The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities released a report Monday calling on state policymakers to relieve local governments of the more than 1,200 mandates they say the state imposes on towns.
“There are currently over 1,200 state mandates on towns and cities in Connecticut. Most of these state mandates are unfunded. They burden residential and business property taxpayers with significant costs and siphon precious resources from local services,” South Windsor Town Manager and CCM President Matthew Galligan said in a press release.
The report is part of an election year series by the municipal lobby group and contains a series of recommendations for candidates running for the state legislature and for Congress. Many of the proposals are perennial issues for the group.
One recommendation aims to ease towns of a requirement to publish legal notices in local newspapers by allowing them to publish the notices online. Lawmakers consider changing the requirement almost every year. However, newspapers argue it would reduce transparency.
Another recommendation calls for adjusting the cost threshold for when a government triggers prevailing wage requirements. The CCM report calls for exempting school construction projects and raising the threshold for other new construction projects from $400,000 to $1 million. The group wants to see the trigger for renovation projects raised from $100,000 to $400,000.
Prevailing wage frequently pits organized labor unions against municipalities. The unions believe the policy sets important wage standards for construction workers, and the municipalities view it as a burdensome unfunded mandate. The legislature’s Labor Committee held a public hearing on the subject last year but declined to change the law.
Other recommendations include changes to mandates on education spending like eliminating minimum budget requirement and shifting the cost of special education to the state rather than individual districts.