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CONNECTICUT GREEN AMENDMENT

Connecticut Overview

What is a Green Amendment?

Green Amendments are self executing provisions added to the bill of rights section of a constitution that recognize and protect the rights of all people, including future generations, to pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and healthy environments.
The Connecticut Green Amendment is referred to locally as the Connecticut Environmental Rights Amendment.

 

Overview of the CT Green Amendment

Five-mile lighthouse in New Haven

Environmental advocates, organizations and caring community members are working together to advance a Connecticut Green Amendment.

Named the Connecticut Environmental Rights Amendment (SJ 193) with Senator Mae Flexer as lead sponsor, the amendment the CTERA Alliance (a collaboration of supporting organizations) seeks would read:

Article first of the Constitution is amended by adding section 21 as follows:

Each person shall have an individual right to clean and healthy air, water, soil, ecosystems and environment; and a safe and stable climate; for the benefit of public health, safety and the general welfare. The state shall not infringe upon these rights. The state shall protect these rights equitably for all people regardless  of  race,  ethnicity,  tribal affiliation,  gender, socioeconomics or geography. The state shallserve as trustee of all of the natural resources of Connecticut, among them being its waters, air, flora, fauna,soils, and climate; and shall conserve, protect, and maintain these resources for the benefit of allpeople, including present and future generations. Funds supporting the state trustee obligations herein shall not be diverted for non-trust purposes. The rights stated in this section are equivalent with all other inalienable rights  and may be directly invoked and enforced by the people of Connecticut.

Status:

The CTERA received its first hearing of 2024 before the Senate Government Administrations & Elections Committee on March 13, 2023.  Many turned out to testify in support.  It is hard to share the hearing because the day of testimony included testimony on a wide variety of proposed bills with no set time allotted for the CTERA -- so the day was a mix of all kinds of testimony throughout the day.  But you can view the testimony of Green Amendment Founder M. van Rossum here.

We are expecting a vote from the committee any day now.  If the vote is a yes, the proposal will advance to the next step, which could be the full CT Senate.

Whose Supporting the CT Green Amendment - Environmental Rights Amendment?

To see the organizations supporting the amendment CLICK HERE.

If you represent an organization and would like to sign on in support, you can do so here.

As an individual you can join the movement by Signing Our Petition of Support Here.

How it began in Connecticut?

In 2022, advocates began by organizing speaking events to share the message.  Among them was this event sponsored by CT NOFA, a leader in the CT effort: view event here.

The amendment was first proposed to the House Environment Committee in January, 2023 by Rep. Mary Mushinsky as House Joint Resolution No. 37 . The resolution was the subject of an informative and positive hearing before the committee. While the amendment did not pass all the way through the process, support for the concept of a Connecticut Green Amendment was clearly solid and growing.

In 2023 Senator Mae Flexer took up the leadership mantle on the Senate side.  In 2024 the proposed amendment is beginning its legislative journey on the senate side of the legislature.  If senate support is secured, it will then proceed to the CT House.

Curious what a Green Amendment is, what it does, and the transformational difference it can make for environmental protection and environmental justice? Check out our Resources page.

If you want to take steps to advance a Green Amendment in Connecticut, Act Now.

National Green Amendments Movement

Find out where else we are working.

On April 19 Green Amendments for the Generations Founder and Delaware Riverkeeper May van Rossum spoke at the Connecticut Climate Mobilization event about the need to adopt an environmental rights amendment in the state.

Learn more about Green Amendments For the Generations at forthegenerations.org.