Ballot Question 2

Ballot Question 2: Transparency of Process of Transferring or Conveying CT State Properties.

Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to require (1) a public hearing and the enactment of legislation limited in subject matter to the transfer, sale or disposition of state-owned or state-controlled real property or interests in real property in order for the General Assembly to require a state agency to sell, transfer or dispose of any real property or interest in real property that is under the custody or control of the agency, and (2) if such property is under the custody or control of the Department of Agriculture or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, that such enactment of legislation be passed by a two-thirds vote of the total membership of each house of the General Assembly?

CONTENT AND PURPOSE OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT If this amendment is approved, it would limit the General Assembly’s ability to pass legislation that requires a state agency to transfer (sell or otherwise convey) any state real property (land or buildings) or property interest to nonstate entities. It does this by imposing the following conditions: 1. a legislative committee must first hold a public hearing to allow for public comment on the property transfer; and 2. the legislation must address only the property under consideration. In addition, for property that belongs to the state Department of Agriculture or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the legislation must pass by at least two-thirds of the membership of the state House of Representatives and of the state Senate.

Further Explanation The Connecticut General Statutes establish various procedures that state agencies must follow to transfer state real property. Alternatively, the General Assembly may transfer property through legislation, known as “conveyance bills,” without subjecting the transfers to the statutory procedures. The constitutional amendment would prohibit the General Assembly from transferring property by passing these types of bills, unless the above conditions were met. The amendment would not apply to transfers made by state agencies under the statutory procedures.

The preceding explanatory text was prepared by the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Research and approved by the General Assembly’s joint standing Committee on Government Administration and Elections in accordance with Section 2-30a of the Connecticut General Statutes.

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