Bill seeks to control trooper costs

Lezlye Zupkus
Lezlye Zupkus

HARTFORD — State Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) has voiced her support for legislation aimed at reducing overtime and fringe benefit costs for communities that use the state’s resident trooper program.

H.B. 5391, An Act Concerning Overtime and Fringe Benefits of Resident State Troopers, would reduce the amount of money that towns must reimburse the state for the cost of resident troopers for overtime and fringe benefits associated with overtime from 100 percent to 70 percent, according to a press release issued by Zupkus’ office.

“Municipal budgets of small communities statewide are under continual pressure from a variety of sources, and towns that want to maintain current residential trooper staffing levels are often forced to pass along rising costs to folks who pay local property taxes,” said Zupkus, a member of the legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee, in the release. “This bill is a bit of a release valve that gives local budgets a slight break while protecting the long term viability of the resident trooper program.”

Municipalities began paying 100 percent of the overtime and fringe benefits associated with overtime in 2011, the release stated. Several elected officials who testified this week explained that fringe benefit costs — health insurance, pension, unemployment compensation — have risen dramatically over the last few years.