Rep. Kennedy December Editorial: “New Year, New Session: What to Expect”

Posted on December 14, 2023


Dear Friends and Neighbors,

First, I want to personally wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season! The New Year is right around the corner, and as we all prepare our resolutions and celebrations, it’s important to prepare for what new laws will define 2024 from early voting, to expanding the “bottle bill”, to implementing the most recent state budget agreement for Fiscal Year 24-25.

Although the 2024 Legislative Session will begin on February 7th and conclude on May 8th, new laws will go into effect on January 1, 2024. These laws address a wide variety of issues, many of which are bills passed during the recent 2023 Legislative Session. Below, I outline what important bills will go into effect starting in January.

State Budget (PA-23-204): As you know, the recent $51 billion state budget agreement included several Republican-led proposals that fostered bipartisan support. The most important of these is significant tax relief, a $150 million education statewide investment, a one-time bonus in funding to non-profits, freezing the diesel tax, and eliminating the “retirement benefits cliff” by phasing out the income tax exemption for pension and annuity income and individual retirement accounts. For my full outline on the state budget, visit my website at

Early Voting (PA 23-5): The Connecticut election landscape in 2024 will be evolving as our state takes on new early voting regulations. Specifically, for general elections, voters will be allowed a 14-day voting period, prior to election day. The agreed period for primaries is 7 days, while special elections will have a 4-day early voting period. It is critical to know how our state elections will be changing and I encourage you to learn more at

Bottle Bills (PA 23-76) and (PA 22-1): One law will increase the bottle redemption value from 5 cents to 10 cents, while also exempting certain beverage containers (e.g., juice, tea, coffee, sports or energy drink) in a retailer’s inventory from the labeling requirements associated with the state’s beverage container redemption law, a.k.a. “The Bottle Bill”. The other law requires the Council on Environmental Quality to include a review of the programs and measures local governments implemented with funds received from the state’s nip surcharge in the annual environmental quality report.

Vision Zero Council (PA 23-116): The main component of this law is the new implementation and installment of speed and red-light cameras in school and pedestrian zones across various municipalities, based on the recommendations of the Department of Transportation’s Vision Zero Council.

Online Privacy (PA 23-56): Initially proposed to protect minors from online harassment, this law specifically establishes a framework and sets requirements for how individuals or entities offering certain online services, products, and features manage and process personal data for minors. This demands the utmost online security from social media companies and online marketing firms for youth usership.

Other notable laws going into effect include PA 23-137, which expands resources for individuals with intellectual disabilities, PA 22-139 which studies the best methods for providing accessible cancer relief and treatment for local and state firefighters. Find the full list at

Looking ahead, after state Democrat leadership withdrew their proposal to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035, it is certain that this proposed mandate will return in an upcoming legislative session. As a longtime environmental advocate, I am hopeful that both parties can convene to address an eco-friendly solution that does not put the interests and needs of our small businesses, bussing companies, schools, and consumers on the back seat.

Stay tuned for more updates about this or any state issue by following me on Facebook @StateRepKennedy and sign up for my brief email updates by visiting my website. As always, please never hesitate to contact me with your questions, ideas, and concerns at or at 860-240-8700.