Legislative Requirements to Transfer State Properties Amendment

Deeper dive on 2018 ballot initiatives

The amendment as it will appear on the ballot:

"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?"
Every year, the Connecticut legislature considers a bill to sell, transfer, or give away state-owned public lands such as state parks, forests, wildlife management areas, and agricultural lands. These lands are often transferred to local governments or private developers, and, from 2011 to 2017, the state authorized the transfer of around 250 acres by a simple majority vote.

This Amendment would require a public hearing on these bills (normally called a conveyance bill). It would also require a two-thirds majority vote in both the state house and the state senate to pass a conveyance bill authorizing land transfers. This is the kind of issue that’s right up Leslie Knope’s alley.

The case for voting YES - The fundamental function of government is to serve its citizens.  Supporting this bill would make it necessary to hear the people of Connecticut prior to transferring land.  

The case for voting NO - Some representatives, like Rick Lopez think this measure would lead to a game of "political football" prior to votes that would cause more deadlock and inefficiency in the legislature.  

We hope you have found this guide helpful.  Feel free to reach out with questions to [email protected].
What does a YES vote mean?
A "yes" vote requires public hearings before the state government can sell land it owns. It also requires a two-thirds majority to apporve the sale of state-owned agricultural land.
What does a NO vote mean?
A "no" vote does not require public hearings and votes on the sale of various state-owned lands.
Who supports this measure?
Connecticut Forest & Park Association
Who opposes this measure?
State Rep. Rick Lopes and others fearing this will lead to gridlock.