Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Protect State Lands

By | June 27, 2018

This past legislative session in Connecticut included a Senate Joint Resolution (SJ35) to protect public lands through a State Constitutional Amendment. SJ35 passed the General Assembly by enough votes that it will be on the November ballot for the public to vote on. Please educate yourself on this important topic for conservation of public lands in Connecticut, and vote Yes! on this ballot question in November.

In 2018, the General Assembly passed SJ 35 with large enough majorities to get on the November 6th ballot. The specific question that will appear on the ballot follows:

“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?”

In plain language, this asks whether you would like to amend the state constitution to require that before the General Assembly can sell, trade, or give away public lands there must 1) be a public hearing; and 2) a vote of 2/3rds would be required for public lands held by the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (for example, State Parks, Forests, Wildlife Management Areas) or the Department of Agriculture (for example, state-owned agricultural lands or easements).” (Source: CFPA, see their full recap here.)