2012 Scorecard l Media Release l Methodology l Session in Review l Senate Scores l House Scores l Scored Bills l Tracked Bills
Bills That Were Scored
Outdoor Wood Furnaces (SB 84): Died
This bill attempted to better regulate air pollution generated by outdoor wood burning furnaces with changes to installation, construction, emission standards, and the period of operations on all outdoor wood furnaces. This bill was weakened in the Environment Committee but strengthened by Senator Meyer’s amendment on the Senate floor. The bill died when it failed to be called in the House. Yes was a pro-environment vote.
Sewage Pollution Right to Know (SB 88): Passed
This new law, Public Act 12-11, will build a partnership between the Departments of Energy and Environmental Protection, Public Health, and municipal sewage treatment facilities throughout the state. The partnership will develop a timely neighborhood notification system to alert the public of any occurrence or potential threat of sewage overflow into adjacent waterways. This bill was raised by the Environment Committee and passed in both the House and Senate unanimously. Yes was a pro-environment vote.
Mattress Recycling (SB 89): Died
This was a first attempt to require that manufacturers create a system whereby mattresses would be sent for component recycling, remanufacture, or other appropriate post-consumer disposal at the end of their useful life. This program would have operated in a similar fashion to programs for the disposal of electronic waste and unused paint. There would have been no cost to the municipalities or state to dispose of a mattress, and it would have reduced illegal dumping. This bill was raised by the Environment Committee, passed by the Senate, but failed to be called in the House. Yes was a pro-environment vote.
Safe Pharmaceutical Disposal (SB 92): Died
This bill proposed to keep dangerous chemicals out of waterways by creating a safe pharmaceutical disposal program. The bill required state and local police to maintain lockboxes for the anonymous disposal of unused and expired pharmaceutical drugs. This bill was raised by the Environment Committee but died in the General Law Committee. Yes was a pro-environment vote.
Vulnerable User (SB 111): Died
This bill would have created a new penalty for any person who caused harm to a vulnerable user of a public way, such as a pedestrian or biker. The penalty was for inflicting serious physical injury or death to a vulnerable user when a driver failed to operate a motor vehicle with due care. This bill was raised by the Transportation Committee and passed unanimously in the Senate due to the efforts of Senator Bye and Representative Lemar but failed to be called in the House. Yes was a pro-environment vote.
Phosphorus in Lawn Fertilizers (SB 254, original bill)
This bill would have restricted sale and use of fertilizers containing phosphorus on established lawns. Phosphorus leads to the pollution of fresh waters and is not needed on most lawns. With some changes, the bill passed the Environment Committee unanimously. Provisions of the bill were subsequently combined with bill 440 (see below). Yes was a pro-environment vote.
Phosphorus Reduction in Water (SB 440, original bill)
This began in the Planning and Development Committee as a good bill that would have made municipal investments for phosphorus reduction in wastewater eligible for support under the Clean Water Fund. It quickly became one of the worst bills of the session, when the committee added a new section to override DEEP and EPA standards for phosphorus control under the Clean Water Act. This amendment swept aside DEEP’s existing phosphorus strategy for the state; it also authorized six towns whose sewage treatment plants would be subject to these standards to be consulted on the development of a new state phosphorus strategy. Despite the efforts of many of our champions, this bill passed the Planning and Development Committee, Environment Committee and the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee. No was the pro-environment vote in the committees.
Phosphorus Reduction in Water (SB 440, final bill incorporating SB 254): Passed
Following intense negotiations with the Speaker’s staff, DEEP, environmental advocates, and municipal advocates, the anti-environmental provisions were softened, all affected municipalities were invited to the table, and a negotiated statement of legislative intent stipulated that nothing in the act would compromise DEEP’s authority to regulate water quality under the Clean Water Act. This bill passed the Senate and House unanimously, and is now Public Act 12-155. Yes was the pro-environment vote in the House and Senate.
Chemicals of High Concern for Children (SB 274): Died
This bill would have required a collaborative effort by Department of Public Health, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and Department of Consumer Protection to prepare a report with regard to chemicals of high concern to children. The report would have compared Connecticut with other states and made recommendations on how to identify chemicals of concern and reduce exposure. This bill was raised by the Public Health Committee but died on the Senate calendar. Yes was a pro-environment vote.
Environmental Protection Act Rollback (SB 343): Died
This bill attempted to weaken Connecticut’s landmark Environmental Protection Act of 1971. It would have impaired the public’s ability to oppose development applications and subjected interveners to punitive and unnecessary measures. This bill originated in the Planning and Development Committee, passed the Judiciary Committee, and died on the Senate calendar. No was a pro-environment vote.
Open Space Plan (SB 347): Passed
This new law, Public Act 12-152, directs DEEP to improve the state’s open space plan by: 1) identifying lands of highest conservation priority; 2) identifying lands in the custody of other state agencies that might warrant permanent conservation; and 3) recommending a method to establish an “open space registry.” This bill was raised by the Environment Committee and passed unanimously in both the Senate and House. Yes was a pro-environment vote.
Water Conservation (SB 348, SB 415, and HB 5334): Died
These bills would have advanced more efficient use and planning of water supplies and increased water system reliability by allowing alternative ratemaking mechanisms for private water utilities. These measures would have encouraged water conservation without financially penalizing the companies for selling less water. This bill passed the House due to the efforts of Representative Mushinsky and others but died on the Senate calendar. Yes was a pro-environment vote.
Coastal Zone Management (SB 376, original Bill)
This bill would have placed an unprecedented burden on municipal zoning commissions concerning all coastal zone erosion control structures. It would have required commissions to either approve an applicant’s proposal or spend money to develop an alternate engineering plan for the applicant. At the same time, it would have put serious constraints on the alternate plan. This bill was raised by the Environment Committee and passed the Planning and Development Committee. No was a pro-environment vote.
Coastal Zone Management (HB 5128, original bill)
This proposal would have amended statutes to authorize the state and towns to consider sea level rise as a factor in certain planning and regulatory programs. It would have encouraged an orderly, fair, multi-decade process to realign coastal development in areas of severe land erosion an inundation. This bill originated in the Environment Committee. Yes was a pro-environment vote.
Coastal Zone Management (SB 376, final bill incorporating HB 5128 and other proposals): Passed
Following negotiations with Senator Fasano, environmental advocates, and DEEP, environmental concerns were addressed in the final version of the bill. This new law, Pubic Act 12-101, makes several changes to the Coastal Management Act and laws regulating certain activities in the state’s tidal, coastal, or navigable waters. It authorizes the state and municipalities to consider sea level rise as a factor in planning and requires consideration of more environmentally compatible measures to protect structures from coastal erosion. The new version passed both the Senate and the House. Yes was a pro-environment vote.
GMO Labeling (HB 5117): Died
This bill would have required the labeling of genetically engineered foods, or “GMOs.” This mandatory labeling would have allowed consumers to identify and make informed food choices to avoid products that may cause health or environmental problems. This bill originated in the Environment Committee but died on the House calendar. Yes was a pro-environment vote.
Pesticide Preemption (HB 5121): Died
This legislation attempted to remove the Connecticut lawn-care pesticide preemption statute and give local control by allowing towns to decide whether or not they wanted to adopt stricter lawn care methods than the state. This bill originated in the Environment Committee but died in the Planning and Development Committee. We also scored an amendment in the Environment Committee that would have killed this initiative. No was a pro-environment vote on the amendment. Yes was a pro-environment vote on the bill.
Pesticide Rollback (HB 5155): Died
Current law bans the application of lawn-care pesticides on any private or public preschool, or school grounds with students in eighth grade or lower, except in an emergency. This effort to repeal the ban originated in the Planning and Development Committee but died in the Environment Committee. No was a pro-environment vote.