OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 85 (File 599, as amended by Senate "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS AT CERTAIN STATE PARKS.

SUMMARY:

By law, the energy and environmental protection commissioner may lease state park camping sites to state residents and nonresidents. Current law limits a family to three weeks total each year at each shore park (i. e. , Hammonasset and Rocky Neck).

This bill instead prohibits the commissioner from leasing shore park camping sites to the same camping party for more than three weeks total during the camping season. It requires him to lease shore park camping sites (1) to the same party for additional periods of up to three weeks if the party leaves the park for at least five days between leases or (2) that are vacant on a first come, first served basis.

The bill authorizes the commissioner to adopt regulations to establish limits on the length of camping site leases. The bill's lease length limitation is effective until June 30, 2013, or until regulations are adopted, whichever is later.

The bill also requires the commissioner to establish a pilot program for the 2013 camping season that allows 5% of shore park camping sites to be leased to the same camping party without a limitation on the number of days leased. For such sites, he may charge a nightly fee of 150% of the 2012 camping season rates. He must report, by February 1, 2014, to the Environment and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees on the pilot program. The report must describe the program implementation, its impact on camping site availability, the reaction of families using the camping sites, and any recommendation for changes to the program.

*Senate Amendment “A” replaces the underlying file with similar provisions and changes the fee structure for the long-term camper pilot program, allowing the commissioner to charge a nightly fee of 150% of the 2012 camping season rates, instead of $ 31 a night.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

BACKGROUND

Legislative History

The Senate referred the original file (File 403) to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, which reported a substitute bill that changed the fee structure for the long-term camper pilot program, allowing the commissioner to charge a nightly fee of $ 31, instead of twice the amount otherwise charged for similar camping sites. It also added a requirement that the commissioner report to the Environment and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees on the pilot program.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

29

Nay

0

(03/23/2012)

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

45

Nay

4

(04/20/2012)