2016 Legislative Session Update

Constitutional Amendment Moves Forward

Conveyance Act Amended

Cuts to CIA Proposed

CT Land Conservation Lobby Day (4/20)

 The last several weeks have been busy at the state Capitol, with CLCC submitting testimony on many committee bills related to our conservation work (View CLCC's 2016 Testimony HERE).  With less than 6 weeks left in the 2016 legislative session, there is some good news and some bad news to share, with important opportunities for you to stay involved, including participating in the 2016 Connecticut Land Conservation Call to Action and Lobby Day (4/20).

Good News

Constitutional Amendment to Better Protect Public Lands Moves Forward

Status: On Monday, March 21, the Government Administration and Elections (GAE) Committee voted unanimously to approve Senate Joint Resolution 36 (SJ 36), a bill that would amend the State Constitution to better protect our public conservation, recreation and agricultural lands. CLCC's testimony on SJ36 is HERE.   

Next steps: The bill now moves forward for a vote by the Senate and House. 

How you can help: Now is a great time to reach out to your legislators by email or phone to:

Conveyance Act - Sections of Concern Removed

Status: The GAE voted to amend language in the Conveyance Act (HB5619), striking the two sections of concern (Section 5 - proposing a study requiring transfer of state lands [but see Section 3 - study now focused on Glastonbury]; and Section 8 - proposing a transfer of 66 acres of coastal property from DEEP to the town of Groton). See proposed Substitute Bill 5619.  CLCC's testimony on HB5619 is HERE.  

Next steps: The bill now moves forward for a vote by the House and the Senate.

Bad News

Cuts to the Community Investment Act Proposed 

Status: As legislators and the Governor seek ways to close this year's budget deficit, proposals under consideration include cuts to the Community Investment Act (CIA)- the dedicated fund intended to be set up outside the budget to support investments in Open Space, Farmland/Dairy Support, Historic Preservation and Affordable Housing. We are very concerned that continued sweeps will seriously jeopardize the future of the CIA program. Next steps: With a vote on a budget mitigation plan likely coming Monday or Tuesday, advocates are monitoring the situation closely and will provide further information as it becomes available.

How you can help: As part of your outreach to your legislators:

Save the Date!  CT Land Conservation Lobby Day

Please join CLCC, land trusts and our other conservation partners from across the state to celebrate land conservation in Connecticut and ask legislators to protect funding for land conservation programs and staff, and support legislation to protect our public lands through a Constitutional Amendment. Download a Conservation Lobby Day flyer HERE.
 
When: April 20, 2016, 10am - 12pm
Where: Room 1A, Legislative Office Building (LOB), 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford 06106
RSVP: abpaterson@ctconservation.org

Limited display space will also be available in the Concourse between the LOB and the Capitol