Victory In Connecticut

Victory In Connecticut

ASCA's model legislation passed unanimously in both the House and Senate last month and was just enacted into law.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was updated on Aug. 9, 2019 to include new information.

Great news out of Connecticut as ASCA’s model legislation is now law in The Constitution State. The bill passed unanimously in both the House and Senate last month, and I just received word that it has been enacted into law.

Our bill, known as the Snow Removal Limited Liabilities Act, was House Bill 7288. The ASCA’s model legislation prohibits clients from passing on their negligence through hold-harmless agreements and indemnification clauses. This is the third state to adopt the legislation. Versions were previously passed in  Illinois and Colorado.

The Connecticut legislature is in session for only part of the year, and by law they are required to wrap up their legislative session by midnight on June 5th. This made timing critical, as our bill had passed the Connecticut State House unanimously on April 24th.  It then sat in the state senate until the last day of the session, June 5th.

We were confident the bill would pass, but the senate had a lot on its agenda.  As the session wore on, I kept tabs on the proceedings via closed circuit TV on the Internet.  The night ticked away and our bill had not been called. At about 11:50 pm, the senate agreed to vote on 15 bills everyone agreed needed no debate. I was sure our bill was going to be one of them. However, when they called the bills, our number was not among them.

The next morning, I trudged into the office disappointed. I updated the ASCA team and informed them we needed to get to work to find out what happened and make sure we secured a senate hearing during its next session in January 2020.

I sat down at my desk to begin my day when I received an email for Representative Pat Miller, our bill’s sponsor in the Connecticut State House.  In short, Rep. Miller, the Assistant Majority Leader, worked all afternoon and evening with her leadership in the Connecticut House and with State Senator Carlo Leone.  Senator Leone sponsored the ASCA’s bill in the Connecticut Senate and is also the chair of the transportation committee. Considering there was a lot on their legislative plate in the senate session that day, they worked our bill into a much a larger transportation bill and, unbeknownst to me at the time, passed that as House Bill 7140.

I was thrilled to learn the ASCA’s model legislation had passed through the general assembly and was on its way to the governor’s desk for review and signing into law.

Connecticut’s professional snow and ice management community owes Representative Miller and Senator Leone a debt of gratitude to for their diligent behind-the-scenes work in getting this legislation passed. 

In addition, a special  Snow Academy taking place Tuesday, Aug. 20 from 1 pm to 5 pm at the Hartford/Windsor Airport Marriott. This half-day event be presented by myself, ASCA’s General Council, Josh Ferguson, and Noah Sherman from Mill’s Insurance. We will cover everything from how the law impacts your contract language, customer relationships, sales, marketing, operations and insurance policies and rates.

Registration is $75 for ASCA Members and $99 for Non-Members. You may register for the event by CLICKING HERE. You may also register in-person the day of the event.

If you’re a snow contractor in the state of Connecticut, or you’re providing winter services in the state, this educational opportunity is one you do not want to miss.

Finally, if you have any questions about the ASCA’s model legislation, or you’d like to get involved with legislative matters in your own state, feel free to reach out to me at kgilbride@ascaonline.org.

Kevin Gilbride is Executive Director of the Accredited Snow Contractors Association.