State Representative Doug Dubitsky 2024 Legislative Session Headlines

Posted on March 19, 2024


Hartford Courant

March 1, 2024 

CT bill proposing tiny homes for homeless would bring shelter beds to suburbs

Rep. Doug Dubitsky, a member of the committee said he opposes the proposal, which he referred to as a “fairly dangerous bill.”

Dubitsky said the bill would allow religious leaders to circumvent local regulations and install shelters with little to no community input. Dubitsky said such initiatives could result in “chaos” for small towns with limited resources.

“Let’s say you have a church property that owns three or four adjoining parcels and they put eight housing structures on each one. … Perhaps that town has no sewers, no water service, no transportation. Where are these homeless people going to go? What are they going to do all day?” Dubitsky said. “They’re going to stay right there. … There will be dozens and dozens of homeless people, in the middle of perhaps a historic district in a little town with no services.”

Dubitsky described the proposal as “short-sighted” adding that “the ramifications have not been thought through.”

Dubitsky expressed concerns that the bill does not specify what materials shelters can and cannot be made out of. He said the bill, as written, would green-light any prefabricated structure, including shelters made out of shipping containers.

The defines a “Temporary shelter unit” as “a nonpermanent commercially prefabricated accessory structure that is designed to be easily dismantled or removed, but does not include tarps, tents, other nonrigid materials or motor vehicles.”

Dubitsky added that shower and toilet requirements in the bill could result in the installation of outdoor portable toilets, which residents may be opposed to.

Dubitsky said the bill’s language does not go far enough to define who could occupy the shelters.

“Are we building housing for the 10 million people who have illegally crossed the southern border? Or are we building housing for people who are just out of a job?” Dubitsky asked. “None of this is addressed.”

Dubitsky said that by authorizing shelters on any religious property, structures could go up in historic districts, next to playgrounds, or near liquor stores and cannabis dispensaries.

“Homeless shelters are not appropriate in every location, and it is important that the people’s elected representatives, including the town officials and zoning commissions, have some say in where a homeless shelter is going to be located,” Dubitsky said. “To have this sweeping bill that makes it, as of right, that you can put (shelters) anywhere you want is not, in my view, the appropriate way to ensure the health and safety of the homeless population or the people of the 169 towns in the state.

The Yankee Institute

March 1, 2024

‘Green Monster’ Bill Will Have Environmental Lawyers Seeing Green

The proposed bill lacks a specific definition for climate change, allowing any governor the discretion to declare an emergency under the guise of addressing climate change. Rep. Doug Dubitsky (R-Chaplin) raised a concern to the commissioner, questioning whether a declared climate change emergency could potentially grant indefinite executive control of the state to a sitting governor.

In response, Dykes argued that the “best opportunities that we have to address climate change are those that we can take on today.” She emphasized the importance of the General Assembly “invest[ing] in and ensur[ing] that there is prudent planning to better prepare our communities for these extreme weather events,” which would not require the need to take “executive control over the state.”

In other words, Dykes suggests that proactive legislation aimed at reducing climate change’s effects could eliminate the need for declaring an emergency. However, should the legislature fail to act, it might compel the governor to exercise this emergency power.


February 24, 2024

 Planning and Development Committee Sets Agenda for Upcoming Session

Another potentially contentious bill authorized the assessment of a land value tax and potential state funding for certain improvements to commercial properties.

“This bill completely changes the way that towns will be funded and the way that property is taxed in the state. It will have very far-reaching ramifications that I do not believe have been fully thought out,” said Rep. Doug Dubitsky, R-Chaplin.

Connecticut Public

February 23, 2024

CT religious institutions hope to house homeless on their property

Some conservative state lawmakers expressed concern over the level of power the “as of right” bill would grant religious institutions. For example, they wouldn’t be required to undergo a public hearing or get a special permit as other groups might.

Republican State Rep. Doug Dubitsky, who represents several towns including Lisbon, Norwich and Canterbury, is worried about the control the proposed bill grants religious institutions.

“What the ‘as of right’ concept does, is it essentially cuts out of the decision making process the elected officials of the town and the voice of the people of the town,” Dubitsky said. “It gives the decision as to where to locate homeless shelters in a town to, perhaps one person, who is not necessarily accountable to anybody in the town.

February 20, 2024

CT Insider

Democrats propose tax breaks for CT developers of commercial properties into residences

Rep. Doug Dubitsky, R-Chaplin, a member of the legislature’s Planning and Development Committee led the complaints during that vote last week, saying small towns such as those in his district don’t have the staff to comply with many of the state mandates on affordable housing.

“Any proposal that forces small towns to build things that they have no ability to build, I would oppose,” Dubitsky said at the time. “Who’s going to build this housing? It’s not because there are zoning restrictions. It’s because we live in a very rural farming community with no water, no sewer, barely any internet, electricity goes out a dozen times a year. It just isn’t possible for a town like that to build low-income housing.

February 12, 2024

CT Insider

Early dissent from Connecticut Republicans sets tone for affordable housing debate ahead

“The complaints were led by Rep. Doug Dubitsky, R-Chaplin, a member of the Planning and Development Committee, along with Sen. Rob Sampson of Wolcott and Rep. Tony Scott of Monroe, the top GOP members of the Housing Committee.

Dubitsky, whose district also includes Brooklyn, Canterbury, Chaplin, part of Norwich, Plainfield, Scotland and Sprague, warned that he’s prepared to battle any law that includes the potential withdrawal of municipal aid for towns that do not comply to any law that would punish communities for failing to expand affordable housing units within their borders. He voiced opposition to an undrafted concept to establish a “Housing Growth Rating Program.”

“As somebody who represents eight small towns, some very small, with only less than five employees, there, in many instances, is simply no way to comply with many of the mandates that have been proposed in the past,” Dubitsky said. “Any proposal that forces small towns to build things that they have no ability to build, I would oppose. Who’s going to build this housing? It’s not because there are zoning restrictions. It’s because we live in a very rural farming community with no water, no sewer, barely any internet, electricity goes out a dozen times a year. It just isn’t possible for a town like that to build low-income housing.”

It would be unfair and “unacceptable” to link any flow of state funding with that inability to support new units, he said.”