public policy

Connecticut

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Current Legislative/Regulatory Issues 

UPDATE--Bed Bug Bill Becomes Law: Governor Malloy signed Connecticut’s Bed Bug bill (HB 5335). This is a positive development. In most cases, the landlord is required by law to pay PMPs (certified applicators) to treat and inspect for bed bug infestations. Even if the landlord attempts to “self-treat” the bed bug infestation, the law mandates that a “qualified inspector” (most likely a PMP) would have to inspect the residential unit to verify that the landlord eliminated an infestation. Click here view our fact sheet on the law.

HB 5335—To establish landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities regarding bed bug infestations in rental housing

When the opportunity arises, we like to point out legislation that highlights the importance of PMPs in our society. The State of Connecticut values the work of PMPs so much that they are mandating (in most cases) that landlords hire and pay PMPs for their services regarding bed bug inspections and treatments in residential rental properties and public housing units. The motto is: “Our mission is your protection.” Connecticut is listening. Others will too.

Overview: A bill in Connecticut is eligible for the Governor’s signature (he’s expected to sign or allow to become law after 5 days) that sets rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants regarding bed bug treatments. We drafted a document explaining the bill and what to be aware of when treating for bed bugs in residential rental properties and public housing units (in CT). Detached single-family homes are exempt from this bill. Ultimately, we wanted to inform you about this future avenue of pest management policymaking.

What the bill means for PCOs: In most cases, the landlord is required by law to pay PCOs (certified applicators) to treat and inspect for bed bug infestations. Even if the landlord attempts to “self-treat” the bed bug infestation, the law mandates that a “qualified inspector” (most likely a PCO) would have to inspect the residential unit to verify that the landlord eliminated an infestation.

Political Context (Other Forces at Play): In the cases we’ve examined, landlord associations advocated for landlords to pay the cost for treating and preventing bed bug infestations. Not the tenant. When the tenant is responsible for treating an infestation it rarely remedies the problem. Tenants don’t have as much of a financial incentive to eliminate the infestation and treatments by tenants are typically ineffective and can exaggerate the infestation. Therefore, they view hiring a PMP is in the long run—the most cost effective.

Around half of the states have laws that address bed bug infestations in some way. But no others mandate payments to PCOs as Connecticut’s anticipated law does.

Forecasting Bed Bug Bills in Other States: In this legislative cycle we’ve seen California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey introduce similar versions to Connecticut’s anticipated law. We expect the introduction and passage of these bills in additional states. Also, in New Jersey, a bill was introduced that would provide up to a $500 tax credit to pay for damages caused by a bed bug infestation. The closest existing law to Connecticut’s is in New York City.

If you have any questions about Connecticut’s anticipated law or want to know if your state has a bed bug-landlord/tenant bill in the works, let us know. We are more than happy to help. 

UPDATE: S.231 Enacted into Law

Connecticut's pollinator health bill changed significantly since its introduction. Unfortunately, it classifies neonics as restricted use by 2018. But troublesome language that would've banned neonic usage during the "blooming season" March to November was removed. The law also bans applications on basswood or linden trees. This was the first neonicotinoid restriction law on a statewide level.

Connecticut Pest Control Association (CPCA) Testifies on Neonicotinoid Restriction Bill

Emilio Polce, President of CPCA testified on SB 231, Connecticut’s neonicotinoid restriction bill. This bill categorizes neonicotinoids as a restricted use pesticide (RUP) and bans their use during the “blooming season” from March to November. Emilio eloquently asserted his arguments to Senator Kennedy and the Joint Committee on the Environment. He let the Committee know restricting neonicotinoids doesn’t protect pollinators, it jeopardizes people. From Connecticut to California and Washington to Florida—NPMA and its allies are unified. We will continue our mission of protecting public health and property. Nobody deserves to experience the torment caused by bedbugs. Nobody deserves to eat food prepared in a kitchen teeming with cockroaches. Nobody deserves to rent an apartment rife with both. Our message is cutting through the clutter. Lawmakers are listening. Neonicotinoids are an imperative tool for protecting the public. 

Connecticut S. 231—Pollinator Health was introduced in the Connecticut Senate on 2/24/16 by the Joint Committee on Environment.

1.Neonicotinoid Restrictions

This bill categorizes neonicotinoids as a restricted use pesticide (RUP). One of the major aims of this legislation is to prevent the average citizen from liberally spraying neonics in their yard or garden. As a RUP the bill only permits certified operators and above to use them. As you already know, certified operators may only use RUPs when the supervisory applicator is not present, if the supervisory applicator provides written instructions to the certified operator. For example, if a certified operator wanted to use neonics to treat for bedbugs the supervisory applicator would have to email instructions prior to use.

Another component of the bill that is significant is the BAN on neonics would take place during the “blooming season” (identified as being between March and November). The only use patterns that are exempt from this seasonal BAN are agricultural and horticultural.  As written, it could be interpreted that structural use patterns are NOT exempt, and neonics could NOT be used for structural use between the months of March and November. 

2.Pollinator Task Force

The final significant element in the bill is the establishment of a pollinator task force, with an emphasis on neonicotinoids. In addition to studying other policy options to protect pollinators, the task force would, “(6) evaluate existing best management practices for applying neonicotinoids in a manner that avoids harming pollinating insects; and (7) assess the implications and viability of prohibiting the sale of neonicotinoids in the state or establishing a moratorium on such sale.” The task force would be comprised of members of the legislature, Ag. and Environment Commissioners, Governor appointees, and others. 

State Policy Affairs Representative (S.P.A.R.), Anthony Giovanni

The NPMA State Policy Affairs Representative is the key liaison responsible for coordinating issues between associations. To contact your state SPAR click on their email below.

Contact: anthony@pestrx.com