SMACNA Works with Labor Partners to Obtain Major Legislative Victory in Connecticut

Groups collaborated on inclusion of Indoor Air Quality language in the state budget that will benefit all Connecticut schools.

On May 9, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law the state's budget for FY2023. During the final days of deliberation on the appropriations bill, legislators agreed to insert a measure to pump millions of necessary funds into efforts to improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) for Connecticut schools. The new language was championed by State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Bethel) along with SMACNA, the Associated Sheet Metal & Roofing Contractors of Connecticut (ASMRCC), SMART Local Union 40 representatives, and the National Energy Management Institute Committee (NEMIC).

The new language includes $75 million in funds for HVAC improvements through a grant program. It also requires over 1000 elementary and secondary schools to complete a Ventilation Verification assessment before January 1, 2024, and every five years.

According to Jeremy Zeedyk from the National Energy Management Institute, who was critical in advancing the measure, one of the key reasons this was a significant victory for students and staff is because "any assessment of school IAQ is to be conducted by a TAB technician certified by the AABC, NEBB, or TABB, or an individual training institution under the supervision of a Testing, Adjusting and Balancing Bureau certified technician."

Matthew S. Cole, Field Operations Manager for Wing's Testing and Balancing Co., Inc., was also instrumental in working on this legislation, added, "the passage of this legislation will mean thousands of man-hours for TAB workers in Connecticut, but more importantly, healthier indoor air quality for our schoolchildren and teachers in the not-too-distant future."

Stan Kolbe, SMACNA's Executive Director of Government and Political Affairs, emphasized, "this is a shining example of what every state needs to do at a minimum since only a fraction of schools has upgraded their HVAC and IAQ systems in the last few decades. Most schools do not even have a remotely modern system to retrofit."

To read more about this measure, click here.