Posted on September 27, 2022
I wanted to make you aware of new laws affecting Connecticut taxpayers and businesses taking effect on Saturday, October 1st. This year, several important public safety measures become law, including many that were a result of pressure from both the public and Republican lawmakers concerned about an increase in crime, especially juvenile crime, and the dramatic rise in incidents of car theft; from 2019-2020 the increase in motor vehicle theft was just less than 4 times the national average – 41% vs 12%.
Public Act 22-115 makes many changes to juvenile justice statutes to continue to preserve the rights of younger offenders, while also delivering faster arraignments and access to necessary intervention and diversionary program services. This bipartisan legislation is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.
The new law will, among other things:
Children’s Mental Health
I supported Public Act 22-47 – An Act Concerning Children’s Mental Health – to address both the immediate and long-term needs of the state’s mental health systems. This wide-ranging legislation aims to address the youth mental health crisis and support children and families by growing the behavioral health workforce, expanding treatment facilities, and increasing insurance coverage for mental health services. Additionally, the legislation funds a 9-8-8 suicide prevention and mental health crisis lifeline.
Protections for Domestic Violence Victims
Another law I supported was Public Act 22-82 to address several important topics, including increased protections for domestic violence victims, increased safety for online dating, domestic violence training, workplace sexual harassment, employment discrimination, and more.
The law requires online dating operators to provide Connecticut users with safety awareness notifications before allowing them to use the platform, sets up a grant program to provide education and training on online abuse, and extends anti-discrimination statutes to more workplaces. The law also prohibits discrimination against domestic violence victims, requires state agencies provide domestic violence training, and requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) provide $1.44 million for domestic violence agencies.
New legislation effective dates are typically January 1st, July 1st, and October 1st throughout the calendar year.