There are currently two bills in particular before the Connecticut General Assembly that may be of interest to arborists, tree wardens, tree workers and others involved with caring for trees.
The first bill, #5150, is entitled “AN ACT CONCERNING TREE WARDENS’ NOTICES ON TREES AND SHRUBS PRIOR TO REMOVAL, TREE REMOVAL ALONG STATE HIGHWAYS AND CLEAN-UP BY PUBLIC UTILITY CORPORATIONS FOLLOWING CERTAIN TREE REMOVAL.” The bill has four sections. The first section slightly re-words the posting language in CGS 23-59, the state statute that describes the tree warden’s duties. The second section would require that a tree warden post trees and shrubs under consideration before deciding upon a permit requested by a third party for the pruning or removal of trees or shrubs under the tree warden’s care and control (CGS 23-65). The third section places a reporting requirement, to the legislature and DEEP, on DOT regarding the removal of trees along state highways. The final section requires the utilities remove debris following roadside tree work.
The full bill can be read on the CGA website.
A public hearing on this bill is being held before the Environment Committee today, Friday, February 19. Extensive comments on this bill have already been posted on the CGA website.
The second bill is something of a recurring event, as it has also been raised in similar form in the two previous legislative sessions. This bill, #5258, is titled, “AN ACT CONCERNING A PROPERTY OWNER’S LIABILITY FOR THE EXPENSES OF REMOVING A FALLEN TREE OR LIMB” and will be heard before the Judiciary Committee, although no date has been set as of yet.
The 2014 version of this bill actually passed the legislature but was vetoed by Governor Malloy. It would establish requirements regarding financial liability for removal of a tree that falls from one private property onto another.
This bill may also be viewed on the CGA website.