CT GIS Legislation


HB 6647 An Act Concerning Geographic Information Systems

March 17, 2021 – HB 6647 was raised by the Planning and Development Committee.

March 22, 2021 – Planning and Development Committee Hearing that included HB 6647 as one of 19 different bills.  The hearing was recorded and is posted in two pieces – the first (9 hours, 51 minutes) and the second (3 hours, 44 minutes).  Submitted written testimony is also posted.

March 31, 2021 – Planning and Development Committee meeting where HB 6647 was voted out of committee. See meeting recording with the GIS Bill portion at approximately 5hr 10min.

April 20, 2021 – Fiscal Note attached to Bill.

May 10, 2021 – Appropriations Committee favorable vote.

June 4, 2021 – Substitute HB 6647, Amendment LCO No. 9852, passes the in the House of Representatives. See meeting recording at approximately 7hr 4min.

June 9, 2021 – The HB6647 Amendment was not called in the regular session of the Senate.

June 15, 2021 – The Budget Implementer Bill is released for a Special Session of the Legislature and includes the three sections related to GIS. Public Act No 21-2 (GIS sections 78-80, pages 95-100) was passed by the Senate with some amendments on the same day.


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Information and tips about submitting testimony


Connecticut GIS User to User Network

Now called the CT GIS Network, was founded in 2001 and its bylaws were first approved in 2004. Although not established by legislation, the Network first started the conversation about coordinated GIS and continues to do so today.

Connecticut Geospatial Information Systems Council

In 2005, the interim council was created by Executive Order No 4. In June of 2005, Public Act 05-3, Sec. 84 created the 21-member GIS Council. The Council met periodically and communicated about state GIS efforts. Several products were produced.

Connecticut Geographic Framework Data Report
Connecticut Enterprise GIS (Strategic Plan)
Funding Connecticut’s Statewide GIS Program (GIS Business Plan)

The Councils mission was to

  1. coordinate a uniform geospatial information system capacity and
  2. promote a forum in which geospatial information may be centralized and distributed.

Effective July 1, 2013, in accordance with Section 6 of Public Act 13-299, The Geospatial Information Systems Council was eliminated and the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) was designated as its successor department.

Connecticut General Statutes Section 4d-90

In 2013, OPM was formally set as the successor to the Geospatial Council in Chapter 61b, Sec. 4d-90 called Geospatial Information Systems.

Letter from OPM to the CT GIS Network

In May of 2016, after OPM had been designated as the successor to the Connecticut Geospatial Information Systems Council, the following letter was sent from the Chief Data Officer to the GIS User to User Network president. The letter states that, following the statutory requirements in Section 4d-90, that OPM seeks to consult with the GIS Network in an advisory capacity

Letter from OPM to the Network

Public Act 18-175

In 2018, Public Act 18-175, section 6 required each municipality to submit a digital parcel file, and some assessment data, to the Council of Governments (COGs) of which it is a member on an annual basis.  The Office of Policy and Management (OPM) subsequently asks the COGs to voluntarily share the data so it can be made available for public consumption. The Public Act also established the Chief Data Officer position at OPM and the requirement to create a State Data Plan. OPM also creates a GIS Data Catalog.

House Bill 5476

On March 16, 2020, HB 5476, An Act Concerning a State-Wide Geographic Information System Task Force was introduced just before Covid-19 interrupted the legislative session.

It set out to create a working group consisting of key people from different state agencies and sectors to study the need and feasibility of establishing a centralized, coordinated statewide GIS center for Connecticut. The working group had three tasks:

  • an examination of GIS expertise and mapping within the state;
  • an examination of GIS centers in other similar states (all of which have GIS coordination to some degree) and finally;
  • recommendations for establishing a GIS Center in Connecticut.

Because the need is obvious and potential benefits many, Representative McCarthy-Vahey with several others convened the group in the summer of 2020 to do the research, form recommendations and ultimately introduce legislation.

CT Legislative Working Group

The Legislative working group has about 20 members who are all state GIS leaders and represent a wide range of sectors. The group is researching GIS activities within Connecticut, especially at state agencies, councils of government, utilities and higher education as well as talking with other states to learn what works and what could be improved with existing GIS Centers.

The next steps are to summarize the information, develop recommendations and turn them into a piece of legislation.

To become more involved, email John Guszkowki or Emily Wilson.