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Fighting for Your Forests, Parks & Trails in 2019

Since January, CFPA has been active at the CT General Assembly working for and against a multitude of bills introduced on your forests, parks, trails, and open spaces. Our annual priorities stem from CFPA's conservation agenda.

Here’s a quick update on a few bills that CFPA is tracking closely in the 2019 Legislative session with links to the testimony we have provided at public hearings:

Your Forests

  • HB 5308, “An Act Concerning Vegetation Management along State Highways by the Department of Transportation,” would require that the CT Department of Transportation uses arborists to develop guidelines to manage a healthy roadside forest along our state highways. Testimony here.

       April 9 UPDATE -- HB 5308 has PASSED the Environment Committee and is awaiting action in the House.

Your Parks

  • The Governor’s Budget Proposal for FY 2020 – 2021 is supportive of the Passport to the Parks, but proposes the Community Investment Act funds be directed into the General Fund (which CFPA does not support). Testimony here.

       April 9 UPDATE -- there have been public hearings on different aspects of the Governor's budget, but the Legislature has not yet offered a budget proposal.

Your Trails

  • HB 7157, “An Act Concerning Funding for Bikeway Paths, Recreational Trails and Greenways,” would authorize bonding for the state’s Recreational Trails & Greenways program. We have asked for $3 million/year for matching grants to support trail efforts statewide. Testimony here.

       April 9 UPDATE -- HB 7157 has PASSED the Environment Committee with a recommended bonding authorization increase of $4 million, and was referred to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee for further consideration.

Your Open Spaces

  • HB 5254, “An Act Establishing a Pilot Program Authorizing Municipalities to Impose a Buyer’s Conveyance Fee on Real Property to Fund the Purchase and Stewardship of Open Space,” would initiate a pilot project to allow municipalities to charge a buyer’s conveyance fee of up to 1% on real estate transactions above $150,000. Testimony here.

       April 9 UPDATE -- unfortunately, the Environment Committee did not hold a vote on this bill which effectively kills the bill for the 2019 Legislative Session.

If you have responded to CFPA alerts asking you to provide testimony or contact your legislators on these issues, THANK YOU for taking action to protect the Connecticut you want to live in. If you aren't yet on our list, sign up for e-alerts here.

If you have any questions about these bills or others, contact CFPA Executive Director, Eric Hammerling via ehammerling@ctwoodlands.org.