Re: Municipal Liability Protection Law still on the Chopping Block.-. Phase II
- At 05:24 PM 3/31/2012, Charles Beristain wrote:
Municipal Liability Protection Law still on the Chopping Block.-. Phase II
Write to your State Senator and Representative asking them to vote against SB. 445- An Act Concerning Liability for the Recreational Use of Land.
This past Thursday, the public hearing was held for �SB. 445- An Act Concerning Liability for the Recreational Use of Land.� There was an excellent turn-out with much written and verbal testimony. Only three in favor of passage and those were by trial lawyers. Also many of you emailed or called your Representatives. Grreat Job!
So now Phase II. The Judiciary committee either votes yea or nay on Monday before close of the session or the bill just dies in committee. So it is paramount that we contact our State Senators and Representatives asking them to vote against passage of �SB. 445- An Act Concerning Liability for the Recreational Use of Land.�
You can find your State Senator and Representative here: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CGAFindLeg.asp
Outdoor and environmental organizations, succeeded in strengthening the protections offered to Municipalities who allowed free public access to their lands and trails, basically giving Municipalities similar rights already given to the State of Connecticut, Utilities, Private Corporations, and Private Landowners. The bill successfully became law last year. P.L. 11-211 -- a great victory!
Now there are efforts to cut back protections offered to municipalities that allow free and public recreation on their land.. A new bill, SB. 445, is currently in the Judiciary Committee (JC) that would exempt boardwalks, beaches and sidewalks from municipal protection. The JC will make a determination by end of session Monday about whether to let it go on to the state senate..
We urge you to contact your State Senator and Representative and ask them to oppose �SB. 445- An Act Concerning Liability for the Recreational Use of Land.�
Consider mentioning the following points in your own words:
- The process of strengthening of the Recreational Use Statute last year was thorough and exhaustive. P.L. 11-211 passed overwhelmingly and was the result of widespread bipartisan support. There is no need to revisit this legislation at such an early date.
- Exempting boardwalks, beaches and sideways from the protections would once again make municipalities consider not allowing public recreation on their lands. It would make them consider not investing in more open space since to do so would increase their liability concerns.
- Boardwalks all don�t look like Atlantic City. Many are on primitive natural surface singletrack trails and are simple structures, sometimes only a couple of planks of wood laying over a patch of mud. They are low-impact structures designed to protect the wetland resource and allow people more easy traverse a muddy section of trail. They should not be made the target of slip and fall litigation.
- Beaches can be interpreted as any rocky or sandy access point to a water body, be it an inland stream or pond or the Long Island Sound. Exempting beaches from liability protections would make municipalities consider preventing free public access to their waterways (prime examples are MDC�s Lake McDonough, the numerous �beaches� along the Farmington River) .
- Paved sidewalks are not just in our town centers, but form an integral part of our trail system. Trails like the Park River Trail in West Hartford and our wonderful paved rail trails that traverse our State would no longer have the same protection as the other entities
If this law passes, it will have a major negative impact on the availability of recreational areas in our Municipal districts
Please send your comments to your members of the of the legislature before close of the business day on Monday April 2nd
this info can also be found on www.bikewalkct.org