Senator Harding Applauds House Passage of Critical Bear Management Legislation

June 2, 2023

June 2, 2023

Media Contact:
Hannah Lemek

Senator Harding Applauds House Passage of
Critical Bear Management Legislation

Measure enabling residents to defend against black bears awaits
Gov. Lamont’s signature to become law.

HARTFORD – Today, Senator Stephen Harding (R-Brookfield) applauded the House of Representatives’ passage of S.B. 1148, the proposed bear management legislation. The push comes following multiple violent human-bear interactions in the northwest corner and throughout the entire state. This bipartisan legislation takes significant steps toward addressing the growing public safety issue by enabling residents to defend their families and property against aggressive black bears.

After years of failure to come to an agreement among Chambers, Senator Harding, who serves as and Ranking Member on the Environment Committee, and his colleagues from across the aisle; passed the most comprehensive bear management legislation seen in state history. The legislation was amended in committee to eliminate the bear hunt language but contains language allowing individuals to defend themselves, their pets, livestock, and crops.

Sen. Harding said, “After over a decade of attempts to resolve this critical issue, the legislature has taken significant steps toward addressing this growing public safety issue in our state; particularly the northwest corner, which I am proud to represent. I’d like to thank the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, committee leadership in particular Sen. Lopes (D-New Britain), Rep. Gresko (D-Stratford) and Rep. Callahan (R-New Fairfield), for their tireless work in ensuring the bill’s passage.”

Senator Harding made multiple public pushes to see legislation addressing this issue. The bill, which cleared the Senate in May, awaits Gov. Ned Lamont’s signature to become law.



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