State Rep Floren: On Nov 6, Vote Yes to Convey Transparency

Submitted by Sate Rep Livvy Floren, 149th District

In the general election on November 6, voters will be asked to consider two proposed amendments to the Connecticut Constitution.

One proposal concerns transportation funding, and the other deals with state property transfers or conveyances.

As a ten-year member of the Government Administration and Elections (GAE)
Committee, including four years as Ranking Member, I was responsible for
reviewing hundreds of property transfers.

These were fully vetted by the Committee and were combined in an annual omnibus bill which passed unanimously as it contained parcels of excess state property (primarily the Department of Transportation’s unused acreage) that was transferred at no cost to individual cities and towns for use as passive open space and conservation easements.

However, two recent, controversial incidents prompted the Constitutional
amendment ballot initiative: the Goodspeed Opera House land swap in Haddam and the Riverview Hospital land sale in Waterford. Both properties were under the purview of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) who conveyed state assets to for-profit entities and/or real estate developers.

To remedy situations like these going forward, the ballot initiative requires a public hearing and enactment of legislation specific to each individual transfer, sale or disposition of state-owned property. If such property is in custody or control of the Department of Agriculture or DEEP, such legislation must be passed by the two-thirds vote in both chambers of the General Assembly.

If the Constitutional amendment is approved, the results would be: No more omnibus conveyance bills and no more swaps or sales of real property to non-
state entities.

Please vote in favor of the proposed amendment: It is time to convey transparency.

Livvy Floren
State Representative, Greenwich and Stamford