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The Final Countdown on the 2023 Legislative Session

Ann Gadwah

June 2023

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Photo: Connecticut’s State Capitol Building in Hartford 

Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn

Greetings intrepid enviros! With only a few days left of the 2023 Legislative Session, there is still work to be done on many crucial climate and environmental bills. There is some really good legislation that addresses Sierra Club’s priority issues – climate, environmental justice, waste, toxics, and wildlife. We need everyone that cares about the climate and environment to call House and Senate Leadership and ask them to ensure these bills get called for a vote.

 

Speaker of the House Matt Ritter: 860-240-8585

Majority Senate Leader Bob Duff: 860-240-0414

 

Sample Phone Message: 

 

“Hello. My name is [your name] and I live in [your town]. I am reaching out to ask you to support good climate change, environmental justice, waste and wildlife legislation and ask that you ensure a vote is taken. Climate change and environmental protection are the most pressing existential issues that we face. Thank you.”

 

Good bills that still need to cross the finish line (Please feel free to add some to your above message):

 

  • SB 4 An Act Concerning Connecticut’s Present and Future Housing Needs: This is a comprehensive bill for tenants to increase protections, affordable housing and access to energy efficiency and clean energy programs. 

  • SB 1147 An Act Concerning the Environmental Justice Program of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection: This will strengthen Connecticut’s Environmental Justice Law by allowing DEEP to reject permits in areas already overburdened with pollution. 

  • SB 979 An Act Concerning the Establishment of the Connecticut Home Energy Label and the Tree Canopy of Certain Municipalities: This bill will supply energy data to prospective renters to understand the energy use of an apartment they might rent. (The section to increase tree canopy coverage in urban areas has been added as an amendment to another bill). 

  • SB 961 An Act Concerning Carbon-Free School Requirements for New School Construction: This bill will promote the construction of carbon-free schools.

  • HB 6481 An Act Concerning the Release of Certain Balloons. 

  • HB 6608 An Act Concerning the Distribution of Single Use Straws and Stirrers by Certain Restaurants: 11% of waste in Connecticut is plastic. Single use plastics like straws must be banned to reduce overall plastic waste. 

  • SB 100 An Act Establishing an Account in the General Fund to Provide Grants to Towns that Need PFAs Testing and Remediation. 

  • HB 6607 An Act Concerning the Nighttime Lighting of State-Owned Buildings at Certain Times for the Protection of Birds: Excessively lit buildings and reflective structures attract and disorient migratory birds, leading to deadly collisions. 

  • HB 6813 An Act Authorizing the Establishment of a Seabird and Shorebird Protection Program: This bill will create seabird and shorebird protection areas along the state's coast.

 

This is the crucial time to make those phone calls. The Legislative Session ends Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at midnight. There is still some time to get some wins for the environment this session. Make those calls and we will see you next month with some good news thanks to the hard work from advocates like you!  


 

Ann Gadwah is Advocacy & Outreach Organizer with a focus on our legislative work at the State Capitol.

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