Critical & Time Sensitive Municipal Decisions
Governor Ned Lamont issued Executive Order JJ last night, which includes the following provisions applicable to municipalities:

Allowance of Suspension of In-Person Voting Requirements by Members of the Public for Critical and Time-Sensitive Municipal Decisions (Sec. 4).

Authorizes a municipality’s legislative body* to take action on the following critical and time sensitive municipal decisions if specific findings are made that such action is: 1) necessary to permit the orderly operation of the municipality; and 2) that there is a need to act immediately and during the period of the declared public health and civil preparedness emergency in order to avoid endangering public health and welfare or prevent significant financial loss; or 3) that such action is otherwise necessary for the protection of persons and property within the municipality.

If such findings are made, the municipality’s legislative body* may:
  1. Adopt or amend ordinances or resolutions only as necessary to complete transactions deemed essential
  2. Approve, enter into, or amend existing contracts or agreements deemed essential; or
  3. Option, acquire, transfer, lease, dispose of or sell any real or personal property, or interest therein, as shall be deemed essential, with the exception of non-judicial tax sales or other property transfers that would result in the eviction of a residential tenant.

Such actions may be taken without complying with any requirements for in-person approval by electors or taxpayers, including but not limited to, annual or special town meetings requiring votes or referenda. However, all conditions precedent to any such approval, including public notices, hearings or presentations, shall proceed in a manner as closely consistent with the applicable statutes, special acts, town charters, municipal ordinances, resolutions or procedures as possible, and in compliance with the open meeting provisions set forth in Executive Order No. 7B.

This authority is not intended to apply to budgetary or similar essential nonbudgetary financial actions which require the concurrent approval of the municipal budget-making authority and are subject to the provisions of Executive Order Nos. 7I, Section 13, 7S, Section 7, and 7CC, Section 1.
Note: EO 7JJ also provides that “Nothing in this order shall be construed to prohibit a municipality from conducting any in-person meeting, approval process, or referendum, provided such municipality first consults with local or state public health officials and conducts such meeting, approval process, or referendum in a way that significantly reduces the risk of transmission of COVID-19.”

However, to date, the state Department of Public Health has not provided guidance on holding such meetings or referendum to reduce the risk of COVID-19. CDC has published guidance relative to polling places, which may be viewed here.

*or in a municipality where the legislative body is a town meeting other than a representative town meeting, the board of selectmen

Suspends the Biennial Reapplication Filing Requirement for the Homeowners' Elderly/Disabled, Circuit Breaker Tax Relief Program and for the Homeowners' Elderly/Disabled Freeze Tax Relief Program (Section 1)

Provides that taxpayers who were granted the benefit for the Grand List year 2017 and who are required to recertify for the Grand List year 2019 shall automatically maintain their benefits for the next biennial cycle ending in Grand List year 2021.

Tolling of Land Use and Building Permits (Section 3)

Provides that any  approval or permit issued by a municipal land use agency or official pursuant to the "Covered Laws" as defined in Section 19 of Executive Order 7I, or by a municipal building official pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Chapter 541 and valid as of March 10, 2020, shall not lapse or otherwise expire during the state of emergency, and the expiration date of the approval shall toll during the state of emergency. To the extent that any such approval contains or is subject to conditions, the agency or official may waive such conditions if an approval holder is not able to abide by the conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or protective measures taken in response to it, provided that such waiver shall not be unreasonably withheld. This section shall not apply to an approval or permit whose holder was in violation of the terms and conditions of the approval as of March 10, 2020 or who violates such terms and conditions during the state of emergency. 

Tax Deferral/Low Interest Program
Interested in which towns have adopted a tax deferral program or low interest program or both? OPM has posted a list of towns and the programs they have established, which can be accessed here.

If your town makes changes to the program they have established, please advise Martin.Heft@ct.gov.