Regional & State News

Advocacy Alert

Yesterday, the Commerce Committee voted to move H.B. 6119 An Act Concerning Arts, Culture and Tourism to draft and public hearing on Feb 11.

We need your support of the bill and testimony. You can advocate by testifying via zoom at the public hearing or emailing written testimony to advance the bill.

Here's what you need to know to testify: (From CGA Bulletin Public Hearings webpage)

The Commerce Committee will hold a public hearing on Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 10:00 A.M. via Zoom. The public hearing can be viewed via YouTube Live. In addition, the public hearing may be recorded and broadcast live on

Individuals who wish to testify via Zoom must register using the On-line Testimony Registration Form. Registration will close on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 3:00 P.M. Speaker order of approved registrants will be listed in a randomized order and posted on the Commerce Committee website on February 11, 2021 by 9:00 A.M. under Public Hearing Testimony. If you do not have internet access, you may provide testimony via telephone. To register to testify by phone, call the Phone Registrant Line at (860) 240-0380, to leave your contact information.

Please email written testimony in Word or PDF format to Testimony should clearly state testifier name and related bill number(s). The Committee requests that testimony be limited to matters related to the items on the Agenda. The first hour of the hearing is reserved for public officials, department heads/agency representatives, and legislators. Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony. The Committee encourages witnesses to submit a written statement and to condense oral testimony to a summary of that statement. All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information. As such, it will be made available on the CGA website and indexed by internet search engines.

H.B. 6119 An Act Concerning Arts, Culture and Tourism

To strengthen the arts, culture, and tourism sector in Connecticut by directing additional funds into the Tourism Fund, renaming the fund to better represent the full scope of the sector and ensuring equitable funding among arts, culture, and tourism initiatives.

The raised bill proposes to:

  • increase, from 10 % to 25%, the portion of room occupancy tax revenue directed to the Tourism Fund each quarter (does not affect tax rate)

  • require that 40% of money in the tourism fund be allocated to arts and culture and 60% of such money be allocated to tourism, which is the general current allocation

  • change the name of the Tourism Fund to the Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund, and

  • change the name of the "Statewide Marketing" budget line to "Statewide Tourism Marketing"

Legislative Agenda

Read Our 2021 Legislative Agenda and Priorities with data and information

Updates on Bills We Are Tracking

The Cultural Coalition is tracking the following bills and encourages you to review the list, identify bills that may affect you, your organization/business, and/or the sector. Advocacy is needed, and this legislative session is all virtual making it easier than ever to participate and make a difference!


PRIORITY H.B. 6119 – An Act Concerning Arts, Culture and Tourism Funding (Joint Committee on Commerce)

Public Hearing 2/11 - ACT NOW

H.B. 6103 – An Act Concerning Property Tax Exemptions for Property Used for Charitable Purposes (Planning and Development Committee)

Public Hearing 2/3


S.B. 298 – An Act Concerning the Reuse of Works of Art in State Buildings (Joint Committee on Government Administration and Elections)

• Purpose: To reduce state spending by reusing existing works of art in state buildings.

• Eliminates the requirement that the State Bond Commission allocate from the proceeds of state bonds one percent of the total estimated cost of the construction, reconstruction or remodeling of a state building for the purchase of works of art

• Permits works of art already present in an existing state building to be transferred to state construction, reconstruction or remodeling projects.

• OPPOSE – would eliminate the State’s Percent for Art program


H.B. 5615 – An Act Concerning the Tourism and Hospitality Industries (Joint Committee on Commerce)

• Purpose: To encourage visitors to state attractions and restaurants

• That the general statutes be amended to require that the Department of Economic and Community Development develop a marketing campaign and provide additional resources to aid the tourism and hospitality industries in the state following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public Hearing 2/11

S.B. 146 – An Act Authorizing Sports Wagering, Internet Gaming, Internet Lottery and Internet Keno (Joint Committee on Public Safety and Security)

• Purpose: To authorize sports wagering, internet gaming, internet lottery and internet keno in this state

• Relevance: Potential revenue source to Tourism Fund

Voted to Draft

H.B. 5853 – Ac Act Concerning the Retail Sale and Taxation of Marijuana (Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding)

• Purpose: To provide for the retail sale of marijuana, the taxation of such sales and the use of revenue generated from such tax.

• Relevance: Potential revenue source to Tourism Fund

H.B. 5563 – An Act Allowing Municipalities to Assess Fees on Certain Nonprofit Organizations for Certain Municipal Services (Joint Committee on Planning and Development)

• Purpose: To allow municipalities to assess fees on certain nonprofit organizations for certain municipal services.

• Relevance: Could affect arts and cultural nonprofits

S.B. 165 – An Act Concerning A Covid-19 Memorial (Joint Committee on Commerce)

• Purpose: To honor the thousands of lives lost in Connecticut due to the covid-19 pandemic by erecting a memorial

• Relevance: Creation of public art

S.B. 620 – An Act Concerning a Public Hearing Requirement for Budget Earmarks (Joint Committee on Appropriations)

• Purpose: To require public hearings for earmarks.

• Notes: That the general statutes be amended to prohibit budget earmarks except for specific spending proposals that received a public hearing

H.B. 5781 – An Act Requiring An Arts Supervisor in Each Public School (Joint Committee on Education)

• Purpose: To require an arts supervisor in each public school

H.B. 6030 – An Act Concerning Art Therapists (Joint Committee on Public Health)

• Purpose: To allow temporary permits to practice as an art therapist under supervision to be valid for two years.

H.B. 6294 – An Act Establishing Licensure for Music Therapists in Connecticut (Joint Committee on Public Health)

• Purpose: To establish licensure for music therapists in the state.

H.B. 5254 – An Act Requiring the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to Amend the Process of Attaching Equipment to Public Utility Poles (Joint Committee on Energy and Technology)

• Purpose: To require the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to initiate a docket and adopt regulations to amend the process for attaching equipment to public utility poles.

• Notes: Increase 5G mobile telephone wiring and fiber wires for high-speed broadband internet infrastructure

• Relevance: Increase accessibility to internet in rural areas, including to arts & cultural organizations, arts education and arts programs


S.B. 430 – An Act Concerning Regional Tourism Districts (Joint Committee on Commerce)

• Purpose: To allow two or more municipalities in any regional tourism district to jointly appoint one representative to the regional tourism district boards of directors.

Voted to draft

S.B. 624 – An Act Concerning Connecticut Tourism Council Membership (Joint Committee on Commerce)

• Purpose: To require that a representative of the Connecticut Tourism Coalition be a member of the Connecticut Tourism Council

Public Hearing 2/11


The Town of Stonington would like to know how your business has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as provide you an opportunity to give us feedback on our response.

Please also know you can call the First Selectman's Office, Human Services or Department of Planning anytime with questions or input.