Things are moving fast and furious at the Capitol now that public hearing season is in full swing. We have seen some good bills heard in the Environment Committee, Energy and Technology Committee, and Housing Committee. Here’s a sampling of a few of the bills:
SB 4 - An Act Concerning Connecticut’s Present and Future Housing Needs: This bill would increase affordable housing and tenant protections. It would also invest in more energy efficiency, weatherization, solar panels, battery storage, and building electrification, especially for tenants in vulnerable low-income and Environmental Justice Communities.
SB 979 - An Act Promoting Energy Affordability, Energy Efficiency, and Green Cities: This bill would provide renters with energy data on a property so they can make an informed decision before renting. It would also allow municipalities to adopt “stretch codes”, which would allow them to have stricter building codes than the state.
SB 962 - An Act Concerning the Use of Certain Rodenticides: This bill would prohibit the use of rodenticides that are harmful to the wildlife population of the state, particularly raptors. It would also protect household pets and humans.
HB 6606 - An Act Concerning The Use of Certain Products Made from Polystyrene: Polystyrene is non-recyclable and does not break down in the natural environment. This bill would eliminate the use of school trays made from polystyrene and prohibit the use of certain polystyrene food containers by restaurants.
SB 1115 - An Act Establishing a Surcharge on Insurance Companies in This State That Underwrite Fossil Fuel Companies: This bill would charge Insurance companies a surcharge of 5% of the total premium they charge fossil fuel companies to insure them. This bill is a good step in the right direction in seeing our flagship business in the state stop insuring climate disaster.
Please see all the legislation we are following on our website.
We anticipate the Environment Committee will hear bills regarding strengthening the Environmental Justice Law and preventing negative human-bear interactions in the next couple weeks. The Energy and Technology Committee will be hearing bills regarding our clean energy future. The Housing Committee will hear bills on tenants rights and energy efficiency. The Transportation Committee will be hearing bills creating more public transportation and low carbon transit. Keep an eye out for opportunities to weigh in on these important topics.
If you would like to get more information or more involved, please contact Art Helmus or myself.
Ann Gadwah is Advocacy & Outreach Organizer with a focus on our legislative work at the State Capitol.