2016 State Legislative Session
2016 Legislative Session Report - May 19, 2016 (with June 21 update on legislature's veto session); Governor's Bill Notifications (find dates Governor signs legislation into law, or when he vetoes bills; includes a link for the Governor's veto messages).
General Assembly's Office of Legislative Research (OLR) Summaries of new laws - see topic area summaries of Public Acts affecting Building Codes, Housing, Business & Jobs, many other topics.
2016 Resolution for a Better Connecticut
The HBRA of CT's advocacy and issue policy efforts are governed by the association's Government Affairs Committee
, a diverse group of HBRA members from across the state. Advocacy and policy work is managed by professional staff.
All HBRA members are invited to participate on the Government Affairs Committee, or any one or more of its issue specific GA Task Groups. You DO NOT need to know anything about the capitol or how lobbying works; what we need is your experience and expertise on industry issues - just contact Bill Ethier, HBRA CT's CEO, at email@example.com.
Home Building Industry Day at the Capitol - March 31 (see Reg & Sponsor Form for details):
As legislative committee deadlines for voting on bills come and go, our priority bills will likely change to focus on those bills surviving the committee process. This will include legislation we need to oppose or support. These priority bills are the Issues List we present at our Annual Home Building Industry Day at the Capitol (to be held on Thursday, March 31, 2016, 7:30 - 12 noon):
Other key links and docs:
- FIND YOUR LEGISLATORS. Everyone has two state legislators who represent them (1 state representative, who serves in the state House; and 1 state Senator, who serves in the state Senate).
- We strongly urge HBRA members to get to know their state legislators: Call them, email them, invite them for a cup of coffee and teach them about your business and the issues and concerns you have. The HBRA of CT debates issues and policies, delivers testimony and produces talking points, but much of our legislative success comes down to relationships our members have with legislators. Legislators want to do right by their constituents, and if you don't have even a casual relationship with them, then they will first think of other constituents.
- We are also represented in Washington DC by federal legislators, i.e., a US Representative (Congressman or Congresswoman) and two US Senators; NAHB handles federal issues, whereas HBRACT focuses on the state legislature and state agencies.
- The Legislative Process in Connecticut
- Tips When Talking with Legislators
- Directions to State Capitol Building and Legislative Office Building (LOB), Hartford - the new Security/Screening Procedures noted on the directions have been implemented as of September 2014.
- Connecticut General Assembly web site.
Legislation and HBRA Testimony during the 2016 session (started on Feb. 3, 2016, and runs through to May 4, 2016):
Testimony to date provided by the HBRA of CT (the bill number links to the General Assembly's page on the bill where you can access the latest language, testimony, etc.; HBRA's testimony is linked to the right):
- Pre-session HBRA Testimony to State Tax Panel (9-16-15)
- HB 5075, Study worker's compensation - while bill merely charges DOL to study WC system, this is a dummy bill to insert later whatever language Labor Committee leaders decide to do; HBRACT Testimony in Support of studying and fixing the WC system.
- WATCH HB 5180, Documenting concrete foundation installers - the placeholder bill to deal with crumbling concrete issue; HBRA Testimony in Opposition and offering 2-part solution.
- SUPPORT/OPPOSE SB 141, Change to inland wetlands definition, and to timing and procedural provisions in the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act; HBRA Testimony Opposing in part and Supporting in part.
- OPPOSE HB 5278, Mandating fire sprinklers in 2-family homes, and SB 238, Allowing local option to mandate fire sprinklers in 1&2 family homes; HBRA Testimony in Opposition to both bills. SB 238 defeated in committee on 18-7 vote.
- WATCH SB 124, Removes 1&2 family exemption from fire safety code; HBRA Testimony in Opposition and offering substitute that doesn't authorize fire marshal entry into 1&2 family homes.
- SUPPORT HB 5047, Property tax exemption for new businesses on first $10,000 in personal property assessment; HBRA Testimony in Support.
- SUPPORT SB 302, Requires business impact statement on all proposed legislation and regulations; HBRA Testimony in Support.
- SUPPORT SB 303, Entrepreneur Learner's Permit, Relieves state fees for new businesses for 2-yr period; HBRA Testimony in Support, with suggestion to create a uniform, comprehensive form (one-stop filing for all state agencies).
- HB 5045, Opens DECD's Small Business Express Program to startup businesses; HBRA Testimony in Support.
- SUPPORT HB 5424, Requires implementation of the Learn here, Live Here program; HBRA Testimony in Support.
- SUPPORT SB 155, Requires greater allocation of low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) to "opportunity areas" - i.e., suburbs where our members build; HBRA Testimony in support.
- WATCH HB 5363, Minor changes to Affordable Housing Appeals Act (8-30g); HBRA Testimony Support in part, Oppose further changes.
- SUPPORT HB 5367, Positive changes to how unemployment compensation benefits are calculated; HBRA Testimony in Support.
- SUPPORT SB 223, Allows businesses to pay on biweekly basis without applying to DOL for permission, and treats salaried and hourly workers the same for purposes of allowing employers to suspend without pay for harassment and workplace violence issues; HBRA Testimony in Support.
- OPPOSE SB 388, Allows State Building Code, Fire Prevention Code and Fire Safety Code to be adopted without following normal rule making process and skips the necessary approval required of all other state agency regulations (i.e., by the legislature's Regulations Review Committee); HBRA Testimony in Opposition.
- OPPOSE HB 5549, Expands the state Codes and Standards Committee from 21 members to 23 members, adding two more fire marshals; HBRA Testimony in Opposition.
- OPPOSE HB 5377, Expands prevailing wage requirements to all construction that uses any state funds or loan guarantees; HBRA Testimony in Opposition.
- OPPOSE HB 5561, Creates new requirements and limitations, and new cause of action, in all consumer contracts; HBRA Testimony in Opposition.
- SUPPORT SB 362, Requires greater detail by state agencies on potential impacts to small businesses when proposing regulations, HBRA Testimony in support.
- OPPOSE HB 5512, Authorizes additional fees for requesting copies of local records for commercial purposes; HBRA Testimony in opposition.
- SUPPORT HB 5500, Suspends administrative penalties for certain 1st time violations of state agency regulations; HBRA testimony in support.
Other policies and viewpoints:
- Early in 2014, the HBRA Joined CBIA's CT20x17 Campaign - Working to make Connecticut a top 20 state for business by 2017. Work on this campaign will continue in 2016. See CBIA's "Kick Start Our Economy" for a quick summary of the campaign, or go to the CT20x17 web site.
Things you should know about the state HBRA's advocacy work: