Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 2

    February Session, 2018

House Bill No. 5129

House of Representatives, March 12, 2018

The Committee on Environment reported through REP. DEMICCO of the 21st Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the bill ought to pass.

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A "SAVE OUR LAKES" NUMBER PLATE TO COMBAT AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES AND CYANOBACTERIA BLOOMS.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2018) (a) On and after January 1, 2020, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall issue Save Our Lakes commemorative number plates of a design to enhance public awareness of the state's effort to preserve and protect the state's lakes and ponds from aquatic invasive species and cyanobacteria blooms. Said design shall be determined by agreement between the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. No use shall be made of such plates except as official registration marker plates.

(b) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall establish, by regulations adopted in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes, a fee to be charged for Save Our Lakes commemorative number plates in addition to the regular fee or fees prescribed for the registration of a motor vehicle. The fee shall be for such number plates with letters and numbers selected by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may establish a higher fee for: (1) Such number plates which contain letters in place of numbers as authorized by section 14-49 of the general statutes, in addition to the fee or fees prescribed for plates issued under said section; and (2) such number plates which are low number plates, in accordance with section 14-160 of the general statutes, in addition to the fee or fees prescribed for plates issued under said section. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall establish, by regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, an additional voluntary lakes and ponds preservation donation, which shall be deposited in the Connecticut Lakes and Ponds Preservation account established under section 2 of this act. All fees established and collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in said account.

(c) Except as provided by subsection (d) of this section, no additional renewal fee shall be charged for renewal of registration for any motor vehicle bearing Save Our Lakes commemorative number plates which contain letters in place of numbers, or low number plates, in excess of the renewal fee for Save Our Lakes commemorative number plates with letters and numbers selected by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. No transfer fee shall be charged for transfer of an existing registration to or from a registration with Save Our Lakes commemorative number plates.

(d) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may request an additional voluntary donation of fifteen dollars at the time of registration renewal for any motor vehicle bearing a Save Our Lakes commemorative number plate. Five dollars of the donation may be dedicated to the administrative costs of the Department of Motor Vehicles. Ten dollars of such donation shall be deposited in the Connecticut Lakes and Ponds Preservation account established under section 2 of this act. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, in consultation with the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to establish standards and procedures for the issuance, renewal and replacement of Save Our Lakes commemorative number plates.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2018) (a) There is established an account to be known as the "Connecticut Lakes and Ponds Preservation account". The Connecticut Lakes and Ponds Preservation account shall be a separate, nonlapsing account of the General Fund. Any moneys required by law to be deposited in the account shall be deposited in and credited to the Connecticut Lakes and Ponds Preservation account. The account shall be available to the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection for (1) restoration and rehabilitation of lakes and ponds in the state; (2) programs of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for the eradication of aquatic invasive species and cyanobacteria blooms; (3) education and public outreach programs to enhance the public's understanding of the need to protect and preserve the state's lakes and ponds; (4) allocation of grants to state and municipal agencies and not-for-profit organizations to conduct research and to provide public education and public awareness to enhance understanding and management of the natural resources of the state's lakes and ponds; (5) provision of funds for all services that support the protection and conservation of the state's lakes and ponds; and (6) reimbursement of the Department of Motor Vehicles for the cost of producing, issuing, renewing and replacing Save Our Lakes commemorative number plates, including administrative expenses, pursuant to section 1 of this act.

(b) The commissioner may receive private donations to the Connecticut Lakes and Ponds Preservation account and any such receipts shall be deposited in the account.

(c) The commissioner may provide for the reproduction and marketing of the Save Our Lakes commemorative number plate image for use on clothing, recreational equipment, posters, mementoes, or other products or programs deemed by the commissioner to be suitable as a means of supporting the Connecticut Lakes and Ponds Preservation account. Any funds received by the commissioner from such marketing shall be deposited in the Connecticut Lakes and Ponds Preservation account.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2018

New section

Sec. 2

October 1, 2018

New section

ENV

Joint Favorable

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 19 $

FY 20 $

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Connecticut Lakes and Ponds Preservation account - Revenue Gain/Cost

Minimal

Minimal

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill creates the Save Our Lakes commemorative number license plate and requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to establish a plate fee in addition to the registration fees. The plate fee shall be used among other things to reimburse the DMV for the costs of making the plate; therefore no cost to the DMV is anticipated.

The bill establishes the “Connecticut Lakes and Ponds Preservation account” as a separate non-lapsing account of the General Fund to be used by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to enhance public awareness of lake and pond preservation.  It requires fees and donations generated from the newly established Save Our Lakes commemorative license plate to be deposited into the account which will generate revenue used for the purposes outlined in the bill. 

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to the number of Save Our Lakes license plates.

OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5129

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A "SAVE OUR LAKES" NUMBER PLATE TO COMBAT AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES AND CYANOBACTERIA BLOOMS.

SUMMARY

This bill requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) commissioner to issue, beginning January 1, 2020, “Save Our Lakes” commemorative license plates. The DMV and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) commissioners must agree on a plate design that enhances public awareness of efforts to preserve and protect the state's lakes and ponds from aquatic invasive species and cyanobacteria (e.g., blue-green algae) blooms.

The bill creates a Connecticut lakes and ponds preservation account to be used by the DEEP commissioner for specified purposes, including, among other things, restoring and rehabilitating state lakes and ponds; educating the public on the need to protect and preserve lakes and ponds; and reimbursing DMV for the cost of producing, issuing, renewing, and replacing Save Our Lakes plates.

The bill requires the DMV commissioner to adopt regulations establishing a (1) fee to be charged for Save Our Lakes plates that is in addition to the regular fees required for registering a motor vehicle and (2) voluntary lakes and ponds preservation donation. It also allows the DMV commissioner to collect an additional voluntary $15 donation at registration renewal for any vehicle with a Save Our Lakes plate. Fees and most donations collected must be deposited into the Connecticut lakes and ponds preservation account.

The bill prohibits using Save Our Lakes plates for anything other than official registration marker plates but allows DEEP to reproduce and market the plate's image on clothing, recreational equipment, posters, mementos, or other products or programs that the commissioner deems suitable to support the Connecticut lakes and ponds preservation account. Any money received from such marketing must be deposited into the account.

Lastly, the bill requires the DMV commissioner, in consultation with the DEEP commissioner, to adopt regulations establishing standards and procedures for issuing, renewing, and replacing Save Our Lakes plates.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

CONNECTICUT LAKES AND PONDS PRESERVATION ACCOUNT

The bill establishes a Connecticut lakes and ponds preservation account as a separate, nonlapsing General Fund account. It requires the DEEP commissioner to use the money in the account for the following purposes:

The bill allows the DEEP commissioner to receive private donations to the account. Any such donations received must be deposited in the account.

FEES AND DONATIONS

The bill requires the DMV commissioner to adopt regulations establishing the fee to be charged for Save Our Lakes plates, which is in addition to the regular fees required for registering a motor vehicle. The fee must be for Save Our Lakes plates with letters and numbers selected by the DMV commissioner but he may charge a higher fee, in addition to fees permitted by law, for plates that (1) contain letters in place of numbers or (2) are low-number plates. The renewal fee for all Save Our Lakes plates, including letter-only and low-number plates, must be the same.

The bill also requires the DMV commissioner to adopt regulations establishing a voluntary lakes and ponds preservation donation (presumably, this means the procedures for accepting such donations). Any such donations must be deposited in the Connecticut lakes and ponds preservation account.

Additionally, under the bill, the DMV commissioner may request a voluntary $15 donation when a person renews a registration for a vehicle with Save Our Lakes plates. Of this, $5 may be applied to DMV's administrative costs and $10 must be deposited in the Connecticut lakes and ponds preservation account.

Lastly, DMV is prohibited from charging a transfer fee for transferring an existing registration to or from a registration with Save Our Lakes plates.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

30

Nay

0

(02/28/2018)

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