Tracking Legislation in Hartford: 2013

Updated June 7, 2013, with results of each bill … Connecticut Audubon Society is working in partnership with several conservation organizations to help pass legislation in Hartford in 2013. Click on each bill in the list below for details.

Bills We Support
An Act Concerning the Application of Pesticides in Municipal Parks, SB 914 (changed to An Act Establishing a Task Force to Study the Health Effects of the Use of Pesticides. (DIED IN COMMITTEE)
An Act Concerning Municipalities and the Application of Lawn Care Pesticides, HB 6440 (DIED IN COMMITTEE)
An Act Restricting the Use of Methoprene and Resmethrin, HB 6438 (ADDED TO BILL 6441 AND PASSED)
An Act Authorizing Bow and Arrow Hunting on Sunday Under Certain Circumstances, SB 915 (DIED IN COMMITTEE)
An Act Authorizing and Adjusting Bonds of the State for Capital Improvements, Transportation and Other Purposes, SB 842 (PASSED)
An Act Concerning Pesticides on School Grounds, SB 981 (DIED IN COMMITTEE)

Bills We Oppose (in part)
An Act Implementing the Budget Recommendations of the Governor Concerning Education, HB 6357 (OFFENDING SECTION REMOVED)
An Act Concerning Local Control Over Coastal Areas. SB 459 (DIED IN COMMITTEE)
An Act Concerning Coastal Protection Measures … SB 460 (DIED IN COMMITTEE)

 

An Act Concerning the Application of Pesticides in Municipal Parks, SB 914
Name Changed to: An Act Establishing a Task Force to Study the Heath Effects of the Use of Pesticides

Status: Died in Committee
February 20: Referred to the Environment Committee
February 25: Public hearing held (read Connecticut Audubon Society’s testimony here)
March 27: Substitute bill (creating the task force) introduced
March 28: Filed with Legislative commissioner’s office
April 15: Reported out of Legislative Commissioner’s office and placed on Senate calendar
April 24: Referred to Senate Committee on Education
April 30: Killed by the Education Committee

Purpose of the Bill
Originally: To ban the use of  fungicides used on plants, insecticides, herbicides or rodenticides onlawns in public parks except in an emergency.
After the name-change: The create a panel of experts that would study the health effects of pesticides, in hopes of allowing legislators to better resolve dispuets between pro-pesticide and anti-pesticide advocates.

Text of the Original Bill

Text of the Revised Bill

Connecticut Audubon Society’s Position on the Bill
We supported the original bill because we view bugs not merely as pests but as food for birds and as essential parts of our ecosystem. We realize there are some legitimate uses for the poisons that kill these bugs, but we support a general reduction in their use.
We worked with Audubon Connecticut to have the revised bill amended to include effects on wildlife but those amendments were not adopted, so we neither supported nor opposed the task force bill.

An Act Concerning Municipalities and the Application of Lawn Care Pesticides, HB 6440

Status: Died in Committee
Referred to the Environment Committee on February 20
Public hearing held on February 25

Purpose of the Bill
To give municipalities the authority to enact stricter pesticide regulations for lawn care pesticides than those enforced by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Text of the Bill

Why Connecticut Audubon Society Supports This Bill
We believe that in many cases local governments are in a better position to know if a pesticide is not appropriate for local use. This bill would give municipalities to enact stronger regulations, with the permission of the DEEP.

An Act Restricting the Use of Methoprene and Resmethrin, HB 6438 (added to HB 6441, passed by the General Assembly and Signed as Public Act 13-197 by Gov. Malloy)
Status: Passed and Signed into Law
Feb. 20: Referred to the Environment Committee
Feb 25: Public hearing held
March 4: Reported favorably out of Environment Committee
March 5: Filed with the Legislative Commissioner’s office
March 20: Reported out of Legislative Commissioner’s office and waiting to be put on House calendar

Purpose of the Bill
To restrict the use of these two insecticides in the coastal zone

Text of the Bill

Why Connecticut Audubon Society Supports This Bill

We support the use of less toxic substances, such as BT, to kill mosquitoes. Trace amounts of methoprene and resmethrin were found in a small number of lobsters caught in Long Island Sound last year. Until more is known about their affect on other organisms, including by extension birds, we support eliminating their use except in emergencies, which this bill gives the state the power to declare.

An Act Authorizing Bow and Arrow Hunting on Sunday Under Certain Circumstances, SB 915
Status: Died in Committee
Referred to the Environment Committee on February 20
Public hearing held on February 25

Purpose of the Bill
To allow deer to be hunted with bow and arrow on private property on Sundays during deer season

Text of the Bill

Why Connecticut Audubon Society Supports This Bill
Deer are having a devastating effect on bird habitat throughout the state. Population decline in a number of species, including Ovenbird, Eastern Towhee, Prairie Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Yellow-breasted Chat and Golden-winged Warbler (these last two are endangered in Connecticut).

An Act Implementing the Budget Recommendations of the Governor Concerning Education, HB 6357
Status: The section that Connecticut Audubon Society opposed was deleted from the bill
February 7: Referred to Joint Committee on Education
February 15: Public Hearing held
April 1: Filed with Legislative Commissioners’ Office
April 3: Reported Out of Legislative Commissioners’ Office
April 23: Substitute bill removing Section 22, Paragraph A Filed with Legislative Commissioners’ Office
May 3: Referred to Office of Legislative Research and Office of Fiscal Analysis

Purpose of the Bill
Section 22, Paragraph A would add a “healthy foods initiative” to the traditional land-use purposes funding through the state’s Community Investment Act. This section and paragraph were removed from the bill on April 23.

Text of the Bill

Why Connecticut Audubon Society Opposes Section 22, Paragraph A of This Bill
Section 22, Paragraph A would divert $4 million annually from the traditional purposes of the Community Investment Act – open space acquisition, farmland preservation/dairy support, brownfields remediation and affordable housing – into a “healthy foods initiative” for local schools. The healthy foods initiative is no doubt a worthy program. But it should not be used to divert funds from land conservation and the other well-established purposes specified in the Community Investment Act. Connecticut’s conservation community is recommending that the healthy foods initiative be funded as a separate line item in the Department of Education budget. Our testimony to the Education Committee is here.

An Act Authorizing and Adjusting Bonds of the State for Capital Improvements, Transportation and Other Purposes, SB 842
Status: Passed
March 4: Public hearing held by Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding
April 17: Filed with Legislative Commissioners’ Office
April 26: Referred to Office of Legislative Research and Office of Fiscal Analysis
May 2: Reported Out of Legislative Commissioners’ Office and Placed on Senate Calendar

Purpose of the Bill
To authorize state borrowing for numerous projects including (through the Clean Water Fund) sewage treatment plant improvements

Text of the Bill

Why Connecticut Audubon Society Supports This Bill
In addition to the obvious health benefits for humans, water treatment upgrades help improve wildlife in the state’s rivers and in Long Island Sound. Read our testimony here.

An Act Concerning Pesticides on School Grounds, SB 981
Status: Died in Committee
Feb. 23: Referred to the Joint committee on Children
March 1: Public Hearing held
March 12: Reported out of committee favorably
March 21: Referred to Office of Legislative Research and Office of Fiscal Analysis
May 1: Referred to the Education Committee

Purpose of the Bill
To ban the use of lawn care pesticides on the grounds of schools with 8th through 12th grades.

Text of the Bill

Why Connecticut Audubon Society Supports This Bill
Many of Connecticut’s most common birds – including the American Robin, the official state bird of Connecticut – use lawns and playing fields to search for the insects that make up the bulk of their diet. Banning the use of lawn pesticides would reduce unnecessary exposure to Connecticut’s school children and to the birds and other wildlife that frequent school grounds.

An Act Concerning Local Control Over Coastal Areas, SB 459
Status: Died in Committee
March 8: Referred to Joint Committee on Planning and Development
March 18: Public Hearing Held
March 22: Reported favorably out of committee and filed with Legislative Commissioner’s office
April 9: Reported Out of Legislative Commissioners’ Office
April 18: Referred to Committee on Environment
April 24: Filed with Legislative Commissioners’ Office
April 25: Reported Out of Legislative Commissioners’ Office and Tabled for Senate Calendar

Purpose of the Bill
To allow construction of seawalls and other coastal structures without a state or local permit.

Text of the Bill

Why Connecticut Audubon Society Opposes Part of this Bill
Seawalls can lead to severe coastal erosion and damage to important habitats. Construction of seawalls should continue to be by permit only. Read our testimony here.

An Act Concerning Coastal Protection Measures … SB 460
Status: Died in Committee
March 8: Referred to Joint Committee on Planning and Development
March 18: Public Hearing Held
March 22: Reported favorably out of committee and filed with Legislative Commissioner’s office

Purpose of the Bill
To require the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to retroactively permit coastal structures completed before 1995.

Text of the Bill

Why Connecticut Audubon Society Opposes Part of this Bill
Many coastal structures damage habitat and cause erosion; they DEEP should not be required to approve them retroactively. Read our testimony here.

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