Amy Blaymore Paterson
Executive Director, Connecticut Land Conservation Council
Policy Director, Audubon Connecticut
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Connecticut Land Conservation Council and Audubon Connecticut Statement on Removal of Section 4 from House Bill 6441
HARTFORD, CT (May 26, 2021) – Conservation advocates released the following statement regarding the House of Representatives passage of An Act Concerning Climate Change Adaptation (HB 6441) with an amendment to strip municipalities of the option to establish a voluntary conveyance fee program to help address climate change (Section 4):
“Conservation advocates are extremely disappointed that the House of Representatives voted to strip Section 4 from HB 6441, thereby removing a key voluntary (opt-in) provision to help municipalities adapt to climate change. Included in HB 6441 pursuant to the recommendations of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change, Section 4 gave municipalities an option to establish a local conveyance fee on real property to fund climate adaptation, resilience, affordable housing and other community projects including urban forestry, tree planting, and land stewardship.
Section 4 included an adjustable and equitable fee schedule that, according to the Office of Fiscal Analysis, could generate $75 million for Connecticut cities and towns. At a time when new federal dollars for green infrastructure projects are expected to benefit the state at unprecedented levels, the repeal of Section 4 cuts off an opportunity for towns, especially urban areas, to raise much needed funds to match federal climate program investments that require a local match.
Critically, Section 4 was structured to encourage the development of affordable housing. Any community that chooses to adopt the program could use the funds to match investments in local affordable housing projects, and the municipalities that are not meeting the state’s affordable housing requirements would be prohibited from using the funds to acquire open space.
We implore the members of the Connecticut General Assembly to reconsider their decision to remove Section 4 from HB 6441. Reviving section 4 in HB 6441 or in another bill will simply give municipalities the OPTION TO CHOOSE whether or not to adopt this creative tool to help them battle the climate crisis and achieve their land community planning goals.”
About Audubon Connecticut:
Audubon Connecticut, a state office of the National Audubon Society, protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.ct.audubon.org, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About the Connecticut Land Conservation Council:
As the umbrella organization for the state’s land conservation community, including its 130+ land trusts, the Connecticut Land Conservation Council advocates for land conservation, stewardship, and funding, and works to ensure the long-term strength and viability of the land conservation community in Connecticut. Learn more at www.ctconservation.org, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.