The General Assembly adjourned the 2015
legislative session on June 3rd at midnight.
With the conclusion of Veto Session last week the 2015 session has been brought to a
close. The legislature dealt with thousands of bills and amendments during the 5-month
session and as a result legislators were unable to conclude their
business by the Constitutional deadline. The General
Assembly called a Special Session, which was
held on June 29th. In Special Session the General Assembly enacted
legislation that implements the state budget, bonding
projects, conveyance of state lands, school
building projects, the Governor’s second chances legislation and a proposal
dealing with excessive use of force
by law enforcement. In all the General Assembly considered and approved nearly a 1,000 pages of
legislation in the one day session.
The 2015 session was once again
an active session
on lawn care pesticide legislation, with 10 bills introduced during the regular
session. Since 2009 CTEC and our coalition
partners have been successful in
defeating legislation that sought to expand the lawn care pesticide ban beyond
the current kindergarten to eighth grade ban on public and private school grounds. As you will note below there were
numerous proposals that sought to expand
the current ban to public and private high schools, municipal parks and athletic fields and state properties.
During the regular session CTEC and our coalition partners were successful
in defeating all of these proposals as we have done in the previous
six legislative sessions.
in the June 29th Special Session our legislative opponents
inserted language from one of the bills we killed during the
regular session in the nearly 700-page budget implementation proposal. Knowing that this
was a possibility we worked with our legislative
allies to mitigate
and narrow this language. As approved this legislation expand the lawn care pesticide ban to
only municipal playgrounds. For a complete summary of the proposal refer to the SB 1502 below.
During the 2015 regular
and special session
Capitol Consulting tracked
56 bills for the Connecticut
Environmental Council (CTEC).
Find below a summary of the major bills of interest.
SB 1502 An Act Implementing
Provisions of the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2017, Concerning General Government, Education, Health and Human Services and
Bonds of the State
This is the
700-page budget implementation bill that was considered and approved during
a June 29th Special Session following the
adjournment of the regular session on June 3rd. This bill includes language
from SB 366 (see below)
from the regular session.
Despite our effort to kill SB 366 during the regular session legislative proponents were able to add the language to SB 1502. SB 1502
changes the notice requirement
when pesticides are used on school grounds,
exempts some products from the pesticide ban on school
grounds Kto8, restricts the use of pesticide
on municipal playgrounds and requires the adoption of regulation
governing the use of lawn care pesticides by state agencies and
other state departments.
Notice of Pesticide Applications on School Grounds
law, schools, other than regional agricultural science and technology
education centers, must provide certain
information of pesticide applications directly to the parents
and guardians who register to receive it. Slightly different notice requirements
apply based on whether a school has an integrated pest management (IPM) plan.
without IPM plans, the bill requires this notice to be sent electronically, rather than by regular mail
as current law requires. Existing law, unchanged by the bill, requires
schools with IPM plans to send the information by any means practicable.
The bill also adds the target pest to the information schools with IPM plans must provide when notifying parents about
pesticide applications, making it consistent
with the information schools without IPM plans must provide. The law already requires both school types to provide
the pesticide's active
ingredient, date and location of application, and person
who may be contacted for more information.
The bill requires each local or regional board of education
to indicate on its website's
homepage how parents may register for prior notice of pesticide applications.
This bill requires the use of internet and social media,
for schools with or without
IPM plans, beginning October
1, 2015, each local or regional board of education
must also, at least 24-hours
before applying pesticide in any school building or on school grounds, post the direct notice describe above on or
- homepage of the
website of the school where the application will occur or, if there is no website, the homepage of the board's website, and
- school’s or
board's primary social media account.
soaps or oils registered with EPA and without any synthetic pesticide or
synergist (enhancer of pesticide properties);
- the executive
head of the municipal department responsible for the playground's maintenance or their designee
finds the application is necessary,
without IPM plans,
the online and social media notice requirements must be made at the same time as the electronic notification to
registered parents and guardians when there are emergency
applications to address human health threats.
of the bill is effective on October 1, 2015.
School Ground Lawn Care Pesticide Application
prohibits the use of “lawn care pesticide” on the grounds of preschools and schools with students in grade eight or lower,
absent a human health emergency. Under this law a “lawn care
pesticide” is a pesticide registered by the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and labeled
according to federal
law for use in lawns, gardens,
and ornamental sites or areas.
exempts the following products from this definition, thus allowing their application
on the grounds of these schools:
microbial or biochemical pesticides;
3. certain pesticides classified by EPA as exempt
material, such aspheromones, biological specimen
preservatives, and minimum-risk pesticides.
The bill defines a “microbial pesticide” as a pesticide
that has a microorganism as the active ingredient, and a “biochemical pesticide” is a naturally occurring substance that controls
pests by nontoxic means.
of the bill is effective upon passage.
Pesticide Use at Municipal Playgrounds
The bill restricts pesticide and lawn care pesticide use on municipal playgrounds. The restrictions apply to outdoor areas
designated, dedicated, and customarily used for playing by children.
This includes areas with a swing set, slide, climbing
structure, play set, or device or object that children play on. The bill specifies that it does not
cover fields or open space used primarily for sporting activities and
playgrounds on school premises.
Under the bill,
only a Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)- certified pesticide applicators may apply pesticide on
municipal playgrounds, except in an
emergency. Anyone may apply pesticide in an emergency to eliminate an immediate human health threat, such as
from mosquitoes, ticks, or stinging insects,
2. they decides it
is impractical to obtain a certified applicator, and
3. the application
does not involve an EPA- or DEEP-restricted use pesticide.
For purposes of
applying pesticide on municipal playgrounds, a “pesticide” is a fungicide used on plants,
an insecticide, an herbicide, or a rodenticide, but not a sanitizer, disinfectant, antimicrobial
agent, or pesticide bait.
The bill bans applying
lawn care pesticide
on municipal playgrounds, absent a human health emergency. For an emergency
lawn care pesticide application to occur under the bill, there must be an immediate
threat, such as from mosquitoes, ticks, or stinging insects. The municipal authority
must determine the application is necessary,
and the application cannot involve an EPA- or DEEP-restricted use pesticide.
The bill applies the same definition of “lawn care pesticide,” and the same exceptions provided above, as for applications on
school grounds Kto8.
The bill requires public notice of pesticide or lawn care pesticide applications on municipal playgrounds. For a pesticide application, advance
public notice must be given, if the situation allows,
at least 24-hours
before the application. But if the municipal
authority determines an emergency application of pesticide or lawn care pesticide
is needed, notice must be given as soon as
The bill requires the notice to be made by the municipal authority
within existing budgetary resources. The notice must be posted on the municipality's website and
include the pesticide's active ingredient, target pest, and date or proposed
date and location of the application.
bill, the municipal authority must keep a copy of each notice for five years from
the pesticide application date. All copies must be available to the public.
This section of the bill is
effective on October 1, 2015.
Regulations on Pesticide Application Records
law, the DEEP commissioner, in consultation with the Department of Public
Health (DPH) commissioner, must adopt regulations on pesticide application by state agencies, departments,
or institutions. In addition, current law requires the regulations to
include IPM methods to reduce pesticide use. Under the bill, this requirement applies
if the DEEP commissioner provides
pertinent model pest control
also requires the regulations to address record retention by each state agency, department, or institution
that applies pesticide or implements an IPM
program. The records must at least include the reason for pesticide use,
location of pesticide
application, application frequency at each location, EPA toxicity category
and carcinogenic classification for each pesticide used, and application cost.
This section of the bill is
effective upon passage.
Public Act: 15-5
Effective Date: Various
Signed by Governor: June 30, 2015
366 An Act
Concerning Notice of
Pesticides Applications at Public Schools and Authorizing the Use of Certain Microbials
introduced by the Environment Committee co-chairs, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-Branford) and Rep. James
Albis (D-East Haven), this legislation sought to ban the use of lawn care pesticides at public and private schools Kto12 as well as other state and municipal properties. During the
regular session Capitol Consulting, CTEC and our coalition partners worked to defeat
At a March
11th public hearing before the Environment Committee CTEC president, Mike Wallace, testified against
this legislation as well as SB 1063 stating,
“this legislation does not allow
for the control of pests by the professional application of prescriptive, least
toxic and most effective EPA registered pest controls. This legislation has the potential to extend the damage to even more municipal spaces, further letting our playing
fields to deteriorate.”
Late in the
legislative session HB 6035 and SB 1063 were merged into this proposal. In anticipation of Sen. Kennedy gaining
enough support to pass this legislation Capitol Consulting worked closely with
our legislative allies to narrow the scope of
this legislation before
the Senate acted on this proposal. In order to gain bipartisan support for the legislation Sen. Kennedy agreed
to narrow the legislation to only apply the pesticide ban to municipal
playgrounds. We were able to ensure in the legislation that municipal playgrounds
would not encompass athletic fields or playgrounds on school property. Also, we inserted language to ensure that
certified pesticide applicator was the only person able to apply
lawn care pesticides on municipal playgrounds.
However, any person may apply pesticide if the municipal determines there is
need for an emergency application to control pest population.
we were able to mitigate and significantly narrow the scope of this legislation
CTEC and our coalition maintained our opposition to this legislation. Sen. Kennedy was able to gain the support of his Senate
colleagues and in the closing
days of the session the Senate
on 34 to 2 vote approved the bill. However, working with our legislative
allies in the House we were able to kill this bill in the House by having our allies file numerous
amendments on this proposal. Without
enough time to debate
this bill in the House before the June 3rd adjournment this bill failed
to be acted upon by the House.
successful strategy to kill this bill during the regular session, the Senate Democrat leaders on behalf of Sen. Kennedy were able to have the language in this bill merged into one of the budget implementation bill in the June 29th Special Session. See SB 1502 for a complete summary of the pesticide legislation.
HB 6035 An Act
Concerning the Application of Pesticides at State Facilities and
Authorizing the Use of Certain Microbials
This bill was
introduced as a committee bill in the Environment Committee. The bill sought
to impose certain restrictions on applying pesticide, including lawn care pesticide, to state agency
property, but not the University of Connecticut Research
Farm. The bill sought to establish electronic public notice requirements for these applications. Existing law requires state
departments, agencies, or institutions to use IPM
at their facilities if the DEEP has a model pest control management plan in place for them.
the bill exempts certain products from the ban on nonemergency application
of lawn care pesticide on the grounds of public or private preschools or schools with students in grade eight or lower. It also specifies that to be exempt from the
law's pesticide application requirements for schools,
sanitizers, disinfectants, antimicrobial
agents and pesticide baits must be in tamper-resistant containers.
This bill was merged into SB 366 during the regular session and was later merged into SB 1502 during the June 29th Special Session. See these bills for more details.
HB 5288 An Act
Extending the Pesticide Ban to High School Athletic Fields and Public
Steinberg (D-Westport) introduced this legislation, which sought to expand the current Kto8 ban on lawn care pesticides to all public and private high schools.
This bill failed to be acted upon by the Environment Committee.
HB 5728 An Act
Concerning Pesticides on
Municipal State and Private Fields
Dillon (D-New Haven) introduced this legislation which sought to expand the ban on the use of lawn care
pesticides on all school grounds including all
municipal, state and private fields used by students in kindergarten through the twelfth
grade. This bill failed in the
HB 6897 An Act
Concerning the Application of Pesticides at State Operated Parks, Athletic Fields and Playgrounds
This bill seeks to ban the nonemergency application of certain pesticides in state- operated
parks, athletic fields and playgrounds. For a limited time, it allows certified
pesticide applicators to apply lawn care pesticide at the athletic
fields to transition to nontoxic care, as long as they follow
an IPM plan. The bill also requires
the controlling authority responsible for maintaining the park, field
or playground to provide notice, within
existing budgetary resources, at least 24-hours before any pesticide or lawn- care pesticide application. The bill
exempts certain products from the ban on
nonemergency application of lawn care pesticide on the grounds
of any public or private preschool or school with students in
grade eight or lower.
was approved by the Committee on Children and the Public Health Committee but failed when the House failed to take action on this proposal
SB 1063 An Act
Concerning the Application
of Pesticides on Municipal
Playgrounds and Authorizing the Use of Certain
As originally introduced by the Environment Committee this bill sought
to impose restrictions on applying pesticide, including lawn care pesticide, to municipal athletic
fields, greens, parks, and playgrounds, but not playgrounds on school
premises. The bill would have established electronic public notice requirements
for these applications.
addition, the bill would have exempted certain products from the existing ban on nonemergency application of lawn care
pesticide on the grounds of public or private
preschools or schools with students in grade eight or lower. SB 1063 also specifies
that to be exempt from the law's pesticide application requirements for schools, sanitizers, disinfectants,
antimicrobial agents, and pesticide baits must be in tamper- resistant containers. Lastly, the bill makes a
technical change, removing a reference to the day care center statutes.
This bill sought to establish restrictions on applying pesticide, including lawn care pesticide,
to municipal playgrounds. It generally requires certified pesticide applicators to apply pesticide and bans lawn care pesticide applications. But it allows emergency
applications to eliminate immediate threats to human health.
The bill also creates
electronic public notice requirements for these applications.
the bill exempts certain products from the existing ban on nonemergency application of lawn care pesticide on the grounds
of public or private preschools or
schools with students in grade eight or lower. It also specifies that to be
exempt from the law's pesticide application requirements for schools, sanitizers, disinfectants, antimicrobial agents and pesticide
baits must be in tamper-resistant containers.
This bill was introduced and approved by the Environment Committee and was referred to the Planning
& Development Committee. Capitol Consulting and our coalition partners worked to defeat this
bill in the Planning & Development
Committee. Because of efforts to defeat this bill, the Planning & Development Committee voted to narrow the
scope of the legislation to only ban the use
of pesticides on municipal playgrounds.
This bill was later merged into SB 366 and SB 1502. See those bills for a complete summary on pesticide legislation.
HB 5290 An Act Prohibiting the Use of
Glyphosates in Watershed Areas Rep.
Jonathan Steinberg (D-Westport) introduced this legislation to ban the use of glyphosates
near watershed areas. This legislation failed to be acted upon by the Environment Committee.
HB 5024 An Act Reestablishing the Pesticide
legislative allies, Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R-East Haddam) and Rep. Gayle Mulligan (R-Hebron), introduced this
legislation in the Environment Committee. This
bill sought to re-establish a Pesticide Advisory
Council that would evaluate pesticides and make recommendation for use by schools, municipalities and
state agencies. The Environment Committee did not act on this legislation.
HB 5025 An Act Authorizing the Emergency Application of Pesticides on Certain
School Grounds for Purpose of Controlling Grubs
and Rep. Mulligan introduced this legislation in the Environment Committee. This legislation sought to authorize the
emergency application of pesticides
on athletic fields
located at schools
that house kindergarten through eighth grade
in order to provide for grub control. The Environment Committee did not act upon this legislation.
Legislation of Interest that Passed
SB 158 An
Act Concerning Landscape Architect Licenses
prohibits individuals without a degree from a college or school of landscape architecture
from taking the examination required for licensure as a landscape architect in
Connecticut and reduces, for certain applicants, the amount of practical experience needed to qualify to
take the examination.
Under current law, there are two ways that a person may become eligible to sit for the
examination. The individual must either graduates from an accredited college or school
of landscape architecture or have at least two years' practical experience directly supervised by a licensed landscape architect. Current law
also allows individuals to sit for the examination if they have eight years'
practical experience in landscape architectural work of a grade and character satisfactory to the State Board of Landscape Architects. This new law eliminates this option. Instead,
it requires candidates without a degree from an
accredited institution to have at least a
bachelor's degree in a related
discipline or in landscape architecture from a non- accredited college with a curriculum
consistent with an accredited program, as
determined by the board with the consumer protection commissioner's consent and four
years' practical experience directly supervised by a licensed
Public Act: 15-104
Date: Upon Passage Signed by Governor: June 23, 2015
SB 867 An
Act Concerning the Enforcement of Firewood
This bill reduces
the penalty, from a fine ranging from $500 to $2,500 to a warning
$85 or $200
fine, depending on the circumstances, for transporting firewood in violation of a Connecticut Agricultural
Experiment Station (CAES) quarantine or regulation.
The fine for violating a CAES quarantine or regulation under current law is at least
$500 but capped
at $2,500. The bill reduces to $200 the fine for improperly transporting firewood
for sale. If the firewood
is for personal use, a first-time violator
who discloses its point of origin receives
a warning and subsequent offenses
are subject to an $85 fine. Violators
who fail to disclose the origin information are subject to an $85 fine regardless of whether it is a first or subsequent offense.
The bill allows violators to pay fines without having
to appear in court, using
the mail-in procedures for infractions and certain violations.
Public Act: 15-92
Date: Upon Passage Signed by Governor: June 23, 2015
Interest that Failed
HB 5207 An Act Concerning a Property Owner’s
Liability for the Expenses of Removing a Fallen
Tree or Limb
Camillo (R-Greenwich) introduced this legislation in the Judiciary Committee. This legislation sought to impose
liability on an owner of private real property for the expenses
of removing a tree or limb from a tree located on such property that falls on adjoining private
real property. This legislation died but was merged into HB 5602.
HB 5602 An Act
Concerning a Property Owner’s Liability for the
Expenses of Removing a Fallen Tree or Limb
This bill was raised
by the Judiciary Committee and is similar
to legislation that Governor Malloy vetoed during the 2014 legislative session.
The Governor vetoed the legislation because nonprofit land trusts
would have been adversely affected by the proposal.
This legislation exempts nonprofits from this proposal.
this legislation sought to establish conditions in which a private landowner is liable to pay for
removal of a tree or tree limb that falls from his or her property onto an adjoining
private owner's land. It also specifically excludes
political subdivisions of the state.
This bill was approved
by the Judiciary Committee but failed when the House and
Senate failed to act before adjournment.
SB 515 An Act
Requiring Notice to the Property
Owner Before the Department
of Transportation Cuts Trees
Sen. Art Linares (R-Westbrook) introduced this bill in the Transportation Committee. This sought to require
(DOT) cuts trees. This bill received a public hearing but failed to be acted
upon by the Transportation Committee.
SB 833 An Act Concerning Notice
to Allow for Public Comment
Prior to Tree Cutting by the
Department of Transportation
This legislation was also introduced by Sen. Linares
and sought to require DOT to give notice
to a town before cutting of trees. In addition, the legislation would have given the
town an opportunity to hold public hearings. Following a public hearing before the
Transportation Committee the bill died with no action taken.
HB 5365 An Act Concerning the
Construction of Spite
Fences and the Planting
of Spite Hedges and Trees
McCarty (R-Waterford) introduced this bill in the Judiciary Committee. This bill sought to ensure that a municipality is
vested with the authority to prohibit
the construction of spite fences and the planting of spite hedges and trees that obstruct a neighbor’s water view. This
bill died when the Judiciary Committee failed to schedule it for a public hearing.
HB 7012 An Act
Concerning a Municipality’s Authority
to Regulate the Construction
of Fences and the Planting of Trees and Shrubs
Similar to HB
5365 the Judiciary Committee raised this legislation, which sought to ensure that a municipality has the
authority to prohibit the construction of fences or the planting
of trees, shrubs
or other vegetation that would interfere
with a property owner’s ability to enjoy their own property. This bill died after a public hearing.
HB 5287 An Act Concerning Running Bamboo
Steinberg (D-Westport) introduced this legislation in the Environment Committee. This legislation
sought to grandfather running bamboo that was
planted prior to 2012 from the statutory planting restrictions approved
during the 2013 and 2014 legislative
sessions. In addition, this legislation would have enabled municipalities
to have authority to enforce these restrictions. This legislation failed to receive
a public hearing in the Environment Committee
and died with no action taken.
HB6032 An Act Clarifying Provisions
of the General Statutes Concerning
the Use of Barrier Systems for Certain Plantings
HB 6032 was
raised by the Environment Committee and sought to make changes to running
bamboo law, which was approved during the 2014 session. This bill would have prohibited people from planting
or letting anyone
plant running bamboo
property within 40-feet of abutting property or a public right-of-way and eliminates the option of containing
running bamboo by a barrier system or aboveground
Committee approved this bill but the House did not act on this proposal
before the June 3rd adjournment.
HB 6043 An Act
Clarifying the Running
Bamboo Law and
Providing for Local Enforcement of Such Law and
the Award of Attorney’s Fees and Court Costs for
Civil Suits Brought to Enforce Such Planting
Bolinsky (R-Newtown) proposed this legislation. HB 6043 sought to clarify
the forty-foot setback provision concerning the planting of running bamboo, provide for the exclusive
enforcement of the restrictions by municipal
zoning enforcement officers and tree wardens,
authorize municipalities to retain all fines associated
with the enforcement of such restrictions and authorize the award of attorney's fees, court costs and remediation expenses in any civil suit brought to enforce such restrictions.
This legislation failed to be
acted upon by the Environment Committee.
SB 144 An Act
Clarifying Provisions of the General
Statutes Concerning Running Bamboo
Boucher (R-Wilton) introduced this legislation in the Environment Committee. This legislation sought to clarify
that running bamboo
may not be planted within forty feet of a neighboring property
regardless of whether it is contained by a
properly installed barrier system.
This bill failed to be acted
upon by the Environment Committee.
SB 145 An Act
Concerning Civil Actions
Brought to Enforce
the Law Concerning Running Bamboo
introduced this proposal in the Environment Committee to specifically authorize
individuals to bring civil actions to the Superior Court for the enforcement of restrictions concerning the
planting of running bamboo.
The Environment Committee
failed to act on this proposal.
SB 147 An Act
Requiring Local Zoning Enforcement
Officers to Enforce Restrictions Concerning the Planting of
This bill was introduced by Sen. Boucher
to require local zoning enforcement officers to enforce
restrictions concerning the planting of running bamboo. Any monies from such fines would be paid to the
This bill died in the
Environment Committee with no action was taken.
Tick & Bed Bug Legislation
HB5445 An Act
Establishing a Task Force to Study Tick Borne
This bill sought to establish a task force to reduce the number
of ticks that cause illness and provide awareness and education
to the public concerning tick-borne illnesses that will lead to prevention and
better treatment. Reps. Brandon McGee (D-
Hartford), David Baram (D-Bloomfield) and Peggy Sayers (D-Windsor Locks) introduced
Environment Committee did not take action on this proposal.
HB 5629 An Act Designating May as Lyme Disease
introduced by the Government Administration & Election (GAE) Committee would have required the governor to proclaim the month of May of each year as Lyme Disease
Awareness Month to heighten awareness about symptoms and available treatments.
by the GAE Committee without opposition the legislation failed to be
acted upon by the House before adjournment.
SB 207 An Act Concerning Funding
for a Lyme Disease Prevention and Education Program
This bill was
introduced by the Committee on Children and called for $450,000 to be appropriated to DPH, from the General
Fund, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, for the purpose of a grant in the amount of $170,00
to enable the department to develop and execute
a social marketing campaign to educate
entities in the state regarding
Lyme disease prevention and a grant
in the amount of $280,000
to the Ridgefield Health Department to develop and implement a regional community prevention program for Lyme
disease and other tick-borne illnesses utilizing the BLAST Lyme disease
prevention program model.
This bill was
approved by the Committee on Children and the Public Health Committee but failed in the Appropriations Committee
because of the negative fiscal impact
to the General Fund.
HB 6759 An Act
Concerning the Rights and
Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants Regarding the Treatment of Bed
sought to establish a framework for identifying and treating bed bug infestations in residential rental
properties, including public
housing. It sets separate duties and responsibilities for landlords and tenants, including notice, inspection, and treatment requirements. Of interest
to CTEC this legislation sought to require landlords
to hire and pay a pest control
agent to treat bed bug infestations if they are unable to successfully treat the infestation on
This bill was
introduced and approved by the Housing Committee. In addition, the Public Health Committee approved
the legislation but it failed
to be acted upon by the House before adjournment.
HB 6993 An Act Concerning Water Systems
This legislation sought to require
by July 1, 2016 the Public Utilities
Regulatory Authority to conduct a study regarding water systems and report their
findings to the General
Assembly’s Energy Committee.
This bill was approved
by the Energy Committee but was not considered by the House before adjournment.
SB 363 An Act Requiring the Department of
Energy and Environmental SB 363 required DEEP to conduct
a study of private property
owners' water rights in the state. Such study shall include, but not
be limited to, an examination of a private
property owner's rights to the groundwater located on such property and the superiority of any such right, if any, to the right
of any other person, authority, corporation, municipality or
state to utilize such groundwater.
Environment Committee raised this bill where it received a public hearing. Following the hearing the committee failed
to act on the proposal
and the bill died.
Consumer Protection Legislation
387 An Act Requiring
Landscapers to Register with the Department of
Doyle (D-Wethersfield) introduced this bill, which would have required landscaper
to register with the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). This bill failed
to be acted upon by the General Law Committee.
HB6808 An Act Concerning the Enforcement of Certain
Occupational Licensing Statutes
was introduced by the General Law Committee and sought to makes several changes to DCP occupational licensing enforcement laws. We monitored
this bill closely for CTEC and CICA members.
First, the bill makes it a crime to negligently engage in certain
work without the required license
or employ unlicensed people and imposes
civil penalties for negligently employing them. It also makes the violations unfair or deceptive trade practices under the Connecticut Unfair
Trade Practices Act.
The bill requires the DCP commissioner or appropriate examining board to issue cease
work orders for certain unlicensed work. It also requires, rather than allows, the commissioner to bring certain
complaints before DCP's occupational boards or commissions for formal hearings and the bill
requires the commissioner to consult with
the boards and commissions before adopting procedural rules and regulations affecting them.
Finally, the bill adds penalties for certain licensing violations related to electrical
work; plumbing and piping work; solar work; heating, piping,
cooling, and sheet
metal work; fire protection sprinkler systems work; elevator
installation, repair, and
maintenance work; irrigation work; automotive glass or flat glass work; or swimming
pool construction or maintenance and repair
The General Law
Committee approved this bill, however it failed to be acted upon by the
House before adjournment. This bill will likely be reintroduced during the 2016 session.
Other Legislation of Interest
HB 5653 An Act
Concerning Chemicals of High Concern for Children
1, 2016 this bill would have required
the DPH commissioner to consultant with the commissioners DEEP and DCP to create and maintain
a list of “priority chemicals” of high concern
for children. In doing so, the commissioner must consider the potential exposure of children and
developing fetuses to each chemical. The commissioners must review and update the
list at least every two years. This bill is introduced annually at the General Assembly;
Capitol Consulting monitors this proposal for potential impact on products
used in the green industry.
This bill was introduced and approved by the Committee
on Children but was held by the Public Health Committee.
HB 5706 An Act Establishing a Municipal
Grant Program for Maintaining Natural Grass Playing Fields
was introduced at the request of two legislators that support an expansion on the ban of pesticide use on
school grounds. Reps. Edwin Vargas (D-Hartford) and Jack Hennessy (D-Bridgeport) sought this proposal to provide
$800,000 for the purpose of establishing a municipal grant
program that will provide grants to towns in order to assist in the costs associated with maintaining natural
grass playing fields.
This legislation acknowledges that maintaining fields under the pesticide ban is costly to
municipalities. This bill was referred to the Environment Committee. The committee
failed to raise the bill for a hearing and it died with no action taken.
HB 6041 An
Act Concerning Genetically Modified Grass Seeds HB 6052 An Act Concerning Genetically Modified Grass Seeds
Both of these bills sought to limit the sale and distribution of genetically modified grass
seeds. Similar legislation was overwhelming rejected in the House during the 2014
session. Neither of these bills were raised by the Environment Committee and they
SB 984 An Act
Concerning the Unionization
of Agricultural Workers, Nonpartisan Legislative Management Employees and State Education
Resource Center Employees
introduced by the Labor Committee this bill sought to permit the unionization
of agricultural workers. Under the definition of “agricultural worker” in the legislation it could have been
interrupted to include landscape workers. CTEC worked closely with the CT Farm Bureau
as well as Phil Grande
submitting testimony in opposition to this legislation. As a result of their testimony and lobbying of the committee
the leadership of the Labor Committee agreed
to removal agricultural workers from the legislation.
Even with this change
the bill failed
to be acted upon by the Senate