The package includes eight (8) bills approved by all four County Councils.
1. Bill for an Act Relating to Housing Development
Amends section 201H-38, which provides for the exemption of housing development projects from certain statutes, ordinances, and rules, etc. relating to development and construction, to allow the legislative body of the county to approve a district boundary amendment for a housing project involving less than fifteen acres of land or less, notwithstanding section 205-3.1(c) authorizing the county land use decision-making authority to determine boundary amendments involving land areas less than fifteen acres.
COMMENT: This will allow counties more latitude to approve affordable housing projects.
2. Bill for an Act Relating to Transient Accommodations Tax
Amends the allocation of transient accommodations tax revenues, recognizing the increased need to maintain county parks due to the impact of our visitors to those parks, while considering the distribution of duties and responsibilities for public services between the State and the counties and to recommend a model for the allocation of TAT revenues.
COMMENT: This would increase funding directly to each counties Parks & Recreation maintenance budget. For our county over $3 million.
3. Bill for an Act Relating to Tobacco Products
Repeals the State’s pre-emptory powers over the regulation of tobacco products; clarifies county powers to adopt and enforce ordinances and rules.
COMMENT: Gives counties more latitude and home rule.
4. Bill for an Act Relating to Registration of Vehicles (Outstanding Charges)
When a county Director of Finance ascertains that an applicant for registration of a motor vehicle owes the county outstanding charges for the towing, removal, or disposal of an abandoned or derelict vehicle, the Director is authorized to require the payment of the outstanding charges as a condition for the registration of the motor vehicle.
COMMENT: Authorizes county to require payment on outstanding debts on a vehicle prior to renewal.
5. Bill for an Act Relating to Registration of Vehicles (U-Drive Additional Fee)
Changes the fee for a certificate of registration for a U-drive motor vehicle from $1 to $2, like the fee paid for all other vehicles. This will allow the fee to be increased by a county, through ordinance, up to $10 with amounts received from the increase to be used only for: The disposition of abandoned or derelict vehicles; and related costs such as storage fees of a towing company, contracted by the county for the removal and disposition of abandoned or derelict vehicles. [Note: Act 274, SLH 1999, increased the registration fee to $2 for all motor vehicles, but retained the $1 fee for U-drive vehicles, because the Legislature determined that the increase would be a burden to the rental car industry.]
COMMENT: Allows counties authority to assess higher fees to rental car industry for highway beautification and removal of abandoned vehicles.
6. Bill for an Act Relating to Tort Liability
Exempts lifeguards, their employing counties, or the State, from tort liability arising from the delivery of lifeguard services, except for civil damages arising from the lifeguards’ gross negligence, wanton act, or omission.
COMMENT: Safeguards our lifeguards against frivolous lawsuits.
7. A Bill for an Act relating to Lowering the Threshold of Blood Alcohol Concentration
Lowers blood alcohol concentration to 0.05 for the offense of operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.
8. A Bill for an Act relating to Cesspool conversion working group, and extension
Extends various reporting deadlines and the sunset date of the cesspool conversion working group; and extends the lapse date of funds appropriated previously for the comprehensive statewide study of the conversations.