Downtown Update
March 2020 | Issue 3
Legislative Update
Although things at the Capitol are constantly evolving due to the coronavirus, there are several important initiatives we want you to know about. 
Proposed Legislation      

This bill would increase the total amount of state historic tax credits from $31.7 million to $41.7 million. Si nce its implementation, the historic tax credit program has made a real and lasting impact on Connecticut's economy and quality of life, leveraging millions of dollars in construction financing, creating jobs, and revitalizing distressed communities.

Amongst the bill’s provisions are: To (1) require motorists to grant the right-of-way to pedestrians who affirmatively indicate their intention to cross the road in a crosswalk; and (2) allow local traffic authorities to establish lower speed limits on streets under their jurisdiction by holding a public hearing regarding such speed limits and providing notification of such speed limits to the Office of the State Traffic Administration.

Pedestrian safety is critical in our downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts if we want walkable, vibrant areas. 

This bill will allow all Connecticut municipalities to use receivership as a tool to remedy local blighted properties. Current law limits receivership’s use to municipalities with population of thirty-five thousand or more. Receivership provides a mechanism for communities to allow private entities and nonprofits to invest in much needed repairs to transform abandoned and blighted buildings into productive reuse and to improve the quality of life for residents and neighbors who are already there.
Please contact your legislators and let them know how important these bills are to our communities.

Downtown/Main Street Working Group
Through the initiative of state Representative Quentin Phipps of Middletown and Representative Jane Garibay of Windsor/Windsor Locks a Downtown/Main Street Working Group of the legislature has formed. Goals of the working group are to 1) bring in experts that can educate legislators regarding important topics impacting downtowns; and 2) discuss legislative initiatives with an aim to enhance downtown areas. The Working Group last met on March 3 rd when DECD discussed opportunity zones, the Urban Act, and other programs DECD offers. The Working Group is open to any legislators interested in supporting downtowns. Please encourage your legislators to attend meetings of the Working Group.

Community Investment Act (CIA) Lobby Day
A Community Investment Act (CIA) Lobby Day was planned for Wednesday, March 25 th to highlight all the ways CIA funding has benefited communities across the state. Due to the LOB and Capitol being shut down until at least March 30 th, the Historic Preservation, Open Space, Agriculture and Affordable Housing sectors are encouraging their constituents to move forward with a “Virtual CIA Lobby Day”.  Please contact your legislators and let them know how critical CIA funding has been for your community.
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