CSFA Legislative Update – June 10, 2013 from Ted Schroll, Jr. with House Bill Status Report

It’s over for this year.  Last Wednesday was one of the few days of the session when you know what time the session is over.  They must end at midnight of the last day.  It’s always a busy day as everyone is attempting to get their bills passed before the deadline.  Some make it, some don’t.  The attached is probably self-explanatory, but  I will comment on a few items.
H.B. #6015 which would have prohibited charging of fees for residents calling E-911 did not pass.  This bill was a double-edged sword. We never want to discourage any person from calling 9-1-1 in case of a real emergency, however we were concerned that if the bill was not worded correctly, it could jeopardize the fire service’s ability to assess reimbursement for services rendered.  We were not able to agree on proper language and the bill died on the House calendar.
H.B. #6033 which had the “Q” license testing procedures included, passed with almost the exact language proposed by the DMV.
H.B. #6454 which would have required a municipality to designate the street in front of a fire station as a work zone, was changed to “enabling” legislation.  The bill enables, not requires, a municipality to designate the areas as work zones, if they so desire.  They would be required to post their own signage.
H.B. #6518 which was a proposal to make changes to the EMS system was changed to require a task force to study the system of PSA allotments.
In spite of the apparent PTSD problems that occurred to some first responders at the Sandy Hook incident, the legislature could not see their way to pass either S.B. #823 (PTSD) or S.B. #925 (cardiac emergency) proposals.
S.B. #975 when first proposed at the beginning of the session had a provision that would have required the use of seat belts at all motor vehicle seating positions including fire apparatus.  With a few changes during the legislative process, it would appear that the seat belt provision was not included in the final writing of the bill.  Without that issue, it appears that there are NO fire service related issues within the bill.
The same issues arose with S.B. #1094.  Earlier versions of the bill had several minor language/punctuation changes to the public safety statutes.  IN the last few days of the session the bill was changed to be a “fix” to some concerns that arose from the earlier GUN BILL.  Again, S.B. #1094 no longer contains any fire service related issues.
Within the budget bill, H.B. #6704, we were able to restore some of the budget items that had been reduced by the Governor’s proposals.  Within one of the budget implementer bills, H.B. #6706, the Department of Construction Services is being phased out.  All of it’s activities are being absorbed by the Department of Administrative Services.
This report is to be a semi-final report.  Occasionally, there are some issues that do not surface until after a few weeks.  The attached listing is all the issues that I am aware of.  If any other issues arise later, I will pass them along.  If anyone hears of any issues that I have not brought forth, please contact me and I will research them further.
Please email if any questions.
Ted Schroll Jr., Legislative Representative
Connecticut State Firefighters Association
703 Ridge Road
Wethersfield, CT 06109-2634

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