Source: Kevin Maloney, CCM
For immediate release
Kevin Maloney 203-710-3486
CCM assessment on 2021 state legislative session and priorities for special session
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities today (Thursday, June 10) expressed its gratitude to the Governor and General Assembly for the significant increases in state aid to municipalities that were enacted this session — overall a $191 million hike for next fiscal year and a $237 million increase for the following fiscal year. This will go a long way toward restraining property taxes for residents and businesses in our 169 towns and cities, as well as maintain critical local services.
The increases in state aid under a new tiered Payment-In-Lieu-Of-Taxes (PILOT) program will significantly provide aid to our distressed cities, inner-ring suburbs and rural communities; while legislation to continue the phased-in increases in Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grants and holding harmless other communities from any cuts in education aid will enable towns to meet their local public education needs next school year.
And the unprecedented $1.5 billion in state bonding funds over the next five years for the 32 most-distressed communities will be a true lifeline for those towns to help ensure improving the quality of life in their municipalities and will facilitate economic development opportunities.
Other notable accomplishments include CCM priorities such as:
- Modernizing the bottle bill
- Enabling towns and cities to establish stormwater authorities
- Allowing towns to establish speed limits on local roads without state approval and local Pedestrian Safety Zones
- Modification to the Police Accountability law by amending the definition of “Use of Force” to reflect the concerns of local police departments
- Increasing equitable access to broadband
- Requiring the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner, by October 1, 2021, to develop or identify a take-back program for municipally owned Class B firefighting foam with PFAS that applies best management practices for its disposal.
- Additional payments made to the Teachers’ Retirement and State Employee Retirement Funds, which reduces the unfunded liability of each fund
For the Special Session, CCM recommends including the following in the implementer:
- Include HB 6655 Municipal Regionalization, which will help facilitate more voluntary regional sharing of services between municipalities. This bill, which was passed by the House, was strongly supported through a joint letter by CCM and COST.
- Include HB 6448 Access to Local Government, the Modernization of Local Government Operations, Regional Councils of Governments and the Provision of Outdoor Dining, LCO# 10507, as passed by the House of Representatives. LCO# 10507 was negotiated in good faith.
- Regarding the allocation of American Rescue Plan funds, collaborate with towns and cities on initiatives that have common interests between the state and municipalities.