Business law and regulatory policy greatly affect a state’s ability to attract and keep innovators and job creators—and Connecticut has work to do to in both areas.

Lawmakers so far have missed some good opportunities to improve Connecticut’s regulatory climate but there’s still time to revive those efforts.

Meanwhile, a few positive bills are still alive during this session, but also some potentially harmful proposals. CBIA continues to promote proposals that will help make Connecticut an ideal location for job creators who can drive our economy.

Business Law & Liability

Fairness: SB 1032 creates a fair, reasonable, and retroactive statute of limitations applying to claims that the state and municipalities may initiate relating to construction projects. The bill is a response to the ruling in the State of Connecticut  vs. Lombardo Brothers, Mason Contractors, et. al and the common law doctrine of nullum tempus.

The court ruled that there is no existing statute of limitations for those that contract with and complete construction projects for the state. That leaves industry professionals who perform work on state-funded projects indefinitely liable for damage, including damage from aging and normal wear and tear over time.

There has to be a reasonable period of time in which a contractor knows that the project is closed out, and that future damages are the responsibility of the owner.

This bill offers a fix to the problem by defining the statute of limitations as 10 years from substantial completion of the project.

There was unanimous support by the Judiciary Committee of a similar proposal during the 2014 legislative session but the bill was not called for a vote before the  close of session. CBIA will continue to work to promote passage of SB 1032.

Unfair: SB 1028 unreasonably extends the current statute of limitations for minors to bring actions for alleged injury. It would extend the current two-year statute of limitation to one year after a minor’s 18th birthday, and also extend the current three-year statute of repose to eight years.

(A statute of repose prohibits actions after a specified period of time has run from the occurrence of some event other than the injury which gave rise to the claim.)

The statute of repose is designed to ensure justice and fairness to individuals while aiding to prevent fraudulent, frivolous and unexpected claims.

The current statute of limitations affords a reasonable and fair time frame for minors that are injured, parents and /or legal guardian(s) responsible for the minor to bring action on behalf of the minor.

For more information on business law and liability issues, contact Louise DiCocco at louise.dicocco@cbia.com or 860.244.1169.

Regulatory Reform

Connecticut has not fared well in national studies assessing state’s business-friendliness. One practical way to #MoveCTUp in the rankings and accelerate economic growth in the state is to make it easier for job creators to cut through red tape and comply with government regulations.

So far, lawmakers on the Government Administration and Election Committee have missed some promising opportunities to make progress in this area. However, there is still time to reconsider these proposals prior to the end if the session.

Red Tape: SB 384 did gain committee approval and has also passed the Senate. This bill will give businesses the opportunity to opt-out from having to file reports to the state electronically if that process creates a hardship for them.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Brown at 860.244.1926 | eric.brown@cbia.com | @CBIAericb