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Rep. Palm Commends Passage of Climate Change Education, Invasive Species Bills

Submitted by Rick Funaro, Press Aide.

(May 6, 2022) — State Representative Christine Palm (D- Chester, Deep River, Essex, Haddam) commends passage of two environmental bills (H.B. 5285 and H.B. 5143) she championed which passed the House of Representatives during the last days of the 2022 legislative session.

As is often the case in the short session, many bills which were raised in their respective committees and received public hearings (such as these two) end up being among the bills that get included as part of the budget.

H.B. 5285 AN ACT CONCERNING THE PUBLIC SCHOOL CURRICULUM will provide science-based climate teaching to all students in our school systems in accordance with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). It will codify into law what some — but not all — Connecticut public schools currently teach.

“After four years of debate, three public hearings, hundreds of pieces of testimony, and days of negotiating, the bill to require the teaching of climate change in all Connecticut public schools will, at long last, become law,” said Rep. Palm. “Given the calamity of climate change — the daily extinction of species, the catastrophic floods and searing wildfires, the forced migration of impoverished people, the rising costs of interrupted supply chains, and the despair our young people feel — this bill is crucial to educating the next generation on the importance of protecting our globe. I am indebted to all the people who helped me get it passed.”

The provisions in H.B. 5285 take effect on July 1, 2023.

H.B. 5143 AN ACT ESTABLISHING AN OFFICE OF AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES creates an office which will service as a hub to coordinate research efforts in Connecticut associated with aquatic invasive species (AIS) and control their spread. This office will also regularly study the health of our state’s waterways in relation to the presence of AIS such as hydrilla.

“Plants like hydrilla, water chestnut and milfoil are devastating our rivers and waterways, and in a survey conducted by my office prior to this session, dealing with hydrilla was among the top concerns brought to my attention by residents of my district,” said Rep. Palm. “Invasive aquatic plants affect the boating and tourism industries, prevent recreational kayaking and take a toll on other plant and animal species dependent upon a healthy water ecosystem.” The provisions of H.B. 5143 go into effect July 1 of this year.

“After many years of hard work on both topics, I am proud of these accomplishments because they matter deeply to many in my district,’ said Rep. Palm. “I greatly appreciate the civic engagement shown by our towns’ residents in supporting these measures, as well as the many environmental advocates whom I worked with to ensure their passage.”

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