15

OF THE CONSTITUTION

MOTION TO RECONSIDER

MOTION TO RECONSIDER ADOPTED

VETO OVERIDDEN

HOUSING. Substitute for H. B. No. 6880 (COMM) (File Nos. 179 and 811) AN ACT CONCERNING THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING LAND USE APPEALS PROCEDURE. (As amended by House Amendment Schedule "A").

Senator Duff of the 25th who was on the prevailing side of the vote for passage moved for reconsideration of the bill.

On a voice vote the motion was adopted.

Senator Slossberg of the 14th explained the bill and moved re-passage.

Remarking were Senators Hwang of the 28th, Winfield of the 10th, Flexer of the 29th and Gomes of the 23rd.

The chair ordered the vote be taken by roll call.

The following is the result of the vote at 8: 08 p. m. :

Total Number Voting 36

Necessary for Adoption 24

Those voting Yea 24

Those voting Nay 12

Those absent and not voting 0

The following is the roll call vote:

   

N

1

JOHN W. FONFARA

 

Y

 

19

CATHERINE A. OSTEN

   

N

2

DOUGLAS MCCRORY

 

Y

 

20

PAUL M. FORMICA

 

Y

 

3

TIM LARSON

 

Y

 

21

KEVIN KELLY

 

Y

 

4

STEVE CASSANO

   

N

22

MARILYN MOORE

   

N

5

BETH BYE

   

N

23

EDWIN A. GOMES

   

N

6

TERRY B. GERRATANA

 

Y

 

24

MICHAEL A. MCLACHLAN

 

Y

 

7

JOHN A. KISSEL

 

Y

 

25

BOB DUFF

 

Y

 

8

KEVIN D. WITKOS

 

Y

 

26

TONI BOUCHER

 

Y

 

9

PAUL DOYLE

   

N

27

CARLO LEONE

   

N

10

GARY WINFIELD

 

Y

 

28

TONY HWANG

   

N

11

MARTIN M. LOONEY

   

N

29

MAE M. FLEXER

 

Y

 

12

TED KENNEDY

 

Y

 

30

CRAIG MINER

   

N

13

LEN SUZIO

 

Y

 

31

HENRI MARTIN

 

Y

 

14

GAYLE SLOSSBERG

 

Y

 

32

ERIC BERTHEL

 

Y

 

15

JOAN V. HARTLEY

 

Y

 

33

ART LINARES

 

Y

 

16

JOE MARKLEY

 

Y

 

34

LEONARD FASANO

   

N

17

GEORGE LOGAN

 

Y

 

35

ANTHONY GUGLIELMO

 

Y

 

18

HEATHER SOMERS

 

Y

 

36

L. SCOTT FRANTZ

On the roll call vote, the motion to re-pass House Bill No. 6880 PA 17-170 was adopted, in concurrence with the House.

MOTION TO ADJOURN SINE DIE

On motion of Senator Duff of the 25th, the Senate at 8: 08 p. m. adjourned Sine Die.

ATTEST: Garey E. Coleman

Clerk of the Senate

Hartford, Connecticut

8: 08 o'clock p. m.

1 Source for the data in this paragraph: Out of Reach 2017, The High Cost of Housing, National Low Income Housing Coalition, available at: http: //nlihc. org/oor/connecticut