WNPR

Question About Connecticut Land Conservation To Appear On November Ballot

May 11, 2018

This November, voters will see a ballot question asking them to change Connecticut’s constitution. The question will focus on how the state controls public land and whether the whole process should be more transparent.

It’s been a few legislative cycles, but Eric Hammerling and other open space advocates finally got what they wanted this session.

“We wanted to make sure that there would always be a public voice for public land issues,” said Hammerling, executive director of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association.

For a while, he’s been pushing the state to stop the last-minute land deals brokered by legislators -- and make the whole process more open.

“That’s what this resolution would do -- ensure that there is a public hearing before public lands could be sold, swapped, or given away,” Hammerling said.

It also would make it so certain lands can’t be moved without a two-thirds majority vote in both the Senate and the House.

Now that the proposed constitutional change has been approved by legislators, a spokesperson for the secretary of the state said the question will go on the November ballot, which means it’s up to voters if state land deals deserve a little bit more sunlight.