Each year, the CLCC adopts a set of state legislative priorities from those initiatives brought to the Advocacy Committee by the members of the Council. In order for the Council to endorse a proposal, there must be at least one member organization who will take the lead on lobbying for the initiative. The Council then determines in which of three categories each of the initiatives it endorses is placed:
- top priorities on which the CLCC's lobbyist will work, and on which we will testify and engage our grassroots network;
- those proposals on which the Council will testify and engage our grassroots; and
- those which we will monitor and about which we will inform our members.
The Council primarily works to increase state government funding for open space acquisition, through the state's Open Space Matching Grants program, the Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust Fund, the Face of Connecticut campaign, the Farmland Preservation program, and the Community Investment Act. Over the past two decades, the state has committed over $300 million for land conservation through these programs. We also work on tax incentives and mechanisms for conservation, and correcting weaknesses in our real estate laws. Many of these laws are centuries old, and pre-date and do not take into account conservation ownership of lands. We have helped pass laws prohibiting land trust lands from being seized by adverse possession ("squatter's rights"), preventing conservation easements from being extinguished by the Marketable Title Act, and requiring easement holders to be notified when the owner of land subject to an easement applies for a land use permit.
The files below contain information on our legislative priorities.