State news

Amendment limiting state land transfers passes

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Voters have agreed to change Connecticut’s constitution and place limits on the General Assembly when it attempts to transfer and sell state-owned property to a non-state entity.

Environmental and conservation groups have pushed for the amendment. They say 270,000 acres of state-owned forests and parks are at risk under the current system, which allows the General Assembly to hand over ownership.

Eric Hammerling, executive director of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, says “any measure short of a constitutional amendment could be circumvented or ignored” by lawmakers.

The amendment will require a public hearing before the property is transferred. If that property is under the custody or control of the Departments of Agriculture or Energy and Environmental Protection, the legislature must approve it by a two-third majority in both chambers.

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