A proposed bill under consideration by the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee is threatening hard-won protections for towns from frivolous lawsuits and other risks related to the recreational use of municipal land. SB 445 would exclude paved sidewalks, public beaches, boardwalks, and designated spectator areas and structures from immunity accorded to town-owned land made available to the public at no charge for recreational purposes.
In the mid-90s, a court case deprived municipalities of the same limited immunity to liability extended under the Recreational Land Use Act to other types of landowners. This made it legally and financially riskier for Connecticut towns to make their land available to the public for outdoor recreational use.
After a decade and a half of efforts to change the law, Public Act 11-211 finally restored towns’ immunity for recreational land use last year, and I was pleased to play an active role in its passage. I therefore testified yesterday before the Judiciary Committee in strong opposition to SB 445.
You can watch my testimony in the attached video, or read the document I submitted here.
All of our towns hold their open space very dear. I will continue to do everything I can to make sure that they are not constrained in keeping their land accessible for the public to enjoy.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and questions about these issues and any others that interest you. Please don’t hesitate to call or send me an e-mail. I am always happy to hear from you.