The legislature’s Democratic majority let out a collective groan when Rep. Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford, called a Republican amendment to the municipal mandate relief bill at 12:30 a.m. Friday morning in the last full week of the legislative session.
“This is much needed mandate relief for our towns,” Candelora said.
Republican lawmakers argued that the process of coming up with the “watered down” mandate relief proposed by the legislature’s Democratic majority wasn’t a bipartisan effort.
The Republican amendment called for the continued delay of the in-school suspension mandate, repeals legislation treating 16 and 17 year olds as juveniles in criminal courts, and required a two-thirds vote by the General Assembly to enact any bill that creates or enlarges a state mandate to local governments.
“While I support the idea we should continue to work on this,” Rep. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, said. “This is an amendment that’s not well-time, and not well-written.”
“The savings called for in this amendment far exceed the savings called for in other bills,” Rep. William Hamzy, R-Terryville, said.
The amendment was defeated 35 to 100.
The underlying bill, which passed 103 to 33, allows local government to charge personal property taxes on cellphone towers, exempts towns from posting meeting minutes on the Internet, makes state marshals, rather than towns, responsible for removing and storing an evicted tenant’s personal property, and allows towns to establish fees for architectural and engineering services, traffic studies, and safety inspections.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.