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Legislative Review 2009
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Legislative Year in Review 2009

Legislative Roundup
By Christopher, Hansen, Esq.

The Connecticut legislature wrapped up its regular session this year on June 3rd..  Most of the bills proposed this year regarding common interest communities failed.  The bills that failed include the State Ombudsman bill, the “Freedom to Dry” bill, a bill regarding term limits for board members and a bill regarding uniform rules for common interest communities.  One important bill did pass and will bring significant changes to common interest communities throughout Connecticut.

Once again, this year was an educational experience for those of us on the CAI-CT Legislative Action Committee.  Observing the legislature in action is truly amazing.  As a colleague describes it, once the session starts it feels as though you have a fire hose in your face.  Bills fly fast and furious and keeping on top of them is practically a full time job.  We did make some significant headway this year in establishing relationships with those in the State government.  We also had more CAI members take an interest in what we are doing and volunteer their time.  We do apologize for the all too often short notice regarding public hearings at the capitol.  Unfortunately it is the nature of the beast.  Typically we get only a couple days notice about these public hearings.  In that time we have to put together our position on the particular issue, find volunteers to testify and get notice out to all of you.  One of the best ways to stay on top of these issues is to get involved and be a member of CAI-CT’s LAC.  You can also monitor the Connecticut General Assembly website for those issues important to you. 

The bill that passed amends the Connecticut Common Interest Ownership Act in many ways (referred to here as “CIOA”).  Most of the amendments go into effect in July of 2010.  For the majority of our members, the two most significant things about this bill will be 1) changes to how association business is conducted generally (including voting, meetings, member participation and association records); and 2) the applicability of CIOA to “pre-1984” or “pre-CIOA” associations.  With regard to the first of these changes you should think “transparency.”  The changes require more formality in the general operations of the community and more accountability from those in charge.  With regard to the second of these changes, more of the CIOA will now apply to older associations that are generally not subject to CIOA.  While CIOA already has a list of specific sections that automatically apply to older associations, this list has now been expanded and should make certain aspects of running these older communities a little easier.  CAI-CT is in the process of putting together programs to educate board members, unit owners and property managers on these changes so be on the lookout for a program in your area in the near future.

In closing I would like to thank the members of the CAI-CT LAC for their hard work as well as everyone who provided testimony this session on behalf of CAI-CT.  Providing live testimony on proposed legislation is an all day event and the time and effort of those who went up to Hartford is appreciated.  The CAI-CT LAC is interested in hearing about the issues impacting your community.  If you have a particular issue please let us know about it or volunteer to be a member of the CAI-CT LAC.            


Chris Hansen, Esq. practices law in the firm of Bender Anderson & Barba, PC.  He currently serves on the CAI-CT Board of Directors as Vice President, he is the Chair of the Legislative Action Committee and is the Chair of Trade Show Committee.

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