The following policy dive is courtesy of Dentons50 partner Jim O’Brien
Legislation targeting consumer packaging has been introduced for the second year in a row in Connecticut. Previously, in the 2016 legislative session, Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr. (D) introduced a bill designed to create an “extended producer responsibility” (EPR) program for consumer packaging in the state. After much debate among stakeholders on both sides of the aisle, a compromise bill was passed creating a task force to study the issue, and make recommendations to the legislature regarding any future legislation. Connecticut already has an EPR program for e-waste, paint and mattresses.
Per the special act creating the task force, it was supposed to meet and make recommendations to the legislature by January 1st, 2017 just before the start of the 2017 session. However, although appointments were made to the task force, it did not meet before its statutory deadline to file the report. Despite missing the deadline, Senator Kennedy has urged the task force to move ahead and begin meeting, and has scheduled its first meeting for February 9th.
Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano, however, most likely believing the task force cannot meet, has filed legislation extending the time frame for the submission of the task force’s report from January 1, 2017, to January 1, 2018. At stake in the dispute is whether a report from the task force recommending legislation creating an EPR program for consumer packaging will be released in time to pass such legislation during the current session.