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State Senator

Saud Anwar

Representing East Hartford, Ellington, East Windsor and South Windsor

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Senator Anwar Joins Senate In Approving New Funds To Mitigate Climate Change

HARTFORD, CT – Today, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) joined the Senate in approving legislation that prepares Connecticut for the future of climate change. It would create a fund that municipalities can use to study and mitigate the future impacts of rising sea levels and other climate change hazards.

“We must take action now to prepare for the changes already becoming visible in our climate,” said Sen. Anwar. “With this legislation, towns and cities will be able to prepare, using reserves to pay for potential damage to their communities and study how they can best protect themselves. It’s an unfortunate but necessary step for us to take.”

Senate Bill 1062, “An Act Authorizing Municipal Climate Change And Coastal Resiliency Reserve Funds,” will allow municipalities to establish a fund which may contain the following:

  • Funds authorized to be transferred from the municipality’s General Fund cash surplus at the end of a fiscal year
  • Proceeds of bonds, notes, or other obligations issued to fund losses or projects related to the presence of pyrrhotite in the concrete foundations of residential buildings
  • Amounts raised by an annual tax levied solely for the benefit of the fund. Any such tax must be levied and collected in the same manner and at the same time as the municipality’s regular annual taxes.

This legislation will also allow municipalities to use and appropriate all or part of the reserve fund to pay for municipal property losses, capital projects, and studies on mitigating climate change hazards and vulnerabilities, including land acquisition. Additionally, the bill requires that if the reserve fund is discontinued, any remaining funds must be put toward retiring the municipality’s bonded indebtedness, if any. Any further remaining funds must be transferred to the municipality’s General Fund. If enacted, SB 1062 will go into effect July 1, 2019.

While this legislation was in the Environment Committee, the Nature Conservancy provided public testimony stating this fund will enable municipalities to craft plans and strategies to reduce the vulnerabilities the municipality may have due to the effects of climate change. They also called the Climate Change and Coastal Resiliency Reserve Fund “an important tool that municipalities can use to help prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change.”

This legislation received overwhelming bipartisan support, passing the Environment Committee by a 27-2 vote. If passed by the House, it awaits a signature from Governor Ned Lamont to become law.

 

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