Legislative Update

May 2019

Samantha Dynowski

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With a month to go in the legislative session, proposed bills have been through the committee process and are now awaiting action by the House or Senate. Now is the time to make your voice heard on these proposals, as only those bills with strong support will make it all the way to become law.  

 

You can contact your state legislator by phone, email or snail mail. To look up your legislator, click here. Legislators also hold “town halls” or listening sessions in their districts, and this can be a good time to let them know what bills you want them to support.

 

Here’s a look at some bills impacting Connecticut’s environment that need action:

Photo: Legislative building in Hartford, CT

Photo credit: Michel G.

House Bill 7205 - An act concerning the accessibility of electric vehicles in Connecticut

This bill is focused on electric vehicles and will require the state to lead by example and transition the state fleet of light-duty vehicles to 50% electric by 2030, as well as transition the state fleet of transit buses to 30% electric by 2030. The bill also secures the electric vehicle incentive program, Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR).  Send a message to your legislators to support this bill HERE.

 

House Bill 7251 - An act to fix the destructive solar net metering provision passed last year

This will ensure residential and commercial solar remains viable in the state. Click HERE to send a message asking for your legislator’s support for this bill.

 

House Bill 7156 - An act concerning the procurement of energy derived from offshore wind

This bill will expand Connecticut’s offshore wind portfolio. Tell your legislators to go big on offshore wind HERE.

 

Senate Bill 232 - An act concerning the allowable percentage of leakage from gas pipelines

This bill will require repairs of pipelines leaking more than 1% of methane gas (from the current 3%) and will prevent gas companies from getting compensated for leaked gas.  Send a message to your legislators to support SB 232 and to repeal the tax that will charge ratepayers for new pipelines HERE.

 

House Bill 5002 - An act concerning a green economy and environmental protection

As of this writing this bill is still being written. Click HERE to make sure that the legislature includes bold action to address climate change, create good green jobs and advance equity.

 

House Bill 1003 - An act concerning the use of single-use plastic and paper bags

As of this writing, this bill only bans single-use bags at stores greater than 10,000 square feet and puts no fee on paper bags.  Our goal is to get rid of single-use plastic bags everywhere, and for shoppers to bring their own bags, not switch to paper. Two other bills will also reduce plastic straws and polystyrene containers, HB 5385 and HB 5384. Send a message to your legislators to fix HB 1003 and to pass the other two bills.

 

Senate Bill 753 - An act concerning the state-wide ban on fracking waste

60 towns in Connecticut have passed ordinances to prohibit ALL oil and gas drilling and extraction wastes. SB 753 would give the same comprehensive protections to all Connecticut residents. Take action on this bill HERE.

Samantha Dynowski is State Director, Sierra Club Connecticut.