House Approves Judges, Various Policy Measures in Special Session

With a short reprieve for tributes to retiring House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, House GOP Leader Themis Klarides and other outgoing members, the CT House of Representatives approved multiple bills and four judicial nominations during a 13+ hour special session that concluded early Thursday morning.

Following is a summary of the bills that were approved in special session with votes in parentheses:

  • HB 7001, as amended by LCO #4423 (143-0) —Transitions the state’s transfer-based approach to property remediation to a release-based approach, requires new regulations to carry this out, and establishes a public-private sector working group to provide advice and feedback on the development of regulations.
  • HB 7002 (142-0) — Clarifies that the State Marshals may recover costs (reimbursement) for searching records of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • HB 7003 (143-0) — Aligns Connecticut’s hemp program with federal law and seeks to promote more opportunities for hemp growers and manufacturers in the state.
  • HB 7004 (144-0) — Permits condominium and common interest ownership associations to obtain loans through the Supplemental Collapsing Foundation Loan Program.
  • HB 7005 (139-5) — Allows towns to begin counting absentee ballots early, effective at 5 p.m. on October 30, 2020, for the 2020 general election only.
  • HB 7006 (136-4) — Requires the Public Utility Regulatory Authority, among other things, to adopt a framework for implementing performance-based regulations of the electric distribution companies, and establishes standards and metrics to measure utility performance as it pertains to safety, reliability, affordability, equity, customer satisfaction, municipal engagement and resilience.  Also, incorporates and applies nexus provisions to out-of-state businesses and out-of-state employees who perform disaster-related or emergency-related work during a disaster response period.
  • HB 7008 (134-2) — Updates the state’s environmental justice law to require public notice and community benefit agreements in certain circumstances.
  • HB 7009 (139-0) — Extends certain property tax exemption filing deadlines for taxpayers in 11 municipalities, among other things.
  • HB 7010 (99-38) — Authorizes school construction projects, among other things.

The House also approved the following judgeships: Appellate Court Judge Christine E. Keller to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court; and three Superior Court judges – Judge Joan Alexander, Judge Melanie Cradle, and Judge Jose A. Suarez – to fill vacancies on the Appellate Court.

Finally, the Senate is scheduled to convene at 11 a.m. Thursday to take up the bills and judicial appointments approved by the House and is expected to vote, in concurrence, despite objections raised by Senate Republicans about the process and substance of some of the bills.

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