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House Bill No. 5129

Public Act No. 18-101

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.

Approved June 7, 2018